Political Snippets from Around the Country

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


Sen. Joe Manchin

After testing the political waters for a minor party presidential run, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he will not be pursuing a national candidacy. While not said, it is clear that the task of obtaining ballot position in enough states to be competitive proved daunting, and at this point in the cycle very unlikely to be achieved. Without a party label, it is extremely difficult, as even Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is finding, to fully qualify for the national campaign.


The Michigan presidential primary is scheduled for next Tuesday, and controversial US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) is calling for pro-Palestinian voters to “support Gaza” by voting for the Uncommitted Slate in the Democratic primary. While this tactic may gain some votes within the large Muslim community in the Detroit area, it will not deter President Joe Biden from securing all of Michigan’s Democratic delegates. He is on track to mathematically clinch the nomination on the first convention ballot when the March 19th primaries conclude.

South Carolina

The international survey research firm YouGov, polling for CBS News (2/5-10; 1,483 SC registered voters; 1,001 SC likely Republican presidential primary voters; online) finds former President Donald Trump expanding his previous ballot test lead over former UN Ambassador and ex-South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as the candidates move toward the February 24th Palmetto State GOP primary.

Mr. Trump secured 65% of the poll respondents’ support versus 30% for Ms. Haley. South Carolina based Winthrop University also polled (2/2-10; 749 SC likely Republican primary voters; live interview) and concurs at 65-29%.

The former President does much better as to who would perform better on all associated issue questions with the exception of which candidate is most likable. In terms of committed support, 87% of YouGov respondents who say they support Trump report that their vote is firm. A total of 78% of Haley voters say the same about their preference. A convincing Trump South Carolina victory in her home state will effectively end the Haley campaign.

Upcoming Primaries

The Morning Consult firm released the results of polls they conducted through key states with primaries on March 5, 12, and 19. The ballot tests overwhelmingly favor former President Donald Trump. In Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Ohio, Mr. Trump registers between 75 (Arizona) and 85% (Florida) of the Republican respondents. Ms. Haley posts support percentages only between 14 (Florida) and 20% (Illinois).

Decision Desk HQ

The Decision Desk HQ in association with The Hill newspaper has forecast a new 50-state electoral vote projection. All swing states are averaged based upon data from at least five recent polls. The new estimates give former President Donald Trump his largest ever electoral vote lead, 312-226.

The key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are all landing in the Trump camp according to DDHQ. To win the 2024 election, Mr. Trump needs to convert states that equal 35 electoral votes. According to this projection, Mr. Trump is improving his stance by 80 electoral votes when compared with his 2020 performance.

U.S. Senate


Two new Arizona US Senate polls were just released, and both show a significant change in the race status. First, while previous polls were projecting Republican Kari Lake holding a small lead, this pair sees Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) moving into first place and incumbent Kyrsten Sinema*, running on the Independent line, substantially improving her position. Previously, she was languishing in the teens, and now both surveys find her well in the 20+ percentile range and back in competition to potentially win re-election.

Emerson College surveyed the Arizona electorate over the February 16-19 period (1,000 AZ registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) and the results find a 36-30-21% Gallego, Lake, and Sinema split. Arizona based Noble Predictive Insights polled the state during the February 6-13 period (1,002 AZ registered voters; online) and found a similar result, 34-31-23% in the same order as the Emerson finding. These numbers suggest that the Sinema increase is coming at the expense of Lake and not Gallego.


Emerson College surveyed the California electorate in a partnership with The Hill newspaper and the Inside California Politics blog (2/16-18; 1,000 CA registered voters; 935 likely jungle primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) and again found US Rep. Adam Schiff (D) leading the open US Senate field, this time with 28% of the vote.

In second place, and for the first time with a sizable advantage over the third place finisher, is former baseball great Steve Garvey (R) with 22 percent. Following are Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) with 16 and 9%, respectively.

The California jungle primary is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5th. The top two finishers regardless of political party affiliation or percentage attained will advance to the general election. Sen. Laphonza Butler (D), who Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appointed to replace the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), is not running for a full term.


Maryland 2024 candidate filing closed last week and, after saying he would not run for Senate, former two-term Gov. Larry Hogan (R) agreed to seek the GOP nomination. Despite leaving office with the highest approval rating of any Maryland Governor after eight years, Mr. Hogan will still be in an underdog position for the general election in heavily Democratic Maryland during a presidential year. The Democratic nominee will be either US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) or Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. The May 14th Dem primary will likely produce a close result.

A surprising Emerson College poll conducted for The Hill news site (2/12-13; 1,000 MD registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) released after the Hogan announcement shows the former Governor and Mr. Trone tied at 42%. Mr. Hogan leads Ms. Alsobrooks, 44-37%.


For the second election in as many cycles, retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R) has ended a political campaign before the candidate filing process even concludes. Late this week, Mr. Craig announced that he is suspending his statewide US Senate campaign but may instead turn to what could be an open Detroit Mayor’s race in 2025.

Mr. Craig departing the Senate race looks to be good news for former Congressman Mike Rogers (R). Also in the GOP race is ex-US Rep. Peter Meijer, while another former Congressman, Republican-turned-Libertarian Justin Amash, remains a potential entrant. The Michigan candidate filing deadline is April 23rd in association with the August 6th primary. US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) is a prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination.


Survey USA, polling for the NonStop Local organization (2/12-15; 700 NC adults; 612 NC registered voters; 549 likely voters) tested the Montana electorate shortly after Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) announced his short-lived Senate campaign. The results provided good news for Sen. Jon Tester (D), who faces the political winds this year. Against both aerospace company CEO and retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy and Mr. Rosendale, Sen. Tester posted identical 49-40% leads. Earlier surveys found a much closer ballot test.

Rep. Rosendale’s abrupt exit from the Senate race virtually clears the GOP field for Mr. Sheehy who already has the entire Republican state and national establishment backing his campaign. The Montana race is a top tier GOP challenge contest and one of the states likely to determine which party will claim the Senate majority in the next Congress.

New Mexico

As we have seen in several places already in this election year, another potential candidate has been disqualified for failing to manage the petition signature requirement for ballot placement. Former Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales (R) has failed to qualify for the June 4th Republican US Senate ballot according to the New Mexico Secretary of State, thus likely leaving ex-hedge fund CEO Nella Domenici as the party’s lone contender.

Assuming the decision holds, the New Mexico Senate general election will feature Ms. Domenici, the daughter of former six-term US Senator Pete Domenici (R), and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) who is seeking a third term. New Mexico is a Democratic state, so Sen. Heinrich is a clear favorite as the campaign officially starts, but Republicans believe that Ms. Domenici can become competitive.


Emerson College, polling for The Hill newspaper and KLAS-TV in Las Vegas also polled the impending Nevada Senate race (2/16-19; (1,000 AZ registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) and already project a dead heat contest. The results find Sen. Jacky Rosen (D), running for a second term, dropping to 40% support and leading Afghanistan veteran Sam Brown (R) by only a 40-38% margin. The Nevada race will become a top tier Republican challenge opportunity.


Recent polls have shown a tight race between Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas). It is expected that the various ballot tests will show a close contest all the way to election day, at which point Sen. Cruz will likely pull away and post a 5+ point victory. Additionally, while Rep. Allred has been very successful on the fundraising front, he still must navigate through a contested Democratic primary that has a good chance of advancing into a runoff election.

The National Public Affairs Republican polling firm (2/6-8; 807 TX likely voters; live interview & text) recently released their survey the Texas electorate. While the data produces a three point Republican advantage on the generic congressional question and Donald Trump tops President Joe Biden at 42-35%, the Senate race between Cruz and Allred finds the two tied at 44% apiece.  Previously, we saw chronological polls giving Cruz nine (YouGov) two (Emerson College) and six point (YouGov) leads.

YouGov, however, polling for the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin (2/2-12; 1,313 TX registered voters; 1,200 TX likely primary voters; online) finds a much different November election result. Within the general election sample, Sen. Cruz records his best polling stance of the current campaign, with a 46-32% margin over Rep. Allred.


Banking and real estate investor Eric Hovde, who ran for the Senate in the 2012 Republican primary, has filed a 2024 US Senate campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission. Wisconsin is the last potentially competitive state where Republicans do not have a strong candidate. The national Republican leadership hopes Mr. Hovde will be viable enough to keep this state in play for November. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) is seeking a third term. 

U.S. House of Representatives


As the California candidates head toward the March 5th jungle primary, Republican Scott Baugh, who held Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) to a 52-48% victory in 2022 even though the incumbent outspent him by almost a 10:1 margin, released a poll for the upcoming race.

WPA Intelligence surveyed the CA-47 electorate (2/12-14; 366 CA-47 likely jungle primary voters; live interview and text) and sees Mr. Baugh placing first with 27% support and advancing into the general election. In second place, despite being under heavy attack for his televised drunk driving arrest, is state Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) with 22%. Attorney Joanna Weiss (D), the third major candidate in the race, trails with 16%. 


Thirty years ago, John Hostettler (R) was elected to Congress from the Evansville anchored 8th Congressional District and served six terms before losing his seat in the 2006 election. On the last day of filing this year, Mr. Hostettler announced he is returning to again seek the southwestern Indiana congressional seat known in previous times as “the Bloody 8th.”

The seat earned its nickname because of the many incumbents the electorate has defeated in its history. A total of 33 men have represented this district in the House of Representatives and 18 of them ended their congressional service in defeat. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Evansville) defied the district’s history and is retiring after serving seven consecutive terms.

In other Indiana filing news, another former Congressman is attempting a political comeback in the open 3rd CD. Former US Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R) represented the 3rd for three terms before running unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2016. IN-3 is safely Republican, but Mr. Stutzman will have to top nine other Republicans in order to complete his return.


The Remington Research Group has released a surprising new poll (2/7-9; 401 MO-1 likely Democratic primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) that projects two-term incumbent Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis), a member of the so-called House “Squad” or the most progressive left group in Congress, significantly trailing her Democratic primary opponent.

According to the Remington ballot test, former St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell, who was originally a candidate in the Senate race, enjoys a strong 50-28% lead over Ms. Bush in the heavily Democratic St. Louis anchored CD. The Congresswoman is also under an investigation from the House Ethics Committee over the potential misuse of campaign funds for personal gain.


While Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) still has not said whether he will seek re-election to the House after withdrawing from his short lived Senate campaign, other Republicans are moving forward.

The latest to enter the race is former six-term Congressman Denny Rehberg. Serving from 2001-2013 and leaving the at-large House seat in an unsuccessful attempt at running for the Senate, Mr. Rehberg is attempting a political comeback after a long absence. He also was elected twice on the statewide ticket as Montana’s Lt. Governor prior to his service in Congress.

Assuming Rep. Rosendale does not run, Rehberg will have a lot of company in the Republican primary. A total of nine contenders have become candidates for the ostensibly open position with Mr. Rehberg ,State Auditor Troy Downing, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, and state Senate President Pro Tempore (R-Miles City) appear to be the most formidable of the group. 


It appears that Democrats are staking their chances of upsetting Rep. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) with the former New Jersey Executive Director of the Working Families Party. The three Democratic candidates who have abandoned their own campaigns turned and endorsed Sue Altman. Now, former US Rep. Tom Malinowski, whom the Democratic leadership had hoped to recruit into the race, has also declined to run and he, too, just endorsed Ms. Altman.

New Jersey’s 7th District is a politically marginal swing seat that the Daily Kos Elections site ranks as the 16th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the district R+3, so these most recent developments, all of which help Rep. Kean, means the freshman Congressman must be rated as a clear favorite for re-election.


Last week, Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) released the results of his internal TargetSmart survey that posted him to a relatively strong 46-22% advantage over Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla in their quest for the Democratic nomination. Several days later, the Bhalla campaign countered with their own poll, this one from GQR Research another highly rated polling firm. This data (released 2/20; 403 NJ-8 likely Democratic primary voters) finds a much different ballot test, with the incumbent leading only 44-41%. 


Former US Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) won a convincing 54-46% victory over Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip (R) this week even though five surveys from five different pollsters showed the race within a 1-4 point margin.

Rep-Elect Suozzi converts the seat back to the Democratic column, making the partisan division in the House an even closer 219R – 213D with three vacancies. It is probable that when all of the vacancies are filled after completing special elections in late April (NY-26), May (CA-20), and June (OH-6), the House will sit at 221R – 214D heading into the regular 2024 elections.

Once again, Democrats outperforming Republicans in early voting proved a reliable precursor as to which party had the electoral momentum, thus explaining how Suozzi exceeded the polling projections. Additionally, while poor weather was thought to keep the election day turnout low, it did not. A special election turnout of more than 174,000 voters is a strong display for any district. In comparison, just over 271,000 voted in the 2022 regular congressional election.


The 26th District Republican county chairmen have chosen West Seneca Town Supervisor and former FBI agent Gary Dickson as their special election nominee to replace resigned New York Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo). The 26th District is heavily Democratic, so state Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo), the latter party’s nominee begins the race as the solid favorite. Even Mr. Dickson acknowledged his uphill battle saying, “the voters need an election and not a coronation.” The special election is scheduled for April 30th. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-26 as D+18.

New York Redistricting

The New York Independent Redistricting Commission, on a vote of 9-1, just adopted a new congressional map but it looks very much like the current court-drawn plan. It appears the Commissioners adopted a “least change” model in that the early reported change seems to adversely affect Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Syracuse), at least slightly, but conversely helps adjacent Rep. Marc Molinaro* (R-Red Hook). Much more will be known about the map when statisticians delve into the partisan patterns of the new boundaries.

The “Independent Commission” is not so independent. The legislature must now approve the commission map and it is uncertain whether large Democratic majorities in both houses will accept a “least change” map.


One of the major OR-5 Democratic contenders this week ended her bid and endorsed another candidate. Lynn Peterson is the President of Portland’s Metro Council and was an announced congressional candidate. Seeing the race trends, Ms. Peterson has dropped her bid and endorsed state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas), following the lead of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The 2022 nominee, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, is in the race, but losing steam. She lost to now-incumbent Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer* (R-Happy Valley), and it’s clear the Democratic synergy is now turning toward Rep. Bynum as the stronger candidate.


Tennessee US Rep. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) joins Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers* (R-WA) as the committee chairs most recently announcing their respective retirement. Reps. Kay Granger* (R-TX) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who consecutively chair the Appropriations and Financial Services Committees, are also ending their long congressional careers.

Rep. Green said he has accomplished his promised goals in the House with the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the passage of the border bill earlier in this Congress. As chairman of Homeland Security, he was a key figure in both actions.


In a surprising move, four-term GOP Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher* (R-Green Bay) announced that he will not run for a fifth term later this year. Rep. Gallagher says he will take a position in the private sector and spend more time with his family. He was considered a potential 2024 US Senate candidate, and certainly so for 2028 when Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is expected to retire.

Rep. Gallagher is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He leaves the 2024 congressional race with over $4 million in his campaign account.


North Carolina

Of the eleven 2024 gubernatorial campaigns on the general election ballot, the North Carolina contest appears as the most competitive. With Gov. Roy Cooper (D) ineligible to seek a third term, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) and Attorney General Josh Stein (D) are virtual locks earn general election ballot positions.

East Carolina University just completed a poll of the state (2/9-12; 1,207 NC registered voters; Interactive Voice Response system) and posts Mr. Robinson to a 53-13-7% over attorney and former prosecutor Bill Graham and state Treasurer Dale Folwell in the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, AG Stein records a similarly strong 57-7% margin over retired state Supreme Court Judge Mike Morgan. Turning to the general election, this polling universe yields a 41-41% tie between the two men. North Carolina typically features tight statewide races, and this open Governor’s race appears to be consistent with such voter history.


Republican polling firm ARW Strategies conducted a survey of the Missouri GOP electorate (2/5-7; 611 MO likely Republican primary voters) and found Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, son of former US Senator and US Attorney General John Ashcroft, continuing to lead the open gubernatorial field. According to the ARW results, Mr. Ashcroft leads Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and state Sen. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring) by a 36-13-13% margin. The findings are consistent with other previously conducted polls.

This survey, however, skews male (51.1%) and to those 65 years of age and older. This age demographic represents only 16% of the Missouri at-large population, but 46% in this particular poll. Incumbent Gov. Mike Parson (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.


Once again, we see more survey data predicting a tight open seat campaign, this time in the Washington Governor’s race. Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute (2/13-14; 789 likely WA voters; live interview & text) sees Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) and former US Representative and King County Sheriff Dave Reichert (R) advancing into the general election from the August 6th jungle primary. Messrs. Ferguson and Reichert recorded a respective 35-27-9% showing over Richland School Board member Semi Bird in the primary polling. In the general election, Mr. Ferguson posted a 46-42% advantage over Mr. Reichert.

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

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