Check out these political snippets on the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and local races from across the country.
Author/Activist Cornel West, who had declared his presidential candidacy under the People’s Party label has switched to the Green Party. Assuming his new party nominates Mr. West, the move makes sense. The Green Party already has ballot status in 18 states and continues to work for more. Therefore, Mr. West has much greater initial ballot access under the Green Party label than he does with the virtually unknown People’s Party. If he gets enough attention, a West candidacy could draw from President Biden in some of the key states.
South Carolina moving to first position is the focal point of the Democrats’ new presidential pre-Super Tuesday primary calendar, but some of the affected states are not in agreement. Georgia, for example, voted not to adopt the Democratic National Committee recommendation and New Hampshire is sure to follow suit. Michigan has agreed, and both parties will vote on February 27th.
The South Carolina Republican Party convention delegates voted to hold the state’s Republican primary on February 24. Democrats have already chosen February 3. Therefore, it is likely the state will hold two primaries, one for each party. Holding separate primary days in this state has previously happened. Both Palmetto State parties want South Carolina to continue having a premier primary, so the state is likely to make scheduling accommodations for each political entity.
Sen. Tim Scott
We saw New Hampshire polls that found Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) moving into either third place on the GOP ballot test question, or a tie for that same position. Now, we see a new national poll showing similar upward mobility for the South Carolina Senator.
YouGov America, polling for the University of Massachusetts (5/31-6/8; 1,133 US adults; online), finds former President Donald Trump again leading among national Republicans with a 56% preference figure while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails with 26% support. Sen. Scott, though posting only 4%, moves past the other second tier candidates for third place.
The general election pairings also show him highly competitive with President Joe Biden. While Mr. Biden leads former President Donald Trump 43-40% in the national popular vote question and posts a 41-37% margin against Gov. DeSantis, Sen. Scott falls into the same realm. Despite not being well known nationally, he actually polls the best against the President, trailing only 37-35%.
The new EPIC-MRA Michigan poll (6/8-14; 600 MI likely voters; live interview) again reveals a familiar pattern. That is, President Joe Biden’s job approval rating is extremely low, yet he pulls even in the ballot test with both former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The polling sample slightly tilts Republican because the black vote is under-represented by three points when compared to the US Census Michigan population figures.
While President Joe Biden’s job approval ratio is a terrible 29:69% favorable to unfavorable (9% excellent; 20% pretty good; 25% just fair; 44% poor), he still pulls even with Mr. Trump in the Michigan ballot test at 44% apiece. When paired with Gov. DeSantis, the President trails by one point, 45-44%. The EPIC poll obviously suggests that Michigan will be a battleground state in the presidential race, but most analysts are projecting it will remain in the Democratic column when the votes are ultimately counted.
NBC News Poll
Hart Research (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R) collaborated on a national survey for NBC News (6/16-20; 1,000 US registered voters; 500 likely Republican primary voters; live interview) and found former President Donald Trump, despite his federal indictments, increasing his lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the others. According to this data, Mr. Trump secures 51% in the national poll, well ahead of Gov. DeSantis who records 22% support. Former Vice President Mike Pence receives 7%, and no other candidate even reaches the 5% plateau.
In the general election, however, President Biden would lead former President Trump by four percentage points in the national popular vote, while Gov. DeSantis draws even with the President. Additionally, a whopping 74% believe the country is on the wrong track. President Biden’s job approval was recorded at 43:53% favorable to unfavorable.
New Hampshire Poll
The New Hampshire Institute of Politics of St. Anselm College published their latest regular survey of Granite State voters (6/21-23; 1,065 NH registered voters; live interview) and sees former President Donald Trump gaining strength in the Republican primary while principal challenger Ron DeSantis is losing support. The partisan primary numbers find Mr. Trump leading Florida Gov. DeSantis, 47-19% with no other candidate exceeding 6% support.
On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden dominates Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and author Marianne Williamson, 69-9-8%. These numbers exceed how the President is performing nationally, where Kennedy draws greater support. Since the state is unlikely to agree to moving their primary to comply with the new Democratic National Committee calendar, these numbers suggest that Mr. Biden could win a write-in campaign against his two intra-party challengers even if he doesn’t enter the official Democratic primary.
In hypothetical NH general election pairings, President Biden would lead both former President Trump and Gov. DeSantis with the same 49-40% spread. This data suggests there is less chance that New Hampshire will become a major general election Republican conversion target.
A new Marquette University Law School regular Wisconsin poll finds an unusual trend developing. In this survey (6/8-13; 913 WI registered voters; 419 self-identified Republicans; live interview), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has pulled to within one point of former President Donald Trump, 31-30% in terms of first choice preference, a margin not seen in any other state with the exception of the Governor’s home domain. Former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott are third and fourth with 6 and 5% support.
In a general election pairing with President Biden, Gov. DeSantis pulls to within the polling margin of error, trailing 47-45%. Ex-President Trump fares considerably worse. Mr. Biden would lead this match-up by a substantial 52-43% margin. It remains to be seen if the closeness of this poll is an anomaly, or the beginning of a new trend.
Wealthy former Google executive Lexi Reese (D), who says she will spend some of her own fortune on the race, announced that she will enter the California open March 5th all-party primary for the right to succeed retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D).
While her path to claim one of the two qualifying positions to advance into the general election is narrow since she faces sitting US Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Katie Porter (D-Irvine), and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), the chances of her taking enough Democratic votes to potentially allow a Republican to sneak past the Democratic field and claim a general election ballot slot becomes more of a possibility. The California Senate race will be one of the main attractions on Super Tuesday.
As expected, Delaware at-large US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington) officially declared her US Senate candidacy. The move became obvious when Sen. Tom Carper* (D) announced his retirement in May and as part of his address encouraged the Congresswoman, a former aide and appointee when Mr. Carper was Governor, to run for the seat.
The aforementioned EPIC-MRA Michigan poll (see Michigan President above) also tested the impending open Wolverine State US Senate race. The pollsters pitted Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing), the early favorite for the Democratic nomination, and retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig, potentially the most well-known Republican.
The ballot test revealed a tighter contest than expected with Rep. Slotkin holding only a 40-39% edge over retired Chief Craig. The figures contain 8% in the “lean” category for both Rep. Slotkin and Mr. Craig. The Michigan race will likely move closer to the Democratic column as the year-long campaign evolves. There is a slight Republican skew in this polling sample as blacks are under-represented. Both Rep. Slotkin and Mr. Craig are unknown to most of the respondent universe indicating that each will have to spend money to increase name identification. The seat is open because four-term incumbent Debbie Stabenow (D) is retiring.
GOP state Representative Dan Eubanks (R-DeSoto County) confirmed to local publications that he will oppose Sen. Roger Wicker in next year’s Republican primary. The challenge will come from the political right since Mr. Eubanks is a conservative activist. He was first elected to the state House in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. Mississippi House members are awarded four year terms.
Sen. Wicker was first appointed at the end of 2007, succeeding former Majority Leader Trent Lott (R) who resigned. He was elected in his own right during the special election of 2008 and won full terms in 2012 and 2018. He has won comfortably in the mid to high 50s but never reached 60% in a general election. The Senator was challenged in the 2018 Republican primary and received 83% of the vote. Prior to serving in the Senate, Mr. Wicker won seven US House elections beginning in 1994.
Retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) announced his US Senate candidacy. Immediately, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, with its chairman Montana’s junior Senator Steve Daines, endorsed Mr. Sheehy’s candidacy. Days afterwards, Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) also publicly endorsed Mr. Sheehy. The Montana Senate race is expected to be one of the hottest campaigns in the country as Republicans attempt to deny incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) a fourth term.
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), who is also expected to soon join the race, responded with a Tweet saying, “congratulations to Mitch McConnell and the party bosses on getting their chosen candidate. Now Washington has two candidates - Tim Sheehy and Jon Tester - who will protect the DC cartel.” Early polling shows Rep. Rosendale beginning the race with a substantial lead, so we can expect both a hot general election campaign, and an equally tough Republican nomination contest next year in Big Sky Country.
The Wisconsin Republican Party convention conducted straw polls of its attenders, and though it was no surprise that former President Donald Trump outpolled Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (53-34%), much of the attention fell to the US Senate contest. Since Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) announced that he would not run for the Senate, the party is in need of a strong challenger to oppose two-term incumbent Tammy Baldwin (D) next year.
A strong plurality of party delegates are now looking to Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua), who is indicating he has some interest in the statewide race. A total of 35% of the delegates voted for Rep. Tiffany as their first choice to oppose Sen. Baldwin. Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke was second with 19%, with businessman and former statewide candidate Kevin Nicholson, ex-state Sen. Roger Roth, and businessmen Eric Hovde and Scott Mayer following with 16, 11, 8 and 1%, respectively. None from this group are official candidates.
U.S. House of Representatives
After the US Supreme Court’s ruling that invalidated the Alabama congressional map, the federal three judge panel assuming jurisdiction has sent the map back to the state legislature to begin the re-drawing process. SCOTUS agreed with the plaintiffs in the case that a second majority minority district can be drawn in the state. The current map yields a 6R-1D split.
The court is giving the legislature until July 21st to produce a new map for judicial review. If the legislature cannot complete the plan within that time frame, the court may step in and order a special master to manage the map drawing process.
SCOTUS will also rule on the North Carolina partisan gerrymandering and judicial power lawsuit before the end of June. That ruling could have an effect upon the Alabama case as it relates to judicial control over the redistricting process. Therefore, the situation could again change once the North Carolina ruling is made public.
To comply with the US Supreme Court ruling on the Alabama racial gerrymandering case that went against the state, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said that she will call a special redistricting session for the purposes of drawing a new map to comply with the decision. The legislature will report on July 17th to begin the process.
Since Alabama is a Super Tuesday state and is holding its regular primary on March 5th, time is short to draw a new map and obtain the necessary judicial approvals. The ruling and new map is expected to give the Democrats an extra seat in the Alabama US House delegation that currently stands at 6R-1D.
Public Policy Polling (6/14-16; 555 CA-47 registered voters; live interview & text), surveying for state Senator David Min (D-Irvine) to help position him for the open congressional race, released the data results. The initial ballot test favored Republican former state Assemblyman Scott Baugh by a 39-37% margin. After push questions, Sen. Min unsurprisingly pulled ahead, but even this Democratic poll suggests the open Orange County congressional seat battle will be intensely competitive.
In 2022, Mr. Baugh held Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) to 51.7% of the vote. The 47th District includes the cities of Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+6. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 52.5D – 45.5R. Rep. Porter is leaving the district to run for US Senate.
Private school superintendent Eddie Speir (R), who Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed to a board that oversees the New College, announced that he will challenge veteran Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Sarasota) in next year’s GOP primary. After Rep. Buchanan lost his bid to become House Ways & Means Committee chairman, there were rumors floating that he would resign from the House. Therefore, Mr. Buchanan remains a retirement prospect. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates FL-16 as R+13, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 55.2R – 42.7D partisan lean.
On the heels of former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville) hinting he will seek re-election to a 23rd term in 2024, he drew a credible Democratic primary challenger. Prince Georges County Environmental Director Andrea Crooms announced her candidacy, becoming the candidate with the most potential of attracting support. It is highly doubtful, however, that she can unseat Mr. Hoyer who has represented the southern Maryland region since winning a special congressional election in 1981.
It is clear the Democratic primary will be the significant election. With a FiveThirtyEight data organization score of D+28, and a Dave’s Redistricting App partisan lean calculation of 60.9D – 36.4R, the GOP has little chance of making a serious run here in the general election.
Former state Delegate Neil Parrott (R), who twice lost to Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac), announced that he will return for a third congressional run. Rep. Trone has already declared for the state’s open Senate race, meaning the politically marginal western Maryland 6th Congressional District is also open. Post-redistricting, the 6th became more competitive, so Mr. Parrott’s 55-45% loss to Rep. Trone in 2022 was an under-performance.
In 2024, however, the former congressional nominee will face at least four other Republicans including a fellow ex-Delegate, Brenda Thiam. Five Democrats have announced for the seat, including two sitting Montgomery County state Delegates, Joe Vogel and Lesley Lopez. In the general election, this seat could evolve into a toss-up race.
Freshman Oregon Republican Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer* (R-Happy Valley) scored one of the biggest upset victories of the 2022 election cycle when she defeated Democratic nominee Jamie McLeod-Skinner (D) to capture the 5th District seat with a 51-49% margin. Ms. McLeod-Skinner had unseated then-US Rep. Kurt Schrader in the May Democratic primary.
In a politically marginal district that the FiveThirtyEight organization rates D+2, three credible individuals have already declared their candidacies, state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley), Oregon Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, and former congressional aide Kevin Easton. Ms. McLeod-Skinner confirms she is “seriously considering” running again, and now is releasing an early June poll that posts her to a big lead in a hypothetical Democratic primary among the four early contenders.
According to the GBAO Strategies’ poll (6/30-5/1; 400 OR-5 likely Democratic primary voters), Ms. McLeod-Skinner would lead Rep. Bynum, Ms. Peterson, and Mr. Easton, 50-9-5-4%. No numbers were released for how any of these Democratic candidates would pair with Rep. Chavez-DeRemer. In any event, we can expect another close general election race here in 2024.
Utah’s 2nd District Special Republican endorsing convention met in the small, but centrally located town of Delta on Saturday to choose one candidate to advance into the special primary election scheduled for September 5th to replace resigning Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington).
After five rounds of balloting, Rep. Stewart’s congressional legal counsel, Celeste Maloy, scored a 52-48% victory over former state House Speaker Greg Hughes. The Democrats chose state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights) as their endorsed candidate. Others may still qualify for the primary ballot but must obtain 7,000 valid 2nd District Republican registered voter signatures by July 5th. At least two of the GOP candidates, former state Rep. Becky Edwards and ex-Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough, are pursuing the signature option.
If no other candidate qualifies for the ballot, Ms. Maloy will officially become the party nominee, and be rated as a heavy favorite to win the November 21st special general election in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+23, and Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 60.1R – 34.2D.
In an unsurprising 6-3 ruling, the US Supreme Court ruled against the state of North Carolina on the subject of redistricting. Legal analyst Derek Muller of the Election Law Blog describes the crux of the state’s argument as saying, “the state constitution or state judiciary cannot constrain the state legislature exercising power under the Elections Clause.”
Predictably, the justices ruled that the judiciary does have the authority to involve itself in redistricting decisions but underscored that the Supreme Court has the power to restrain lower courts from taking too much power away from the legislative bodies.
Largely because the North Carolina state Supreme Court has already reconsidered its previous partisan gerrymandering decision, the high court confined itself to the judicial power question.
With the open Bayou State Governor’s race beginning to attract attention, the Louisiana Democratic Party has already gone on record with endorsement support for the leading party contender long before candidate filing closes on August 10, 2023. The LDP now officially endorses former Secretary of Transportation Shawn Wilson, joining outgoing Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) who also publicly supports Mr. Wilson as his successor. Gov. Edwards is ineligible to seek a third term under Louisiana election law.
The Louisiana system features an all-party jungle primary on October 14th of this year. If no candidate receives majority support, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held on November 18th. The leading Republicans are Attorney General and former Congressman Jeff Landry and state Treasurer John Schroder. With eight candidates already actively running, the chances of moving to a runoff are extremely high.
In a radio interview, four-term Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said, “I don’t think I’m going to run again,” but indicated he would make a firm decision this summer. Gov. Sununu is only the second four-term Governor in state history, and no one has served five. New Hampshire, along with neighboring Vermont are the only two places that have two-year gubernatorial terms.
Already, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington have indicated they will compete for the Democratic nomination. In an open situation, the New Hampshire state house would be a prime Democratic conversion target.
Former Houston City Councilwoman and ex-US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards (D) is ending her campaign for the open Mayor’s position but has her eyes on Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s US House seat.
Ms. Edwards, who now endorses Rep. Jackson Lee for Mayor, says she will be a candidate in an 18th Congressional District special election should the Congresswoman win the Mayor’s race. Ms. Edwards says she is confident Rep. Jackson Lee will be elected as Houston’s chief executive.
Polling, however, suggests the leading candidate is state Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) who has represented the city in the legislature since the beginning of 1973. The Mayor’s election will be held on November 7, 2023. If no candidate receives majority support in that contest, a runoff will be scheduled likely for a point in December.
*denotes candidate received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2023-2024 election cycle.
Do you like this page?