Political Snippets from Around the Country

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


Liz Cheney

Former Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R) said during the week that she is considering running as an Independent in the presidential race for the purpose of taking votes away from Donald Trump.

While Ms. Cheney didn’t declare her candidacy, she might find the ballot qualification obstacles more formidable than at first glance. Not representing a political party with ballot status, an Independent must navigate 51 different requirement systems to earn a nationwide ballot line. This realization will likely discourage several of the candidates who are looking to launch non-affiliated presidential efforts.

Chris Christie

Due in part to a notary clerical error, GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie has failed to qualify for the Maine Super Tuesday primary scheduled for March 5, 2024. It remains to be seen if the Christie campaign attempts to access the ballot via court order. Mr. Christie is the only significant GOP candidate not to meet the Maine ballot qualification requirement of submitting 2,000 valid registered voter petition signatures.

U.S. Senate


The Trone for Senate campaign released an internal Hickman Analytics survey (11/27-30; 1,000 MD likely Democratic primary voters; live interview) that projects US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) leading his top primary competitor in the open Senate race, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, by a 41-34% spread.

Rep. Trone, who is largely self-financing his own campaign, has already spent more than $10 million on his statewide effort. The Hickman poll sample consisted of 50% white and 42% black voters, which may prove an accurate depiction of the Maryland Democratic primary’s racial composition. On the other hand, the sample was weighted heavily toward females, with women comprising 62% of the respondent base. This number will prove too high. The Maryland primary is scheduled for May 14th.


Michigan State Board of Education president Pamela Pugh, who was facing an uphill Democratic US Senate primary against US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing), this week exited the statewide campaign and declared for the now open 8th Congressional District race. Last week, six-term US Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) announced that he will not seek re-election next year. Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley (D), a former state Representative, is also expected to join the party primary.

The 8th District is politically marginal. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+1, but Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 51.0D - 46.1R. President Joe Biden carried the district with a slight 50.3 – 48.2% margin. Therefore, both parties can expect to see competitive nomination battles and a toss-up general election.


A new co/efficient poll for the Bernie Moreno Senate campaign finds the Ohio businessman edging ahead of his two Republican opponents, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls). Mr. Moreno has gained support with a new ad tying him to former President Donald Trump. Still, with the overwhelming majority of respondents classifying themselves as Undecided, and the trio of candidates separated by a total of two percentage points, this Republican primary race appears as a pure three-way tie. The Ohio plurality primary is scheduled for March 19th.


Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute (11/14-15; 700 WA likely general election voters; live interview & text) finds Sen. Maria Cantwell (D), running for a fifth six-year term, leading physician and former gubernatorial candidate Raul Garcia (R) by a 51-38% margin. Sen. Cantwell is a heavy favorite for re-election in a race that should not become particularly competitive.

West Virginia

American Pulse, surveying for WMOV radio (11/13-14; 414 WV likely Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques), sees Gov. Jim Justice developing a commanding lead over US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) in a just-released poll that was conducted in mid-November. This data shows Gov. Justice with a huge 56-20% lead over Rep. Mooney in a primary race that is now likely to determine the state’s next US Senator. The race drastically changed when Sen. Joe Manchin (D) announced he would not seek re-election. At this point, Democrats do not have a credible announced candidate.

U.S. House of Representatives


With the California candidate filing deadline fast approaching, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) announced late this week that he will not seek re-election to a 10th term and is leaving Congress at the end of the year. The outcome is not surprising and one many expected since his ouster as Speaker two months ago. The McCarthy decision means 35 House seats are now open with seven coming from California alone.


As the December 8th California candidate filing deadline draws near, we see political moves being made across the state. This week, Indio Mayor Oscar Ortiz (D) announced a challenge to six-term US Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Indio). Mr. Ortiz’s entry into the race could mean that this competition will last all the way through the general election. Under California’s all-party qualifying system, two members of the same party can advance into the general election.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the district as D+12, and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks CA-25 as the 64th most vulnerable Democratic seat in the party conference. Considering that the announced Republican candidates appear weak, seeing a double-Democratic general election from this district is a distinct possibility.

Florida Redistricting

A Florida appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that declared the state’s congressional map as an illegal racial gerrymander. This means the ruling that the northern portion of the map be redrawn is nullified. An appeal to the state Supreme Court is likely. Even if the plaintiffs move forward, however, the time for the high panel to hear the complaint could well extend past the April 26th candidate filing deadline. This means the current map now has a strong chance of standing at least through the 2024 election cycle.

In its ruling, the appellate directive stated, "[T]he constitution cannot demand that all voters are treated equally without regard to race and at the same time demand that voters are treated differently based on race." The plaintiffs want a majority minority district reinstated in northern Florida. In the previous decade a 5th District that stretched from Tallahassee into Jacksonville was drawn to elect an African American Representative.


Candidate filing for the Illinois March 19th primary has concluded, and several points of note are present. With no Senate race in Illinois this year, the focus of attention will be the presidential race and the US House campaigns as well as other down ballot campaigns. Four delegation incumbents drew no major party general election opposition. Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago), Jan Schacowsky (D-Evanston), Mary Miller (R-Oakland), and Darin LaHood* (R-Peoria) look to have free rides in the general election. Reps. Miller and LaHood also drew no primary opponent.

Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago), running for a 15th term, has five Democratic primary opponents. While the effort against him is serious considering his 2022 renomination percentage was only 51.9, the fact that so many people are on the ballot will split the anti-Davis vote and allow him to win renomination with plurality support. Rep. Mike Bost* (R-Murphysboro) faces a primary from the party’s 2022 gubernatorial nominee, former state Senator Darren Bailey. The most competitive November race appears in the Quad Cities area of western Illinois where freshman Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Moline) is likely to face retired circuit judge Joe McGraw (R).

Louisiana Redistricting

With Gov-Elect Jeff Landry (R) taking office on January 8th, the special federal three judge panel has extended the deadline for the state to draw a Voting Rights Act compliant map, in accordance with the US Supreme Court’s Alabama decision, from January 15th to January 30th. It will be interesting to see what the legislature draws because the state is suing over the VRA in another lawsuit. This action concerns the Louisiana legislature’s maps. Democrats are likely to gain one congressional seat when the process eventually concludes.


Three-term Minnesota US Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Plymouth), who is challenging President Joe Biden for the national Democratic nomination, announced that he would not seek re-election to the House next year. Mr. Phillips, saying again running for Congress would be “both unproductive and uncomfortable,” while indicating that it is “time to pass the torch” in terms of representing Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District.

Rep. Phillips was already facing a Democratic primary challenge due to his move against President Biden. Democratic National Committee member Ron Harris announced for the House seat immediately upon the Congressman declaring his presidential candidacy. Several weeks later, state Sen. Kelly Morrison (D-Deephaven) followed suit. We can expect a crowded and contested Democratic nominating convention along with a likely August 13th primary campaign.

New Mexico

The New Mexico state Supreme Court unsurprisingly unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that concluded the state’s congressional map did not constitute and “egregious gerrymander.” Therefore, the current map will stand for the remainder of the decade.

The courts sited the closeness of the 2022 District 2 election that saw Democratic local official Gabe Vasquez unseat freshman Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell by less than a percentage point (1,350 votes) from just under 193,000 cast ballots. Ms. Herrell is returning for a rematch next year, which is again expected to be close.


It appears that freshman New Jersey Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) is absorbing heavy political baggage from his indicted father, Sen. Bob Menendez (D). While just winning the Hudson County Democratic Party’s endorsement, which houses 72% of the 8th District’s population and translates into a very favorable primary ballot position, a new Change Research poll (11/28-12/1; 762 NJ-8 likely Democratic primary voters; online) suggests Rep. Menendez is in trouble for re-nomination.

According to the CR results, Rep. Menendez’s favorability index stands at a poor 17:51% favorable to unfavorable. In a ballot test with his top Democratic primary opponent, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla who had already raised $400,000 through the end of September, the Congressman posts only a 16-13% edge. Clearly, this primary challenge will be a race to monitor throughout the early cycle. The New Jersey plurality primary is scheduled for June 4th.


Though it took a bit longer than expected, former Rep. Tom Suozzi was selected as the Democratic Party’s special election nominee to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R). Republicans are expected to name their candidate early next week.

While the prevailing wisdom is that Mr. Suozzi is a lock to convert the seat for the Democrats, an Opinion Diagnostics survey suggests the race may be closer than one might expect. The survey, conducted for financial executive Kellen Curry’s (R) campaign (11/30; 900 NY-3 registered voters; text & online) found Mr. Suozzi scoring only between 43.3 and 44.9% against three potential Republican special election nominees. The three Republicans record percentages between 38.0 and 39.9%, thus signaling a potentially competitive special election campaign. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called the election for February 13th.


Another hotly contested Democratic primary battle is beginning. This week, Westchester County Executive and former state legislator George Latimer (D) filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission and formally announced his candidacy. Mr. Latimer will be challenging two-term Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers) who himself came to office by denying an incumbent renomination. In 2020, Mr. Bowman unseated veteran Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel.

Mr. Latimer has been in elective office consecutively since the beginning of 2005. This includes his time as Westchester County Executive, a state Senator, and a state Assemblyman. He will be able to command financial resources and clearly has a base of support. Westchester County comprises 91% of the 16th Congressional District’s population. Rep. Bowman’s base comes from the African American community, which is a quarter of the resident base but accounts for a far greater percentage in the Democratic primary.


Former Trump White House aide Bill Maloney, who was considering challenging freshman Rep. Mike Lawler* (R-Pearl River) because he believed the Congressman was not demonstrating sufficient loyalty toward Mr. Trump, now says he will not run. Rep. Lawler is likely to find himself in a very difficult general election campaign, thus making it necessary for him to have an uncontested primary campaign.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-17 as D+7. The district, however, will likely change after a congressional map redraw, so it is likely the Hudson Valley seat will become even more Democratic. The Daily Kos Elections statisticians rank the seat as the sixth most vulnerable in the Republican Conference and likely becomes more competitive post-redistricting.


With ten-term Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) announcing that he will resign during the first week of February to run a civic organization back in Buffalo, speculation is turning to who will replace the outgoing Congressman. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will calendar a special election after the resignation is official, and then the party county chairmen will choose their nominees.

New York’s 26th District is comprised of parts of two counties, Erie and Niagara, and since the district is heavily Democratic (FiveThirtyEight rates the seat as D+18; the Daily Kos Elections site ranks NY-26 as the 78th most vulnerable seat within the Democratic Conference), one man will effectively have the power of anointing the next Congressman.

Since 80% of the district lies in Erie County, that domain’s Democratic Party chairman will have a greater weighted say than the Niagara County chair. Odds appear strong that chairman Jeremy Zellner will choose Eric County Executive Mark Poloncarz as the party nominee. Mr. Poloncarz will then easily win the succeeding special election.

North Carolina

The North Carolina congressional campaigns have been active this week, largely because the December 15th candidate filing deadline is fast approaching and members and challengers need to make final decisions about whether their names will be placed on the ballot next year.

One of the better Republican challenger candidates, state Rep. Erin Pare (R-Holly Springs), who previously announced a congressional bid against US Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary), has decided not to enter the federal race. Instead, she will run for re-election to the state House of Representatives. Ms. Pare is indicating her decision is for family reasons, but 2023 redistricting, while making the 13th District much more Republican, is no longer for her geographically favorable. The eventual GOP nominee here will be favored to unseat Rep. Nickel in November.

In western North Carolina, Democratic state Rep. Caleb Rudow (D-Asheville) declared his challenge to freshman Rep. Chuck Edwards* (R-Flat Rock) in a new 11th District where the 2020 electorate voted 55-44% for former President Donald Trump according to the Daily Kos Elections site statisticians. You will remember that Rep. Edwards is the Republican candidate who denied then-Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) renomination in the 2022 campaign. Though Mr. Rudow is a credible Democratic contender, Rep. Edwards will be heavily favored to retain the seat in the next election.


While attacking the state legislature’s new redistricting map as “an egregious gerrymander,” two-term North Carolina US Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) announced yesterday that she will not file for re-election.

The new 6th District would have voted for Donald Trump in a 57-41% count. Under the Democratic court map, the 6th supported President Joe Biden with a 56-43% margin. North Carolina redistricting had gone back and forth for a decade between the Republican legislature and the Democratic state Supreme Court. With the Republicans winning the court races in 2022, the court and legislature now approach redistricting legislation from largely the same viewpoint.


House Financial Services chairman Patrick McHenry (R-Lake Norman), who is the Speaker Pro Tempore and presided over the election of Speaker Mike Johnson*, announced yesterday that he will not seek an 11th term in the House next year. Term-limited in his chairmanship even if the Republicans hold the majority, Mr. McHenry, still only 48 years of age, will end his congressional tenure after 20 years in office.

The McHenry retirement means that 36 seats and counting will be open for the next election. NC-10 should remain safely in Republicans hands (Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 56.6R – 41.3D partisan lean), so the battle to succeed the retiring Congressman will lie in the Republican primary. The North Carolina primary is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5th. If no one reaches 30% of the vote, a runoff election will be held on May 14th.


Last week, Ohio US Rep. Bill Johnson* (R-Marietta) announced that he will leave Congress in March to become president of Youngstown State University. Since Mr. Johnson is leaving the House after the 2024 candidate filing deadline (December 20, 2023), Ohio election procedure indicates there will be no special election to fill the balance of the term. This means the March 19th plurality primary will likely decide Mr. Johnson’s successor within a crowded field of Republican candidates.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates OH-6 as R+31, and former President Trump carried the seat with a strong 64-37% margin in 2020. Therefore, count on the GOP to easily hold the district in the 2024 general election. Assuming New York US Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island) is soon expelled, and former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) wins the special election to replace him as expected, the Republican majority after next March will shrink to 220-214. Therefore, the already close House will soon become even tighter.


US Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), initially elected in 1982, officially confirmed that she will file to seek a 22nd term. The Ohio candidate filing deadline is December 20th for the March 19th primary, so candidates and challengers in this state, too, are entering the time frame where career decisions must be made.

Though the 9th District favors the Republicans by an average of six percentage points, Rep. Kaptur posted a 57-43% victory margin last November against a weak Republican candidate. With former state Rep. Craig Riedel expected to prevail in the 2024 GOP primary, Rep. Kaptur will face a more difficult re-election campaign. The Congresswoman ranks fourth in US House seniority, and she is the second-longest serving Democrat behind only former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).


When Texas US Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Pilot Point/Denton) first won his House seat in 2002, he defeated Scott Armey in a Republican runoff. Mr. Armey, then the Denton County Judge (Executive), is the son of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey who he was attempting to succeed. With Mr. Burgess last week announcing his retirement after serving what will be 22 years in the House, Mr. Armey again declared his congressional candidacy during the Thanksgiving break.

The 26th District is solidly Republican (538: R+26; Daily Kos Elections Rank: 96th safest Republican seat) so Rep. Burgess’ successor will almost assuredly be decided in a Republican nomination process that will likely include a May 28th runoff after the March 5th primary. At this point, six Republicans have declared for the seat but so far the field of candidates features no sitting elected official.


While Utah Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) was just sworn into office last week after winning the November 21st special election, she has already drawn a 2024 Republican primary opponent. Army Reserve Colonel and technology company executive Colby Jenkins (R) declared his congressional candidacy against the new Congresswoman at the end of last week.

Mr. Jenkins says he will pursue the controversial ruling that awarded Ms. Maloy a ballot position even though she registered to vote after the candidate filing deadline. At this point, Rep. Maloy should be favored for renomination, but it is likely that she will already become embroiled in a new campaign. The Utah state primary is scheduled for June 25th.



Gov. Spencer Cox (R) is favored to win a second term next year, but he will first have to out poll now two intra-party opponents. In late October, state Rep. Phil Lyman (R-Blanding) announced his Republican primary challenge to Gov. Cox, and this week, state Rep. Brian King (R-Salt Lake City) also entered the race.


A year and one-half before the next Virginia gubernatorial primary election, we already have a brewing contest. In mid-November, US Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) announced she would forego re-election to a fourth term in the US House in order to run in the open 2025 Governor’s race. Now, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has also joined the Democratic primary race with his announcement this week. Since Virginia is the only state in the Union that has a one-term limit for its Governors, incumbent Republican Glenn Youngkin is ineligible to seek re-election, thus guaranteeing an open contest in 2025.

West Virginia

The aforementioned American Pulse poll for WMOV radio (see West Virginia Senate above) also tested the Republican sampling universe for the open gubernatorial primary. With Gov. Jim Justice* moving into the Senate race, the May 14th GOP primary will very likely decide who will succeed Mr. Justice.

Rebounding from an August MetroNews poll that showed him trailing, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has assumed the lead according to the American Pulse results. In this study, Mr. Morrisey, twice elected as AG, leads state Delegate Moore Capito, son of US Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R), 31-23%. Secretary of State Mac Warner posts 14% in third position with businessman Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), at 10 percent. While Mr. Morrisey has a clear advantage, this poll suggests the race could evolve into a four-way battle as the primary date gets closer.



Survey USA conducted a poll for the University of Houston pertaining to Texas’ largest city’s mayoral campaign (11/13-18; 1,120 Houston adults; 971 registered voters; 805 likely voters; multiple sampling techniques) as we approach the December 9th runoff election. The ballot test is breaking 42-35% in favor of state Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston), the second-longest serving member of the Texas legislature having been initially elected in 1972. US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston), who qualified in second place for the runoff, continues to trail Mr. Whitmire as the campaign begins to conclude.

According to the S-USA poll, crime is the overwhelming issue of concern. From the tested respondent pool a whopping 63% say they don’t feel safe walking around the city even during the day.

*denotes candidate received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2023-2024 election cycle. 

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