Tag Archives: Nevada

Trump Attacks McConnell Over Campaign Spending in Alaska; Walker Remains Above Attacks in GA; Polls in Nevada Show Some Flip-Flopping

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 14, 2022

Senate

Alaska republican Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka

Alaska: Trump Attacks McConnell Over Campaign Spending — The media is covering comments former President Donald Trump is making over the Senate Leadership Fund’s campaign spending as it relates to the Alaska race featuring Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and the ex-president’s endorsed candidate, Kelly Tshibaka (R). The SLF, an organization that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) former staff members and political allies control, is committing $9 million in media money to support Sen. Murkowski.

Trump attacks the group, and Sen. McConnell by name, for spending this money against another Republican instead of in places where GOP candidates are opposing strong Democratic incumbents such as Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada. Many agree with Trump’s assessment since, particularly in Arizona, more money is needed to counter Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D) huge financial edge.

Because of Alaska’s new electoral system, it is clear that the general election is coming down to a battle between the two Republicans, hence not endangering the Senate’s party division count.

Georgia: Attacks Not Destroying Walker — Republican Herschel Walker has been under intense attack recently in his Senate battle against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), but several new polls, so far, suggest that the attacks about his personal life have not yet devastated his campaign.

A series of six polls were released in the past few days, and only one, from Survey USA, shows Sen. Warnock holding a substantial lead. Four of the six find the margin between the two candidates falling within a 1-3 percentage point margin. A total of four surveys, from The Trafalgar Group, Quinnipiac University, Emerson College, and Insider Advantage, conducted their studies between the Oct. 4-11 period. The other two, from the aforementioned Survey USA and the University of Georgia, polled between Sept. 25 through Oct. 4. The sample sizes range from 550 to 1,157 likely voters. S-USA is most out of line, showing Warnock up 50-38 percent. Quinnipiac sees the second largest Warnock edge, 52-45 percent.

The group of polls allows observers to arrive at two conclusions. First, Sen. Warnock leads the race. Second, Walker is still very competitive and remains within striking distance.

Nevada: Sen. Cortez Masto Rebounds in New Poll — After trailing in seven consecutive polls among likely voters, a new Suffolk University survey (Oct. 4-7; 500 likely Nevada voters; live interview) finds Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) pulling back in front of former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), 46-44 percent.

Clearly, the cumulative result from these many polls is that both candidates are alive heading into voter decision making time. The bad sign for Sen. Cortez Masto is that she has failed to reach 50 percent support in the last dozen consecutive polls, dating all the way back to July. Such is a troubling indication for any incumbent.

Governor

Georgia: Conflicting Polls — From the myriad of Georgia Senate polling (see Georgia Senate above), two of the survey research entities released numbers for the Peach State governor’s race. Quinnipiac University (Oct. 7-10; 1,157 likely Georgia general election voters; live interview) plots Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R) lead over former state House Minority Leader Stacy Abrams (D) at just 50-49 percent. The University of Georgia (Sept. 25-Oct. 4; 1,030 likely Georgia general election voters; live interview), however, sees a much wider Kemp advantage, 51-41 percent.

Nevada: Sheriff’s Edge — The aforementioned Suffolk University survey (see Nevada Senate above) that found Sen. Cortez Masto (D) reclaiming a small lead over her Republican opponent instead finds Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) holding a slight 44-43 percent edge over Gov. Steve Sisolak (D). Just as in the Senate race where either candidate can win, such is also the case in the Silver State’s governor’s contest.

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.

Warnock Attracts Big Bucks in GA; Nevada Turning Red? Dem Leads in Open-Seat PA-17 Race

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

Senate

Georgia freshman Sen. Raphael Warnock (D)

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Continues to Attract Big Bucks — Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D) campaign leadership is reporting that they raised an incredible $26.3 million just in the third quarter. Prior to this impending Federal Election Commission disclosure report due on Oct. 15, Sen. Warnock had outraised every Senate incumbent and challenger by at least $30 million. His new aggregate total of approximately $111 million raised for the entire campaign will certainly keep him in the financial driver’s seat. The campaign spokesperson said the Warnock committee has more than $13 million cash-on-hand available for the final five weeks.

Indiana: Another Close Survey — Back in August, Change Research released a survey that found Sen. Todd Young (R) ahead of Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott (D) by only a slim 45-42 percent margin. Most believed this survey to be an anomaly. Now, the ARW Strategies polling entity, surveying for the Indy Politics blog (Sept. 25-26; 600 likely Indiana general election voters), has arrived at a similar conclusion more than a month later. The ARW results find Sen. Young’s advantage to be only 39-37 percent opposite Mayor McDermott. Libertarian candidate James Sceniak accounts for six percent of the preference total with the remainder saying they are undecided.

These again are puzzling numbers since Sen. Young is not exhibiting any signs of political trouble in a state where his party consistently wins elections and is favored across the board in 2022. Chances are good we will see more attention from both sides being paid to this race as we move toward the campaign’s closing weeks.

Nevada: Laxalt Ahead in Sixth Consecutive Poll — OH Predictive Insights, a frequent pollster in the southwest, released their new Nevada numbers. The survey (Sept. 20-29; 741 likely Nevada general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) leading Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by a 45-43 percent margin. This is the sixth consecutive poll, from six individual research firms during a long Sept. 8-29 time frame, that forecasts Laxalt with a small lead — an average of just over two percentage points.

The most troubling aspect from the Democratic perspective is that Sen. Cortez Masto only averages 43.3 percent preference with a high-water mark of just 46 percent within this group of studies. Her performance is far below the 50 percent plateau and very low for any incumbent. It now appears that Nevada is the Republicans’ best national US Senate conversion opportunity.

House

PA-17: Dem Leading in Open Seat Race — A just released brilliant corners firm survey (polling for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Sept. 18-20; 400 likely PA-17 general election voters) containing a high disclosed error rate of 4.9 percent, posts Democratic election law attorney and college professor Chris Deluzio to a six-point, 49-43 percent, lead over GOP engineer and former local elected official Jeremy Shaffer.

The open 17th District, located in the western Pittsburgh suburbs and encompasses the territory all the way to the Ohio border, is a swing district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates D+1. Detecting a Republican resurgence around the country after Sept. 20, it will be interesting to see what more recent data might show for this campaign. This region’s voting history suggests the 17th District remains a toss-up race.

Governor

Nevada: Republican Lombardo Pulls Ahead — OH Predictive Insights also released their new Nevada gubernatorial results. The survey (see Nevada Senate above) projects Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) to be running ahead of Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) by three percentage points, 45-42 percent. This is the third consecutive poll that finds the GOP challenger topping the Democratic incumbent. It is clear that the closing campaign weeks will be hot ones in the Silver State.

Laxalt Leads in Four Consecutive Nevada Senate Surveys; Many Polls, Many Results in Arizona; Hassan in New Hampshire Senate Driver’s Seat

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Sept. 26, 2022

Senate

Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, current Republican Senate candidate

Nevada: Four in a Row — As the plethora of polls keep coming, we now see Republican Adam Laxalt taking a small lead over Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in four consecutive surveys. From Sept. 8-20, Emerson College, Data for Progress (D), The Trafalgar Group (R), and Insider Advantage (R) posted leads for Laxalt at one to four percentage points.

Unlike Arizona polls (see next item) that find inconsistent margin results for Sen. Mark Kelly, these four pollsters all arrive at basically the same conclusion. Additionally, the senator fails to break a highwater mark of 46 percent in any of the surveys, a bad sign for any incumbent.

Arizona: Many Polls, Many Results — During the period of Sept. 6-19, six different pollsters tested the Arizona Senate race, and the results were wide ranging. All six agree that Sen. Mark Kelly (D) has a lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters (R), but the advantage span moves all the way from one to 12 points.

Three of the research entities — Emerson College, The Trafalgar Group (R), and Data for Progress (D) — find the Kelly margin at two points (Emerson) or one (Trafalgar; DfP). Another, Insider Advantage (R), pegs the Kelly lead at six points. Fabrizio Lee (R) / Impact Research (D) for AARP, posts the senator to an eight-point edge. Finally, Arizona-based OH Predictive Insights sees the largest Kelly margin, 47-35 percent. With such a diverse polling result universe, it is difficult to accurately depict this race’s true status.

New Hampshire: Sen. Hassan in Driver’s Seat — It appears that Gov. Chris Sununu (R) and various Republican strategists and consultants were correct to forecast that retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc (R) would not be a strong opponent against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) in the November election. Three polls have now been released since the state’s Sept. 13 primary election — from Emerson College, the American Research Group, and the University of New Hampshire. The surveys were conducted within the Sept. 14-19 period. All three pollsters find Sen. Hassan leading the race with margins between 8 and 13 percentage points.

House

FL-2: Closer Than Expected — When the Florida redistricting map was adopted, most agreed the incumbent getting the worst draw was three-term Rep. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee), who saw his Tallahassee to Jacksonville 5th District split into several parts. Left with tough choices, Rep. Lawson chose to seek re-election against Republican incumbent Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) in the new 2nd District.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this seat that stretches from Tallahassee to the Emerald Coast as R+17. The Dave’s Redistricting App data group calculates the partisan lean as 54.5R – 43.8D.

A new David Binder Research (D) poll (Sept. 14-18; 600 likely FL-2 general election voters; live interview & online) finds Rep. Dunn holding only a 49-43 percent lead, however, which is a closer result than one would expect from a district with such strong Republican base numbers.

Governor

Nevada: Sheriff Lombardo Gaining Momentum — Three polling firms have tested the tight Nevada governor’s race between incumbent Democrat Steve Sisolak and Republican challenger Joe Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff. Emerson College, Data for Progress (D), and The Trafalgar Group (R), all see a race falling within the margin of error.

While Trafalgar finds Lombardo holding a three-point lead, the other two research entities see the candidates at even strength. Like Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) as covered above (see Nevada Senate above), Gov. Sisolak is far short of attracting majority support. In these three polls conducted within the Sept. 8-20 period, the governor fails to break the 45 percent support level.

Walker Back Up in Georgia, Kemp Expands Lead; Nevada Democrats’ “Three-fer” Commercials; Oregon Minor Candidate’s Withdrawal Could Have Significant Impact

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022

Senate

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker

Georgia: Walker Back Up — In what is proving a seesaw affair between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and former NFL and University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R), the new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll (Sept. 5-16; 861 likely Georgia general election voters) again detects a change in leadership. The last three polls posted Sen. Warnock to leads between four and six points, and now the AJC/UGA data finds Walker re-assuming the lead, 46-44 percent.

The bottom line is that this race is close and either candidate has a strong chance to win. Turnout will be the key factor. In the primary, Republican turnout was up an astonishing 110 percent when compared to the 2018 midterm election. Democratic participation was also up, but with a much smaller 29 percent increase.

House

Nevada: The Democrats’ “Three-fer” Commercials — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has a new interesting media message approach for the three Nevada congressional districts, each of which are covered through the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The tactic is to attack all three Republican candidates, businessman Mark Robertson, attorney April Becker, and insurance agency owner Sam Peters, with one message. Since the party is running a single-issue strategy about abortion, the ad hits all three candidates simultaneously for their pro-life stance.

The move is obviously an efficient use of their advertising dollars, but combining all three candidates in one message might be too convoluted for the voters to fully comprehend. The idea behind the spot is simply to associate all Republican congressional candidates with the pro-life position, thus making the message clearer.

Robertson is challenging Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) in the 1st District; Becker opposes Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) in District 3; and Peters faces Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) in the more expansive 4th CD that begins in North Las Vegas and stretches to the center of the state. All three are highly competitive in the general election.

Governor

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Expands Lead — The aforementioned Atlanta Journal-Constitution/ University of Georgia poll (see Georgia Senate above) also tested the state’s hot governor’s race. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has been performing strongly in the polls since his landside 74-22 percent victory over former US Sen. David Perdue in the May Republican primary. The AJC/UGA numbers give the governor a 50-42 percent advantage beyond the polling margin of error over former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D).

Oregon: Minor Party Candidate Withdraws — One of the more interesting gubernatorial campaigns is found in the Beaver State of Oregon. The fact that Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator, has a legitimate chance to win the race is what makes this campaign unique in the 2022 election cycle. Johnson has done better in fundraising than either Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, the former state House Speaker, and Republican former state House Minority Leader Catherine Drazan. She is also competitive with the two major party nominees in the various statewide polls that have been conducted.

Thus, with Green Party nominee Nathalie Paravicini dropping out of the race and endorsing Ms. Kotek, as she did Tuesday, Paravicini’s action actually becomes significant. The race has the potential of splitting close to evenly among the three candidates, meaning each has a legitimate chance to win. Green Party candidate Paravicini’s endorsement, even with only a percentage point or two of support, could prove significant in the final count on election night by encouraging her supporters to instead use their votes to back Kotek.