Check out these political snippets on the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and local races from across the country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. continues to mount a challenge to President Joe Biden, and three new Democratic primary polls were recently released, two national and one in California, providing new benchmarks. While Mr. Kennedy is not even within shouting distance of the President in any of the polls, they do, however, again largely show that the incumbent is not universally accepted within his own party.
The Issues & Insights TIPP poll (5/31-6/2; 1,230 registered voters likely to vote in a Democratic primary; online) finds President Biden topping Mr. Kennedy, 68-12%, with 4% going to author Marianne Williamson. The Suffolk University poll conducted for USA Today (6/5-9; 293 likely Democratic primary voters) projects Mr. Biden with only 58% support, while Mr. Kennedy captures 15% and Ms. Williamson 6 percent. Emerson College sampled the California electorate (6/4-7; 1,056 CA registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) and posts President Biden with a 72-17-7% advantage over Kennedy and Williamson in the Golden State primary.
While President Biden is secure for renomination, Mr. Kennedy exceeding expectations in the early states might place him in position to run on the No Labels Party ticket that may be formed in April of next year.
Media reports that Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy was going to announce he was withdrawing from the race and endorsing former President Donald Trump at his Tuesday morning news conference in Miami proved erroneous. While Mr. Ramaswamy, who is well on his way to securing a debate podium at the first Republican presidential debate on August 23rd, did not suspend his campaign, he did become the first candidate to say he would pardon Mr. Trump if elected President.
As has been expected for some time, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez filed a presidential committee with the Federal Election Commission and becomes the tenth Republican candidate. Obviously a long shot who may be positioning himself as a potential Vice Presidential pick, Mayor Suarez would be attractive to Republicans as a candidate with potential national appeal to the Hispanic community.
The new national Ipsos/ABC News Poll (6/9-10; 910 US registered voters with a 411 Republican over-sample) finds a plurality of Americans (48%) believing that it is right to charge former President Donald Trump pertaining to the indictments associated with the classified document issues. A separate plurality cell (47%) within the same sampling universe, however, also believes the case is politically motivated. Only 37% say politics was not a factor in the indictments being brought. The remaining 16% are unsure. These numbers are within the same realm as the Ipsos/ABC poll conducted in early April after the New York indictments were brought against Mr. Trump.
New Hampshire Poll
A new National Research poll conducted for the American Greatness Super PAC (6/12-14; 500 NH likely Republican primary voters) finds former President Donald Trump gaining strength in the Granite State, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drops down several points from the group’s last survey. In a surprise, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bolts into a third place tie with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) at 7% apiece.
Emerson College tested the California electorate regarding the state’s open Senate race in which the Super Tuesday March 5th qualifying election will see all but two candidates eliminated. According to the EC survey (6/4-7; 1,056 CA registered voters; multiple sampling techniques), no candidate even breaks 15% support. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) reaches the 15% plateau, and nips Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) who registers 14% support. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) places third with 6%. The top tested Republican candidate, businessman James Bradley, claims only 4% backing.
Obviously, this poll suggests a wide open race. Among Democrats, Mr. Schiff leads Reps. Porter and Lee, 23-22-10%. Republicans and Independents are wholly undecided with 60 and 58% of both groups indicating they have not chosen a candidate. Turning to retiring incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D), 63% of those sampled believe she should resign the seat due to health considerations. Her job approval ratio within this poll was a poor 22:48% favorable to unfavorable.
The Politico publication reports that at-large US Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington), the individual that retiring Sen. Tom Carper (D) hopes will succeed him, is indeed preparing an official launch of a US Senate campaign. The reports indicate that we can expect an announcement sometime later this month.
There has also been no evidence that term-limited Gov. John Carney (D) is about to enter the race. If not, the primary and general election campaigns should be a breeze for Rep. Blunt Rochester, which, for her, would be just like running another re-election campaign. As the state’s sole US House member, she has conducted all four of her House elections as a statewide campaign.
Her move to the Senate race will leave a competitive open House race in her wake. Most of the competition will be in the September 2024 Democratic primary, but seeing a strong Republican emerge may not be out of the question to force a contested general election. At this point, however, expect both the Senate and House seats to remain under Democratic Party control.
Term-limited Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced that he will not enter the US Senate race or run for any other office in 2024. The Governor taking a pass on the Senate race means US Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the May 7, 2024, Republican primary. He will be viewed as a lock to win the general election as the Democrats have yet to produce a competitive candidate. Incumbent Sen. Mike Braun (R) is not seeking re-election in order to run for Governor.
St. Louis County prosecutor and ex-Ferguson City Councilman Wesley Bell (D) announced that he will enter next year’s US Senate race. He joins Iraq/Afghan War veteran and 202 US Senate candidate Lucas Kunce in the 2024 Democratic primary. In the ’22 race, Mr. Kunce lost the Democratic nomination 43-38% to Trudy Busch Valentine, a philanthropist who was a late entry into the campaign. She would then lose to current Senator Eric Schmitt in the general election by a 55-42% count.
The August 6, 2024, Democratic primary winner will face first-term Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (R) in the general election. Sen. Hawley defeated Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in the 2018 race with at 51.4 – 45.6% margin. He is favored for re-election in a state that should lie solidly within the Republican realm during the next election. In 2020, then-President Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden, 57-41%, in The Show Me State.
The Nevada Senate race featuring incumbent Jacky Rosen (D) running for a second term should be a top tier competitive race, but the Republican field has been slow to assemble. Businessman, disabled Afghan War veteran and 2022 Senate candidate Sam Brown is expected to run but has not yet officially entered the race. A new candidate coming on the horizon, Dr. Jeffrey Ross Gunter (R), the former US Ambassador to Iceland in the Trump Administration, is apparently now testing the political waters to become a candidate.
Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay), who appeared to be the Republican leadership’s top Senate candidate recruitment target, said that he will not challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) next year. Mr. Gallagher is moving up the House ladder and wants to remain on that path. Some believe he will instead wait until 2028 to make a statewide move when Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is expected to retire.
A new poll found former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke leading the Republican field, though he is not an announced candidate. Rep. Gallagher was a strong second. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) is testing the Senate political waters, so chances of him pursuing a statewide bid considering the Gallagher decision may increase.
U.S. House of Representatives
The US Supreme Court, on a 5-4 decision ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the Alabama racial gerrymandering case. Therefore, the Alabama map must be redrawn to reflect a second minority district of the state’s seven seats. Louisiana will likely have to be redrawn as well. Possible redraws could occur in several other southern states. The ruling is clearly a win for the Democrats and gives them even better odds of re-capturing the House majority in the 2024 election.
Sen. Mark Kelly (D) indicated that his preferred candidate to replace Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), who is running against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), is former state Senate Minority Leader and ex-Arizona Democratic Party chair Raquel Teran. Four other Democrats are in the race, including Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor, daughter of former US Rep. Ed Pastor (D), but his relationship with Ms. Teran while she guided the Arizona party during his 2022 run for Senate makes her his candidate of choice.
The Phoenix anchored 3rd District is heavily Democratic with a D+44 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization. Therefore, Rep. Gallego’s successor will be decided in the August 6, 2024, Democratic primary, thus making Sen. Kelly’s endorsement valuable.
Jimmy Pham became the fourth Democratic candidate to enter the 2024 congressional race hoping to challenge two-term Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+5.
In addition to Mr. Pham, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen, and attorneys Cheyenne Hunt and Aditya Pai are announced candidates. Community College Trustee Jay Chen, who held Rep. Steel to a 52-48% victory in 2022, is a potential re-match contender but has yet to make his 2024 political plans known. Expect this to be a top Democratic target race. The 45th is one of four California Democratic seats that a Republican represents.
Right wing gadfly activist and two-time Florida congressional candidate Laura Loomer (R) is citing an online voluntary response website poll that supposedly reveals a 75% factor who wants to see Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome) challenged for the 2024 Republican nomination because she supported Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling bill. Ms. Loomer characterizes Rep. Greene as a “Primary professional conwoman,” for supporting the debt crisis bipartisan compromise. She also states that she can move to Georgia and run because she has proven herself as a “robust campaign fundraiser.”
While Ms. Loomer may well have raised over $3 million for two campaigns, she would need to improve her vote-getting ability in order to unseat Rep. Greene. First, she has already run in two different Florida districts, against Rep. Lois Frankel (D-West Palm Beach), where she lost by 20 percentage points, and in a primary challenge against Rep. Dan Webster* (R-Clermont/The Villages). In this latter 2022 race, she fell seven full percentage points from unseating the Republican incumbent.
In 2022, then-state Senator Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) upset Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Des Moines) to claim the 3rd District seat. Thoughts of a re-match were routinely discussed, but the latest action suggests one will not occur, at least in 2024.
President Joe Biden announced that he has appointed former Rep. Axne as a senior advisor to the Department of Agriculture for rural engagement, delivery, and prosperity. While this move doesn’t completely eliminate Ms. Axne from returning to the political wars, her new position makes it less likely that she will be a candidate in the coming election cycle. Currently, mental health therapist Tracy Limon is the only announced 3rd District Democratic congressional candidate.
One of the biggest 2022 congressional upsets came in Upstate New York where then-state Assemblyman Mike Lawler* (R-Pearl River) defeated Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (D). Now, a new EMC Research poll, surveying for the End Citizens United and Let America Vote organizations (5/4-7; 300 NY-17 likely voters; live interview & online) finds Rep. Lawler clinging to a slight 50-48% lead over former Congressman Mondaire Jones, in what is expected to be the 2024 candidate lineup.
Mr. Jones was elected to the former 17th District in 2018 but moved to New York City to run for re-election when Rep. Maloney decided to run in the court-drawn 17th CD. Mr. Jones has not yet announced he will run in 2024 but is expected to enter the NY-17 race. The district leans Democratic. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates the seat D+7 with a Dave’s Redistricting App partisan lean topping 56% Democratic. Also in the Democratic contest is local school board trustee Liz Gereghty, the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).
The President of the Oregon Metro Council, an elected regional government body covering three populace counties in and around the Portland area, says she will enter the 2024 Fifth District congressional race. Democrat Lynn Peterson is hoping to challenge GOP freshman incumbent Lori Chavez DeRemer* (R-Happy Valley).
The new 5th District stretches from the southern Portland suburbs, touches the eastern Salem suburbs, and then moves southeast to include the Bend area. Ms. Chavez-DeRemer defeated Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who ousted then-Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary, by a 51-49% count in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+3.
Ms. Peterson will certainly have competition in the Democratic primary. Two minor Democrats have already announced while state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-North Clackamas) and Ms. McLeod-Skinner, potentially seeking a re-match, are viewed as possible candidates
Former Pennsylvania State Auditor and 2020 congressional candidate Eugene DePasquale (D) will not be returning to the federal campaign wars in 2024. Viewed as six-term Rep. Scott Perry’s (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg) toughest possible Democratic opponent – the 2020 race ended 53-47% in Rep. Perry’s favor – Mr. DePasquale announced that he will return to the statewide theatre in an open bid for Attorney General.
Rep. Perry already has Democratic opposition for 2024. Shamaine Davis, his 2022 opponent who he defeated 56-44%, returns for a re-match. Carlisle School Board member Rick Coplen, a retired Army officer who lost the 2022 Democratic primary to Ms. Davis, is also returning to run again. With Mr. DePasquale out of the House picture, Rep. Perry, who voted against the McCarthy debt ceiling compromise, will again begin as a favorite for re-election.
Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos (D), one of the top contenders from a Democratic special election field that could reach as high as 17 candidates when filing closes on June 30th, released the results of her recent Expedition Strategies internal poll. The survey (6/5-8; 400 RI-1 Democratic special election primary voters; live interview) sees Ms. Matos opening with a large 22-9% lead over former state Rep. Aaron Regunberg, a 2018 candidate for Lt. Governor. State Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket) and Providence City Councilman John Goncalves trailed with 6 and 5%. No other candidate breaks 4% support.
The special Democratic primary is scheduled for September 5th, with the general election on November 7th. Rep. David Cicilline (D) resigned the seat on June 1st to accept a position with a non-profit organization. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates RI-1 as D+32, so the eventual Democratic primary winner will become the prohibitive favorite to capture the seat in November.
Gov. Spencer Cox (R) set the special primary election to replace resigning US Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington) for September 5th and the special general on November 21st. The candidate filing period has now closed. A total of 13 Republicans, three Democrats, and six minor party or Independent candidates have filed.
For the Republicans, who will be favored to hold the seat, former state House Speaker Greg Hughes, ex-state Rep. and US Senate candidate Becky Edwards, and former Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough are official candidates, and at this point comprise the first tier. For the Democrats, the leading contender is state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights).
The political parties will now call a special district convention. The delegates will nominate one candidate to advance into the special primary by majority vote. Others can still qualify for the primary through the petition signature process.
A former campaign manager for, and longtime associate of US Ambassador to the Holy See Joe Donnelly (D) said speculation that Mr. Donnelly would return to Indiana to run for Governor next year is false. The spokesperson indicated that the Ambassador will continue to serve in his present post and not become a political candidate in 2024.
Prior to accepting the Ambassadorship, Mr. Donnelly represented Indiana in both the House and Senate. He served three terms in the House before being elected Senator in 2012. He was defeated for re-election in 2018. There was further speculation suggesting if he would return to Indiana to run for Governor that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would be appointed as the replacement Ambassador.
Early in the year, the Mississippi Democratic Party disqualified candidate Bob Hickingbottom from running for Governor in the Democratic primary saying he did not meet the petition signature requirement and because he previously ran statewide on a third party line. In late May, Mr. Hickingbottom won his court challenge to the Democrats’ ruling and was placed back on the primary ballot.
Now, the Mississippi state Supreme Court has overturned the lower court decision and ruled that the MDP has the right to disqualify Hickingbottom. Therefore, Mr. Hickingbottom will be prohibited from running in the Democratic primary. The decision restores Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley to unopposed status for the party nomination. Democratic leaders wanted this to give Mr. Presley the biggest advantage possible as he tries to unseat Gov. Tate Reeves (R) in the 2023 general election.
Without articulating a particular criticism against Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), state Rep. Tanner Smith (R-Lakeside) announced that he will launch a Republican gubernatorial primary challenge. Gov. Gianforte, whose job approval ratings are high, does not appear to be vulnerable to a Republican primary challenger. At this point, he would also be rated as a prohibitive favorite to win a second full term in the 2024 general election. The Montana primary is scheduled for June 4, 2024.
Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute (released 6/9; 773 Washington registered voters), finds Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) leading the jungle primary with 25% support. Republican physician Robert Garcia is second with 17% backing followed by Richland School Board member Semi Bird (R) at 10 percent. Democrats Hillary Franz, the Public Lands Commissioner, and state Sen. Mark Mullett (D-Issaquah) trail with 9 and 8%, respectively.
Mr. Ferguson claims to operate his early campaign as an “exploratory committee,” but Washington has no such legal designation. Therefore, Mr. Ferguson is an announced candidate as are the others. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is not seeking a fourth term next year. The jungle primary is scheduled for August 6, 2024. The top two finishers, regardless of political party affiliation and percentage attained will advance into the general election.
Former state Senator Mike Johnston defeated ex-Chamber of Commerce CEO Kelly Brough by a 55-45% margin to win the open Denver mayor’s position. Mr. Johnston unsuccessfully ran for Governor and US Senator after leaving the state legislature.
Though the race was ostensibly non-partisan, Mr. Johnston aligned with the Democrats while Ms. Brough was closer to the Republicans. Campaign spending was about even between the two contenders, but outside liberal organizations came in to tip the financial advantage toward Mr. Johnston.
The Mayor-Elect will take office on July 17th. He replaces three-term incumbent Michael Hancock who was ineligible to seek another term under the new service limit ordinance the city adopted. In fact, Mayor Hancock will be the city’s final three-term chief executive.
*denotes candidate received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2023-2024 election cycle.
Do you like this page?