Last week we reported on two conflicting polls about the August 6th Tennessee US Senate Republican primary race. The Tarrance Group (6/28-30; 651 TN GOP likely voters) found former US Ambassador Bill Hagerty leading Nashville surgeon Manny Sethi, 46-29%, while Victory Phones (6/30-7/1; 800 likely Republican primary voters) saw the Hagerty lead only at 33-31%. Now, the Trafalgar Group (7/6-8; 1,072 TN likely Republican primary voters) released numbers that are much closer to the Victory Phones data. Trafalgar shows Mr. Hagerty holding only a 42-39% lead suggesting this race is much closer than originally projected.
Sen. John Cornyn’s (R) campaign took the unusual step on Friday of having their pollster release numbers for the opposing runoff campaign. According to Cornyn’s TargetPoint survey (7/8; 830 TX likely Democratic primary voters via automated response device), retired Army helicopter pilot M.J. Hegar is clinging to a 33-29% edge over state Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas). Among only the self-identified Democrats (Texas has no party registration), Ms. Hegar’s advantage expands to 40-33%. Yet, among the self-identified Democrats who said they have already voted, the two candidates were tied at 50-50%. Tomorrow’s run-off result promises to be close.
The New York primary was June 23rd, and we still don’t have final results, nor declared winners in several congressional nomination races. New York election officials in New York City refuse to say when the counting process will end, and numbers released.
It does appear in the Upstate that former Millbrook Village Trustee Kyle Van De Water has defeated fashion company owner Ola Hawatmeh. The absentee ballots have erased Ms. Hawatmeh’s lead on election night, and he is now ahead 57-43%, a margin that will clinch the primary for him. Mr. Van De Water now faces freshman Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) in the general election. Though still ostensibly a Republican district, Rep. Delgado is the clear favorite for re-election.
Retired Air Force Colonel and 2018 Texas Agriculture Commissioner Democratic nominee Kim Olson was viewed as the clear favorite to win her party’s nomination for the open DFW area 24th Congressional District. On the eve of the runoff, however, the outlook appears different. According to a Data for Progress survey conducted for BOLD PAC (7/2-7/7; 440 TX-24 likely Democratic runoff voters via telephone interview), former school board member Candace Valenzuela has surged into a big lead over Ms. Olson, 40-29%, and expanding to 53-37% when those leaning to each candidate are added.
Hispanic and progressive left groups have strongly backed Ms. Valenzuela who began the runoff as a severe underdog. In the primary, Ms. Olson finished ahead of her current opponent by a 41-30% spread. Tomorrow’s winner faces former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne (R) in the general election. Eight-term Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Coppell) is retiring.
Indiana has an interesting quirk in its nomination process in that the political parties nominate candidates for Attorney General through convention, even while the gubernatorial ticket is decided through a primary election. The remaining state constitutional offices are not on the ballot until 2022.
Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) has been controversial since being accused of groping various women, allegations that later led to the state Supreme Court ruling he had committed criminal battery. Though no formal criminal charges have been brought, the Indiana Justices suspended Mr. Hill’s law license for a month.
As a result of the acts and bad publicity, former Congressman and ex-US Senate candidate Todd Rokita defeated Mr. Hill 52-48% in the party convention mail vote, the results of which were released Friday. Mr. Rokita now advances into the general election against former Evansville Mayor and frequent statewide candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel who won the Democratic nomination. The former Congressman is favored to complete his political comeback in the general election.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills/Scottsdale) represents a Republican suburban Phoenix district, but he is under investigation for allegedly misusing some of his government funds for political purposes. While the campaign here hasn’t yet drawn much national attention, his likely Democratic opponent, Dr. Hiral Tipirneni who ran in the 8th District special and general election during the last election cycle, has quietly raised well over $2 million and is reporting more than $1.6 million cash-on-hand. This race will become competitive and is an upset possibility.
The Alaska Public Policy Polling survey (7/7-8; 1,081 AK voters via automated response device) also produced a ballot test in the at-large House race between veteran Rep. Don Young (R-Ft. Yukon), the Dean of the House in seniority who was elected in a 1973 special election, and challenger Alyse Galvin, the 2018 Democratic nominee who fell seven percentage points short of unseating the Congressman, 53-46%. The PPP poll actually finds Ms. Galvin running ahead 43-41% in the new campaign, but such a position is not altogether unusual. In the 2018 campaign, the last poll before the election actually projected Ms. Galvin to a slight one-point advantage.
With absentee ballots finally being counted and reported in New York 16 days after the state’s primary on June 23rd, one race has already changed from the early tabulated votes. Yesterday, 2018 Democratic nominee Perry Gershon, who held Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) to a 51-47% re-election victory, conceded defeat in this year’s Democratic primary. The winner, by just over 600 votes, is college professor Nancy Goroff who will now advance into the general election.
The result is a surprise, as Mr. Gershon who raised and spent over $5 million in the last campaign, almost $2 million of which was his own money, was considered a distinct favorite to again win the party nomination. Rep. Zeldin was favored for re-election against Mr. Gershon, even though their first race was close. Against Ms. Goroff, Rep. Zeldin appears to be in even better position.
Public Policy Polling surveyed the Alaska electorate (7/7-8; 1,081 AK voters via automated response device) and finds Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) to be leading his prospective Democratic opponent, surgeon Al Gross, by only a single-digit margin, 39-34 percent. Close polling in Alaska is not surprising because electoral history reveals that such is the typical situation.
The Alaska primary is August 18th, which is the same day that Independents and minor party candidates can qualify for the ballot. The secondary candidates tend to draw more votes in Alaska than in most places. Therefore, they are more significant factors in determining the outcome. This race will begin to attract some political attention after the primary, but unless we see evidence of a strong move away from Sen. Sullivan, the first-term Republican will remain the clear favorite to win in November.
Sen. Cory Booker was easily re-nominated for a second term I this week’s New Jersey primary capturing over 89% of the projected vote. Who he will face in November remains a question mark, however. Former congressional candidate Hirsch Singh and pharmaceutical executive Rik Mehta are seesawing in counting that is taking days to count. Regardless of who wins the Republican primary, Sen. Booker is the prohibitive re-election favorite for the Fall campaign. As with many other states, the large number of mailed ballots means the tabulation period can be stretched for more than a week.
The Rundown Blog
Before you vote, learn more about the candidates who will support a pro-jobs America.