Check out these political snippets on congressional and gubernatorial races from across the country.
A new Cygnal poll for the Alabama Daily News and Gray Television (3/16-17; 600 AL likely Republican primary voters) projects retired “Black Hawk Down” pilot and Alabama business owner Mike Durant and former Business Council of Alabama president & CEO Katie Britt heading for a Republican open US Senate runoff election in late June. The Cygnal results find Mr. Durant, after spending more than $4 million on various media blitzes, leading Ms. Britt 35-28% with early leader, US Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), dropping to just 16% support.
As we turn toward April, the signals point to Mr. Brooks being the odd-man out after the May 24th primary. If no candidate receives majority support in the primary, the top two advance into a June 21st runoff election. The Republican nomination appears tantamount to election in November.
Former President Donald Trump then announced he is rescinding his endorsement of Rep. Brooks. Though a reason is not stated, Mr. Trump’s action is largely due to Rep. Brooks dropping precipitously in polling since jumping out to early leads. Sen. Richard Shelby is retiring after serving what will be six full six-year terms.
The Fabrizio Lee survey research firm tested the Arizona Republican US Senate electorate on behalf of the Saving Arizona PAC, an organization that billionaire Peter Thiel largely funds. Mr. Thiel supports venture capitalist Blake Masters. This survey shows a much larger undecided factor, 52%, than other pollsters have detected.
According to Fabrizio Lee (3/13-14; 800 AZ likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text), Mr. Masters would lead the group, but with only 16% support, closely followed by both Attorney General Mark Brnovich and former solar company executive Jim Lamon, who both recorded 14% preference.
The Arizona primary is not until August 2nd, so this race has several months in which to develop support patterns. The Republican winner will face incumbent Mark Kelly (D) in the general election in one of the most important Senate races on the 2022 political board.
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who resigned from office in 2017 after an extra-marital sex scandal became public, accompanied with sexual assault charges that were later dropped largely because of prosecutorial misconduct, is again on the hot seat. This time, in a custody hearing involving their children, his ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, claims that Mr. Greitens physically abused she and their children.
Quickly, both Sen. Josh Hawley (R), a former Missouri Attorney General, and current Attorney General and US Senate candidate Eric Schmitt, both called for him to exit the race, each saying he should not be running but “should be in jail.”
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt holds a large Republican primary advantage over disabled Afghan War veteran Sam Brown according to a new WPA Intelligence poll that the Club for Growth organization commissioned. The survey (3/13-15; 500 NV likely Republican primary voters; live interview) sees Mr. Laxalt, who served one term as Attorney General but lost the 2018 Governor’s race to current incumbent Steve Sisolak (D), leading Mr. Brown by a 57-19% clip.
The winner of the June 14th GOP primary will then face Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in what promises to be a competitive general election race.
Scott Pruitt (R) is a former Environmental Protection Agency Director under President Donald Trump and two-term ex-Oklahoma Attorney General. Reports are surfacing that he is gauging his potential support to enter the special election to replace the resigning Senator Jim Inhofe (R).
Officially in the Republican primary Senate race are US Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville), former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow), and ex-Inhofe chief of staff Luke Holland, who the outgoing Senator has endorsed. Former US Rep. Kendra Horn is likely to become a consensus Democratic candidate. The state primary is June 28th. Without majority support, an August 23rd runoff will be held for the top two finishers.
The Dean of the House serving 49 consecutive years, Alaska at-large Rep. Don Young* (R-Ft. Yukon), passed away during a flight back to his home state late last week, thus ending a congressional career that spanned almost 80% of the time that Alaska has been a state. Mr. Young, 88 years of age, is the fifth 2020 congressional election winner who has since passed away. A special election will be called to fill the remainder of the term, the first time the at-large seat has been open since the 1973 special election that elected Mr. Young.
Decisions have been made about the special election calendar to replace Mr. Young. Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) has set June 11th as the special primary election day, and the vote will be conducted through the mail.
The new top-four jungle primary system will be utilized, meaning that four competitors will advance into the special general election, regardless of party identification. The special general will be run concurrently with the August 16th regular primary election, meaning candidates will be placed separately on the ballot for both the special election and the regular full term.
Former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, accusing incumbent US Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Miami) of not being fully engaged in her job, announced that she will challenge her in the August 23rd Democratic primary. While saying she largely agrees with Rep. Wilson on the issues, Ms. Edmonson criticized the Congresswoman for being the leading user of the proxy voting method the House adopted at the beginning of the Covid shut down, which remains a current option for members. She called Rep. Wilson an “absent member of Congress.”
Not mentioned as a potential candidate against Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) in a new 1st District that is much more Republican, former 4th District Congressman Cresent Hardy (R) filed at the deadline to officially enter the race. Rep. Titus has expressed displeasure at the configuration of her new district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization reports went from a current D+22 rating to a D+4 under the new plan. As many as four other Republicans may qualify for the primary ballot, but Mr. Hardy appears to be the most formidable.
Frequent candidate Danny Tarkanian (R), who last year was elected to the Douglas County Commission after a long string of electoral defeats, is again running for Congress. This will be his fourth quest for the US House in a third different district, in addition to two Senate races. Previously, he lost a pair of campaigns in the 3rd CD and one in the 4th District. This time, Mr. Tarkanian is challenging six-term Rep. Mark Amodei* (R-Carson City) in the northern Nevada 2nd District Republican primary. It is likely he will return to his losing ways, as Rep. Amodei is a heavy favorite for re-nomination.
Freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers), who himself won a Democratic challenge campaign against then-Rep. Eliot Engel (D) in 2020, now finds himself on defense. Last week, Westchester County Legislator Vedat Gashi announced his own primary challenge against the new Congressman, and now the other two contenders, pastor Michael Gerald and activist Manuel Casanova, have both dropped out to give the former man a clear shot at defeating Rep. Bowman. The New York primary is June 28th, and this could become a primary worth watching.
Last month, New York state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-South Salem) released his own BK Strategies internal survey posting him to a one-point, 38-37%, slight advantage over Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) who is the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Now, Rep. Maloney counters those results with his own Global Strategy Group poll. The GSG study (3/10-13; 500 NY-18 likely general election voters) posts the Congressman to a 49-37% advantage.
The 18th CD should be competitive in 2022, though the seat did become slightly more Democratic in redistricting. It is now rated as D+3. Rep. Maloney was re-elected in 2020 with a 56-43% margin in what was then an 18th CD that carried an EVEN rating.
The two public polls released since the first of the year found Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) leading fellow Rep. David McKinley* (R-Wheeling) in their West Virginia paired Republican primary contest. A newly released survey from North Star Opinion Research for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce (3/13-15; 400 WV-2 likely Republican primary voters) reverses that trend and finds Rep. McKinley holding a 38-33% lead.
The West Virginia primary is May 10th, and, as the polls suggest, a close result is expected. This is the first of six redistricting induced incumbent vs. incumbent US House pairings during the current election cycle.
Since the Ohio state Supreme Court has several times rejected the state House and Senate map with no clear conclusion in sight, Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) yesterday told the county clerks to remove the state House and Senate races from the May 3rd partisan primary ballot. He said a second primary would have to be called for those offices.
With the primary date looming in the near future, action had to be taken to print ballots in preparation for early and election day voting. In Ohio this year, early voting begins on April 5th.
The new Cygnal statewide survey conducted for the Alabama Daily News and Gray Television (3/16-17; 600 AL likely Republican primary voters) finds Gov. Kay Ivey falling to 46% support in the contested Republican primary scheduled for May 24th. Businessman Tim James, son of former Alabama Governor Fob James, is a distant second with 12% followed closely by ex-US Ambassador to Slovenia Lindy Blanchard with 10% preference. Previous polling that the Ivey campaign released pegged the Governor’s support at more than 60%.
Should this challenge turn more serious, a runoff election would be possible. If no candidate receives majority support, the top two finishers would advance into a June 21st runoff election. Gov. Ivey is still favored to win outright, since the combined defined support for a contender other than the incumbent is only 32% according to the Cygnal survey. Therefore, virtually all of the undecided vote would have to break against Gov. Ivey for a runoff to occur.
The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) Research firm tested the Maryland Democratic electorate (3/8-14; 807 MD likely Democratic primary voters; live interview) for candidate Rushern Baker, the former Prince George’s County Executive, and found state Comptroller Peter Franchot leading the Democratic field, but with only a 23% preference score. Mr. Baker was second with 15%, as former Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez and Afghan War veteran and author Wes Moore trailed with 11 and 10%, respectively.
The candidates have more time to campaign since the state’s primary, due to a redistricting lawsuit, was postponed from June 28th to July 19th. Though Mr. Franchot holds an advantage, his lead is not particularly substantial.
The aforementioned WPA Intelligence poll for the Club for Growth (see Nevada Senate above) also tested the GOP gubernatorial primary. Here, WPAi projects Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo as leading former US Senator Dean Heller and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, 28-22-13%, among the candidates posting double-digit support figures.
A week before, Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling also went into the field (3/7-8; 580 NV likely Republican primary voters) and found a similar result, with Sheriff Lombardo leading Messrs. Heller and Lee, 26-13-13%. The Nevada primary is June 14th.
* denotes the candidate has received a contribution from AGC PAC.
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