New Hampshire: Bolduc Pulls Into Tie: The co/efficient firm tested the New Hampshire electorate (10/25-26; 1,098 NH likely general election voters; live interview & text) and sees retired Army General Don Bolduc coming all the way back to even in what was believed to be his long shot chance against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D). With Republican leaders coming within a percentage point of denying him the party nomination, General Bolduc has successfully rebounded to competitive status in the short time since the September 13th primary. The co/efficient ballot test finds both candidates pulling 46% preference.
Though the reported vote totals are customarily low in New Hampshire, only 21,089 recorded votes so far according to the Target Smart data organization representing 16.5% of the number voting early in 2020, Republicans are up 4.7% over their previous performance while Democrats are down .7 of a percent.
Ohio: Conflicting Five Point Leads: Two polling entities, surveying within the same time period, arrive at diametrically different results. In fact, both project the Ohio Senate candidate they see as the leader to a five-point advantage. Center Street PAC (10/24-26; 508 OH likely general election voters) posts the race in Rep. Tim Ryan’s (D-Warren/ Youngstown) favor with a 47-42% margin. The Cygnal polling firm (10/22-26; 1,817 OH likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) comes to a wholly different conclusion: Republican J.D. Vance leading 49-44%.
The preponderance of October polling is more consistent with Cygnal’s findings. In the last 16 surveys, Mr. Vance has led in 11 of the ballot tests, Rep. Ryan in three, and in two the candidates were tied. So far, however, early voting favors the Democrats. Based upon their 2020 performance, the Democratic participation is up 3.5 percentage points while the Republicans are down 4.4 points.
Pennsylvania: Confirming Polls: At the end of last week, Insider Advantage became the first to publish a survey after the Pennsylvania Senate debate and projected the Republican nominee, Dr. Mehmet Oz, to be holding a 48-45% edge. Now, we see two more pollsters coming to similar conclusions.
The Wick Insights research firm tested the PA electorate (10/26-27; 1,000 PA likely general election voters; online) and sees a 48-46% Dr. Oz lead. The co/efficient firm was also in the field (10/26-28; 1,716 PA likely general election voters; live interview & text) and likewise found a 48-45% Oz edge over Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D).
The latter poll found both Senate candidates saddled with upside down favorability indexes. Dr. Oz, as he has for most of the election cycle, records a higher negative than positive ratio, 37:46%. Mr. Fetterman now joins Dr. Oz in negative territory with an index of 43:49%.
NH-1: Rep. Pappas’ Advantage: The 1st District of New Hampshire has seen more incumbents lose since 2004 than any CD in the country. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester), however, is working on bucking that trend. Running for a third term, the co/efficient New Hampshire poll (10/25-29; 525 NH-1 likely general election voters; live interview & text) projects the Congressman to a four-point, 48-44%, lead over former Trump White House aide Karoline Leavitt (R).
NH-2: Upset Possibility: As part of their statewide survey, co/efficient also tested the state’s 2nd CD, which covers New Hampshire’s western sector. This sub-poll (10/25-26; 573 NH-2 likely general election voters; live interview & text) finds challenger Robert Burns (R), the former Hillsborough County (Manchester) treasurer, edging five-term Rep. Annie Kuster (D-Hopkinton), 44-43%.
Though this is the more Democratic seat of the state’s two districts – the FiveThirtyEight organization rates NH-2 as D+2 and NH-1 as R+1 – the 2nd CD may give the Republicans their better opportunity of claiming an upset on election night.
Alaska: Ballot Counting Schedule Announced: Because the state of Alaska allows ballots to be received a full two weeks after the election and the Ranked Choice Voting system they will use in the general election if no candidate receives majority support is a challenge to count, the Alaska Division of Elections announced they will release final electoral counts on November 23rd. Initial counts will be released on election night, November 8th, followed by official updates on November 15th and 18th. Both the US Senate and at-large House races stand a good chance of advancing into the Ranked Choice system.
Pennsylvania: First Post-Debate Poll Gives Qz Lead: The Insider Advantage firm is the first to publish a survey after the Pennsylvania Senate debate in which the post-event coverage suggests that Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) performed poorly. The poll (10/25; 750 PA likely general election voters) yields the Republican nominee, Dr. Mehmet Oz, to a 48-45% edge, and is only the third survey during the entire election cycle that projects him with a lead.
A total of 83% of the poll respondents said they saw all or part of the debate either live or in post-debate news coverage. While this poll favors the Republicans, early vote totals portend a Democratic advantage.
CT-5: Republican Takes Lead: Republicans have been excited about their congressional candidate, former state Senator George Logan, who like incumbent Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Wolcott) is African American, and now we see why. A new Emerson College survey (10/19-21; 500 CT-5 likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects Mr. Logan to a 48-47% lead over Rep. Hayes, the first time any survey has shown him holding an edge over the incumbent.
According to the Target Smart organization, both parties are improving their early voting performance by approximately three percentage points when compared with the 2020 pattern. This northwestern Connecticut race becomes another of the many to watch on election night.
NC-13: As Close as Predicted: The court-drawn North Carolina congressional map created a new open district from the south Raleigh suburbs through the city of Fayetteville. To make it extremely competitive, they also included Johnston County, which is solidly Republican. A new survey suggests the district is playing out just as competitively as drawn.
Survey USA released a poll of the new district (10/21-24; 584 NC-13 likely general election voters; live interview & text), and it predictably found the candidates locked in a dead heat. The ballot test posts state Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Raleigh) to a bare one-point lead, 44-43%, over Republican Bo Hines. The early vote count from the Target Smart data organization also shows a close result with both parties down a bit from their respective 2020 early vote performance.
PA-12: Name Confusion: St. Rep. Summer Lee (D-Braddock) has a unique problem. Though running in a strongly Democratic open congressional seat that includes downtown Pittsburgh, her Republican opponent’s name is the same as the long-time retiring Democratic Congressman, Mike Doyle.
Ms. Lee is running ads clearly explaining that her opponent is not the retiring Congressman. Her approach is likely to work since the new 12th District is strongly Democratic. The fact that she has to advertise to warn about mistaken identity, however, tells us that Ms. Lee’s internal data is showing that the name confusion is causing her political problems.
Georgia: Walker Leading in Three Polls: A trio of surveys conducted during the October 21-25 period from three research firms, co/efficient, Moore Information Research, and the Trafalgar Group all see Republican Herschel Walker claiming a small advantage over Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) as the campaign enters its final ten days and early voting continues at a robust pace.
The co/efficient firm finds Mr. Walker’s lead at 47-44%, very similar to Moore’s 46-42%, while Trafalgar posted a smaller 49-47% spread. In the last ten polls, Sen. Warnock has led in four, Mr. Walker four, and in two surveys the candidates were tied. In nine of the ten research studies, the spread is three points or less. The preliminary early voting reports, however, give the Democrats a clear edge.
Pennsylvania: Fetterman Campaign Complains Caption System Failed: Immediately after Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman’s poor performance in his statewide debate against Dr. Mehmet Oz (R), the former man’s communications staff reportedly began complaining that the captioning system both sides agreed to have present in order to help the Democratic nominee as he recovers from his stroke, failed. The Fetterman campaign indicated that the captions were slow and didn’t correctly translate the spoken sentences, thus explaining their candidate’s often halting and unclear answers.
Nextar Media Group administered the debate and its chief spokesman retorted that the system worked well and that Mr. Fetterman only participated in one of the two rehearsals they offered him. He said Fetterman attending both sessions would have allowed him to better master the system.
Arizona: Lake Pulls Away: Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has held a close lead in five of the last six Arizona statewide polls conducted, but the new Insider Advantage survey (10/24-25; 550 AZ likely general election voters; live interview & text) sees a major breakthrough.
The IA ballot test, conducted for Fox 10 News in Phoenix, sees Ms. Lake brandishing a 54-43% lead, the largest for either candidate in the entire general election campaign. Insider Advantage’s chief pollster largely credits the major move toward Ms. Lake as a response to Democratic nominee Katie Hobbs refusal to participate in a televised debate.
Contrasting the Governor’s result, the same polling sample posts Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly to a 45-43% lead over GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters. At this point in the early voting reporting process, Republicans see a greater improvement when compared to their past performance than do Democrats.
New York: Gov. Hochul Expands Lead: After a co/efficient poll was released this week (10/18-19; 1,056 NY likely general election voters; live interview & text) giving US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) a one-point, 46-45%, edge over Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), a new Civiqs data group survey (polling for Daily Kos Elections; 10/22-25; 593 likely general election voters; online) detects a much larger advantage for the Governor. This ballot test projects Gov. Hochul topping Rep. Zeldin by eleven percentage points, 54-43%.
Oregon: Dem Kotek Attacks Dem Gov. Brown: With ten of the last twelve polls showing Republican former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) leading Democratic former state House Speaker Tina Kotek, the latter woman is attempting to put some distance between herself and unpopular Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. Ms. Kotek is now claiming that in meetings with the state leadership that included Gov. Brown and Ms. Drazan, it was she, Ms. Kotek, who was the only person wanting to take action about the homeless crisis in Portland during the height of the city sector’s violence last year.
The Kotek accusation, along with early voting reporting showing strong improvement for Republicans based upon their previous performance, suggests the Democrats’ internal data is also pointing toward unfavorable signs for Ms. Kotek’s candidacy just as we approach the campaign’s end.
Early Voting Trends: Mixed Bag: Looking at the state specific early voting numbers that the Target Smart organization provides, we see both parties out-performing their previous pattern in certain key states where enough ballots have been reported to properly analyze.
In the most pivotal Senate states, Republicans have improved over their 2020 early participation totals in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina. Democrats have the early advantage in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The early voting cycle still has a critical ten days remaining, so the numbers remain highly fluid.
Ohio: Early Voting Favors Ryan, Polls Show Vance: While the Ohio early voting numbers give the Democrats an edge in turnout so far, a four-day track from the Cygnal polling firm, meaning four online polling reports during the period of October 14-24, each gives Republican J.D. Vance a four-point lead over US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/ Youngstown). Three other entities, Marist College, Suffolk University, and The Trafalgar Group, were also polling within this same time realm, and while they report a Vance lead, their margin for Vance is even less than four points.
MI-7: Rep. Slotkin Opens Lead: The Glengariff Group research firm released their survey of the 7th Congressional District contest between two-term Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Lansing). The poll (10/18-20; 400 MI-7 likely general election voters; live interview) finds Rep. Slotkin leading Sen. Barrett, 47-41%.
On issues, this poll revealed a lean toward the abortion issue as being most important, the first time we’ve seen any survey post this subject ahead of the cost of living. Furthermore, the analysis indicates that 47% of the undecided voters are Republican as compared to just 22% of Democrats who profess to be in a similar status. The analysis indicates that extrapolating the undecided vote into the aggregate ballot test would see Rep. Slotkin’s lead drop to under three percentage points.
Arizona: Tight Finish Expected: Four pollsters are returning numbers during the October 14-21 period, each finding a close race between Republican former television news anchor Kari Lake and Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. The co/efficient, Data Orbital, Susquehanna Polling & Research, and The Trafalgar Group were all in the field during the aforementioned period.
With sampling universes between 550 and 1,111 likely Arizona general election voters, three of the firms, co/efficient, Data Orbital, and Trafalgar find Ms. Lake holding a slight lead three and four percentage points. Susquehanna projects Ms. Hobbs to be holding a one-point edge. In no poll does either candidate reach the 50% mark, though co/efficient and Trafalgar post Ms. Lake to a 49% support figure.
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