Tag Archives: Kari Lake

Katie Hobbs Bests Kari Lake in Ariz. Gov Race; Three More House Races Called (2 in AZ; 1 in NY)

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

Governor

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

Arizona — In the governor’s race, it has now become official that Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has defeated former television news anchor Kari Lake, the Trump-supported GOP candidate.

Despite trailing in polling as the race headed into election day, Hobbs was able to secure a tight 50.4 – 49.6 percent win in converting the Arizona governorship to the Democratic column. Nationally, the Democrats gained a net two gubernatorial chairs, winning in Arizona, Maryland, and Massachusetts, and losing in Nevada.

House

Balance of Power — According to the CNN Elections site, 215 seats have now been called for the Republicans as compared to 204 for the Democrats. Fox News has the Republicans at 217 — one seat away from the majority — with a tally of 205 for Democrats. Republicans are now very close to claiming the House majority.

Ten of the still outstanding districts lie in California, and it could be weeks rather than days as to when we will see conclusive results. California election officials have 33 days after the election to receive and count the ballots before certifying a winner. Considering that all mailed ballots, which is how the overwhelming number of people vote in the Golden State, are verified, the count requires an inordinate amount of time to complete.

If the Republican leads hold in the races where their candidate currently has the advantage, the party division will yield a 221R-214D majority. This split would, of course, give the GOP their majority but with a far smaller margin than they had anticipated. With some prognosticators and television commentators having previously believed that the GOP majority could reach well into the 240s, the smaller majority will be viewed as a setback for the party despite them achieving the ultimate goal of wresting control away from the Democrats.

Five of the Republicans’ leads are incumbent races. California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Granite Bay/Sacramento) is the lone non-incumbent GOP leader and favored to hold his edge in his R+8 rated 3rd District.

Arizona — A trio of House races came off the board last night beginning with Arizona Republican GOP Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) who was projected as a close victor over businessman Jevin Hodge (D) in a Maricopa County district that is much more Democratic than the congressman’s previous seat.

Turning to the Grand Canyon State’s southeast corner, former Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive and ex-gubernatorial aide Juan Ciscomani (R) has been declared the winner of the open 6th District, thus flipping the seat from which Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Tucson) is retiring. Ciscomani defeated former Democratic state Sen. Kirsten Engel.

Along with Republican Eli Crane previously defeating Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Sedona) in the new northern Arizona 2nd District, the GOP gains a net two seats in the Grand Canyon State delegation and will hold a 6R-3D advantage in the federal delegation.

New York — Turning to the Syracuse, NY area, first-time candidate Brandon Williams (R), a tech company executive and former Navy veteran, defeated former US Intelligence analyst and previous congressional candidate Francis Conole (D) in the seat that Rep. John Katko (R-Syracuse) has represented for four terms. Katko decided not to seek re-election this year.

Kelly & Masters in Dead Heat in Ariz, Lake Leads; Walker Leads in Most Georgia Polls, Gov. Kemp Pulls Away

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 7, 2022

Senate

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

Arizona: Sen. Kelly (D) and Republican Masters in Dead Heat — Already, in the closing days of the 2022 election cycle, the Arizona Senate race has been one of the most heavily polled contests. According to the four latest surveys, the closeness of this contest could send the counting process into political overtime.

The four pollsters, Insider Advantage, Remington Research Group, Highmark, and Civiqs, all surveying within the Oct. 29-Nov. 2 period and questioning from 500 to 1,071 likely general election voters through various sampling techniques each independently found almost identical results. That is, Sen. Mark Kelly (D) and venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) are either tied or separated only by just one percentage point. This is a clear indication the race is a pure toss-up heading into Tuesday night.

Georgia: Herschel Walker Now Leading in Most Polls — At the end of this week, we see four pollsters releasing surveys, and three of the four show a break toward Walker. The Remington Research Group (Nov. 1-2; 1,150 likely Georgia general election voters) posts Walker to a 49-45 percent edge over Sen. Raphael Warnock (D). Echelon Insights (Oct. 31-Nov. 2; 500 likely Georgia voters; live interview & text) arrives at exactly the same ballot test result as RRG. The Moore Information Group, polling for the Walker campaign, also came to virtually the same conclusion, 49-44 percent.

But, Survey USA (Oct. 29-Nov. 2; 1,171 GA likely voters; online) and Marist College (Oct. 31-Nov. 2; 1,009 likely Georgia voters; multiple sampling techniques) saw the race differently. S-USA found Sen. Warnock holding a 49-43 percent advantage while Marist found a 48-48 percent tie.

House

MI-7: State Sen. Tom Barrett (R) at Parity with Rep. Slotkin (D) — Mitchell Research, polling as they often do for the MIRS news service (Nov. 2; 402 likely MI-7 general election voters; interactive voice response system) sees the contest between Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Lansing) falling into a statistical 48-48 percent tie, with the state legislator leading on the actual count by less than a percentage point. Should Barrett win, it would virtually guarantee that the Democrats will take the loss over Michigan dropping a congressional seat in national reapportionment.

Governor

Arizona: Kelly-Masters Dead Heat Yields Kari Lake (R) Gubernatorial Edge — The aforementioned quartet of pollsters (see Arizona Senate above), Insider Advantage, Remington Research Group, Highmark, and Civiqs, also see Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake leading Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Lake’s margin ranges from one to three points. Though her leads are small, they are consistent through 17 recent studies that project her as the leader. Only two pollsters since Oct. 11 find Hobbs holding the ballot test edge, and then only by one percentage point in both instances. Therefore, it is fair to give Lake the edge heading into election day.

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Pulling Away in New Polls — The aforementioned University of Georgia poll for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (see Georgia Senate above) also tested the state’s competitive governor’s race. Here, incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has led former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) in polling throughout the election cycle. The UGA poll is consistent with this common finding. Again, running far ahead of Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker, Gov. Kemp posts a 51-44 percent advantage, well beyond the polling margin of error for such a statewide poll.

Three of the four pollsters that tested the Senate race in the last few days also asked a question about the governor’s campaign. Remington Research, Echelon Insights, and Survey USA all find Kemp leading Abrams by 14, 7, and 7 points, respectively. It also appears clear that Gov. Kemp is headed toward a clear victory once ballot counting officially begins.

Lake Leads in Arizona Poll, Masters Closes In; Illinois Gov. Pritzker’s Lead Shrinks; Identical Poll Results Show Dixon Closing on Gov. Whitmer

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

Senate

Former newscaster Kari Lake (R) now running as the open gubernatorial race leader over Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D).

Arizona: More GOP Movement — The Trafalgar Group is reporting on their latest Arizona survey (Oct. 16-17; 1,078 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) that finds venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) pulling to within one point of Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly (D), 47-46 percent. This race is closing and the Trafalgar poll is not an outlier. Since Oct. 10, four research studies have shown chronological deficits for Masters of only 3, 4, 2, and now 1 percentage point.

Additionally, Trafalgar finds former newscaster Kari Lake (R) now running as the open gubernatorial race leader over Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). In this poll, Lake carries a 49-46 percent edge, again consistent with recent trends that other pollsters also detect.

House

OH-1: Rep. Chabot Drops Behind — Despite state legislative Republicans drawing the congressional map, veteran GOP Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati), due to political changes within the Queen City, saw his new district become more Democratic. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates the new OH-1 as D+3, which is the exact margin a new Impact Research internal poll revealed.

The IR survey, conducted for the Greg Landsman (D) campaign (Oct. 13-16; 504 likely OH-1 general election voters; live interview & text), posts the Cincinnati City councilman to a 49-46 percent lead over Rep. Chabot. While the turnout model may provide a different result than what this poll finds, we can count on a close result coming here in November.

Governor

Illinois: Likely an Outlier — An Osage Research survey (Oct. 13-15; 600 likely Illinois general election voters; live interview) reports a ballot test that posts Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to only a 44-42 percent lead over state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) with a right and wrong track result trending 35:56 percent in the downward direction. The ballot test is likely an outlier because the previous six polls, taken during the months of September and October, give Gov. Pritzker an average lead of 13 percentage points. This, however, is yet another piece of survey research showing a resurgence around the country for GOP candidates.

Michigan: Exact Polling — It’s rare to see two pollsters in the field at the same time producing a duplicate result. That’s what we have seen in the Michigan governor’s race, however. Emerson College and the Cygnal research firm surveyed the Wolverine State electorate over the same Oct. 12-14 period, and both found Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer leading Republican nominee Tudor Dixon by a 49-44 percent count. This represents one of the closest results we’ve seen for this race and is more credible since two independent pollsters each detected the identical result.

Walker Under Fire in Georgia; Masters Closing in AZ & A Dead Heat in the State’s Gubernatorial Race;
A Battle in Michigan’s 8th District

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

Senate

Herschel Walker (R), former University of Georgia and ex-NFL football star, 2022 Georgia Senate candidate

Georgia: Conflicting Data — Just as the negative stories about GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s personal and family life began to appear in the media, along with his son coming forward to further the attacks, two conflicting surveys were released. The first, from Insider Advantage, a frequent Georgia pollster (Oct. 4; 550 likely Georgia voters), finds Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) holding only a 47-44 percent lead over Walker.

Survey USA (Sept. 30-Oct. 4; 1,076 likely Georgia voters; online) has a much different take, and actually produces one of the best polls from Sen. Warnock’s perspective since late July. The S-USA ballot test gives the senator a much larger 50-38 percent advantage.

With the negative publicity surrounding Walker, we can expect the Republican prospects to take a dip here during at least the next few days. Since the Georgia Senate race has trended close for most of the campaign year, and this type of story has been previously publicized about Walker, it would not be surprising to see a GOP bounce-back before election day.

Arizona: CBS News Projects Masters Closing — A new CBS News/YouGov survey (Sept. 30-Oct. 4; 1,164 registered Arizona voters; online) sees GOP challenger Blake Masters pulling to within three percentage points of Sen. Mark Kelly (D), 51-48 percent. With Masters finally running ads from his own campaign committee, and outside organizations coming into the state to further target Sen. Kelly, we can expect this race to continue its competitive pace all the way through Nov. 8.

Sen. Kelly, one of the most prolific fundraisers of any Senate candidate, will not likely reach the $100 million-plus in spending that he needed for the 2020 special election, but approaching the $75 million mark in outlays is highly possible. As we know, Arizona is one of the key races that will determine the next Senate majority.

House

MI-8: Junge Take Lead Over Rep. Kildee — A just released internal Cygnal poll for the Paul Junge (pronounced: Young) campaign (Sept. 27-30; 335 likely MI-8 voters) sees the GOP challenger, a former news anchor and 2020 congressional nominee in the former 8th District against Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly/Lansing), pulling into a one-point 45-44 percent lead against five-term Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flushing/Flint). This campaign has not gotten much national play, but the two candidates have been very active, and the party organizations are spending large amounts in eastern Michigan to deliver negative messages.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this seat a R+1, while the Dave’s Redistricting App partisan lean sees a 50.8 – 46.0 percent spread in favor of the Democrats. This is a national under-the-radar race destined to attract more attention.

Governor

Arizona: A Dead Heat — The aforementioned CBS/YouGov poll (see Arizona Senate above) also tested the Arizona governor’s race. Here, as other pollsters routinely find, the race between Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and news anchor Kari Lake (R) is extremely close. In the CBS/YouGov survey that posted Sen. Kelly to a three-point edge, the gubernatorial ballot test finds both candidates deadlocked at 49 percent apiece.

New Mexico: A Tightening Ballot Test — After several weeks of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) developing comfortable polling leads over Republican former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti, a Cygnal poll conducted for GOP Attorney General candidate Jeremy Gay (Sept. 27-29; 400 likely modeled New Mexico general election voters; interactive voice response system & text) sees the pair of gubernatorial candidates falling within a two-point margin, 46-44 percent, but still in the governor’s favor.

The sample size for this statewide poll is low, so the error factor is relatively high. Both candidates are very active, so we can expect that the New Mexico gubernatorial contest will draw further national attention before the election cycle concludes.

All About Arizona Arithmetic …

(A Katie Hobbs ad that seems to test what could be her campaign’s change in direction.)

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 30, 2022

Governor

Former news anchor and current gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake (R)

Arizona: Beneath the Surface — A strange turn of events coming from Arizona leads us to question some of the most recent polling and whether or not there could be a conservative backlash forming. This would explain why the Democratic gubernatorial nominee is clearly moving to the ideological right with her campaign strategy.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs won the open Democratic nomination for governor with over 73 percent of the vote in early August. Former television news anchor Kari Lake (R) is her opponent, and many believed Hobbs would sweep past the latter once Donald Trump’s strong support for Lake became the central campaign issue. For the Aug. 2 primary, Lake enjoyed strong support from the former president, which helped her score a close 47-44 percent Republican primary victory over University of Arizona Regent Karin Taylor Robson.

The general election, however, has become much more competitive than many expected. Lake is running neck-and-neck with Hobbs. Lake is basically taking a Glenn Youngkin-style approach to Trump in the general election — that is, graciously accepting his endorsement but continuing to campaign individually for the office sought without making Trump a campaign factor. In the most recent polling, seven released surveys since Sept. 6, both candidates lead in three of the research studies and are tied in another.

In the three polls favoring Democrat Hobbs, her lead is one point in each survey. Of the three where Republican Lake holds an edge, her margin is four points in two of the three. During this same time-frame — Sept. 6th to the present — nine polls have been conducted and Sen. Mark Kelly (D) holds the lead over Republican Blake Masters in all with an average spread of just under six percentage points in the accompanying statewide campaign.

Seeing these Senate campaign numbers would suggest that Hobbs would feel comfortable remaining close to her Democratic base, figuring that the Kelly campaign would take the lead in driving the party turnout. Not so, when looking at her most recent ad (above).

The new Hobbs ad basically adopts Republican themes, and not the current Democratic approach. She doesn’t mention abortion, unusual for a Democratic candidate these days since the party has clearly adopted a national single-issue strategy surrounding the issue. The party candidates across the board continue along this campaign path because the strategists believe that emphasizing the pro-choice position above all else is the way toward energizing the casual Democratic voter, i.e., those who only vote in presidential elections.

Instead, Hobbs is talking about implementing a tax cut for over 800,000 Arizona families and ending the sales tax on baby formula, school supplies, and medicines. Moving to the right while Sen. Kelly has a discernible advantage over Masters even while being attacked for his liberal voting record is a surprising development.

It appears the Hobbs campaign team may have uncovered patterns and trends in their research that leads them to conclude Republicans are in considerably better political shape than the current polls suggest. The primary turnout is one clue. Some 235,000 more Republicans than Democrats voted in the 2022 Arizona primaries, thus suggesting a possible precursor to a strong election night this November.

Such a closing surge would also be consistent with the Arizona vote in the 2020 election. Then, Sen. Kelly led by an average of just under seven points through the month of October, but only defeated then-Sen. Martha McSally (R) by just two percentage points.

In the presidential campaign, Joe Biden led then-President Trump by an average of 2.5 percentage points over the final 22 polls conducted in the state, but only managed to carry the state by 10,457 votes of almost 3.4 million votes cast — or just .3 of one percent.

The Hobbs move to the right is unorthodox, but if successful will prove a Democratic candidate can win when “cutting across the grain.”

Oregon: Republican Drazan Takes Lead — A just-released DHM Research survey (Sept. 23-24; 600 likely Oregon general election voters) finds former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) taking a one-point lead over former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D), with strong Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state legislator, dropping well back.

The gubernatorial ballot test gives Drazan a 32-31-18 percent edge over her two opponents. When the pollsters asked a second question just centered around the three top contenders, the ballot test actually strengthened Drazan slightly, to a 35-33-21 percent margin. The last time a Republican was elected Oregon’s governor came in 1982. In terms of the state’s status perception, just 25 percent said that the Beaver State is headed in the right direction while 62 percent replied that Oregon is on the wrong track.

Senate

Arizona: Sen. Kelly Expands Advantage — After several mid-September polls found Republican US Senate challenger Blake Masters pulling to within the polling margin of error against Sen. Mark Kelly (D), two new surveys see the two-year incumbent pulling back ahead by a more substantial margin.

Suffolk University’s (Sept. 21-25; 500 likely Arizona voters; live interview) latest study reports a seven-point spread in the senator’s favor, 49-42 percent. Marist College’s new likely voter survey (Sept. 19-22; 1,076 likely Arizona voters; live interview, text & online) found a slightly smaller Kelly lead, 50-45 percent. The Arizona race continues to be one to watch, especially considering the late GOP surge that occurred here in 2020.

Washington: Another Outlier — Yesterday, we reported on The Trafalgar Group’s new September poll that posted Sen. Patty Murray’s (D) to a 49-47 percent lead over Republican Tiffany Smiley and suggested the poll may be an outlier, since no other firm found such a close division between the two major candidates.

Now we see Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling quickly countering with a new survey of their own (Sept. 27-28; 770 Washington voters). The PPP response gives Sen. Murray a much stronger 52-40 percent advantage. In the Aug. 2 Washington jungle primary, Sen. Murray outpaced Smiley, 52-34 percent.