Political Snippets from Around the Country

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


Primary Results

Voters in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin had the opportunity of casting their presidential nomination ballots on Tuesday. To no one’s surprise, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump easily swept their respective elections and added to their delegate totals. The Democrats had a good primary election night as more of their party members voted in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island.

At this point, we have seen just over 30 million people vote in the 32 states with comparable Democratic and Republican primaries. From these states, 57.1% of individuals have chosen to vote in Republican primaries. One may argue that the more competitive presidential race was on the GOP side, and that could account for the imbalance between the two parties. While there is validity to this line of reasoning, Democratic turnout is running below the party’s historical participation average even in some of their strongest states.

Whether this is a precursor to general election voting is not yet determined, but it is clear that President Biden is generally lacking enthusiasm within the Democratic base in most states.


With the support of Gov. Jim Pillen (R), a bill in the unicameral legislature would change Nebraska’s electoral vote apportionment system that allows each of the state’s three congressional districts to carry their own electoral vote. The measure would change the system to the winner-take-all option.

Nebraska and Maine are the two states where presidential candidates win two electoral votes for winning the statewide vote and one each for a carried CD.

The move would help Donald Trump in this year’s presidential race because he is a lock to carry the statewide vote, but the underdog in the Omaha anchored 2nd Congressional District. Though Republicans have a large majority in the ostensibly non-partisan state Senate, there is no guarantee the votes will be present to change the system. Doing so, however, would likely deliver an important electoral vote to the Trump candidacy.

The first vote was taken with the measure as an amendment to another bill, and it failed by a whopping 8-36 vote. Therefore, it does not appear the legislature has the appetite to change the electoral vote rules at this point in the election cycle.

Cornel West

Independent presidential candidate Cornel West this week announced that California State University at Los Angeles professor and Black Lives Matter organizer Melina Abdullah will join his national ticket. Dr. West has qualified for the ballot in four states (AK, OR, SC, UT), but several domains require independent candidates to file with a Vice Presidential running mate.

In addressing that Abdullah is a Muslim while West is a Christian, the presidential candidate said, “I’m running for Jesus. She’s running for Allah. That’s a beautiful thing.” A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, Matt Corridoni, isn’t in agreement that the ticket is “a beautiful thing.” In response, he said, “The stakes are high, and we know this is going to be a close election — that’s why a vote for any third party candidate is a vote for Donald Trump.”


While the presidential map appears locked with only seven or eight states in play, one strongly Democratic entity consistently returns close polling numbers. Should we continue to see two to three point polling spreads, Minnesota may soon enter swing category. The latest research release comes from Survey USA for ABC affiliate KSTP-TV Channel 5 in St. Paul (4/3-7; 608 MN likely general election voters; online) and finds President Joe Biden holding only a 44-42% lead with 11% saying they would support another candidate.

This poll is not an anomaly. In fact, it is highly consistent with four other independent Minnesota surveys conducted in October, November, January, and February. In each of these five studies (three from Survey USA, and one from MinnPost, and Emerson College) the Biden and Trump range during the six month period spanned between just two and four percentage points with the President leading in each survey. Therefore, expect Minnesota to be paid more attention as the national campaign progresses.

U.S. Senate


The latest Florida statewide survey from Emerson College (4/9-10; 1,000 FL registered voters; multiple sampling techniques), while posting former President Donald Trump to a 51-38% lead over President Joe Biden, sees the Senate race slightly closer. In the latter ballot test, incumbent Sen. Rick Scott (R), seeking a second term after serving two four-year stints as Governor, posts a 45-38%edge over former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel Powell (D).


After seeing polling showing former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) well ahead in Senate general election pairings, Goucher College, partnering with Braun Research and the Baltimore Banner digital news source (3/19-24; 800 MD registered voters; live interview & text), finds Mr. Hogan leading both Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D), but not by the margins seen in other recent surveys.

According to the Goucher results, Mr. Hogan leads Rep. Trone, 43-42%, and 44-40% if Ms. Alsobrooks were the Democratic nominee. Still, as found in other polls, Mr. Hogan holds an extremely high favorability rating. His index registers 63:30% favorable to unfavorable, but it does not translate into votes as in other surveys. In the Democratic primary, despite Trone’s overwhelming spending advantage, he leads Ms. Alsobrooks only 42-33%.


While the aforementioned Survey USA poll that showed President Joe Biden edging Donald Trump by only a 44-42% spread, the Senate race looks much different. The poll (conducted for ABC affiliate KSTP-TV Channel 5 in St. Paul; 4/3-7; 608 MN likely general election voters; online) posts Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) to a comfortable 51-34% advantage over banker and retired Navy officer Joe Fraser (R).

While the presidential race may become competitive in Minnesota, it is unlikely that the Senate race will follow suit. Sen. Klobuchar will easily win a fourth term against weak GOP opposition.


JL Partners returned a poll for the Montana State News Bureau (3/26-29; 503 MT likely voters) and, for the first time this year, data shows the Republican challenger leading Sen. Jon Tester (D) as the latter man attempts to secure a fourth term. The survey finds presumptive Republican nominee Tim Sheehy*, an aerospace company CEO and retired Navy SEAL, edging the Senator 48-45% in one of the most important races to determine the next Senate majority.

The questionnaire did not contain a question about the presidential race, but Montana is again expected to be one of former President Donald Trump’s strongest states. Thus, a favorable Republican turnout model will also elevate Sheehy’s chances.

New Jersey

With both indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy out of the Democratic Senate primary, it is no surprise that US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) has posted a major lead in the first poll since his major opponents’ exits.

Emerson College released their New Jersey Senate Democratic primary numbers (3/26-29; 408 NJ Democratic voters; multiple sampling techniques) that find Mr. Kim breaking through the majority plateau at 51%. He leads his next closest opponent, labor union official Patricia Campos-Medina (D), by a huge 45 percentage point gap as she records only 6% support. Civil Rights activist Larry Hamm trails both with a preference figure of just 5 percent.

It appears Rep. Kim has already overcome his biggest obstacles in running for the Senate and will now cruise to victory in the June Democratic primary and in the November election.

U.S. House of Representatives


Though official certification of the March 5th California primary will not occur until today, it appears that the second general election position in the state’s 16th Congressional District has ended in a tie. With no votes remaining to be counted, San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Senator Joe Simitian (D) and Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) have each garnered 30,249 votes. In first position is former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) with 38,489 tallies.

Under the top two California jungle primary law, in the case of a tie the deadlocked participants both advance to the general election. The state has no automatic recount law, but a candidate can request, and pay for, a recount of the ballots. It is highly unlikely that either Simitian or Low will call for a recount, however. At this point, both are in the general election and a recount would very likely change the outcome by a small number of votes. This means each would be rolling the dice that a new tally would favor them.

Therefore, this is a rare situation when the top two system actually produced three qualifiers. And, to make the outcome even rarer, all three finalists are Democrats.


A California appellate court upheld the lower court ruling that allowed Assemblyman Vince Fong* (R-Bakersfield) to compete in the congressional race after he was certified as a candidate for state Assembly. The Secretary of State barred Fong from entering the regular congressional primary under the premise that an individual cannot seek two public offices simultaneously. Through court ruling, Mr. Fong, in fact, did seek both offices, placing first in the congressional regular and special elections, while running unopposed for the Assembly.

The appellate court ruling for the state would have sent the Central Valley political situation into chaos and, as the judges stated, would have invalidated a legitimate election. Such a move would have led to even more ambiguity, confusion, and additional special elections not only for the vacant US House seat, but also for Mr. Fong’s Assembly district should the Assemblyman successfully win the congressional special election set for May 21st.

At this time, he is favored to win both the special and general election. Upon winning the special, Mr. Fong would immediately replace former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) who resigned.

It is possible that Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) could still continue along the appellate process, hopefully, from her perspective, convincing the state Supreme Court to address the matter. Unless such happens, Mr. Fong is likely headed to Congress.


The big story surrounding the party assemblies comes from resigned Rep. Ken Buck’s (R) open 4th District where 3rd District Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) is attempting to win re-election in a new CD. Many believed she would not fare particularly well at the assembly, but a plurality of the 527 attending delegates proved them wrong. 

Ms. Boebert finished first in the voting with 41% support, thus awarding her the first ballot position in the June 25th Republican primary. Former state Senator Ted Harvey, who many believed to be the favorite, finished with 26% of the delegate vote. Therefore, he did not qualify for the ballot since a minimum of 30% is required. Because he did not circulate petitions, Mr. Harvey is eliminated. Several others will qualify through petition, meaning we will see a contested primary election in this district.


Colorado Republicans from the Denver suburban 8th Congressional District met in caucus and advanced state Rep. Gave Evans (R-Westminster) into the general election with 62% delegate support. The other qualifier is state Rep. Janak Joshi, but he resides all the way south in Colorado Springs, far from the 8th District.

Health insurance consultant Joe Andujo is now disqualified since he failed to reach the 10% threshold at the party convention. He was also circulating petitions to qualify, but those efforts are now discarded because he failed to reach the minimum delegate support threshold. Mr. Andujo then endorsed Rep. Evans at the convention.

Very likely, we will now see Mr. Evans advancing from Colorado’s June 25th primary election, where he will become the general election candidate to oppose freshman Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Thornton). The Congresswoman, first elected in 2022 from what is Colorado’s newest congressional seat, scored only 48.4% of the vote, defeating her Republican opponent by less than a full percentage point. Count on this race becoming a major national GOP offensive target.


In March, former President Donald Trump called upon Tampa Bay area Republicans to field a primary challenger to freshman Rep. Laurel Lee (R-Tampa) because she endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the ’24 presidential campaign. Now, James Judge, who ran in the area’s 14th District against entrenched Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa) in 2022, is answering the call and will switch districts. He began the ’24 election cycle attempting to challenge Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Palm Harbor) in adjacent District 12.

Rep. Lee should still be considered a heavy favorite. Mr. Judge, running in a D+14 district according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization recorded 43% of the vote against Rep. Castor. This is the type of performance one would expect for a Republican congressional nominee in such a Democratic district. Additionally, he spent just over $200,000 for that race, indicating he doesn’t have much fundraising ability, and a judge had to award him ballot placement in the 2022 election because he did not file the proper candidate forms which originally led to his disqualification.

Rep. Lee was elected to the House with 59% of the vote in the last election from a district that 538 rates as R+7, but one that Trump carried only 51-48%. Prior to running for Congress, she served as a Circuit Court judge and as Secretary of State when Gov. DeSantis appointed her to the position. In 2022, she won a five-way open Republican primary by just under 14 points against her closest competitor.


Indiana US Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville), who announced that she would not seek a third term only to change her mind before the candidate filing deadline, has fallen into a tight race with state Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville). According to a survey from the Mark it Red research organization, Rep. Spartz’s lead over Rep. Goodrich is only 33-30%.

When the Congresswoman announced her retirement, ten Republicans announced their candidacies. When Ms. Spartz returned to active campaigning in February, all ten of the candidates remained in the race with no one stepping aside for the incumbent. Therefore, this race will be decided with a plurality as the Mark it Red survey suggests. Therefore, this primary contest will be one to watch on the May 7th Indiana primary night.


Justice Democratic Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers), who unseated veteran Rep. Eliot Engel in the 2020 Democratic primary, appears to be in trouble as he seeks renomination for a third term. A new Mellman Group survey (3/26-30; 400 NY-16 likely Democratic primary voters; live interview & text) conducted for the George Latimer campaign finds the challenging Westchester County Executive leading Rep. Bowman by a whopping 52-35% margin as the June 25th primary comes into view.

Rep. Bowman aligns himself with the group that calls themselves “the Squad” and comprises the far left of the Democratic Conference. Mr. Latimer, prior to his election as county executive, served in both the New York Senate and Assembly. This race is now becoming another key primary campaign as several incumbents from around the country face stiff competition in their quest for renomination.


With the North Dakota Republican Party convention delegates not endorsing a congressional contender at last week’s official gathering, several more individuals entered the field just as candidate filing closed. In addition to convention participants Julie Fedorchak and former state Rep. Rich Becker, 2018 Miss America Cara Mund, who ran for the seat as an Independent in 2022, retired military veteran and farmer Alex Balazs, and conservative activist Sharlet Mohr will also compete in the at-large June 11th primary election.

The eventual Republican nominee will have the inside track toward claiming the open seat in the general election. Educator and military veteran Trygve Hammer is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Incumbent Rep. Kelly Armstrong* (R-Bismarck) is leaving the House to run for Governor.


Earlier this winter, news was made when Dan Hanlon, the former chief of staff to South Carolina US Rep. Nancy Mace* (R-Charleston) resigned his position and announced he would oppose his former boss in the coming Republican primary. Just before candidate filing expired, Mr. Hanlon closed the committee he filed with the Federal Election Commission and chose not to enter the race.

Perhaps the main reason for his action is the presence of a serious opponent, former South Carolina cabinet secretary Catherine Templeton who clearly is capable to offering a credible Republican alternative to Rep. Mace. Ms. Templeton also announced that she has topped the $500,000 mark in fundraising after just eight weeks on the campaign trail.

A third contender, non-profit executive Bill Young, while not a threat to outpace either Rep. Mace or Ms. Templeton, could attract enough votes to force the leader below the 50% mark. Should that happen, the top two finishers would then advance to a June 25th runoff election to determine the nominee. This will be a primary race to watch on June 11th.



Crossroads Public Affairs, polling for the Indy Politics campaign blog released a new survey from the upcoming open Indiana Republican gubernatorial primary scheduled for May 7th. The survey (3/24-25; 500 IN likely Republican primary voters) sees US Sen. Mike Braun leading the primary field with a 33-11-11-10% margin over Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, businessman Eric Doden, and former Indiana Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers.

While still possessing a strong lead, Sen. Braun’s advantage has decreased since the last published poll from Emerson College that found him holding a 34-7-7-5% lead. Therefore, while the opponents collectively have shown some gain in the past three weeks, the fact that the challengers are all so closely bunched will allow Sen. Braun to capture the gubernatorial nomination even if he only attains plurality support.

North Carolina

Two Tar Heel State gubernatorial polls have been released since the calendar turned to April, and the comparative results are not even close. First, Quinnipiac University (4/4-8; 1,401 NC registered voters; live interview) projects Attorney General Josh Stein (D) to be opening a 52-44% lead over Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R). This, while the same polling sample favors Donald Trump over President Joe Biden by a 48-46% clip.

Two days later, the Cygnal research organization published their poll (4/7-8; 600 NC likely general election voters; live interview & text) and arrived at a much different conclusion. While they forecast a similar 43-39% edge for Donald Trump in the presidential race, Cygnal projects Lt. Gov. Robinson to a 40-38% lead, or a net 18 percentage point different tally from Quinnipiac’s conclusion. The diverse results suggest a very close statewide race is unfolding.
North Dakota

Republican and Democratic state delegates met in convention last weekend to endorse their candidates for the November election. The Republicans, despite outgoing Gov. Doug Burgum (R) endorsing Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller (R) in the open Governor’s race, unanimously awarded the party endorsement to at-large US Rep. Kelly Armstrong* (R-Bismarck), a former North Dakota Republican Party chairman.

The action was not a surprise, and Ms. Miller did not even attend the state party gathering. She will force a primary, however. Lt. Gov. Miller and Rep. Armstrong will compete for the gubernatorial nomination in the state’s June 11th primary election.

The Democrats also met and endorsed state Senator Merrill Piepkorn (D-Fargo), a well-known country singer and radio personality in the state. Since there is no further intraparty opposition, Sen. Piepkorn is now the party’s official gubernatorial nominee. The Republican primary winner will have the inside track to clinching the office in November. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the state as R+37.

West Virginia

WPA Intelligence released a survey for the Black Bear Super PAC, which supports Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s (R) bid for Governor. The poll, (4/12-13; 501 WV likely Republican primary voters) sees the AG posting a 37-20-19-14% GOP primary advantage over former Delegate Moore Capito, businessman Chris Miller, and Secretary of State Mac Warner, respectively.

The numbers and candidate order has remained consistent through three WPAi polls beginning with their first study in November. The West Virginia primary is scheduled for May 14th. Gov. Jim Justice* (R), ineligible to seek a third term, is running for US Senate. The eventual Republican nominee will become a heavy favorite in the general election.


New Jersey

New Jersey is one of the few remaining states where the county political parties have substantial power. What makes them strong is endorsing candidates in the primary and providing extremely favorable ballot placements to the point where opponents are listed on separate ballot pages.

Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown), running for the Senate, filed suit against the practice and the federal judge this week granted him a preliminary injunction. While Mr. Kim is now becoming the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic Senate nomination since First Lady Tammy Murphy exited the race and Sen. Bob Menendez is not seeking the party nomination, his legal move will likely create a more even playing field for down ballot races. This will probably become a major factor in changing how New Jersey primaries are run.

The judge then clarified his ruling in saying that the injunction applies only to the Democratic primary to which the plaintiff, Mr. Kim, limited his complaint.

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

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.