Primary Results in AK, HI and WY

August 19, 2022

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

Key Takeaways

  • Primary Results: AK; HI; WY
  • MN-1: Ex-St. Rep. Brad Finstad (R) Wins Special Election
  • FL-Sen: Conflicting Polls
  • OH-Sen: J.D. Vance (R) Rebounds to Lead in Senate Poll
  • FL-13: Tight Open Republican Primary in Key Sea
  • VA-7: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) Opens Small Lead
  • PA-Gov: AG Josh Shapiro (D) Opens Large Lead

Primary Results

Alaska: With just under 70% of the voting tabulated, and as expected by consolidating the smaller Democratic vote, former state Rep. Mary Peltola (D) is leading the special election race to fill the state’s at-large congressional district left vacant when veteran Rep. Don Young (R-Ft. Yukon) passed away in March. 

Former Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin (R) holds a 5,197 vote lead over Nick Begich, III (R) for the all-important second place position. Under Alaska’s new voting procedure, ballots postmarked on election day have until August 31st to reach the county clerk’s office and be tabulated. The extra time is important for the outlying rural areas to be included. 

Second position is so important because the third-place finisher in this electoral situation, at this point Mr. Begich, will be eliminated and the Ranked Choice Voting process will begin. If Begich is eliminated, the ballots listing him as the first choice will be found and the second choice votes from only these ballots will be added to the process. The eventual winner will immediately be sworn into the House. All three of the aforementioned candidates also advanced into the regular general election.

Turning to the US Senate race, incumbent Lisa Murkowski (R), running for a fourth full term, is first at this point in the counting process with 44% of the vote among 19 jungle primary candidates, and just ahead of former Alaska Director of Administration Kelly Tshibaka (R), who former President Trump long ago endorsed. Ms. Tshibaka’s current vote percentage is 40. It appears Democrat Patricia Chesbro (6.2%) is well-positioned to take a distant third place, while vying for the fourth and final position is between Republicans Buzz Kelley and Pat Nolin. 

In the Governor’s race, incumbent Mike Dunleavy (R) looks to have secured first position with 41.7% of the jungle primary vote among ten candidates. Also clinching general election ballot slots are former state Representative Les Gara (D) with 22.0% of the vote, and ex-Gov. Bill Walker (I) who so far has posted a close 21.9%. The final general election qualifying position appears undecided between two Republicans, Charlie Pierce and Christopher Kurka. 

Hawaii: Hawaii held its statewide primary last Saturday, and the results produced no surprises. In the defining Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a physician, easily defeated former Aloha State first lady Vicky Cayetano and US Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo) in a landslide 64-21-14%, respectively. Mr. Green now becomes the prohibitive favorite to defeat Republican nominee, former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, who scored a majority victory in the GOP primary.

In the open 2nd House District race, former state Sen. Jill Tokuda recorded a 59-25% victory over state Rep. Patrick Branco (D-Kailua) and four others. She now becomes a lock to replace Rep. Kahele who risked his safe House seat for his long shot, and now proven unsuccessful, run for Governor. The Republican primary winner, with 83% of the vote, is 2020 GOP congressional nominee Joe Akana. He lost to Mr. Kahele 58-28% two years ago in the general election, and is likely headed to a similar fate later this year.

Sen. Brian Schatz was an overwhelming winner in his Democratic primary, notching 94% of his party’s vote. He will face state Rep. Bob McDermott (R-Ewa), who won the Republican primary with a 41% plurality over four opponents.

Rep. Ed Case (D-Kaneohe) also easily won renomination in his 1st District Democratic primary, with an 84-16% landslide over progressive left challenger Sergio Alcubilla. Democratic turnout overwhelmed that of Republicans. With ancillary counting remaining, a total of 218,523 individuals voted in the Democratic primary versus just 59,006 who chose the Republican contests.

Wyoming: At-Large Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson/Jackson) lost her US House seat at the hands of attorney Harriet Hageman, the candidate former President Donald Trump supported early. The vote count was a landslide for Ms. Hageman, 66-29%, who ran a measured campaign. Her theme was concentrating on serving the constituency while highlighting that Rep. Cheney used the position to fulfill her own political goals. 

The incumbent carried only her home county of Teton, which houses the cities of Jackson and Jackson Hole, and southeastern Albany County, while Ms. Hagman topped the vote totals in the state’s other 21 counties. Republican turnout overwhelmed that of the Democrats, 170,411 to just 7,233 ballots cast, suggesting that a large number of the latter party’s members did what Ms. Cheney asked and crossed over to vote for her in the Republican primary. 

The GOP turnout was up 58.7% compared to 2020, while Democratic participation was down 69.3%, providing more evidence that a significant number of Democrats voted in the Republican primary. Two years ago, Ms. Cheney won a contested Republican primary with 73.5% of the vote, and scored a 68.6% win in the general election.

Ms. Hageman will now face the new Democratic nominee, Native American community activist Lynette Grey Bull, the 2020 party standard bearer against Ms. Cheney. Ms. Hageman now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the general election.  


Florida: A pair of polls was recently released, and each shows a different leader. The University of North Florida released their survey (8/8-12; 1,624 FL registered voters; online) and surprisingly found Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando) leading incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R) by a 48-44% clip, the first time any poll had shown a result such as this since early May. In six polls since that time, Sen. Rubio had led in four with two dead heat ties.

Simultaneously, the Center Street PAC surveyed the Florida electorate (8/12-14; 610 FL likely voters) and found a completely different result. This poll projects Sen. Rubio to a 52-41% likely voter advantage, and a smaller 46-39% edge among the larger pool of 996 Florida registered voters. These two polls, conducted within the same relative time frame, show the volatility in the current race, which is typical for Florida election polling. Republican votes are also usually slightly under-counted in Sunshine State polls, as well.

New Hampshire: St. Anselm’s College released the results of their quarterly poll of Granite State voters, this one taken a month before the state’s late primary election. This New Hampshire sampling universe (8/9-11; 1,898 NH registered voters; 900 NH likely Republican primary voters; live interview), as have those from two other St. Anselm’s 2022 polls, sees President Biden with an upside-down job approval rating. Mr. Biden registers 42:57% favorable to unfavorable. 

Republicans hold a three-point lead on the generic party vote questions, and 68% of the respondents believe the country is on the wrong track versus just 21% who believe America is headed in the right direction. Democrats have a clear advantage on the abortion issue by a 49-23% margin.

In the Senate GOP primary to be decided September 13th, retired General and 2020 Senate candidate Don Bolduc holds a significant 32-16-4-4% advantage over state Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem), former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith, and investor Bruce Fenton.

Ohio: After seeing a series of six statewide polls that projected Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/ Youngstown) to be holding a small lead over author J.D. Vance (R), the new Emerson College survey sees a GOP rebound. The Emerson poll (8/15-16; 925 OH likely general election voters) finds Mr. Vance reversing the field to claim a three-point 45-42% edge. 

The previous results were to be expected. Rep. Ryan developed a lead when spending $7+ million on early advertising with no counter from Vance or Republican outside groups. Now beginning to promote their message, we see a new survey reflecting Vance in a better position. Typically, the Ohio electorate polls close until the final two weeks when one candidate pulls away, usually the Republican, and wins the race going away. 

Pennsylvania: Still recovering from a major stroke suffered right before the May 17th Pennsylvania primary, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman returned to the campaign trail late last week. This week, a new poll shows him expanding his lead over television doctor Mehmet Oz (R). Public Opinion Strategies released the results of their new August survey conducted for the Pittsburgh Works Together organization (8/7-10; 600 PA registered voters; live interview) that posts Mr. Fetterman to a 52-36% lead over Dr. Oz. This 16-point spread represents the largest polling margin of this campaign.


FL-7: St. Pete Polls conducted a very small sample survey of the state’s 7th District, which now includes part of the Orlando area and stretches to the Atlantic Ocean through Volusia County. Though the poll (8/5; 205 FL-7 likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) is far below the typical sample-size standard for a congressional district, the results were consistent with other earlier studies. 

This one found Iraq/Afghan War veteran Cory Mills, who attracted national attention when organizing flights into Afghanistan to rescue people when the Taliban was over-running the country, leading state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-Howey-in-the-Hills) 23-22%. Though the race features eight Republican candidates, the primary battle appears to be winnowing down to Messrs. Mills and Sabatini. The Republican primary winner will be favored in the general election.

FL-13: The open St. Petersburg anchored 13th District features a close contest. St. Pete Polls conducted an automated survey on August 15th (436 FL-13 likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) and found 2020 Republican congressional nominee Anna Paulina Luna leading attorney Kevin Hayslett, 37-34%, with attorney and 2020 candidate Amanda Makki trailing with 14% support. Interestingly, of the people who said they have already cast their ballot through the early voting process, Mr. Hayslett led 39-37%.

The numbers are similar to a previously published American Viewpoint survey (7/24-27; 400 FL-13 likely Republican primary voters; live interview) that projected Mr. Hayslett trailing Ms. Luna 36-34%. The Republican winner will oppose former Defense Department official Eric Lynn who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The post-redistricting 13th now favors a Republican in the general election.

NH-1: The co/efficient survey research firm tested the upcoming September 13th Republican congressional field in the state’s swing 1st District. New Hampshire’s eastern CD has defeated more incumbents than any seat in the country since the 2004 election. 

In the Republican primary where candidates hope to challenge Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) in the general election, the survey (8/13-14; 829 NH-1 likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text) projects 2020 nominee Matt Mowers to be leading the field with 31% support. Former Trump White House media aide Karoline Leavitt 16%, state Rep. Tim Baxter (R-Portsmouth) 9%, and former news reporter and wife of ex-Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), Gail Huff Brown, at 8% preference. This district electorate will once again witness a highly competitive general election.

VA-7: RMG Research, conducting their series of polls around the country for US Term Limits (7/31-8/6; 400 VA-7 likely voters) finds two-term Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) leading Prince William County Supervisor Vesli Vega (R) by a 46-41% margin, suggesting we will see a highly competitive campaign effort from both sides throughout the remaining part of the general election cycle. Though upside-down in job approval in the 7th CD, President Biden’s ratio is better than in most places, 48:51% positive to negative. The Biden factor should be less of a drain on Rep. Spanberger than it may prove on certain Democratic candidates in other places.