The new Public Policy Polling survey of the Arizona electorate (1/2-4; 760 AZ registered voters) sees Democratic challenger and retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D) claiming a 46-42% slight edge over appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R). The poll overstated both Republican and Democratic partisanship by about 5 points apiece, while understating Independents by almost nine percentage points. How this skew might affect the ballot test outcome is unclear at this point.
The Arizona Senate race will be one of the most important in the nation and should go a long way to determining which party will assume majority control in the next Congress.
Blake Masters, president of the Thiel Foundation, announced that he will not challenge appointed Arizona Sen. Martha McSally for the 2020 Republican Senate nomination. Mr. Masters could potentially have raised large dollars from conservative base donors.
The move certainly helps Sen. McSally in what will be a difficult general election battle against retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D). It was widely viewed that her 2018 Republican primary, which wasn’t decided until late August, made her general election campaign against then-Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) all the more difficult and contributed to her 50-48% November loss.
The US Census Bureau officers released their latest population projections in order to measure national population growth for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. The results find the national rate of growth slowing to 0.5%, mostly as a result of decreased immigration. The peak period for the decade came during the July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015 period when the growth rate registered 0.73%.
With these numbers come the ability to project which states will gain and lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment. The national reapportionment will be calculated and announced after the 2020 census is completed. The states will receive their congressional seat quota a year from now, with a release typically coming during the period between Christmas and New Year’s.
If current projections prove correct, Texas looks to gain three seats, Florida two, with Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each slated to gain one. The losing states look to be Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
If these projections prove true, California will lose a seat for the first time in history. It’s also realistic that the actual totals could yield a two-seat loss for Illinois or New York, and possibly both. Right now, it appears ten congressional seats will change states, but that number could grow. Usually, the actual numbers tend to differ slightly from the early published projections.
Emerson College conducted a small sample poll in Arizona, a state with 67 first ballot Democratic National Convention delegates. According to their study results (10/25-28; 339 AZ likely Democratic primary voters), a tight three-way race is forming with a fourth candidate moving into double digits.
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the field with 28%, while both Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) post 21% support figures. The new double-digit contender is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who records 12% preference.
Former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, who had been speculating that he might enter the 1st District Republican primary in order to challenge Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Sedona) in the general election, has now ruled out becoming a candidate. Though he indicated two weeks ago that he was leaning toward running, comments he made over the weekend about being interested in managing or coaching at the major league level was a clue that he had already made up his mind not to run.
Already, four Republicans are in the race: Safford City Councilman Chris Taylor, Williams Mayor John Moore, attorney and 2018 congressional candidate Tiffany Shedd, and attorney Nolan Reidhead. Mr. O’Halleran also faces two formerly elected Democrats in his primary, ex-state Sen. Barbara McGuire and former Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova. The 1st District is politically marginal and one of 31 Democratic seats that voted for President Trump in 2016.
Attorney Nolan Reidhead became the fourth Republican to declare his candidacy in the swing and expansive 1st District located in eastern Arizona. All eyes, however, are actually on former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling (R) who has confirmed that he is considering the race. While he made public comments two weeks ago suggesting his entry into the race was imminent, he is also now reportedly telling baseball officials and insiders that he would like to get back into the game either as a manager or coach. Therefore, his status remains fluid.
In addition to Mr. Reidhead, Safford City Councilman Chris Taylor, attorney and former congressional candidate Tiffany Shedd, and Williams Mayor John Moore are announced GOP candidates. Former state Senator Barbara McGuire and ex-Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova are challenging Rep. O’Halleran in the Democratic primary.
Both Sen. Martha McSally (R) and retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D) released their 3rd Quarter financial numbers yesterday. The two went 1-2 last quarter in terms of money raised, and it appears they may do so again for the current financial disclosure period. Mr. Kelly reports campaign receipts of over $5.5 million, with a cash-on-hand figure of $9.5 million. Sen. McSally pulled in just over $3 million and has $5.6 million in the bank. These are astonishing large numbers this early in a smaller domain. Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) is reporting similar results, but his state is four times the size of Arizona, thus putting both Kelly’s and McSally’s fundraising prowess into perspective.
Change Research also tested the tight Arizona Senate campaign (9/27-28; 856 AZ likely voters; 396 AZ likely Democratic primary voters) and, like three other pollsters who have tracked this race in 2019, finds a statistical tie. Change projects retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D) to be leading appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R), 47-45%, which is consistent with five other polls conducted throughout the year. Four of the previous five found margins of 0 to 2 percentage point separation, while only one, the OH Predictive Insights August poll, found a five-point Kelly advantage. We can expect this race to remain in toss-up mode all the way to Election Day 2020.
Change Research, Emerson College, and the Public Policy Institute of California tested three major states for the Democratic presidential primaries and found razor thin margins in two. The exception, Arizona (Change Research; 9/27-28; 396 AZ likely Democratic primary voters), finds Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) topping the field with 35% support, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with 19%, former Vice President Joe Biden’s 15%, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg recording a 13% preference figure. According to these numbers, Arizona is one of Mr. Biden’s weakest states while Mr. Buttigieg returns to double digits.
The two others are virtual three-way ties. The Public Policy Institute of California (9/16-25; 692 CA likely Democratic primary voters) sees Sen. Warren barely in first place with 23% of the responding sample, compared to Mr. Biden’s 22%, and Sen. Sanders’ 21%. The result portends another disappointing performance for Sen. Kamala Harris in her own state as she records only 8% support.
Little polling has been done in Ohio, but Emerson College reversed the trend and just completed a test of the Buckeye State Democratic electorate (9/29-10/2; 353 OH likely Democratic primary voters). They also find a close contest with Mr. Biden claiming first place with 29%, and Sens. Sanders and Warren nipping at his heels with 27 and 21% preference factors.
A new Democratic poll, from the Bendixen & Amandi International firm for the Arizona Sheet Metal Workers union (9/9-12; 520 AZ registered voters), again produces similar results to previously published data. The Bendixen data finds appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R) and retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D) tied at 42% apiece. Clearly, this campaign is going to be a premier national US Senate contest with both candidates raising millions of dollars and seeing no more than a point or two separating them from its inception.
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