Tag Archives: President Joe Biden

Primary Results; Biden Upside-Down in All But Five States; Surprising Poll for Endangered NY-4 Incumbent

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Primary Results

Former Trump White House aide Brian Jack

Georgia — In the Peach State congressional runoffs, former Trump White House aide Brian Jack, as expected, cruised to a secondary election victory over state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton). Jack recorded just under 63 percent of the vote in the preliminary count, thus virtually assuring him of winning the general election in November. He will replace retiring Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-The Rock/Carrollton) in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+38.

In the 2nd District, businessman and former congressional and senatorial candidate Wayne Johnson easily defeated his Republican opponent and will now advance to the general election against 16-term veteran Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany). The Democrats now have a nominee against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome) in District 14. Retired Army Gen. Shawn Harris easily won his runoff election with 69 percent of the vote to claim the party nomination.

OK-4 — The Sooner State’s big race featured an expensive challenge to veteran Rep. Tom Cole (R-Moore/Norman) in the state’s southern 4th Congressional District. Cole, now chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, easily overcame more than $5 million of self-funding expenditure from his Republican primary opponent, businessman Paul Bondar, in capturing just under 65 percent of the vote.

Virginia — The top race of the evening came in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District where state Sen. John McGuire (R-Manakin Sabot) may have defeated Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg) with a razor thin vote margin. It will likely be several days before we see final totals here because the post-election ballots, i.e., those coming in from overseas could make a difference in the outcome.

At this writing, McGuire holds a 315-vote lead over Rep. Good with approximately 96 percent of the vote recorded. There could be as many as 1,800 votes outstanding in addition to the 62,425 votes that the Secretary of State reports as being counted. Both men carried 12 of the district’s 24 counties. One, Appomattox County, appears to be decided in Rep. Good’s favor by just three votes.

Elsewhere in the Old Dominion, retired Navy captain and former congressional candidate Hung Cao was an easy Republican primary winner. He recorded 62 percent of the vote against four Republican opponents. Cao now advances to the general election where he will face an extreme uphill battle against veteran senator and former vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine (D).

In House District 2, businesswoman and Navy veteran Missy Cotter Smasal scored a landslide victory in the Democratic primary. Smasal will now face freshman Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) in a district that only slightly favors the Republicans. In the competitive open District 7, voters in both parties confirmed their expected nominees, retired Army Lt. Col. Eugene Vindman for the Democrats and attorney and Iraq and Afghan War veteran Derrick Anderson on the GOP side.

District 10 also featured a crowded, competitive Democratic primary, with the winner having the inside track to replace retiring Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg) who is leaving Congress due to a serious health issue. Her endorsed candidate, state Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (D-Loudoun County), scored a 30-27 percent victory over state Delegate Dan Helmer (D-Fairfax) and 10 others to capture the party nomination.


Approval Ratings: Biden Upside-Down in All But Five States — The Morning Consult organization test President Joe Biden’s job approval rating in all 50 states and sees just five where his positive reviews exceed the negative. California is the president’s strongest state where his job approval is plus-8. In the four others, his positive ratings exceed his negative in Maryland (four), New York (two), and Massachusetts and Washington (both one). In the other 45 states, the president’s job performance is under water. His most negative ratings, -63, -50, and -47, come in Wyoming, West Virginia, and North Dakota, respectively.


NY-4: Surprising Poll for Endangered Incumbent — McLaughlin & Associates released a poll conducted in late May (May 21-23; 400 likely NY-4 voters; live interview) that finds New York freshman Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park) leading the woman he defeated two years ago, former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Guillen, (D) by a 45-38 percent margin. The Empire State’s 4th District is the most Democratic seat a Republican holds in the nation (538: D+10), so this race is a major conversion target in 2024. It becomes one of the key seats in the nation that will determine which party controls the House majority in the next Congress.

Today’s Primaries; Libertarians Reject National Nominee; Two Major Unions Endorse Rep. Omar’s Opponent

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Good (R-Lynchburg)

Today’s Vote: Georgia, Oklahoma, Virginia — Another round of primary elections is on tap today, with voters in Oklahoma and Virginia casting ballots in their full primaries, while certain Georgia districts will host runoff elections. The races of most interest come in central Virginia, where two-term Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg) faces a serious opponent in state Sen. John McGuire (R-Manakin Sabot). This is a contest that could feature the first challenger victory of the primary season. At this point in contested House Republican and Democratic primaries, the incumbents are 11-0.

To complicate matters for Rep. Good, this is the first time he has faced a primary election. His two previous nominations were won through district conventions. Additionally, former President Donald Trump has endorsed McGuire, and ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy has raised substantial money toward a Super PAC that is attempting to unseat Good. The congressman was one of the leaders of the movement that ousted McCarthy from the Speakership.

House Appropriations Committee chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) is facing a multi-million dollar campaign coming from businessman Paul Bondar. Both men are heavily attacking each other; Rep. Cole hitting Bondar as a recent transplant from Texas, and the challenger attacking the incumbent as being out of touch with the district. Rep. Cole still favored for renomination.

The major runoff to be decided comes in western Georgia, where former Trump White House aide Brian Jack and state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) battle each other. Jack came close to winning the nomination outright in May but fell just short. Therefore, he appears to be a clear favorite heading into the secondary election.


Colorado: Libertarians Reject National Nominee — The Colorado Libertarian Party leadership, saying that the national party’s nominee, Chase Oliver, is “too moderate,” announced yesterday that they will not slate him for the general election. Instead, the state party leaders will inform the Colorado secretary of state as to whom the local organization will choose prior to the ballot certification deadline.

The Libertarian Party is the only minor party where in 2020 their nominee, Jo Jorgensen, had 50-state ballot access; 48 under the party name and in two, Alabama and Tennessee, where she appeared on the Independent line. Along with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, the non-Democratic and Republican finalists will likely be significant in the swing states where they appear on the ballot. In Colorado, the Libertarian line will only make a minor difference as President Joe Biden is a heavy favorite to win the state.


MN-5: Two Major Unions Endorse Rep. Omar’s Opponent — While three-term Minnesota US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis) just launched a television ad talking about how proud she is to represent her constituents, two important labor unions endorsed her Democratic primary opponent, former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels. The United Steelworkers and the International Union of Operating Engineers both issued endorsements for Samuels, the campaign announced yesterday. In 2022, Samuels held Rep. Omar to a 50-48 percent renomination victory. The two again do battle in the state’s Aug. 13 primary election.

Rep. Omar is a member of the far left “Squad” within the House, and two other of its members, Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), also face strong Democratic primary challenges in the coming weeks.

Consistent Inconsistency

By Jim Ellis — Monday, June 17, 2024


Arizona senate candidate Kari Lake (R) struggles in race despite Trump’s lead in polls. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

While news stories are prevalent discussing former President Donald Trump’s polling status, which, despite being convicted in his New York trial, shows him leading in most of the swing states, the same cannot be said for most of the Republican senatorial candidates.

Last week, Senate surveys were released in Arizona, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, three key swing states. Marist College conducted the Ohio and Pennsylvania studies, while a Republican/Democratic polling combination, Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D), executed the Arizona project.

The Fabrizio/IR Arizona survey, conducted for AARP (May 28-June 4; 600 likely Arizona voters; live interview & text), projects former President Trump to be holding a 45-37-11-3 percent advantage over President Joe Biden, Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. Yet, the open Senate ballot test before the same sampling universe favors Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) over former news anchor and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, 48-45 percent, a net 11-point swing from Trump’s lead to Lake’s deficit.

We see a similar pattern in the latest Ohio data. Marist College conducted the Buckeye State poll during the June 3-6 period and communicated with 1,137 registered Ohio voters either through telephone interview or online questionnaire. Here, we see Trump topping President Biden, Kennedy, Stein, and Dr. Cornel West, 48-41-5-1-1 percent. Yet, in the Senate race, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) posts a five point, 50-45 percent edge over Republican nominee Bernie Moreno, or a net 12 points behind Trump’s standing (Trump up 7; Moreno down 5).

Marist’s Pennsylvania findings also follow this similar pattern. The college’s polling administrators conducted the Keystone State survey during the same June 3-6 period as the Ohio study and interviewed either through phone or online contact 1,181 registered Pennsylvania voters. The results found Trump holding a two-point lead over President Biden, 47-45 percent, while Kennedy posted only three percent support, and Stein and Dr. West, one percent apiece. On the Senate question, however, Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D) tops businessman David McCormick (R), by six percentage points, 52-46 percent, or a net eight points below Trump’s position.

Though we did not see new general election data released in Nevada and Wisconsin during the week, the Trump leading (or close to tied in Wisconsin)/Republican Senate candidate trailing pattern is also consistently present in these two places.

In two other highly competitive races, Michigan and Montana, the Senate races are much closer. The numbers between Trump and the leading Michigan Republican, former Rep. Mike Rogers, are pretty close, with each clearly falling into a toss-up realm. In Montana, while Trump is consistently running well ahead of President Biden, the Senate race between incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) and challenger Tim Sheehy (R) is a virtual tie.

Some of the presidential to Senate discrepancy can be explained through incumbency. In Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin the Republican candidates are challenging incumbent Democratic senators, Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Sens. Brown, Casey and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). But, that’s not the case in Arizona where the similar pattern exists even in an open seat race.

The other state with a competitive Senate race, Maryland, is in a different category. Trump is far from leading in the Free State polling, nor will he at any time before the election. Maryland is going to be one of President Biden’s strongest states, and GOP nominee and former Gov. Larry Hogan has a different set of obstacles to overcome if he is to be successful.

With the current Senate map decidedly favoring the Republicans because they must defend only 11 seats as opposed to 23 for the Democrats, the GOP must maximize their win-to-loss ratio in the 2024 elections. Though they are effectively at a 50D-50R break from an electoral standpoint because of what appears as a virtual conversion lock in West Virginia, the Republican leadership must make a concerted effort to assist several of the challengers in defeating their incumbent Democratic opponents.

Getting to 53 or 54 Republican senators is the GOP goal for this election year. They must have such a cushion when they head into the 2026 and ’28 election years when the Senate election maps favor the Democrats.

Therefore, unless the Republican strategists can find a way to break the pattern we’re seeing in most of the competitive race states where their candidates trail while Trump leads, they will fall short of their goal. Monitoring their developing offensive strategy in the coming weeks merits significant attention.

Trump Conviction Not Hurting Poll Standing; Top Nevada GOP Candidate Struggles; GA-3 Candidate Gaining Strength; Junge Takes Lead in MI-8

By Jim Ellis — Friday, June 7, 2024


Former President Donald Trump

Polling: Trump Conviction Not Hurting Poll Standing — In the first released polls since former President Donald Trump’s conviction was announced on Thursday night, a pair of pollsters still project him locked in a virtual national tie with President Joe Biden. YouGov, polling for The Economist publication and Morning Consult released their frequent tracks.

In the YouGov survey (June 2-4; 1,566 registered US voters; online), the ballot test finds Trump and Biden tied at 42 percent apiece. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) records three percent support, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Independent Cornel West each secure one percent preference. Morning Consult (May 31-June 2; 10,404 registered US voters; online) sees Trump holding a slight 44-43 percent edge in a head-to-head test. Therefore, with the respondents knowing of the Trump conviction, the voting populace seems unfazed.


Nevada: Shock GOP Primary Poll — While Afghan War veteran and official Republican Party backed Senate candidate Sam Brown was expected to breeze through the GOP primary, a new poll suggests otherwise. A Kaplan Strategies study conducted for the Jeff Gunter (R) campaign (May 30; 802 likely Nevada Republican primary voters; online) sees the former Ambassador to Iceland and physician moving ahead of Brown by a 31-30 percent count.

In further bad news for Brown, the Tyson Group (May 22-25; 601 likely Nevada general election voters; online) shows Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leading the general election ballot test with a large 47-33 percent advantage. In both the Gunter and Rosen cases, the candidates had launched large media blitzes prior to the polling, which could explain the swing away from Brown. Gunter may be hitting his peak at the right time, however, as the Nevada primary is fast approaching on June 11.


GA-3: Jack Continues to Gain Runoff Support — Former Trump White House aide Brian Jack (R) came close to winning the open GA-3 primary on May 21 when he captured 47 percent of the initial vote against five GOP opponents. Still short of the majority threshold, Jack was forced into a runoff with state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) who received 25 percent support.

The third and fourth place finishers — former state Sen. Mike Crane and ex-state Rep. Philip Singleton — both have endorsed Jack. Coming close to the majority marker and getting former opponents’ support places Jack in a strong position for the upcoming June 18 runoff election. With an R+38 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, winning the GOP runoff is tantamount to claiming the seat. Four-term Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-The Rock) is retiring.

MI-8: Junge Takes Lead in Primary & General — Michigan’s open 8th Congressional District is one of the key toss-up races in the country. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+1, but the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians calculate a 51.0D – 46.2R partisan lean. President Biden scored a tight 50.3 – 48.2 percent win here in 2020, and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks MI-8 as the 11th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference. Therefore, it is safe to predict that either eventual major party nominee will have a legitimate chance to win the general election.

A poll from the UpOne Insights group (June 1-4; 400 registered MI-8 voters; 341 likely GOP primary voters; live interview) projects former news anchor and two-time Republican nominee Paul Junge leading both the Republican primary and the general election. According to the UpOne results, Junge commands a large 53-11 percent advantage over his three Republican opponents combined, including Board of Education member Nikki Snyder who was disqualified for failing to submit the required number of nominating petition signatures.

For the general election, Junge leads the leading Democratic candidate, state Sen. Kristen McDonald-Rivet (D-Bay City), by a 42-39 percent clip. The Michigan primary is scheduled for Aug. 6. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) is retiring after serving what will be six full terms at the end of this Congress.

Libertarian Party Chooses Nominee; Expect an Early Nomination for Biden-Harris; Menendez to Enter Senate Campaign as an Independent; Texas House Election Roundup

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, May 29, 2024


2024 Libertarian Party nominee, Chase Oliver.

Libertarian Party: Chooses Presidential Candidate — Catching up on political news from over Memorial Day Weekend, after booing former President Donald Trump spoke to the Libertarian Party Convention, delegates on the fourth ballot nominated former Georgia Senate and congressional candidate Chase Oliver as the party’s presidential nominee. Not Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was being considered for party nomination. The Libertarian Party is the only one of the minor entities that will have 50-state, or near 50-state, ballot presence. The party’s presence is more likely to take votes away from former President Donald Trump than President Joe Biden.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. received only two percent of the delegate vote on the first ballot and was eliminated. Chase then advanced to a third ballot against college professor Michael Rectenwald. Chase received 49.5 percent of the vote, just short of the majority threshold. He then advanced to win 60 percent alone against a none of the above option.

Democratic National Committee: Will Nominate Biden-Harris Virtually — It appears that the Democrats will, for the first time, nominate their presidential ticket before the delegates even gather for their national convention in late August. Responding to the Ohio election law that requires the political parties to provide official communication of their nominees prior to Aug. 7, Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison announced yesterday that the party delegates will vote in a virtual roll call prior to the Aug. 19-22 party gathering to ensure that President Biden is placed on the Buckeye State ballot.

Ohio Republicans have said they would pass a new law changing the aforementioned deadline, yet Harrison said the Democrats would not wait for their counterparts to act, but rather would “land this plane themselves.” Conducting the vote early will make it even more difficult for insurgent Democrats to make any move to convince the president to step down from receiving the party nomination. Therefore, we can expect President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to be renominated well before Aug. 7 and weeks prior to the Democratic delegates gathering in Chicago for their national convention.


New Jersey: Sen. Menendez Circulating Petitions — While Sen. Bob Menendez (D) is standing trial for bribery, reports are surfacing from New Jersey that he is also having petitions circulated to enter the 2024 Senate race as an Independent. Earlier, Sen. Menendez announced that he would not compete in the Democratic primary.

It is likely that the senator will file as an Independent not because he believes he can win from that ballot line, but his status as a candidate would allow him to use his substantial campaign funds (his cash-on-hand figure was just under $3.6 million on March 31) to pay his legal expenses.

Michigan: Petition Signatures Confirmed — Despite stories surfacing last week that Republican candidates — Mike Rogers, a former House member and ex-Intelligence Committee chairman; ex-Rep. Justin Amash; and businessman Sandy Pensler — were in danger of not submitting 15,000 valid petition signatures to qualify for the US Senate ballot, the State Bureau of Elections staff report indicates that the only Senate contender not qualifying from either major political party is Democrat Nasser Beydoun.

In Michigan, the staff sends their signature qualification report to the secretary of state prior to the principal making a final decision. At this point, it appears that all three key Republican candidates will be on the ballot. For the Democrats, the battle will apparently be between US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) and actor Hill Harper.


TX-23: Rep. Gonzales Barely Renominated — Two-term Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-San Antonio) escaped with a close win last night against firearm manufacturer Brandon Herrera in the Texas Republican runoff election after a nasty campaign. Rep. Gonzales won with 50.7 percent of the vote, a margin of just 407 votes of the 29,639 ballots cast. In the March 5 Republican primary, the congressman placed first in the original election with 45.1 percent of the vote as compared to Herrera’s 24.6 percent.

An incumbent being forced into a runoff generally plays poorly for the office holder in the secondary election, thus the closeness of this contest was not particularly surprising. Furthermore, last night’s result is not the first close call Gonzales has experienced in the Texas runoff system.

In his first election back in 2020, Gonzales won that year’s runoff election with just 45 votes to spare, and then went onto score an upset 51-47 percent victory over Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones. The congressman will now be favored to defeat Democratic nominee Santos Limon in the general election.

TX-28: Republicans Nominate Furman — A second important Republican runoff election occurred in the South Texas 28th District, a seat that stretches from San Antonio all the way to the Mexican border. Retired Navy officer Jay Furman was an easy 65-35 percent winner over rancher Lazaro Garza Jr. in a runoff election that saw only 12,683 voters cast ballots.

Furman will advance to the general election to challenge embattled Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), who now faces a federal bribery indictment. Prior to his legal situation becoming public, the general election did not appear competitive, but the new developments suggest that the Republican nomination is worth having. Now the attention turns to the GOP apparatus to determine if they will target the district and spend the resources to help Furman score what they hope will be an upset victory on Nov. 5.

TX-12: State Rep. Goldman Wins GOP Runoff — State Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth), as expected, easily defeated real estate developer John O’Shea by a 63-37 percent margin from a low turnout of 26,670 votes. Goldman now becomes the prohibitive favorite in the general election to succeed retiring Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth) who is departing after serving what will be 14 terms in the House.

The result was not a surprise after Goldman placed first in the March 5 primary coming within 5.6 percentage points of winning the Republican nomination outright. Goldman was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2012 and rose to a position of Republican Party leadership in the current legislative chamber.

Split Tickets in AZ, NV? SCOTUS Rules in SC; Dead Heat in CA-41; Mace Leads in Two South Carolina Polls

By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 24, 2024


Former President Donald Trump

Polling: Potential Split Tickets in AZ, NV — Two new surveys find Democratic Senate candidates pulling away from their presumed Republican opponents in two southwestern swing states while former President Donald Trump continues to lead within the same polling samples.

Phoenix-based Noble Predictive Insights (May 7-14; 1,003 registered Arizona voters; online) finds Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) maintaining a double-digit lead, 46-36 percent, over Republican former news anchor and 2022 gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. Yet, on the presidential ballot test, former President Trump holds a 43-36-8-2-1 percent advantage over President Joe Biden, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I), Jill Stein (Green), and Dr. Cornel West (I).

In Nevada, we see a similar pattern. Mainstreet Research, polling for Florida Atlantic University (May 19-21; 522 registered Nevada voters; interactive voice response system & online), finds Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leading Republican Sam Brown, 48-37 percent. When turning to the presidential contest, however, the results flip. According to this data, Trump would hold a 44-40-9 percent advantage over Biden and Kennedy. Both the most recent Arizona and Nevada polling results suggest that each electorate could engage in ticket splitting for the top two offices on their respective ballots.


SCOTUS: Overturns South Carolina Lower Court’s Redistricting Ruling — On a 6-3 vote, the United States Supreme Court overturned the lower court ruling that declared South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District (Rep. Nancy Mace — R-Charleston) as a racial gerrymander. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito stated that the lower court’s ruling saying race had been the predominate factor in drawing the 1st District was “clearly erroneous,” according to the Daily Kos Elections site analysts. Therefore, the current South Carolina map will stand.

The state had already proceeded under the current lines since the high court’s decision came after the candidate filing deadline. Therefore, the current campaigns will continue along their present path.

This decision could well affect the Louisiana case, which the high court stayed. The lower court had overturned the Louisiana legislature’s original map as a racial gerrymander. The appellate court then reversed the ruling, but the Supreme Court stayed that decision. It is possible the stay was ordered because the court was making an important ruling on the South Carolina case, and that decision could again change the Louisiana situation.

CA-41: Rep. Calvert in Dead Heat — Veteran Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) is again in a highly competitive race with his 2022 opponent, former federal prosecutor Will Rollins (D). The Rollins campaign just released the results of their latest internal poll from David Binder Research (May 1-6; 600 likely CA-41 general election voters; live interview & text). According to the ballot test, Rollins would hold a slight one-point lead, 45-44 percent, over Rep. Calvert. Both candidates see 31 percent of their support being recorded as definite, while 14 percent of Rollins’ voters say they could change their vote, as do 13 percent of Calvert voters.

While the polling is virtually even, the all-party jungle primary results gave Rep. Calvert a 53-38 percent advantage from 162,066 individuals who voted. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-41 as R+7.

SC-1: Rep. Mace Leads in Two Polls — While the US Supreme Court was ruling on the legality of the state’s 1st Congressional District, a new Republican primary poll was simultaneously released. Emerson College (May 19-21; 400 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) publicized their new data results that post incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) to a 47-22 percent advantage over her principal challenger, former Haley Administration official and previous gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton. A third candidate, non-profit executive Bill Young, attracted seven percent of the vote.

The results are similar to a recent Kaplan Strategies survey (May 6-7; 343 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; online & text) that produced a Mace lead of 43-21-3 percent.
The South Carolina primary is June 11. If no one reaches majority support, and neither poll shows Rep. Mace winning outright, the top two finishers will advance to a June 25 runoff election.

Trump’s Non-Voters

By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 17, 2024


Former President Donald Trump / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Trump: Expanding Voter Universe — We’ve seen considerable recent evidence of a changing American electorate, such as more minority voters being open to supporting Republicans and higher educated individuals almost exclusively heading to the Democratic camp, but a series of Public Opinion Strategies surveys for NBC News is confirming another surprise data point.

In presidential polls throughout the election cycle, it is former President Donald Trump and not President Joe Biden who consistently fares better when a pollster expands the surveyed universe. This means Trump’s numbers have been consistently better in this election cycle when the sample consists of “adults” as opposed only to registered or likely voters. This is highly unusual since it is typically the Democrats who do better when the respondent universe expands.

Public Opinion Strategies pollster George Nassar released an analysis of a series of polls that his organization conducted exploring the responses of the high propensity voter versus those who are either only casual or habitual non-voters. The results are again consistent with other research conducted in the current election cycle, namely that we again see Trump and the Republicans doing better when the universe expands.

According to the Nassar analysis, when looking only at the highest propensity voters from both the 2022 and 2020 elections, President Biden posts a 49-44 percent lead over Trump. This group would also “prefer a Democratic Congress,” by three percentage points, 49-46 percent, and Democrats have a five percentage point advantage in party identification within the group.

When looking at the segment who voted in 2020, but not 2022, i.e., the presidential election only voters, we see a starkly different response, and one that defies American voting history.

Within this lower propensity segment, the respondents favor Trump over Biden by 12 percentage points, 50-38 percent. The unit would prefer a Republican Congress by a 50-41 percent margin, and Republicans would enjoy the five-point identification advantage.

As we have seen in other survey research, the working class voter is becoming much more favorable to the GOP. Within this presidential election only segment, 47 percent would identify themselves as working class, and 32 percent are voters of color. Looking at the higher propensity contrasting segment, 31 percent are working class, and 24 percent voters of color.

Then Nassar isolated the non-voter segment, meaning those who voted in neither the 2020 nor 2022 election. This group shockingly would favor Trump over Biden by a whopping 20 percentage point margin, 54-34 percent; and, by a 49-40 percent spread, they would prefer a Republican Congress, and the GOP identification factor is R+10. Just over one-third (35 percent) are people of color, and 49 percent consider themselves working class.

Again, these are numbers never before seen, and help confirm the analysis that the overall electorate is in a state of flux.

Furthermore, as Nassar highlights in his memo, “the lower propensity voters are much less favorable to Biden and more likely to be younger, downscale, and less white. The higher the turnout, the better for the GOP.” He further states that, “this could have consequences when pollsters start deploying their likely voter models and perhaps overstating Biden’s vote.”

The question remains as to whether the Trump campaign and the Republican political apparatus can find ways to identify individuals who comprise the low propensity/non-voter segment, get a large percentage registered, and motivate them to vote in the 2024 election.

There is no question that a difficult implementation operation lies ahead, but numbers such as uncovered in the POS research could provide a heretofore untapped voting resource that could well provide Republicans the opportunity of converting a close loss into a game-changing tight win.