Tag Archives: Gov. Kevin Stitt

Movement in NC; Oklahoma Senate Races Headed Toward GOP, But Republican Gov. Stitt Trailing; Grassley Trouble in the Polls Deepens

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

Senate

Former North Carolina state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (left) and Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance)

North Carolina: Finally, Some Movement — The open North Carolina Senate race has been languishing as a dead heat — a virtual tie between US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) for months. On Monday, East Carolina University released a survey (Oct. 10-13; 902 likely North Carolina voters; text & online) that finds Rep. Budd pulling away to a 50-44 percent advantage.

According to the poll analysis, the change is coming from the female sector. In the university’s September poll, Beasley led among women with a substantial 52-41 percent margin. The current respondent sample sees her lead among the female respondents dropping to 48-46 percent. Among men, Budd leads 54-39 percent.

Oklahoma: Both Senate Races Headed Toward GOP — While two polls find the Democratic candidate trending ahead in the Oklahoma gubernatorial race, the same polls, Amber Integrated study (Oct. 13-15; 500 likely Oklahoma general election voters) and Ascend Action, polling for Fox News Oklahoma TV stations (Oct. 10-12; 638 likely Oklahoma general election voters; live interview), projects the Republican candidates in both the regular and special US Senate elections to be in strong position.

Amber Integrated’s regular election poll shows Sen. James Lankford (R) holding a 52-36 percent margin over Democrat Madison Horn. In the special, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) leads former US Rep. Kendra Horn (D) by a similar 52-39 percent count. Ascend Action sees Sen. Lankford leading 51-37 percent, and Rep. Mullin posting a 50-39 percent spread.

House

GA-2: Rep. Bishop Up Only Four — A recent Trafalgar Group survey of the southwest Georgia electorate (Oct. 14-16; 515 likely GA-2 Democratic primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany) holding only a 50-46 percent advantage over GOP attorney Chris West, suggesting yet another close congressional race.

This one, unlike several others we’ve covered in the past two weeks, is not a particular surprise. Post-redistricting, the FiveThirtyEight data organization rated the new GA-2 seat as a D+4. Therefore, the Trafalgar poll is indicating the district is performing exactly as the voting history yields. Before the 2021 redistricting map was passed, the district was rated D+6. While Rep. Bishop remains the favorite for re-election, this is another pending Nov. 8 electoral contest that merits watching.

Governor

Oklahoma: Gov. Stitt Trailing in Two Surveys — We are now continuing to see data suggesting that Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) is in serious trouble against Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D). Two surveys find Hofmeister claiming a polling lead against the governor. The Amber Integrated research study (Oct. 13-15; 500 likely Oklahoma general election voters) gives Hofmeister a slight 46-45 percent edge.

Ascend Action, polling for Fox News Oklahoma TV stations (Oct. 10-12; 638 likely Oklahoma general election voters; live interview), sees a much larger Hofmeister lead. The latter poll projects a ballot test of 49-42 percent. Last week, the small-sample Sooner Poll (Oct. 3-6; 301 likely Oklahoma voters) was the first to detect a Hofmeister lead. The news organization found a 47-43 percent spread. A Democratic upset here would be surprising, but the data is suggesting that such an outcome is a clear possibility.

Iowa: Selzer & Company’s Different Result — Yesterday, we reported on a Selzer & Company poll for the Des Moines Register newspaper that sounded warning bells for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R). According to the Senate ballot test, the veteran incumbent led retired US Navy Admiral Mike Franken (D) by a scant 46-43 percent margin.

Now, Selzer is releasing its gubernatorial results culled from the same data (Oct. 9-12; 620 likely Iowa general election voters), and it should give the Grassley campaign even more cause for concern. The polling sample gives Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) a 52-35 percent margin against Democratic marketing consultant Diedre DeJear, a strong margin for a Republican candidate in what is typically a swing state.

Conflicting Polls in AZ; Rare Polling in OK; A Polling Conflict in WA;
Noem Struggling in SD?

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022

Senate

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

Conflicting Polls — We have two examples of pollsters surveying the same race within the equivalent time realm and reporting wholly conflicting results. In Arizona, the Big Data Poll (polling for the CD Media site; Oct. 2-5; 970 likely Arizona general election voters; text & oversampling) sees a virtual dead heat, 46-45 percent, result between Sen. Mark Kelly (D) and challenger Blake Masters (R). Conversely, OH Predictive Insights (Oct. 4-6; 674 likely Arizona general election voters) finds a 46-33 percent split in the senator’s favor with Libertarian Marc Victor posting 15 percent. The OH data is certainly outside the overall polling pattern, and no other entity has found the Libertarian candidate drawing such a high preference number.

Oklahoma: Rare Senate Polls — The Sooner Poll that was released earlier in the week and gave Democrat Hoy Hofmeister a surprising 47-43 percent lead over Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on Tuesday publicized numbers in both US Senate races — both the regular election featuring Sen. James Lankford (R) and the special election to replace resigning Sen. Jim Inhofe (R). The poll is flawed in that only 301 respondents comprise the entire statewide sample, but the Senate results appear reasonable, nonetheless.

In the regular election, Sen. Lankford holds a 52-40 percent lead over high tech businessman Madison Horn (D) and US Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) tops former US Rep. Kendra Horn (D), 51-42 percent. Both Sen. Lankford and Rep. Mullin are heavy favorites to win in November.

We also see conflict in the Washington Senate race. The Senate Opportunity Fund (Oct. 4; 600 likely Washington general election voters; mechanized) released their survey that gives Sen. Patty Murray (D) only a 46-42 percent edge over Republican Tiffany Smiley. Emerson College (Sept. 21-Oct. 1; 782 likely Washington general election voters; multiple sampling techniques), over a slightly earlier time frame, posted the senator to a 51-40 percent lead. The latter Emerson poll is closer to this race’s polling average.

House

RI-2: Republican Fung Leads in Fourth Poll — Though the Ocean State’s western congressional district is heavily Democratic – D+17 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization – the fourth consecutive survey, this one coming from Suffolk University for the Boston Globe (Oct. 1-4; 422 likely RI-2 general election voters; live interview), confirms that Republican Allan Fung holds the lead over Democratic state Treasurer Seth Magaziner. The Suffolk results post Fung, the former mayor of Cranston and a two-time Republican gubernatorial nominee, to an eight point, 45-37 percent, lead, well beyond the polling margin of error.

Just four polls, from May to the present, have been released of the race, but Fung has led in all with margins between six and 15 percentage points. Despite the Democratic voting history here, Fung looks to be positioning himself to score a major political upset.

Governor

South Dakota: Gov. Noem’s Small Lead — South Dakota State University is releasing a series of political polls, but there is scant information accompanying the ballot test numbers. University polls can often be suspect, and this one without survey dates or sample sizes may fall into such a category. The ballot test finds Gov. Kristi Noem (R) leading state House Minority Leader Jamie Smith (D-Sioux Falls) by only a 46-42 percent count.

The same unidentified sample, however, also posts Sen. John Thune (R) to a 53-28 percent advantage over Democratic attorney Brian Bengs, which sounds like a reasonable result and provides the gubernatorial ballot test more credibility. Therefore, the South Dakota governor’s race may be another worth watching as we enter the campaigns’ closing weeks. In 2018, Noem, then the state’s at-large congresswoman, scored a 51-48 percent win over then-state Sen. Billie Sutton (D).

Nebraska’s Gov. Ricketts to Become Sen. Ricketts? Dead Heats in CA-21 & FL-27; Oklahoma Shock Poll

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022

Senate

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R)

Nebraska: Gov. Ricketts Makes Succession Statement — Sen. Ben Sasse’s (R) resignation, to occur once he is confirmed as the University of Florida’s new president, has spurred discussion as to who will be appointed as Nebraska’s replacement junior senator. Term-limited Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), who refused to comment about his interest in assuming the position when Sen. Sasse announced his future plans, uttered a clarifying comment over the weekend.

Under Nebraska state law, a governor has 45 days to replace a resigning senator after the seat becomes officially vacant. Sen. Sasse indicated he will resign before the end of the year. Therefore, it is possible that Gov. Ricketts could make the appointment as one of his last official acts, or the likely incoming chief executive, University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen (R), would do so as one of his first duties.

Ricketts now indicates if he develops an interest in receiving the appointment, he will let the new governor choose the new senator and not appoint himself. In a crowded 2022 Republican gubernatorial primary, Gov. Ricketts endorsement of Pillen helped him win the nomination, so the early tea leaves are suggesting that the outgoing governor could be headed to the Senate.

New Hampshire: Dollars Changing Direction — Earlier, we speculated upon the National Republican Senatorial Committee eventually making the move to pull their media reservation dollars from New Hampshire and begin moving the money to places where the GOP candidate looks to be in better victory position — namely Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. With the NRSC’s canceling its $2.6 million budget for the Boston market, as reported by the Adminpact and Daily Kos Elections organizations, the move has been made.

This, however, does not mean the Republican sector is abandoning New Hampshire, especially since polling still shows nominee Don Bolduc within high single-digits of Sen. Maggie Hassan (D). The Senate Leadership Fund and other outside right-of-center allies have reserved another $23 million in media time, so they are clearly not giving up on the NH Senate race even though the state and national party leadership overtly attempted to deny Bolduc his nomination.

House

CA-21: Rep. Costa in Dead Heat — The Trafalgar Group released the first post-primary survey of California’s new 21st Congressional District and the results reveal a surprising dead heat between Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and businessman and former FBI agent Michael Maher (R). The poll (Sept. 30/Oct. 3; 515 likely CA-21 general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) finds the two candidates tied at 44 percent.

While the Central Valley region is showing signs of voting more conservatively than the rest of the Golden State electorate, the Republicans taking this district would be quite a stretch. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the new 21st, which includes downtown Fresno, as D+16 while the Dave’s Redistricting App crew calculates a 58.2D – 39.7R partisan lean. In the jungle primary, Rep. Costa unexpectedly received just 47.0 percent of the vote, but the Democratic aggregate total was 57.0 percent.

FL-27: Tight Race Prediction Coming True — In 2020, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Miami) upset then-Rep. Donna Shalala (D) from a South Florida district that votes Republican to a greater degree than the voter registration figures might suggest. The GOP redistricting map drawers made the seat more favorable for Rep. Salazar, but it still rates as a D+1 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization and 52.4D – 46.5R on the Dave’s Redistricting App partisan scale.

Therefore, it is not surprising to see a SEA Polling & Strategic Design survey (Oct. 3-5; 400 likely FL-27 general election voters; live interview) finding state Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) and Rep. Salazar in a virtual dead heat (Taddeo, 47-46 percent). The poll also found Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) leading former governor and congressman, Charlie Crist (D), 50-44 percent within the 27th District, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R) held a 48-47 percent edge over Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando).

Governor

Oklahoma: Shock Poll — Largely due to fallout from his Administration’s handling of some of the Covid 19 relief expenditures and attacks over his former business dealings, polling has suggested weakness for Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) re-election bid. Now we see a new survey that, for the first time, projects the governor falling behind his Democratic opponent, Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D).
The Sooner Poll, which surveys the Oklahoma electorate for various media outlets, released their new data (Oct. 3-6; 301 likely Oklahoma general election voters) and sees Hofmeister holding a surprising 47-44 percent lead. Though the Sooner Poll contains a very small sample and therefore a high error factor, it is becoming clear that this race will now draw further national attention.

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.

Tied Poll for Florida Senate Race? Ryan Leads in Ohio; Hererra Beutler Behind in WA-3

By Jim Ellis — August 11, 2022

Senate

Florida: Demings Touting Tied Poll — Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando) is brandishing a new poll that finds she and Sen. Marco Rubio (R) tied at 45 percent apiece. This is only the second poll of the 10 released this year that does not project the senator as the race leader. The Clarity Campaigns survey (July 26-31) conducted an online survey of 2,244 registered voters from a pre-selected panel. Since 2016, pollsters have typically underestimated Republican strength in Florida, so it is reasonable to add a couple of percentage points for the Republican candidate in a typical Sunshine State poll.

Ohio: Heavy Campaign Spending Keeps Rep. Ryan in Lead — Riding a major campaign spending wave, thus taking advantage of his abundant campaign war chest, US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) again sees a developing lead in his race against Republican nominee and author J.D. Vance. The just released Impact Research survey (July 21-28; 800 likely Ohio general election voters) projects Ryan as holding a 48-45 percent edge in the race for the open Ohio Senate seat. Last month, the same firm also found Ryan holding an almost identical lead at 48-45 percent.

The Ryan campaign has spent over $6.5 million on the airwaves since the end of May according to the Politico news publication, with virtually no counter media push from the Vance forces. Though Rep. Ryan has had the field virtually to himself in the early going, he still does not expand beyond the polling margin of error. When Vance does counter, we are likely to see a Republican rebound here.

House

Trump-endorsed former retired Army officer Joe Kent (R)

WA-3: Rep. Hererra Beutler Now Behind — New results from the laborious Washington ballot counting process have put Trump-endorsed former retired Army officer Joe Kent (R) ahead of six-term incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground/ Vancouver) by 960 votes with still several thousand ballots left to count. Officials report that it may be as long as Aug. 16 before the totals are finalized.

Since the bulk of the outstanding ballots are from Thurston County, an entity where Kent placed first, some analysts are declaring that Rep. Herrera Beutler will not be able to rebound. At this point, Democrat Marie Glusenkamp Perez places first and will advance to the general election presumably to face Kent.

If this trend holds and Herrera Beutler is defeated, it will mean that 11 House incumbents will have already lost their seats in the 2022 election cycle, and 68 seats will be open in the general election. Republican prospects to hold the 3rd District are strong despite the incumbent losing and a Democrat placing first in the jungle primary, however. A total of 64.8 percent of the more than 208,000 primary voters at this point voted for a Republican candidate.

Governor

Oklahoma Poll: Governor’s Race Closer Than Expected — The Democratic online polling firm Change Research released their latest Oklahoma Governor’s survey (July 22-26; 2,079 likely Oklahoma general election voters; online) and sees Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) in a tighter battle than expected against Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D). The ballot test projects the governor to be holding only a 42-34 percent advantage.

The main reason for Stitt’s downturn apparently relates to his falling job approval rating. According to the Change numbers, the governor’s favorability index has slid to 42:56 percent favorable to unfavorable. It is probable, however, that the governor will be able to rebound and score a convincing win in November. It is difficult to predict a deep red state like Oklahoma going Democratic in what appears to be at least a relatively strong Republican election year.