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Political Snippets from across the Country

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

President

Democratic National Committee

Democratic National Committee officials are moving forward with a plan to change the 2024 presidential nominating schedule, thus not necessarily guaranteeing Iowa and New Hampshire as the first two voting states. Under consideration is a plan to allow as many as five states to vote before Super Tuesday, and make all states eligible to apply for one of the five slots. 

New Hampshire, however, allows their Secretary of State to move the primary at will to guarantee the first primary position, so it is doubtful that a party rule can override a state law. Iowa’s chances of remaining the first voting state are considered slim, while Nevada is already prepared to make a case to be the first state.

U.S. Senate

Arizona

OH Predictive Insights released their latest Arizona Senate survey (4/4-5; 500 AZ likely Republican primary voters; blended phone system) and projects state Attorney General Tim Brnovich returning to a clear Republican primary lead over businessmen Jim Lamon and Blake Masters. The ballot test finds Mr. Brnovich leading the group 21-16-9%, respectively. The Arizona primary is August 2. The eventual Republican nominee challenges first-term Sen. Mark Kelly (D).

Missouri

Finding almost identical results to last week’s Trafalgar Group’s public release, the OnMessage survey research organization, polling for Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s US Senate campaign (4/4-6; 600 MO likely Republican primary voters; live interview), finds their candidate taking a small lead over the GOP field.  The ballot test results find Rep. Hartzler at 23%, just ahead of resigned Gov. Eric Greitens’ 22%, and Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s 16%. Trafalgar found Rep. Hartzler leading Mr. Greitens and AG Schmitt, 25-24-22%, respectively.

Nevada: Suffolk University, who rates a B+ within the FiveThirtyEight pollster rankings, tested the Nevada electorate (4/2-6; 500 NV likely general election voters; live interview) as April began. In the Senate race, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) holds a 43-40% lead over incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D), and is the second such poll during the last month to find the Republican holding the edge.

New Hampshire

St. Anselm’s College released their quarterly poll of Granite State voters, and while the Democrats have a slightly improved standing from the initial 2022 study (3/23-24; 1,265 NH registered voters; online), they are still badly underwater (21% USA on right track; 68% wrong direction). Sen. Maggie Hassan (D), however, leads in the latest ballot tests even though she has an upside down job approval rating (46:49%). In the hypothetical head-to-head contests, Sen. Hassan leads state Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) 43-36%, former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith, 44-34%, and tops retired Army General Don Bolduc, 44-39%. While the Senator has a comfortable lead over largely unknown candidates, the fact that she is well below 50% in all situations suggests weakness.

North Carolina

Survey USA tested the North Carolina Republican electorate to gauge the open US Senate primary, and they drew the same conclusion as four previous pollsters. That is, US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) has taken a secure lead over former Governor Pat McCrory in the race to be decided in the May 17 Republican primary. 

The S-USA poll (4/6-10; 593 NC likely Republican primary voters; online) posts Rep. Budd to a 33-23% lead over Mr. McCrory with ex-US Rep. Mark Walker pulling 7% support and author Marjorie Eastman lagging behind with 2% preference. The other pollsters, who surveyed from March 22 to the present are Vitale & Associates, Cygnal, Emerson College, and WPA Intelligence.

Ohio

Two new Republican US Senate primary surveys were publicly released during the week. The first, from Moore Information for the Jane Timken Campaign (4/3-4; 2,500 OH Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system), produced ballot test results showing businessman Mike Gibbons leading former state Treasurer Josh Mandel 20-16%, with Ms. Timken close behind at 15%. This poll also detects a bump for state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) as he moves into range at 13% support. On the other hand, author J.D. Vance, drops to last place with a 10% preference figure.

Conversely, the Ohio Values PAC, an organization supporting Mr. Vance, released the results of their Fabrizio Lee survey that comes to a wholly different conclusion. In this ballot test (3/30-31; 800 OH likely Republican primary voters), the top three candidates, Messrs. Gibbons and Mandel, and in this instance, Mr. Vance, are tied with 18% support, apiece. Ms. Timken trails with half that figure, 9%, as does Sen. Dolan. The data suggests this race is wide open as we enter the final month of campaigning before the May 3 primary.

Pennsylvania

Keystone State Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s US Senate campaign released the results of their recent GBAO Strategies primary survey (4/5-7; 600 PA likely Democratic primary voters; live interview). The data posts Mr. Fetterman to a huge 44-19-17% advantage over US Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia).

Mr. Fetterman leads with liberal whites, moderate to conservative whites, and is second with black voters. Regionally, Mr. Fetterman has the advantage in all areas with the exception of Philadelphia. Both among blacks and in Philadelphia, State Rep. Kenyatta soars to the top spot. The GBAO analysis highlights that Rep. Lamb drops to fourth place among black voters, even trailing minor candidate Alex Khalil, a Jenkintown Borough Councilwoman, within this demographic segment.

U.S. House of Representatives

AK-AL

The second of what will prove to be many polls of Alaska’s at-large congressional special election to replace the late Rep. Don Young* (R) has been released. 

The Remington Research Group, polling for the Nick Begich campaign, conducted a survey (4/7-9; 955 AK likely special election voters; interactive voice response system) and found former Governor and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin (R) leading the special jungle primary scheduled for June 11th that features 48 candidates. Ms. Palin posted 31% preference followed by Independent and former Democratic Senate candidate Al Gross with 26%, Mr. Begich (R) posting 21%, and Democratic Anchorage Assemblyman Christopher Constant at 7 percent.

The widow of the late Alaska Congressman Don Young (R) has weighed into the contest to replace her late husband without entering the race herself. Yesterday, she announced her support for GOP state Senator Josh Revak (R-Anchorage). In the Remington poll, Sen. Revak was in the middle single-digit range and outside of the top four who will qualify for the special general.

CA-22

As counting wraps up in last week’s CA-22 special election to replace resigned Rep. Devin Nunes (R), the top two finishers who will advance to the June 7 runoff election have been declared. Former state Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway (R) and state Water Department official Lourin Hubbard (D) qualified for the secondary election.

Ms. Conway led with 35% support. Mr. Hubbard topped Republican Matt Stoll for second place with a 19-16% margin. Ms. Conway will be favored in the special general since the 22nd is a R+11 seat. The winner will serve only the balance of this year since there is no place to run in the regular election under the new redistricting map.

CO-4

At the end of last week four-term Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor) lost his Republican Party District Convention nominating vote to Trump campaign activist Bob Lewis. The official tally was a whopping 62-38% margin, but both men will be on the June 28 primary ballot. A candidate needs 30% of the convention vote to advance to the ballot, or qualify through the petition option. Though there will be a primary election in the 4th District, Rep. Buck is in sound shape for both re-nomination and re-election in the seat that encompasses almost all of eastern Colorado.

HI-2

Though other Democrats are already announcing for what they believe will be an open US House seat, US Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo) continues to reiterate that he has not yet made a decision about running for Governor. He confirmed his status in a recent interview with the local Hawaii Civil Beat political blog, saying he has not made a final decision about his 2022 plans.

The Governor’s race is open because incumbent David Ige (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. In anticipation of Rep. Kahele running for Governor, state Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole (D-Kailua), state Rep. Angus McKelvey (D-Lahaina), and Honolulu City Council chairman Tommy Waters (D) have already announced their congressional campaigns. The 2nd District covers part of Oahu and all of the outlying Hawaiian Islands.

IA-1

Two years ago, then-state Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks* (R-Ottumwa) won her 2nd District congressional campaign by just six votes in the current 2nd District. Iowa redistricting has changed the CD somewhat and re-numbered it as District 1. A just-released Public Policy Polling survey that the liberal organization 314 Action commissioned (4/5-6; 534 IA-1 registered voters) finds Rep. Miller-Meeks topping state Rep. Christina Bohannan (D-Iowa City) by a slight 43-42% margin. Both Rep. Miller-Meeks and Ms. Bohannan are unopposed in their respective Republican and Democratic primaries scheduled for June 7.

MI-6

Facing a paired incumbent situation in a new 4th District as a result of Michigan losing a congressional seat in national reapportionment, 18-term veteran Rep. Fred Upton* (R-St. Joseph), the former House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman, announced that he will retire at the end of the current congressional session. Mr. Upton’s decision brings to an end what will be a 36-year career in the US House. Rep. Upton retiring averts an intra-party incumbent pairing with fellow GOP Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland). The Congressman’s decision to not seek re-election does not yield another open seat since Rep. Huizenga now becomes the 4th District’s lone incumbent.

NE-1

Both political parties have officially nominated their candidates for the special election scheduled for June 28. The winner serves the balance of convicted Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s (R-Lincoln) term.  The Congressman resigned the seat after a California jury found him guilty of campaign finance violations and lying to federal law enforcement officials. 

For the Republicans, state Senator Mike Flood (R-Norfolk) becomes the official candidate, while state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks (D-Lincoln) will be the Democratic nominee. Sen. Flood is favored for both the special and regular election.

OH-7

In a surprise move, since he had already filed for re-election and early voting began Tuesday, six-term Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Lakeville) announced that he is ending his re-election campaign. Mr. Gibbs now becomes the 22nd Republican US House member to not seek re-election. A total of 31 Democrats are not running. Adding the new and redistricting created open seats, it appears we will see at least 58 open US House campaigns. Mr. Gibbs expressed outrage at the state Supreme Court for their laxity in ruling on the latest congressional map, and further complained that only 10% of his current district remains in the new 7th.

Considering this late withdrawal, Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced that Mr. Gibbs’ name cannot be removed from the ballot, and any vote cast for him would now not be counted. The move puts former Trump White House aide and Marine Corps veteran Max Miller in the favorite’s position for the Republican primary. The new OH-7 rates a relatively strong R+14 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization.

PA-12

A late March poll conducted for the Summer Lee for Congress campaign in Pennsylvania’s open new 12th District projects the survey sponsor to hold a significant advantage in the all-important Democratic primary. 

The GQR polling firm, a noted Democratic survey research entity, tested the open seat electorate in the Pittsburgh anchored CD (3/26-31; 400 PA-12 likely Democratic primary voters) and sees Ms. Lee, a two-term state Representative from Braddock, topping the field with 38% preference. Attorney Steve Irwin and law professor Jerry Dickinson follow with 13 and 7%, respectively. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pittsburgh) is retiring after serving 14 terms in the House.

TX-34

Somewhat surprisingly, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has called a special election to fill the seat from which Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) recently resigned. It was thought that the Governor could leave the seat vacant for the remainder of the year. Instead, he called a special primary election for June 14th, in which all candidates will be placed on the same ballot. If no one receives 50%, the Governor will then schedule a runoff election.

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) has already won the 34th District Democratic primary for the regular term, so this is another instance where we will see at least a Democratic candidate running to serve only the balance of this year. Former Cameron County Commissioner Dan Sanchez announced for the Democrats, as did Republican Mayra Flores who won the regular election primary back in March; therefore, her running in the special election makes sense. The 34th’s current version leans more Republican than does the new seat, so Ms. Flores’ chances in the low turnout special election are much better than in the general election.

WV-2

Survey research has been plentiful for this West Virginia Republican primary that features an incumbent pairing. Both candidates have led in certain surveys, but a new Public Opinion Strategies study (4/3-5; 400 WV-2 likely Republican primary voters; live interview) finds Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) back in front at 42-31%. A mid-March survey that the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce commissioned saw Rep. David McKinley* (R-Wheeling) trending ahead 38-33%. The two previous polls posted Rep. Mooney to the lead. The West Virginia primary is May 10.

Redistricting

Florida

After vetoing the legislature’s congressional map and forcing a special legislative session to finish the redistricting process, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) now appears to have the upper hand. Legislative leaders say they are willing to pass his map. 

The major point of contention is the elimination of the current majority minority 5th District of Rep. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee) that stretches from Tallahassee to Jacksonville. Gov. DeSantis wants a racial neutral map. Should the map pass, there is no question immediate lawsuits will be filed and this fight could lead to a fundamental national examination of the Voting Rights Act. Should the map stand, Republicans look to be in position to gain two to four seats in the Florida delegation.

Maryland

After a state court judge rejected the Democratic legislature’s congressional map as a partisan gerrymander, the members began to re-draw the plan while the Democratic Attorney General announced that the state would appeal the ruling. Then, the Democratic leadership and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) reached an agreement.

The legislative leaders and Governor said they would urge a legislative vote to support a plan that creates six solid Democratic seats, one strongly Republican district, and a western state 6th CD of Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) that becomes significantly more competitive. Rep. Trone would still be favored, but even he admitted in an interview that his re-election will be more difficult. As part of the agreement, the state will drop its appeal of the judge’s ruling.

New York

The New York state legislature’s Democratic leadership officially appealed a state court judge’s ruling late last week that rejected the enacted 22D-4R congressional map. Under New York legal procedure, the filing of an appeal stays the previous ruling. While the initial decision may or may not be upheld by a higher court, the stay action suggests that the rejected map will be reinstated at least for the 2022 election. If the map is ultimately disqualified, it will likely not happen until much later in this cycle, if not next year. This means any change in the map will likely take effect for the 2024 election cycle.

Governor

Nevada

The Suffolk University poll that covered the Nevada Senate race in the section above (4/2-6; 500 NV likely general election voters; live interview) also tested the state’s impending Governor’s contest. Here, the Suffolk pollsters found Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) dropping slightly behind Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who has led among Republican primary voters. The ballot test split favors Sheriff Lombardo, 39-37%, which is a change from other polls.

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, however, does slightly better. He would be picked over the Governor in a 40-37% clip. Against former US Senator Dean Heller, the Governor and he split the polling preference at 39% apiece, which is also the latter man’s best showing to date.

New York

The New York major party candidate filing deadline has now expired, and resigned Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) did not file for any office. Under NY election law, however, qualifying for the Independent ballot line deadline does not expire until May 31st. To qualify, Mr. Cuomo, or any other potential candidate, would have to submit 15,000 valid petition signatures by the aforementioned deadline. At least 100 signatures must come from each of the state’s new 26 congressional districts. Therefore, the Cuomo comeback saga could still continue.

Ohio

Akron University (Conducted by the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research for the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics; 2/17-3/15; 1,550 OH registered voters; online), tested the state’s Governor’s race featuring incumbent Mike DeWine (R) seeking a second term. This poll finds the Governor topping former Congressman Jim Renacci 46-17% on the initial GOP ballot test, and expanding to 51-23% when adding leaning responses. For the Democrats, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley establishes a small lead over former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, 17-13%, and 22-18% with leaners.

* denotes that the candidate has received a contribution from AGC PAC during the 2021-2022 election cycle. 


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