Happy Thursday — welcome to this week’s second edition of the Midterm Exam. Part one can be read here.
If there is a major story we don’t have covered in this exam, it can likely be found here.
Is Pennsylvania Too Far Gone?
Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz joined forces with other Republicans in a letter calling on lawmakers to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which would enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law. “I’m proud to join this effort with fellow Republicans. I believe that same-sex couples should have the same freedom to get married as straight couples,” Oz said on social media.
The maneuver comes as many Republican candidates shy away from abortion and other contentious social issues. Pennsylvanians are more supportive of abortion in comparison to citizens of other swing states.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Lt. Governor and Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman maintains a nine-point lead over Oz, who remains a polarizing candidate, according to a poll from Monmouth University. “Oz will need to overcome his personal negatives or shift the issue picture to stay competitive,” Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said.
A report released on Tuesday by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust noted that Fetterman did not report owning eight properties, worth a combined $108,800, on federal disclosure forms. He has repeatedly mocked Oz for owning 10 properties.
Two Republicans, Sarah Palin and Nick Begich, remain on the November ballot to face newly elected Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola for the state’s House seat. Despite only receiving 40% of the state’s vote in Alaska’s August 16 special election following the death of Congressman Don Young, Peltola was declared the winner under the state’s ranked-choice system.
Palin has called for Begich to step down for the sake of the party, but Begich remains undeterred, ranking higher than the former GOP governor in the most recent polls. In the two latest Alaska Research Survey polls, Begich has risen to +8% over Peltola versus Palin’s +5% over the Democrat.
But the head-to-head ranking may not matter. Unless either GOP candidate receives 50% of the votes or one of them drops out, Peltola may end up representing the state even without a majority of votes.
Whitmer Leads In Every Poll, But Some Show Dixon within Striking Distance
Numerous polls taken after Tudor Dixon won the GOP nomination for governor in Michigan all show Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the lead, but Dixon remains within striking distance, according to at least two polls. The RCP average has Whitmer leading Dixon by eight points, 49.5% to 41.3%. However, the two most recent polls taken had wildly different outcomes.
A Michigan News Source/Trafalgar poll taken between August 22-25 had Dixon trailing by just four points, while a Detroit News/WDIV-TV survey a week later showed Whitmer up by 13. Another poll conducted earlier last month placed Whitmer just five points ahead of the GOP candidate.
With less than two months before the election, Whitmer is clearly the favorite, but a Dixon upset in Michigan isn’t out of the question.
Bolduc Victorious in New Hampshire, Will Face Maggie Hassan
Don Bolduc is the winner of New Hampshire’s GOP Senate primary, catapulting him into the general election face-off with vulnerable Democrat Senator Maggie Hassan.
“To all my fellow Granite Staters: WE DID IT! Our campaign overcame the odds and MILLIONS of dollars from outside spending because we built a true bottom-up grassroots campaign,” Bolduc tweeted along with a victory statement Wednesday.
Hassan has struggled with low job approval and has dug her heels in on progressive issues like late-term abortion. Democrats hoped Bolduc would be the Republican facing her as he is considered weaker than the more moderate Morse, but with President Biden’s job approval also sinking over the economy, this Senate seat is certainly still up for grabs.
BONUS: Underdog Trump-backed Republican Karoline Leavitt won the GOP primary for New Hampshire’s First Congressional District on Tuesday at just 25 years old. Leavitt could become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress if she pulls out a win in November.
Thanks for reading!