AZ-6: Rep. Schweikert in Violation
The House Ethics Committee closed an investigation of Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) and issued a report after all parties reached an agreement. Mr. Schweikert admits he committed eleven violations in the areas of “campaign finance violations and reporting errors, spending government money to support his political campaigns, pressuring government staff to perform campaign work,” and, for the Congressman’s "lack of candor and due diligence in the course of the investigation." While the investigation is now closed, the findings will certainly become a campaign issue.
The Arizona primary is Tuesday, and former 8th District congressional candidate Hiral Tipirneni is poised to win the Democratic nomination. She reported raising almost $2.5 million for the race at the June 30th financial reporting deadline and has almost $1.3 million cash on hand for the general election. Though drawn as a safely Republican seat, the recent Arizona demographic and voting changes coupled with Schweikert’s proven ethics violations puts this seat in play for November.
GA-14: Runoff Polling
Republican candidate John Cowan, a north Georgia surgeon, just released a new internal poll as reported in the NJ Hotline (7/23-26; 400 GA-14 likely runoff voters) in anticipation of the August 11th runoff election. The results find Dr. Cowan and his opponent, first place primary finisher Margorie Taylor Greene, tied at 38% apiece. This is a consistent result with two earlier polls that showed each candidate establishing a three-point lead. In the primary, Ms. Greene outpolled Dr. Cowan, 40-21%, which was well short of the 50% she needed to capture the nomination outright.
MN-1: Another Close Contest
In 2018, Jim Hagedorn was one of two Republicans to win a Democratic congressional district. He scored an open seat 50.1 – 49.7% victory over former Defense Department official Dan Feehan (D), a margin of just 1,315 votes. Mr. Feehan returns for a re-match this year, and a new Victoria Research & Consultants poll (7/19-23; 511 MN-1 likely general election voters) finds the Democrat jumping out to a small lead, 48-46%. Early signs suggest that the second election between these two candidates could be just as close as the first.
North Carolina: Polling Extremes
Two survey research companies tested the Tar Heel State electorate within days of each other, and their combined results in the Senate and Governor’s races could hardly be more different. Redfield & Wilton Strategies conducted surveys in several states. Their North Carolina poll was conducted from July 19-21 and interviewed 919 likely general election voters. Cardinal Point Analytics went into the field during the July 22-24 period and interviewed 735 likely voters.
The presidential cut was relatively close between the two pollsters. Redfield found former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump by just one point, 43-42%. Cardinal found the President holding a two point lead, 47-45%.
The Senate and Governor’s races, however, yielded strong differences. Redfield found former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) leading Sen. Thom Tillis (R), 47-36%. Cardinal, however, sees the two candidates falling into a 43-43% tie. Redfield sees Gov. Roy Cooper (D) holding a substantial advantage over Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R), 51-37%. Cardinal projects this race to be tied, as well, 46-46%. Again, different methodologies and samples are often producing large variances during the 2020 election cycle.
Virginia 2021: An Independent Candidate?
Apparently, US Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas), who was defeated for re-nomination in the district convention back in June, will not try to gain ballot access as an Independent candidate. The Congressman earlier suggested he was exploring such options and still appears to be considering an independent candidacy, but for Governor next year instead of the congressional seat that he currently holds.
Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is making moves to run again, while state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian/Chesterfield) has already announced her candidacy on the Republican side.
Georgia: Loeffler Jumps Into Lead
Monmouth University completed a Georgia survey (7/23-27; 402 GA likely voters) that found, for the first time, appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) leading the special election field for the November 3rd jungle primary election to fill the remainder of resigned Sen. Johnny Isakson’s final term. Mr. Isakson departed the Senate at the end of 2019 for health reasons.
According to Monmouth, Sen. Loeffler leads Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville), 26-20% with Democratic businessman Matt Lieberman, the son of former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (D/I), trailing in third place with 14%. Following is Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed candidate Raphael Warnock at only 9% preference, ahead of only former US Attorney Ed Tarver’s 5% preference figure.
This is the first time a poll has reported Sen. Loeffler with a lead, so confirming data will have to be released before the Monmouth poll is treated as anything but an outlier. This is not the first time, however, that a survey has projected both Republicans advancing to the January 5th runoff election. If no candidate attains the 50% plateau on election night, the top two finishers will advance into the secondary election.
GA-5: Special Election Set
Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced that the special election to fill the remainder of the late Rep. John Lewis’ (D-Atlanta) term will be filled with a jungle primary scheduled for September 29th. If no candidate receives majority support, the top two will runoff on December 1st. It is likely that state Senator and Georgia Democratic Party state chair Nikema Williams will win the special election outright. She is the official replacement for Mr. Lewis on the November ballot for the regular term, so seeing her lose the special election would be highly unlikely.
MO-1: Curious Ad Makes Sense
Two days ago, we ran a post about veteran Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) running a negative ad against his little-known opponent, which seemed an unnecessary move in a race that appeared the incumbent was positioned to easily win. Now, the Congressman’s strategy makes more sense. Yesterday, the Justice Democrats PAC, at least loosely affiliated with Rep. Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez (D-NY), launched an ad wave in support of challenger Cori Bush in her effort to deny Rep. Clay re-nomination. With this outside organization coming into the race within the last week of the campaign, we can expect much more to follow making this a contest to watch next Tuesday night.
NY-12: Rep. Maloney Declares Victory
Five weeks after the New York primary and still without numbers being released, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) declared victory yesterday, saying she will be re-nominated by at least 3,700 votes. New York City officials report that over 95,000 absentee ballots have been counted, but such is not the entire allotment. Ms. Maloney’s opponent, business executive Suraj Patel did not dispute the count but is still a plaintiff in a lawsuit asking for court intervention to count every ballot regardless of when it was postmarked or received by county authorities.
On election night, with just under 40,000 ballots counted, Ms. Maloney’s margin was below 700 votes. She predicted the absentee votes would heavily be in her favor and it appears her analysis was correct. Assuming her preliminary primary victory holds, the Congresswoman will easily win the general election.
TX-22: Big Republican Lead
A new survey projects Ft. Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehl’s, fresh from a landslide Republican runoff election victory, in very strong general election position despite having virtually no money. According to a new Meeting Street Insights survey (7/19-22; 400 TX-22 registered voters), Sheriff Nehls would hold a 44-32% lead over 2018 Democratic nominee Sri Preston Kulkarni.
The 22nd is a traditionally Republican seat from which Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) is retiring. Even though the southern Houston suburbs are changing demographically, and this is the most over-populated district in a state that should gain three seats in the new national reapportionment plan, the poll result finds Mr. Nehls with surprising political strength.
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