Political Snippets from Around the Country

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


Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence declared earlier in the week that his campaign has exceeded the 40,000 donor threshold, which should qualify him for the August 23rd presidential debate in Milwaukee. Mr. Pence indicated that he did not need to use “gimmicks” such as gift cards worth 20 times more than an individual’s contribution in order to secure the required donor number.

In the debate are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND), former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

Rep. Dean Phillips

Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips (D-Plymouth), who has been toying with the idea of challenging President Joe Biden in the Democratic primary, spoke about his intentions on the Face the Nation Sunday morning program. Mr. Phillips said that while he doesn’t feel he is “well positioned” to run for President at this time, he calls on others who are to enter the race.

Citing polling statistics that Democratic voters want competition in the presidential race, Rep. Phillips encourages others to enter the race and has not yet closed the door on himself becoming a candidate.

Donald Trump

One of the Republican National Committee debate requirements is for the presidential candidates to sign a pledge promising to support the eventual party nominee. Yesterday, former President Donald Trump said he will not make such a promise saying, “there are certain people on there [meaning the Republican presidential candidate slate] that I wouldn’t have as President.”

Technically, the move disqualifies him from participating in the debate, which he can now use as the reason for not attending. Mr. Trump has previously said he was unsure as to whether he would participate. With big leads in the polls, conventional political wisdom suggests that a person in such a position not debate. The first Republican presidential forum is scheduled for August 23rd in Milwaukee.

General Election Polling

The Premise research organization tracks the presidential race every two weeks, and their latest release finds Mr. Biden falling behind former President Donald Trump even on their nationwide ballot test. The survey (8/2-7; 1,726 US adults; 1,306 self-identified registered voters; via the Premise “smartphone application”; weighted) gives former President Trump a seven point lead, 41-34%, within the entire adult sampling universe, and 42-38% among the self-identified registered voters.

In Michigan, Emerson College’s latest survey (8/1-2; 1,121 MI registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Mr. Trump forging a 43-41-4% lead with Dr. Cornel West on the ballot as the Green Party candidate. Emerson’s Arizona poll (8/2-4; 1,337 AZ registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) finds Mr. Trump holding a one point lead, again with Dr. West attracting 4% support. The numbers vary virtually by the day, but these latest figures do show a significant trend change. Whether this becomes an entrenched pattern remains to be seen.

New Hampshire

The co/efficient Republican polling organization sampled the New Hampshire electorate (8/5-7; 862 NH likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text) and again find Donald Trump holding a large lead in preparation for the first-in-the-nation Republican primary. Mr. Trump holds a 43-9-9-7-5-5-4-3% advantage over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND), and former Vice President Mike Pence, respectively.

The more interesting statistic is the change in support factor since the organization’s mid-June survey. Here we see both Mr. Trump and Gov. DeSantis dropping by four percentage points apiece, which is obviously more troublesome for the latter man than the former. The top gainer when compared to the co/efficient June poll is Ms. Haley who added four points to her support total.

U.S. Senate


Reports from Florida suggest that former US Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) is taking steps to form a US Senate campaign with the goal of challenging incumbent Republican Rick Scott. Ms. Mucarsel-Powell was elected to South Florida’s 26th District in 2018 but lost her 2020 re-election to current incumbent Carlos Gimenez (R-Miami). Democrats have long been searching for a candidate to challenge Sen. Scott. Though she may enter the race and have a clear path to the party nomination, Sen. Scott remains the strong favorite for re-election.


Former seven-term Congressman Mike Rogers, who served in the House from 2001 to the beginning of 2015 and rose to chair the House Intelligence Committee before voluntarily retiring, is apparently moving closer to announcing a US Senate campaign. Simultaneously, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R) says he is “99% sure” that he will become a Senate candidate.

Adding fuel to this fire, the newly released Emerson College survey (8/1-2; 477 MI likely Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) stakes Mr. Rogers to at least a tepid lead over the rest of the hypothetical GOP Senate field. According to the Emerson results, Mr. Rogers would hold a 12-9-6% edge over former Rep. Peter Meijer, an unannounced candidate, and state Board of Education member Nikki Snyder.  The undecided/other candidate response, however, totals 68%. Mr. Craig’s name was not included on the poll questionnaire.

US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing), who represents the same district as Mr. Rogers, is the leading Democratic candidate. Incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is retiring after serving what will be four full terms.

According to the Emerson data, she posts 34% preference with no other Democratic primary candidate even reaching 10%. In hypothetical ballot tests with the potential Republican nominees, Rep. Slotkin leads in all pairings by similar margins. The closest to her is ex-Rep. Rogers who trails 44-38%. The overall sample finds President Biden and ex-President Trump tied at 44% apiece.


As predicted some time ago, former US Ambassador to Iceland and dermatologist Jeff Gunter officially announced his US Senate candidacy as did Air Force veteran Tony Grady, who was the flight operations director for the Reno Air Aces. Both enter the Nevada Republican Senate primary and will face Afghan War veteran and 2022 Senate candidate Sam Brown. The eventual GOP nominee will then square off with Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) in a race that could easily move into the top tier of ’24 US Senate races.

U.S. House of Representatives


Earlier this week, former state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D), who lost to freshman Rep. John Durate (R-Modesto) by 564 votes after being favored to win the race at the campaign’s onset, formally announced that he will return for a re-match. Earlier, Mr. Gray had filed a federal exploratory committee, which is now converted into a regular election committee.

The race is more than a one-on-one re-match. Another announced candidate, financial advisor Phil Arballo (D), also ran in 2022. In the June jungle primary of that year, Rep. Duarte finished first (34%) followed by Messrs. Gray (31%) and Arballo (17%).

The general election is likely to again end in a close finish in a 13th District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+7. It would also not be surprising to see another identical jungle primary finish, featuring a Duarte, Gray, Arballo order as the final result. Expect this contest to be one of the top national races that will be a major factor in determining which party holds the majority in the next Congress.


Former two-term state Senator and ex-Suffolk County legislator and local official Jim Gaughran (D) announced that he will challenge freshman Rep. Nick LaLota* (R-Suffolk County) next year. Mr. Gaughran’s state Senate career was cut short through an unfavorable redistricting map that gave him no winnable place to seek re-election.

In 2018, Mr. Gaughran defeated a Republican incumbent, and then held the seat in a close election two years later. After sitting out the 2022 election, he returns to launch his run for the US House. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+5.


Former state Senator and Representative Denyc Boles (R) announced that she will enter the 2024 race to oppose freshman Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Tigard). The new 6th CD, the congressional district that Oregon was awarded in the 2020 national reapportionment, has proven itself as a politically marginal district.

Rep. Salinas defeated Republican Mike Erickson by a closer than expected 50-48% win last November in a district that President Biden would have taken 55-42%. In another close race, Republican gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan carried the seat 46-44% over the statewide winner and current Governor, Tina Kotek (D). Mr. Erickson is reported to be preparing to announce his own 2024 candidacy. Expect this district to become a Republican conversion opportunity despite its Democratic leaning.


Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos (D), the leading contender in the field of a dozen Democratic candidates vying to succeed resigned Rep. David Cicilline (D) in the September 5th special Democratic primary, is still not qualified for the ballot. Her required petition signatures, necessary for becoming an active candidate, have not yet been officially approved.

For the second time, the Rhode Island Board of Elections members have reversed themselves. Originally, they ruled that the signatures would be investigated at the state level. Then, the members said the local officials were competent to handle the verification process. On Friday, the BOE members again changed their collective mind, and now say they will formally investigate the signatures to confirm that the Matos petition slate is wholly legitimate.

Should Ms. Matos ultimately be disqualified, the Democratic primary would become a wide open political shootout. The eventual nominee will be a lock to win the special general election on November 7th, and then serve the balance of the current term.



Public Policy Polling tested the Kentucky electorate for Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) re-election campaign. The just completed survey (8/9-10; 737 KY registered voters) finds Gov. Beshear leading Attorney General Daniel Cameron, 49-41%. With the Governor’s job approval rating of 58:39% favorable to unfavorable, Mr. Beshear must be rated a strong favorite for re-election in November.

Mississippi Primary Results

The Mississippi primary election for the state’s off-year cycle was held on Tuesday night. Unsurprisingly, Gov. Tate Reeves easily won the Republican nomination over two opponents with 75% of the vote. Democratic Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley was unopposed for his party’s nomination. Therefore, these two men will advance into the November 7th general election. The closest election was for Lt. Governor where incumbent Delbert Hosemann slipped past state Sen. Chris McDaniel to win re-nomination with a nine percentage point advantage.


No Labels Party

The No Labels Party, attempting to qualify for the ballot in all 50 states, has attained ballot access in two more domains. Nevada and South Dakota are now No Labels states, joining Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon. While the number of qualified states is small in relation to the whole country, three of their six are key swing states that could well affect the outcome of next year’s presidential campaign.

Arizona and Nevada are two of the five states where flipping to the Republican nominee could change the national outcome. Alaska, with its Ranked Choice Voting system could see a Democratic conversion if the Republican nominee is held under 50%. The addition of a No Labels candidate could make this scenario reality. In the Alaska special congressional election, Republican candidates cumulatively drew 60% of the vote; yet, when RCV went into effect because no one reached 50%, a Democratic candidate won the election. 

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