Wealthy businessman and Vice Chairman of the Mississippi Lottery Board Gerard Gilbert said yesterday that he is considering challenging Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in next year’s Republican primary. So far, this race has been quiet after the Senator, appointed to serve the remainder of Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R) final term in office after his resignation for health reasons, defeated former US Agriculture Secretary and ex-Mississippi Congressman Mike Espy (D) in a 54-46% special election victory last November.
Mega GOP donor Foster Friess, who finished second in the 2018 open Wyoming Governor’s primary losing 33-26% to now-Gov. Mark Gordon (R), is quoted as saying he is considering entering the open US Senate race now that incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (R) is retiring. All political eyes, however, are still on at-large Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson/Jackson) to see if she will announce for the Senate.
Both Monmouth University and Harris X (polling for the Hill Newspaper) conducted national Democratic presidential primary polls during the same period and arrived at virtually identical results.
Monmouth’s small sample poll (5/16-20; 334 US registered voters likely to vote in their respective Democratic primary) found former Vice President Joe Biden leading Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) by a 33-15% margin with Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mayor Pete Buttigieg, ex-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) following with 11, 10, 6, 4, and 3%, respectively.
Harris X (5/17-18; 448 US registered voters likely to vote in their respective Democratic primary) finds Biden’s advantage over Sanders to be an almost identical 33-14%. They see a different second tier, however. Harris finds their order as Warren, Buttigieg, Harris, and O’Rourke at 8, 6, 6, and 5%.
As reported yesterday, Florida Atlantic University polled the Sunshine State Democratic electorate (5/16-19; 1,007 FL registered voters; 403 likely FL Democratic primary voters) for the impending March 17th Democratic presidential primary. An unnoticed statistic in that poll showed that Miramar (FL) Mayor Wayne Messam is at 0% even in his own state.
But, he is not alone. Also, at 0% in this poll are Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Colorado former Gov. John Hickenlooper, author Marianne Williamson, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA).
It is also clear that Mayor Messam has not achieved the early media boost like his mayoral colleague, Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, IN. Mr. Messam is quick to remind all that South Bend is smaller than Miramar when questioned about his qualifications to be President.
Former state Senator and 2018 Lt. Governor nominee Rita Hart (D) is fast becoming a consensus 2nd District Democratic candidate to replace retiring Rep. David Loebsack (D-Iowa City). In the past two days, state Sen. Zach Wahls (D-Coralville), who was himself considering the congressional race, publicly endorsed Ms. Hart, as did state Rep. Wes Breckinridge (D-Newton). The latter man was also said to be contemplating becoming a congressional candidate.
Since President Trump carried this usually reliable Democratic congressional district, 49-45% in 2016, this open seat could become competitive particularly in a year with Mr. Trump returning to the ballot. So far, however, only Osceola Mayor Thomas Kedley has announced for the Republican nomination, but others are expected to join what should be a large candidate field.
Former US Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) yesterday said he would decide this summer whether to seek a re-match with freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Miami), the woman who unseated him 51-49% in the November election. The statement suggests that the former Congressman may be moving closer to again running in a federal race. Previous reports suggested he was making plans to run for Mayor of Miami-Dade County.
In contrast to several other defeated Republican former Congressmen, ex-Rep. Randy Hultgren says it is “unlikely” that he will run again in 2020 in order to re-claim his former northern Illinois district. In November, Mr. Hultgren lost his bid for a fifth term to current freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville), 52-48%.
At this point, state Senator and frequent federal candidate Jim Oberweis (R-North Aurora) has announced his congressional candidacy along with three minor candidates. In the background, however, is state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris), who appears to be taking steps toward constructing a congressional campaign apparatus. In what is usually a reliable seat for the GOP, we can again expect a highly competitive campaign to ensue.
Florida Atlantic University polled the Sunshine State Democratic electorate (5/16-19; 1,007 FL registered voters; 403 likely FL Democratic primary voters) and finds former Vice President Joe Biden again establishing a solid advantage over the rest of the candidate field. Here, he leads Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), 39-12-12%, with South Bend (IN) Mayor Pete Buttigieg and California Sen. Kamala Harris trailing with 9 and 7%, respectively. Florida, with 219 first ballot votes, is the fourth largest voting entity in the Democratic nomination process. The state’s electorate, along with those in Arizona and Illinois, will vote on March 17th.
Pennsylvania state Rep. Fred Keller (R-Mifflinburg) easily defeated Democrat Marc Friedenberg last night in the battle to succeed resigned-Rep. Tom Marino (R-Williamsport). Mr. Keller’s victory margin was 68-32%, a stronger performance than both President Trump and Rep. Marino enjoyed in their most recent elections in the district. More than 130,000 people voted in the special election, which was a strong number considering the outcome never seemed in doubt. Mr. Keller holding this seat for the GOP means the House party division is now 235 Democrats; 198 Republicans; and 2 vacancies that will both be filled on September 10th (NC-3; NC-9).
Attorney General Andy Beshear won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination last night on the strength of his performance in the Louisville area and western Kentucky, which off-set his being blown out in the eastern part of the state. Mr. Beshear defeated state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook), and former state Auditor Adam Edelen, 38-32-28%.
Gov. Matt Bevin (R), who has been suffering from poor job approval ratings, won re-nomination with just over 52% of the vote, a very weak performance within his own party base. Like AG Beshear, Gov. Bevin was anemic in the eastern part of the state. Therefore, the region east of Frankfort and Lexington should be an interesting one since neither general election nominee performed well there.
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