Last night’s national election, as predicted, looks to be headed to political overtime.
The presidential race won’t be decided for more than a day, and possibly not until all ballots are received and counted in Pennsylvania. The state’s post-election ballot reception deadline is Friday, November 6th, at 5:00 pm.
It appears that former Vice President Joe Biden (D) has the inside track to unseat the President, but Mr. Trump still has a narrow path to victory.
It is likely that the Republicans have held the Senate majority despite what appears to be a close loss at the top of the ticket. Defending 13 of the most vulnerable 16 Senate seats, the GOP may break even. Converting Alabama and leading in Michigan offsets the loss of seats in Arizona and Colorado. Four races remain undecided.
Republicans had a much better night in the House than expected. With 43 races still uncalled, a reasonable projection suggests the Democrats will return to the House with a majority margin approximately seven seats less than in the current Congress. This would make the new majority 226D-209R, and certainly put House control front and center for the 2022 election cycle.
In the 11 Governor’s races, we saw one state flip from Democrat to Republican, the open Montana race that completed a Republican sweep of the top four statewide offices. At-Large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) was elected the state’s new Governor replacing term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D) who lost the Senate race to incumbent Steve Daines (R).
Polling and predictions generally proved unreliable. Once more, the big leads projected for the Democratic presidential nominee in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin did not materialize, while cumulative polling projections did correctly forecast Arizona and potentially Georgia. For the fourth consecutive major statewide race in Florida, the overwhelming number of pollsters failed to correctly project the winner.
It appears the cumulative polling community is potentially wrong in several Senate races including North Carolina, Maine, and the Michigan margin even if Sen. Gary Peters (D) rebounds to win. They also consistently under-estimated Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s electoral strength.
The media projection early in the evening of Democrats gaining seats in the House also proved incorrect.
The projected record turnout may not be as high as many projected. While it is clear we will exceed the 136,792,535 voters we saw in 2016, which was a record participation level at the time, the grand total in this election may not reach the 150 million mark that many analysts were suggesting, and very likely not the 155 million others predicted. We are likely to venture beyond 140 million, but how much further remains to be seen when all of the states have reported, and ballots completely tabulated.
We will have further coverage of the finer details in the coming days.
Though the Alabama Senate race is one of the most important on the board for majority control, few pollsters have paid much attention. The only consistent pollster is the University of Auburn at Montgomery, which has just released a new ballot test result as we approach Election Day. The survey (10/23-28; 853 AL likely voters; online) finds retired head football coach Tommy Tuberville (R) topping incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D), 54-43%. This type of margin is consistent with previous polls, and Mr. Tuberville remains the favorite to win on Tuesday.
We see another example of individual pollsters sampling the same political campaign within the same time frame and posting drastically different results. In this example, the Alabama Senate race is tested. The two research firms were both in the field during the October 11-14 period. Moore Information interviewed 504 likely voters, while FM3 Research conducted live interviews of a similar group of 801 presumed voters.
Moore Information, consistent with previous polls, finds challenger Tommy Tuberville (R) holding a large 55-40% over Democratic first term Sen. Doug Jones. FM3, on the other hand, actually projects Sen. Jones to be holding a one point, 48-47%, edge. This is the first poll of any kind to deliver such a result. It is likely the latter poll is an outlier.
Though the Alabama Senate race is one of the most important in the country because converting the seat would increase the Republican majority to 54, thus making it much more difficult for Democrats to claim control, it has not attracted much in the way of polling attention.
The University of Auburn at Montgomery, however, just released their new numbers (9/30-10/3; 1,072 AL registered voters; online) and it confirms that former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville (R) holds a double-digit lead over Sen. Doug Jones (D). The UofA survey finds Mr. Tuberville’s advantage reaching 54-42%.
The Alabama Republican challenger campaign has generally drawn little attention, but a new Morning Consult survey (9/11-20; 658 AL likely voters; online from pre-determined sampling group) suggests that retired Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville (R) enjoys a major lead over Sen. Doug Jones (D). The MC results find Mr. Tuberville holding a strong 52-34% advantage over Sen. Jones. Winning this seat is critical to any chance the Republicans have of holding their Senate majority.
The Morning Consult research firm conducted a series of surveys and finds Republicans building big leads in two key states and falling into close contests in another pair where they should have a strong advantage.
In Kentucky (7/24-8/2; 793 KY likely voters), the MC data finds Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recording a 53-36% lead over retired Marine Corps helicopter pilot Amy McGrath (D) who has raised a whopping $47 million+ for her campaign. Alabama GOP nominee Tommy Tuberville likewise holds a major Morning Consult detected advantage over Sen. Doug Jones (D). This poll (7/24-8/2; 609 AL likely voters) projects the retired Auburn University head football coach topping the Democratic incumbent, 52-35%, in what is a must-win conversion race for the GOP.
Morning Consult detects close races in two other states that should be much stronger for the respective Republican incumbent. The South Carolina survey conducted over the same period as the others (741 SC likely voters) finds Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) claiming only a one-point, 44-43%, edge over former South Carolina Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison, while in Texas, Sen. John Cornyn (R) posts only a six-point margin (2,576 TX likely voters from a pre-determined sample cell; online) over Democrat M.J. Hegar, 44-38%.
Retired Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville easily won the Alabama Republican runoff election last night with a landslide 61-39% victory margin over ex-US Attorney General and former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. Mr. Tuberville advances into the general election where he will now challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D) in what has become a must-win for the Republicans in order to hold their Senate majority. This could be the most important indicator race in the country to determine majority status for the next Congress.
Two important House Republican runoffs were decided last night that almost certainly determined who will capture the open seat races in November. In the Mobile anchored 1st District, Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl defeated former state Sen. Bill Hightower to win the GOP nomination. He now becomes a prohibitive favorite to defeat the new Democratic nominee, retired Marine Corps non commissioned officer James Everhart who won his party’s runoff last night with a 57-43% majority.
In the southeastern 2nd District, former state Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) recorded a big 60-40% win over moving company owner Jeff Coleman, who outspent the victor by a 5:1 margin. Mr. Moore becomes the prohibitive favorite in November to succeed retiring Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery). Retired educator Phyllis Harvey-Hall won the Democratic nomination outright in the March 3rd primary.
The long-awaited Alabama Republican runoff election is today, and we will soon see if retired Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville or ex-US Attorney General and former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will challenge incumbent Doug Jones this November. The latest poll, from Auburn University at Montgomery (7/2-9; 558 AL general election voters; number of Republican runoff voters not disclosed) finds Mr. Tuberville leading Mr. Sessions, 47-31%. While the final margin may not be that wide, all data suggests that Mr. Tuberville is the favorite to win tonight.
Primaries and runoffs are still on the political horizon, but July is a light electoral month. Tomorrow, the postponed New Jersey statewide primary will be held, and a new extensive mail voting procedure will be tested as all registered voters were sent a live ballot. The Delaware stand-alone presidential primary will also be conducted. The regular statewide Delaware primary is the latest in the nation, scheduled for September 15th. Stand-alone presidential primaries will also be held this month in Louisiana (7/11) and Puerto Rico (7/12).
July 14th hosts runoff elections in Alabama and Texas. The important US Senate Republican contest between retired Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and ex-US Attorney General and former Senator Jeff Sessions will be finally be decided that day. Runoffs in the open 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts will also send contestants to the respective general elections in what should be safe Republican seats. The original Alabama runoff election date was March 31st.
Texas holds a US Senate Democratic runoff and 15 House secondary elections postponed from May 26th. From the latter group, nine Republican contests and six Democratic electoral events will finally determine general election participants. The Texas and Alabama primaries were held all the way back on March 3rd.
Maine holds its postponed primary also on July 14th. State House Speaker Sara Gideon is a heavy favorite to win the Democratic US Senate nomination to face incumbent Susan Collins (R). Three credible Republicans are vying for the opportunity of challenging freshman Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) in what is likely to be a competitive 2nd District general election campaign.
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