Tag Archives: Sen. Mike Lee

Early Voting Open in Four States; Sen. Bennet Up Comfortably in Colorado; Utah Senate Polling Shows Close Results; Florida House Turmoil

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022

Voting

Early voting has begun in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Voting Begins: Early Voting Open in Four States — The first general election votes of the 2022 election cycle will be received soon. The early voting calendar has opened in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming. Ballots have been mailed to voters in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, so we can expect to see early voting commence in those two states, as well.

Most of the states return to their pre-2020 voting status, since the court-ordered Covid related universal mailing voting rules were in effect only for the previous election year unless the state enacted new electoral procedures in their 2021-22 legislative session. Even though the universal mail balloting provisions revert to previous law, 45 states now feature some type of early voting procedure.

Senate

Colorado: Sen. Bennet Up Comfortably — Emerson College tested the Centennial State electorate (Sept. 18-19; 1,000 likely Colorado general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and found Sen. Michael Bennet (D) leading GOP businessman Joe O’Dea by a ten-point, 46-36 percent, margin. Republicans have tagged this race as an upset possibility, but this poll shows little weakness for the Democratic incumbent who is seeking his third full term.

Utah: Another Close Result — Polling data suggests that the Utah Senate race is the closest campaign that attracts the least national attention. A new Dan Jones & Associates survey for the Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics (Sept. 3-21; 815 registered Utah voters; 786 likely general election voters) finds Sen. Mike Lee (R) ahead of Independent Evan McMullin by only a 37-34 percent margin. Though this poll has a very long sampling period, which adversely affects accuracy, it is consistent with some others we’ve seen of this race.

Early in September, both Impact Research and Kurt Jetta, polling for the Center Street PAC, found the candidates languishing within a combined four-point range. Impact Research actually found McMullen claiming a one-point edge.

Back in April, the majority of Utah Democratic Party convention delegates voted not to field a candidate for the purpose of coalescing behind McMullin. Though he is more conservative than what most of the delegates would have desired in a candidate, they did want to see McMullin have a one-on-one shot to challenge Sen. Lee.

House

FL-22: Rep. Deutch Announces Resignation Plans — In February, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) announced that he would leave the House before the end of the current legislative session in order to assume the leadership of the American Jewish Committee. At the time, Deutch said he would leave sometime on or around Oct. 1. Late last week, the congressman confirmed he will officially resign his seat before the end of September.

It is unlikely that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will have the time to call a special election to replace Deutch for a probable lame duck session since Florida law dictates a relatively long voting schedule period once such an election is called. Therefore, with the party nominations having been decided in the Aug. 23 primary, the new 23rd District will remain open until the new Congress convenes on Jan. 3, 2023. In the open seat general election, Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz (D) is favored over Republican Joe Budd in a South Florida district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates D+9.

DeSantis Comfortably Ahead in Fla; Conflicting Results in Ga. Senate; McMullin Lead Reversed in Utah

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 23, 2022

Governor

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)

Florida: DeSantis Comfortably Ahead — We haven’t seen a Florida governor’s poll in weeks that showed enough change to report upon, but yesterday we two were almost simultaneously released. Both largely confirmed that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has a lead beyond the polling margin of error.

Civiqs, polling for the Daily Kos Elections site (Sept. 17-20; 617 likely Florida general election voters; online), posts the governor to a 52-45 percent advantage over former governor and recently resigned Congressman Charlie Crist (D). Suffolk University (Sept. 15-18; 500 likely Florida general election voters; live interview) derived similar results. They project the governor’s lead to be 48-41 percent over Crist.

Senate

Georgia: Conflicting Results — Continuing the seesaw political affair between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and former NFL and University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R), we reported yesterday that the new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll (Sept. 5-16; 861 likely Georgia general election voters) finds Walker leading Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), 46-44 percent.

Later in the day, YouGov, polling for CBS News (Sept. 14-19; 1,148 registered Georgia voters; online) released their Georgia survey that pushed voters to make a Senate race choice, and found the same two-point margin but in Sen. Warnock’s favor, 51-49 percent. The exhaustive poll asked 72 questions, and while Sen. Warnock is clearly more favorably viewed than Walker, the vote continues to remain virtually even. The University of Georgia and YouGov/CBS News surveys are even more evidence that the Georgia Senate campaign will be decided in a turnout battle.

Utah: McMullin Lead Reversed — It took awhile to rebuff the Impact Research group’s early September poll that posted Independent Evan McMullin to a 48-47 percent lead over two-term Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R), but we now see conflicting looks as to what may be happening in this largely under-the-radar Senate challenge. OnMessage (Sept. 13-15; 700 likely Utah voters; live interview), polling for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), reports Sen. Lee to be holding a 51-34 percent advantage, a major difference from the Impact Research survey of two weeks earlier.

Following OnMessage, Lighthouse Research (Aug. 30-Sept. 13; 509 likely Utah voters), polling for the Utah Debate Commission, sees the senator holding a similar 48-37 percent margin over McMullin. Utah’s strongly Republican voting history suggests that these two latter polls finding Sen. Lee holding a substantial edge are likely more reflective of what will happen on Election Day.

House

WA-3: GOP Rebound — In late August, Expedition Strategies released a survey (Sept. 19-20; 400 likely WA-3 general election voters) that was cause for concern among local southwest Washington GOP activists and supporters. After Republican Joe Kent and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez denied Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) advancement into the general election from the Aug. 2 jungle primary, ES released their survey that gave the Democrat a 47-45 percent lead in the general election.

Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute, (Sept. 19-20; 834 WA-3 voters; live interview & text) now projects Kent to have overtaken Perez with a slight 47-44 percent margin. The WA-3 race is a must-win for the GOP if they are to reclaim the House majority, so this race merits further national attention.

Sen. Warnock Back Ahead in Georgia; Utah: Response Results; Sen. Johnson Rebounds in Wisconsin

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Sept. 19, 2022

Senate

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

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Back Ahead — After several polls were released showing Republican Herschel Walker topping Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), Quinnipiac University publicized their most recent Georgia poll (Sept. 8-12; 1,278 likely Georgia voters) that projects a different conclusion. Not only does the Q-Poll place Sen. Warnock back into the lead, but the margin, 52-46 percent, is larger than any regular poll released since July. More will have to be seen in order to determine if a new trend is forming or if the Q-Poll is an anomaly.

Utah: Response Poll — Last week’s surprise Impact Research poll that showed Independent challenger Evan McMullin leading Sen. Mike Lee (R) by a slight 47-46 percent margin has now been countered, at least to a degree. The Center Street PAC released the results of their new Utah survey (Sept. 6-9; 563 likely Utah general election voters) that posts Sen. Lee to only a 43-39 percent edge. The Utah Democratic Party did not field a candidate in order to coalesce behind McMullin. The move allowed McMullin a head-to-head match-up with the two-term incumbent, and it appears, at least in the short term, that the strategy to make this a competitive race has worked.

Wisconsin: Sen. Johnson Rebounds — After seeing a series of three post-primary surveys where Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) held a lead over Sen. Ron Johnson (R), the regular Marquette Law School Wisconsin poll (Sept. 6-11; 801 registered Wisconsin voters; live interview) finds the incumbent forging a one-point edge, 49-48 percent. Lagging in the polls is nothing new for Sen. Johnson. In 2016, 30 polls were conducted of the Wisconsin Senate race according to the Real Clear Politics polling archive, and Sen. Johnson trailed in 29; yet, on election night, he claimed a three-point victory.

Though he was behind in most of the polling this year, the margins are much closer than in 2016, and Sen. Johnson has now already captured a lead. Compared to his last race against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D), the two-term incumbent appears to be in much better political shape in this election campaign.

Governor

Wisconsin: Gov. Evers in Toss-Up Campaign — The Marquette Law School Wisconsin poll (see Wisconsin Senate race above) also finds a tight governor’s race. The MU survey posts Gov. Tony Evers (D) to a 47-44 percent lead over GOP nominee and businessman Tim Michels. If the undercount of Republican voters that has been present in recent Wisconsin races is again in evidence, Michels could already effectively be in a dead even race.

Tight Polls in Arizona; Independent Fairs Well in Utah; More Alaska Ranked Choice Voting Analysis

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022

Senate

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly (D)

Arizona: Two Tight Polls — In the 2020 special US Senate election, then-candidate Mark Kelly (D) consistently ran ahead of then-Sen. Martha McSally (R) and by an average of 7.1 percentage points in 21 polls conducted from Oct. 1 to Election Day, but only won the race, 51-49 percent. In the 2020 cycle, we see much closer polling as two new surveys exemplify.

The pair of studies, both taken during the Sept. 6-7 period, are from Emerson College (627 likely Arizona voters; multiple sampling techniques) and the Republican research firm Insider Advantage (550 likely Arizona voters). Emerson finds the race well within the polling margin of error at 47-45 percent, while the IA result projects a 45-39 percent division. Both post Sen. Kelly leading Republican nominee and venture capitalist Blake Masters.

Utah: Another Independent Faring Well — Utah Independent US Senate candidate Evan McMullin released a Democratic firm’s poll that yields him a one-point edge. Impact Research (Aug. 29-Sept. 1; 800 likely Utah general election voters) found McMullin leading Sen. Mike Lee (R) by a 47-46 percent margin. Sen. Lee quickly countered with re-releasing his early August WPA Intelligence poll that saw him holding a major 50-32 percent advantage. Expect the Lee campaign to soon release more recent data.

House

AK-AL: More Ranked Choice Analysis — The Fair Vote organization, which is the principal promoter of the Ranked Choice Voting system, released a further analysis of the RCV vote in the Alaska special election that elected Democrat Mary Peltola, even though she attracted only 40 percent of the actual vote. The Ranked Choice advocates claim the system rewards the candidate who has the broadest support, but it tends to do the opposite since candidates with minority support have won most of the major races where the system has been used.

The analysis suggests that had candidate Nick Begich III been opposite Peltola in the final round instead of former governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, he would have won the race. The Fair Vote analysis reveals that 59 percent of the Palin vote would have gone Begich’s way — as opposed to Palin gaining only 50.3 percent of the Begich second choice votes. The bigger difference, however, was Peltola attracting only six percent of the Palin second-choice votes as compared to the 28 percent she received from Begich voters.

What the analysis fails to include, however, are the more than 11,000 Begich voters whose ballots were not counted in the second round. The analysis claims those people simply didn’t make an additional ranked choice, but in reality, it may be due to a lack of understanding the confusing system. In other places, attorneys who have challenged the system report that most ballots are disqualified because the voter inaccurately completed the ballot. Since Palin lost by 5,219 votes, more than 11,000 non-counted Begich ballots could have made the difference, and it is likely that a large number of these had their ballots disqualified as opposed to not making a choice. Therefore, the Fair Vote conclusion that Palin lost because the Begich voters eschewed her may not be entirely accurate.

Governor

Arizona: Evolving Dead Heat Race — The aforementioned pair of Arizona polls from Emerson College and Insider Advantage (see Arizona Senate race above) forecasts an even closer race for governor than they do for US Senate. Emerson College projects a straight tie between Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and former Phoenix news anchor Kari Lake (R), with both candidates posting 46 percent support scores. Insider Advantage finds a similar result with Hobbs leading by the slightest of margins, 44-43 percent.

Senate & House Dollar Report Charts;
Sen. Lee’s Lead in Utah Eroding

By Jim Ellis — July 22, 2022

Senate

Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R)

Utah: McMullin Drawing Closer — Dan Jones & Associates, polling for the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah (July 11-13; 801 registered Utah voters), projects Sen. Mike Lee (R) to have only a 41-36 percent lead over Independent Evan McMullin. This is the closest general election poll reported in the current election cycle.

The Democrats coalesced behind McMullin instead of fielding a candidate of their own. The move looks to be working since Sen. Lee would be faring better in a three-way race with a Democratic candidate peeling away from McMullin. Sen. Lee is likely in better position that this one poll indicates, but the Utah race is certainly beginning to attract some national attention.

Dollar Report: Hot Senate Races — Now that the June 30 Federal Election Commission disclosure reports have been released, we can measure the financial wherewithal of the candidates in the most competitive Senate races. In each instance, the top fundraising challenger is the point race listed against an incumbent or open seat contender. The listed category is cash-on-hand at the June 30 reporting deadline:

Alaska: Sen. Murkowski (R): $6.1 million Kelly Tshibaka (R): $1.08 million
Arizona: Sen. Kelly (D): $24.9 million Jim Lamon (R): $2.1 million
Florida: Sen. Rubio (R): $14.6 million Val Demings (D): $12.6 million
Georgia: Sen. Warnock (D): $22.2 million Herschel Walker (R): $6.8 million
Iowa: Sen. Grassley (R): $4.0 million Michael Franken (D): $1.1 million
Missouri: Vicky Hartzler (R): $1.5 million Lucas Kunce (D): $871,000
North Carolina: Cheri Beasley (D): $4.8 million Ted Budd (R): $1.8 million
New Hampshire: Sen. Hassan (D): $7.4 million Chuck Morse (R): $975,000
Nevada: Sen. Masto (D): $9.8 million Adam Laxalt (R): $2.1 million
Ohio: Tim Ryan (D): $3.6 million J.D. Vance (R): $629,000
Pennsylvania: John Fetterman (D): $5.5 million Mehmet Oz (R): $1.1 million
Utah: Sen. Lee (R): $2.5 million Evan McMullin (I): $1.3 million
Washington: Sen. Murray (D): $7.5 million Tiffany Smiley (R): $3.5 million
Wisconsin: Sen. Johnson (R): $3.6 million Mandela Barnes (D): $1.5 million

Source for $ figures: Daily Kos Elections Blog

House

PA-13: Ex-Rep. Critz Returns — Former Congressman Mark Critz (D), who represented the Johnstown anchored 12th District from May of 2010 when he won a special election to replace the late Rep. John Murtha (D), until his defeat in the 2012 regular election, will be back on the ballot in November. The Pennsylvania Board of Elections has ruled that Critz received enough write-in votes during the May primary election to qualify as the Democratic nominee in the 13th CD that incumbent John Joyce (R-Hollidaysburg) represents. Though Rep. Joyce is a prohibitive favorite in the R+49 district, the Democrats now have a credible standard bearer for the general election.

Dollar Report: Paired & Special House Races — Similar to the above report on the most competitive Senate races, we also look at the resource counts from the June 30 reports for the four races featuring paired incumbents and four in special elections. Two pairings are in nomination mode, with the remaining two as inter-party general election pairings. All four special elections are in the general election mode. Again, the financial number listed is the cash-on-hand amount each candidate held at the June 30 reporting deadline.

PAIRINGS

Aug. 2 Primary:
MI-11: Rep. Haley Stevens (D): $1.8 million Rep. Andy Levin (D): $1.1 million
Aug. 23 Primary:
NY-12: Rep. Caroyln Maloney (D): $2.1 million Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D): $1.2 million
Nov. 8 General Election:
FL-2: Rep. Neil Dunn (R): $763,000 Rep. Al Lawson (D): $412,000
TX-34: Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D): $1.4 million Rep. Mayra Flores (R): $114,000

Specials

Aug. 9 Special General:
MN-1: Jeff Ettinger (D): $548,000 Brad Finstad (R): $334,000
Aug. 16 Special General:
AK-AL: Nick Begich, III (R): $708,000 Mary Peltola (D): $115,000
Aug. 23 Special General:
NY-19: Marc Molinaro (R): $996,000 Pat Ryan (D)*: $576,000
NY-23: Joe Sempolinski (R): $173,000 Max Della Pia (D): $89,000

*Note: Pat Ryan is also running in the contested Democratic primary for the 18th Congressional District nomination on the same day as the 19th CD’s special election

Source for $ figures: Daily Kos Elections Blog