Three Races Virtually Tied in IA House; Special Election Confusion in MN-1

July 29, 2022

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

Key Takeaways

  • AZ-Sen: Polling Seesawing Right Before Primary
  • MO-Sen: AG Schmitt & Rep. Hartzler Battling to End
  • Iowa House: Three District Races Virtually Tied
  • MN-1: Special Election Confusion Before Aug 9 Election
  • GA-Gov: Gov. Brian Kemp (R) Maintaining Lead
  • States: MI-Gov


Arizona: The Battleground Connect organization tested the Arizona GOP Senate field (7/17-18; 800 AZ likely Republican primary voters; live interview) and found businessman Jim Lamon bouncing back into the lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. The spread is 33-28-16%, which is the second time Mr. Lamon has placed first in five publicly released July polls. 

The lead is seesawing between Messrs. Lamon and Masters with AG Brnovich generally registering a distant third. Since April, both Lamon and Masters have each topped the field in seven published surveys. The Arizona primary is Tuesday, and the volatility in the surveys suggest we will see a close finish. The GOP winner then challenges Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in November.

Georgia: The University of Georgia, polling for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper (7/14-22; 902 GA likely general election voters; live interview), finds Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) clinging to a small lead in the US Senate race, the third consecutive published poll to project Warnock’s edge margins between 3 and 9 points. The UGA/AJC ballot test sees Sen. Warnock holding a 46-43% edge over retired NFL football star Herschel Walker (R). 

Another poll, from Survey USA (7/21-24; 604 GA likely general election voters), posts the Senator to a 48-39% advantage. Mr. Warnock holds the lead despite the Republicans having a 46-41% lead on the UGA’s generic ballot question, with the right track/wrong track ratio at 10:78%, and President Biden reaching a 60% disapproval rating.

Illinois: The Victory Research organization polled the Illinois Senate contest between incumbent Tammy Duckworth (D) and attorney and conservative activist Kathy Salvi (R). The survey (7/17-19; 1,208 IL likely general election voters) arrived at a much closer result than one would have expected. According to the VR data, Sen. Duckworth’s lead over Ms. Salvi is 43-34%. The result is surprising not so much in the margin between the two candidates, but that the Senator is so far below the 50% mark. It is still highly likely, however, that Ms. Duckworth wins re-election in the Autumn.

Missouri: The hard-fought Missouri Republican primary is just days away, and three new late July polls are bringing sighs of relief to GOP leaders. It has long been believed that the Missouri race comes off the table if either Attorney General Eric Schmitt or US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) wins the party nomination, but danger looms for the GOP if resigned, scandal-tainted Gov. Eric Greitens were to forge through a crowded field with plurality support.

Three polls were conducted from July 21 through 24, and the results are consistent. The Remington Research Group (7/23-24; 802 MO likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system), the Trafalgar Group (7/22-24; 1,059 MO likely Republican primary voters; multiple sample-gathering tactics) and Emerson College, polling for The Hill newspaper (7/21-23; 1,000 MO likely Republican and Democratic primary voters, but the number of each is unspecified; multiple sample-gathering tactics), all arrived at similar conclusions. That is, Attorney General Schmitt seems to be developing a secure lead.

RRG sees Mr. Schmitt leading Rep. Hartzler and Mr. Greitens, 32-25-18%.  Trafalgar finds the candidates placing in the same order, but a bit closer, 27-24-20%. Emerson’s numbers are better for Mr. Schmitt, at 33-21-16%. For the Democrats, Emerson projects philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, despite being under heavy political attack, as leading Iraq War veteran Lucas Kunce 39-35% with a 22% undecided factor.

Ohio: The progressive left Innovation Ohio organization is quoting a GrowProgress platform survey (7/5-10; 2,000 OH registered voters; online) that projects US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) to be leading GOP author J. D. Vance, 46-41% in Ohio’s open Senate race. The latest Impact Research firm survey (6/27-30; 816 OH likely voters) also found Rep. Ryan with the edge, but in only a 48-46% split. Impact Research, a Democratic pollster, formerly operated under the name ALG Research.

Pennsylvania: The Democratic firm Blueprint Polling released a new PA statewide poll (7/19-21; 712 PA likely voters; live interview) and found Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), still recovering from a serious stroke he suffered just before the primary election, expanding his lead to 49-40% over Dr. Mehmet Oz (R). Fox News (7/22-26; 908 PA likely general election voters; live interview) sees an even larger lead for Mr. Fetterman, 47-36% with Dr. Oz holding a poor 35:55% favorability rating.

Wisconsin: On Monday Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D), whose campaign for US Senate never caught fire, formally ended his statewide effort. On Wednesday, Milwaukee Bucks basketball club executive and former Obama Administration official Alex Lasry then followed suit and also departed the race. The latter move was the more surprising since Mr. Lasry had loaned his campaign over $12 million and all polling found him placing second in the field. In their concession statements, both Messrs. Nelson and Lasry endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, which could pave the way for him clinching the party nomination and advancing to challenge Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the general election.  


CT-5: A just released Public Opinion Strategies survey for the George Logan (R) congressional campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee (6/29-30; 400 CT-5 likely general election voters; live interview) suggests that the 5th District congressional race might become competitive. The survey finds US Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Wolcott) holding only a 46-41% edge over former state Senator Logan. This may become a race to watch. According to the Federal Election Commission second quarter financial disclosure report, Rep. Hayes has a huge $1.69 million to $205,000 cash-on-hand advantage. To even the financial score, however, the Daily Kos Elections Blog reports that the Republicans’ Congressional Leadership Fund has already reserved $1.75 million of media time for the western Connecticut market.

Iowa: Iowa Districts 1, 2 & 3 were cast as toss-up seats in the 2021 redistricting plan, and the most recent polling suggests that each electorate is performing as projected. In the southeastern Iowa 1st District, freshman Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa), no stranger to close elections after winning her 2020 race by just six votes, is in another predictable tight contest. According to the early July Change Research survey (6/30-7/4; 375 IA-1 likely general election voters part of a 1,488 person statewide sample; online) Rep. Miller-Meeks edges state Representative Christina Bohannan (D-Iowa City), only by a 39-38% factor.

A more recent Public Policy Polling survey (7/19-20; 594 IA-2 voters) finds freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion) and state Rep. Liz Mathis (D-Hiawatha) tied at 44% apiece in the Cedar Rapids anchored 2nd CD. In Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D-Des Moines) 3rd CD, she and state Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) are deadlocked at 43% in a Moore Information Group study (7/9-11; 400 IA-3 likely voters; live interview).

MI-13: State Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) has spent over $8 million of his own money to attempt to win the open Detroit anchored 13th Congressional District race. It appears his expenditures are working. A Target Insyght survey (7/19-22; 500 MI-13 likely Democratic primary voters) finds Rep. Thanedar leading Michigan Civil Right Commission member Portia Roberson and state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), among six other contenders, including John Conyers, III, son of the late veteran Congressman. Mr. Thanedar’s polling margin is 22-17-16-7% over Ms. Roberson, Sen. Hollier, and Mr. Conyers. 

Mr. Thanedar’s personal spending edge is 8:1 over his next closest financial rival, Sen. Hollier, but that does not count a seven-figure expenditure from the American-Israel Publica Affairs Committee intended to promote the latter man. The Michigan primary is Tuesday. The 13th District is open because Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) is retiring and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) chose to seek re-election in the new 12th District. 

MN-1: State Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Crystal Lake), who lost the special primary election to succeed the late US Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) by just 427 votes, confirms he is running to win the regular primary election. This means that former state Rep. Brad Finstad (R), who won the special primary, must continue conducting two separate campaigns through the August 9th election. 

In slightly different district configurations, Mr. Finstad must separately win the special general election against former Hormel Corporation CEO Jeffrey Ettinger (D), and the nomination for the regular term since the special general is being run concurrently with the regular statewide primary. With Mr. Munson competing in the regular election, the confusing scenario of having two different District 1 Republican winners could occur. With the only public post-special primary poll suggesting a dead heat between Messrs. Finstad and Ettinger, so many mixed messages could yield a Democratic special election upset.

NJ-1: According to a new Grassroots Targeting survey (7/13-19; 625 NJ-1 likely general election voters), New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden City) lies barely beyond the polling margin of error in yet another potential warning sign for Democrats. 

The GT results find Rep. Norcross topping Republican nominee Claire Gustafson, 49-44%, despite the fact that 83% of the respondents said they have not heard of the GOP nominee. To underscore matters, Rep. Norcross’ favorability index has dropped to 42:41% favorable to unfavorable. This contrasts with his 2020 re-election margin of 62-38%, similar to what President Biden recorded in the district. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NJ-1 as D+20, so seeing a close poll featuring an unknown Republican with little money from this district is surprising to say the least.

NY-10: A new Change Research poll for candidate Elizabeth Holtzman finds the Democratic primary for this open seat turning into a race that any one of six candidates could win. This is the first poll conducted and released since former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) exited the contest because of poor performance. The CR poll (7/19-23; 437 NY-10 likely Democratic primary voters; online) finds former Trump impeachment counsel Daniel Goldman taking first position with 14% preference. Ms. Holtzman, who was last on a ballot in 1993, a losing re-election effort for NYC Comptroller, places second at 12% support. 

Tied with 10% are NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who led the last two published surveys, state Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou D-Manhattan) and Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn), and US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County). The new 10th, an open seat created when Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler were paired in a new 12th CD, encompasses Lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn. The Democratic primary winner on August 23rd will claim the seat in the general election.

NY-17: Veteran Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is having trouble securing his new district according to a recent publicly released research survey. The Congressman created post-redistricting controversy when he decided to challenge Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County) in the 17th CD rather than staying in his own 18th District, thus forcing the freshman incumbent to seek re-election in a New York City CD.

McLaughlin & Associates, polling for the Mike Lawler for Congress campaign (7/19-21; 400 NY-17 likely general election voters; live interview), finds Rep. Maloney trailing his Republican opponent, 46-44%. The McLaughlin data also shows state Assemblyman Lawler claiming a lead over state Sen. Allessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) if she were to upend Rep. Maloney in the August 23rd Democratic primary. Under this scenario, Mr. Lawler would post a 47-41% advantage in such a subsequent general election pairing. The 17th is one of three Upstate NY congressional districts that will be hotly contested in the November campaign.


Georgia: The aforementioned University of Georgia/Atlanta Journal-Constitution (see Georgia Senate above) survey also tested the Peach State Governor’s contest. Here, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leads former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D) by a 48-43% count. The accompanying Survey USA poll shows a much closer 45-44% Kemp edge.

This is the 15th poll conducted of this race since the beginning of 2022, and Mr. Kemp has led in all but one. In that stand-alone survey, the two were tied. The Governor’s job approval rating is 54:42% favorable to unfavorable. The UGA/AJC and S-USA studies are the second and third consecutive polls that place Gov. Kemp ahead in the Governor’s race while fellow Republican Herschel Walker (R) trails in the Senate contest.

Michigan: Despite being outspent by millions of dollars, a new Mitchell Research survey (7/17-18; 501 MI likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) continues to show that online talk show host Tudor Dixon is maintaining her lead in the GOP gubernatorial primary. The latest ballot test finds her claiming a 28-20-15-10% advantage over businessman and self-funder Kevin Rinke, real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley, and chiropractor Garrett Soldano as the candidates close in on the August 2nd Michigan primary. 

Republicans are scrambling in this race since early leader James Craig, the retired Detroit Police Chief, was forced out of the race for failing to file the legally required number of petition signatures. The eventual Republican nominee will then challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election.

Nevada: The Nevada Governor’s race is expected to be another close contest on election night, and two recently released surveys conducted during the same time period confirm the early prognostications. The Tarrance Group, polling for the Joe Lombardo for Governor campaign (7/5-10; 600 NV likely general election voters; live interview) and Emerson College (7/7-10; 2,000 NV registered voters, 500 from each of the four congressional districts; interactive voice response system, online & text) both see the Governor’s race already falling within the polling margin of error. Tarrance finds Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) topping Clark County Sheriff Lombardo (R), 46-44%, while the Emerson College result is 44-40%, also with Gov. Sisolak leading.