Georgia: Warnock In
Two days ago, four-term Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) entered the Senate contest to oppose newly appointed Georgia incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R) in an expected move. Yesterday, also as predicted, Rev. Raphael Warnock, who pastors the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, declared his candidacy as a Democrat. Ebenezer is historic because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in the church, co-pastored there with his father, and was the site of his funeral. Rev. Warnock, 49, has been senior pastor at the church, which was originally founded in 1886, since 2005.
Texas: No Clear Leader
The Texas Lyceum survey (1/10-19; 401 TX likely Democratic primary voters) that tested the Democratic presidential field also looked at the impending Senate primary that features 12 competitors. Like other research studies, Lyceum finds no candidate holding a major advantage and nine of them having a statistical chance of making a secondary run-off election. The Texas primary is March 3rd. If no one receives 50% in that election – a virtual certainty – the top two finishers will advance to a May 26th run-off election. The eventual nominee faces three-term Senator John Cornyn (R) in November.
The results find retired Army helicopter pilot and ex-congressional candidate M.J. Hegar pulling 11%, state Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) with 8%, non-profit executive Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez at 7%, former Congressman and gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell, Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards, pastor and civil rights activist Michael Cooper, retired Army officer Victor Harris, and businesswoman Sara Hernandez each with 5%, and attorney Annie Garcia posting 4% support.
California Poll: Another Sanders Lead
The second released poll in two days finds Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leading the state’s Democratic primary. At stake are California’s 415 first ballot votes, the largest of any state. Two days ago, the University of California at Berkeley posted Sanders to a 26-20-15% advantage over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Vice President Joe Biden. Yesterday, Change Research’s large sample online poll (1/25-27; 1,190 CA likely Democratic primary voters), sees a larger 30-18-15% margin over Warren and Biden with former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 8% and businessman Andrew Yang pulling 5% of the vote.
Pennsylvania Poll: Biden's Tepid Edge
Former Vice President Joe Biden needs to score big in his native Mid-Atlantic region, but the latest small sample Franklin & Marshall College Pennsylvania survey (1/20-26; 292 PA likely Democratic primary voters) posts Mr. Biden to only a 22-15-14% lead over Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). If this poll were to project an accurate finish, the three would split the state’s large 186 first ballot delegate contingent.
No other candidate finished in double digits. Ex-Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg led the also-rans with 7 and 6%, while Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and businessman Andrew Yang follow with 5% apiece.
Georgia: Collins In
As expected, four-term Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) announced that he will oppose newly appointed Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler in what could be a partisan Republican primary.
When Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Ms. Loeffler, he also set the primary on November 3rd, a date concurrent with the general election. The format will be that of a jungle primary, meaning members of the same party could advance to a run-off if no one receives majority support. The legislature, however, is moving a bill that would change the format and move the special primary to May 19th, the partisan primary date for all other Georgia campaigns.
With most Republicans and Democrats in the legislature signaling their support for the legislation – the bill moved from the first policy committee with unanimous Democratic support and opposition from only a lone Republican – the measure seems to have a strong chance to pass. Gov. Kemp says he will veto the bill, but it may pass with such a margin to suggest the legislature could override his action. The partisan primary would greatly enhance Rep. Collins’ chances while ensuring that Democrats would have a candidate qualifying for the general election.
AZ-2: Rep. Kirkpatrick Draws Primary
Former Organization of American States official and ex-congressional aide Peter Quilter yesterday announced that he will challenge Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the August 4th Democratic primary. Rep. Kirkpatrick was admitted to a rehab center to battle alcoholism her office staff announced, meaning she could be vulnerable to accusations that she can longer adequately perform the job. The Quilter challenge might upgrade the Republican field lining up against her. A tough late Democratic primary could put this seat into play for the GOP, likely advancing the district on the Republican target list.
Iowa Poll: Monmouth Poll/Civiqs
Two pollsters’ final Iowa Caucus studies were released yesterday, and both Monmouth University and Civiqs, polling for Iowa State University, reveal basically the same finding. That is, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears to be in the strongest position while former Vice President Joe Biden and ex-South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg are also in range to perhaps snatch a first place finish. In any event, it appears that the top four finalists, in whatever order the race ends, will likely qualify for delegate apportionment. With only 41 delegates at stake, each candidate’s committed delegate share will be small.
With 219 first ballot delegates to be decided in the March 17th Florida primary, the Sunshine State will be a major factor ending the first set of primaries. When voting concludes on that day, 57.5% of the first ballot delegates will be locked, and we should be able to tell if an initial roll call nominee will emerge or if the convention is headed to multiple ballots.
Regardless of the national standing, the new St. Pete Polls survey (1/27-28; 2,590 likely FL Democratic primary voters; online) again finds former Vice President Joe Biden dominating the field. The results project him holding a support figure of 41%, with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in second position with 17%. Here, and for the first time since polling began in earnest, both Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) drop into single digits.
The new YouGov Florida poll (1/26-28; 591 likely FL Democratic primary voters), however, see things radically differently. YouGov projects Mr. Biden to only a two-point lead, 26-24% over Sen. Sanders, with Sen. Warren trailing with 20%. This poll is consistent with other nationally released data, while St. Pete’s latest offering is not.
Texas Poll: Biden Lead Tightening
Former Vice President Joe Biden has been polling well in Texas ever since former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) exited the presidential campaign. Now, however, the Texas Lyceum survey (1/10-19; 401 TX likely Democratic primary voters) finds a much closer standing. The data still yields a first place finish for Mr. Biden at 28%, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is close behind with 26. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) follows with 13%, while ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) all fall into single digits.
Texas has 228 first ballot delegates and is the second largest state to apportion its delegates on Super Tuesday. If this poll were wholly accurate, Mr. Biden would claim approximately 41 at-large first ballot votes, while Sen. Sanders would have 38. Texas, like California, has more delegates in their districts than at-large. Texas also uses their 31 state Senate districts to apportion instead of their 36 congressional seats. Therefore, another 149 first ballot delegate votes will be decided in the individual state Senate districts.
Alabama: Sessions Expands Lead
The OnMessage polling firm just released their latest poll and it finds former US Attorney General and ex-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R) expanding his lead for the upcoming Alabama Senate primary on March 3rd.
According to OnMessage (1/13-15; 700 AL likely Republican primary voters), Mr. Sessions now holds a 43-22-21-8% lead over US Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile), retired former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, and former Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Judge and 2017 US Senate nominee Roy Moore. The results, even though placing Mr. Sessions in much better position than previous polling, still suggest that he and one other opponent, either Messrs. Byrne or Tuberville, will advance to a run-off election.
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