Tag Archives: Utah

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

Casten and Miller Win in Illinois; Colorado Statewide Races Set;
More Primary Results News

By Jim Ellis — June 29, 2022

Primary Results

Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove)

Illinois: Reps. Casten and Miller Win — The big news from last night’s primary election surrounded the two paired districts. In the Chicago suburbs, Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove), who unexpectedly lost his 17-year-old daughter just two weeks ago, scored a landslide win over fellow Rep. Marie Newman (D-La Grange) in the new 6th District that contained more of the latter member’s current turf.

Freshman Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland)

In the downstate Republican 15th CD, freshman Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland), armed with an endorsement and rally appearance from former President Donald Trump, recorded a decisive 57-43 percent over veteran Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville). Davis will now see his congressional career draw to a close after serving what will be ten years in the House.

The Democratic pairing occurred in order to create a new Chicago-anchored Hispanic district. State Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) easily won the Democratic nomination in this seat, and becomes the prohibitive favorite for the general election. State Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) won an outright majority with 57 percent of the vote opposite five opponents in the governor’s primary. He advances to the general election to oppose incumbent J. B. Pritzker (D). Conservative activist Kathy Salvi won the Republican Senate nomination, and now faces a likely insurmountable opponent in Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D).

Colorado: Statewide Races Set — As expected, University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl captured the Republican gubernatorial nomination with a 53 percent majority over GOP nominating convention winner Greg Lopez. In the Senate contest, as most predicted, construction company owner Joe O’Dea defeated state Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose) with just under 55 percent of the vote. Like Lopez, Rep. Hanks also won the Republican nominating convention endorsement.

The two will advance to the general election against Gov. Jared Polis (D) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D). Neither incumbent was opposed for re-nomination and both are now heavy favorites to win re-election in November.

MS-3 and 4: Guest Wins; Palazzo Loses — As predicted, despite a scare in the primary election, Mississippi 3rd District Rep. Michael Guest (R-Brandon) easily won re-nomination last night in the Mississippi congressional runoff election. He topped challenger Michael Cassidy with two-thirds of more than 70,000 votes that were cast in last night’s election. Rep. Guest will now have an easy run in the general election.

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Biloxi) was not so fortunate in his southern Mississippi 4th CD. He failed to overcome Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell and lost his seat in a 54-46 percent count. Palazzo becomes the eighth House incumbent to be denied re-nomination and the fourth who lost to a challenger that was not a fellow incumbent forced into a paired district. Sheriff Ezell is now the heavy favorite to win the seat in November.

NE-1: Flood Wins Special — Another special congressional election was held last night, and this result ended in a closer final tally than originally expected. Nebraska state Sen. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk), a media company owner, claimed the seat with a 53-47 percent victory over fellow state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks (D-Lincoln) in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+17.

Flood will be sworn into the House upon official election certification. He will replace convicted Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Lincoln). Rep-Elect Flood and Sen. Pansing Brooks will see each other again. Both are the party nominees for the regular general election in November.

New York: Hochul vs. Zeldin — The New York statewide contests also ended as expected. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who ascended from the lieutenant governor’s position when Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned, easily defeated NYC Public advocate Jumaane Williams and US Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), 68-19-13 percent. Williams was unopposed for the Working Families ballot line, so he will advance into the general election despite his loss last night.

The Republican battle was a bit closer. US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley; East Long Island) topped Andrew Giuliani, son of ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in a 44-23 percent split. Former Westchester County executive and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino and businessman Harry Wilson recorded 18 and 15 percent, respectively. Gov. Hochul begins the general election as the decided favorite.
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Lee Ahead in Utah; Louisiana Redistricting; Tight Gubernatorial Race in New Mexico

By Jim Ellis — June 23, 2022

Senate

Utah Sen. Mike Lee

Utah: Sen. Lee Well Ahead in Latest Survey — Coming on the heels of a Dan Jones & Associates survey (May 24-June4; 810 registered Utah voters) that found Sen. Mike Lee (R) holding only a 41-37 percent lead over Independent Evan McMullin, who has coalesced with the Democrats, a new WPA Intelligence poll puts the senator in much better position. According to the WPA results (June 14-16; 300 likely Utah general election voters) the senator’s lead is 52-33 percent.

Both surveys have issues. The Dan Jones poll has a very long sampling period and is of registered and not likely voters. The WPAi survey has a sampling university of only 300 individuals, which is low for a statewide study in Utah.

Redistricting

Louisiana: Federal Judge to Draw New Black Seat — Federal Judge Shelly Dick, since the legislature did not produce a new congressional map that adds a second black district to the delegation by her imposed June 20 deadline, says she will draw such a map before June 29. Currently, the Louisiana delegation stands at 5R-1D, with the one Democratic seat being majority black and stretching from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. The move will likely add a Democratic district to the delegation and cost the Republicans a seat. Republicans have asked the US Supreme Court to stay Judge Dick’s ruling, but so far the high court has not taken any action.

Governor

New Mexico: A Pair of Polls Predict Tight Gov Contest — A pair of new surveys coming from two different polling organizations simultaneously arrived at virtually the same conclusion — that is, that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and challenger Mark Ronchetti (R) are already in a toss-up campaign.

Public Policy Polling, surveying for the New Mexico Political Report (June 13-14; 642 New Mexico voters; live interview & text), finds Gov. Lujan Grisham topping Ronchetti, a former Albuquerque weatherman who was the 2020 Republican US Senate nominee, by only a 45-42 percent margin. The closeness is confirmed and then some from an internal Public Opinion Strategies poll that the Ronchetti campaign released. According to this study (June 11-14; 600 likely New Mexico general election voters; live interview), Ronchetti holds a tight one-point lead, 46-45 percent. The New Mexico gubernatorial race is quickly becoming a key nationally watched race.

Utah’s Sen. Lee in Competitive Primary; Cheney’s Tumbling Numbers in WY

By Jim Ellis — June 13, 2022

Senate

Utah: McMullin Competitive with Sen. Lee — A new Dan Jones & Associates survey for the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics (May 24-June 4; 810 registered Utah voters; live interview) suggests that the Utah Democrats’ move to forego fielding their own party nominee and instead coalescing behind Independent former presidential candidate Evan McMullin was the right course of action. The general election ballot test finds Sen. Mike Lee leading McMullin only 41-37 percent. It is probable that Sen. Lee is in better standing than this poll indicates, but it does appear that the Democrats’ coalition move apparently makes this race significantly more competitive.

House

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), one of 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.

WY-AL: Rep. Cheney Decimated in New Poll — A new survey from the Fabrizio Lee & Associates firm conducted for the Wyoming Values PAC (June 1-2; 400 likely Wyoming Republican primary voters; live interview and text of a repeat universe from the Dec. 14-15 poll) reveals a brewing landslide for challenger Harriet Hageman in her Aug. 16 Republican primary contest with at-large US Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson/Jackson). The poll shows just how upset the Wyoming Republican voter base is with Rep. Cheney, as her personal favorability of 26:73 percent favorable to unfavorable is even worse than her atrocious job approval rating of 27:70 percent.

On the ballot test, Hageman leads the congresswoman 56-28 percent with state Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Laramie) trailing badly at the eight percent support level. This is a significant improvement for Hageman, who led in the December poll only 34-26 percent. The Fabrizio Lee numbers are also consistent with a recent Club for Growth survey that found an almost identical 56-28 percent division in favor of Hageman.

AL-5: New Runoff Data — The May 24 open 5th Congressional District Republican primary ended with Madison County Commission chairman Dale Strong and former Assistant US Army Secretary Casey Wardynski advancing into a June 21 runoff. Strong led in the first vote, 45-23 percent, which was five points short of clinching the party nomination outright. The Cygnal research organization conducted their survey (June 4-6; 400 likely AL-5 GOP runoff voters) and it posts Strong to a 46-31 percent lead, similar to the actual primary election’s finish. The winner replaces current representative and US Senate contender Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in the northern Alabama congressional district.

AK-AL: Special Primary Election — The special primary, the first step in replacing the late Rep. Don Young (R-Ft. Yukon), will be held Saturday. Voting in the all-mail primary has been going on for the past several weeks, and is scheduled to culminate this weekend. The huge field of 48 candidates, all placed on the same ballot in a jungle primary format, will be whittled to four, as the state’s new top-four qualification system is in use for the first time.

It appears likely that former governor and 2008 vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, party-endorsed Republican candidate Nick Begich III, and Independent surgeon Al Gross, who was the 2020 Democratic nominee for Senate, will advance into the special general election to be held concurrently with the regular state primary on Aug. 16. The fourth qualifying position appears up for grabs, with Anchorage Democratic City Assemblyman Chris Constant, state Sen. Josh Revak (R-Anchorage), who Anne Young, the late congressman’s widow, endorses, state Rep. Adam Wool (R-Fairbanks), and several others all vying for the final chance to slip into the general election.

The special general will be a regular in-person vote. If no one receives majority support in that election, the Ranked Choice Voting system takes effect. All voters will have ranked their choices from 1-4, and the process continues through rounds and candidate elimination until one contender breaks the 50 percent majority support level.

FL-2: Rep. Lawson Announces Bid — In another indication that the congressional redistricting map Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) drove through the legislature will be the plan at least for the 2022 election despite its legal challenges, Rep. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee), whose 5th District was collapsed in the draw, has announced his re-election intentions. He will challenge GOP Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) in the new 2nd District.

This new 2nd contains Rep. Lawson’s home city of Tallahassee, a Democratic domain, but is also rated as R+16 from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, and earns a 54.5 percent R – 43.8 percent D rating from Dave’s Redistricting App. Former President Trump would have carried this new district 55-44 percent in the 2020 election. Looking at these ratings and numbers suggests that Rep. Lawson has a difficult road ahead of him if he is to return to the House next year.

Democrats Back Independent in Utah; House Race News; Kansas Redistricting Map Rejected

By Jim Ellis

April 28, 2022:

Senate

Utah Independent Senate candidate Evan McMullin

Utah: Democrats Back Independent — The Utah Democratic nominating convention over last weekend voted with a 57 percent majority not to field a party candidate against Sen. Mike Lee (R), but instead form a coalition to back Independent candidate Evan McMullin.

The move was the first of its kind in Utah political history. The delegates clearly agreed with the argument that the party was better coalescing behind McMullin, a 2016 Independent presidential candidate and former Republican who placed a strong third in the state (21.5 percent) behind Republican Donald Trump (45.5 percent) and Democrat Hillary Clinton (27.5 percent than nominating their own Democratic contender. They understood that supporting Democrat Kael Watson and producing a three-way campaign meant a sure victory for Sen. Lee.


House

FL-5: US Rep. Al Lawson May Challenge Fellow Incumbent — Florida US Rep. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee) has difficult choices ahead of him in determining where to seek re-election in the north Florida region. The new Florida congressional map collapses his current district. The Politico publication reports that Lawson is leaning toward challenging Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) in the new 2nd District, an R+16 CD but one that includes Rep. Lawson’s home base of Tallahassee.

MA-4: No Re-Match — Former Brookline Selectwoman Jesse Mermell, who lost the 2020 Democratic primary to current US Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Newton) by just one percentage point, announced that she will not return for a re-match. Therefore, Rep. Auchincloss becomes a prohibitive favorite for re-nomination and re-election. The Massachusetts primary is not until Sept. 6, and the candidate filing deadline is May 31.

MN-1: No Official GOP Endorsement — First Congressional District Republicans convened over the weekend to potentially endorse a candidate in the special election to replace the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Blue Earth/Rochester). Though state Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) attracted 55 percent of the delegate vote, it was not enough to secure the official endorsement. Doing so requires 60 percent. This means we will see an open special election primary on May 24 with no officially endorsed candidate, though Rep. Munson appears to be a clear front runner.

Utah: Two Reps Under-Perform at Convention — US Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo), posted only 41 percent of the convention vote on the first ballot, which was just enough to avoid an embarrassing defeat, since he did not also opt to obtain petition signatures. The later rounds pushed him to 45 percent, but the congressman still must win a Republican primary against the man whom he defeated in a 2017 special election and the 2018 GOP primary, — former state Rep. Chris Herrod. Despite Rep. Curtis’ poor showing at the party convention, he is still expected to win the primary and general elections.

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