GOP Primary Tied in MO-Sen Race; Dem Primary a Dead Heat in MD-Gov Race

July 8, 2022

This article originally appeared on BIPAC's blog. Written by BIPAC Senior Political Analyst Jim Ellis.

Key Takeaways

  • AZ-Sen: Blake Masters Opens Republican Primary Lead
  • MO-Sen: GOP Primary a Three-Way Tie
  • FL-1: Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R) Primary Challenge Becoming Serious
  • NY-19: Dem Pat Ryan Running in Two Districts on Same Day
  • HI-Gov: Lt. Gov. Josh Green (D) Maintains Big Lead
  • MD-Gov: Dem July 19 Primary a Dead Heat


Arizona: Last week, we reported on a Public Policy Polling survey (6/28; 595 AZ likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) that projected venture capitalist Blake Masters, who former President Donald Trump endorses, to a 29-15-10% advantage over Attorney General Mark Brnovich and businessman Jim Lamon. Earlier, the Trafalgar Group (6/7-9; 1,077 AZ likely Republican primary voters) found the Masters’ lead at a more modest 29-24-17% over AG Brnovich and Mr. Lamon.

Change Research just released their new general election poll (6/24-27; 705 AZ likely general election voters; online) and projects Sen. Mark Kelly (D) to be holding a substantial 48-39% lead over Mr. Masters. Businessman Jim Lamon (R) performs better. He would trail Sen. Kelly, 47-41%. Surprisingly, it does not appear that CR tested Mr. Brnovich against the incumbent.

Georgia: Last week, we also covered the Quinnipiac University survey (6/23-27; 1,497 GA registered voters; live interview) that forecast Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) leading Republican Herschel Walker, 54-44%. The more recent Change Research poll (6/24-27; 704 GA likely general election voters; online) projects a closer contest, however. The CR results find Sen. Warnock’s lead to be 48-44%, which is more consistent with other publicly released data for this campaign.

Missouri: The Trafalgar Group tested the open Missouri Republican US Senate primary (6/28-30; 1,072 MO likely Republican primary voters; multiple sources) and found a virtual three-way tie for the GOP open seat nomination. Their latest ballot test finds US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) and former Gov. Eric Greitens tied at 24%, with Attorney General Eric Schmitt right behind at 23%. US Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield) and state Senate President Dave Schatz (R) are way back at 6 and 2% support. 

Mr. Greitens was forced to resign from the Governor’s office in 2018 because of an extra-marital affair and charges brought against him in St. Louis County. The indictment was later dropped due to prosecutorial misconduct. The former Governor and ex-Navy SEAL recently released an ad showing him holding an automatic weapon, attacking a vacant house, and claiming he is chasing down “Republican RINO’s” (Republican in Name Only). Despite the negative feedback, Mr. Greitens continues to promote the theme. 

Nevada: Change Research also tested the Nevada Senate race as part of their multi-state series. The Silver State survey (6/24-27; 701 NV likely general election voters; online) again finds Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) running neck and neck. The CR Nevada ballot test finds the Senator holding a 46-43% lead, which is consistent with five other polls that have been conducted from March to the present time. Nevadans are no strangers to close elections. In their last ten statewide contests, only four winners have topped the 50% mark with the strongest victor receiving only 50.6%.

New Hampshire: Continuing with the series of late June Change Research online polls, the New Hampshire race was also tested. At this point, the only released data is of an unlikely general election pairing between Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) and retired Army General Don Bolduc (R). This poll (6/24-27; 704 NH likely general election voters; online) gives the Senator a 49-40% lead. 

Gen. Bolduc, however, is an underdog to win the Republican primary as state Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem), Londonderry former Town Manager Kevin Smith, and investor Bruce Fenton all look to be stronger candidates in the September 13th Republican primary race. This poll should be considered the base Republican position against Sen. Hassan.

North Carolina: The Trafalgar Group recently tested the North Carolina Senate race (6/29-7/1; 1,068 NC likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and, like all but one pollster since the May 17th primary, finds US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) leading former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) by a slim margin, 48-45%, in this case. This is the fifth released post-primary survey, and all show both candidates in the 40s. Rep. Budd leads in four of the five published polls, with an average edge of 4.5 percentage points. Ms. Beasley’s only advantage, 44-40%, came in the June 8-12 Survey USA poll.


FL-1: Embattled US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) just saw his Republican primary challenge become tougher. One of his GOP opponents, Air Force veteran Bryan Jones, announced that he is withdrawing from the campaign in order to give former FedEx executive and Marine Corps veteran Mark Lombardo a stronger chance of unseating Gaetz.

Mr. Lombardo has ingested $1 million of his own money into the race and just released a new television ad emphasizing the sex trafficking investigation that involves the Congressman. Now with only test pilot Greg Merk on the ballot to deflect anti-Gaetz votes, Mr. Lombardo has positioned himself as a challenger with the potential ability to snatch the nomination away from the Congressman. The Florida primary is August 23rd, and this race will become very interesting between now and then.

IL-6: Former Chicago area US Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) said early in the week that he is considering entering the 6th District race as a “centrist Independent” either in this election or the next. Rep. Lipinski lost the 2020 Democratic primary to progressive left challenger Marie Newman who was then defeated in this year’s 6th District Democratic primary. Mr. Lipinksi would ostensibly challenge the victor from the latter nomination campaign, Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove). To qualify as an Independent, Mr. Lipinski would have to submit valid petition signatures from 5,000 registered district voters by July 25th. 

His entry this year is unlikely. Running as an Independent wouldn’t give him much of a chance to win, but he could draw enough support to throw the seat to Republican Keith Pekau, the Orland Park Mayor who won the 6th District GOP nomination. The latter outcome would be a real possibility since the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this district as a D+6, meaning it could potentially flip in a wave Republican year.

IL-13: It is now official that conservative educator Regan Deering has won the close Republican primary campaign in new District 13. Ms. Deering defeated former federal prosecutor Jesse Reising by a tight 34.7 - 33.1% margin. She now advances to the general election to face former Obama Administration official Nikki Budzinski (D). 

The 13th is a newly created open seat that stretches in the form of a snake from the Champaign/Urbana area through Decatur and Springfield before ending in East St. Louis. The FiveThirty Eight data organization rates the seat D+7. The Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean as 53.5 - 41.8% in favor of the Democrats, so it is obvious that Ms. Budzinski begins the general election campaign as the favorite for November. The new 13th is the by-product of Reps. Mary Miller (R-Oakland) and Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) being paired in the 15th CD.

NY-19: Special election Democratic candidate Pat Ryan, the Ulster County Executive, countered an earlier Triton Research poll that posted Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R) to a substantial 52-38% lead. The Ryan internal Public Policy Polling survey (6/29-30; 581 NY-19 general election voters) finds Mr. Molinaro holding a 43-40% edge.

The PPP poll is confusing in that it tests NY-19's general election voters. The Ryan-Molinaro election, however, is a special election in the current 19th CD to fill the balance of Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado’s (D) final months of the US House term to which he was elected in 2020. 

For the general election, regardless of whether he wins or loses the special election, Mr. Ryan is running in the new 18th CD. There, he will face Republican state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor). The NY-19 special election is scheduled for August 23rd, concurrent with the regular election primary. Thus, Mr. Ryan will be running for two different House seats on the same day.


Arizona: Data Orbital and Moore Information are out with polls that tell a different story in what has become a GOP gubernatorial race between former news anchor Kari Lake and Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson. Last week, ex-US Representative and 2000 gubernatorial nominee Matt Salmon dropped out of the race and endorsed Ms. Robson. 

The Moore Information survey was conducted for the Salmon campaign (6/22-23; 1,000 AZ likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) and produced a ballot test that posted Ms. Robson, for the first time, to a 38-37% edge over Ms. Lake in a two-way race. 

Late this week, Data Orbital’s poll release indicated (6/30-7/2; 515 AZ likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text), without Mr. Salmon in the race, that the previous Lake 39-31% advantage drops to 40-35%. The Arizona primary is August 2nd. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is the likely Democratic nominee. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is ineligible to seek a third term, but late this week formally endorsed Ms. Robson.

Hawaii: A Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now survey (conducted by MRG Research; 6/28-30; 1,120 HI registered voters; 782 HI likely Democratic primary voters) projects physician and Lt. Governor Josh Green to be holding a huge 48-16-15% lead over US Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo), and former Hawaii First Lady Vicky Cayetano. Mr. Green has enjoyed big leads since the campaign’s beginning. He is clearly the favorite for the party nomination on August 13th, and to succeed term-limited Gov. David Ige (D) in the general election.

Maryland: The Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, polling for the Wes Moore gubernatorial campaign (6/22-27; 601 MD likely Democratic primary voters; live interview), finds the Maryland Democratic primary headed for a razor-thin finish in the upcoming July 19th delayed nomination election. 

According to the GHY results, state Comptroller Peter Franchot slips by author Wes Moore by just a 21-20% margin, with former Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez closely trailing at 16%. A third of the voters still claim to be undecided within two weeks of the primary election. The nomination vote was delayed from its original June 28th date when a court overturned the state’s new congressional lines.

Texas: International online pollster YouGov, for CBS News, tested the Texas general election electorate and again finds Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leading in his quest for a third term. The poll (6/22-27; 548 TX likely general election voters; online) sees the Governor topping former US Congressman and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D), 49-41%. Considering that Texas Republican candidates tend to under-poll based upon the eventual final election result, it is conceivable that Mr. Abbott is in even stronger position that this survey indicates.

Wisconsin: Businessman Kevin Nicholson was a late entry into the Republican gubernatorial campaign and now he is an early exit. Yesterday, Mr. Nicholson, a former US Senate candidate, said he is discontinuing his gubernatorial campaign conceding that he has little chance to win the party nomination. This leaves the race as an ostensibly two-way affair between former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and construction company owner Tim Michels. Gov. Tony Evers is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The general election is rated as a toss-up.