Check out these political snippets on the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and state races from across the country.
In the unlikely event that businessman Vivek Ramaswamy wins the Republican presidential nomination, we will have the first bipartisan presidential ticket. Mr. Ramaswamy announced that he would choose Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., currently challenging President Joe Biden for the Democratic Party nomination, as his running mate.
The idea, meaning a bipartisan ticket, is something similar to what the No Labels Party would craft if they can recruit a presidential ticket. Speculation abounds that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) could eventually become the No Labels presidential nominee in lieu of him embarking upon an uphill battle for re-election.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Verifying stories that had surfaced, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) at an appearance in California earlier last week confirmed that he will not be running for President in 2024. Clearly, the Governor, serving his only four-year term allowable under Virginia law, was testing the national political waters but obviously does not perceive himself to have a viable victory path. Therefore, the chances of the GOP nomination battle winnowing to a race between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis increase.
A National Research, Inc. survey of Florida Republican voters (5/8-9; 500 FL likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text) for the first time found Gov. Ron DeSantis’ trailing in his home state. According to these results, which the DeSantis Super PACs will undoubtedly soon counter, former President Donald Trump has taken a 42-34% lead over Gov. DeSantis, with no other candidate even reaching 3%. A total of 16% claim to be undecided in the early part of the presidential race.
This poll again underscores Mr. Trump’s current strength in the party primaries. The trend could change, however, when Gov. DeSantis officially begins his national campaign.
Earlier in the year, the Democratic National Committee adopted a new primary voting schedule that moved Georgia and Michigan into the pre-Super Tuesday group, bounced Iowa, made South Carolina first, and added Nevada to New Hampshire’s early primary date. Georgia will not go along with the plan. The move underscores that states and not the political parties have the ultimate decision-making power in this regard.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) has now declared that the Georgia presidential primary will be held on March 12th, and not February 13th as the DNC wanted. The decision is not a surprise. With the Republicans not going along with the Democrats’ pre-Super Tuesday calendar change, it was always highly unlikely that Georgia and New Hampshire would accommodate the DNC by holding separate primaries. Michigan, by vote of the legislature and agreement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), did comply and both parties will hold their primaries on February 27, 2024.
ABC/Washington Post Poll: ABC News and the Washington Post released the results of their new national poll (4/28-5/3; 1,006 US adults; 438 Republican and Republican leaning voters; 396 Democratic and Democratic leaning voters; live interview) and the data reveals President Joe Biden trailing both former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in ranges beyond the polling margin of error. The latter point, relating to the polling margin of error, is significant since the sample cut seems to skew Republican.
On the national ballot test, among an unspecified number of registered voters, President Biden trails Mr. Trump, 39-45%, and Gov. DeSantis, 38-44%. As stated before many times in previous posts, the national popular vote poll is not particularly important. The race will probably come down to how key states such as Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin break.
Morning Consult Poll
Though former President Donald Trump may not be doing well in the courts, he continues to build a strong lead in Republican primary polls. The Morning Consult tracking survey (5/5-7; 3,574 US registered voters who identify or lead Republican; online) finds Mr. Trump hitting the 60% mark against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the second-tier candidates. The former US chief executive holds a 60-19% margin over DeSantis. Former Vice President Mike Pence and, surprisingly, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy lead the second-tier group with 5% support apiece.
Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) kicked off her open US Senate campaign last week. The move was expected. Already in the Democratic primary race are US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) and Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Takoma Park) and former Rep. John Delaney (D) are potential candidates. The Democratic primary will almost assuredly decide the successor to retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D). The Maryland nomination battle, which will be hotly contested and a determinative precursor for the general election, is scheduled for May 14, 2024.
Republican efforts to use the 2024 Montana Senate race as a test case for changing the state’s primary system to an all-party top two jungle structure have failed. The legislature adjourned with the bill not moving from the state House of Representatives. The measure had previously passed the state Senate, but then was tabled in a state House committee. Another committee attempted to revive the bill, but that effort failed, and the session ended. Therefore, we will see a traditional Montana Senate primary next year.
Susquehanna Polling & Research returned a new Keystone State survey (5/2-8; 700 PA likely voters) testing the upcoming US Senate race. Though former hedge fund CEO and 2022 Senate candidate David McCormick (R) is not yet an announced candidate, he was the only person tested against Sen. Bob Casey. The ballot test yielded the incumbent a stronger twelve-point lead, 53-41%. The previous published poll, from Franklin & Marshall College in early April, projected a 42-35% Casey edge.
Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) announced that he would enter the 2024 Senate race to challenge two-term incumbent Ted Cruz (R). At that time, most believed Mr. Allred would be virtually unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Previously, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) indicated an interest in challenging Sen. Cruz, but he largely became a second thought when Rep. Allred declared his candidacy. Most then believed that Sen. Gutierrez would not force a Senate nomination campaign.
Last week, however, the state legislator indicated that he in fact is still considering launching a US Senate campaign and headed toward becoming a candidate. Rep. Allred would still be favored to win the party nomination but adding Sen. Gutierrez to a competitive Democratic primary would certainly add spice to this intra-party campaign.
The co/efficient Republican polling firm tested the West Virginia electorate soon after Gov. Jim Justice (R) formally announced his Senatorial campaign. The survey (4/24-25; 974 WV likely general election voters; 753 WV likely Republican primary voters; online) posts Gov. Justice as the leading candidate in the Republican primary, the general election, and in personal approval ratings.
Opposite GOP Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town), Gov. Justice would lead 45-17%. Advancing to the general election, the two-term state chief executive would top incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D), 43-29%. If Rep. Mooney were the Republican nominee, he would trail Sen. Manchin 30-36%.
U.S. House of Representatives
The California Republican Party has already voted to officially endorse 2022 congressional candidate and ex-state Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R) for the open 47th CD that Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) is vacating to run for the Senate. Mr. Baugh, also a former Orange County Republican Party chairman, scored 48.3% against Rep. Porter in the 2022 election though outspent by almost $26 million.
The 47th could become highly competitive as an open seat. Fully contained in Orange County, the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+6, which is better from a GOP perspective than seats three of their candidates won in the last election. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at a competitive 52.5D - 45.5R.
Additionally, Democrats have had some recent candidate problems here. Former US Rep. Harley Rouda, who had announced his candidacy, has already withdrawn due to health problems. State Sen. David Min (D-Irvine), largely believed to be the leading candidate, has just been cited for a serious drunk driving violation. CA-47 will be a race to watch next year.
In both California’s 40th and 49th Congressional Districts, we see two candidates who lost the same 2022 state Senate race venturing into congressional contests. Auto Dealer Matt Gunderson (R), who lost the general election to State Sen. Catherine Blakespear (D-Encinitas), says he will challenge Rep. Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano/La Jolla) in a CD that closely resembles the state legislative seat where he received 48% of the vote last year.
The 49th CD that stretches from Orange County south into San Diego, is a politically marginal district. The FiveThirtyEight data organization assigns a D+5 rating, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 52.0D - 46.0R. Rep. Levin has three times defeated ex-San Juan Capistrano Mayor and Councilman Brian Maryott (R). In 2022, the margin was 53-47%. While clear the Republicans need a new candidate to compete in this district, it remains to be seen if Mr. Gunderson can wage an effective enough campaign to unseat the three-term incumbent.
The second Democratic challenger to Illinois Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago) came forward last week, which drew a quick response from the Davis camp indicating that the 81-year-old veteran Representative will seek re-election. Mr. Davis had been on the rumored retirement list. Educator Nikhil Bhatia (D) announced her candidacy, which precipitated the response from the Davis political operation.
The Congressman’s major potential opponent, however, is Chicago City Treasurer and former state Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin (D) who has filed a congressional exploratory committee and reiterated that she continues to test the political waters irrespective of whether Rep. Davis will be her opponent. The Democratic primary is tantamount to winning the seat (FiveThirtyEight rating D+70), so the March 19, 2024, election date is the key to claiming the succeeding term. The race is worth watching. Rep. Davis won the 2022 Dem primary with only a 52-45% margin over community organizer Kina Collins.
The US Attorney from the Eastern District of New York indicted Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island) with 13 federal crimes under what was a sealed indictment. Rep. Santos says he will not resign his seat while he fights the charges. Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he will be allowed to serve while he works through the legal process. Even before the indictment, four Democrats and two Republicans had already announced their 2024 candidacies. We can expect more potential candidates to soon come forward.
Freshman Long Island Republican Congressman Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park) holds, along with California Rep. David Valadao*’s (R-Hanford) 22nd District, the most Democratic seat in the country that elects a Republican to the House. Now, it appears that he will be facing a re-match with the woman he defeated in 2022, former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen (D). The 2022 result was 51-47% in Mr. D’Esposito’s favor.
Long Island’s 4th District includes the town of Hempstead and the Garden City, Oceanside, Freeport, and Valley Stream communities among others. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+10. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 59.6D – 38.9R. President Joe Biden carried the district with a 56.8 – 42.2% margin, which suggests that Rep. D’Esposito has a difficult road to re-election in a presidential election year.
Former US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D) appears intent on attempting to re-claim the Westchester County Congressional seat he abandoned in an unsuccessful attempt to win a newly created New York City open district last year. Reports from the state say Mr. Jones has dismissed any thought of challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary to focus on a return to the 17th District.
Driving Jones’ decision to find a new seat in 2022 was then-Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s (D) plan to run in the 17th. Mr. Maloney was then defeated in the general election at the hands of freshman Rep. Mike Lawler* (R-Pearl River). President Joe Biden appointed Mr. Maloney to be the US Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is headquartered in Paris, France, meaning he is likely ruled out as a 2024 congressional contender.
Though Mr. Jones may return, he will face Democratic primary competition from at least one announced candidate: Katonah-Lewisboro School Board Trustee Liz Gereghty, the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). NY-17 is a D+7 rated district according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, thus making the 2024 campaign a prime Democratic conversion opportunity.
Reports are surfacing from the Tar Heel State that Charlotte US Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) may be preparing a run for the state’s open Attorney General’s post. Rep. Bishop looks to have the inside track to the Republican nomination if he chooses to run. Western North Carolina District Attorney Andrew Murray is interested in in the statewide post but suggests he will step aside for Rep. Bishop if the Congressman decides to enter the race.
Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte) is a potential Democratic AG candidate, looking to succeed incumbent Josh Stein (D) who is running for Governor. Rep. Jackson appears as the potential top target in what is expected to be a new redistricting plan coming from the legislature as a direct result of the state Supreme Court’s recent redistricting and voter ID rulings, thus a statewide run is likely a more attractive option than seeking re-election.
Businessman Bill Moher became the second Republican to announce his congressional candidacy opposite three-term Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen). Previously in the race was Army veteran Shaliek Tarpley (R). Unless the Republicans find a top tier 2024 candidate, it is unlikely the party will be able to unseat Rep. Spanberger in the post redistricting seat where she will have had the opportunity of representing for a full term by the time of the next election. Rep. Spanberger was re-elected in 2022 with a 52-48% margin in a campaign where combined campaign spending exceeded $12 million not counting independent expenditures.
Former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick (D), who was originally elected as a Republican, announced that she will compete in the open Democratic primary. So far, she is the first Democrat to announce her candidacy. Republican US Sen. Mike Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, and venture capitalist Eric Doden comprise the GOP field. Republicans are favored to hold the Governor’s office. Incumbent Eric Holcomb (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.
A new Siena College poll of the Mississippi electorate (4/16-20; 783 MS registered voters; live interview & online) projects Gov. Tate Reeves (R) expanding what was a closer lead over Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D). The ballot test yields Gov. Reeves a 49-38% advantage. In early March, Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy found the Governor holding a 46-39% edge.
While the Siena College poll revealed the Governor’s job approval index at 53:46% favorable to unfavorable, his personal popularity remains upside down. This latest data projects Mr. Reeves with only a 42:45% positive to negative ratio.
Countering the Siena College numbers, Mr. Presley’s campaign then released their own internal data (Impact Research; 4/24-27; 600 MS likely voters) the results of which portend a much different conclusion. IR finds its candidate, Mr. Presley, actually leading Gov. Reeves, 47-44%.
The 2023 Magnolia State general election campaign promises to be much more competitive than in years past. Gov. Reeves faces only minor competition in the August 8th Republican primary and Commissioner Presley is unopposed on the Democratic side. Therefore, it is clear the two will face each other in the November 7th general election.
Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig (D), who has already declared that she will not be seeking re-election next year, announced the filing of a gubernatorial exploratory committee. Gov. Chris Sununu (R), only the second Granite State chief executive to serve four consecutive terms in office could run for a fifth two-year term. Most believe that he will retire, however, and could well enter the presidential campaign as a favorite son from the first-in-the-nation primary state. It had been speculated upon for several months that Mayor Craig would make the jump into the 2024 gubernatorial campaign.
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has opened a huge lead in the open Republican gubernatorial primary according to a new Survey USA Poll. The study (4/25-29; 707 NC likely Republican primary voters; live interview & online) projects Mr. Robinson to a whopping 43-9-8-4% lead over former Congressman Mark Walker, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, and state Treasurer Dale Folwell, respectively.
The GOP winner will likely face Attorney General Josh Stein (D) in the general election. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. The North Carolina primary is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024.
Evergreen State Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a former Congressman and presidential candidate, announced during the week that he will not seek a fourth term in office saying that “it is time to pass the torch.”
Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) is the first to announce his gubernatorial candidacy. Lt. Gov. Denny Heck and state Land Commissioner Hilary Franz are potential Democratic candidates. Former US Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler is the Republican attracting the most attention as a potential GOP contender. Democrats will be favored to maintain the office, but a Republican advancing from the all-party jungle primary is also a likelihood.
In 2020, Alaska voters with only a 50.5% victory margin approved a top-four/Ranked Choice Voting election change that has had a major effect upon the state’s elections. Under the system, all candidates are placed on the same ballot with the top four finishers, regardless of party affiliation, advancing into the general election. In the regular vote, if no candidate receives majority support, the Ranked Choice process takes effect.
Now, conservative activists backed by former Governor Sarah Palin and 2022 US Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka (R) are mounting a signature campaign for a ballot initiative that would repeal the current system. The legislature is also considering legislation to do the same. Proponents of the repeal initiative must submit 26,705 valid registered voter signatures to qualify the measure. The group has already recruited the mandatory 100 petition sponsors and received initial approval from the Lt. Governor, meaning the initiative is officially qualified for signature gathering. The group’s goal is to place the measure on the 2024 general election ballot.
Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed legislation to prohibit the Ranked Choice Voting system from being instituted in the state of Montana, joining several other states that have taken similar action.
In the 2022 election, Republicans converted two Democratic seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court, which gave the GOP a 5-2 majority. In the post-election session, the outgoing Democratic panel ruled that the state Senate boundaries were unconstitutional as was the North Carolina voter ID law. The congressional and state House maps are court-drawn. The new Republican court decided to reconsider these previous court rulings and on Friday reversed the directives.
This means the legislature can redraw all of the district maps and their chance of being upheld in this state Supreme Court is high. The new court and the legislature’s majority members are much closer in the way they view redistricting law and procedure. Therefore, we can soon count on seeing a new congressional plan that will likely break the 7R-7D current delegation’s partisan division. The new draw will inevitably add Republican seats to the congressional delegation at the likely expense of some of the less senior Democratic members.
A new Data for Progress survey (4/26-29; 560 Philadelphia likely Democratic mayoral primary voters; online & text) finds a tie at the top of the Democratic primary candidate field as the contenders head toward Tuesday’s primary election day.
The poll’s sponsor, former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym and ex-City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart were tied with a support figure of 21%. Close behind is former City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker with 19%. Ex-Councilman Alan Domb, businessman Jeff Brown, and state Rep. Amen Brown followed with 13, 9, and 2% backing, respectively.
An "*" next to a candidate's name in the articles denotes that he or she received an AGC PAC contribution this election cycle.
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