Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Early Votes: Key Senate States

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

Early Voting Statistics — The Target Smart data organization continues to update early voting statistics from around the country, and we see several situations for both parties where the early vote totals in what should be more favorable states are showing a greater surge for the opposing party.

Of the key Senate races, we see four states where Republicans are either the incumbent party or should have a more favorable early vote performance, but Democrats are gaining the early edge: Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In four others, the GOP is performing better in places that are typically better for Democrats or where they have the incumbent candidate: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

Before delving into these key states, let’s take an updated look at Target Smart’s national report. Through Wednesday, Oct. 26, a total of 12,751,622 individuals have cast early votes in the 42 reporting states that employ an early voting procedure or are accepting and reporting mailed absentee ballots. At this point, 52.2 percent of the returned ballots come from Democrats, 37.9 percent from Republicans, and 9.9 percent from non-affiliated or independent voters.

Such a partisan pattern is consistent with previous years. Democrats tend to use early voting in a more prevalent manner than Republicans, with the GOP then dominating election day turnout. In comparison to the partisan complexion seen in 2020, so far, Democrats are up one full percentage point in the national early voting turnout while Republicans are down .4 percent. The non-affiliated total is down .6 percent.

These numbers are changing day by day, and now just about half-way through the early voting calendar, we can expect to see many differences occurring within the next week. The grand early vote total so far represents 31.1 percent of the aggregate number of people who voted early in the 2020 election.

Of the four states where Democrats have at least a preliminary advantage in early voting, the most significant are Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Pennsylvania — In the Keystone State, more than 683,000 people already have cast ballots. In 2020, a total of 1.179 million voted early according to Target Smart, so the 2022 number is a large sample. In 2020, just over 17 percent of the total electorate voted early.

Here, the Democrats have a wide advantage. A total of 73.4 percent of the recorded early vote are registered Democrats versus just 23.0 percent who are Republicans. These numbers represent a 6.3 percent increase in Democratic performance based upon 2020, while Republicans are down 2.8 percent.

Wisconsin — A little more than 302,000 people already have voted. Here, 39.9 percent of the early voters are Democrats, an improvement of 3.8 percentage points based upon their 2020 performance rate. Republicans are down a whopping 11.8 percentage points.

Iowa — Fewer than 100,000 people already have voted. Of those, 58.7 percent are registered Democrats, an improvement of 7.8 percentage points over the party’s 2020 performance. Republicans are just about even with their 2020 mark, down just half a percentage point.

Ohio — Numbers here also favor the Democrats. More than 529,000 people already have voted, which represents about 30 percent of the total early votes in 2020. A total of 44.2 percent of this year’s early voters are Democrats versus 40.3 percent who are Republican. This translates into a 3.0 percentage improvement for Democrats over their 2020 number, and a decline of 3.9 points for Republicans.

Republicans, however, are outperforming Democrats in another set of key Senate states.

Arizona — More than 530,000 people already have cast their 2022 midterm election ballot. This so far represents just over 50 percent of the number who voted early two years ago. Here, 48.0 percent of the voters are Republican, and 47.0 percent Democratic. These numbers represent a 2.6 percent increase for Republicans and a 1.2 percent decrease for Democrats.

Colorado — Surprising numbers are being seen here. In a state that has been moving decidedly toward the Democrats, it is the Republicans who have so far greatly increased their early voting participation rate.

Some 266,000 people have voted early this year in the Centennial State. This number represents just under a quarter of the number who voted early in 2022. A total of 49.3 percent of this year’s early voters are Democrats, down 4.4 points from two years ago. For Republicans, 43.2 percent of the early voters are their registrants. This represents a GOP increase of 5.8 percentage points from their 2020 performance.

Nevada — Home of another key Senate race, the GOP has an early vote growth advantage in the Silver State. At this point, Target Smart records slightly more than 142,000 early votes, meaning just over 32 percent of the 2020 aggregate early number. The breakdown is 50.8 percent for Democrats and 42.7 percent for Republicans. This means Democrats are down about .3 percent from their 2020 participation rate, while Republicans are up just under two full percentage points. Nevada elections are always tight, so even small fluctuations like these can mean a great deal.

New Hampshire — Our final state in this report; though the early totals are small, about 21,000 voters, which represents only about 16.5 percent of the 2020 early aggregate, the trends are significant. A total of 54.0 percent of the new early voters are Democratic, down .7 percent from 2020, while the Republican total has grown 4.7 percentage points.

While none of these numbers are indicative of the final vote totals in any of the eight states, the early totals have given us previous clues as to which party has the momentum and enthusiasm in a particular place. We will continue to monitor these and other important states through the early voting process.

Hassan Leads Beyond Error Margin in NH Senate Race; Three-Way Tie in NC; Dr. Oz Moving up in PA

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Oct. 3, 2022

Senate

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan (D)

New Hampshire: Again, Beyond Error Margin — Though the new Suffolk University survey for the Boston Globe newspaper (Sept. 23-26; 500 likely New Hampshire general election voters) shows Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) holding a lead well beyond the polling margin of error over retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc (R) as do three other post-primary pollsters, their 50-41 percent margin is a touch closer than some of the other results.

While Republican national political organizations continuing to spend heavily will likely draw Gen. Bolduc closer to Sen. Hassan, it is unlikely that her ballot test advantage can be overcome before Election Day. Therefore, the analysis that the GOP strategists will pull their media buy from the New Hampshire race and transfer it to other more winnable contests remains valid.

North Carolina: The “Three-Way” Tie — The North Carolina Senate race has been tight for weeks, but now we see three separate pollsters all finding the race status languishing in a flat tie. The Cygnal polling organization (Sept. 24-26; 650 likely North Carolina voters), Meredith College (Sept. 20-23; 731 likely North Carolina voters), and the Global Strategy Group (Sept. 12-20; 800 likely North Carolina voters) all project tied results. Cygnal sees Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) each attracting 44 percent of the vote. Meredith College finds both with 41 percent, while GSG’s total is 46 percent apiece.

Obviously, the North Carolina Senate race is one of the closest in the nation with just over a month remaining and early voting on the cusp of beginning.

Pennsylvania: Dr. Oz Moving Closer — A trio of new surveys find Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) coming within close range of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) in their expensive battle over what is one of the most important Senate contests in the nation.

Fox News (Sept. 22-26; 827 likely Pennsylvania general election voters) finds Dr. Oz pulling to within four points of Fetterman, 48-44 percent. Franklin & Marshall College (Sept. 19-25; 517 likely Pennsylvania general election voters) and Insider Advantage (Sept. 23-24; 550 likely Pennsylvania general election voters) also see similar margins. The latter two arrive at identical ballot test results: Fetterman leading 45-42 percent. With early voting just days away from beginning since the ballots have already been mailed to the registered voters, Dr. Oz may be making his move at precisely the right time.

Governor

Wisconsin: Six Polls, Six Tight Results — The Wisconsin governor’s race between incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) and businessman and former statewide nominee Tim Michels (R) is clearly a dead heat. Six polling firms were in the field during the Sept. 14-27 period surveying between 574 and 1,399 likely or registered voters and each sees an extremely close race.

Emerson College and Public Policy Polling find Gov. Evers leading by two percentage points. Big Data Poll and Fox News saw the race as a dead heat tie. The Trafalgar Group and Fabrizio Ward (R)/Impact Research (D), polling for AARP, project Michels as holding a tight lead. In five of the six results, both candidates drew support within the 40s. Only the AARP survey found a contender, Michels, reaching the 50 percent mark.

Conflicting Trends in Ohio; Johnson Opening Advantage in Wisconsin; Dead Heat in Pennsylvania

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022

Senate

Ohio 2022 Senate candidates Rep. Tim Ryan (D) and author J.D. Vance (R)

Ohio: Conflicting Trends — In the mid-August through early September period, three pollsters found US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) snatching the polling lead away from GOP author J.D. Vance. The research entities Impact Research, Suffolk University, and Fallon Research, in studies conducted during the Aug. 17 through Sept. 11 time realm, found Rep. Ryan trending ahead with margins between one and six points.

Two news polls, however, see the race flipping back to Vance. Emerson College (Sept. 10-13; 1,000 likely Ohio voters; multiple sampling techniques) and the Civiqs survey research entity, polling for the Daily Kos Election site (Sept. 10-13; 780 likely Ohio general election voters), and in the field during the same period, see Vance now holding close leads of 44-40 and 48-45 percent, respectively.

Wisconsin: Trend Favors Sen. Johnson — Since the Aug. 9 Wisconsin primary, we’ve seen several polls conducted of the Wisconsin Senate campaign. Immediately after the nomination vote, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) opened the general election cycle with a polling lead. Marquette University Law School, a regular Wisconsin pollster, found Barnes holding a 52-45 percent advantage over Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in their Aug. 10-15 poll of 713 likely Wisconsin general election voters.

Late last week, Marquette released a new survey (Sept. 6-11; 801 registered Wisconsin voters; live interview) and the law school research organization now posts Sen. Johnson to a slight 48-47 percent advantage. Civiqs, polling for the Daily Kos Election site (Sept. 10-13; 780 likely Wisconsin general election voters), confirms the Marquette result. They find Sen. Johnson up 49-48 percent. Though the lead is small, the Johnson trend line is positive.

House

OR-5: Getting Closer — The Democratic survey research firm Global Strategy Group, polling for the 314 Action super PAC (Sept. 1-8; 400 likely OR-5 general election voters) finds Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who defeated Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) in the May primary election, leading businesswoman and former local mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), by a tight 41-38 percent margin.

GSG finds the district statistics even closer, however. They see a Democratic partisan edge of just one percentage point, even though the party has a five-point voter registration advantage. In terms of the generic congressional vote, the Republicans have a one-point lead. Under various turnout models according to the GSG research, the race changes. If the turnout model is closer to what was found in the New Jersey and Virginia governors’ races (2021), a Biden+5 model, the congressional race becomes a dead heat at 40-40 percent. Under both a 2014 and 2020 turnout model (Biden+10), McLeod-Skinner would establish a 42-38 percent spread. The trouble for McLeod-Skinner, in a district that slightly leans Democratic, is that she doesn’t reach beyond the low 40s under any turnout model. This suggests that Chavez-DeRemer has serious upset potential.

PA-8: Dead Heat Developing — In what is appearing to be a classic example of a Democratic incumbent claiming independence but seeing Republican forces producing stats showing total compliance with the Biden agenda, the people of Pennsylvania’s northeast 8th Congressional District are dividing evenly.

The Republican polling entity, Cygnal, surveying for the Jim Bognet campaign (Sept. 6-8; 440 likely PA-8 general election voters), finds the two candidates, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic/Scranton) and Bognet, tied at 48-48 percent. At an R+8 partisan rating according to the FiveThirtyEight polling organization, PA-8 is the second-most Republican district in the country that elects a Democrat to the House.

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.

No Third Party Challenge in NY-10; Back and Forth in NC-13;
Upsets Brewing in Oregon

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 9, 2022

House

State Assemblywoman Yuh Line-Nioh (D-Manhattan)

NY-10: No Third Party Challenge — State Assemblywoman Yuh Line-Nioh (D-Manhattan) placed second to winner Dan Goldman in the hotly contested open Democratic primary for the new 10th District in the June 28 election, but she did claim the ballot line for the Working Families Party. This means she could have advanced into the general election under that party banner. However, the assemblywoman announced Wednesday that she would not pursue a third party bid, thus virtually guaranteeing Goldman the November election.

In this crowded Democratic primary, both Goldman and Line-Nioh finished ahead of US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County), who decided to seek re-election in this district instead of the upstate 17th or 18th.

NC-13: Swing District, Swing Forecast — The new North Carolina 13th Congressional District has something for everyone. The cities of Fayetteville’s and south Raleigh’s suburbs tend to vote more liberal, while Johnston County’s conservatives neutralize those votes, thus making the district a basically even from a partisan perspective. Therefore, it’s not surprising to see polling go back and forth.

Previously, we reported on two August polls, one from RMG Research and the other from Public Policy Polling, and now we see another new survey from the Democratic firm Global Strategy Group (Aug. 29-Sept. 1; 500 likely NC-13 general election voters; live interview). RMG found Republican Bo Hines leading 44-39 percent; PPP saw Hines and state Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Raleigh) tied at 40-40 percent; and, now GSG posts Nickel to a 44-40 percent edge. Obviously, this is a toss-up campaign.

OR-5: A Brewing Upset? — When centrist Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) lost his Democratic primary election to attorney and former California local elected official Jamie McLeod-Skinner, the race in the competitive new 5th District took a major turn. A recently released survey from Republican pollster Clout Research (Aug. 15-18; 410 likely OR-5 general election voters; live interview) finds Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R) opening up a significant lead over McLeod-Skinner, with a 44-34 percent spread.

The only other poll released here, one from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling in early June, also found DeRemer with an edge, but only one-point, 42-41 percent. With the available information, it appears that Republicans could well be positioned to see a future upset victory here in November.

OR-6: New District, New Leader — Another surprising Oregon Clout Research poll (Aug. 14-19; 409 likely OR-6 general election voters; live interview) finds Republican Mike Erickson posting a lead over state Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego). Though this district is considerably more Democratic than the neighboring 5th CD (D+7 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization), Erickson holds a 43-34 percent advantage over Salinas according to the Clout results.

Governor

Minnesota: Gov. Walz Pulling Away — While early polling suggested a close race between first-term Gov. Tim Walz (D) and former state Sen. Scott Jensen (R), a new survey finds the incumbent pulling away and now possesses a large lead. The Survey USA poll (Aug. 30-Sept. 4; 562 likely Minnesota general election voters) projects Gov. Walz to be currently holding a 51-33 percent advantage.

Wisconsin: New Poll Yields Dead Even Projection — While the Minnesota governor’s race is becoming definitive, the neighboring Wisconsin battle appears to be getting even closer. For the second time, a polling firm found Gov. Tony Evers (D) and businessman Tim Michels (R) to be deadlocked in a flat tie. The Trafalgar Group (Sept. 22-25; 1,091 Wisconsin general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects the two candidates each pulling a 48 percent support factor in the contest’s most recently released survey. This result is identical to the previously reported OnMessage firm’s data derived during the same polling period (Aug. 22-24; 600 likely Wisconsin general election voters; live interview).

Competitive Colorado Senate Race; Cortez Masto and Laxalt in Nevada Donnybrook; NC-13: Deadlocked Poll

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022

Senate

Colorado incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D)

Colorado: Three Competitive Polls — While the Colorado Senate race has been on the edge of competitiveness for quite awhile, three new polls suggest this is a contest that deserves some national attention. The most surprising survey comes from the Tarrance Group, which tested the Centennial State electorate for the Republican Attorneys General Association (Aug. 22-25; 600 likely Colorado general election voters; live interview). Tarrance finds the Senate race between incumbent Michael Bennet (D) and challenger Joe O’Dea (R), a construction business owner, separated only by one point, 48-47 percent.

Two others see the race somewhat differently. The Trafalgar Group (Aug. 22-25; 1,087 likely Colorado voters; multiple sampling techniques) posts the race at 47-42 percent in Sen. Bennet’s favor. Finally, the most recent survey, from Public Policy Polling (Aug. 30-31; 782 likely Colorado voters; interactive voice response system) sees Bennet holding a 46-35 percent lead.

Republican Colorado Senate challenger Joe O’Dea (R)

Even this last survey, however, contains political warnings for the senator. President Biden’s job approval is decidedly upside-down at 43:51 percent, and Bennet is well below the 50 percent support level. The latter number is always a red flag for an incumbent.

Nevada: Sen. Cortez Masto and Adam Laxalt in Donnybrook — The Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D) firms again collaborated on a statewide survey for AARP, as they have done in several places this year. Their latest joint effort ventured to the key swing state of Nevada. The poll was conducted over the Aug. 16-24 period of 500 registered Nevada voters, with over-samples of 550 senior voters aged 50 and older, and another over-sample of 290 Hispanic voters.

The ballot test finds Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) again barely leading former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), 44-40 percent. When the two candidates were isolated on an individual ballot test, Cortez Masto’s edge dropped to a virtually even 48-47 percent.

House

NC-13: Deadlocked Poll — Public Policy Polling released a new survey of the Raleigh-Fayetteville new 13th Congressional District open seat campaign in North Carolina. The survey (Aug. 23-24; 506 likely NC-13 general election voters; live interview & text), finds Democratic state Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Raleigh) and former North Carolina State University football player Bo Hines (R) tied at 40 percent apiece. Both have “top of the ticket” problems.

President Biden’s job approval score is a poor 37:51 percent favorable to unfavorable, where former President Trump’s favorability index is a similar 35:56 percent.

WI-3: Van Orden Leads on Dem Poll — Wisconsin state Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-La Crosse) released the results of his internal Public Policy Polling survey (Aug. 18-19; 626 registered WI-3 voters; live interview & text) and found Republican retired Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden leading the race by a 45-40 percent count. It is a bit unusual to see a campaign release a survey that projects their candidate trailing, but Van Orden is viewed as the race favorite.

WI-3 is one of the few districts that voted for former President Trump in 2020 (51.5 – 47.8 percent) and elected a Democratic congressman, retiring Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse). This race is a must-win for the Republican majority matrix.

Governor

Nevada: AARP Also Shows Tight Gov Race — The aforementioned Fabrizio Ward/Impact Research statewide Nevada survey for AARP (see Nevada Senate above) also finds a very close governor’s race with the incumbent far below the 50 percent threshold. The ballot test for this race finds Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) holding only a 41-38 percent advantage over Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R). Perhaps more troubling for Gov. Sisolak, the respondents believe Nevada is on the wrong track by a hefty 38:62 percent margin.

Kelly’s Margin Erodes, Lake Leads in Ariz.; Gov. Lujan Grisham Expands Lead in NM; Candidates Tied in Wisc.

By Jim Ellis — Aug. 31, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) | Sen. Mark Kelly (D)

Arizona: Sen. Kelly’s Margin Erodes –– The Trafalgar Group, running a series of polls covering several states, released their numbers for the Arizona Senate race. The survey (Aug. 24-27; 1,074 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) comes to a different conclusion than the other post-primary polls that have averaged a 12-point advantage for Sen. Mark Kelly (D) among registered voters. According to the Trafalgar numbers, Sen. Kelly’s edge over venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) is only 48-44 percent.

Trafalgar often shows better numbers for Republicans, but says their unique and unreleased polling methodology allows them to better capture the entire electorate. Arguably, Trafalgar has often been correct when arriving at different conclusions than seemingly the rest of the polling community.
In 2020 election’s late stage, 21 polls were conducted from 12 different pollsters of the Arizona Senate race from the beginning of October to the election according to the Real Clear Politics polling archive. Those 21 posted Kelly to a mean average 6.7 percent advantage over then-Sen. Martha McSally (R), but he only won by 2.4 percentage points. The Trafalgar Group, in their lone released 2020 Arizona Senate poll, found the two separated by an accurate two percent.

Governor

Arizona: New Poll Pushes Kari Lake to Lead — The Trafalgar Group’s Arizona poll (see Senate race above) also tested the open governor’s race. Two polls conducted after the state’s Aug. 2 primary gave Democrat Katie Hobbs, the Arizona Secretary of State, leads over former news anchor Kari Lake (R) within the polling margin of error range. On the other hand, Trafalgar posts Lake to her first lead of the general election, 47-46 percent. All of the data suggest that this race is in the toss-up realm.

New Mexico: Gov. Lujan Grisham Expands Lead — The New Mexico based Research & Polling, Inc. company has released new data for the competitive Land of Enchantment governor’s race, the first time since mid-June that we’ve seen new numbers for this campaign.

According to the recently completed survey conducted for the Albuquerque Journal newspaper (Aug. 19-25; 518 likely New Mexico general election voters; live interview), Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) leads former television weatherman Mark Ronchetti (R) by a 47-40 percent count. The ballot test spread is beyond this survey’s polling margin of error of 4.3 percentage points, the latter factor high largely due to the low size of the statewide polling sample. The previous published survey, GQR Research’s June 11-17 study also featuring a low sampling universe of 500 likely voters, posted the governor to a 48-44 percent edge.

Wisconsin: Candidates Tied — The new Trafalgar Group survey (Aug. 22-25; 1,091 likely Wisconsin general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects that the Wisconsin governor’s race, always predicted to be tight, has already fallen into a tie. The Trafalgar results see Gov. Tony Evers (D) and businessman Tim Michels (R) each attracting 47 percent of the sample’s respondents. Such a result is not surprising. Wisconsin routinely features very close statewide elections, and the current governor and Senate campaigns will certainly fall within the established Badger State electoral pattern.