Tag Archives: Rep. Lee Zeldin

NY Overreach = GOP Majority

CNN’s New York state redistricting map (more coverage on CNN)

By Jim Ellis — Nov. 22, 2022

House

New York State: Redistricting — There is an argument to be made that the New York Democratic redistricting brain trust helped create the new Republican US House majority. With their over-reach on the original map that the legislature and governor enacted, the end result became so egregious that even the Democratic lower and upper courts rejected the congressional map as a pure partisan gerrymander.

The original enacted plan would have yielded a 22D-4R partisan split in the NY congressional delegation of 26 members, thus costing the Republicans four of the eight Empire State seats they control in the current Congress.

Once the votes were cast on Nov. 8 in the districts that the judges’ special master drew to replace the legislature’s plan, the end result saw Republicans not losing four seats but rather gaining three in relation to the current map and seven when compared to the Democrats’ original draw.

Therefore, instead of the intended 22D-4R plan, the New York delegation now headed to Washington is comprised of 15 Democrats and 11 Republicans. With a small Republican majority of what ultimately may be 220-222 seats once the outstanding California and Alaska races are finally projected, the NY swing is arguably the difference in determining which party controls the House.

The Democrats’ map would have reduced the Republicans to just one seat on Long Island, taken the lone district they have in New York City, turned the GOP’s Syracuse seat strongly Democratic, and collapsed the southwestern Upstate seat of resigned Rep. Tom Reed (R) as the lost district in national reapportionment.

You will remember that New York lost a congressional seat by just 89 people when the Census Bureau announced each state’s congressional district compilation under the national reapportionment formula.

After striking down the legislature’s map and replacing it with their own special master’s plan, the court in effect restored much of New York to its historic congressional district pattern.

Under the legislature’s plan, Long Island’s 1st District (Rep. Lee Zeldin) was drawn from the far eastern part of Suffolk County all the way into Queens. This led to stashing a preponderance of the region’s Republican voters in Rep. Andrew Garbarino’s (R-Sayville) South Shore 2nd District. The concept then allowed the map architects to make Districts 3 and 4, both open in 2022 with Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) running unsuccessfully for governor and Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) retiring, safely Democratic. The court undid this design.

Now, the 1st District returns to a Suffolk County anchored seat, a CD that Republican Nick LaLota, a former local official and Navy veteran, won to succeed Rep. Zeldin. Rep. Garbarino is back but with a less Republican South Shore seat, which then created a marginal North Shore District 3 seat that Republican George Santos won 54-46 percent in a domain that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates D+4.

The biggest surprise in New York, and perhaps the country, came in Rep. Rice’s open 4th CD, where Republican Anthony D’Esposito defeated heavily favored Democrat Laura Gillen, 52-48 percent, in a district that actually became more Democratic under the court map at D+10.

The other Republican gains came in the Hudson Valley, where state Assemblyman Mike Lawler (R-South Salem) upset Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) in a D+7 District 17, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R) rebounded from a special congressional election loss in August to claim a 51-49 percent win in a new 19th District rated as R+1.

In the 18th District, state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R) came within a percentage point of sweeping the Hudson Valley seats for the GOP, but Rep. Pat Ryan (D-Gardiner) held onto the 18th CD seat after he had won the 19th District special election three months earlier.

The Republican victory string ended with tech executive Brandon Williams (R) defeating former intelligence officer Francis Conole (D) by a percentage point to hold the open Syracuse seat, and former New York Republican Party Nick Langworthy easily won the new 23rd District from which Rep. Reed resigned and Rep. Joe Sempolinski (R-Canisteo) is serving as a caretaker.

The New York 2022 election cycle illustrates just how important map drawing and judicial decisions are in determining US House elections. The New York courts, for example, created a much more competitive political playing field, which certainly led to different results than we would have seen under the legislature’s partisan draw.

Considering that the US Supreme Court is likely to make landmark Voting Rights Act rulings on the Alabama and North Carolina cases before June ends next year, we will likely see new redistricting maps being drawn in several states, and New York could be one of those places. Any newly constructed map would take effect in the 2024 election. A major Supreme Court decision will add yet another dimension to what already promises to be another hot House campaign cycle coming in the new term.

Nevada & Georgia Will Decide Senate Majority; House Majority Still in Limbo & Colorado Holds the Key

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

Senate

Can former Nevada Attorney General and 2022 Senate candidate, Adam Laxalt (R) pull out a win in the Silver State?

Senate: Nevada & Georgia to Decide Majority — With Sen. Ron Johnson (R) being projected the winner of the Wisconsin Senate race, it means that deciding the Senate majority will likely come down to either the Democrats coming from behind to prevail in Nevada or having to wait to see who wins the Dec. 6 runoff in the Georgia Senate race.

With Sen. Mark Kelly (D) poised to win his yet-to-be-called race in Arizona, whether or not the trends change in Nevada will be the next happening to observe. Currently, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) leads Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by just under two percentage points, or 15,812 votes with approximately 84 percent of the vote recorded.

CNN has projected that the Georgia race between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker will advance to a secondary runoff election because neither man will reach the 50 percent plateau. Currently, with 99 percent of the votes tabulated, Sen. Warnock’s edge over Walker is 49.2 to 48.7 percent, a margin of 17,500 votes.

House

House: Majority Count in Limbo — Several congressional race projection calls were issued yesterday, and Republicans now have 209 declared seats as compared to the Democrats’ 191. Of the 35 uncalled, 17 are clearly headed to one party or the other. The 18 uncalled campaigns that are purely undecided will put the final touches on the House majority. At this point, the Republicans reasonably look to have clinched 212 seats and the Democrats’ 204 before the final 19 seats are finally declared.

Colorado: Key to Majority — With the House majority definitely on the line, and the winning party ending close to the 218 minimum control mark, two races in the Centennial State of Colorado could be key to determining the final outcome.

In the state’s western slope 3rd District, controversial Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), who has been trailing her Democratic opponent, former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch, since the beginning of the count has now pulled to within just 64 votes with still many votes outstanding. According to the CNN count, five percent of the vote remains.

Colorado received a new district in national reapportionment and the new 8th District is acting just as it was intended, as a toss-up seat. The latest count finds Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Eastlake) leading state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld County) by 899 votes. This race, too, has tightened and CNN reports that only 78 percent of the vote is counted.

New York: Red Wave on Long Island — Though we did not see a “red wave” materialize nationally, we surprisingly saw one on Long Island. In fact, the Island’s two Democratic open seats flipped, the third remained in the Republican column, and Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) was re-elected to a second term.

With Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) not seeking re-election in order to campaign for governor, Republican Nick LaLota was declared the winner of his open 1st District, the east Long Island open seat. In the 3rd District, also open because the incumbent, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), unsuccessfully ran for governor and lost the Democratic primary to incumbent Kathy Hochul, Republican George Santos was declared the winner.

Finally, in what proved to be the Island’s biggest upset, former Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito will succeed retiring Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), who chose not to seek a fifth term. D’Esposito was declared the victor over former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Guillen (D), who was considered a big favorite in the D+10-rated district.

Single Digit Difference in Washington Senate Race; Similarly Tight Races in Nevada House Races; NY Gov. Candidates in Close Battle, Too

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022

Senate

Washington Senate race challenger Tiffany Smiley (R)

Washington: Tight Single Digits Confirmed — We now see two separate polling firms coming to the conclusion that the Washington Senate race, always on the periphery of competitiveness, is closing in challenger Tiffany Smiley’s (R) favor.

The Trafalgar Group poll (Oct. 25-28; 1,207 likely Washington general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) released their results finding Sen. Patty Murray’s (D) lead over Smiley dropping to a bare 49-48 percent. Insider Advantage, in their one-day flash poll on Oct. 31 (550 likely Washington general election voters) sees a very similar 48-46 percent split. The IA polling analysis suggests a post-televised debate surge of independent voters to Smiley accounts for the status change.

House

FL-4: Senate President Pro Tem Cruising in Congressional Race — The Republican-drawn congressional map created a new open seat in the Jacksonville area that is poised to elect a new Republican member. A just-released University of Northern Florida survey (Oct. 20-27; 413 likely FL-4 general election voters) suggests that the draw will remain true. The poll finds state Senate President Pro Tempore Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) leading businesswoman LaShonda Holloway (D) by a double-digit margin, 50-38 percent. Bean was an easy winner in the Republican primary and should have little problem adding this seat to the GOP column next week.

Nevada: Underlying House Numbers Looking Good for GOP — We’ve seen a plethora of polling for the Nevada statewide races, and most numbers during the last month has shown the Republican candidates either tied or slightly ahead with the Democratic incumbents below 50 percent. But, we’ve seen very little data concerning the three competitive Las Vegas congressional districts.

Emerson College just released their polling results in the three districts from surveys taken during the Oct. 26-29 period, sampling between 480 to 530 likely voters. In the 1st District, Republican Mark Robertson (R) has a commanding 54-42 percent lead over incumbent Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) — a very surprising result. At the time of the legislature passing redistricting, however, Titus warned that the new 1st District draw would endanger her.

In the new 3rd, Republican April Becker has a smaller, but substantial, 52-47 percent lead over two-term Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas). In the slightly more Democratic 4th CD, incumbent Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) claims a slight 51-48 percent edge over Republican businessman Sam Peters.

New Hampshire: Two Latest Polls Flip Races — The latest two polls in New Hampshire’s pair of congressional districts see flipped results in both races. Last week, we reported on the co/efficient research organization’s surveys over the Oct. 25-26 period that saw Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) leading Republican Karoline Leavitt in the 1st District race, 48-44 percent, while they found GOP challenger Robert Burns edging Rep. Annie Kuster (D-Hopkinton/Concord), 44-43 percent, in the 2nd District race.

St. Anselm College, a regular New Hampshire polling entity, released the results of their set of Oct. 28-29 surveys earlier this week, and they produce opposite results. In the 1st District, St. A’s sees Leavitt pulling ahead of Rep. Pappas in the district that has defeated more incumbents than any seat in the country since 2004, by a surprising 51-45 percent count. In District 2, St. Anselm posts Rep. Kuster to a 50-42 percent advantage over Burns. Once again, we see different pollsters arriving at differing results for the same races. Compiling the data suggests that both of these swing races are too close to call.

Governor

New York: Seriously Tight — US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) has now clearly made the governor’s race into a tight contest according to a pair of polling firms, although a third disagrees. Three more polls were released testing his candidacy against that of Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), and two of the results find a virtual tie.

KA Consulting (Oct. 27-29; 501 likely New York voters; live interview) finds Gov. Hochul’s lead to be only 46-45 percent, while the Trafalgar Group (Oct. 27-31; 1,198 likely New York voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Rep. Zeldin actually pulling into a lead by just under one full percentage point. Conversely, Emerson College’s results (Oct. 28-31; 1,000 likely New York voters; multiple sampling techniques) claims that Gov. Hochul maintains a lead well beyond the polling margin of error at 52-44 percent. We will see which firms are closer to the end result in less than a week.

First Early Vote Report; NY Judge Nixes Pre-Election Absentee Ballot Counting, Zeldin Gains Momentum; Grassley’s Lead More Comfortable

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022

Voting

Target Smart: First Early Vote Report — The Target Smart data organization has released their first major report highlighting the earliest of early voting figures (through Oct. 19). Though the pre-election ballot casting cycle still has multiple days remaining for the 45 states that employ some form of an early voting procedure, we already see turnout figures very similar to the 2020 partisan voting pattern.

In the Senate battleground states, Target Smart has recorded over 2.7 million ballots already cast. This is just under one-third the number of people who voted early in these states back in 2020 and already a half-million more than the total early votes cast in the 2018 midterm.

At this point, it appears that the partisan early vote complexion nationally and in the battleground states is similar to what we saw unfold in 2020. Therefore, if Republicans are headed for a significant bump in this midterm turnout, it is not yet evident from the preliminary early voting reports.

New York: Judge Strikes Down Absentee Ballot Pre-Election Counting — New York is already one of the slowest ballot counting states, and a judicial ruling rendered on Friday will likely lead to an even slower count. The legislature and governor had enacted a law that allowed election officials to count the received absentee ballots before the election with the caveat that no results were released. The judicial ruling struck down this new law, saying such a process is unconstitutional under New York law. Therefore, we can count on not receiving final returns until some six weeks post-election day.

Senate

Iowa: Sen. Grassley’s More Comfortable Lead — On the heels of the Des Moines Register/ Selzer & Company poll (Oct. 9-12; 620 likely Iowa voters) that found Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) holding only a three-point lead over retired Navy Adm. Michael Franken (D), The Tarrance Group followed with their own study. This poll (Oct. 15-19; 600 likely Iowa general election voters; live interview) restores the senator to a double-digit lead, 53-42 percent. Still, this is a competitive contest and a race to watch in this election cycle’s final days.

Washington: Big Conflict — Once again, we see two polling firms testing at exactly the same time in the same Senate race (Oct. 19-20) but arriving at radically different conclusions. Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute (782 likely Washington voters; live interview & text) sees Sen. Patty Murray (D) topping Republican Tiffany Smiley, 52-42 percent, which is consistent with most other surveys and the Aug. 2 jungle primary vote (Murray 54-Smiley 32 percent). Conversely, the co/efficient firm (1,181 likely Washington voters; live interview & text) sees only a three-point margin between the two candidates, 48-45 percent, in the senator’s favor.

Survey USA was also in the field during the similar period (Oct. 14-19; 589 likely Washington voters; online) and they split the difference between PPP and co/efficient. S-USA returned a 49-41 percent Murray advantage. Though this race has several times touched upon competitiveness, the jungle primary and Washington voter history again suggests an impending victory for Sen. Murray.

Governor

New York: Rep. Zeldin Takes Lead — The last week has brought new data regarding the New York governor’s race. Several pollsters are suggesting that US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) is gaining momentum against Gov. Kathy Hochul (D). The co/efficient firm (Oct. 18-19; 1,056 likely New York general election voters; live interview & text) reports their ballot test showing, for the first time, Rep. Zeldin taking a one-point, 46-45 percent, lead.

The five previously released October polls saw Rep. Zeldin trailing by 8 (Marist College), 6 (Schoen Cooperman Research), 11 (Siena College), 4 (Quinnipiac University), and 6 points (Survey USA). Now, co/efficient takes him to a one-point edge. It appears that the New York governor’s race is heading toward an interesting conclusion.

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.