Two North Carolina US Senate polls were released yesterday showing just how different separate polling samples can behave.
The Democratic firm Change Research, which prides itself on developing its “Bias Correct” methodology, conducted their North Carolina survey as part of a national study over the June 26-28 period that included five other states and an aggregate 3,729 respondents. Without understanding the characteristics of the North Carolina portion of the sample, it is difficult to determine accuracy for this particular state. In any event, Change produces a 51-41% lead for ex-state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) over first-term US Sen. Thom Tillis (R).
Conversely, East Carolina University (6/22-29; 1, 149 NC registered voters), in a sample we can study, finds a much different political picture. According to the ECU conclusions, the two candidates are tied at 41% apiece.
Siena College and the New York Times are again partnering to produce a series of political polls as they did last year. Yesterday, mid-June results were made available for Senate races in Arizona, Michigan, and North Carolina. The results are consistent with what we have been seeing for quite some time in these three frequently polled states.
Retired astronaut Mark Kelly and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) maintain their recent approximate ten-point advantages over appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) and manufacturing company owner John James (R) in Arizona and Michigan, respectively.
The North Carolina race, which is predicted to seesaw between Sen. Thom Tillis (R) and former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) again produces a tight result for Siena/NYT. We’ve seen six similar polls released for the state in June, including S/NYT, and the margin between the two candidates hover between one and four points. The Siena/NYT result shows a three-point edge for Mr. Cunningham. Of the six surveys, four find the Democrat slightly ahead with two favoring Sen. Tillis in a similar realm.
Western North Carolina voters spoke loudly yesterday as real estate investment company owner Madison Cawthorn recorded a 66-34% landslide win over former local county Republican chair Lynda Bennett in the postponed Republican runoff election. This, despite Ms. Bennett having former Rep. Mark Meadows’ and President Trump’s endorsement. Mr. Cawthorn, who barely makes the qualifying age requirement to be a candidate, won 16 of the district’s 17 counties. He now becomes a strong favorite to defeat Democratic nominee Moe Davis, a retired US Air Force colonel, in the general election.
Voters in New York, North Carolina, and Virginia will choose congressional nominees in various districts today. New York hosts the most competitive slate, with ten competitive primaries coming to culmination.
The vacant 27th District will be filled in a special election between state Sen. Chris Jacobs (R-Buffalo) and Democratic former Grand Island town official Nate McMurray.
The competitive incumbent challenges to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx) and Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) will also produce a nominee along with lesser challenges to Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn), Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), and Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan). Key open seat primaries will be held in the 15th (Rep. Jose Serrano-D, retiring) and the 17th (Rep. Nita Lowey-D, retiring) districts, both featuring crowded fields. The Republicans will also choose a successor to retiring Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).
Western North Carolina voters will replace now White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on their state’s 11th District November ballot. Former local county Republican chair Lynda Bennett and real estate investment company owner Madison Cawthorn will square off in the postponed Republican runoff election.
In Virginia’s 5th District, Democrats will choose their nominee to oppose former Campbell County Supervisor Bob Good (R), the man who denied freshman Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas) re-nomination in the June 13th Republican district convention.
Gravis Marketing surveyed the North Carolina electorate (6/17; 631 NC registered voters), and though they found a surprising result in the Governor’s race (see below), Gravis once again detects a very tight contest between Sen. Thom Tillis (R) and former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D).
The Gravis numbers give Sen. Tillis a one point, 46-45%, edge, and we can expect to see polling numbers such as these all the way to Election Day. Clearly, this race will remain in toss-up mode all the way through November 3rd, which is typical for a North Carolina statewide campaign.
So far, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has enjoyed strong leads in his general election campaign with Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R). In twelve polls from nine different pollsters conducted a month after the March 3rd primary until the present, Mr. Cooper has averaged 51.8% preference as opposed to Mr. Forest’s 36.2 percent.
Now, however, Gravis Marketing released the results of their one-day flash poll (6/17; 631 NC registered voters), which forecasts the two candidates languishing in a 46-46% tie. We will soon see if this poll is an outlier or is the first to detect a new developing trend in this gubernatorial campaign.
Recently data from across the country and in key battleground states have forecast a strong advantage for Democratic nominee-designate Joe Biden over President Trump. A new Change Research polling series of seven polls, six stemming from their national polling sample (6/12-14; 1,250 US likely general election voters with subsets in AZ, FL, MI, NC, PA, and WI) finds the President gaining in his must-win states.
The national ballot test continues to give Biden a wide 51-41% national margin, but, as is the case with such polling, the Democrats’ overwhelming advantage in the big states skews the overall popular vote count. Additionally, as we saw in 2016, the national count is irrelevant in electing a US President.
In the key states, however, Change Research, which is a Democratic pollster, finds Trump to be within 1-4 points in the key battlegrounds of Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and down by seven points in Florida. It is these battlegrounds that will truly decide the November election.
The House Freedom Action organization is running an ad attacking NC-11 Republican runoff candidate Madison Cawthorn, but their research may be lacking. They accuse Mr. Cawthorn of being a “party boy,” yet he has been in a wheelchair for several years after a horrific vehicular accident that almost claimed his life. The ad then says that being in Congress would be Cawthorn’s first job. Yet, he owns a real estate investment company. Finally, they describe the candidate they are supporting, Republican Lynda Bennett, as being a political outsider, yet she is a former Haywood County Republican Party chair, which is a long way from being a so-called “political outsider.”
We may be hearing more about this ad and the North Carolina runoff to replace now White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before the June 23rd election date.
Three different pollsters report new presidential data coming from the critical state of North Carolina. Each project different margins, yet the cumulative conclusion is, not surprisingly, that the race languishes in toss-up mode.
Public Policy Polling (6/2-3; 949 NC registered voters) finds former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump, 49-45%; Change Research (5/29-31; 806 NC likely general election voters) finds Mr. Biden’s edge to be only 46-45%; finally, Harper Polling (5/25-28; 500 NC likely general election voters) sees the President posting a 47-44% advantage. Regardless of which candidate is leading, all three pollsters find the two men within in the margin of polling error. In 2016, while trailing for most of the race, President Trump carried the state, 50-46 percent.
Coming off four consecutive April-May polls that found Sen. Thom Tillis (R) trailing Democratic nominee Cal Cunningham, East Carolina University just released their latest data (5/7-9; 1,111 NC registered voters) that sees the Senator rebounding to take a slight 41-40% advantage. The previous May poll from the Civiqs organization for the Daily Kos Elections website (5/2-4; 1,362 NC registered voters) projected Mr. Cunningham to a large 50-41% lead.
Interestingly, though the detected margin between the candidates in the two polls was much different, each found Sen. Tillis pulling 41% support.
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