Tag Archives: Wisconsin

2022 Midterm Turnout Trends

Click on the graph above or here to see story and full-size image on BALLOTPEDIA

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023

Elections

A Look at the Midterm Numbers — Particularly in low turnout elections, the voter participation figure tends to be definitive as to which party commands the final result. Now that election statistics are final for the 2022 election, we can better analyze the voting patterns and compare them to past trends.

2018 proved to be the highest turnout midterm election in history. In that year, more than 114 million people cast their ballots. The 2022 midterm is now second highest even though voter turnout dropped seven percent from four years previous. In November, just under 106 million total votes were recorded. 

According to the Ballotpedia data organization in their state-by-state turnout recap, 50.33 percent of the eligible voting population participated in 2018 and a commensurate 46.76 percentage is recorded for 2022. By contrast, Ballotpedia finds that 66.8 percent of the eligible voting population participated in the 2020 presidential election. Based upon their calculations, 2020 saw the highest eligible voter turnout in the 21st century.

The Ballotpedia data tells us that the 2022 election’s top five turnout states were Oregon (61.51 percent of the state’s eligible voter figure), Maine (61.46 percent), Minnesota (61.01 percent), Wisconsin (60.1 percent), and Michigan (59.31 percent). 

Conversely, the lowest five turnout states were Tennessee (31.34 percent of the state’s eligible voter figure), Mississippi (32.89 percent), West Virginia (35.66 percent), Alabama (37.74 percent), and Oklahoma (40.11 percent). 

Three of the top turnout states saw a much higher ratio of registered voters casting their ballots when compared to the eligible figures. Maine’s registered voter turnout soared to 75.3 percent, Wisconsin recorded 75.1 percent, and Minnesota reached 69.4 percent. Michigan was one of just 11 states where 2022 turnout exceeded that of 2018.

Except for Tennessee and Alabama, the lowest turnout states also produced substantial increases in registered voter turnout when compared to their eligible voter number. Oklahoma rose to a 50.23 percent participation rate from the registered voter population; Mississippi 44.3 percent; and West Virginia 40.8 percent. Even among registered voters, the Tennessee and Alabama totals failed to reach the 40 percent plateau.

Continue reading

Fox News: Six More Democrat Senators Could Retire

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Jan. 16, 2023

Senate

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) to retire

Retirements: Six Possible — Late last week, Fox News Online ran a story suggesting that six more Democratic senators may opt for retirement in 2024 following the lead of Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), who announced last week that she will not seek a fifth term.

In addition to Sen. Stabenow’s retirement, California Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) declared her Senate candidacy even though incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has yet to disclose her own re-election plans.

With this backdrop, the six senators listed below are (in order of most likely to retire to least):

  1. Dianne Feinstein (CA): It is presumed that Sen. Feinstein, who will turn 91 years of age before the next election, will retire. Some are expressing their belief that Rep. Porter is disrespecting Sen. Feinstein’s long career – elected in 1992, she has served longer than any sitting Democratic member – and is potentially forcing the senator’s hand to make an announcement. With some in the leadership urging her to resign early due to health constraints, it appears evident that she will not seek re-election.
  2. Joe Manchin (WV): With faltering job approval numbers and from a state that is now becoming ruby red politically, speculation has been out there for some time that Sen. Manchin may not seek re-election or could instead attempt to regain his former position as governor. 
    Already, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) has announced that he will challenge Sen. Manchin next year. Gov. Jim Justice (R), who will be term-limited in 2024 and has strong approval numbers, has not closed the door regarding running for the Senate. Polling suggests that both Gov. Justice and Rep. Mooney would begin a race against Sen. Manchin with a definitive advantage.
  3. Bob Casey, Jr. (PA): Last week Sen. Casey announced that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will have surgery in the coming months. He said his prognosis for a full recovery is excellent and plans on seeking re-election. If there is a downturn in his health, however, there is certainly a chance that his campaign plans could be forced to change. For now, Sen. Casey looks to be a sure bet to run for a third term, but unfortunately his precarious health situation could be an impediment to his quest.
  4. Jon Tester (MT): Sen. Tester is beginning to appear on more potential retirement lists, as he did in the Fox News story. Montana, like West Virginia, is another state that is turning solidly Republican making Sen. Tester’s re-election less than a sure thing. 
    The last time he was on the ballot (2018) he defeated current US Congressman Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) by only a 50-47 percent margin in a state that has only grown more conservative since that time. In the 2020 election, Republican candidates won all eight of Montana’s statewide elections with victory margins between nine and 19 percentage points. During the same period, Sen. Tester’s voting record has moved decidedly to the left where he can no longer be considered a centrist incumbent. 
    Additionally, Montana’s other senator, Republican Steve Daines, is now chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), thus guaranteeing that Montana will be a top national GOP target with heavy funding to support the party’s eventual nominee. Therefore, with obvious lucrative opportunities available to Sen. Tester in the private sector, he might decide his future is more appealing on the outside of elective politics than fighting what will likely be a more difficult re-election campaign than he has before experienced.
  5. Tim Kaine (VA): Sen. Kaine, the Democrats’ 2016 vice presidential nominee and former Virginia governor, stands for a third term in 2024. The Fox analysis placed Sen. Kaine on the potential retirement list with the reasoning that Virginia could be moving more to the right, thus suggesting the senator might face a more difficult re-election campaign. 
    Such an analysis is incorrect. Despite Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the 2021 Governor’s race – a two-point win where the last three weeks of the campaign turned decidedly his way under circumstances that are unlikely to be repeated — the state has clearly established itself as a reliable Democratic bastion. Expect Sen. Kaine to run again and face relatively weak opposition. He will likely romp to a decisive re-election victory.
  6. Tammy Baldwin (WI): Sen. Baldwin was placed on the potential retirement list for a reason similar to Sen. Kaine being included. The Fox News analysis cited Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R) tight victory — 50.4 percent with a 26,728-vote margin of 2.65 million ballots cast — as an indication that the state is becoming more favorable to Republicans. 
    This is the first time there has been a hint that Sen. Baldwin is a retirement possibility, and a close 2020 Senate race at the same time a Democratic governor was being re-elected should not be indicative of any future voting trend in a state that either party can win. There is little current reason to think that 60-year-old Sen. Baldwin would retire. Therefore, fully expect her to be on the ballot next year competitively vying for a third term.

Congress Convenes Tomorrow with 93 New Members; Early Reapportionment Projections

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Jan. 2, 2023

Congress

Montana’s Ryan Zinke (R-Whitehall) returns to the House.

New Members: Congress Convenes Tomorrow with 93 New Members — The 118th Congress is sworn into office tomorrow and like all others, this new assemblage is a unique group.

In the House, we see 85 freshmen members coming to Washington, including the dozen who won special elections during the session just ended. Additionally, one former member, Montana’s Ryan Zinke (R-Whitehall) who also served in the Trump Administration as Interior Secretary, returns to the House.

The Senate, exclusively due to retirements along with one appointed member, California Sen. Alex Padilla (D) seeking a full term, will only welcome eight new freshmen since all incumbents seeking re-election were victorious.

Of the 85 new House members, 46 are Republicans while 39 are members of the Democratic Party. Just over one-third of the incoming group will be serving in their first elected position, a total of 31. Conversely, 37 of the House freshmen have previously been elected to their respective state legislatures. The remaining 17 held other elected positions, typically at the local level as county or city officials.

In the Senate, only two of the eight incoming members have never before served in an elective office: Alabama’s Katie Britt (R) and J.D. Vance (R) of Ohio.

States

Reapportionment: Early Projections — Apparently, it is not too early to begin discussing which states may gain and lose representation in the 2030 census. The first concrete projections have been publicized based upon the country’s current growth trends since the 2020 census was completed.

No real surprises were among the first cut, as eight seats are projected to change states. In the 2020 census, only seven seats changed states. The early estimates suggest that Texas will again be the big gainer, with an additional three seats. This would increase the nation’s second largest population state to 41 seats, if the early guesstimates prove accurate. Florida could gain two seats, with Idaho, Utah, and Washington each gaining one seat.

The losing states would again be familiar, as Illinois and New York could be on a path to lose two seats apiece. Pennsylvania would again be slated to lose one. The new losing states would be Connecticut, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, all possibly losing one of their current districts. None of these projections are firm, and much will happen to change the national and regional growth rates in the coming eight years.

2024 Presidential Polls Already Emerging; CNN Exit Polling Numbers; Senate Election Turnout Stats; Sen. Kennedy Planning to Run for Gov?

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

President

Former President Donald Trump; Florida Gov. Ron Desantis (R)

New Polling: Already Testing for 2024 — The House of Representatives isn’t even decided yet, and already we see a series of polls testing newly re-elected Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) pitted against former President Donald Trump. The WPA Intelligence polling series finds the Florida governor opening up big Republican primary leads against Trump in several important nomination states: Iowa (+11), New Hampshire (+15), Texas (+11), Georgia (+20), and of course, Florida (+20). Count on presidential fever going non-stop for the next two years.

Voting

Exit Polling: CNN Releases Results — Though exit polling has not proven particularly accurate in past elections, looking at the results of the organization’s data still has value. A quick glance at the CNN data brings forth a couple of key observations. First, the Independent vote, which polling suggested through most of the election cycle was moving toward the Republicans, came back to the Democrats at election time. Self-described moderates were breaking Democratic, 56-41 percent. Those describing themselves as Independents voted Democratic in a 49-47 percent split. Within the cell segment, Independent women moved toward the Democrats in a 54-42 percent clip.

On the other end of the spectrum, Republicans actually were making their marks with minority voters, at least according to this data. Republicans were able to attract 39 percent of the Hispanic vote, 40 percent among Asians, and 13 percent with black voters. All of these numbers are an improvement from immediate past elections.

Additionally, while all men break toward the Republicans 56-42 percent, all women prefer the Democrats, 53-45 percent. Still, CNN measures that the national vote went Republican in a 51.3 – 46.7 percent swing even though Democrats held the Senate majority and it appears House control will come down to a minimum number of seats.

Senate

Senate States: Key Turnout Stats — Now that we are seeing closer to final turnout numbers in many places, we have derived some interesting participation statistics from the most competitive US Senate states.

In Georgia, the turnout may fall just short of the 4.0 million voters who cast ballots in 2018. The Nevada turnout, projected to just exceed the 1 million mark, will be an approximate four percent increase over 2018. In Wisconsin, once the final turnout report is released will likely show the same relative participation rate as recorded in 2018.

The Pennsylvania turnout looks to be up five percent from 2018. Florida, where Sen. Marco Rubio won an impressive 58-41 percent victory over US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando), who was clearly one of the strongest Democratic candidates in the nation, looks to be six percent under 2018’s total. In Iowa and Ohio, where Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) won an eighth term and Republican J.D. Vance held the open seat over US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown), turnout appears to be down just under nine percent when compared to the 2018 participation rate in both states.

Governor

Louisiana: Sen. Kennedy Releases Poll — Armed with a fresh six years in the Senate with his 62 percent re-election vote against nine opponents, Sen. John Kennedy (R) is now admitting he is considering a run for governor next year when incumbent John Bel Edwards (D) will be ineligible to seek a third term. He then released a Torchlight Strategies poll (Nov. 9-12; 800 likely 2023 Louisiana jungle primary voters; live interview & text) that posted him to a 22-18-13-7-6 percent lead over state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D), attorney general and former Congressman Jeff Landry (R), Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R), and fellow US Sen. Bill Cassidy (R), respectively.

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.

Race Roundup: Closing Trends — Volatile and/or Interesting Races to Watch on Election Day

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2020

With Election Day upon us, we have come to the end of the 2022 cycle; while strategists from both parties are either confidently or reluctantly predicting a Republican victory, not all of the numbers suggest a Red Wave outcome.

Polling generally suggests a good trend for Republicans, but the margin spread is certainly not overwhelming, and under what should be present if this were to become a wave election.

The Biden favorability index is an upside-down 44:53 percent favorable to unfavorable, which is commensurate with Donald Trump’s numbers prior to the 2018 midterm election.

Overall, it does appear that Republicans are well positioned to claim the House majority. The professional and media pollster range is wide and runs from a Republican +14 to +48 seats, but even the low-end prediction would deliver the majority. It is reasonable to believe that the Republican gain factor will be under 30, but this lower number range would still project a comfortable House majority in the new Congress.

The Senate is a flat toss-up with so many races, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all polling within a small single-digit margin. Therefore, predicting the eventual outcome has a high difficulty factor. One point that is predictable, though: count on many of these races going into political overtime. This means it could take days if not more than a week to report a final tally on an inordinate number of close races.

With that said, let’s look at the competitive/volatile/interesting races to watch this Election Day:

Senate

Georgia — The Peach State features one of the top US Senate races, and one of only four Republican major conversion targets. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), who won the special election runoff in 2021, is now running for a full six-year term. His opponent is former University of Georgia and professional football star Herschel Walker (R), and the two will continue to battle until the last vote is counted. Georgia has a majority vote rule, so if neither Sen. Warnock nor Walker reaches 50 percent, the two will advance to a post-election runoff on Dec. 6.

Ohio — The Senate race dominates the Buckeye State political landscape as US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) and author J.D. Vance (R) battle to the last day of this election cycle. Vance has led in most polls, 15 of the last 19 with two ties, but the Democrats appear to be performing slightly better in early voting. Vance has to be rated at least a soft favorite to win today. Ohio is a must-win for the GOP.

Helping Vance is a strong Gov. Mike DeWine (R) at the top of the ticket who is poised to win a landslide victory. Keeping the DeWine coalition consistent for Vance will be a boost that could well propel him to the victory.

Pennsylvania — Possibly the most publicized Senate race in the country, the open contest between Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and television’s Dr. Mehmet Oz (R), could well decide the Senate majority. Many believe that the party carrying Pennsylvania punches their majority ticket. Dr. Oz now leads in most polls after the two met in a highly publicized debate on Oct. 25. Early voting patterns, however, appear to favor the Democrats. Remembering that the Republican primary took about a month to decide because the result was so close, it wouldn’t be surprising to see something similar occur for the general election.

Arizona — The Grand Canyon State is one of the hottest political domains in the country. A now toss-up Senate race featuring Sen. Mark Kelly (D) and venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) suggests that this contest will end with a very tight result. Sen. Kelly has a slight lead in polling, but Republicans have the edge in early voting. The governor’s race is also close, but late polls suggest that Republican Kari Lake has late momentum in her race opposite Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Utah — The US Senate race is dominating the Utah political talk as Sen. Mike Lee (R) is on the ballot for a third term, but this time he faces a strong Independent opponent in former presidential candidate (2016) Evan McMullin. Democrats decided not to file their own candidate so they could coalesce behind McMullin and give Sen. Lee a serious challenge. The strategy has worked, as polling shows this race falling into the single-digits. Chances are still good that Sen. Lee pulls away, but this contest has evolved into much more of a serious battle than once believed. Look for a close result.

Nevada — Tough races from the top of the ballot to the bottom face Silver State voters, and the Senate race may yield the Republicans their top conversion opportunity. Polling between former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) has been nip and tuck. With an improved standing among Hispanics, who now are 31 percent of the state’s population, an upset here is possible. Additionally, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak is in a toss-up race with Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R), and this seat could flip, too. Also, in the House races, the new redistricting plan drew three lean Democratic seats in Las Vegas. To gain the majority, Republicans will need to score at least one win here.

Washington — Republicans recruited a strong candidate in former nurse and veterans’ activist Tiffany Smiley. She has become a very good fundraiser and has polled close to veteran Sen. Patty Murray (D). Though Smiley has put forth a strong effort, it will likely not be enough in a strongly Democratic state like Washington. Though she may do well, a close loss is likely on the political horizon for Smiley as opposed to losing big.

Iowa — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) leads a very busy Iowa ballot. The senator, seeking an eighth term at the age of 89, is in a closer battle than he usually finds, this time against retired Navy Adm. Michael Franken (D). Late polling suggests that Sen. Grassley will still win a comfortable, but not overwhelming victory, meaning he is likely to win in the 50s instead of his customary 60s. Conversely, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) looks to be cruising to re-election and is expected to easily win a second full term.

North Carolina — The Senate race tops the Tar Heel State ballot this year, and we see another typically tight North Carolina race concluding. US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) looks to have a slight edge over former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D). Early voting is about even between the two parties in terms of past performance, so this is another race that comes down to the wire.

New Hampshire — In what is arguably the most prevalent swing state in the country, the Granite State ballot is filled with competitive races. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) looks set to win a fourth two-year term, but the state’s US Senate race is one of the country’s hottest. Though retired Gen. Don Bolduc (R) was virtually left for politically dead after winning the Sept. 13 primary by a percentage point, he has battled back into competitive status against one-term incumbent and former governor, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D). This race is now in upset alert status.

House

Alaska — The Last Frontier was the host of an interesting special at-large US House election that saw the new Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) system produce state Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Bethel) as the replacement for the late Rep. Don Young (R), even though Republican candidates received an aggregate 60 percent of the vote.

Now, however, it appears Rep. Peltola will win a full term regardless of whether she faces former Gov. Sarah Palin or businessman Nick Begich III, whose late grandfather and uncle served in the House and Senate, respectively, as Democrats. It is further possible that Peltola will win without even being forced into an RCV round because she may garner majority support on the initial vote.

Conversely, Sen. Lisa Murkowski could be forced into a RCV runoff with former State Administration Director Kelly Tshibaka in what would be a double-Republican race. This is a competitive contest, though the Republicans will retain the seat regardless of the outcome.

Iowa — In the state’s four congressional districts, three are highly competitive. In new District 1, freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion/Cedar Rapids) is favored for a second term against state Sen. Liz Mathis (D-Hiawatha). Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa), who was a six-vote winner in 2020, looks to be favored over state Rep. Christina Bohannan (D-Iowa City) by more than her previous victory margin, but this contest will still be close in a historically competitive southeastern Iowa district.

The 3rd District battle may be the most competitive within this trio of races. Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Des Moines) is running for a third term having never achieved majority support. State Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) is one of the Republicans’ better challenge candidates, and certainly has a strong chance of unseating the congresswoman. This race will draw national attention on election night.

Ohio — In the House races, veteran Cincinnati Rep. Steve Chabot (R) has a much more difficult district (D+3 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization) than his previous seat. Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman (D) is the Democratic nominee. Rep. Chabot will need a strong turnout model to record another victory in his long 26-year congressional career.

Though veteran Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), the dean of the Democratic conference with 40 years of congressional service, fared poorly in redistricting as her seat went from D+16 to R+6, the Republicans nominating January 6th participant J.D. Majewski has helped paved the path for the congresswoman’s re-election.

The new 13th District, located southeast of Cleveland and anchored in Akron, features a tight contest between Republican attorney Madison Gesiotto Gilbert and Democratic state Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). In a seat rated R+2, this contest is anybody’s game.

Arizona — Four competitive seats are on tap in the House delegation. Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) face a tough first-time candidate in businessman Jevin Hodge (D) from a new 1st District that is much less Republican than his current 6th CD, a place in which his 2020 re-election percentage did not exceed 52.

Republican Eli Crane, in a new district that is heavily Republican, is favored to unseat Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Sedona). Restauranteur Kelly Cooper (R) is challenging Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) in a new 4th CD that is now only slightly Democratic. While the congressman is favored, Cooper is a formidable challenger. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Tucson) retiring leaves the new 6th CD as a toss-up battleground between former Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive Juan Ciscomani (R) and ex-state Senator Kirsten Engel (D).

Oregon — Reapportionment delivered a new seat to Oregon, which was placed in the area between Salem and Portland. The primary saw Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) lose to newcomer Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who is a former local official in Santa Clara County, Calif. Polling suggests that businesswoman and former local mayor, Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), has a chance to score an upset win. Competition is also strong in the new 6th District and in the adjacent seat from which veteran Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) is retiring.

New Hampshire — The Granite State’s two congressional districts are also highly competitive. Two-term Rep. Chris Pappas’ (D-Manchester) 1st District has defeated more incumbents since 2004 than any seat in the country. Polling has generally posted him ahead of former Trump White House aide Karoline Leavitt (R), but nothing is ever certain in such a volatile political domain.

Rep. Annie Kuster’s (D-Hopkinton/Concord) western state 2nd District is more Democratic than the eastern 1st, but this seat too can record close elections. If what some predict is a coming red wave truly develops, both Democratic incumbents could be unseated.

Governor

Georgia — The governor’s race is also intense, which features a re-match between now-Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D). Polling suggests that Gov. Kemp will win re-election with a larger vote than the small margin he garnered in 2018, which resulted in his claiming the governorship through a one-point plus win. Though polling is generally looking good for the Republicans here, Democrats are so far exceeding their 2020 early vote performance.

Florida — Florida voters are navigating through a very busy ballot that the governor’s race headlines. Incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) appears likely to earn a comfortable, low double-digit victory over former governor and resigned congressman, Charlie Crist (D). The late-cycle polling, early voting matrix, and turnout model looks to favor Republicans, which will allow Sen. Marco Rubio (R) to turn back a strong challenge from US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando).

Michigan — Inconsistent polling suggests at least a semi-competitive governor’s race featuring incumbent Gretchen Whitmer (D) and challenger Tudor Dixon (R), an online radio personality. Early voting reports are heavily Democratic, which could be an indication of an impending Whitmer victory.

Oregon — The Beaver State is one of the 2022 political hotbeds. With an open governor’s race where a strong independent might flip the race to the Republican nominee in a plurality finish, Oregon is certainly a state to watch from the Pacific zone. Sen. Ron Wyden (D) faces only perennial opposition as he is on the ballot for a fifth full term.

New York — This is a close race, and incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who ascended to the office when then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was forced to resign, finds herself in a much more difficult campaign against GOP US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) than she originally anticipated. Polling is now showing that the governor’s race is a potential toss-up. Still, the overwhelming Democratic margin in New York City should be enough to deliver Hochul a close victory at the very least.

Texas — Polling suggests a relatively close race between Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and former congressman and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D). Texas Republicans typically are under-counted in polling, so it is likely that Gov. Abbott will score a stronger victory than currently projected.

Wisconsin — The Badger State is a major political battleground as close races for Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, are nip and tuck. Both are considered toss-ups, though polling now slightly favors Sen. Johnson in his re-election contest.

Close in Colorado; Dead Heats in Ariz., PA; Herrell Pulling Away in NM; Oregon Upset in the Making?

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

Senate

Republican Colorado Senate challenger Joe O’Dea (R)

Colorado: Closest Reported Poll — The Colorado Senate race, like the Washington contest, has always been on the periphery of competitiveness, and now we see the closest poll between Sen. Michael Bennet (D) and construction company owner Joe O’Dea (R). The Trafalgar Group (Oct. 30-Nov. 1; 1,084 likely Colorado general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) new poll breaks only 48-46 percent in favor of the incumbent. This is the first time we’ve seen a survey that finds the candidates this close. The other most recent studies give the senator leads of between eight and 14 percentage points.

Polling: Critical Senate Races in Dead Heats — The Civiqs polling firm, surveying for the Daily Kos Elections website (Oct. 29-Nov. 2; 859 likely Arizona general election voters; online) sees Arizona Republican Blake Masters coming back all the way to an even standing versus Sen. Mark Kelly (D), and with the momentum on his side. The Civiqs numbers see a flat 49-49 percent flat tie between the two men while the early voting numbers and the governor’s race looks to slightly favor the Republicans.

Another post-debate poll in Pennsylvania was released yesterday. In the sixth of eight surveys produced since the Oct. 25 meeting between Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), the former man has either taken a slight lead or the two are tied. The latest, from Susquehanna Polling & Research (Oct. 28-Nov. 1; 700 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; live interview) sees Dr. Oz leading Fetterman, 48-47 percent.

House

NM-2: Poll Shows Rep. Herrell Pulling Away — The few polls we’ve seen in the gerrymandered new 2nd Congressional District has found freshman Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-Alamogordo) slightly trailing Las Cruces City Councilman Gil Vasquez (D) in the newly constructed southern New Mexico district designed to elect a Democrat. The new Emerson College survey (Oct. 25-28; 302 likely NM-2 general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Rep. Herrell pulling away to a slight double-digit lead over Vasquez, however. This latest ballot test gives the congresswoman a significantly wide 54-44 percent advantage.

Governor

Oregon: Independent Still Throwing Race to Republican — The latest Oregon gubernatorial poll, this one from Nelson Research (Oct. 31-Nov. 2; 577 likely Oregon general election voters), sees former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) holding a three-point, 44-41 percent, edge over ex-state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D). Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, who appeared for a long while had a legitimate to win, has dropped back to only six percent support. This latter number, however, still appears enough to toss the election Drazan’s way. Of those who have early voted, according to Nelson Research, Drazan holds a one-point lead. A Republican win here would be a major upset in this most liberal of states.

Wisconsin: Dead Heat Headed into Election Day — While polling suggests that Sen. Ron Johnson (R) has a slight lead heading into Tuesday’s vote, the gubernatorial race between Gov. Tony Evers (D) and GOP businessman Tim Michels appears to be a dead heat. Frequent Wisconsin pollster Marquette Law School released their pre-election survey (Oct. 24-Nov. 1; 802 registered Wisconsin voters; 679 likely Wisconsin voters) the two candidates are tied at 48 percent, while Michels holds a slight 45-44 percent edge among those registered. Michels, however, has held a slight lead in the previously published five mid to late October polls.