Tag Archives: former president Donald Trump

Primaries: Alaska Preview, Hawaii Wrapup; Oklahoma Special Election

By Jim Ellis — August 16, 2022

Primaries

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R)

Alaska — The long-awaited Alaska primary and special House election will be decided today, and the state’s unique top-four qualifying primary system will be put to its second test.

In the US Senate race, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) is running for a fourth full term after being appointed to the seat in 2002 when her father, former Sen. Frank Murkowski (R), was elected governor.

The new top-four system virtually guarantees that the senator will advance into the general election, thus negating the potential of her again losing a partisan Republican primary as she did in 2010. In that year, she was able to win the general election after launching a write-in bid as an Independent.

This time, she faces another Republican challenger, one with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. Kelly Tshibaka, the former Alaska Director of Administration and Trump-supported candidate, is also well positioned to advance into the general election and may well have been a serious threat to the Senator in a traditional Republican primary.

A total of 19 candidates are on the Senate ballot: eight Republicans, three Democrats, and eight minor party and independent candidates. Of the three Democrats, two — ex-Seward Mayor Edgar Blatchford and former state Senate nominee Pat Chesbro — have previously won campaigns. It is probable that one of these two will also qualify for the general election simply because one will likely attract enough Democratic votes to place either third or fourth.

As is usually the case, polling is sparse in Alaska and we see no late breaking data. This is likely due to the large number of candidates and that a total of four will advance, thus making the primary vote less significant. In the field of four general election candidates, the Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) system will be used. Voters will assign a priority of 1-4 for the listed candidates. Should no one reach 50 percent, the last-place finisher is eliminated and the process continues until one candidate reaches majority support.

The RCV system is in effect today and will produce a winner among the three finalists in the US House special election campaign to succeed the late at-large Rep. Don Young (R-Ft. Yukon).

Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, now running for US House Representative

There are three finalists in this race because the original third place finisher, Independent Al Gross, the 2020 Democratic US Senate nominee, dropped out of the race after qualifying. This left 2008 vice presidential nominee and ex-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Republican Party of Alaska officially endorsed contender Nick Begich III, whose grandfather, the late Nick Begich, Sr. (D), was the congressman prior to Rep. Young, and former state Rep. Mary Peltola (D).

It is likely that Peltola will finish first, consolidating the Democratic vote, but falling well short of majority support. Thus, the RCV system would then swing into action. The key position will be second, and all indications suggest that Palin and Begich are in a tight battle to avoid elimination. It is then probable that the surviving Republican will defeat Peltola in the second round.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is also on the ballot running for a second term. It is expected that Dunleavy, former Gov. Bill Walker (I), and ex-state Rep. Les Gara (D) will secure three of the four available general election ballot positions.

It will be an interesting night in Alaska, but results won’t likely be clear until well into Wednesday considering the significant time change and the counting delays often seen in the Last Frontier when tabulating votes from the remote rural areas.

Hawaii — Hawaii held its statewide primary Saturday, and the results produced no surprises.  In the defining Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a physician, easily defeated former Aloha State first lady Vicky Cayetano and US Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo) in a landslide 64-21-14 percent, respectively.  Green now becomes the prohibitive favorite to defeat Republican nominee, former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, who scored a majority victory in the GOP primary.

In the open 2nd House District race, former state Sen. Jill Tokuda recorded a 59-25 percent victory over state Rep. Patrick Branco (D-Kailua) and four others.  She now becomes a lock to replace Rep. Kahele who risked his safe House seat for his long shot, and now proven unsuccessful, run for governor.  The Republican primary winner, with 83 percent of the vote, is 2020 GOP congressional nominee Joe Akana.  Two years ago, he lost to Kahele 58-28 percent in the general election, and is likely headed to a similar fate later this year.

Sen. Brian Schatz was an overwhelming winner in his Democratic primary, notching 94 percent of his party’s vote.  He will face state Rep. Bob McDermott (R-Ewa), who won the Republican primary with a 41 percent plurality over four opponents.

Rep. Ed Case (D-Kaneohe) also easily won renomination in his 1st District Democratic primary, with an 84-16 percent landslide over progressive left challenger Sergio Alcubilla.

Democratic turnout overwhelmed that of Republicans.  With ancillary counting remaining, a total of 218,523 individuals voted in the Democratic primary versus just 59,006 who chose the Republican contests.

Senate

Oklahoma Special: Conflicting Polls, Same Leader — The Oklahoma Republican runoff election to advance into the November special election to replace resigning Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) will be decided on Aug. 23. We now see two recently released surveys, both projecting US Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) leading former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon but by varying degrees.

The most recent, from Battleground Connect (July 31-Aug. 1; 800 likely Oklahoma Republican special runoff voters; live interview) sees Rep. Mullin leading Shannon, 46-38 percent. Both men are viewed favorably. Rep. Mullin sports a 62:23 percent favorable ratio, while Shannon scores 48:15 percent, though fewer respondents know him well enough to form an opinion.

The Sooner Poll conducted for News Channel 9 in Oklahoma City. The sampling period was longer and the sample size smaller than Battleground Connect’s (July 25-Aug. 1; 383 likely Oklahoma Republican special runoff voters; live interview) and it produced an overwhelming advantage for Rep. Mullin, 63-35 percent. The Republican runoff winner will be favored to defeat former US Rep. Kendra Horn, who is the official Democratic Party nominee, in the November special general election.

Sen. Warnock Back on Top in Georgia; Poll Shows All Nevada Dem Seats Competitive; Hageman Holds Big Lead Over Cheney in Wyoming

See the entire AARP poll results in this PDF download: AARP poll, July 5-11, 2022 (or click on above image)

By Jim Ellis — July 19, 2022

Senate

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Back on Top — In the developing seesaw battle between Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican retired professional football player Herschel Walker, a new joint Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research poll for AARP (July 5-11; 1,197 likely Georgia general election voters with an over-sample of 500 voters aged 50 and older and a 147-person over-sample of black voters; live interview and text) projects the incumbent to be holding a 50-47 percent edge despite Gov. Brian Kemp (R) running ahead of Democrat Stacey Abrams, 52-45 percent, and Republicans leading on the generic congressional question, 48-45 percent.

The negative campaigning coming from both sides is taking a toll on candidate images. President Biden’s job approval is a woeful 34:65 percent positive to negative, Sen. Warnock rates a 47:47 percent ratio, while Gov. Kemp posts only a 50:45 percent score. On the clear upside-down side of the scale, Abrams records a 46:50 percent rating, and Walker owns an even worse 41:49 percent tally.

Ohio: Rep. Ryan Holds Huge Fundraising Advantage — Though polling finds US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) and author J.D. Vance (R) in a neck-and-neck contest, one area that is anything but close is campaign fundraising. In the second quarter, Rep. Ryan outraised Vance by a whopping 9:1 ratio, meaning over $9 million raised to just over $1 million for Vance. Perhaps more seriously, Vance is reporting only $630,000 cash-on-hand as compared to Rep. Ryan’s $3.6 million. Expect outside sources to become heavily involved in this race with the goal of helping Vance close the resource gap.

House

Nevada: Emerson Sees All NV Dem Seats Competitive — Emerson College ran a series of polls testing 500 registered voters in each of the three Democratic-held Las Vegas congressional districts over the July 7-10 period. While the Dem incumbents lead in all three, none even break the 42 percent plateau in support.

In the 1st District, Rep. Dina Titus’ (D) advantage over Republican Mark Robertson is only 41-37 percent. Third District incumbent Susie Lee holds just a 42-40 percent slight margin over Republican attorney April Becker. In the 4th CD that stretches from North Las Vegas to the state’s middle section, Rep. Steven Horsford’s (D) spread over insurance agency owner Sam Peters (R) is a similar 42-39 percent. The three seats were drawn as Lean Democratic seats, but it appears all could be in position to swing toward the Republicans in November.

WY-AL: Hageman Holding Big Lead — In anticipation of the Aug. 16 Republican primary, now less than a month away, the Caspar Star Tribune newspaper sponsored a Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy study (July 7-11; 1,100 registered Wyoming voters), which finds GOP attorney and congressional challenger Harriet Hageman, who former President Donald Trump endorses, posting a 52-30 percent lead over controversial incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson). This is the third consecutive released survey that finds Hageman holding a lead well into double digits. While Cheney has a huge lead in campaign resources and is making overt requests of Democratic voters to participate in the Republican primary, it is doubtful there is enough she can do to fully overcome the current trends.

A Virtual Tie in Nevada Senate, Gubernatorial Races; Murray Expands Lead in Wash. Senate Race

By Jim Ellis — July 18, 2022

Senate

Incumbent Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D)

Nevada: A Virtual Tie — Nevada has been the site of many close elections since the 2012 political cycle, and the new Emerson College poll looks to be confirming that trend. Their new Nevada study (July 7-10; 2,000 registered Nevada voters; interactive voice response system, online, & text) finds Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) holding a tepid 44-41 percent lead over Republican former Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

The danger point from this survey is that Sen. Cortez Masto is only in the lower 40s, suggesting clear vulnerability because she is quite far from obtaining majority support. The Nevada race will be one of the keys to determining the next Senate majority. It is becoming a must-win for Republicans if they are to have any hope of claiming chamber control in the next Congress.

Washington: Murray Expands Lead — For the better part of this year, Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley has been raising big money and running closer than expected to Sen. Patty Murray (D) in polling. A new Survey USA poll for KING-TV in Seattle sheds a different light on the race, which is closer to how the Washington electorate typically performs. The poll (July 6-10; 596 likely Washington state general election voters) finds Sen. Murray posting a 51-33 percent lead, clearly her best showing this year.

The Washington jungle primary is set for Aug. 2, but it is clear that both Sen. Murry and Smiley will advance to the general election. The primary result will tell us much more than polls do, since live voters will cast real votes on a ballot that emulates what they will see in the general election.

House

NY-10: Rep. Jones’, de Blasio Bringing Up the Rear — Last Friday, we reported that US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County) and former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) were registering strong fundraising totals. Now, a new Data for Progress poll (July 7-10; 533 likely NY-10 Democratic primary voters; online) shows their resource allocation will have to increase even further.

According to the DfP survey, de Blasio ranks last among the tested candidates at five percent, while Rep. Jones is only slightly ahead of him with seven percent support. The race leader, according to this data, is NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, however even she only garners 17 percent. Close behind is state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan). Though time remains before the Aug. 23 New York congressional primary, both Jones and de Blasio look to have quite uphill climb to make it to a point where he can seriously compete for the Democratic nomination. The new district is heavily Democratic, so whomever wins the primary on Aug. 23 will claim the seat in the November election.

Governor

Arizona: Democrat Captures Polling Lead — A Target Smart survey (June 28-30; 704 likely Arizona general election voters) of the Arizona electorate finds Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs opening a lead beyond the polling margin of error against both Republican candidates who are vying for their party’s nomination.

Paired with Kari Lake, the former news anchor who former President Donald Trump supports and the candidate Democratic Party leaders are hoping to help engineer as Hobbs’ November opponent, the Sec of State leads 47-38 percent. If University of Arizona Regent Karrin Taylor Robson were to win the Republican primary, the general election draws tighter. In this scenario, Hobbs would take a 44-39 percent advantage. The race will begin to crystallize after the Aug. 2 state primary.

Nevada: Just as Tight as Senate Race — At the top of this report, we saw a new Emerson College survey that found Sen. Cortez Masto and former AG Laxalt to be falling into a statistical tie. The Emerson poll (July 7-10; 2,000 registered Nevada voters; interactive voice response system, online, & text) gives Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak an almost identical 44-40 percent edge over Republican and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. As in the Senate race, this low number for incumbent Sisolak suggests we are again headed for a very tight general election, a typical state of affairs in Nevada, but this time featuring a campaign with two vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

Greitens Feeling Political Damage in MO; NE-2 Race Narrows; Democratic NH Gubernatorial Candidate Trails by 10 Points in Recent Poll

By Jim Ellis — July 13, 2022

Senate

Ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R)

Missouri: Greitens Takes Hit in New Poll — The Tarrance Group just released a statewide Missouri Senate poll that shows former Gov. Eric Greitens (R) is finally absorbing some political damage from his opponents attacks, his own controversial ads about hunting “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only), and domestic and child abuse claims from his ex-wife.

The Tarrance survey (July 5-7; 600 likely Missouri Republican primary voters) now forecasts Attorney General Eric Schmitt with the primary lead at 28 percent, with US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) close behind at 24 percent. Greitens drops back to just 16 percent support with an upside-down favorability index within the Republican sampling universe at 39:49 percent favorable to unfavorable.

Former President Donald Trump announced that he has ruled out endorsing Rep. Hartzler, and is considering backing either Schmitt or Greitens, though the latest developments suggest endorsing Greitens is becoming unlikely.

House

NE-2: Vargas’ Edge Narrows — According to a new GBAO internal survey for the Tony Vargas for Congress campaign (June 27-30; 500 NE-2 likely general election voters), Democratic state Sen. Vargas holds a 48-47 percent edge over US Rep. Don Bacon (R-Papillion/Omaha). While the internal poll is good news for Vargas, his standing has actually weakened since Change Research released a pre-primary poll in May that posted him to a slight 42-39 percent lead over the three-term incumbent.

The NE-2 battle will be a race to watch in the fall as Rep. Bacon may be one of the few Republican House incumbents forced into a strongly competitive race.

Governor

New Hampshire: Dem Internal Poll Cuts Sununu’s Margin — State Sen. Tom Sherman (D-Seacoast Region), who is unopposed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, released his campaign’s internal Public Policy Polling survey (July 1-6; 601 registered New Hampshire voters) that finds the physician/legislator trailing three-term Gov. Chris Sununu (R) by a 43-33 percent margin, the closest result we have seen to date. Abortion push questions were used in the survey and Manchester Union Leader newspaper reports this total is the result after such questions were asked.

The latest non-partisan survey was released in April from the University of New Hampshire. Their findings projected the governor to a 55-29 percent advantage over Dr. Sherman. While it is likely Sherman has cut that particular margin, the 10-point deficit found in the new PPP survey is likely unrealistic.

Oregon: Another Danger Sign for Kotek — Two internal Oregon gubernatorial campaign polls have been released in the past few days, and the emerging story line suggests that the client polls are favoring their own candidate’s positioning as the individual most likely to upend former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D). The missed point, however, is that Kotek, as the Democratic nominee in this bluest of states, does not even break 33 percent support.

Republican nominee Christine Drazan, the former state House Minority Leader, released her Cygnal survey (June 28-30; 600 likely Oregon general election voters; online & text) that posts her to a one-point, 32-31 percent lead over Kotek, with ex-state Sen. Betsy Johnson (I) trailing at 24 percent support. The result counters an earlier Johnson campaign poll (GS Strategy Group; June 23-29; 600 likely Oregon general election voters; live interview) that found Kotek leading Johnson and Drazan, 33-30-23 percent.

Analyses are pointing out the difference in standing between Drazan and Johnson, but both surveys agree that Kotek is woefully under-performing. While Johnson is now running as an Independent, she previously served in the legislature as a Democrat.

Kelly Beyond Margin of Error in AZ Polling; Tightening Race for GA Senate; Dead Heat in MO

By Jim Ellis — July 6, 2022

Senate Polling

Sen. Mark Kelly (D) strong in new polling

Arizona: Sen. Kelly Beyond Margin of Error — Last week, we reported on a Public Policy Polling survey (June 28; 595 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) that projected venture capitalist Blake Masters, who former President Donald Trump endorses, to a 29-15-10 percent advantage over Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) and businessman Jim Lamon (R). Earlier, the Trafalgar Group (June 7-9; 1,077 likely Arizona Republican primary voters) found the Masters’ lead at a more modest 29-24-17 percent over Brnovich and Lamon.

Change Research just released their new general election poll (June 24-27; 705 likely Arizona general election voters; online) and projects Sen. Kelly to be holding a substantial 48-39 percent lead over Masters. Lamon performs better. He would trail Sen. Kelly, 47-41 percent. Surprisingly, it does not appear that CR tested Brnovich against the incumbent.

Georgia: Closer Than Quinnipiac — Last week, we also covered the Quinnipiac University survey (June 23-27; 1,497 registered Georgia voters; live interview) that forecast Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) leading Republican Herschel Walker, 54-44 percent. The more recent Change Research poll (June 24-27; 704 likely Georgia general election voters; online) projects a closer contest, however. The CR results find Sen. Warnock’s lead to be 48-44 percent, which is more consistent with other publicly released data for this campaign.

Missouri: Trafalgar’s Dead Heat — The Trafalgar Group tested the open Missouri Republican US Senate primary (June 28-30; 1,072 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; multiple sources) and found a virtual three-way tie for the GOP open seat nomination. Their latest ballot test finds US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) and former Gov. Eric Greitens tied at 24 percent, with Attorney General Eric Schmitt right behind at 23 percent. US Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield) and state Senate President Dave Schatz (R) are way back at six and two percent support.

Greitens was forced to resign from the governor’s office in 2018 because of an extra-marital affair and charges brought against him in St. Louis County. The indictment was later dropped due to prosecutorial misconduct. The former governor and ex-Navy SEAL recently released an ad showing him holding an automatic weapon, attacking a vacant house, and claiming he is chasing down “Republican RINO’s” (Republicans in Name Only). Despite the negative feedback, Greitens continues to promote the theme.

The Democratic race features Afghan War veteran Lance Kunce and philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, a member of the August Busch Budweiser beer family. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) is retiring.

Nevada: Another Toss-Up Result — Change Research also tested the Nevada Senate race as part of their multi-state series. The Silver State survey (June 24-27; 701 likely Nevada general election voters; online) again finds Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) running neck and neck. The CR Nevada ballot test finds the Senator holding a 46-43 percent lead, which is consistent with five other polls that have been conducted from March to the present time. Nevadans are no strangers to close elections. In their past 10 statewide contests, only four winners have topped the 50 percent mark with the strongest victor receiving only 50.6 percent.

New Hampshire: Sen. Hassan Expands Lead, But Against Weakest Opponent — Continuing with the series of late June Change Research online polls, the New Hampshire race was also tested. At this point, the only released data is of an unlikely general election pairing between Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) and retired Army General Don Bolduc (R). This poll (June 24-27; 704 likely New Hampshire general election voters; online) gives the senator a 49-40 percent lead.

Gen. Bolduc, however, is an underdog to win the Republican primary as state Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem), Londonderry former town manager, Kevin Smith, and investor Bruce Fenton all look to be stronger candidates in the Sept. 13 Republican primary race. This poll should be considered the base Republican position against Sen. Hassan.

Governor

Texas: Gov. Abbott Maintains Advantage — International online pollster YouGov, for CBS News, tested the Texas general election electorate and again finds Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leading in his quest for a third term. The poll (June 22-27; 548 likely Texas general election voters; online) sees the governor topping former US congressman and 2020 presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke (D), 49-41 percent. Considering that Texas Republican candidates tend to under-poll based upon the eventual final election result, it is conceivable that Abbott is in an even stronger position than this survey indicates.

Masters Opens Significant Lead in AZ; Faulty FL Poll; Fung Unopposed in RI

By Jim Ellis — July 5, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R)

Arizona: Masters Staked to Significant Lead — Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling went into the Arizona Republican field at the beginning of this week to test the GOP battle for the party’s Senate nomination. The survey (June 28; 595 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) finds venture capitalist Blake Masters, who former President Donald Trump endorses, opening up a significant 29-15-10 percent advantage over Attorney General Mark Brnovich and businessman Jim Lamon. This is the first time since the early campaign days when we’ve seen a poll featuring any one of the three candidates holding a significant edge.

When asked if the Trump endorsement would make voters more or less likely to vote for Masters, 53 percent of the respondent sample said much more likely (31 percent) or somewhat more likely (22 percent), while those saying they would be less inclined to support Masters because of the endorsement reached only 20 percent.

House

FL-27: Close Poll Not What it Seems — State Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) until quite recently was in the governor’s race challenging Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) for the Democratic nomination, even though he chose her as his lieutenant governor running mate in 2014. Now a congressional candidate, Taddeo’s campaign released a SEA Polling & Strategic Design survey that shows her trailing Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Miami) by just two percentage points, 47-45 percent.

This poll should be discounted. It was conducted well over a month ago, during the May 23-25 period, which is before Taddeo even left the governor’s race. Therefore, too much has changed for this survey to be taken seriously.

RI-2: Fung Unopposed — It appears Republicans are uniting around former Cranston mayor and two-time Republican gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung to make a serious run at converting Rhode Island’s open 2nd Congressional District. Former state Rep. Bob Lancia (R) decided not to enter the race at the filing deadline. Trailing badly in the polls to Fung, Lancia ended his campaign, which opened the door for Fung to run unopposed for the party nomination. A published Suffolk University poll (June 19-22; 423 likely Rhode Island general election voters; live interview) finds Fung leading all six top Democratic candidates, including perceived leader Seth Magaziner, the Rhode Island general treasurer.

The 2nd District covers most of the small state’s western region including a portion of Providence County where more than half of Rhode Island’s population resides. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 2nd as D+17 and Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the “partisan lean” as 56.9 percent D to just 41 percent R. Though a long shot, it appears this district is on the GOP conversion target list. Veteran US Rep. Jim Langevin (D-Warwick) is retiring after serving what will be 11 terms at the end of the current Congress.

States

Maryland: Rep. Brown in AG Dogfight — When US Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Bowie) announced for the open state attorney general position, he looked difficult to beat. A new poll, however, shows him dropping into a dead heat with retired state judge Katie Curran O’Malley, the wife of former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

The Goucher College poll conducted for the Baltimore Banner news site (June 15-19; 501 Democratic Maryland registered voters; 403 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters) finds O’Malley now edging ahead of Rep. Brown with a 30-29 percent margin. The O’Malley campaign is running ads crediting Rep. Brown with being an able congressman, but saying he does not have the legal experience to be an effective attorney general. The delayed Maryland primary is July 19.

Britt Wins Alabama Runoff; Al Gross Exits Alaska Race; Tough Night For Trump in Peach State

By Jim Ellis — June 22, 2022

Senate

Katie Britt won the Republican US Senate nomination in Alabama.

Alabama: Britt Wins Runoff — As the post-primary polling unanimously foretold, Katie Britt, the former president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama organization and ex-chief of staff to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R), won the Republican US Senate nomination with a landslide 63-37 percent margin over Alabama US Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in last night’s runoff election.

Britt’s victory was complete in that she carried 66 of Alabama’s 67 counties en route to claiming the party nomination, and a veritable ticket to the US Senate. She now faces pastor Will Boyd, who won the Democratic nomination outright on May 24 in what will prove to be a perfunctory general election in this safely Republican state.

House

AL-5: Dale Strong Headed to DC — Madison County Commission chairman Dale Strong (R) defeated former Deputy Army Secretary Casey Wardynski with just over 63 percent of the Republican runoff vote. Like Britt, Strong has punched his ticket to Washington with last night’s victory.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates AL-5 as R+32, leaving little doubt that Strong is now the prohibitive favorite to defeat Democratic nominee Kathy Warner-Stanton who won her party’s nomination outright in the regular primary contest.

AK-AL: Al Gross Exits Race — Yesterday, surgeon Al Gross, who was the 2020 Democratic US Senate nominee against Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) but running as an Independent in the US House special election, decided to end his campaign. Dr. Gross had qualified for the four-candidate runoff with his third-place finish in the special primary on June 11. He simply said he had “great hope for Alaska” in his departing statement but did not offer a particular reason for making the decision to prematurely end his campaign.

It appears the fifth place finisher, Republican Tara Sweeney a former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the US Department of Interior will move into the fourth position, but even officials at the Board of Elections could not confidently confirm that such is the procedure.

Former governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin qualified in first position, followed consecutively by businessman Nick Begich III (R), Dr. Gross, and former state Rep. Mary Peltola (D).  In his statement, Dr. Gross endorsed both Peltola and Sweeney saying “they are two outstanding Native women who will serve our state well.” The special general election is Aug. 16.
 
Georgia: Trump has Another Tough Night in Peach State — Georgia proved another tough night for former President Donald Trump, as his two key candidates in House runoff races, Jake Evans in the newly reformed open District 6 and Vernon Jones in the open 10th CD, both went down in landslide proportions. These results, added to Trump candidates David Perdue and Rep. Hice losing the governor and Secretary of State’s races respectively in the May 24 primary, suggests that the Peach State will likely prove to be Trump’s poorest endorsement state.

Dr. Rich McCormick, a retired Navy physician who was the 7th District GOP nominee in 2020, scored a 67 percent win over Evans. In District 10, businessman Mike Collins, a trucking company owner and son of the late former Congressman Mac Collins, recorded almost 75 percent of the runoff vote.

Virginia: Two Congressional Primaries Decided — As predicted, state Sen. Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach), a US Navy veteran and nurse practitioner, topped a field of four Republican candidates with a convincing 56 percent of the vote. She will now oppose Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Norfolk) in what promises to be one of the most hotly contested GOP challenger races in the country.

Moving to northern Virginia, Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s (D-Glen Allen) politically marginal 7th CD produced a general election Republican challenger last night. Prince William County supervisor and former law enforcement officer Yesli Vega defeated five GOP opponents on her way to a tight 29-24-20 percent victory spread. The Spanberger-Vega general election will be hard fought. While the congresswoman has a slight advantage in partisan voting history, the potential turnout pattern suggests that this seat is still very much in play for a potential GOP upset.