Reversing the trend that places Sen. Joe Manchin (D) ahead by double-digit margins, Gravis Marketing released a new survey (8/23-26; 600 WV likely voters) that finds Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) pulling into within six points of the Senator, 47-41%. Heavy anti-Manchin outside organization advertising has been airing, which likely at least partially explains the tightening campaign. Additionally, President Trump has already made one appearance in the state for Mr. Morrisey and that, too, is helping the Republican in a state where the President is most popular.
Former energy company CEO and convicted felon Don Blankenship, defeated in the West Virginia Senate Republican primary earlier this year, is continuing in his attempt to gain ballot access either as an Independent or minor party nominee for the general election. His problem: West Virginia, as do many states, has a law that prohibits candidates who lose a primary to run in the associated general election.
Yesterday, the West Virginia state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that denied Blankenship further ballot access. But, the defeated candidate says, he is still exploring further options. It doesn’t appear there is any way around the state’s “sore loser law”, meaning that Blankenship will not be on the November ballot. Additionally, his stated reason for running: to help defeat Republican nominee Patrick Morrisey and not actually win the election for himself, certainly hasn’t been effective in convincing judges to waive the state’s election law.
Shortly, it is being reported, that Public Policy Polling will release its first set of post-primary Florida polls. Early indications reveal that the numbers will show Sen. Bill Nelson (D) climbing back into a slight lead over Gov. Rick Scott, 46-45%. We will provide full coverage of this new survey set next week when the actual numbers come into the public domain.
Pennsylvania’s Franklin & Marshall College, a regular pollster for Keystone State elections, released their latest data for the upcoming general election. According to the college’s latest study (8/20-26; 511 PA registered voters; 243 registered Democrats; 200 registered Republicans; 68 Independents), Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) holds a 47-34% lead over Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazelton), which is a spread consistent with other relatively recent publicly released polls. The F&M sampling universe is small, which is typical for their polls. The data suggests that Sen. Casey continues to hold a firm lead in this general election campaign, but the contest may not be fully locked down just as yet.
The aforementioned Franklin & Marshall College poll (see Pennsylvania Senate above) also tested the Governor’s race between incumbent Tom Wolf (D) and state Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York). Contrasting the Governor’s results with those of Sen. Bob Casey, the F&M survey indicates that Mr. Wolf is in the stronger position. Here, the ballot test breaks 52-35% in the Governor’s favor, suggesting that this race is close to being put away.
Yesterday, we reported that the new Suffolk University survey (8/18-24; 500 WI likely voters) found Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) leading state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield), 50-42%. Today, we review the associated ballot test in the Governor’s race, which, like in many other polls, finds Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers (D) locked in a tight battle.
According to these latest Suffolk results, the Governor trails Mr. Evers, 46-44%. We expect this Governor’s race to remain in toss-up territory all the way to Election Day.
After former Governor and Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson entered the US Senate race as a replacement nominee when state Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn decided to withdraw from the Libertarian Party ballot position he won in June, speculation began building that Republican nominee Mick Rich might drop out of the race to allow Mr. Johnson a clear shot at potentially defeating first-term Sen. Martin Heinrich (D).
Such will not be the case, however. Yesterday, the deadline passed for removing a candidate’s name from the New Mexico ballot, so the nominees are now locked for the general election. If Mr. Rich was to make a move as described, he would have needed to notify the authorities by Tuesday to begin the process of withdrawing from the race.
Total Wine, Inc. founder and CEO David Trone, who won the Democratic primary in the open 6th District back in late June, announced that he is battling kidney cancer. Despite undergoing chemotherapy treatment and kidney removal surgery scheduled shortly, Mr. Trone says he will continue his campaign and intends on serving the succeeding term in the House should he be elected.
Mr. Trone is a heavy favorite to win the open seat in November and replace three-term Rep. John Delaney (D-Potomac), who is leaving Congress to begin a long shot 2020 presidential nomination campaign. The Republican nominee is 2016 congressional candidate Amie Hoeber, a former State Department official.
Voters in Arizona, Florida, and Oklahoma chose nominees last night in the final multi-state primary and run-off.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum scored an upset win in the open Florida Governor’s Democratic primary while Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Palm Coast; Daytona Beach) romped on the Republican side. The Arizona Senate contest produced a solid win for Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson), who will now oppose Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) in the open general election. Arizona State University professor David Garcia won the right to challenge Gov. Doug Ducey (R). Mortgage banker Kevin Stitt easily turned back Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in the Sooner State gubernatorial run-off and now pairs with former state Attorney General Drew Edmondson (D) in the general election.
Multiple congressional races up and down the ballot in all three states were determined, advancing both parties into the general election in all instances.
On the heels of a Marquette University Law School survey published last week that found Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) topping state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) by just two percentage points, Suffolk University released their first post-primary Wisconsin data (8/18-24; 500 WI likely voters) and finds Sen. Baldwin posting a 50-42% advantage. While the spread is beyond the polling margin of error, and Ms. Baldwin clearly has an advantage, the fact that she is only hovering around 50% and Ms. Vukmir is now consistently in the 40s, suggests this race is tightening.
Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-Huntington), who lost the Senate Republican nomination to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey earlier in the year, was just appointed to fill a West Virginia state Supreme Court vacancy, meaning he will immediately resign from Congress. Gov. Jim Justice (R), who made the appointment, has also declared that he will not schedule a special election to fill the balance of Mr. Jenkins’ congressional term. In the open 3rd District general election, state House Majority Whip Carol Miller (R-Huntington) is running against state Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) in an open seat race that is becoming highly competitive.
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