Tag Archives: Gov. Greg Abbott

Surprising New Poll in NY-19;
Chabot Falls Behind in OH-1;
Okla. Gov. Stitt Faces Strong Opposition; Race Stabilizing in Texas Gubernatorial Battle

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022

House

Dutchess County (NY) Executive Marc Molinaro (R)

NY-19: Surprising New Poll — In August, Democrat Pat Ryan (D) won the 19th District special election against Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R). Democratic strategists were claiming the result was an upset and a precursor of good things to come for their party in the 2022 general election. In actuality, President Biden carried the district by two percentage points in 2020 and the Democrats won the previous two congressional elections, so declaring a Democratic victory in such a seat as an upset is a bit of a stretch.

The new 19th District, which has some additional territory stretching along the Pennsylvania border, is actually more Democratic (D+4) than the special election seat that Molinaro lost. Since Rep. Ryan decided to seek re-election in the 18th District, Molinaro has a new opponent in attorney Josh Riley (D). Despite his loss, a new Triton Polling & Research survey (Sept. 20-22; 658 likely NY-19 general election voters; interactive voice response system) posts Molinaro to a surprisingly large 51-42 percent majority. The GOP nominee winning this seat would be a huge step toward Republicans claiming the House majority with a substantial margin.

OH-1: Rep. Chabot Falls Behind — The court-drawn Ohio congressional map was not kind to veteran Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati). The new 1st District now leans toward the Democrats with a three-point margin. The latest Impact Research internal poll for the Greg Landsman campaign (Sept. 17-21; 506 likely OH-1 general election voters; live interview & text) gives the Democratic challenger a predicted 49-46 percent lead over the congressman.

Chabot was first elected in 1994, but lost the seat in 2008. He regained it in the 2010 election, and has been re-elected in the past five consecutive elections against formidable opponents. Winning this race is critical to Republican majority prospects.

Governor

Oklahoma: Gov. Stitt Facing Strong Opposition — At the beginning of September, the media sponsored Sooner Poll sounded the alarm bell for Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) by publishing their poll giving the incumbent only a one-point lead over Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D). Since the polling sample was small (402 respondents statewide), only minimal attention was paid to the results. However, an Amber Integrated survey was released Tuesday (Sept. 19-21; 500 likely Oklahoma general election voters; live interview & online) that found the governor leading Hofmeister with a similar 47-44 percent margin.

With two polls showing the same basic result, we can expect the Stitt campaign to unleash a major advertising blitz to strengthen his areas of weakness within the traditional Republican voter base.

Texas: Race Stabilizing — Another Texas gubernatorial survey was released in the Lone Star State, and it again shows Gov. Greg Abbott (R) maintaining a significant but not particularly large lead over former US representative and short-term 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D). The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation conducted a survey of the state electorate (Sept. 6-15; 1,172 likely Texas general election voters; online) and found Gov. Abbott leading well beyond the polling margin of error in this study, 51-44 percent.

Since Sept. 6, four Texas gubernatorial surveys have been commissioned from four different polling entities and they post Gov. Abbott to an advantage between five and nine percentage points. Expect this trend to continue until the final two weeks of the campaign. At that time, we will likely see the governor pull away from O’Rourke and record his traditional 10-plus point victory margin as he has in his first two terms.

Greitens Gets Help in Missouri; Jones Shows de Blasio the Money in NY;
MI Gov. Whitmer Leads in Polling

By Jim Ellis — July 15, 2022

Senate

Former Gov. Eric Greitens (R)

Missouri: Greitens Gets Help — A Super PAC called Missouri First Action PAC, which the Daily Kos Elections site reports that Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus principally funds, is spending $820,000 on a closing media buy to defend former Gov. Eric Greitens against the recent attacks that have displaced him from the polling lead.

The text of the first ad claims the attackers are doing so because “he’ll work for us and see President Trump’s America first agenda through.” The principal attacker, however, is Greitens ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, who details the physical abuse her son endured from his father. The open Missouri primary is Aug. 2. Attorney General Eric Schmitt and US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) are Greitens’ top GOP opponents. The seat is open because Republican Sen. Roy Blunt is retiring.

House

NY-10: Rep. Jones’s, de Blasio Report Fundraising Hauls — US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County), who decided to seek re-election in a New York City seat about an hour’s drive from his Westchester County district after Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) decided to run against him, is going to report a major resource advantage over former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). The two are disclosing similar quarterly fundraising totals, Jones’s $524,000 compared to de Blasio’s $510,000, but the congressman’s cash-on-hand total of $2.8 million at the end of June dwarfs de Blasio’s $361,000.

The pair are part of a 13-person Democratic primary field for the new south Manhattan district that the court-ordered redistricting plan created. The Aug. 23 Democratic primary winner will likely claim the seat in November, but there is a potential interesting general election scenario developing.

In addition to Jones and de Blasio, the field features state Assemblywomen Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn) and Yuh-Line Niou (D-NYC), New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, and former US congresswoman and ex-NYC Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman. Four of the 13 candidates, including Jones, de Blasio, Niou, and Rivera, are also competing for the Working Families Party ballot line. This means we could see a competitive general election if different candidates win the Democratic and WF lines.

Governor

Michigan: Gov. Whitmer Leads in Polling Scenarios — The Glengariff Group, a frequent Michigan political pollster, released their latest survey, which pairs Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) with the leading GOP primary contenders. The poll, conducted for Detroit television station WDIV and the Detroit News (July 5-8; 600 likely Michigan general election voters; live interview) finds Gov. Whitmer comfortably ahead of the top three Republican candidates, but with margins indicating the November election could become competitive.

Against GOP polling leader Tudor Dixon, an online radio show host, Gov. Whitmer is staked to a 51-40 percent lead. Her advantage is similar against businessman Kevin Rinke and real estate broker Ryan Kelley, 52-40 percent over the former, and 50-41 percent against the latter. The Michigan GOP field was upended when early race leader, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, was disqualified when he failed to produce the required number of valid petition signatures. With Whitmer in the low 50s in all scenarios, we can expect this race to close after the Aug. 2 primary when the GOP will choose a nominee.

Texas: More of the Same — The typical Texas polling pattern usually projects relatively close general election pairings, and the Republican candidate generally winning by a greater percentage than the data predicts. It’s likely we’re seeing the same progression emerge in the 2022 governor’s race. The latest YouGov/University of Houston poll (June 27-July 7; 1,169 registered Texas voters; 1,006 likely Texas general election voters; online) finds Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, seeking a third term, topping former US Rep. and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) by a 47-42 percent margin.

Since the Texas March 1 primary, nine gubernatorial polls have been released, with Abbott leading in each. His range roams from 42 to 56 percent, with O’Rourke placing between 37-44 percent. Expect Gov. Abbott to record a comfortable victory in November.

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.

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.

Rep. Rice Loses in SC;
Flores Converts Seat for GOP in TX

By Jim Ellis — June 16, 2022

Primary Results

South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice (R-Myrtle Beach)

South Carolina: Rep. Tom Rice Loses Re-Nomination — The first of six Republican House members who are seeking re-election and voted to impeach former President Trump went down to defeat Tuesday night. South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice (R-Myrtle Beach) lost outright to Trump’s endorsed candidate, state Rep. Russell Fry (R-Murrell’s Inlet). Fry defeated Rep. Rice, 51-24 percent, with the remaining 25 percent being split among the other five candidates.

Elsewhere, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) defeated Republican primary challenger and 2018 congressional nominee Katie Arrington by a close 53-45 percent, which proved to be a defeat for a Trump endorsed candidate. Fourth District Rep. William Timmons (R-Greenville), in a race that Trump did not affect, was also renominated but only by a 52.7 percent vote share opposite three challengers.

Statewide, both Republican incumbents, Sen. Tim Scott and Gov. Henry McMaster, were easily re-nominated. Gov. McMaster will now face former Congressman Joe Cunningham (D), who won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination outright with 56.5 percent of the vote, while the Democratic Senate candidates fell into a tight three-way finish. Two of the contenders will advance to a runoff election on June 28, presumably author Catherine Bruce and state Rep. Krystle Matthews (D-Ladson).

TX-34: Mayra Flores Converts Seat for GOP — Republican Mayra Flores, a health care professional, won the open special election last night in a 51-43 percent spread over former Cameron County Commissioner Dan Sanchez (D) and two others. The district was left vacant when then-Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) resigned from the House to accept a position with a legislative advocacy firm.

Flores’ win will boost the Republican count to 214 in the House, just four away from creating a new majority — but winning a full term in November is a more difficult challenge for her in the regular election. The new 34th is rated 12 points more Democratic than the seat she won last night and will face 15th District Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) in the impending general election.

Gonzalez chose to seek re-election in the new South Texas 34th when Vela announced his retirement, and thus won the party primary in March. We can expect the Republican national political apparatus to pull out all of the stops in an attempt to re-elect Flores in the fall, thus making the 34th CD a political battleground.

Senate

Georgia: Sen. Warnock, Herschel Walker Tied — East Carolina University tested the Georgia electorate (June 6-9; 868 registered Georgia voters) and find Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker tied at 47 percent apiece. The Georgia race will be one of the key battleground contests in the 2022 general election cycle.

Governor

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Leads Stacey Abrams — The aforementioned East Carolina University poll (see Georgia Senate above) finds Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leading ex-state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D), 50-45 percent, in another race that is expected to go down to the wire. The two fought to a 50.2 – 48.8 percent finish in 2018.

Texas: Abbot Up in Landslide — A new Democratic Blueprint Polling survey of the Texas electorate (June 8-10; 603 likely Texas general election voters) finds Gov. Greg Abbott (R) re-establishing a huge polling lead. In this survey, the ballot test breaks 56-37 percent over former US Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso). Gov. Abbott is seeking a third four-year term.