Tag Archives: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Schmitt Up Comfortably in Missouri;
Tight Election Evolving in AZ-1; Whitmer Still Leading in Michigan

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

Senate

Missouri AG Eric Schmitt (R)

Missouri: GOP’s Eric Schmitt Up Comfortably — International online pollster YouGov tested the Missouri Senate race, one of the first we’ve seen since Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the Republican primary on Aug. 2 and philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine prevailed on the Democratic side. The YouGov poll (released Aug. 25; Aug. 8-16; 900 likely Missouri general election voters) posts Schmitt to a double-digit 49-38 percent advantage. This race, another must win for the national GOP, should be rated as Likely Republican.

House

AZ-1: Tight General Election Evolving — Arizona’s new 1st Congressional District was crafted as somewhat more favorable to the Democrats, but still a decidedly Republican seat (FiveThirtyEight rating: new AZ-1: R+7; former AZ-6: R+13; 25 percent new territory). Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a new Normington Petts survey for the Jevin Hodge (D) campaign (Aug. 15-18; 500 likely AZ-1 general election voters; live interview & text) sees the 2022 congressional race as a dead heat, with Hodge and incumbent Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) each receiving 47 percent support.

The poll finds Rep. Schweikert, who before the 2020 election accepted 11 ethics violations fines for misuse of his congressional office and campaign finance related issues, posting a poor 26:46 percent personal favorability rating. The additional fact that the congressman received only 43.3 percent in this year’s Republican primary against two opponents, and may well have been defeated if only one individual had challenged him, suggests that this should be a race of concern for the Republican leadership.

Governor

Kansas: Independent Qualifies; Poll Result — Northeastern Kansas state Sen. Dennis Pyle (I-Hiawatha) qualified for the ballot as an independent gubernatorial candidate on Friday. Pyle, who was elected as a Republican but became an Independent in further evidence of the deep divide between Kansas conservative and centrist Republicans, is getting support from an improbable source.

Some in the Democratic Party were active in helping further the petition signature process that allowed him to qualify for the general election. Sen. Pyle attacks GOP nominee Derek Schmidt, the state’s attorney general, as being insufficiently conservative, while the Democrats want Pyle to take conservative votes away from the GOP nominee to help incumbent Gov. Laura Kelly (D).

Four years ago, Gov. Kelly won her office with plurality support (48 percent), and her likely path to re-election will again be with less than a majority. The latest released survey, from Battleground Connect (Aug. 8-10; 1,074 likely Kansas general election voters; text) found Schmidt leading Gov. Kelly, 48-45 percent, with Pyle attracting only two percent support. This poll was conducted, however, prior to the latter man qualifying as an official November contender.

Michigan: More Conflicting Polls — Around the country, we have been seeing a number of places report conflicting polling data. Such is the case last week in the Michigan governor’s race. Though both EPIC-MRA, polling for the Michigan Information & Research Service, and the Trafalgar Group find Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) leading GOP nominee Tudor Dixon, the margins are quite different.

EPIC (Aug. 18-23; 600 likely Michigan general election voters; live interview) posts Gov. Whitmer to a double-digit, 50-39 percent advantage. But The Trafalgar Group, surveying basically within the same time realm (Aug. 22-25; 1,080 likely Michigan voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees the governor holding a lead just outside the polling margin of error, 49-45 percent. This example again reminds us of the volatility that can occur from pollsters using different techniques and weighting methodology.

Florida, NY, OK Primaries; Term Limits Polling; Whitmer With Larger Lead

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022

Primaries

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)

Florida — The Sunshine State voters also will choose their nominees today, and many important intra-party races will be decided.

Gov. DeSantis Well Ahead in Pre-Primary Poll — Florida voters will choose their general election nominees today, and a new Cherry Communications survey (conducted for the Florida Chamber of Commerce; Aug. 4-15; 608 likely Florida general election voters; live interview) projects Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as well positioned for re-election. The CC poll results find the governor leading US Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) 51-43 percent, while his advantage over state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is a similar 50-43 percent. This, in a state where Republicans traditionally under-poll. Crist, the former governor and multi-time statewide candidate who has run, and lost, under the Democratic, Republican, and Independent banners.

After recent polls found Florida Crist falling into an increasingly more competitive Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign with Fried, a new St. Pete Polls survey, on election eve, finds the congressman and former governor now ahead in a landslide. The St. Pete Polls survey (Aug. 20-21; 1,617 likely Florida Democratic primary voters; interactive voice response system) projects Rep. Crist to be holding a major 59-30 percent lead, far above any advantage he has recently posted. The Democratic winner will face Gov. DeSantis in November and will face an uphill battle against DeSantis in a campaign that will become a national event.

The Senate nomination contests in both parties, while leading to a competitive general election, are set. Sen. Marco Rubio (R) will be defending his seat against US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando), the former Orlando police chief. Recent polling has tightened, but voting history suggests that Sen. Rubio has at least a small lead.

A large number of US House races feature competitive nomination battles beginning in northwestern Florida’s 1st District where controversial Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Ft. Walton Beach) is in a serious campaign with former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo. Gaetz’s highly publicized legal trouble is front and center in this race as well as Lombardo charging that the congressman’s national activities and profile have taken his attention away from serving the local district. This is certainly a race to watch, and a Lombardo upset is possible.

Florida gained a new seat in national reapportionment, and the state’s 15th District has been created. The district stretches from Lakeland into Tampa and leans Republican but we can expect some competition in the general election. Both parties feature five-person candidate fields. Polling suggests that former Secretary of State Laurel Lee has the inside track for the Republican nomination over state Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and state Rep. Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa). The leading Democrat appears to be former news anchorman and two-time congressional nominee Alan Cohn.

New York — When the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ordered the congressional districts and state Senate map redrawn, a second primary was scheduled just for these races. The original NY primary was held on June 28. The congressional and state Senate nominees will be finally decided today, and many US House contests are in a competitive mode.

Oklahoma: Close Result on Tap for Tonight in OK-2 — When Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) opted to run for the Senate, his open eastern Oklahoma congressional district drew a crowded 14-candidate Republican field. In the June 28 regular primary for the strongest GOP district in the state (R+55 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization), two candidates advanced into today’s runoff election even though they finished with less than 30 percent of the aggregate primary vote combined.

State Rep. Avery Frix (R-Muskogee) topped former state Sen. Josh Brecheen (R-Ada) by just 757 votes to secure the first runoff position. Brecheen then claimed the second slot over former Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee by an even lesser 616-vote margin. In all, the top five candidates finished within 2,892 votes of each other.

Polling finds that the race still remains tight. The wrap-up Sooner Poll (Aug. 11-17; number of likely voter polling respondents undisclosed) projected Rep. Frix holding the lead, but with only a 43-35 percent margin. While Frix apparently enjoys a small edge, this race is still anybody’s game.

Rep. Mullin has enjoyed large leads in his bid for the Senate in post-primary polling up until the latest release. Immediately after the June 28 primary election, where he easily topped former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, 44-18 percent within a field of 12 candidates, Rep. Mullin was seeing average leads of 18 percentage points among three polls conducted from July 25 through Aug. 15.

The latest study, however, from the Sooner Poll, which is an add-on track from their Aug. 11-15 survey that ended on Aug. 17 (322 likely Oklahoma Republican runoff voters), shows the congressman’s statewide advantage at only 53-47 percent over Shannon. Tonight’s special runoff winner will advance into the general election against former US Rep. Kendra Horn (D).

Governor

Michigan: Whitmer With Larger Lead — Countering last week’s published Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D) teamed Michigan governor’s study (Aug. 8-14; 1,365 likely Michigan voters; live interview & text) that projected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to be leading online talk show host Tudor Dixon (R) 51-46 percent, Democratic pollster Blueprint Polling (Aug. 15-16; 611 likely Michigan general election voters; live interview) posts the governor to a much larger 51-39 percent advantage.

Ohio: One-Point Lead — Democratic pollster Lake Research (Aug. 4-9; 611 OH likely general election voters; live interview) released their latest survey that finds Gov. Mike DeWine (R) holding only a narrow one-point, 44-43 percent, edge over Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D).

This result is not particularly surprising. First, the Ohio electorate typically polls close and then one candidate significantly pulls away in the campaign’s last two weeks. Second, Gov. DeWine won his Republican primary with only 48.1 percent of the vote opposite three opponents suggesting clear weakness within his party’s base. Additionally, over one-third of DeWine voters say their support for him is “not so strong” or that they are only “leaning” in his direction. Expect the governor to soon use his strong financial advantage to put distance between he and Mayor Whaley.

Sen. Kelly Expands Lead in Arizona; Tied Again in North Carolina; Whitmer Holds Lead in Wisconsin

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) | Sen. Mark Kelly (D)


By Jim Ellis — August 22, 2022

Senate

Arizona: Sen. Kelly Expands Lead — Fox News, as part of their recent polling series, tested the Grand Canyon State electorate (Aug. 8-12; 1,012 registered Arizona voters; live interview) and found Sen. Mark Kelly (D) topping new Republican nominee and venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) with a 50-42 percent advantage. This is one of the first general election polls released since the state’s Aug. 2 statewide primary.

North Carolina: Candidates Again Tied — The Cygnal polling organization, surveying for the Raleigh-based John Locke Foundation (Aug. 13-15; 615 likely North Carolina general election voters; live interview & text), projects that former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) and US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) are now tied at 42 percent apiece. Beasley had led in the last two polls, conducted during the last week of July and first week in August. Republicans, however, typically under-poll in North Carolina, a state that almost always features razor-thin elections.

Wisconsin: Nothing New — The latest Fox News poll (Aug. 8-12; 1,006 registered Wisconsin voters; live interview) finds Sen. Ron Johnson (R) trailing Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) by a 50-46 percent count, but this particular incumbent being behind in an election poll is standard operating procedure. According to the Real Clear Politics polling archive, 30 polls were conducted in the 2016 election, and Johnson trailed in 29 of the surveys that multiple pollsters conducted. In the end, Sen. Johnson defeated former Sen. Russ Feingold (D) by three percentage points.

Governor

Arizona: Lake Within Range — Fox News also tested the governor’s race in their new statewide Arizona poll (see Arizona Senate above). While the ballot test gives Sen. Mark Kelly (D) a rather large lead, the same respondent sample projects the governor’s contest as being much closer. The gubernatorial ballot test finds Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) leading former news anchor Kari Lake (R), 47-44 percent.

Michigan: Tudor Coming into Range — The Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D) team again collaborated on a new statewide survey for AARP, this time in Michigan. The study (Aug. 8-14; 1,365 likely Michigan voters; live interview & text) finds Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) holding only a 51-46 percent edge over online talk show host Tudor Dixon (R) in the governor’s general election.

Neither Gov. Whitmer nor Dixon have a strong image. The governor’s personal favorability index is 50:48 percent positive to negative, while her job approval is 51:47 percent. Dixon falls into a slightly upside-down realm at 38:41 percent. A whopping 71 percent of respondents believe the US is on the wrong track while 55 percent also perceive the state of Michigan to be headed in the wrong direction.

Wisconsin: Already Close — The Fox News Wisconsin poll (see Wisconsin Senate above) also shows a tight race for governor. Gov. Tony Evers (D) holds a 49-46 percent edge, already within the polling margin of error, over new Republican gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels. It appears that both the Wisconsin governor and Senate race are becoming as hot as originally expected.

Ohio Poll Posts Rep. Ryan to Larger Lead; CT-5 Race on the Radar; Three Ties in Iowa; Lombardo Closing in NV

By Jim Ellis — June 26, 2022

Senate

Author J.D. Vance, Ohio Senate Candidate

Ohio: Progressive Left Poll Posts Rep. Ryan to Larger Lead — The progressive left Innovation Ohio organization is quoting a GrowProgress platform survey (July 5-10; 2,000 registered Ohio voters; online) that projects US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) leading GOP author J. D. Vance, 46-41 percent in Ohio’s open Senate race. The latest Impact Research firm survey (June 27-30; 816 likely Ohio voters) also found Rep. Ryan with the edge, but in only a 48-46 percent split. Impact Research, a Democratic pollster, formerly operated under the name ALG Research.

The results are not particularly surprising since Rep. Ryan is heavily outspending Vance at the present time, this GrowProgress online survey has a large error factor, and Ohio political polling typically shows tight races until the closing days prior to the election. Still, the preponderance of data suggests this is a close contest in a state that can often fall into the swing category.

House

CT-5: Race on the Radar — A just-released Public Opinion Strategies survey for the George Logan (R) congressional campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee (June 29-30; 400 likely CT-5 general election voters; live interview) suggests that Connecticut’s 5th District congressional race might become competitive. The survey finds US Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Wolcott) holding only a 46-41 percent edge over former state Sen. Logan.

This may become a race to watch. According to the Federal Election Commission second quarter financial disclosure report, Rep. Hayes has a huge $1.69 million to $205,000 cash-on-hand advantage. To even the financial score, however, the Daily Kos Elections Blog reports that the Republicans’ Congressional Leadership Fund has already reserved $1.75 million of media time for the western Connecticut market.

Iowa: Three Ties — Iowa Districts 1, 2 & 3 were cast as toss-up seats in the 2021 redistricting plan, and the most recent polling suggests that each electorate is performing as projected. In southeastern Iowa’s 1st District, freshman Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa), no stranger to close elections after winning her 2020 race by just six votes, is in another predictably tight contest. According to the early July Change Research survey, (June 30-July 4; 375 likely IA-1 general election voters part of a 1,488 person statewide sample; online) Rep. Miller-Meeks edges state Rep. Christina Bohannan (D-Iowa City) by just a 39-38 percent factor.

A more recent Public Policy Polling survey (July 19-20; 594 IA-2 voters) finds freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion) and state Rep. Liz Mathis (D-Hiawatha) tied at 44 percent apiece in the Cedar Rapids anchored 2nd CD. In Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D-Des Moines) 3rd CD, she and state Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) are deadlocked at 43 percent in a Moore Information Group study (July 9-11; 400 likely IA-3 voters; live interview) released earlier this month.

Governor

Michigan: Badly Outspent, Tudor Dixon Maintains GOP Lead — Despite being outspent by millions of dollars, a new Mitchell Research survey (July 17-18; 501 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) continues to show that online talk show host Tudor Dixon is maintaining her lead in the GOP gubernatorial primary. The latest ballot test finds her claiming a 28-20-15-10 percent advantage over businessman and self-funder Kevin Rinke, real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley, and chiropractor Garrett Soldano as the candidates close in on the Aug. 2 Michigan primary.

Republicans are scrambling in this race since early leader James Craig, the retired Detroit Police Chief, was forced out of the race for failing to file the legally required number of petition signatures. The eventual Republican nominee will then challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election.

Nevada: Lombardo Closing — The Nevada governor’s race is expected to be another close contest on election night, and two recently released surveys conducted during the same time period confirm the early prognostications.

The Tarrance Group, polling for the Joe Lombardo for Governor campaign (July 5-10; 600 likely Nevada general election voters; live interview) and Emerson College (July 7-10; 2,000 registered Nevada voters, 500 from each of the four congressional districts; interactive voice response system, online & text) both see the governor’s race already falling within the polling margin of error. Tarrance finds Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) topping Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R), 46-44 percent, while the Emerson College result is 44-40 percent, also with Gov. Sisolak leading.

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.