Political Snippets from Around the Country

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


South Carolina

Despite winning a landslide victory in his opponent’s home state primary, some are qualifying former President Donald Trump’s South Carolina result as an underperformance.

As polling predicted, Mr. Trump easily won the Palmetto State Republican primary in defeating former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley by a 59.8 – 39.5% margin. While Mr. Trump carried 43 of the state’s 46 counties, two of the three he did not, Charleston and Beaufort counties, are located in the 1st Congressional District (Rep. Nancy Mace*-R).

Her formidable margins in these two counties allowed Ms. Haley to carry the 1st District, thus awarding her three of her home state’s 50 pledged delegates. The only other county Ms. Haley carried was Richland, home to the capital city of Columbia, which is South Carolina’s most Democratic area.

In the Republican primary, 750,586 voters cast a ballot for either Mr. Trump or Ms. Haley. Though Mr. Biden posted 96% preference in the February 3rd South Carolina Democratic primary, only 131,307 Democratic primary voters participated. Four years ago, when Mr. Biden won the SC primary against six opponents, over 539,000 people voted in the Democratic primary. In 2020, Mr. Biden won the primary with virtually double the amount of votes (262,336) he received here earlier this month.


A very surprising general election poll in Maine was released from the Pan Atlantic Research organization in Portland, ME. The poll (2/6-14; 836 ME adults; 791 ME likely voters; online) finds former President Donald Trump topping President Joe Biden in what was previously a state largely unattainable for Republican presidential candidates. The numbers find Mr. Trump leading the President 38-32% with 21% saying they would vote for another candidate.

The “other candidates” were not identified, but it is reasonable to assume that most of these New Englanders choosing to support a candidate other than Messrs. Biden or Trump would be headed to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Mr. Trump is carrying the state largely on the back of his 20 point lead in the 2nd Congressional District. He would trail Mr. Biden in the Democratic 1st CD by eight points. Because Maine’s congressional districts carry their own electoral votes, the results suggest Mr. Trump would get three electoral votes from the state and Mr. Biden, one.

Of course, these surprising results can easily change but things will have to significantly improve for President Biden before such happens. According to this data, the President’s favorability index in Maine is 38:61% favorable to unfavorable, meaning the campaign’s task of improving his image is a difficult one.


As expected, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump easily captured large percentages in winning the respective Democratic and Republican Michigan presidential primary elections.

President Biden recorded 81.1% of the Democratic vote, though just under 14% voted for the Uncommitted Delegate Slate. US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) was encouraging Democratic voters to choose that option as a way to protest President Biden’s position regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. For the Republicans, Mr. Trump attracted 68.2% of the GOP vote, again consistent with the result most pollsters predicted. Overall turnout favored Republicans approximately 1.13 million to about 778,000 individuals.

Voting Results

As the major candidates were actively campaigning in the Super Tuesday states that will hold their presidential primary elections, former President Donald Trump swept the delegate slates in three state caucuses last Saturday, while former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley won the District of Columbia primary. Republican caucus attenders in Idaho, Michigan, and Missouri awarded all their delegates to Mr. Trump. The Michigan delegate apportioning event was mostly a formality since the former President won the state’s primary election on February 27th.

President Joe Biden and former President Trump both took major steps forward to clinching renomination with almost clean sweeps in the Super Tuesday voting entities. Both men were respectively one entity short of winning every primary and caucus. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley topped former President Donald Trump in the Vermont Republican primary adding to her win in Washington, DC earlier in the week, while President Biden lost the American Samoa Caucus to unknown candidate Jason Palmer. Irrespective of those bumps along the nomination road, both President Biden and former President Trump are on track to become their party’s presumptive nominee before March 20th.

After Super Tuesday, both Ms. Haley and US Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) suspended their presidential campaigns. Rep. Phillips endorsed President Biden, but Ms. Haley has not yet signaled support for Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump

The US Supreme Court, on a 9-0 vote, ruled against the state of Colorado’s move to ban former President Donald Trump from the ballot in declaring that he violated the insurrection clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The decision would also affect similar action in Maine and Illinois and any other state that attempts to bar Trump from the ballot over the insurrection argument. Therefore, SCOTUS ruled that the state of Colorado “erred in ordering former President Donald Trump excluded from the 2024 presidential primary ballot.”

On a subsequent 5-4 ruling the SCOTUS decision makes clear that only Congress (by 2/3 majority vote) has the power to disqualify candidates under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution and not the states.

Marianne Williamson

Democrat Marianne Williamson, who suspended her presidential campaign after the Nevada primary, this week returned to active status. As a non-candidate in South Carolina and Michigan, she placed ahead of Congressman Dean Phillips (D-MN) in both states. Neither, however, have registered even 5% support against President Biden. Ms. Williamson returning to active campaigning will do little to dissuade a Biden renomination. He remains on target to clinch the party nod after the March 19th primaries conclude.

U.S. Senate


The state’s premier campaign is the open Senate race where appointed Sen. Laphonza Butler (D) is not seeking a full term. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) chose her as the interim Senator when incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D) passed away in September.

With more than half the votes recorded, both Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and retired baseball star Steve Garvey (R) have been projected to capture ballot positions in the general election. At this point, Rep. Schiff has 33% of the vote to Mr. Garvey’s 32 percent. They defeated Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) who attracted 14 and 7% of the vote, respectively.

The final tallies could change as millions of mail ballots continue to be counted, but it appears clear that Messrs. Schiff and Garvey will continue onto the general election while all other contenders are now officially eliminated.


The Indiana Election Commission unanimously removed Republican John Rust from the ballot for failure to meet one of the party standards to qualify as a candidate. That is, Mr. Rust could offer no proof that he voted in two consecutive Republican primaries. The Commission’s action means that Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) will enter the open Indiana Republican Senate primary as an unopposed candidate.

Winning the GOP primary will then give Mr. Banks the inside track to claiming the Senate seat outright in the general election. This will become one of the easiest open Senate campaigns that we have seen in recent memory. Sen. Mike Braun (R) is bypassing running for a second term to launch a gubernatorial bid.


A regular Michigan pollster, MRG Research, surveyed the state’s Republican electorate and becomes the first poll in the field since retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R) withdrew from the Senate race. The study (2/19-22; 600 MI likely primary voters) finds former US Rep. Mike Rogers* opening a large 23-7% Republican primary lead over ex-Rep. Peter Meijer.

Another former Congressman, Libertarian Justin Amash, is reportedly considering entering the GOP race but has yet to do so. The Michigan state primary is not scheduled until August 6th. The eventual Republican Senate nominee will very likely face US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) in the general election. The Congresswoman is the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination.


The Ohio Republican Senate primary will be decided on March 19th and a new Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey suggests that a separation among the tightly bunched candidates is occurring. Attributing businessman Bernie Moreno’s more substantial lead to former President Donald Trump endorsing him, Fabrizio Lee, polling for the Moreno campaign (2/25-26; 500 OH likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text), projects a ten point lead for the first-time candidate, which represents a gain of eight percentage points since the December published survey.

Mr. Moreno would lead Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) by a 31-21-19% split. The Ohio Senate race is one of the most important in the country and viewed as a must-win for Republican hopes of capturing a sustaining Senate chamber majority. The winner of the plurality primary will then face three-term incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in November.


In a mild surprise, US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) secured majority support in the crowded US Senate Democratic primary to clinch the party nomination outright. He will now challenge Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in November. Turnout heavily favored Republicans, however. The total Allred vote was just 29% of Sen. Cruz aggregate GOP vote.


Last week, businessman Eric Hovde (R) announced his US Senate candidacy in the Badger State, and this week we see the first poll pairing with two-term incumbent Tammy Baldwin (D). Emerson College released their latest Wisconsin survey (2/20-24; 1,000 WI registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) and while the sampling universe would support Donald Trump 44-42%, Democratic incumbent Baldwin would lead the Senate race 46-39%.

Sen. Mitch McConnell

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) announcement last week that he will step down as Republican Leader after the elections in November could cause some uncertainty in the GOP fundraising ranks. The Senate Leadership Fund, which several of his key supporters run, raised over $289 million for the 2022 election cycle. In the year 2023 just concluded, the Fund attracted over $37 million. It remains to be seen if the national Republicans’ fundraising drops even more now that donors know McConnell’s time as Leader will be officially coming to an end.

U.S. House of Representatives


The 1st District paired incumbents battle ended differently than polling suggested as Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) recorded a close victory over fellow Congressman Jerry Carl* (R-Mobile). The two were tossed into the same district as a result of the court-ordered redistricting map designed to create a new majority minority seat. Rep. Moore, at this writing, looks to have secured a 52-48% victory margin.

Though Mr. Carl represents 59% of the new district and Mr. Moore the remainder, the latter man performed much better in the portion of the new district that he currently represents. Therefore, Moore’s strong margins in familiar territory were enough to overcome Mr. Carl’s Mobile area base. Rep. Moore is now a lock to win the general election.

The new open 2nd District will, as expected, feature runoff elections for both parties. The Democrats will host a secondary runoff race between former Obama Justice Department official Shomari Figures and state House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Montgomery).

For the Republicans, ex-state legislator Dick Brewbaker has qualified for the runoff but a tight battle for the second position exists between conservative attorney Caroleene Dobson and state Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Baldwin County), and it will require political overtime to determine which of the latter two advances. The absentee ballot count will be necessary to determine the second runoff qualifier. The secondary elections are scheduled for April 2nd. The eventual Democratic nominee will be a heavy favorite to clinch the seat in November.


The lone competitive race on the Natural State ballot led to seven-term Rep. Steve Womack (R-Rogers) scoring a 54-46% win over state Sen. Clint Penzo (R-Springdale) in an outcome that was closer for the incumbent than initially expected.


District 3 incumbent Kevin Kiley* (R-Rocklin) will face former congressional finalist Jessica Morse (D) in November. In the Stockton anchored 9th CD, Rep. Josh Harder (D-Turlock) sees opposition from Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln (R).

District 13 freshman incumbent John Duarte* (R-Modesto) will again do battle with former Assemblyman Adam Gray (D), thus leading a group of rematches from 2022. In the Fresno anchored District 21, Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) will be looking to turn away former FBI agent Michael Maher (R) for a second time.

In the Fresno area, Rep. David Valadao* (R-Hanford) looks like he will face a rematch from former state Assemblyman Rudy Salas in District 22, though all of the candidates are tightly bunched with just half of the vote tabulated.

In District 34, for the third consecutive time, Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) will tangle with Hollywood executive David Kim (D).

And, in Riverside County’s 41st District, veteran Rep. Ken Calvert* (R-Corona) once more draws former federal prosecutor Will Rollins (D) in a district that is much less favorable for the Republican incumbent. The closeness of this jungle primary election suggests another highly competitive race unfolding in the general election.

Former Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R) Bakersfield anchored 20th District will head to a special primary election on March 19th to fill the balance of the current term. In Tuesday night’s regular term jungle primary, state Assemblyman Vince Fong* (R-Bakersfield) captured first place, as expected, and probably faces fellow Republican and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux in the regular election once all ballots are processed and counted. Most of the same candidates will be on the special election ballot.

In Orange County’s competitive districts, it appears Rep. Michelle Steel* (R) will have a general election pairing with Iraq War veteran Derek Tran (D), while Rep. Young Kim* (R-La Habra) will seek a third term against retired fire captain and ex-state Senate candidate Joe Kerr (D). Both women record well over 55% of the vote with over 60% of the ballots recorded.

Republican Scott Baugh, who held Rep. Porter to a 52-48% win in 2022 even when being outspent by an almost 10:1 ratio, looks to have secured a general election position and will likely face state Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) in November in what will be a highly competitive campaign.


We are now seeing a retirement reversal trend taking hold. This week, Montana US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), after entering the Senate race for just seven days, will now actively pursue a re-election campaign. With the incumbent returning, it remains to be seen just how many of the nine announced GOP candidates, including former at-large Rep. Denny Rehberg, State Auditor Troy Downing, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, and state Senate President Pro Tempore Ken Bogner (R-Miles City), will continue their candidacies.

Mr. Rosendale becomes the fourth House member to announce that he would not be seeking re-election only to change course and run again. The others are Reps. Pat Fallon (R-TX), Victoria Spartz (R-IN), and Mark Green (R-TN). The latter man also made his move back into active campaigning this week. The House open seat count now recedes to 47. Once the three special elections are held, the total number of House open seats will reduce further to 44.

New York

The Democratic super majority in the state Assembly and Senate unveiled a new congressional map that surprised many, but in retrospect the plan is an indication the party leaders knew they would face tough going on a legal challenge if they stretched their partisan interests much further.

As reported earlier, the state’s Citizens Redistricting Commission made only cosmetic changes in the plan the court created for the 2022 election. The members left the court footprint largely intact, which the legislature then rejected. When the people adopted a citizens’ redistricting commission ballot proposition, the process allowed the legislature to either approve or reject the commission adopted plans.

The surprising end to this story is the legislature’s own map is another “least change” map from the court’s original footprint, which very likely means that the 2024 NY congressional playing field will be almost identical to what we saw in 2022.


State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D), who months ago launched a congressional challenge to freshman Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park), late this week announced that he is ending his congressional campaign. Post-NY redistricting, the 4th remains intact and is the most Democratic seat in the country that elects a Republican to the House, or D+10 as the FiveThirtyEight data organization records.

In 2022, Mr. D’Esposito upset heavily favored former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Guillen, 52-48%. With Sen. Thomas’ departure, the chances of a D’Esposito/Guillen rematch are much stronger. Obviously, this race will be one of the Democrats top national conversion opportunities.

North Carolina

In the competitive House races under the new congressional draw, retired Army Colonel and attorney Laurie Buckhout (R) will challenge freshman Rep. Don Davis (D-Snow Hill) in a district that is less favorable to the Democratic incumbent than under the previous map.

In the open seats, Trump endorsed lobbyist Addison McDowell and former Congressman Mark Walker will advance to a May 14th Republican runoff election because no one reached the 30% plateau. With no Democratic candidate filed, the winner of the secondary nomination contest will replace retiring Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro).

With 8th District Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) winning the GOP Attorney General’s nomination, Baptist pastor Mark Harris (R), who looked to have won the seat in 2018 only to be thwarted because of proven voter fraud, may have eclipsed the 30% mark to win the Republican congressional nomination. Absentee and provisional ballots will determine if Harris wins the nomination outright or he and former Union County Commission Allan Baucom will advance to a secondary runoff election.

Another outright open seat winner is firearms manufacturer and former 14th District candidate Pat Harrigan (R) who defeated state Rep. Grey Mills (R-Mooresville) and will succeed retiring 10th District Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-Lake Norman).

An additional runoff will occur in the north-central 13th District, as Republican attorney Kelly Daughtry and attorney Brad Knott advance into a May 14th runoff election. The secondary election winner will be a heavy favorite against Democratic frequent candidate Frank Pierce.

In the new 14th District, as expected, state House Speaker Tim Moore* (R-Cleveland County) easily won the Republican primary which will prove tantamount to winning the November general election.


Tennessee US Rep. Mark Green (R-Clarksville), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, announced that he is reversing his previous decision to retire from Congress and will now seek re-election later this year. The Tennessee candidate filing deadline is April 4th in association with the August 1st state primary election, so the non-binding retirement announcement does not alter any electoral procedure.

Rep. Green said was persuaded to change his mind about retiring from constituents, colleagues, and others including former President Donald Trump. Most of the Tennessee Republican delegation, including Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) who held the 7th District before Rep. Green, publicly encouraged the Congressman to remain in office. He should have little trouble winning a fourth term later this year.


In the House races, state Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Tarrant County) secured 44.4% of the Republican primary vote and will advance to a runoff election with real estate developer John O’Shea. The winner of that election will assuredly replace retiring veteran Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth).

Rep. Tony Gonzales* (R-San Antonio), who was facing four Republican opponents all attacking him, fell short of majority support and is forced into a GOP runoff with firearms manufacturer Brandon Herrera.

Trump endorsed candidate Brandon Gill easily won outright the open 26th District Republican primary. Retiring Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Pilot Point) will yield the seat to Mr. Gill after the November election.

It appears that state Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) barely topped the 50% mark to win the Democratic nomination and is in strong position to succeed Rep. Allred in the Dallas anchored 32nd District.

In Houston, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D) survived a tough primary challenge from former Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards with 60% of the Democratic primary vote.


North Carolina

As expected, the open Governor’s primary yielded a general election that will feature Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson for the Republicans and Attorney General Josh Stein as the Democratic nominee. Both easily won their respective primary elections last night. A tight general election is forecast.

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

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