Political Snippets from Around the Country

Check out these political snippets on the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial, state and local races from across the country. 


Florida Democrats

In what could be the first of several states where the Democratic Party will suspend the presidential primary and award their delegate slate to President Joe Biden, Florida took such action this week. This move is not uncommon for both political parties with an incumbent president seeking re-election. It is used mostly in states where the political party is responsible for financing the party primary. When the incumbent is a sure bet to win the state’s primary, the party suspends the election in order to save the money to use in the general election.

Primary suspension and the awarding of delegate slates to, in this case, President Biden is one of the reasons that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. abandoned his Democratic primary challenge to Mr. Biden and instead became an independent presidential candidate.

Bloomberg/Morning Consult Polls

Bloomberg News and Morning Consult partnered for a swing state polling series in the domains that will likely decide the 2024 presidential election: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Individual surveys were conducted in each state during the 11/27 through 12/6 period. Sample sizes ranged from 451 registered voters to 801 such individuals depending upon the state’s population size. All included Independent Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the questionnaire along with Independent Cornel West and likely Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Mr. Donald Trump led in all seven polls both when the ballot test included the minor candidates and when he and President Joe Biden were isolated. Mr. Trump’s margins (with the minor party candidates) were: Arizona (+4), Georgia (+7), Michigan (+4), Nevada (+5), North Carolina (+9), Pennsylvania (+1), and Wisconsin (+6).

To win the election, Mr. Trump would need to hold North Carolina, and carry Georgia plus one or two of the other aforementioned states. Mr. Trump’s smallest configuration to yield a victory of 270 electoral votes, and this assumes he holds all the other states he won in 2020, would include Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

U.S. Senate

New Jersey

The situation involving indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) has brought a great deal of attention to the 2024 New Jersey Senate race. The Senator has not yet taken himself out of the discussion for next year’s election, but he will at the very least be seriously challenged for renomination. Both New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) are actively running, and former Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) is testing the political waters.

One person who will not enter the Senate race is Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/ Atlantic City). The Congressman announced that he won’t become a Senate candidate but will seek re-election as US Representative for the people of New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District.


On the heels of last week’s co/efficient poll that posted businessman Bernie Moreno to a slight Ohio Republican US Senate primary lead (15-14-13% over Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan), the new Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey places Moreno in an even better position. The F & L poll (12/3-5; 600 OH likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text) sees Mr. Moreno’s lead expanding to 23-19-18% over Messrs. LaRose and Dolan. The eventual March 19th primary winner will challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the country’s most important Senate races.

U.S. House of Representatives


Early this week, former President Donald Trump surprisingly endorsed Abe Hamadeh for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Arizona US Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria). The move was unexpected because the man Mr. Trump supported for US Senate in 2022, Blake Masters, is also in the congressional race. Mr. Hamadeh was the 2022 nominee for Attorney General, losing the statewide race by just 280 votes from more than 2.5 million ballots cast.

The endorsement could prove pivotal because the eventual Republican nominee will become the strong favorite to win the seat in the general election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates AZ-8 as R+22. Mr. Trump carried the 8th District with a 56-42% victory margin in 2020.


The US Term Limits organization polled Iowa’s politically marginal southeastern 1st Congressional District (RMG Research; 11/28-12/2; 448 IA-1 likely voters; online) and finds Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks* (R-Le Claire) edging former state Representative and 2022 congressional nominee Christina Bohannon (D) by a 38-35% margin.

The term limits push question then places Bohannon ahead after the pollsters indicate that the challenger supports limiting terms while the incumbent does not, but this will not likely be a determinative issue for the 2024 election campaign.


As expected, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla officially announced his Democratic primary challenge to freshman New Jersey US Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City). Since the indictment of the Congressman’s father, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Menendez’s approval numbers had precipitously dropped to where he could be endangered in a race against Mayor Bhalla.

For his part, representatives for a Super PAC associated with his fledgling candidacy say they have already raised $500,000 to support Mr. Bhalla’s campaign. Conversely, Rep. Menendez reported a $433,244 cash-on-hand figure in his September 30th Federal Election Commission campaign committee report. Expect this to become a serious nomination challenge. The New Jersey primary is scheduled for June 4th.

New York Redistricting

The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, on a 4-3 vote ordered that the congressional districts be redrawn for the 2024 election, a move the Democratic plaintiffs sought. The majority agreed with the argument that the court drawn map for the 2022 elections should stand only for that one period since the voters changed the state Constitution in order to empower the Independent Redistricting Commission with map drawing responsibilities.

With the map being sent back to the Commission members, the redistricting process begins again. The high court established a February 28, 2024, deadline for map completion and legislative agreement. Under the constitutional amendment procedure, the legislature must approve the Commission prepared map. The New York state primary is scheduled for June 25th, and the candidate filing deadline will be set for a date in late March.


The Nassau and Queens County Republican Party chairmen have nominated Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip, an Ethiopian born former member of the Israeli military, as their special election congressional nominee. She will oppose the Democratic nominee, former Congressman Tom Suozzi in the February 13th special election to serve the balance of expelled Rep. George Santos’ (R) term.

Interestingly, Ms. Pilip is reportedly still a registered Democrat even though she is an elected Republican and will now be the GOP congressional nominee. She is an interesting choice that will draw more attention to what is likely to become a competitive special election.


Ten-term New York US Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) announced last month that he will resign in February to accept a position to lead a Buffalo non-profit organization. Replacing Rep. Higgins largely falls to one man, Erie County Democratic Party chairman Jeremy Zellner.

Under New York election procedure, the various county party chairmen in a congressional district decide who becomes the party nominee in the event of a vacancy. The chairman from counties with the largest population get more influence because the chair votes are weighted. Since 80% of the NY-26 constituency lies in Erie County and only 20% in Niagara County, the Erie Cunty chairman, i.e., Mr. Zellner, will effectively appoint the next Congressman. Since the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-26 as D+18 and President Joe Biden scored a 61-37% victory here in 2020, the eventual Democratic special election nominee will become the prohibitive favorite to succeed Rep. Higgins.

It appeared that Chairman Zellner was ready to nominate Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (D) for the congressional post, but now such won’t happen. Mr. Poloncarz surprisingly announced that he will not run for Congress. This leaves, for now, state Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) as the only announced Democratic candidate. Five-term Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D), however, is also indicating interest in the congressional seat.


In an admission that he would not be successful running for re-election in the newly configured 13th Congressional District, Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary) announced that he would end his career in the US House after one term. Rather, he will return to elective politics in 2026 and challenge Sen. Thom Tillis (R). In that year, Sen. Tillis, assuming he seeks re-election, will be on the ballot for a third term.

The new 13th District begins in the Dunn area south of Raleigh in Harnett County. The seat then moves northward around Raleigh on the east side of Wake County and stretches to the Virginia border. The 2022 state Supreme Court drew a 13th District that shared part of Wake County, annexing the city of Cary, and then moved south of the capital city to include Johnston County and parts of Hartnett and Wayne Counties.

The partisan lean for new Congressional District 13, according to the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians, is 56.6R – 41.2D. Under the map to which Rep. Nickel was elected, the 13th CD brandished a much different 49.5D – 48.1R partisan lean.

Also leaving the North Carolina congressional delegation are Reps. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) and Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte), who like Rep. Nickel face long re-election odds on the new Tar Heel State congressional map. Mr. Jackson is running for the open state Attorney General’s position and will probably face his colleague in the adjoining congressional district, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte), in the statewide race.


Just two days after losing a landslide runoff election in the Houston Mayor’s campaign, veteran Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) quickly turned around and filed for re-election to the House. Candidate filing is now closed in Texas for the 2024 election cycle in preparation for the state’s March 5th primary. Though Rep. Jackson Lee has easily held her congressional seat for 29 years, she will face a competitive Democratic primary this year. Former Houston City Councilwoman and ex-US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards says she will stay in the House race and challenge the incumbent for renomination.


New Jersey

Former New Jersey state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D), who served in the legislature for 20 years before his shocking upset defeat in the 2021 election, announced that he will enter the open 2025 gubernatorial campaign. Mr. Sweeney presided over the state Senate for a 14-year period.Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is ineligible to seek a third term and like in Virginia where another odd-numbered gubernatorial position will be open, candidates are already announcing for their respective offices long before even the 2024 election transpires.

Announcing for the 2025 gubernatorial race before Mr. Sweeney was Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Both US Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wycoff) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) are reported to be testing the waters to also run for Governor. For the Republicans, immediately after his close 2021 loss to Gov. Murphy, former state legislator Jack Ciattarelli announced that he would return for another gubernatorial bid in 2025.



State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) easily outpaced US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) by a 64-36% margin to win the Houston Mayoral runoff election. Because this is an odd-numbered year race, Rep. Jackson Lee did not have to risk her US House seat. Sen. Whitmire, the second-longest serving state legislator in Texas history, will leave the legislature to serve the four-year term as chief executive for America’s fourth largest city.

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