Democrats are beginning to assess their chances of challenging Lone Star State Gov. Greg Abbott (R) who is preparing to seek a third term in 2022. So far, the Democratic field appears limited but does feature several big names.
Among them are former US Representative, presidential, and Senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, ex-Housing & Urban Development Secretary and presidential candidate Julian Castro, and the latter man’s twin brother, US Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio). Presumably, the two brothers will not oppose each other for the nomination. It will be interesting to see if any of these men make substantial moves toward forming a gubernatorial campaign in the early months of 2021.
Two Senate races were called yesterday, one for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who scored a 51-42% victory over state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport). Ms. Gideon conceded the race yesterday even though the count had not ended. In Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters (D) was projected with a very close win (49.6 – 48.5%) over GOP challenger John James.
The two calls mean that the high number for the Republican majority is 52, with the Democratic maximum being 51. The most likely outcome from the current trends and potentially projecting the runoff election under what may be a Biden victory at the presidential level is either a Republican majority of 51 or 52 seats.
In the House, 40 races remain uncalled, yet many of them are now reporting 100% of the vote being received. Of the 40, the Republicans lead in 25 and the Democrats in 15. This would translate in a Republican net gain in the House of most likely between five and nine seats.
Below is a list of the races that remain uncalled and which candidate is currently leading.
Alaska: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) - Status: 62.3%; Reporting: 50%
Georgia-A: Sen. David Perdue (R) - must reach 50%; Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 97%
Georgia-B: Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) - Status: 32.5%; Reporting: 96%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) - Status: 26.2%; Reporting: Runoff
Maine: Sen. Susan Collins (R) - Winner; Status: 51.1%
Michigan: Sen. Gary Peters (D) - Winner; Status: 49.6%
North Carolina: Sen. Thom Tillis (R) - Status: 48.7%; Reporting: 93%
AK-AL: Rep. Don Young (R) - Status: 63.3%; Reporting: 53%
AZ-1: Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D) - Status: 52.1%; Reporting: 92%
AZ-6: Hiral Tipirneni (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 76%
CA-4: Rep. Tom McClintock (R) - Status: 52.9%; Reporting: 87%
CA-8: Jay Obernolte (R) - Status: 53.3%; Reporting: 37%
CA-21: David Valadao (R) - Status: 51.4%; Reporting: 42%
CA-25: Christy Smith (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 77%
CA-39: Young Kim (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 89%
CA-48: Michelle Steel (R) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 93%
CA-50: Darrell Issa (R) - Status: 52.2%; Reporting: 51%
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) - Status: 51.2%; Reporting: 100%
IA-2: Marianette Miller-Meeks (R) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 100%
IL-14: Jim Oberweis (R) - Status: 50.1%; Reporting: 100%
IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D) - Status: 51.8%; Reporting: 100%
IN-5: Victoria Spartz (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 99%
MI-3: Peter Meijer (R) - Status: 53.1%; Reporting: 99%
MI-5: Dan Kildee (D) - Status: 54.3%; Reporting: 100%
MI-11: Haley Stevens (D) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 97%
MN-1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) - Status: 48.6%; Reporting: 100%
MN-2: Rep. Angie Craig (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 100%
NJ-2: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 75%
NV-3: Rep. Susie Lee (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 85%
NV-4: Rep. Steven Horsford (D) - Status: 49.7%; Reporting: 65%
NY-1: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) - Status: 61.3%; Reporting: 99%
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino (R) - Status: 58.1%; Reporting: 99%
NY-3: George Santos (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 99%
NY-4: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D) - Status: 52.0%; Reporting: 100%
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis (R) - Status: 57.9%; Reporting: 95%
NY-18: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) - Status: 50.8%; Reporting: 100%
NY-19: Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) - Status: 51.3%; Reporting: 98%
NY-22: Claudia Tenney (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 100%
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) - Status: 58.5%; Reporting: 100%
PA-7: Lisa Scheller (R) - Status: 50.7%; Reporting: 86%
PA-8: Jim Bognet (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 86%
PA-10: Rep. Scott Perry (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 89%
PA-17: Sean Parnell (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 94%
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne (R) - Status: 48.8%; Reporting: 99%
UT-4: Rep. Ben McAdams (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 69%
VA-7: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) - Status: 50.6%; Reporting: 100%
WA-3: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) - Status: 54.7%; Reporting: 80%
Three polls were released of the Texas Senate race yesterday, and while all project an advantage for incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R) over challenger M.J. Hegar (D), his lead ranges from two all the way to ten percentage points. Data for Progress (10/22-25; 1,018 TX likely voters; online) sees Sen. Cornyn ahead only 48-46%. The YouGov online survey (10/13-20; 1,000 TX likely voters; online), on the other hand, finds Sen. Cornyn in a better seven-point position, 49-42%. The only live interview poll of the three, however, from Siena College/New York Times (10/20-25; 802 TX likely voters; live interview) shows the Senator holding a full ten-point advantage, 48-38%.
GOP challenger Wesley Hunt was one of the strongest Republican challenger fundraisers in the nation during the 3rd quarter, raising over $2.8 million and actually overtaking Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Houston) by $300,000 in dollars raised for the campaign cycle. A rare poll from the GS Strategy Group for the Hunt campaign also shows the Republican challenger within striking distance. The survey (10/13-15; 400 TX-7 likely voters) posts Rep. Fletcher to only a 46-44% edge over Mr. Hunt, and 40-38% among the voters who say their vote is firm.
The 22nd District in Texas, just south and southwest of Houston, is a traditionally Republican seat that has now become the most ethnically diverse CD in the United States. With Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) retiring, the open seat race is between 2018 Democratic nominee Sri Preston Kulkarni and Ft. Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls (R). The contest draws a toss-up rating, but one that has not attracted much polling attention.
Democratic pollster GBAO went into the field during the October 8-11 period and interviewed 500 TX-22 likely voters. They find that Mr. Kulkarni holds a five-point, 48-43% lead in a race where he dominates the money war. Waiting to see the September 30th financial disclosure report, Mr. Kulkarni had already raised $2.5 million through the June 30th period. Sheriff Nehls is not a strong fundraiser. His September 30th report is published, and his total campaign receipts line only shows $517,000 with less than $30,000 cash-on-hand. Such numbers suggest that Nehls will not be competitive in the final days, making Mr. Kulkarni the favorite to convert this seat.
Sen. John Cornyn (R) received a break within the last few days and has immediately turned the development into a media ad intended for the black community. Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) announced he will not vote for Democratic Senate nominee M.J. Hegar, who defeated him in the statewide runoff election, 52-48%. He particularly pointed out that Ms. Hegar doesn’t mesh with the black community, and Mr. Cornyn is wasting no time taking advantage of Sen. West’s statements.
The Morning Consult series poll (10/2-11; 3,455 TX likely voters; online through a pre-selected sampling universe) finds Sen. Cornyn now holding a 47-38% lead, which is consistent with some of the most recent polling.
Divergent results are being reported in another state, Texas. This time, three pollsters Public Opinion Research, the Civiqs organization for the Daily Kos Elections website, and Data for Progress were the pollsters. All were in the field during the September 30 through October 6 time span.
POR, for Crosswind Media & Public Relations (10/5-6; 1,000 TX likely voters; automated response device), finds Sen. John Cornyn (R) holding a nine-point advantage, 48-39%, over retired Army helicopter pilot M.J. Hegar (D). Civiqs, however (10/3-6; 895 TX likely voters; online) finds Cornyn’s ballot test lead at only one point, 47-46%. Data for Progress (9/30-10/5; 1,949 TX likely voters; web panel and SMS texting; weighted) gives the Senator a three-point edge, 45-42%, but this ballot test was accompanied with Democratic issue questions.
Many analysts and political observers had long described Texas’ open 23rd District, that stretches from northwest San Antonio all the way to El Paso, as a sure Democratic conversion race. Again, however, we see a publicly released poll suggesting that those believing such might have too quickly jumped to a conclusion.
A just-released Public Opinion Strategies survey (10/3-5; 400 TX-23 likely voters; live interview) finds the race still trending as the type of dead heat contest that has marked almost every election cycle during the decade. Most recently, these POS numbers find Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones (D), despite maintaining a huge financial advantage, leading retired non-commissioned Navy officer Tony Gonzales by just a single percentage point, 42-41%. At only one time throughout the decade in this expansive CD did the winning candidate exceed 50%.
Texas Democratic Senate candidate M.J. Hegar’s spokespeople are reporting that the campaign will report raising $13.5 million since the third quarter began on July 1st., bringing her total receipts-to-date to approximately $20 million. Yesterday, the reporting period closed, and dollar figures will be made public soon after the October 15th Federal Election Commission filing deadline. Ms. Hegar’s opponent, three-term Republican Senator John Cornyn (R), has yet to indicate what his campaign raised for the 3rd Quarter, but he had already banked $22 million even before this period began.
A trio of research entities were in the field in Texas during the same period, September 15-22, and found Sen. John Cornyn (R) leading Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar in all instances but with different margins.
Data for Progress (9/15-22; 726 TX likely voters; web panel respondents) found the spread to be only 40-38%. Siena College/New York Times (9/16-22; 653 TX likely voters; live interview) saw a six-point margin, 43-37%. Finally, Quinnipiac University (9/17-21; 1,078 TX likely voters; live interview), produced the largest division, 50-42%, using the largest polling sample within the shortest time period.
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