Missouri: Sen. Blunt to Seek Third Term
Already turning to the 2022 election cycle, Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R) campaign spokespeople are confirming that the Senator will seek a third term in two years. At this point, no Democrat is emerging. In 2016, then-Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) held Sen. Blunt to a 49-46% victory. Well after the campaign, however, Mr. Kander underwent treatment for PTSD and individuals close to him are quoted as saying that he will not seek a rematch in 2020.
The only Missouri Democratic statewide elected official, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, just lost the Governor’s race to incumbent Mike Parson (R). Her current position is on the ballot in 2022, so there is yet no indication that she is contemplating challenging Sen. Blunt. There are only two Democratic US House members from the state, and the GOP controls both houses of the legislature. Therefore, it is likely that the Democratic leadership will recruit someone from outside of elected office as their Senate candidate in 2022.
Election Ballot Measures
Most states also decided ballot propositions on many subjects, and several considered changes in their electoral systems.
Alaska voters were asked to consider a new primary system that would feature four candidates advancing into the general election. Though almost half the votes are still not counted, it appears the measure will be defeated. At this point, more than 56% have voted No.
Florida has a 60% rule for adopting ballot measures. Therefore, even though 57% of voters approved changing their primary system to a top-two jungle primary, the measure failed to reach the required passage percentage and thus dies.
For years, Mississippi has had a law that required statewide candidates to carry a majority of state House districts in addition to winning the aggregate popular vote. In an overwhelming result, with a 78% majority, the voters scrapped the system and future elections will be decided only from the statewide popular vote count.
Massachusetts voters were asked to approve a measure to adopt Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting system where each candidate is ranked at the voting booth. If no one receives 50% of the vote, the last place candidate is dropped and the ballots that show the last place candidate as the first choice are found and their second choice is added to the count. The Bay State voters rejected the change with almost 55% of the vote.
Two states made changes in their redistricting process. Missouri changed the parameters of a previously adopted procedure that gave power to a state demographer. The measure, passing with 51%, removes the state demographer from the process. Virginia voters, with just under a 66% margin, adopted a new legislator/citizen commission process that will remove map drawing responsibilities solely from the legislative process. The legislature and Governor, however, must approve the commission-drawn maps or the state Supreme Court will assume such responsibility at the end of the process.
Change Research reports conducting a series of online polls from Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 in various congressional districts. They are showing virtual tie scores in several toss-up districts heading into today’s voting:
AR-2: Rep. French Hill (R) vs. St. Sen. Joyce Elliott (D)
IN-5: Ex-St. Rep. Christina Hale (D) vs. St. Sen. Victoria Spartz (R)
MO-2: Rep. Ann Wagner (R) vs. St. Sen. Jill Schupp (D)
NE-2: Rep. Don Bacon (R) vs. Kara Eastman (D)
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) vs. Dana Balter (D)
OH-1: Rep. Steve Chabot (R) vs. Kate Schroder (D)
OK-5: Rep. Kendra Horn (D) vs. St. Sen. Stephanie Bice (R)
Missouri: Gov. Parson Still Leads
In one of 11 Governor’s races on the ballot today, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R), who ascended to the state’s top position when then-Gov. Eric Greitens (R) resigned, today faces State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) for the full four-year term. The final poll, coming from the Remington Research Group (10/28-29; 1,010 MO likely voters; interactive voice response system) projects Gov. Parson to be holding a 50-44% advantage heading into the voting period.
Polling: Margins Changing
A number of polls were conducted over the Labor Day period and we generally see a closing of the presidential race. In Florida, NBC News/Marist College (8/31-9/6; 1,047 FL registered voters; 766 likely voters; live interview) discovers President Trump forging ahead to record a one-point, 48-47%, edge among registered voters, while he and former Vice President Joe Biden are tied at 48% among likely voters.
Turning to another swing state, Michigan, the Glengariff Group (9/1-3; 600 MI likely voters) finds Mr. Biden leading 47-42%, which is a closer spread than seen in most current surveys. The latest three polls from the international research firm Redfield & Wilton Strategies, Hodas & Associates, and Morning Consult, all of which conducted studies between August 11th and September 3rd, projected Mr. Biden to leads of 11, 11, and 10 points, respectively.
A pair of new Pennsylvania surveys also see the contest closing. Redfield & Wilton Strategies, the London, England based firm (8/30-9/3; 1,053 PA likely voters; online), found a five-point spread, with Mr. Biden up 47-42%. Local Pennsylvania research firm Susquehanna Polling & Research (8/26-9/4; 498 PA likely voters; live interview) sees the margin between the two national candidates dropping to two points, 44-42%, again in Mr. Biden’s favor.
Still closing, but in a reversed manner, We Ask America (9/1-3; 500 MO likely voters; live interview) projects that President Trump’s Missouri advantage over Mr. Biden is dropping to five percentage points, 49-45%. This, while the same sampling universe detects an expanding margin for Gov. Mike Parson (R) in his election battle with State Auditor Nicole Galloway. That contest is breaking 54-41% in Mr. Parson’s favor.
Missouri: Gov. Parson Expands Lead
Last week we covered polls from the Trafalgar Group that yielded much better Republican numbers, particularly for President Trump, than other polling firms have produced. The explanation is that their methodology attempts to account for the “shy Trump voter,” or the commonly held belief that the President, and possibly down ballot Republicans, have more support than current polls suggest.
With this background, Trafalgar tested the Missouri Governor’s race (8/26-28; 1,015, MO likely voters) and found non-elected incumbent Mike Parson (R) leading State Auditor Nicole Galloway, 51-36%, which is different than other pollsters are projecting. The only other poll of this race released in August, from Remington Research for the Missouri Scout, found Mr. Parson’s lead to be seven points, 50-43%. Mr. Parson ascended to the Governorship with elected Governor Eric Greitens resigned because of a sex scandal.
MO-2: Another Close One
In 2018, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Ballwin/St. Louis County) escaped with a 51-47% victory and looks to be in another tough battle in what was once a safe Republican suburban St. Louis congressional seat. For the second consecutive election cycle, it again appears highly competitive. A just released Public Policy Polling survey (8/13-14; 925 MO-2 voters) sees state Sen. Jill Schupp (D-Ladue) moving ahead of Rep. Wagner with a 45-42% as President Trump also falls behind former Vice President Joe Biden, 48-46%, in a district that he carried 53-42% in 2016.
Missouri: Gov. Parson Gains Strength
At the end of June, we saw a YouGov poll (6/23-7/1; 900 MO likely voters) forecasting that Gov. Mike Parson’s (R) lead over State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) was dropping to just two percentage points. Other polling to that point found Mr. Parson holding a high single-digit advantage.
Now, a new survey suggests a return to the previous margin. The Remington Research Group released their poll for the Missouri Scout political blog (8/12-13; 1,112 MO likely voters; via interactive voice response system) that projects the Governor’s margin reverting to the 50-43% range. Gov. Parson is running for his first full term in office after he ascended to the position when elected Gov. Eric Greitens (R) resigned in May of 2018.
Missouri: Rep. Clay Loses
Later in the evening after Rep. Watkins was defeated, ten-term Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) met the same fate in the adjoining state. Cori Bush, a pastor and 2018 congressional candidate, returned for a re-match and with the help of the Justice Democrats PAC upset the veteran House member, by 4,600 votes or just over three percentage points.
Ms. Bush now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the general election and is expected to join the group of young minority House members on the Democratic Party’s far left spectrum. Messrs. Watkins and Clay now becomes the sixth and seventh House members, respectively, to be denied re-nomination in the 2020 election cycle.
Most Important Summer Primary
Voters in five states will cast their ballots today, including the controversial Kansas Senate Republican primary. The state also features three important congressional primaries and one, in the 2nd District, that could deny freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) re-nomination. Electorates are also voting in Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Arizona and Michigan feature Senate races, but the general elections in both states are set. Governors’ races are occurring in Missouri and Washington.
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