Tag Archives: Leora Levy

Murkowski’s Lead Tenuous in Alaska; Blumenthal Gains Momentum in Conn.; Still a Tight Race in NH; More House News

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Senate

Alaska incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R)

Alaska: Sen. Murkowski’s Tenuous Lead — A new Alaska Survey Research organization poll (Oct. 19-22; 1,276 likely Alaska general election voters; text to online) forecasts a tight US Senate election between incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and former state Director of Administration Kelly Tshibaka (R).

The actual vote is projected to break 41-39-16-4 percent with Sen. Murkowski leading Tshibaka, Democrat Pat Chesbro, and Independent Buzz Kelley. Such a result would eliminate the fourth-place finisher who has already withdrawn from the race and endorsed Tshibaka. The first RCV round would eliminate Chesbro by a closer 41-40-17 percent. The final RCV round between Sen. Murkowski and Tshibaka would then break the incumbent’s way, according to the ASR poll, 56-44 percent. Therefore, while Sen. Murkowski will likely not reach an outright victory in the actual vote, she is positioned to fare well under the ranked choice system.

Connecticut: Momentum for Sen. Blumenthal — Last week we saw a Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey that found Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D) lead over Republican nominee Leora Levy shrinking to 49-44 percent. Countering this data is a new survey from Connecticut based Quinnipiac University (Oct. 19-23; 1,879 likely Connecticut general election voters) that restores Sen. Blumenthal to a 56-41 percent advantage, similar to what the September Q-Poll produced. The latter data is more consistent with other polls of this race, suggesting that the Fabrizio Lee survey may be an outlier.

New Hampshire: Not Quite Over — Three recent pollsters find that the New Hampshire Senate race, one many Republicans conceded to Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) once retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc (R) won the Sept. 13 Republican primary, may not yet be clinched. The three pollsters, all surveying the Granite State electorate within the Oct. 17-23 period with sample sizes ranging from 600 to 727 likely New Hampshire general election voters, finds Sen. Hassan’s lead dwindling to between one and three percentage points.

Fabrizio Ward & Associates, Emerson College, and Insider Advantage, found respective 49-47 percent, 48-45 percent, and 48-47 percent results. Such results suggest this race is headed back to toss-up status.

House

AK-AL: Rep. Peltola’s Strong Lead — The aforementioned Alaska Survey Research organization poll (see Alaska Senate above), while projecting a tight result for Sen. Murkowski (R) sees the opposite trend for August special congressional election winner Mary Peltola (D-Bethel). The House poll suggests that Rep. Peltola has a chance to win outright opposite former governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, businessman Nick Begich III (R), and Libertarian Chris Bye. Even if she does advance into the RCV round, it also appears that she would easily beat both Palin and Begich in one-on-one contests.

The ASR polling results find the initial vote cutting 49-26-21-5 percent for Peltola, Palin, Begich, and Bye, respectively. Obviously, the polling margin of error could mean that Rep. Peltola wins at this point since she is so close to the majority mark. Should Rep. Peltola fail to reach 50 percent, she would then likely advance to a final RCV round with Palin. The poll projects that the congresswoman would win the one-on-one pairing with 57 percent of the Ranked Choice Vote.

MN-1: Rep. Finstad Expands Lead — August special congressional election winner Brad Finstad (R-New Elm/Rochester) has jumped out to a nine-point lead in his re-match race with retired Hormel Corporation CEO Jeff Ettinger (D) according to a just released Survey USA poll (Oct. 20-23; 563 likely MN-1 general election voters). In what many believed to be a toss-up general election campaign, this study producing a 46-37 percent advantage for Rep. Finstad suggests that the race is clearly leaning to the Republican side.

Iowa Race Tightens; Blumenthal Lead Drops; DCCC Chairman Trails in Race; Conflicting Gov. Whitmer Results; Rep. Zeldin Closing on NY Gov. Hochul

By Jim Ellis — Oct. 18 2022

Senate

Iowa’s seven-term US Sen. Chuck Grassley (R)

Iowa: Race Tightens — The Des Moines Register Poll that Selzer & Company conducts (Oct. 9-12; 620 likely Iowa general election voters) has routinely been viewed as the most consistently accurate survey of the Iowa electorate. Therefore, the numbers just released over the weekend posting Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) to only a three-point, 46-43 percent, lead over retired Navy Admiral Michael Franken (D) is being taken seriously. Perhaps the most troubling sign for Sen. Grassley is that Franken leads 46-35 percent among self-described independent respondents.

The Iowa electorate can swing wildly, but in the most recent elections it has been going the Republicans’ way. Since most of the comparable data found Sen. Grassley holding low double-digit leads, the Selzer poll is a surprise. More attention will be paid to this race if confirming data soon surfaces.

Connecticut: Blumenthal Lead Drops to Five Points — A just-released Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey (Oct. 10-13; 1,200 likely Connecticut general election voters; live interview & text) finds Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) leading his Republican opponent, former Trump appointee Leora Levy (R), by only a 49-44 percent margin. Though this race has been on the edge of competitiveness for a considerable period, it is highly unlikely that the end result will yield a Republican upset. While Sen. Blumenthal’s victory margin might be less than in years past, he will still comfortably win re-election next month.

House

NY-17: DCCC Chairman Trails in Own Race — McLaughlin & Associates released a new internal study for the Mike Lawler for Congress campaign (Oct. 2-14; 400 likely NY-17 general election voters; live interview & text) that again shows the Republican state assemblyman leading veteran New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring).

This survey posts Lawler to a 52-46 percent advantage. McLaughlin polls from July and September also saw Lawler holding a significant lead. No Democratic poll was released to counter the numbers, but the Maloney campaign spokeswoman responded to the New York Post story about the survey release, saying that the Lawler polling figures are “skewed.”

Governor

Michigan: Major Polling Conflict — We see a pair of polls presenting opposite looks to the Michigan Governor’s race. The Epic-MRA organization, an entity that frequently surveys the Michigan electorate (Oct. 6-12; 600 likely Michigan general election voters; live interview) posts Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to an 11-point, 49-38 percent edge, including leaners, over online talk show personality Tudor Dixon (R). But, Insider Advantage (Oct. 12; 550 likely Michigan general election voters) sees a completely different result, placing Dixon and the governor into a flat 44-44 percent tie. Most other polling has produced similar numbers to Epic-MRA, so this is another situation that bears watching if confirming data to the Insider Advantage results soon surface.

New York: Four Polls Showing Increased Competition — Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has been running consistently ahead of US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island), but now we see four consecutive polls finding the Republican deficit falling between two and eight percentage points.

In chronological order, Schoen Cooperman Research (Oct. 8-12; 824 likely New York general election voters) sees only a 50-44 percent split between Gov. Hochul, who ascended to her position when Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned, and Congressman Zeldin. Marist College (Oct. 3-6; 900 likely voters) posts a similar 52-44 percent split. The Trafalgar Group (Sept. 30-Oct. 3; 1,087 likely voters) sees the closest spread, 45-43 percent. Finally, McLaughlin & Associates (Sept. 21-25; 800 likely voters) recorded a 51-45 percent result in late September.

This is another race on the edge of competitiveness that will likely soon draw more attention. Early voting in New York does not begin until Oct. 29, so more time exists for this potentially fluid electorate to gel.

Senate Victory for Trump-Endorsed Candidate in Connecticut; Omar Barely Survives in Minnesota; Easy Wins in Other Primaries

By Jim Ellis — Aug. 10, 2022

Primary Results

Former Trump ambassadorial appointee Leora Levy wins in Connecticut.

Connecticut: Trump-Endorsed Candidate Scores Senate Victory — Former Trump ambassadorial appointee Leora Levy, though she failed to win Senate confirmation, easily won the Republican Senate nomination in Connecticut. Levy defeated former state House Minority Leader Themis Klarides by a significant 51-40 percent share of the statewide vote. She now advances to challenge Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) who is seeking a third term.

Minnesota: Finstad Wins; Omar Barely Survives — Last night, Minnesota former state Rep. Brad Finstad (R) appears to have won the open 1st District special congressional election left vacant when Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) passed away in mid-February. At this writing, Finstad leads former Hormel corporation CEO Jeffrey Ettinger (D) 51-47 percent with all counties reporting and 99 percent of the expected vote tabulated.

Finstad holds a 4,920-vote lead over Ettinger, which should be more than enough to account for any mailed absentee ballot not included in the overall count. The currently recorded turnout of 118,018 votes is high for a special election. Finstad carried 16 of the district’s 21 southern Minnesota counties.

Finstad also easily won the regular Republican primary in the 1st District after state Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Crystal Lake) made a run at the nomination despite losing the special election primary back in late May. Following suit on the Democratic side, Ettinger was an easy winner in last night’s regular primary, so the two will again do battle in the regular term for a House seat that has been trending more Republican in recent years.

In the 5th District, suggestions that former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels could give two-term controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis) a highly competitive battle proved true. Rep. Omar was renominated in a 50-48 percent squeaker over Samuels, thus guaranteeing her another term in the November election.

Vermont: Scott, Welch, Balint Easily Win — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott was a 69 percent winner in his state’s Republican primary. As expected, the Vermont Democratic open Senate primary resulted in a landslide 87 percent-plus victory for at-large Congressman Peter Welch (D-Norwich). He automatically becomes a prohibitive favorite against the new Republican nominee Gerald Malloy, a retired Army officer.

With Rep. Welch running for the state’s open Senate seat, now in strong position to succeed the retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), the open al-large House seat will go to the Democratic primary winner, state Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint (D-Burlington). Her 60 percent-plus primary win puts her in position to score a landslide general election victory in November.

Wisconsin: Barnes Confirmed; Michels Defeats Kleefisch — Wisconsin Democratic voters confirmed that Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will be their candidate to oppose Sen. Ron Johnson (R). With his three major opponents dropping out of the race within the past two weeks and all endorsing Barnes as a show of party unity, the lieutenant governor captured 77 percent-plus of the Democratic primary vote. Sen. Johnson topped 83 percent in the Republican primary.

Finally, the lone competitive Wisconsin House primary also resulted as expected. State Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-La Crosse) recorded a 39 percent plurality victory over three opponents to win his party’s nomination for the open 3rd District House seat of retiring Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse). Sen. Pfaff earned Rep. Kind’s endorsement as his successor.

Republican Derrick Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL who held Rep. Kind to a tight 51-49 percent re-election win in 2020, returns in another attempt to capture the seat. Van Orden was unopposed in last night’s election. Winning this seat in November becomes a must for Republican House majority prospects in the fall.