Tag Archives: Rep. Angie Craig

Oz Closing the Gap in PA; MN-2 a Bellweather for House Majority; Split Georgia Vote May Be Developing; Zeldin Closes in on Hochul in NY

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

Senate

Pennsylvania Senate Republican candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the television doctor

Pennsylvania: Oz Closing the Gap — The AARP polling series that Republican pollster Fabrizio Ward and the Democratic data firm Impact Research jointly conduct again tested the Pennsylvania electorate. Their new poll (Oct. 4-12; 1,400 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; live interview & text) projects Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) as having only a 48-46 percent lead over Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz, the television doctor. Previously, the AARP poll June poll found Fetterman holding a larger six-point advantage.

Within the same period, The Trafalgar Group also ran a Pennsylvania survey (Oct. 8-11; 1,078 PA likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and arrived at a virtually identical 47-45 percent split. It is becoming clear, with early voting already underway, that this critical Senate race is going down to the wire, just as we saw back in May when the state Republican primary ended in a razor-thin result. In fact, from the last 10 polls released of this race, seven of the 10 found Fetterman leading by four percentage points or less.

House

MN-2: Close Again — In a surprise 2020 finish, Republican challenger Tyler Kistner, a military veteran who hadn’t gotten much national attention, lost only a battle to Rep. Angie Craig (D-Eagan) by only two points — 48-46 percent. It appears the two are headed for another razor-thin finish this year in their re-match campaign. A just-released Survey USA poll (Oct. 15-16; 586 likely MN-2 general election voters; automated telephone & online) projects Craig to be holding a slim 46-45 percent lead over Kistner in a polling result wholly consistent with this electorate’s voting history.

Both Minnesota’s southern sector districts — the 1st and 2nd — are important toward determining the new House majority. The GOP would conceivably be on a majority track by winning one of the state’s two southern swing seats. Should their candidates win both, a big Republican night could be in the making. If the Democrats win both, such a performance would suggest that the party would have a legitimate chance of holding their slim majority.

Governor

Georgia: Disconnect with Senate Race — Two more polls were released that find Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leading former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D), and running substantially ahead of Republican senatorial candidate Herschel Walker. The juxtaposition makes these races interesting to watch.

Insider Advantage (Oct. 16; 550 likely Georgia general election voters) gives Gov. Kemp a 50-43 percent lead over Abrams, but also sees Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock posting a 46-43 percent edge over Walker. Similarly, while Landmark Communications (Oct. 15-17; 500 likely Georgia general election voters) projects Gov. Kemp’s lead at 51-45 percent, the firm derives a 46-46 percent tie between Warnock and Walker. Therefore, we continually see a relatively substantial single-digit swing in Sen. Warnock’s favor when comparing the gubernatorial results from consistent polling samples. This suggests we could see a split decision from these major Georgia statewide races.

New York: More Data Finding Tightening Race — Quinnipiac University has joined the group of pollsters projecting the New York governor’s race between Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), on the ballot for the first time in her own right after ascending to the position when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned, and US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) as a close race. The Q-Poll (Oct. 12-16; 1,617 likely New York general election voters; live interview) sees the spread between Gov. Hochul and Rep. Zeldin dropping to 50-46 percent.

Four of the past seven polls see the contest falling between two and six percentage points, which represents a notable improvement for Rep. Zeldin. With New York early voting not beginning until Oct. 29, this race’s patterns still have a significant period in which to firm.

How Low Can You Go? Below 50% …

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 22, 2021 — Now that the 2020 vote totals are finalized, analysis can be conducted to unearth what clues the election just completed provides for the 2022 cycle.

In looking at all 435 US House districts, we see that 168 electoral contests were decided with the winner receiving less than 60 percent of the vote. A total of 53 campaigns featured the victor receiving 52 percent or less. These 53 results yielded 27 Democratic wins and 26 for the Republicans. Of those, eight, four for each party, produced a plurality result with neither candidate obtaining majority support. It is these latter eight elections where we concentrate our focus.

A ninth seat, that of Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa), did yield a majority winner, but with a scant six-vote margin, which was obviously the closest election of the 2020 cycle. Democrat Rita Hart is challenging the outcome before the House Administration Committee claiming that 22 uncounted ballots would give her a nine-vote victory, but so far, the situation has not been addressed. It goes without saying that Iowa’s 2nd District will be a major target for both parties in 2022.

Below is a quick synopsis of what one would think are top electoral targets for 2022, but, as you will see, many of these seats will either drop from the competition board or become a lesser target due to redistricting and other factors.


IA-3: Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Des Moines) – 48.9%

Rep. Axne was re-elected to a second term in a virtual rerun of her 2018 campaign against then-Rep. David Young (R). As one of four top Iowa Democratic office holders, rumors are already surfacing that Rep. Axne could run for the Senate or governor, particularly if octogenarian Sen. Charles Grassley (R) decides to retire. Axne is not closing the door on a statewide run.

If she does run for the Senate or challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), a 3rd District congressional race becomes very different. Additionally, it appears that this Des Moines-anchored seat will have to yield approximately 60,000 residents to the adjacent seats in redistricting. The three other Hawkeye State CDs all need more population, from between 5 and 40,000 people per seat. Losing this many 3rd District inhabitants could make the seat less Democratic depending upon how the lines are drawn.

Iowa has the reputation of having the fairest redistricting system. A state legislative committee staff is given authority to draw maps based upon the straight census numbers without deference to the incumbent’s political standing or personal residence. The legislature, without amendment, must then approve or disapprove of the committee staff’s new map.

Regardless of the redistricting outcome, the IA-3 race again promises to be a national congressional campaign.


MN-1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Blue Earth/Rochester) – 48.6%;

MN-2: Rep. Angie Craig (D-Eagan) – 48.2%

The two plurality Minnesota seats will undergo drastic redistricting changes as their state appears set to lose a CD in reapportionment. With the 1st District requiring more than 125,000 additional inhabitants and the 2nd as many as 90,000, the two southern Minnesota seats will look very different in 2022. Additionally, with the legislature being the only one in the country where each political party controls one legislative chamber, the configuration of the next congressional map could be drawn in many different ways.

Obviously, both Reps. Hagedorn and Craig are in vulnerable political situations, with the former wanting to see more Republicans added to his district, while the latter needs an influx of Democrats coming her way.

Regardless the redistricting picture, these two seats will again likely be prime electoral targets.


NV-3: Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) – 48.7%

Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District has been the site of close elections throughout the previous decade. Containing part of southern Las Vegas, the seat covers all of the state’s southern triangle region that lies between California and Arizona.

Nevada will not gain a seat in this year’s reapportionment as it has in the past two census decennials. There will be significant movement among the districts, however, with the 3rd being the prime focus. The latest population figures suggest that CD-3 will have to shed approximately 90,000 residents to other districts.

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MN-2: Election Postponed

By Jim Ellis

Minnesota’s MN-2 Congressional District sits southeast of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, encompassing the region’s southern suburbs and traveling to the Wisconsin border.

Sept. 28, 2020 — A bizarre occurrence has happened in Minnesota that will apparently delay the 2nd Congressional District election until Feb. 9, 2021. Under state law, if a major party candidate passes away within 79 days of the general election date, the vote for the affected office is delayed for approximately three months.

Adam Weeks is the Legal Marijuana Now party congressional nominee, and under Minnesota election law this entity is recognized as a major party. Therefore, Weeks’ untimely and unexpected death earlier this week forces the congressional election of which he was a part to now be held Feb. 9. Though ballots are already printed, any votes cast for the 2nd District contest will not be recognized or counted.

The law came into effect after the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone (D) who perished along with his wife and daughter in a tragic plane crash 11 days before the 2002 election. Under Minnesota law at the time, a replacement nominee had to be chosen because the election would proceed as scheduled. That candidate became former vice president and Minnesota senator, Walter Mondale (D), who would go onto lose to Republican Norm Coleman in a close 50-47 percent election.

Taking action well after 2002, the state enacted the current statute that requires a postponement of the affected political contest. The situation directly touches freshman Rep. Angie Craig (D-Eagan) and Republican nominee Tyler Kistner. The Legal Marijuana Now party will have the opportunity to replace Weeks for the Feb. 9 election.

There are more ramifications than meet the eye here, however. First of all, Rep. Craig will have to leave office at the end of the current Congress because her term will expire. This means she will be out of office for more than one month of the new 117th session. This would put her at the end of the seniority list for the current freshman class if and when she eventually returns to the House.

Secondly, and perhaps the greater problem for all concerned, is that this particular Minnesota statute is likely to be found conflicting with the federal law that requires all states to hold a general election for federal offices on the same day, in this case Nov. 3, 2020.

The national election law also was the key factor in forcing Louisiana to hold its formatted jungle primary election concurrently with the general election date. Before, the Bayou State primary was held in September and anyone winning an absolute majority in that one election was declared the outright victor. The Justice Department ruled that the state could no longer hold an early jungle primary that allowed someone to win outright because it conflicted with the law requiring every state to hold a uniform and simultaneous general election.

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