The Change Research organization has previously conducted simultaneous online communication polls in several states, and they have done so again. Yesterday, the group released its surveys for Iowa and Wisconsin. The polls were both conducted over the August 9-11 period. The Iowa survey queried 621 likely Democratic caucus attenders, while the Wisconsin sampling sector featured 626 likely Dem primary voters.
Sen. Warren captures the lead in both states. In Iowa, she tops Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), 28-17-17-13-8%, respectively. Wisconsin breaks similarly: Warren 29%, Sanders 24%, Biden 20%, Buttigieg 9%, and Harris 5%. Obviously, this data shows an uptick for Sens. Warren and Sanders and a possibly dangerous downturn for Mr. Biden.
Two-term Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay), who has romped to 63 and 64% victories in 2016 and 2018, respectively, has drawn a significant Democratic challenger. State Assemblywoman Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton) announced that she will oppose the Congressman next year, but his strong performance in the northeastern Wisconsin CD suggests that she will have an uphill climb in making this contest competitive. President Trump carried WI-8 in the 2016 national campaign, 56-39%.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who was defeated in seeking a third term last year, announced that he will become the President of the conservative Young America’s Foundation in early 2021. This suggests the Governor will be active politically in the 2020 cycle but not return to Wisconsin for the 2022 election and likely beyond. His new operation is headquartered in Virginia.
As we covered last week, the US Supreme Court released their rulings on the Maryland and North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases and whether asking about a person’s citizenship status can be placed on the 2020 census questionnaire.
On the redistricting question, the high court definitively ruled that the partisan gerrymandering question will not be adjudicated by the federal court system. Looking practically at the live cases the SCOTUS’ action affects, the redistricting battles in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin are essentially dead and their current congressional district boundaries will remain in place through the last election of this decade, in 2020.
With Democrats controlling the North Carolina state Supreme Court, it may be possible that the Tarheel State lines are redrawn because of partisan gerrymandering but whether a new case can get to them in time to affect 2020 remains questionable. Unlike the US Supreme Court, the North Carolina high panel does not have the authority to bring a case up before the lower courts rule.
The citizenship question is a bit more convoluted. The court ruled that the government has the right to add this question to the census, but they are sending this particular case back to the Department of Commerce because of potential motivational evidence relating to placing the citizenship query on the questionnaire.
Turning to the census ruling, though the SCOTUS made clear the government does have the right to ask the question, the result of returning it to the Commerce Department likely means the citizenship question will not be on the census questionnaire. Though the Trump Administration may try to stretch the calendar, it is probable that Commerce will not be able to comply with the high court’s directive before the 2020 census must be fielded.
As we reported yesterday, Emerson College conducted a survey of Wisconsin voters, and now they have released their general election pairings. The Democratic primary results projected Sen. Bernie Sanders to be holding a 39-24% advantage over former Vice President Joe Biden.
The general election sample (3/15-17; 775 WI likely voters) pits President Trump individually against the Democratic field. Though the President trails in virtually all settings, he is within the polling margin of error against everyone but Mr. Biden.
When paired with the former Vice President, Mr. Trump trails 51-44%. Sen. Sanders leads him by just two percentage points, 48-46%. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is up by a larger 52-48%, while Beto O’Rourke is staked to a 51-49% edge. The President breaks even with both Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
The Democratic National Committee leadership has announced that Milwaukee, WI has been officially selected as the site of the party’s national convention next year. The official dates encompass the period from July 13-16, 2020. Milwaukee was chosen over the two other finalist cities, Houston and Miami.
The Republicans have chosen Charlotte, NC, for their presidential nominating convention to be held August 24-27, 2020.
We close out the 2018 election cycle with polling snippets from around the country that aren’t consistent with other published data. As we saw in the 2016 election cycle, some of the numbers that appeared to be running against the grain were actually the more accurate. Will it happen again? It won’t take long to find out.
Florida: More Erratic Polls: Around the country pollsters are reporting very different numbers for some key races at virtually the same time, but none have seen the type of polling as has been put forth in the Sunshine State. Looking at the recent extremes, Quinnipiac University (10/29-11-4; 1,142 FL likely voters) finds Sen. Bill Nelson (D) taking a lead over Gov. Rick Scott (R) beyond the margin of polling error, 51-44%. But, St. Pete Polls (11/1-2; 2,733 FL likely voters; automated) within the same polling period that Quinnipiac utilized saw Gov. Scott holding a one-point edge, 49-48%. Then, immediately afterwards, St. Pete re-tested (11/3-4; 3,088 FL likely voters; automated) and found Nelson rebounding into a 50-46% advantage.
While it appears that Sen. Nelson has the closing advantage, these numbers are similar to what Hillary Clinton held over Donald Trump back in 2016, but Trump scored the one-point statewide victory.
Missouri: Still Seesawing: The Show Me State is another place where the Senate race polls continue to bounce back and forth. In their 10/30-11/1 survey, NBC News Marist College (600 MO likely voters) found Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) leading Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), 47-44%. But, Emerson College in their slightly later, Nov. 1-3 survey with a bigger sample (732 MO likely voters), projected Mr. Hawley to hold a 49-46% advantage.
Sen. McCaskill seems to reach her support ceiling at 47%. In 50 polls that have been conducted and released of this campaign since July of 2017, the Senator has only broken 47% three times (the last time in July 2018) and never reached the majority support plateau. This suggests that Mr. Hawley has the slight advantage.
WI-6: A Major Outlier: Though Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District race hasn’t drawn much attention, it has been considered a foregone conclusion that two-term Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Fond du Lac) is in a close race against businessman Dan Kohl, nephew of former US Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI). But, a JMC Analytics/Bold Blue Campaigns survey (10/29-11-3; 500 WI-6 likely voters) finds the Congressman leading Mr. Kohl by a whopping 61-33%.
This is largely explained by a polling sample that is 57% Republican and only 27% Democratic. While the 6th is a Republican seat, its voting history does not suggest it is as strongly for the GOP as this polling sample would lead one to believe. Wisconsin does not register voters by political party, so voter history is the best available indicator. Chances are strong that this poll is an outlier and we will more than likely see a tight finish here tonight.
Georgia: An Outlier, or Not? The Trafalgar Group has just released a Georgia gubernatorial survey (10/30-11/1; 500 GA registered voters) that gives Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) a major 52-40% lead over former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D). Such a result is inconsistent with all other polling that gives Mr. Kemp only a small lead, and normally one within the polling margin of error.
But, we only need to return to an election from two years ago when the Trafalgar Group was the lone pollster predicting a Trump victory in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. They later predicted Republican Karen Handel to defeat Democrat Jon Ossoff in the GA-6 special election when virtually all other pollsters were predicting the opposite result. So, such a poll from a group with such a strong record maybe shouldn’t be so easily discounted.
Marquette University Law School just released their September poll (9/12-16; 800 WI registered voters; 614 likely voters) and sees Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) substantially strengthening her advantage over state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield).
In Marquette’s August poll, the margin between the two candidates was only two percentage points (Baldwin leading 49-47%), but this new survey finds the Senator establishing a 53-42% advantage. Sen. Baldwin, without facing a primary, launched a strong media wave just before and after the August 14th vote, thus taking advantage of Ms. Vukmir having to spend her treasury in order to win the competitive Republican vote.
In a race that continually polls close but bounces back and forth between Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers (D), the aforementioned Marquette University Law School survey (see Wisconsin Senate above) finds the Governor trailing Mr. Evers, 49-44% among likely voters. Expanding to the registered voters universe, the split is a similar 47-43% in Mr. Evers’ favor.
Gov. Walker is running for a third term, but he has already won three elections since 2010, including surviving a statewide recall vote in 2012.
Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Janesville) retirement from his southern Wisconsin congressional district has lead to a competitive open seat election. Siena College, in conjunction with the New York Times, just polled the district (9/11-13; 500 WI-1 responses from 25,479 calls), and found Republican Bryan Steil topping Democrat Randy Bryce, 50-44%. Based upon the district’s voter history, this study appears to accurately reflect the electorate’s predisposition.
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