While many pollsters are returning to sampling registered voters without overlaying likely voter projections in choosing a polling universe for their June research studies, Public Policy Polling is now referring to their latest samples as simply, “voters.” Without defining their term in the released analysis, this could mean self-identified voters or simply adults. The classification suggests the error factor will be greater among “voters” rather than definitive registered voters and certainly so when compared to a likely voter screen.
That being said, the PPP new Georgia poll is out (6/25-26; 734 GA “voters”), and the results give former Vice President Joe Biden a 49-45% edge in this most critical of battleground states. The Democratic nominee, however, being up at this point in the election cycle is not particularly unusual. Looking back at the 2016 race, the Real Clear Politics polling archives reveals that while Mr. Trump led in almost every Georgia poll four years ago, two in early August, from the Atlanta Journal Constitution and JMC Analytics, found Hillary Clinton topping her opponent by four and seven points, respectively.
The previously mentioned Public Policy Polling survey (see President section above) also tested the Georgia special Senate election among those described as “voters.” Though closing, PPP finds Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) still leading the jungle primary field but with a reduced margin of 23-21-20% over appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Baptist pastor Raphael Warnock (D).
In run-off pairings pitting each Republican against Rev. Warnock, Rep. Collins would hold a 43-41% advantage, while Sen. Loeffler would trail him, 40-43%.
In 2018, Georgia’s 7th District was decided by just 419 votes. Now, in an open seat campaign, we see a poll suggesting that another close finish is likely to occur. According to a post-primary Public Policy Polling survey (6/19-20; 589 GA-7 registered voters), 2018 Democratic nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) leads retired Navy officer and physician Rich McCormick (R), 42-39%, well within the polling margin of error.
Public Policy Polling tested the Georgia electorate soon after the June 9th primary (6/12-13; 661 GA registered) that included four push questions designed to favor the Democratic position. The advocacy questions were ostensibly asked after the original ballot test query was posed. The results find new Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff pushing past Sen. David Perdue (R) by a slight 45-44% margin.
The same sample finds Joe Biden topping President Trump, 48-46%. The latter spread is questionable considering that the respondents rate the President’s job approval as 44:47% favorable to unfavorable. Such a ballot test is inconsistent with other polls finding the President’s approval in this range. Typically, he would be leading the head-to-head response with a job approval rating that is much better than his national standing, particularly in a state with a Republican vote history.
After a week of counting mail and post-election ballots in Georgia and Nevada, we have two more nomination winners.
In what will be a hotly contested open Atlanta suburban GA-7 race another reversal from the original Associated Press projection has occurred. Now, 2018 Democratic nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux has been declared the outright winner, avoiding the runoff campaign to which she was originally headed. The latest returns now push her over 51%, enough to mathematically clinch victory. The slow count and thousands of ballots coming in after the June 9th primary election again led to a change in outcome.
Ms. Bourdeaux, who came within 420 votes of upsetting Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville) in 2018, will face Republican physician and retired Navy veteran Rich McCormick, who garnered more than 55% of the vote in last Tuesday’s Republican primary. This will be a toss-up campaign in the Fall.
In Nevada, also from a June 9th primary contest, Republican former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant has now been declared the winner over insurance agency owner Sam Peters by a 34-29% margin in the 4th Congressional District, a an unfolding result where the totals remained close but did not fundamentally change as votes were continually counted.
Mr. Marchant will now challenge Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) in a general election campaign that has the potential of becoming competitive. Rep. Horsford is favored, but the 4th CD, since its original inception in the 2011 redistricting plan, has yet to re-elect an incumbent Representative.
In what might become a consistent pattern for the rest of this election cycle considering the preponderance of voting problems and irregularities within many states because of increase mail voting, the Associated Press has again reversed a projection after post-election ballots were received. Though declaring that Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta) had been forced into an unlikely runoff election, additional votes have pushed the Congressman’s aggregate percentage to over 51. He has now been projected as an outright winner. The Congressman again becomes a lock to win a tenth term in the general election from this safely Democratic suburban district.
With almost all of the remaining Georgia statewide ballots counted, documentary film maker and former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff has been declared the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic US Senate primary. He now advances into the general election against Sen. David Perdue (R) with a 51% primary victory over former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and ex-Lt. Governor nominee Sarah Riggs Amico.
Sen. Perdue is favored for re-election, but the general election will be competitive. Mr. Ossoff raised over $4 million for the primary election, more than any other Democratic candidate. Sen. Perdue’s $13.2 million gross receipts total far surpasses Mr. Ossoff’s fundraising, but we can be assured that Democrats will invest enough money into this campaign to make the race competitive.
2018 Democratic party nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux was projected to be heading to a runoff with state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero (D-Norcross) after Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning’s vote count, but now reports are surfacing that approximately another 30,000 ballots have arrived post-election. Such a number could be enough to catapult Ms. Bourdeaux over the majority mark. It will likely be over the weekend until we see a definitive result in this campaign.
The 2018 7th District race was decided by just 419 votes in favor of Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville) and now, as an open seat with the Congressman retiring, the 2020 general election is rated a pure toss-up. On Tuesday, physician and Navy veteran Rich McCormick easily won the Republican nomination outright with 55% in a field of seven candidates. Therefore, Bourdeaux being forced to an August 11th runoff would certainly give Mr. McCormick an extra advantage.
Now that the Atlanta vote results are coming forth, we see an upset of sorts in the suburban 13th Congressional District. Spending just $875 on her campaign, former state Rep. Keisha Waites has forced nine-term Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta) into a runoff election. Mr. Scott only pulled 47% of the vote in his own primary, with Ms. Waites trailing with 31%. The other two contenders who spent a combined $60,000 received the remaining 22 percent.
It remains to be seen if Ms. Waites can attract national left-of-center money with which to compete in the August 11th secondary election. The seat will remain in the Democratic column regardless of who becomes the party nominee. The Democratic nomination could well come into play considering 53% of the more than 87,000 votes already counted have gone to a challenger candidate.
It appears the Georgia Senate race is likely headed to a runoff, though front runner Jon Ossoff (D) came very close to securing majority support (49%). Apparently, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, after trailing most of the night, slipped past ex-Lt. Governor nominee Sarah Riggs Amico who out-performed expectations. The Georgia count has been delayed due to possible irregularities in the Atlanta area, which means second position may still be undecided. A runoff could be avoided if Ms. Tomlinson chooses to not contest the nomination any further.
In the competitive House races, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) will face former Rep. Karen Handel (R) in the Atlanta suburban 6th District. This race finished 50-49% in 2018.
In the 7th, 2018 nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux, who came within 420 votes of winning the seat in that election, place first but fell short of winning last night’s Democratic nomination outright. She will face state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero (D-Norcross) in the August 11th runoff. On the Republican side, retired Navy officer and physician Rich McCormick claimed his party’s nomination outright with over 55% of the vote, an impressive total in a field of seven candidates. In a distant second place was state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Gwinnett County). The general election will again be a toss-up contest in the Fall.
Runoffs are occurring in the safe Republican open 9th and 14th Districts. In Rep. Doug Collins’ (R-Gainesville) open 9th CD, state Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger) and retired Navy officer Andrew Clyde advance to the August 11th runoff. Rep. Collins is not seeking re-election in order to run in the special US Senate election.
In the 14th, CD from where veteran Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger/Rome) is retiring, conservative activist Margorie Greene and surgeon John Cowan advance to the second round. Both seats will be decided in the August runoff, as the Republican nominee in each of these northern Georgia districts will win in November.
Long voting lines in Nevada and the decision to allow mail ballots to be postmarked on Election Day mean the results of these primaries, most particularly in the 3rd and 4th Congressional District Republican races to face Reps. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) and Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas), respectively, likely won’t be known for several days.
Early vote returns from most of the district give former professional wrestler Dan Rodimer a ten-point lead over ex-state Treasurer and frequent candidate Dan Schwartz in the 3rd, while former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant has opened a small early lead over insurance agency owner Sam Peters in District 4.
In South Carolina, state Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Daniel Island), despite released polling that forecast a toss-up race, easily defeating Mt. Pleasant City Councilwoman Kathy Landing with over 57% of the vote. Ms. Mace will now challenge freshman Democrat Joe Cunningham (D-Charleston) in a district that should elect a Republican. Expect this to be a national campaign that is a must-win contest for the GOP.
No surprises in the North Dakota and West Virginia races. All incumbents in both states appear secure for re-election. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, in his first Republican primary since he was originally elected as a Democrat before switching parties, easily won nomination with more than 63% of the vote against two opponents.
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