Listed below are political snippets on congressional and gubernatorial races around the country. Enjoy!
WPA Intelligence, polling for the Club for Growth organization (1/25-27; 513 AL likely Republican primary voters; live interview) again finds US Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) leading the open GOP US Senate nomination field, but with a decreased margin. The bigger surprise, however, is engineering firm owner Mike Durant, who has been heavily advertising his candidacy, moving past former Business Council of Alabama and ex-Sen. Richard Shelby chief of staff Katie Britt into second place. The ballot test breaks 35-30-25% in favor of Brooks over Durant and Britt, respectively. The Alabama primary is scheduled for May 24th with a June 21st runoff, if necessary.
OH Predictive Insights released their new data results on the Arizona Republican primary, and again found Attorney General Mark Brnovich maintaining the advantage. According to the survey (1/11-13; 855 AZ registered voters; 302 AZ likely Republican primary voters; online), Mr. Brnovich has a 25-11-7-6% lead over retired Air Force Major General Mick McGuire, solar energy company executive Jim Lamon, and venture capitalist Blake Masters, respectively. The Arizona primary is not until August 2, so expect this race to obviously intensify in the coming months.
Suffolk University tested the Florida electorate (1/26-29; 500 FL likely general election voters; live interview) and finds Sen. Marco Rubio* (R) running well beyond the polling margin of error against consensus Democratic candidate, US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando). The ballot test numbers gave the Senator a 49-41% lead over Rep. Demings in a race that is expected to become highly competitive.
Quinnipiac University released its first Georgia poll of the election season (1/19-24; 1,702 GA likely voters; 666 GA likely Republican primary voters; live interview) and finds Republican challenger Herschel Walker holding a slight 49-48% lead over Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) in what will be one of the most hotly contested races in the nation later this year. We can expect close polling in Georgia from today all the way through the November election.
With candidate filing officially now closed, The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy firm released the results of their new Kentucky statewide poll (1/19-22; 625 KY registered voters; live interview) and project Sen. Rand Paul (R) to be in strong position opposite his likely general election opponent, former state Rep. Charles Booker (D-Louisville). The ballot test gave Sen. Paul a 55-39% lead, with him carrying every region of the state with the exception of the Louisville metro sector.
Remington Research is out with their latest Missouri survey (1/26-27; 902 MO likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) and sees former Gov. Eric Greitens still leading the GOP field, but with Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) moving into position to make the contest a three-way affair. According to the ballot test results, Mr. Greitens leads Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Rep. Hartzler, 28-23-19%, respectively. Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield) and St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey consecutively trail with 7 and 5% support.
OH Predictive Insights also released their recent Nevada poll (1/19-26; 755 NV likely registered voters; online) and find Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) pulling back ahead of former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) in a general election ballot test. The most recent previously published poll came from the Trafalgar Group (11/24-29; 1,034 NV likely general election voters) and gave Mr. Laxalt a 44-41% edge. In the current OH study, Sen. Cortez Masto is staked to a 44-35% advantage. While the margin difference is strongly in the Senator’s favor, this poll’s conclusion is not as bright for her as a first glance might suggest. Only posting a 44% support number is low for any incumbent.
A new Cygnal polling firm survey (1/28-30; 929 OH likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system; text & email), for the first time, sees a new Republican leader in the Buckeye State’s open US Senate race. The Cygnal data suggests that businessman and 2018 Senate candidate Mike Gibbons, after spending heavily on a statewide media buy, has usurped former state Treasurer Josh Mandel.
The new ballot test finds Mr. Gibbons leading the field, but with just 16% preference, followed by Mr. Mandel at 13%, author J.D. Vance pulling 10% support, and former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken now lagging behind the pack with 8%. The huge 44% undecided factor suggests that any of these candidates are viable to prevail in the May 3rd primary.
The Data for Progress polling organization tested the Pennsylvania Democratic US Senate primary, and again finds Lt. Gov. John Fetterman holding a big lead. In fact, the numbers haven’t changed much from the GQR polling firm’s released mid-December survey. The new DfP poll (1/26-31; 730 PA likely Democratic primary voters; SMS text) sees Mr. Fetterman actually holding a slightly stronger 46-16-12% lead over US Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia). In the December GQR survey (12/14-16; 600 PA likely Democratic primary voters), found the Fetterman margin over Kenyatta and Lamb to be 44-20-15%, respectively.
Triton Polling & Research, conducting a statewide survey for WMOV radio in Ravenswood, WV (1/17-20; 783 WV likely voters; automated), tested the West Virginia electorate in regard to Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D) standing in light of the recent publicity he’s been receiving. The poll finds his favorability rating at 51:40% positive to negative, which measures a bit under Gov. Jim Justice’s (R) 56:29% ratio.
In an early hypothetical 2024 Senate race pairing between the two, however, Sen. Manchin would lead Gov. Justice, 41-37%. The Senator then polls substantially ahead of Attorney General and 2018 Senate nominee Patrick Morrisey (R), 50-29%, however, and he also runs strongly opposite Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town), 49-28%.
U.S. House of Representatives
Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig (R) announced that he is ending his special election candidacy in the vacant 22nd District and will instead enter the regular election contest for the new 5th District. The 22nd is former Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-Tulare) seat from which he resigned in December, but the special election winner will serve only a six-month term because redistricting divides that district into several parts.
Therefore, Supervisor Magsig, who was a major special election contender, now switches districts to the place Mr. Nunes would have chosen to run had he remained in Congress. This means a challenge to GOP incumbent Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) in a seat that stretches from the Sacramento suburbs to the Fresno suburbs. The new 5th is rated as a R+17 under the FiveThirtyEight statistical organization’s projections, so two Republicans advancing to the general election from this district is a possibility.
Fresno Democrat Phil Arballo, a financial advisor who raised over $5 million in his 2020 challenge to then-Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) but lost 54-46%, was a candidate in the current special election to replace the resigned GOP Congressman in District 22. With the new redistricting map virtually eliminating that seat, meaning the winner will likely serve only one six-month term, Arballo has left the special election and announced he will run in new District 13, a Lean Democratic seat that touches the Fresno area and stretches to the San Joaquin Valley.
Mr. Arballo decided to run in CD-13 when Rep. Josh Harder (D-Turlock) announced that he was moving into retiring Rep. Jerry McNerney’s (D-Stockton) 9th CD. The CA-13 race is expected to be competitive. In the beginning, Mr. Arballo will at least face state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) in the jungle primary scheduled for June 7.
A super PAC supporting US Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) in her Democratic primary battle against fellow US Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Suwanee) conducted a district-wide primary poll that finds her leading the latter member even with fewer carryover constituents.
According to the Data for Progress survey for the Protect our Future PAC (Released 2/1; 1/13-16; 419 GA-7 likely Democratic primary voters; online & text), Rep. McBath holds a 40-31-6% lead over Rep. Bourdeaux and state Rep. Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville). This, despite Rep. Bourdeaux seeing 53% of her constituents landing in the new 7th versus only 12% of Rep. McBath’s current 6th District voters.
Former Michigan US Senate candidate John James (R), who held incumbent Sen. Gary Peters (D) to a 50-48% victory in 2020 after coming within six points of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) in 2018, announced that he will run for the new open 10th District that was created in the new Michigan redistricting plan. Mr. James will certainly be the Republican nomination favorite, but the general election is designed to be close.
While former President Donald Trump would have carried this new 10th CD 50-49% according to the Daily Kos Elections site statistics, Mr. James would have fallen short of Sen. Peters here by just over half a percentage point. The new MI-10 will be one of the most politically marginal districts in the entire country.
Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Lincoln) is now seeing his federal indictment for campaign finance violations and allegedly lying to federal authorities hurt him politically. Last week, state Sen. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk), a former Speaker of the unicameral legislative body, announced that he would challenge the Congressman in this year’s Republican primary. Over the succeeding weekend, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) and former Gov. Dave Heineman (R) both endorsed Mr. Flood’s challenge to Rep. Fortenberry, signaling a serious challenge ahead.
Ex-Gov. Heineman indicated that he is concerned about the Republicans winning in November against state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks (D-Lincoln) should a politically crippled Fortenberry again become the party nominee. He also brought attention to the Lincoln Congressman being the only Nebraska member ever indicted. Gov. Ricketts supported his endorsement of Sen. Flood by saying the district would get “…the full-time attention it deserves.”
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is seriously considering running for the US House according to reports emanating from the Big Apple. Already in the Democratic primary, however, is former Congressman Max Rose who is no ally of de Blasio as the two repeatedly came to verbal blows when both held office. The Republican incumbent is Nicole Malliotakis* (R-Staten Island) who unsuccessfully challenged de Blasio when he won re-election to a second mayoral term and unseated then-Rep. Rose in 2020.
On passage of the new Tennessee congressional redistricting map that would significantly change the Nashville area, veteran Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) quickly announced that he will not seek re-election later this year. Mr. Cooper is serving his 16th term in the House, winning his first election from the state’s east/southeastern 4th District in 1982, which he represented until he ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 1994. He returned to the House from the Nashville district in 2002 when then-Rep. Bob Clement (D-Nashville) left the seat to challenge then-Sen. Fred Thompson (R), the same man who defeated Mr. Cooper in his statewide bid.
During his second tour of duty in the House, Rep. Cooper was not seriously challenged for re-election. It appeared he was preparing for a Democratic primary challenge this year, but such is moot now that the new 5th District becomes decidedly Republican. Rep. Cooper is the 29th Democrat not to seek re-election. Counting the Democratic and Republican retirements along with the new and created (through redistricting) open seats, the House will see a minimum of 50 new members coming into office at the beginning of 2023.
Two states moved forward with their congressional redistricting plans. The Hawaii Reapportionment Commission easily drew the new two-district US House map and adopted the plan. Only 2,195 people had to move from Rep. Ed Case’s (D) Honolulu dominated 1st CD to Rep. Kai Kahele’s (D-Hijo) 2nd District that contains part of Oahu and all the remaining islands of the Hawaiian chain.
The Michigan state Supreme Court, on a 4-3 vote, rejected the redistricting challenge of a group of current and past Detroit area African American state legislators late Thursday. The plaintiffs were arguing that the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission members illegally divided many of the minority Voting Rights districts, but a majority of the justices disagreed. Therefore, the Commission-adopted congressional and legislative maps will stand pending further litigation in federal court should the plaintiffs, or others, launch additional legal action.
In New York, the legislative leaders unveiled a map that will likely allow the Democrats to gain four seats in the delegation, as the plan’s design would relegate the Republicans to just four of the new 26 districts awarded the state. New York lost one seat in reapportionment. The plan has now advanced through the legislature and is sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) for approval.
As reported above in the Senate section, Suffolk University surveyed the Florida electorate (1/26-29; 500 FL likely general election voters; live interview) and also tested Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as he prepares for re-election. Here, the Suffolk pollsters see the Governor leading US Representative and former Governor Charlie Crist (D), by a 49-43% margin, and extends to double digits over state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), 51-40%. With polling almost always underestimating Republican strength in Florida, it is probable that we can add at least two percentage points to the Governor’s total.
As shown above in the Georgia Senate post, Quinnipiac University released its first Peach State poll (1/19-24; 1,702 GA likely voters; 666 GA likely Republican primary voters; live interview), and their gubernatorial results are as close as what was found in the Senate race. Matched with consensus Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, the 2018 gubernatorial nominee and former state House Minority Leader, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) posts a small 49-47% lead. The Governor’s personal favorability, however, is upside down at 36:51%, while Ms. Abrams is better but certainly not stellar at 44:45% positive to negative.
In the Republican primary, Gov. Kemp leads former Sen. David Perdue, 43-36% with ex-DeKalb County Executive Vernon Jones pulling 10% support. If Mr. Perdue were the Republican nominee against Ms. Abrams, the two would be tied at 48%.
The Victory Research firm tested Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker (1/18-20; 1,208 IL likely general election voters) against five potential Republican opponents. Businessman Gary Rabine (R) fares best against the Governor, but even he trails by a huge 52-28% margin. Gov. Pritzker remains in strong shape in his bid for a second term. Other tested GOP candidates are state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville), Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf, and venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan.
US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, the former Boston Mayor, said that he will not return to Massachusetts to enter the open Democratic gubernatorial primary, choosing to stay in his present position. Earlier, Attorney General Maura Healey (D) said that she would run. Democrats are favored to convert this Governorship. Incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is not seeking a third term.
Regular Michigan pollster EPIC-MRA (1/15-20; 600 MI likely general election voters; live interview) finds Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) leading former Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R) with a 46-41% margin according to the results of its latest survey.
Though Gov. Whitmer has an edge on the outside of the polling margin of error, there are several negative points that should worry her. In a ratio of 35:45%, the respondents believe Michigan is on the wrong track. Her job approval stands at 45:52% positive to negative. Perhaps the worst part of the survey for Gov. Whitmer, however, is that President Joe Biden’s job approval is a woeful 32:66% positive to negative, and the respondents rate the economy only 29:65% positive to negative.
In addition to their poll covered in the Senate section, OH Predictive Insights also conducted a survey of the Nevada Governor’s race (1/19-26; 755 NV likely registered voters) and found Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) in prospective tight races against both Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) and former US Senator Dean Heller (R). In a poll extrapolated to include no undecideds, Gov. Sisolak led Sheriff Lombardo 52-48%, and Mr. Heller, 54-46%. The results are consistent with other released previous polling data.
A Fabrizio Lee research firm survey (1/11-13; 800 OH likely Republican primary voters; live interview) finds GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, one of the leading Covid shutdown Governors, in trouble against his Republican primary opponent, former Congressman Jim Renacci. According to the poll, Mr. Renacci would top Gov. DeWine in his quest for re-nomination by a surprising 46-38% margin.
The Governor’s job approval rating among Ohio Republicans is a poor 48:49% positive to negative and his personal approval ratio is an even worse 44:52%, with 33 of the 52% saying very unfavorable. Mr. DeWine’s re-elect score is troublesome for any incumbent. A full 50% of his own party respondents say they definitely or probably won’t vote for DeWine. This race has been rather quiet to this point, but the May 3rd Republican gubernatorial primary has just become much more interesting.
On the Democratic side, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley released her Clarity Campaign Labs poll that posts her to a 33-20% lead over ex-Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley in the battle for their party’s gubernatorial nomination.
Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner (D), one of five Democrats challenging new Gov. Dan McKee (D) in the party primary, announced that he will end his statewide campaign and instead enter the open RI-2 congressional district race for the office from which veteran Rep. Jim Langevin (D-Warwick) is retiring.
Mr. Magaziner’s departure leaves Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, former Secretary of State Matt Brown, corporate CEO and Harvard University Board Member Helena Foulkes, and physician Luis Daniel Munoz in the nomination race. The Rhode Island primary isn’t until September 13th.
The University of Texas at Tyler published their most recent survey for the Dallas Morning News (1/18-25; 1,082 TX registered voters; 514 likely Republican primary voters; 459 likely Democratic primary voters; live interview & online) and found Gov. Greg Abbott (R) again holding a relatively small lead opposite likely Democratic nominee Beto O’Rourke, the former El Paso Congressman and 2018 US Senate candidate. The general election ballot test finds Gov. Abbott holding a 48-43% early edge, which is typical for Texas polls that almost always project closer races than the actual results.