Tag Archives: California

Senate Majority Now Decided;
House Majority Continues
To Remain in Limbo

Click on map or here to see CNN’s interactive 2022 elections results House map: CNN

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 14, 2022

Now, just about a week beyond the 2022 election, each major party still has a chance of controlling the US House, while the Democrats, with late victories in Arizona and Nevada, have secured at least a 50-50 ostensible Senate majority when counting the vice president’s tie-breaking vote.

Senate

Senate: Majority Decided — Just one of the 35 Senate elections still remains undecided: the Georgia race that will head to a post-election runoff on Dec.6. Once the tight Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin races were called for incumbents Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) the majority was decided in favor of the Democrats.

The Georgia race unofficially finds incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) holding 49.4 percent of the vote versus Republican Herschel Walker’s 48.5 percent. Libertarian Chris Victor taking 2.1 percent, or just over 48,000 votes, denied both major party candidates the opportunity of reaching the 50 percent plateau. Therefore, the two finalists advance to a new election.

A Warnock win would put the Senate balance of power at 51-49 with the Democrats in control and not needing the vice president to make a tie-breaking vote. A Walker win would leave the Senate without a true majority at 50-50, thus requiring Vice President Kamala Harris’ deciding call on straight party line votes.

The Alaska Senate race is also undecided, but the state’s new electoral system that sends four candidates to the general election won’t be final for another two weeks.

It is obvious that contest will winnow down to a battle between two Republicans, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Alaska Director of Administration Kelly Tshibaka. While Tshibaka leads the aggregate vote count, it has become clear that she and Sen. Murkowski will eventually advance into the Ranked Choice runoff.

Though Tshibaka is, and may remain, the vote leader, the RCV runoff system looks to favor Sen. Murkowski. Regardless of which woman is declared the victor when the lengthy process ends, the GOP will retain the Alaska Senate seat.

House

House: Majority Count Remains in Limbo — The House races are still very much undecided with 19 races uncalled. Considering that 10 of those races are in California and one in New York where it will likely take weeks to arrive at final totals, it could be quite some time until we know the ultimate outcome.

According to the CNN election site count, of the 19 uncalled races the Democrats lead in nine, Republicans eight, and two are pure toss-ups, both of which the GOP candidate has a slight count edge. Republicans, however, sitting at 212 called races in their favor versus 204 for the Democrats, need only six of the 19 to fall their way, while Democrats require 14 to claim a bare majority.

It appears the final margin may come down to just one or two seats. The GOP lead seems relatively secure in five of their eight advantage seats, which would give them 217, while the Democrats appear to have solid advantages in another seven of their nine, which puts them at 211.

Therefore, the Republican projection appears to lie in the 217-221 range, while the Democrats’ best-case scenario looks to be scoring a 218-217 slight majority. These predictions, however, are based upon rudimentary projections that could easily change once the actual votes are finally tabulated in all 19 outstanding campaigns.

Governor

Aggregate Governor: Incumbents Dominate — Surprisingly little change occurred in the 36 governors’ races in terms of party change. Democrats, as predicted, easily converted the Maryland and Massachusetts open seats.

The 36 governors’ races are also almost complete, with only Alaska and Arizona uncalled.

In returns that defied polling and thus favor the Democrats, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) leads former news anchorwoman Kari Lake (R) in the governor’s race, and her advantage may be enough to clinch the office once the state works through its counting delays.

At this point, Hobbs holds a 50.5 – 49.5 percent lead with an estimated 93 percent of the vote counted. This translates into approximately 180,000 votes remaining to be tallied. To win, Lake would have to receive more than 56 percent of the outstanding vote to make up her 26,000-plus vote deficit, which is difficult.

In the only competitive election resulting in a partisan conversion, Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) unseated Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D). In races that were largely decided in the states’ respective Democratic primaries, Wes Moore and Maura Healey successfully converted Republican governorships in Maryland and Massachusetts, respectively.

Oregon, the site of perhaps the most interesting governor’s race because it featured a three-way battle, saw former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) prevail over ex-House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) and former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (I). Polling correctly suggested that Johnson had dropped well off the pace but also largely projected incorrectly that Drazan was positioned for a close upset win. In the end, the election broke 47-44-9 percent in Kotek’s favor with an estimated 93 percent of the all-mail vote counted.

Alaska Republican incumbent Mike Dunleavy looks to be in position to potentially clinch re-election outright, thus exceeding the 50 percent mark within the aggregate vote and avoiding a Ranked Choice Voting instant runoff. With ballots being allowed two weeks to report from the wilderness, it will be just before Thanksgiving when all of the Last Frontier races finally conclude.

Alaska’s Ranked Choice Voting System Favors Sen. Murkowski, Begich over Palin; Dr. Oz Closes On Lt. Gov. Fetterman in PA; CA-26 Race Tightens

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022

Senate

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R)

Alaska: Ranked Choices Favors Sen. Murkowski — The new Alaska Survey Research firm tested the Alaska Senate race, and we again see Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) having trouble distancing herself from challenger and fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka.

The ASR poll (Sept. 25-27; 1,282 likely Alaska general election voters; online) finds Sen. Murkowski leading Tshibaka only 41-39 percent on the ballot test question, with Democrat Pat Chesboro attracting 17 percent support, and Republican Buzz Kelley garnering a four percent preference factor. Kelley has already withdrawn as an active candidate and endorsed Tshibaka, but his name remains on the ballot as one of the four finalists from the Aug. 16 primary vote.

The Ranked Choice system then kicks in to put Sen. Murkowski well ahead in the final round. After Chesbro and Kelley are officially eliminated, Sen. Murkowski would top Tshibaka, 57-43 percent, once the second and third choice votes are added to the tabulation.

Pennsylvania: Movement Confirmation — Yesterday, as well as late last week, we reported upon a trio of surveys finding Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) coming within close range of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) on the various ballot test questions. Fox News, Franklin & Marshall, and Insider Advantage found the Fetterman lead dropping to three and four percentage points.

Now, Emerson College has released their Pennsylvania statewide survey, the fourth coming to a similar conclusion within a constant time realm. The new Emerson study (Set. 23-26; 1,000 likely Pennsylvania voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Dr. Oz coming within the polling margin of error, trailing Fetterman by only a 45-43 percent count.

House

AK-AL: Poll Finds Begich Passing Palin — The aforementioned Alaska Survey Research poll (see Alaska Senate above) also tested the state’s at-large US House District campaign and it discovered two significant data points. First, in the ballot test of the four candidates who advanced into the general election, businessman Nick Begich III now moves ahead of former governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin by two and three percentage points on the initial vote and first Ranked Choice Voting round.

The second finding is newly elected Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Bethel) would defeat either Begich or Palin even before getting to the second Ranked Choice round. According to the ASR poll, Rep. Peltola would achieve majority support, thus winning the election, once Libertarian Chris Bye, the fourth-place finisher, is eliminated from further competition.

CA-26: Poll Suggests New Race Bubbling to the Surface — A just-released OnMessage survey (Sept. 14-18; 400 likely CA-26 voters; live interview) surprisingly finds Rep. Julia Browley (D-Westlake Village/Ventura) leading Republican Matt Jacobs by only a 48-43 percent point spread. This poll, that even finds Jacobs leading among the self-described Independents 44-34 percent, is quite a change from the June 7 jungle primary results. In that election, Brownley topped Jacobs, 54-38 percent, with three other candidates sharing the remaining eight percent of the vote.

Whether Jacobs can become competitive to the point of unseating Rep. Brownley remains to be seen in a southern California district that President Biden carried 61-36 percent. For her part, Brownley has averaged 61 percent of the vote in her last three terms, but did have close calls in both her original 2012 election (53-47 percent) and 2014 (51-49 percent).

Our Primary Preview Shows Liz Cheney Down Big in Latest Wyoming Poll; Key California Race Polls; Incumbents in Trouble in Four States

By Jim Ellis — Aug. 15, 2022

Primary Preview

Rep. Liz Cheney, (R-WY)

WY-AL: Cheney Down 29 Points in Poll — The University of Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center conducted a poll of Tuesday’s Republican congressional primary (July 25-Aug. 6; 562 likely WY-AL Republican primary voters; live interview) and sees GOP attorney Harriet Hageman leading US Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson/Jackson) by a whopping 57-28 percent count as the candidates wrapped up their final campaign activities during the weekend.

Remembering that Wyoming has an open primary where Democrats and Independents can vote in a Republican primary (and vice-versa), Cheney’s numbers among self-identified Republican voters are even worse, 68-15 percent, in favor of Hageman. The congresswoman gets 98 percent of the crossover Democratic vote, however, while the Independents are split about evenly with the incumbent leading 43-40 percent within this voter segment.

Former Wyoming Republican National Committeewoman Harriet Hageman (R)

The pollsters wanted to see how many people are actually voting for a Cheney opponent, namely Hageman, or to make a statement of opposition against the congresswoman. Therefore, after the individual had stated a candidate preference, the interviewer asked the respondents if their vote is to “mainly support” (the named candidate) or oppose Liz Cheney? The reverse was asked of those people saying they are voting for the congresswoman.

Among Republicans voting for Hageman or one of the other Cheney opponents, 39.5 percent said they were making a statement of opposition toward the Congresswoman, while 31.5 percent said they were stating support for their chosen candidate. The remaining 29.0 percent volunteered that they were doing both. Among the Democrats voting for one of the Republicans other than Cheney, 100 percent of them said they were doing so to oppose the congresswoman. Within the Independent non-Cheney voter segment, 47.1 percent said their vote opposes Cheney versus 21.6 percent to support their chosen contender.

For those supporting Rep. Cheney, 77.8 percent of Republicans, 60.0 percent of Democrats, and 58.8 percent of Independents said their vote is a sign of support for the congresswoman. It appears clear that Hageman will defeat Rep. Cheney on Tuesday night.

A Cheney defeat would mean that of the 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach former President Trump, only one, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) who survived his jungle primary with less than 30 percent of the vote, is on a track to win re-election. Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) could also win, but he fared poorly in his jungle primary, barely capturing second place, and currently trails in polling opposite Democratic state Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield). Therefore, his re-election path is more difficult.

Should Cheney lose on Tuesday as expected, four of the impeachment Republicans would have lost re-nomination (Tom Rice (R-SC); Peter Meijer (R-MI); Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA); and Ms. Cheney), and four did not seek re-election (Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), John Katko (R-NY), and Fred Upton (R-MI)).

House

California: Series of Key Race Golden State Polls — RGM Research conducted polls in House districts throughout the country including three in northern California contested districts. All are in close competition at this point. Each of the polls consisted of 400 respondents for the individual tested districts. The CA-9 poll was conducted during the July 19-26 period.

In the Stockton anchored district, Rep. Josh Harder (D-Turlock) and San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti (R) are tied at 38 percent. In the new open 13th CD that stretches from the southern Sacramento County border to Fresno, the survey was conducted during the July 26 – Aug. 2 period. On this ballot test, rancher John Duarte (R) and state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) are tied at 37 percent.

In Rep. David Valadao’s (R-Hanford) 22nd CD (July 30-Aug. 5), the ballot test finds state Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) leading the congressman, 39-34 percent.

IN-2: Special Election Scheduled — Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), as expected, announced that the special election to replace the late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Elkhart) will be held concurrently with the Nov. 8 general election. Republicans will gather in a precinct committee convention on Aug. 20 to choose a nominee for the special election, and a replacement for Walorski, who won the May Republican primary, in the regular election. Democrats are expected to nominate the party’s regular election nominee, educator Paul Steury.

Incumbents: Polls Find Four Incumbents Trailing — The RMG Research firm is polling around the country and found an additional four races where the incumbent House member is trailing. This, in addition to Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) falling behind in his Fresno/Bakersfield seat as covered in the California report above.

  1. In Iowa, state Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) holds a substantial 49-41 percent advantage over Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Des Moines) according to 400 respondents on the RMG survey conducted over the July 29 – Aug. 5 period.
  2. Former New Jersey state senator and 2020 Republican congressional nominee Tom Kean Jr. leads Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) 46-38 percent on the 400-person sample RMG Research survey conducted in the Garden State’s 7th CD (July 23-28).
  3. Moving to the Kansas City, KS area, challenger Amanda Adkins, the 2020 Republican congressional nominee, holds a 46-45 percent edge over Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Roeland Park). This RMG poll also surveyed 400 likely voters, and in KS-3 over the period of July 21-28.
  4. Finally, in the Las Vegas area, the RMG poll for Nevada’s 3rd District (July 23-29; 400 likely NV-3 general election voters) finds challenger April Becker (R) holding a 44-41 percent lead over two-term Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas).

Ogles Claims TN-5; Valadao Trails in New CA Poll; Salazar Holding Lead

By Jim Ellis — August 5, 2022

Primary Results

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles

Tennessee: Ogles Claims 5th District; Dem Gov Undecided — The Volunteer State voters engaged in the country’s only Thursday primary, and the open 5th District (Rep. Jim Cooper-D retiring) was the evening’s key race. The crowded Republican primary winner was Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. He defeated former state House Speaker Beth Harwell and retired National Guard Gen. Kurt Winstead along with six others.

Redistricting transformed this seat into a Republican domain, so Ogles becomes a heavy favorite to defeat state Sen. Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) in the general election. The three incumbents who faced competition, Reps. Charles Fleishmann (R-Chattanooga), David Kustoff (R-Germantown), and Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) were all easily renominated.

The Democratic governor’s nomination is still undecided. With 98 percent of the vote counted, physician Jason Martin leads Memphis City Councilman J.B. Smiley Jr. by only 1,468 votes. Gov. Bill Lee was unopposed in the Republican primary. He will be the prohibitive general election favorite over either Martin or Smiley.

House

CA-22: Rep. Valadao Trails in New Poll — California Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) represents the most Democratic district in the nation that elects a Republican to the US House, and redistricting made the seat tilt even further away from the congressman. The jungle primary saw him qualify for the general election, but with only 26 percent of the vote as he finished in second place.

A newly released David Binder Research poll (July 13-15; 600 likely CA-22 general election voters) finds state Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) leading Rep. Valadao 43-35 percent as the general election campaign in California’s Central Valley is now fully underway. We can expect this race to close tight, but it is one of the best Democratic opportunities in the nation to convert a Republican seat.

FL-27: Rep. Salazar Holding Lead — Despite inheriting a slightly more favorable district for Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Miami) post-redistricting, but one that still favors the Democrats, a new Alvarado Strategies Poll for the Floridians for Economic Advancement PAC (July 26-29; 440 likely FL-27 general election voters; online) stakes the congresswoman to a lead slightly beyond the polling margin of error. Though the ballot test shows a large undecided factor of 27 percent, Rep. Salazar posts a 39-34 percent margin over state Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami).

NM-2: Dead Heat — Freshman Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-Alamorgordo) was dealt a difficult blow in redistricting, and a new Global Strategy Group poll conducted for Democratic nominee Gabe Vasquez, a Las Cruces City Councilman (July 19-25; 500 likely NM-2 general election voters; live interview), projects a dead heat already forming for the general election. According to the GSG survey, Vasquez would hold a slight 45-44 percent edge over Rep. Herrell. The 2nd District was drawn as a D+4 district according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization transforming it from the R+14 seat that Herrell currently represents.

Governor

Minneosta: Gov. Walz (D) in Tight Race — A just-released Cygnal group survey of the Minnesota electorate (July 18-19; 500 likely Minnesota general election voters; live interview & text) sees Gov. Tim Walz (D) leading presumed Republican nominee Scott Jensen, a physician and former state senator, but only by a few percentage points. According to the Cygnal poll, Dr. Jensen trails the governor by a tight 50-46 percent margin. The Minnesota primary is Tuesday, but Dr. Jensen faces only minor Republican opposition by virtue of his state party convention victory earlier in the year.

The Cygnal poll found Gov. Walz with a 49:45 percent favorability rating and Dr. Jensen scored a 32:24 percent positive index. President Biden’s rating is an upside down 42:56 percent positive to negative ratio. Within the polling universe, 43 percent believe Minnesota is on the right track, while 48 percent feel the state has veered in the wrong direction.

California Counting Continues;
New Candidates in FL-10 (Including Ex-Con); Dem Gov. Candidate Battle in FL

By Jim Ellis — June 20, 2022

House

California: Counting Continues, More Known — According to the California Secretary of State, at the close of business Friday, a total of 1,080,064 ballots throughout the 58 counties have been received after the June 7 primary election but still not counted and/or verified. With more than 5,000,000 votes statewide now counted, more information is known about congressional match-ups for the fall campaign.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Republican nursery business owner John Duarte appearing to clinch first position in the new open 13th District. He topped state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), 34-31 percent. Perhaps more significantly, the aggregate Republican vote topped the total Democratic figure, 51.9 – 48.1 percent. Though President Biden won in this new district with a 54-43 percent margin, this district has the potential of becoming highly competitive in 2022.

In other races, Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) has not pulled away from third place finisher Chris Mathys (R) in the new 22nd District. State Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) leads the field with 44 percent while the congressman trails well behind for the second qualifying position with just 26.3 percent, while Mathys is close behind at 22.5 percent. The aggregate vote total is very low, with only 37,201 ballots counted. The positive news for Republicans here is that the aggregate partisan totals favor their candidates, 56-44 percent.

In the open southern California 37th District, state Sen. Sydney Kamlager (D) commands 43.9 percent of the vote, and she will advance to the general election. Her likely opponent in what will be a double-Democratic general election is former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry.

FL-10: Ex-Reps. Brown and Grayson Enter Field — Former Democratic US House members Corinne Brown, recently released from prison after being convicted of tax fraud, and Alan Grayson, who left a long-shot US Senate bid, both announced their candidacies for the open Orlando-anchored 10th District, the seat that Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando) is relinquishing to run her own Senate race.

Seven other Democrats, including state Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando) and Bitcoin investor Jeff Boone, are already in the race making the Aug. 23 party primary a more interesting campaign. Both Brown and Grayson represented parts of Orlando during their careers, Brown in the 4th CD that stretched from Jacksonville to the city and Grayson who held the 9th District that captures the southern part of Orlando and then went into the central part of the state.

Governor

Florida: Democratic Primary Poll Shows Closing Race — In a surprising new poll, the Global Strategy Group released a survey for Florida state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (June 8-13; 600 likely Florida Democratic primary voters; live interview & text) and the ballot test indicated the race between she and US representative and former Gov. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) has closed to just three points, 34-31 percent. This is a much different result than similar polls taken in April and May. Those studies, from St. Pete Polls and Sachs Media Group, projected Crist to hold leads of 15 and 33 percent respectively. Therefore, it is possible the GSG poll is an outlier. The winner of the Aug. 23 Democratic gubernatorial primary challenges Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in November.

Texas: New Poll Produces Different Conclusion — Earlier this week, we reported upon Democratic pollster Blueprint Polling releasing their survey of the Texas electorate (June 8-10; 603 likely Texas general election voters) posting Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to a huge 56-37 percent advantage over former US Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso).

On the heels of the Blueprint poll, Quinnipiac University, in their most recent Lone Star State survey (June 9-13; 1,257 registered Texas voters; live interview), found a much different result. The Q-Poll sees Gov. Abbott’s lead over O’Rourke closing to just 48-43 percent, with the governor possessing an upside-down job approval rating of 46:48 percent favorable to unfavorable. More data will be required to see which of these two pollsters, surveying basically during the same sampling period, is the more accurate. Gov. Abbott is seeking a third four-year term.