Primary Results in FL, NY and OK

August 26, 2022

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

Key Takeaways

  • Primary Results: FL; NY; OK Runoff
  • MN-1: Ex-St. Rep. Brad Finstad (R) Wins Special Election
  • NV-Sen: Conflicting Polls
  • PA-Sen: Dr. Oz Still Alive Despite Poor Start
  • AK-AL: Special Election Count Update; Outlook
  • SC-4: Rep. William Timmons (R) Nov Opponent Withdraws
  • OH-Gov: Gov. Mike DeWine (R) Ahead in Most Polling

Primary Results

Florida: While Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio were unopposed in their respective Republican primaries, Congressman and former Governor Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) defeated Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, 60-35%, to claim the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando), as expected, was an easy 84% winner in the Democratic US Senate primary. 

The House race primaries originally thought to be most competitive ended as follows: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R; 70-24% victory margin), Cory Mills (R; 34-21%; open Stephanie Murphy seat), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D; 35-25%; open Val Demings seat), and Anna Paulina Luna (R; 44-34%; open Charlie Crist seat).

New York: The very active New York congressional primary begins with a special general election win for the Democrats. In a race that many believed the Republican nominee, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro would covert, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan successfully held the 19th CD in the Democratic column with a close 51-49% win with many absentee ballots left to count. Mr. Ryan will now serve the unexpired portion of former Rep. Antonio Delgado’s term. The latter man resigned the seat to accept his appointment as Lt. Governor. 

Curiously, Mr. Ryan will seek his re-election in the 18th District as he ran for both seats simultaneously. There, he will face state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor) who was unopposed in the open seat Republican primary. Former congressional aide John Riley won the 19th Democratic primary and now advances into the regular general election against Mr. Molinaro.

Another incumbent pairing was also decided. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) easily defeated veteran US Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan), 55-24%, thus ending the Congresswoman’s 30-year congressional career. Mr. Nadler had led in all polling, hence the final result is not surprising, though the size of his victory was greater than expected.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) resigned his seat to accept a position in the private sector earlier this year. The Republican caretaker candidate, Steuben County Republican Party chairman Joe Sempolinski, won the special election to serve the balance of the term. He scored a 53-47% win over Democrat Max Della Pia. The latter man, however, won the regular election Democratic primary and moves into the general election.

Oklahoma: As expected, US Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) scored a landslide special election Republican runoff victory, 65-35%, over former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. Mr. Mullin advances into the special general election where he will be favored to defeat former US Rep. Kendra Horn (D). The winner will replace resigning Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) in January and serve the remaining four years of the current term.

In Rep. Mullin’s now open 2nd Congressional District, the primary’s second-place finisher, former state Sen. Josh Brecheen, won the Republican runoff with a 52-48% win over favored state Rep. Avery Frix (R-Muskogee). In Oklahoma’s safest Republican seat, rated R+55, Mr. Brecheen is now a prohibitive favorite to defeat Democratic nominee Naomi Andrews in the general election.


Nevada: The Nevada Senate race is one of the most competitive and important statewide contests in this midterm election cycle, and two polls conducted within the same sampling realm report drawing opposite conclusions. Suffolk University, polling for the Reno Gazette Journal (8/14-17; 500 NV likely general election voters; live interview), projects Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) to be leading former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), 45-38%. Conversely, The Trafalgar Group (8/15-18; 1,082 NV likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees a complete opposite picture. They find Mr. Laxalt holding a three-point edge, 47-44%. 

It is not particularly surprising to see The Trafalgar Group with different results since their polling methodology is unique. Their accuracy rate, however, is among the best in the survey research industry. 

Ohio: After a series of polls from the end of June through early August found US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) leading the Ohio US Senate general election, a second survey this week sees Republican J.D. Vance surging ahead. For the early part of the campaign, Mr. Ryan was spending heavily on advertising that Mr. Vance and his Republican allies left unchecked, thus largely explaining why the Democrat was able to build a lead. Now that Vance has countered, he has already moved past the veteran Congressman.

The new Trafalgar Group survey (8/16-19; 1,087 OH likely general election voters; multi-sampling techniques) finds Mr. Vance topping Rep. Ryan, 50-45%. This largely confirms the Emerson College poll released earlier in the week that saw Mr. Vance holding a similar 45-42% advantage

Pennsylvania: Despite what even a casual observer would perceive as Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Mehmet Oz’s campaign going poorly, two new statewide surveys find him trailing Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) by only four percentage points in arriving at exactly identical ballot test results. 

The pollsters, The Trafalgar Group (8/15-19; 1,087 PA likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and Emerson College (8/22-23; 1,034 PA likely general election voters; interactive voice response system, online & text) both see Mr. Fetterman leading Dr. Oz, 48-44%. On the other hand, the new Franklin & Marshall College poll (8/15-21; 522 PA registered voters; live interview), with a much higher error rate than the other two, finds Mr. Fetterman’s advantage to be 43-30%.


AK-AL Special and Regular: Alaska officials have updated their election totals as more ballots have been received, counted, and recorded. Under Alaska voting procedure, ballots can still be accepted from the outlying rural regions until August 31st as long as they were postmarked on primary day, August 16th

In the special election to fill the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young’s (R) current term, Democratic state Rep. Mary Peltola maintains the lead with an adjusted 38.9% of the vote. Former Governor and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin is second with 31.4% of the vote, a total of 5,630 votes ahead of third place finisher Nick Begich, III (R). Ms. Palin has maintained this 5,000+ vote margin over Mr. Begich for virtually the entire counting process. Second place is critical, since the first two finishers will advance into the Ranked Choice Voting round. 

State officials estimate that approximately 90% of the votes are now recorded. This means another 20,000 ballots could be outstanding. If so, calculations suggest that Mr. Begich would have to garner approximately 73% of the vote pool that remains for a Republican candidate. So far, he has only received 47.2% of the ballots that were marked for either he or Ms. Palin. Should this standing hold, Ms. Palin would need approximately 40% of the Begich second choice votes to overtake Ms. Peltola and win the special election. This is a reasonable number, but her biggest problem could be the number of votes that are disqualified in the second round for mis-marking the multiple entries due to voter confusion over the new system.

Votes are also being counted for the regular House primary election where the top four finishers will advance into the regular general election. Like in the special general election, the top three finishers kept the same order, Peltola-Palin-Begich. The person currently running fourth, Republican Tara Sweeney, who has only 4% of the vote, says she will not continue if she qualifies. The Board of Elections officials ruled that when Independent candidate Al Gross withdrew from the competition after qualifying for the special general that only three would then advance. Therefore, we are likely to see a rerun of this special general election in the regular November vote.

AZ-6: Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research released the first post-primary survey of Arizona’s new 6th District, the seat located in the southeast corner of the state that encompasses the largest part of the city of Tucson. The GQR survey (8/16-21; 500 AZ-6 likely general election voters; live interview) finds Democratic former Tucson state Senator and Representative Kirsten Engel posting a two-point lead over ex-Hispanic Chamber of Commerce official Juan Ciscomani (R), 49-47%. This is Mr. Ciscomani’s first run for elective office.

SC-4: South Carolina Rep. William Timmons (R-Greenville) caught a major re-election break yesterday when his Democratic opponent, Ken Hill, withdrew from the race. Mr. Hill said his business responsibilities, which now require him to spend substantial time in New York, make it impossible for him to continue his congressional campaign. 

Rep. Timmons won a closer-than-expected Republican primary in June, avoiding a runoff with just 52.7% of the vote, largely due to extramarital affair allegations and related unproven claims that he was improperly using his congressional power. 

US Term Limits’ Polling Series: The US Term Limits organization has been conducting a series of US House polls around the nation. RMG Research conducted the surveys for the group and released the results of six new polls conducted between July 31st and August 15th. All included 400 likely general election voters, but how the polling samples were surveyed was not disclosed. 

Of the six August polls, two incumbents were ahead, two were behind, and one was tied. The other study surveyed a North Carolina open seat electorate. In Arizona, Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) leads businessman Kelly Cooper (R), 46-39%. Washington Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Sammamish) held a 47-43% edge over Matt Larkin (R), the 2020 finalist in the Attorney General’s race. 

The two trailing incumbents are Reps. Susan Wild (D-PA) and David Trone (D-MD), while Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) is tied. In the Allentown-Bethlehem district, GOP challenger Lisa Scheller held a 47-43% advantage over Ms. Wild. Maryland state Delegate Neil Parrott (R-Frederick) topped Rep. Trone, 45-43%, while Rep. Horsford and insurance agency owner Sam Peters (R) were tied at 43%. In the lone released open seat poll, Republican Bo Hines held a 44-39% lead over North Carolina state Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Raleigh).  


Michigan: Countering last week’s published Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D) teamed Michigan Governor’s study (8/8-14; 1,365 MI likely voters; live interview & text) that projected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to be leading online talk show host Tudor Dixon (R) 51-46%, Democratic pollster Blueprint Polling (8/15-16; 611 MI likely general election voters; live interview) posts the Governor to a much larger 51-39% advantage. 

Ohio: Democratic pollster Lake Research (4/4-9; 611 OH likely general election voters; live interview) released their latest survey that finds Gov. Mike DeWine (R) holding only a narrow one-point, 44-43%, edge over Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D). 

This result is not particularly surprising. First, the Ohio electorate typically polls close and then one candidate significantly pulls away in the campaign’s last two weeks. Second, Gov. DeWine won his Republican primary with only 48.1% of the vote opposite three opponents suggesting clear weakness within his party’s base. Additionally, over one-third of DeWine voters say their support for him is “not so strongly” or that they are only “leaning” in his direction. 

A week after Lake Research found Gov. DeWine just edging Mayor Whale, the aforementioned Trafalgar Group Ohio survey (8/16-19; 1,087 OH likely voters; multiple sampling techniques) and an Emerson College poll (8/15-16; 925 OH likely general election voters; multi-sampling techniques) see the Governor pulling away with a pair of substantial leads. Trafalgar projects a 16-point advantage for Mr. DeWine at 54-38%. Emerson College posts a similar 49-33% spread.