Check out these political snippets on the presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races from across the country.
On the four-year anniversary of announcing his victorious candidacy in 2019, President Joe Biden officially declared for re-election in a video presentation released during the week. With questions surrounding his personal longevity – currently at 80 years of age, Mr. Biden is already the oldest individual to occupy his office – the President plans to adopt the theme of ‘needing more time to finish the job’ building upon the goals he originally outlined when embarking upon his 2020 national campaign.
Mike Pompeo, Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) announced that he will not join the 2024 presidential field. Only a long shot victory path existed for the former Secretary, CIA Director, and US Representative from Kansas. Additionally, according to a New York Times report, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has put his fledging presidential effort on hold and is now apparently unlikely to enter the race.
To date, the only announced candidates are former President Donald Trump, ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (R), former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott has filed a presidential exploratory committee. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and ex-Vice President Mike Pence are both expected to join the campaign in the next few weeks.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr
The son of former US Attorney General and New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy officially entered the Democratic presidential primary. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. gained national attention for his anti-vaccination stance but is unlikely to be a serious threat to President Joe Biden. He could, however, do some damage in New Hampshire and Georgia if the two states don’t adhere to the Democratic National Committee primary schedule, thus likely forcing the President to skip those primaries.
Two presidential polls were released in critically important Arizona, one for the Republican primary and the other isolating the candidates against President Joe Biden. The Republican primary survey posts former President Donald Trump to a substantial advantage over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The latter man would lead President Biden in a general election poll, however, while Mr. Trump would not.
JL Partners (4/10-12; 550 AZ registered Republican and Undeclared voters) finds Mr. Trump holding a 47-24-4-4-3-2% advantage over Gov. DeSantis, ex-Vice President Mike Pence, former US Rep. Liz Cheney, ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, respectively, in the GOP primary study. Public Opinion Strategies surveyed the state’s general electorate (4/11-13; 500 AZ likely voters; live interview) and forecasts Gov. DeSantis leading President Biden, 48-42%, while Mr. Trump trails 45-44%.
A new University of New Hampshire Granite State poll (4/13-17; 818 NH likely Republican primary voters; online) sees former President Donald Trump continuing to lead the proposed Republican presidential primary field, while home state Gov. Chris Sununu breaks into double-digits ascending to third place. Mr. Trump would lead Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Gov. Sununu, 42-22-12%. No other potential candidate reaches 5% support. On the Republican side, New Hampshire will remain as the first-in-the-nation primary.
The recently released National Public Affairs survey (4/11-14; 538 SC registered voters likely to vote in the Republican primary; online & text) finds former President Donald Trump again topping the Palmetto State field with 40% of the vote, a full 20 points ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. South Carolina candidates Nikki Haley, the former Governor, and Sen. Tim Scott who has filed a presidential exploratory committee, would command 18 and 16%, respectively.
Though still trailing badly in their home state, the NPA ballot test posts the South Carolina pair to their strongest showing to date.
Public Opinion Strategies conducted a series of 500-sample general election polls in five battleground states during the April 11-20 period, and all of the surveys produced very close results while highlighting a familiar pattern. This research gives us an early indication that we will again see a very close general election campaign.
In Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, POS tested both former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis individually against President Joe Biden. In every instance, we see Mr. DeSantis running better when paired against Mr. Biden than does the former President.
First in Arizona, President Joe Biden would lead Mr. Trump by a single point, while Gov. DeSantis would record a six-point advantage over the Democratic incumbent. The Michigan numbers produced a similar pattern with the President running two points ahead of Mr. Trump but trailing the Florida Governor by three. Almost the same pattern occurred in the Silver State of Nevada: Biden up one over Trump but down three to DeSantis. Pennsylvania yields virtually the same result: Biden +4 over Trump; DeSantis +3 over Biden. And, just about the same was projected for Wisconsin: Biden leading Trump by three percentage points while drawing even opposite Gov. DeSantis.
Rep. Ruben Gallego’s (D-Phoenix) US Senate campaign released their internal Public Policy Polling survey that gives the Congressman healthy leads over all of the potential Republican opponents and incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I). The PPP poll (4/18-19; 559 Arizona voters) finds that former gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake performs best of the potential Republican nominees, trailing 42-35-14% with Sen. Sinema in third place. The poll also finds the incumbent plagued with a poor 27:50% favorability index.
These results are much different than the recent OH Predictive Insights poll that perched Gallego in the low 30s and Sen. Sinema hovering around the 20% mark with a favorability rating much closer to even.
Former gubernatorial nominee Lake, who is still fighting voter fraud lawsuits over her close 2022 loss to current Gov. Katie Hobbs (D), says she is likely to enter the open US Senate contest unless the courts install her as Governor. Since the latter happening is highly unlikely at this point, we can count on seeing Ms. Lake back in a 2024 Grand Canyon State election campaign. Already in the GOP primary is Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb.
The general election is very likely to become a three-way race with the eventual Republican nominee, probably Rep. Gallego on the Democratic line, and incumbent Sinema either running as an Independent or becoming the nominee of the No Labels Party. The NLP has qualified for the ballot in the state, but the Arizona Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit challenging its status.
According to a Twitter post and other sources, a group of 60 progressive left organizations have coalesced under a letter to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) asking her to resign. Sen. Feinstein, who is the longest-serving Democrat in the current Senate, has already announced that she will not seek re-election. Suffering from Shingles, Sen. Feinstein is back in California and not attending session. This puts the Democratic conference down a seat, so pressure is being exerted on her to leave early so Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) can make a replacement appointment. At this point, Sen. Feinstein says she will serve the balance of her final term.
The state measure to use the 2024 US Senate race as a test case for a top two all-party jungle primary system appears to be dead. GOP state legislators appear not to have the stomach to move forward with the test, even though the state Senate had originally passed the legislation.
Republicans were apparently trying to eliminate the probability of the Libertarian candidate attracting in the 3% range, which is common in Montana. The belief is most of those votes come at the expense of the Republican candidate. Therefore, eliminating minor party candidates from the general election ballot would at least theoretically make Sen. Jon Tester’s (D) road to re-election somewhat more difficult.
Buckeye State businessman Bernie Moreno (R), who for a short time was in the 2022 Senate race but dropped out before the first ballots were cast, announced that he will join the 2024 Republican primary with the hope of challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the general election. While a candidate in the previous campaign, Mr. Moreno spent $4 million of his personal fortune on his political effort.
Currently in the race is state Senator and 2022 US Senate candidate Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) who has already invested $3 million of his own money into the ’24 Senate race. Thus, it appears we have two major self-funders set to battle each other for what should be a valuable GOP nomination in what portends to be one of the hottest general election Senate races in the country.
Republican Keith Rothfus served three terms in the US House from 2013 to 2019. He was defeated for re-election in 2018 when the state Supreme Court map collapsed Rep. Rothfus’ Pittsburgh area seat with that of fellow Rep. Conor Lamb (D). In that Democratic wave election year, Rep. Lamb defeated Mr. Rothfus with a 56-44% margin. The victorious Congressman would then lose the 2022 US Senate Democratic primary to current incumbent John Fetterman, however.
Though the national and state Republican leadership are making it clear they would like to see 2022 Senate candidate David McCormick return to challenge Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D), Mr. Rothfus is indicating that he would have the ability to become a consensus candidate. There is yet no definitive word from Mr. McCormick himself if he will again run for the Senate. The Republican leadership certainly wants to put this seat in play but defeating Sen. Casey will be a tall order regardless of who becomes the GOP nominee.
Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), who represents the city of Uvalde, the site of the terrible May 2022 elementary school shooting, is reportedly preparing to launch a US Senate challenge to two-term incumbent Ted Cruz (R). Sen. Gutierrez would be the first significant candidate to come forward assuming he makes the final decision to announce.
Sen. Cruz, who won the 2018 race against former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D) with 50.9% of the vote, would be favored to win a third term with a much greater percentage in a presidential election year. He eschewed another run for President this year to concentrate on his Senate re-election campaign.
Mountain State Governor Jim Justice (R), barred from seeking a third term because of the state’s term limits law, formally announced late this week that he will launch a challenge to US Sen. Joe Manchin (D). The move had been expected for weeks, and makes the West Virginia race the top Republican national conversion opportunity.
While Sen. Manchin has impressively won three statewide federal elections, two as Governor, and one for Secretary of State, this 2024 contest will be one of the few Senate races where the incumbent is considered an underdog. This is the first time that Sen. Manchin, whose favorability ratings are low while Gov. Justice’s are high, will defend his current office in a presidential election year. With the state almost assuredly going for the eventual Republican nominee (Donald Trump scored 69% of the vote here in both of his elections, for example), Gov. Justice should have the political wind at his back.
Reports are surfacing that Wisconsin US Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) has approved the purchase of US Senate campaign domain names. The Congressman indicated, however, that this act does not necessarily mean he will actually become a statewide candidate. Should he run for the Senate and win the Republican primary, Rep. Tiffany would then face Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) who recently announced that she will compete for a third term.
U.S. House of Representatives
Veteran Illinois Congressman Danny Davis (D-Chicago) was first elected to the US House in 1996 after serving both as a Cook County Commissioner and on the Chicago City Council. Though his district is heavily Democratic and safe from a Republican opponent, Rep. Davis did have a relatively close call in the 2022 Democratic primary when he defeated community organizer Kina Collins by a 52-45% count. In 2020, he defeated the same opponent with a 60-13% victory margin.
At 81 years of age, he is considered a retirement prospect for the 2024 election. That being the case, Chicago City Treasurer and former state Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin (D) this week formed a congressional exploratory committee for the 7th District. This is a March 2024 Democratic primary campaign to watch.
Former Illinois state Senator and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey (losing 55-42% to Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) is reportedly testing the political waters for a primary challenge to five-term Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro/Carbondale). The 12th District is one of just three Republican seats in the state and occupies all of southern Illinois. It appears a Bailey victory path is difficult to chart, since Rep. Bost is solidly conservative and unlikely to upset the party base. Should Mr. Bailey move forward, this will be another race to watch in the Illinois March 19th primary.
Republican Marlin Stutzman, who served three terms in the US House before losing the 2016 US Senate Republican primary to then-Congressman Todd Young, announced that he will attempt to reclaim the seat he vacated eight years ago. The race, however, will be no gimme for the former Congressman and ex-state legislator. Already announced as candidates are state Senator Andy Zay (R-Huntington) and former Circuit Judge Wendy Davis, among others.
In a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates R+34, the successor to Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City), who is now running for Senate, will be decided in the May 2024 Republican primary.
New York freshman Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park) was the biggest upset winner in the 2022 election. He captured a Long Island anchored 4th District that the FiveThirtyEight organization rates as D+10, which is tied with California Rep. David Valadao’s (R) CA-22 as the most Democratic seat that elects a Republican to the US House.
Rep. D’Esposito has now drawn his first re-election opponent. This week, attorney and two-time congressional candidate Pat Maher (D) announced that he will again run for Congress. It is likely, however, that the local Democratic leadership will recruit and support a stronger candidate once the election cycle progresses.
A third Democratic candidate came forward to compete for the party nomination to challenge Michigan freshman US Rep. John James (R-Farmington Hills). Emily Busch, a gun control activist and defeated state Representative candidate, said she will run for Congress next year. Already in the Democratic primary are attorney Brian Jaye and financial consultant and ex-state Rep candidate Diane Young.
It is likely that 2022 nominee and former judge and prosecutor Carl Marlinga will return for a re-match. He will be heavily favored in the Democratic primary having lost to Mr. James by just a half-percentage point. The 10th District 2024 campaign again promises to be highly competitive and is a national Democratic congressional target.
Looking at the negative media circus that has surrounded freshman New York Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island), which certainly lessens his chances of winning re-election in 2024, former Congressman Tom Suozzi (D), who left the House to run a longshot 2022 campaign for Governor, confirms that he is now considering making a congressional comeback attempt next year. Regardless of whether Mr. Suozzi runs, the NY-3 race will be a top Democratic conversion opportunity.
Katonah-Lewisboro School Board Trustree Liz Gereghty (D) announced that she will compete for the Democratic nomination with the hope of challenging freshman New York Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River) next year. Ms. Gereghty is Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) sister.
We can expect a crowded Democratic primary that could possibly include former US Rep. Mondaire Jones who left the Westchester County anchored district to run unsuccessfully for a New York City seat. Rep. Lawler then upset Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Sean Patrick Maloney in November. Mr. Maloney has not ruled out a comeback attempt, but most believe him returning is a remote possibility.
With NY-17 rated as D+7 from the FiveThirtyEight data organization and Dave’s Redistricting App calculating partisan lean of 56.6D – 41.3R, we can count on seeing this CD as a top Democratic conversion target in 2024 and becoming a national congressional campaign.
Last November, freshman Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Syracuse) held the state’s new 22nd Congressional District that former Congressman John Katko (R) represented for eight years before retiring. Then, and now, the Syracuse anchored seat leans toward the Democrats (FiveThirtyEight: D+2; Dave’s Redistricting App: 53.4D – 43.1R partisan lean) but has elected a Republican to the US House in the last five consecutive elections.
Late last year, Manlius Town Councilwoman Katelyn Kriesel (D) announced that she would compete for the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Williams. Her campaign proved short-lived, however, since she dropped her bid at the beginning of March.
Now, a new Democratic contender has emerged. DeWitt Town Councilwoman and US Air Force veteran Sarah Klee Hood (D) came forward to enter the race. Count on this race being highly competitive in the 2024 general election cycle no matter who ultimately becomes the Democratic nominee.
Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) was first elected in 2018 to succeed retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan and has been easily re-elected since. The 2024 race could be different, however, since there is a fair chance the congressional lines will be redrawn thus making Mr. Steil’s southern 1st District decidedly more Democratic as a result. Likely in anticipation of such, Caledonia Village Trustee Anthony Hammes became the first Democrat to come forward to announce his congressional candidacy.
With Rep. Steil raising a large amount of campaign capital in the first quarter and reporting over $2.2 million cash-on-hand in his March 31st campaign disclosure filing, the Congressman is obviously preparing for the most difficult election since his initial victory.
California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis (D) is wasting no time in making her intention known that she will run for Governor in 2026. This week, she announced the formation of her campaign committee even though the electoral contest is still more than three years from occurring. It had become common knowledge that Ms. Kounalakis was not entering the open 2024 US Senate race because she is planning a ’26 gubernatorial bid.
Following suit, former state Treasurer Betty Yee (D) made a public statement saying that she, too, will be competing in what will be an open California Governor’s race since Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will be ineligible to seek a third term.
It is highly unusual to see candidates announce for a race almost four years in advance of the election. In a state the size of California, however, and considering the expense of a statewide campaign, time becomes as important a resource as money. Therefore, multi-cycle campaigns could be the beginning of a future Golden State trend.
Now less than one month before the 2023 Kentucky statewide primary election, a new Emerson College poll (4/10-11; 900 KY likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) sees Attorney General Daniel Cameron continuing to lead the GOP gubernatorial primary despite being under intense attack from his main opponent.
The poll results find AG Cameron leading former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft 30-24%. Trailing are Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (15%), disbarred attorney Eric Deters (6%), and state Auditor Mike Harmon (2%). The winner of the May 16th primary battle will then challenge Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in the November general election.
WPA Intelligence, polling for the Club for Growth organization (4/11-13; 500 LA likely primary voters; live interview), projects Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry to be opening a large lead over his open race gubernatorial opponents. The ballot test results yield a 36-18% lead over Democratic former state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson. No other candidate reaches double-digits with state Treasurer John Schroder (R) topping the also-rans with 6% support.
The all-party jungle primary is scheduled for October 14, 2023. If no one reaches 50%, the top two finishers will then face each other in a runoff election on November 18th. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.
Former state Senate President Chuck Morse (R), who lost the 2022 Republican US Senate primary by one percentage point, confirms that he has interest in running for Governor next year if incumbent Chris Sununu (R) decides not to seek a fifth term.
Though New Hampshire has just two-year gubernatorial terms, only Gov. Sununu and former Gov. John Lynch (D) have served four consecutive terms. Most believe that Gov. Sununu will not run a fifth time since he is a potential presidential candidate. It is possible, however, for him to enter the national campaign and still have time to again run for Governor should he not succeed in his presidential effort. New Hampshire has one of the latest candidate filing deadlines and primary elections in the country.
Former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is also frequently mentioned as a potential open seat gubernatorial contender. Outgoing Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig attracts the most attention as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
Reports coming from West Virginia suggest that Gov. Jim Justice (R) will announce a US Senate challenge to incumbent Joe Manchin (D) before April ends. The new Morning Consult Governor approval ratings report will give Mr. Justice a boost. Among the 50 Governors, he rates as tied for third with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) in recording a positive score of 66%. In comparison, Sen. Manchin’s latest job approval ratio was 38:55% favorable to unfavorable.
Before directly challenging Sen. Manchin, Gov. Justice must first defeat US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) in the Republican Senate primary. Under West Virginia law, the Governor is ineligible to seek a third term.
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