Former Vice President Joe Biden looks to be putting some distance between he and the Democratic field. It appears he is returning to his large lead status at precisely the right time.
His polling range swings from +28 percentage points (Starboard Communications; 2/26; 1,102 SC likely Democratic primary voters) to +20 (Monmouth University; 2/23-25; 454 SC likely Democratic primary voters) to +17 (Emerson College; 2/26-27; 425 SC likely Democratic primary voters) to just +4 points (Change Research; 2/23-27; 543 SC likely Democratic primary voters). All signs point to a Biden victory tomorrow. The question that remains is whether or not the South Carolina result will boost his prospects throughout the south on Super Tuesday.
Just as in Colorado, the Data for Progress polling organization tested the Virginia Super Tuesday electorate (2/23-25; 499 VA likely Democratic primary voters). Here Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leads former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg 28-19-17-17%. Here, too, the numbers suggest that the top four candidates will likely qualify for delegate allocation.
Polling such as what we see in these three states mentioned above gives credence to the analysis that the Super Tuesday result will be muddled with several candidates gaining a substantial number of bound first ballot delegates. Super Tuesday’s results will go a long way toward determining if a first ballot victory can be achieved, or whether the candidates advance to a contested national convention in July.
Precious little polling data has come from the Centennial State of Colorado despite it being a Super Tuesday primary state, but a new study was just released. Data for Progress (2/23-25; 471 CO likely Democratic primary voters) finds Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leading Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), 34-20%, with ex-Mayors Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg tied at 14% apiece. Former Vice President Joe Biden lags behind the group at only 10% support. The numbers suggest that the top four candidates all have the potential of qualifying for delegate allocation. Colorado has 67 first ballot national convention delegates.
The University of New Hampshire’s polling operation has often been characterized as erratic at best. Their new general election presidential poll is a case in point. The survey (2/19-25; 576 NH likely voters) finds largely unbelievable responses from a pool of Granite State voters.
Against Michael Bloomberg, President Trump would lead, 47-33%. But, if ex-Mayor Pete Buttigieg wins the Democratic nomination, Mr. Trump would trail in New Hampshire, 48-42%. The Trump-Bernie Sanders pairing would result in a 46-46% tie. Finally, President Trump would top former Vice President Joe Biden, 46-44%.
Three-term US Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-Alto/Monroe), who ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 2019 and originally self-term limited to six years in the House, announced yesterday that he will keep his promise and retire at the end of the current Congress. This yields an open seat in north/central Louisiana, and we can expect to see multiple candidates come forward well before the July 17th candidate filing deadline.
Louisiana employs the jungle primary system but holds their election concurrently with the regular general. If no one receives majority support on November 3rd, which will be likely, the top two finishers advance into a December 5th run-off contest. Mr. Abraham’s departure means there are 42 open seats headed into the next election, with 31 coming from the Republican column as compared to only 11 from the majority Democrat category.
The latest California Democratic presidential polls find Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pulling away from his opponents, but is it too late? According to Point Blank Strategies (2/23-25; 2,098 CA registered voters), Sen. Sanders posts a 34-13-11-11% lead over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and ex-Vice President Joe Biden in the battle for the large 415 member delegate contingent to the Democratic National Convention. YouGov, in their latest CA survey (2/23-25; 584 CA likely Democratic primary voters) projects Sanders leading Biden, 30-20%.
While the results might be in the realm of accuracy, the polls did not take into account the 1.3 million voters who have already cast their ballots under California’s early voting law. Regardless of the late polling results, it is fair to suggest that multiple candidates will qualify for delegate allocation in the Golden State, thus limiting the large delegation’s influence.
Survey USA, for KGTV television and the San Diego Union Tribune (2/20-23; 606 CA-50 registered voters), finds former US Rep. Darrell Issa (R) putting some distance between he and third place poll finisher Carl DeMaio (R), a former San Diego City Councilman. According to S-USA, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar leads the jungle primary with 35% of the vote, while Mr. Issa captures 21 percent. Regardless of party affiliation and primary percentage, the top two finishers advance into the general election. Within this polling sample, Mr. DeMaio records 15% support.
Despite Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) resigning this seat, there will be no special election, so the jungle primary candidates are in the regular election cycle campaign. This means the post-March 3rd vote will occur on November 3rd. Even in this poll, the aggregate Republican vote has the advantage over the combined Democratic number (45-40%) in what is viewed as one of the few safely Republican seats in California. Still, Mr. Campa-Najjar leads the field by a large margin.
US House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-Columbia/Florence) yesterday formally endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden as expected. Rep. Clyburn’s support will likely help Mr. Biden with African American turnout that will reinforce his polling lead within the state. This is a significant occurrence for Mr. Biden, who was present at the announcement, and will likely help him cement first place in Saturday’s Democratic primary. The key for him now will be to increase his margin to cut into Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) delegate lead heading into Super Tuesday.
Yesterday, veteran Sen. Jim Inhofe (R), who is now 85 years of age, issued a statement saying that he will reveal his political plans on March 6th. He has not yet indicated whether or not he will seek a fifth full term later this year. The Oklahoma candidate filing deadline is April 10th for the June 30th state primary.
Sen. Inhofe was first elected in a 1994 special election. He then won full terms in 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014. Coming to the Senate after serving four terms in the House, Mr. Inhofe was also elected as Mayor of Tulsa and to stints in both the Oklahoma House and Senate. Except for a two-year hiatus from 1984 through 1986, Mr. Inhofe has served in elective office consecutively since 1967. If he decides to retire, we can expect to see a crowded field form for an open Republican Senate seat.
Marist College/NBC News tested the South Carolina electorate mainly to gauge the Democratic presidential primary, but they also surveyed the upcoming US Senate race between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) and presumed Democratic nominee Jaime Harrison, the former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman. The research study (2/18-21; 2,661 SC adults; 2,382 registered voters via telephone interview) finds Sen. Graham topping Mr. Harrison 54-37%. This race has generated some national attention as Mr. Harrison has raised over $7.6 million for the race with $4.7 million cash on hand.
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