Two general election polls were recently released into the public domain and they reveal distinct general election conclusions. DFM Research for the SMART Transportation union (1/30-2/6 with no calling on Super Bowl Sunday, 2/2; 600 KS residents) found former Secretary of State and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach (R) and state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills) tied with 43% apiece.
The Kobach campaign then responded with their own McLaughlin & Associates survey (2/12-13; 300 KS likely general election voters), which posted their candidate to a 47-38% advantage over Sen. Bollier, who appears to be a consensus Democratic candidate.
Both polls have methodology issues. The DFM poll queries “residents” as opposed to registered voters, while the McLaughlin poll sites only 300 likely general election voters, which is a small sample. Additionally, neither the DFM nor McLaughlin poll reported a ballot test featuring Sen. Bollier and US Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend), which may have produced a distinctly different result.
Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) just announced her candidacy for the open Virginia Governorship in 2021. Incumbent Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is ineligible to seek a second term from the last state in the nation that limits its elected chief executives to just one term in office. Sen. Chase’s candidacy, as declared yesterday while the legislature was considering the Governor’s gun control initiative, will be slightly different in that she will run on the “gun rights” platform. Ms. Chase obviously won’t be alone among Republicans who will defend the 2nd Amendment, but she apparently is looking to run an early single-issue campaign strategy.
Former US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in an interview as he was casting his early vote for the February 22nd Nevada Democratic Caucus, indicated that he was using all of his ranked choices to support an uncommitted delegate slate rather than any particular candidate. With the race tight and no clear leader emerging, it is possible that voting for uncommitted delegates could be an option that emerges as we move deeper into the nomination contest.
Like in Iowa, the Nevada Caucus participants have the opportunity of having a second or third choice count if their original candidate fails to qualify for delegate apportionment. Candidates must reach 15% to earn bound delegate votes.
As a possible precursor to Reid’s statement and strategy, the state’s politically powerful Culinary Workers labor union announced it would endorse no Democratic candidate.
The Morning Consult organization ran a flash poll on February 12th that included 2,639 online responses from likely Democratic primary voters from around the nation. Their results find Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in first place with 29%, and former Vice President Joe Biden falling into second with 19% support. Moving up quickly is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who has 18% according to the MC data. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg pulls 11%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) drops to 10%, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar registers only 5% national support.
One pattern continues, however, regardless of the finishing order. In all instances no one is close to majority support, and again we see a leader scoring only in the 20s.
Learning from the Iowa Caucus fiasco, the Nevada Democratic Party leaders, who had adopted the same IT system as Iowa but dropped it as soon as it failed in the Hawkeye State, yesterday announced their new counting and reporting procedure. Using iPads and other common technical devices and communication options, the Nevada Democrats look to be better prepared for all contingencies.
Their system, however, is just as potentially confusing as Iowa’s because they, too, are going to allow re-voting for people who support a candidate not making the 15% delegate apportionment cut. With early voting occurring from tomorrow through Monday in anticipation of the February 22nd caucus voting day, individuals will register their first choice and then have the option of ranking as many as four other candidates should their original choices fail to reach 15% of the popular vote. The system appears to have some of the same potential flaws that made the Iowa result extremely close and convoluted. That being the case, the eventual Nevada tally may also end in clouded fashion.
The Iowa Caucus counting and reporting debacle has claimed its first casualty. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price announced via letter that his is resigning his position, saying that he “bears full responsibility” for the glitches and mistakes that caused the reporting errors and massive delays. After the Caucus, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez voiced his support for moving the first voting domain out of Iowa in the next election. At that point, it became clear that local penalties would be paid, and Mr. Price becomes the first to do so.
Survey USA, polling for KING-TV in Seattle, ran a poll of the upcoming Washington gubernatorial race (1/26-28; 1,103 WA registered voters) and finds two-term Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who was an original presidential candidate, clearly leading the race but only with a rather tepid 39% support base. The next closest opponent barely tops double digits, as conservative anti-tax activist Tim Eyman, listed as an Independent candidate, had 11%. None of the potential Republican candidates broke even 5% support.
Since this poll was taken, Mr. Eyman announced that he will compete as a Republican. Though Gov. Inslee is showing weakness, the competition level suggests he will easily be re-elected for a third term. The Washington candidate filing deadline is May 15th for the August 4th jungle primary election. The top two candidates, regardless of percentage and political affiliation, will advance to the general election.
Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategies released a new Alabama poll (2/4-6; 625 AL registered voters; 400 likely Republican primary voters) and it finds ex-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is attempting a comeback for his former US Senate seat, in a bit of trouble. The new survey projects him running ahead of retired Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, 31-29% in the GOP primary, with Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) trailing in third position with 17%.
The results suggest that Sessions will be forced into a run-off, most likely with Mr. Tuberville. Though the run-off ballot test favors Sessions 49-42%, the fact that the former AG and Senator’s name ID is 100% and he scores only 31% on the original ballot test among Republican primary voters portends clear weakness. This March 3rd primary will be one to watch.
In a surprise, Hendrix College, a frequent Arkansas political pollster (2/6-7; 496 AR likely Democratic primary voters), finds former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg taking a slight one-point lead over former Vice President Joe Biden in the Arkansas Democratic primary. This is the first reported poll finding both Bloomberg leading in a state, and Mr. Biden dropping from his former first place position in a southern domain.
The Hendrix results project Mr. Bloomberg to hold a 20-19-16-15-9% edge over Mr. Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), respectively. Obviously, these numbers suggest that the Arkansas primary, with 31 first ballot delegates at stake, is another state where multiple candidates will earn bound delegate votes on Super Tuesday.
Survey USA for the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper ran a poll of the open 53rd Congressional District (2/6-8; 513 CA-53 likely jungle primary voters), fully contained within San Diego County, and finds former State Department official Sara Jacobs (D) opening a wide lead before the March 3rd jungle primary. San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez (D), originally thought to be the favorite to replace retiring Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego), badly trails with just 5% preference.
Ms. Jacobs holds a 23-10% lead over Republican Chris Stoddard and they look to be the two advancing into the general election from field of 14 candidates who will appear on the March 3rd ballot. Under California law, like those in Louisiana and Washington, all candidates are placed on the same primary ballot with the top two, regardless of percentage and party affiliation, advancing to the general election. The 53rd is a safely Democratic seat.
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