A number of polls were conducted over the Labor Day period and we generally see a closing of the presidential race. In Florida, NBC News/Marist College (8/31-9/6; 1,047 FL registered voters; 766 likely voters; live interview) discovers President Trump forging ahead to record a one-point, 48-47%, edge among registered voters, while he and former Vice President Joe Biden are tied at 48% among likely voters.
Turning to another swing state, Michigan, the Glengariff Group (9/1-3; 600 MI likely voters) finds Mr. Biden leading 47-42%, which is a closer spread than seen in most current surveys. The latest three polls from the international research firm Redfield & Wilton Strategies, Hodas & Associates, and Morning Consult, all of which conducted studies between August 11th and September 3rd, projected Mr. Biden to leads of 11, 11, and 10 points, respectively.
A pair of new Pennsylvania surveys also see the contest closing. Redfield & Wilton Strategies, the London, England based firm (8/30-9/3; 1,053 PA likely voters; online), found a five-point spread, with Mr. Biden up 47-42%. Local Pennsylvania research firm Susquehanna Polling & Research (8/26-9/4; 498 PA likely voters; live interview) sees the margin between the two national candidates dropping to two points, 44-42%, again in Mr. Biden’s favor.
Still closing, but in a reversed manner, We Ask America (9/1-3; 500 MO likely voters; live interview) projects that President Trump’s Missouri advantage over Mr. Biden is dropping to five percentage points, 49-45%. This, while the same sampling universe detects an expanding margin for Gov. Mike Parson (R) in his election battle with State Auditor Nicole Galloway. That contest is breaking 54-41% in Mr. Parson’s favor.
Last week we covered polls from the Trafalgar Group that yielded much better Republican numbers, particularly for President Trump, than other polling firms have produced. The explanation is that their methodology attempts to account for the “shy Trump voter,” or the commonly held belief that the President, and possibly down ballot Republicans, have more support than current polls suggest.
With this background, Trafalgar tested the Missouri Governor’s race (8/26-28; 1,015, MO likely voters) and found non-elected incumbent Mike Parson (R) leading State Auditor Nicole Galloway, 51-36%, which is different than other pollsters are projecting. The only other poll of this race released in August, from Remington Research for the Missouri Scout, found Mr. Parson’s lead to be seven points, 50-43%. Mr. Parson ascended to the Governorship with elected Governor Eric Greitens resigned because of a sex scandal.
In 2018, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Ballwin/St. Louis County) escaped with a 51-47% victory and looks to be in another tough battle in what was once a safe Republican suburban St. Louis congressional seat. For the second consecutive election cycle, it again appears highly competitive. A just released Public Policy Polling survey (8/13-14; 925 MO-2 voters) sees state Sen. Jill Schupp (D-Ladue) moving ahead of Rep. Wagner with a 45-42% as President Trump also falls behind former Vice President Joe Biden, 48-46%, in a district that he carried 53-42% in 2016.
At the end of June, we saw a YouGov poll (6/23-7/1; 900 MO likely voters) forecasting that Gov. Mike Parson’s (R) lead over State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) was dropping to just two percentage points. Other polling to that point found Mr. Parson holding a high single-digit advantage.
Now, a new survey suggests a return to the previous margin. The Remington Research Group released their poll for the Missouri Scout political blog (8/12-13; 1,112 MO likely voters; via interactive voice response system) that projects the Governor’s margin reverting to the 50-43% range. Gov. Parson is running for his first full term in office after he ascended to the position when elected Gov. Eric Greitens (R) resigned in May of 2018.
Later in the evening after Rep. Watkins was defeated, ten-term Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) met the same fate in the adjoining state. Cori Bush, a pastor and 2018 congressional candidate, returned for a re-match and with the help of the Justice Democrats PAC upset the veteran House member, by 4,600 votes or just over three percentage points.
Ms. Bush now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the general election and is expected to join the group of young minority House members on the Democratic Party’s far left spectrum. Messrs. Watkins and Clay now becomes the sixth and seventh House members, respectively, to be denied re-nomination in the 2020 election cycle.
Voters in five states will cast their ballots today, including the controversial Kansas Senate Republican primary. The state also features three important congressional primaries and one, in the 2nd District, that could deny freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) re-nomination. Electorates are also voting in Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Arizona and Michigan feature Senate races, but the general elections in both states are set. Governors’ races are occurring in Missouri and Washington.
Two days ago, we ran a post about veteran Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) running a negative ad against his little-known opponent, which seemed an unnecessary move in a race that appeared the incumbent was positioned to easily win. Now, the Congressman’s strategy makes more sense. Yesterday, the Justice Democrats PAC, at least loosely affiliated with Rep. Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez (D-NY), launched an ad wave in support of challenger Cori Bush in her effort to deny Rep. Clay re-nomination. With this outside organization coming into the race within the last week of the campaign, we can expect much more to follow making this a contest to watch next Tuesday night.
Veteran Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) has launched a personal media attack ad on his Democratic primary opponent, civil rights activist and pastor Cori Bush. The move is an interesting one in that Mr. Clay defeated Ms. Bush, 57-37% in the 2018 Democratic primary, and has a significant fundraising and cash-on-hand edge. With just $127,000 left in her campaign account as reported, it is doubtful that she can launch the type of final week effort to dislodge a ten-term incumbent whose father preceded him in the House with his own 32 year congressional career.
These factors, however, have not stopped Clay in claiming in the ad that Ms. Bush doesn’t really even have a church though she maintains that her occupation is that of a pastor.
Garin-Hart-Yang Research conducted a fully online poll of the Missouri electorate (6/16-22; 800 MO likely general election voters; online) and project Joe Biden to be taking a two point 48-46% lead over President Trump in what is still regarded as a safe Republican state. An online poll is typically unreliable and is an unusual vehicle for Garin-Hart-Yang. Six other polls have been conducted of the Show Me State electorate since early April, and all find President Trump maintaining a lead between four and 13 percentage points.
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who resigned over a sex scandal and has recently seen the related legal case against him dropped over prosecutorial misconduct, may be planning to return to active candidate status in 2024. Mr. Greitens had kept his campaign committee open, largely because he could pay legal fees from his political account. Now, however, he has already filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission for an undisclosed 2024 statewide campaign.
While the move allows him to continue raising funds to pay continuing legal expenses from the political fund, Mr. Greitens has also begun to re-surface in public policy discussions.
It is too late for him to return to active campaigning in 2020 because he is not an officially filed candidate for the August 4th primary election. That race is features Gov. Mike Parson (R) and consensus Democratic candidate Nicole Galloway who is Missouri’s State Auditor. Mr. Greitens could well be signaling a active comeback attempt in 2024, however. Recently, he publicly criticized Gov. Parson’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, indicating that he would have taken different steps.
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