In addition to a Governor and Senate race on the statewide ballot this year, liberals and conservatives qualified some key initiatives, two of which Survey USA tested (6/26-27; 559 CA likely general election voters) this week. With the idea of expanding the state’s standing in the US Senate, adding electoral votes, and breaking up the “monopoly” state government as venture capitalist Tim Draper, who conceived of the California Three States Initiative, described it, the current Golden State territory would become three new entities, California, Northern California, and Southern California. According to S-USA, only 13% of those surveyed would support this initiative versus 75% who oppose.
The more serious proposal is Republican-led, and would repeal the new 12-cent per gallon gas tax. Repeal support might grow even more once the summer surcharge of an additional 11 cents per gallon takes effect. The surcharge remains in effect until December, and would reappear in succeeding summers. Republicans wanted this initiative not only to repeal what they believe is an onerous tax that is taking the price of a gallon of regular gasoline to $4.00 and above, but also to drive turnout for their down ballot candidates. Right now, the repeal initiative is popular. According to the Survey USA data, by a margin of 46-33%, the voters would support eliminating the tax.
A newly released Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll for Democratic candidate Tom Malinowski (6/20-25; 500 NJ-7 likely general election voters) finds the challenger ticking ahead of incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) by a 47-45% count. The Lance-Malinowski campaign is typically viewed as a toss-up election, and this poll certainly confirms such an assertion. Rep. Lance was first elected in 2008, and has averaged 57.5% of the vote over his four re-election campaigns. Mr. Malinowski is a former US Assistant Secretary of State (Obama) and National Security Council Member (Clinton). He won the Democratic primary on June 5th with 67% of the vote against two opponents.
Public Policy Polling (6/12-13; 633 WV registered voters) released their new West Virginia poll and finds Sen. Joe Manchin (D) continuing to lead Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), but both candidates fall in the 40 percentile range. The actual ballot test numbers give Sen. Manchin a 49-42% advantage. The office holder approval ratings, however, prove quite interesting. While President Trump scores a 64:30% positive to negative ratio, he is the only tested political figure who lands in positive territory. Sen. Manchin scores only a 39:48% favorability index, but he is in better shape than Mr. Morrisey who posted a 30:44% ratio. Gov. Jim Justice (R) fares the worst, at 27:47% positive to negative.
No Golden State US Senate poll this year has found Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) to be trailing, yet the five-term Senator has also never reached majority support. This includes the California jungle primary where she attracted 44% of the vote against 31 opponents. The new Survey USA poll, though with a small sample of just 559 likely general election voters (6/26-27), finds Ms. Feinstein holding a 46-24% lead over fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles state Senator and former state Senate President. Though Sen. Feinstein is showing some weakness, it is unlikely that Mr. de Leon will have the necessary resources to run a winning campaign.
The previously mentioned Marist College Ohio poll (see Ohio Senate above) finds Republican Attorney General and former US Senator Mike DeWine topping former Attorney General Richard Cordray. According to Marist, AG DeWine leads Mr. Cordray, 46-42%, in the open race. Gov. John Kasich (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.
Alaska Survey Research, polling for the Alaska Correctional Officers Association (6/15-21; 654 AK registered voters), released the first public poll of the state’s gubernatorial campaign after former Sen. Mark Begich (D) joined the candidate field. According to ASR, incumbent Gov. Bill Walker (I) drops to third place among three major contenders, understanding that the Alaska primary is not until August 21st. For purposes of this poll, only former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy was tested for the Republicans. Neither ex-Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell nor businessman Scott Hawkins was included in the ballot test questionnaire. That being the case, it is Mr. Dunleavy who takes first place with 38%, followed by former Sen. Begich who posted 33%, and Gov. Walker trailing badly with only 23% support.
The third Marist College poll, and one that CBS/YouGov did not previously survey, is of the Ohio electorate. Here (6/17-22; 778 OH registered voters) found Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) topping Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth), 51-38%. This margin is consistent with other previously conducted and released surveys.
The Sunshine state contest between three-term Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Gov. Rick Scott (R) continues to seesaw. The previously mentioned CBS News/YouGov polling series found Gov. Scott taking a 46-41% lead over Sen. Nelson but Marist contradicts those findings. According to their data (6/17-21; 947 FL registered voters), Sen. Nelson rebounds to post a 49-45% margin.
Earlier in the week CBS News/YouGov conducted an Arizona Senate survey and found Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) jumping out to an early lead over all three Republican candidates. Now, Marist College released their data from their June 17-19 poll of 839 AZ registered voters and they see Rep. Sinema performing in a consistent manner with the previously published data. Against Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson), the Sinema advantage is 49-38%. Opposite former state Sen. Kelli Ward (R), the lead is an almost identical 48-38%. As we found in CBS/YouGov, the Sinema lead over former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is stronger. In Marist, the spread becomes 57-32%. The Arizona primary is August 28th.
A new Monmouth University poll (6/21-24; 400 VA “potential” voters) finds two-term Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-McLean) falling behind the new Democratic nominee, state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudon). According to Monmouth’s likely voter model, challenger Wexton would lead incumbent Comstock, 50-41%. Among the full voter sample, the Wexton margin was 49-39%.
The poll is weighted, but the results may be a bit skewed because the survey sample is far from the actual voter numbers. According to Monmouth, and since Virginia does not register voters by party estimates must be used, 45% of the district voters are Democrats and 42% Republican. The Independent factor is 13%. Yet, for this sample, Independents comprise 50% of the respondent base compared to 25% for both Democrats and Republicans. Monmouth’s own error factor suggests a 10.1% variance just among Republicans, for example. Since Rep. Comstock’s support level among the dominant Independent group was only 36-45%, her actual overall standing may be stronger.
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