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US: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa among Senate races to watch in midterm elections

A popular American pollster, John Zogby, has given insights into the key Senate races to watch out for in the U.S. November 8 midterm elections. 

Zogby, who is Senior Partner, Zogby Strategies, has worked with governments, the United Nations (UN), fortune 500 companies, and political candidates, and has polled in 80 countries. He spoke at a briefing by the New York Foreign Press Centre. 

These Senate races, according to him, are those of Georgia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Iowa and Utah.  

Zogby said: “These are Senate races that I believe are too close to call right now.  Number one is New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan, Democrat, running for her first reelection against Don Bolduc, who is a MAGA candidate.  I’m going to use that term because they use that term.  That’s Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”  There were early stumbles by Bolduc.  I had taken New Hampshire off the list as a race to watch, but two new recent polls in New Hampshire now suggest that Maggie Hassan leads by low single digits’ momentum away from her.  I still think Maggie Hassan wins, but I only think that.  That’s one that is back on the watch list.”

On Pennsylvania, he said: “Right now one poll has it tied.  We haven’t seen anything, obviously, since the debate last night.  Most accounts, including my own, think that Fetterman probably did not do very well, although Pennsylvanians do not like Mehmet Oz.  So this is one of those cases where you may see people not voting, and, of course, that would probably tend to hurt the Democrat, but right now Fetterman leads on average by 1.8 percentage points.  That is very, very close, too close to call.”

North Carolina, Zogby said,  features Ted Budd, 13th district congressman, a MAGA candidate endorsed by Donald Trump, against the former chief justice of the Supreme Court and a black woman by the name of Cheri Beasley.  

“Cheri Beasley has only led in one or two polls along the way.  That is trending towards Budd.  He leads by an average of 4 percentage points.  But again, there is a case where black turnout and Democratic turnout, especially on the abortion issue, could turn that race around.  But as of now, still on the watch list because Budd’s lead, though trending, is not secure.” 

In Wisconsin, he said Ron Johnson, a Republican, was on the most endangered list of Republicans in the Senate

“Wisconsin Democrats nominated a progressive, a black candidate, the lieutenant governor by the name of Mandela Barnes.  Through much of this race, Barnes has had a 2 or 3-point lead.  Right now it’s trending back to Johnson.  The latest – well, the average, Johnson leads by 2.8.  But the latest poll – we really can’t go by one individual poll; I’ve got to see a trend – but the latest poll has Johnson up by 6.  We’ve got to see where that’s going to go.  I still say we’re gonna watch that one closely.”

For Florida, Zogby said it looked like Val Demmings, former police chief of Orlando, three-term congresswoman, had gotten close to incumbent Marco Rubio.  “But right now Rubio leads by an average of 5, and a new poll that’s out just this morning – I haven’t had a chance to evaluate it yet – has Rubio leading by 11.  I think that it’s safe to say that Rubio is probably in good shape.  But as we say in chess, I’m not taking my finger off the pawn yet.  I’m just gonna hold it and watch for a while.”

He described the race in Ohio as fascinating.  

“You have in Ohio J.D. Vance, who was kind of liberal icon – who loved his book about the middle class, Hillbilly Elegy – he’s from Ohio – Harvard Business School – but declared himself running for the United States Senate, and with Donald Trump’s endorsement and then lukewarm endorsement then hostile endorsement, and it’s crazy.  Now, he’s running against Tim Ryan, a moderate congressman.  They have – that’s a very nasty race.  Right now Vance leads on average by just two.  New poll out last night has Vance up by 4, but I’m gonna leave that wide open for now.  I think advantage Vance, but I wouldn’t call a 4point race with this many days to go,” he said. 

In Arizona, Mark Kelly, the astronaut,  who has been in the Senate for two years, is running against Blake Masters, a Stanford graduate and election denier.

“Kelly has been leading throughout.  He leads right now by an average of two and a half.  Poll out just this morning, however, has Kelly leading by just one, so that’s trending downward for Democrats.  But I mean, if it’s – if that changes leads, the downward spiral is not in Kelly’s favor, but we just have to see.  One poll alone is not going to turn the tide.  We have to see what the trendline is.” 

He described Georgia as the new Florida, adding that Raphael Warnock has been leading over the last two or three weeks but the new polls have Herschel Walker, the football star, leading by two percentage points.  

“That is much too close; it depends entirely on turnout.  And it depends particularly on black turnout, which is a substantial portion,” he explained. 

On Nevada, Zogby said: “The first Latina ever elected to the Senate running for re-election is Catherine Cortez Masto.  She’s been leading, but her lead against an iconic name in the state of Nevada, Laxalt – Adam Laxalt – has now dissipated.  That one is tight; that’s too close to call.  She is regarded as probably the most endangered of the Democrats.  And that is just way too close to call, and it’s trending back and forth, back and forth.  She had counted on, Democrats had counted on a big Latino vote, especially Latina vote for her, and that just isn’t materializing yet.  So that – what I had described for you earlier as a problem for Democrats among Latinos, ground zero is the state of Nevada.” 

According to him, Iowa – where Chuck Grassley, 89 years old, is running for his eighth term in the Senate, is traditionally a swing state. 

Grassley, he said, was leading by double digits but of late, his lead is down to 3 points among a very respected poll, the Des Moines Register.  “I suspect, as per tradition, the Des Moines Register will have another poll the Sunday before the election.  I would have to say that’s a fascinating trend line to go from 11, 13 points down to 3 and to see if that can be sustained – running against Mike Franken, a businessman.” 

He also explained: “The other interesting one is another red state, Utah.  Mike Lee has been around for a while.  Mike Lee reliably conservative, but running against a more moderate Mitt Romney kind of conservative, Evan McMullin.  Of the – as of the latest poll – now McMullin is a Republican, and of late the incumbent, Lee, is only leading 41 to 37 – the rest undecided.  McMullin is counting on not only the more moderate Republicans, but on Independents and on Democrats, because they’re not Democrat in the race.  If an incumbent is polling only 41 percent at this point and leading by low single digits at this point, that is not good for the incumbent candidate.  For the record, Evan McMullin has indicated that he will not caucus if he’s elected with either the Democrats or the Republicans, which will make things most interesting in the world that is already very interesting.”

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