One of the surprise results last November was veteran Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin) winning re-election with only a 51-47% victory margin against under-funded opponent, Michael Siegel. Soon after the election, Mr. Siegel announced that he would seek a re-match, but now it looks like he will have to fight for the Democratic nomination. Yesterday, Dell Medical School assistant professor Pritesh Gandhi announced that he, too, will run to challenge Rep. McCaul.
The 10th typically performs as a safe Republican seat, but with the Austin area growing and becoming even more liberal, the trends in this CD are beginning to reflect the evolving population. Therefore, closer political campaigns can be expected.
Reports in the New York Post have drawn the conclusion that New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres (D) has made the decision to challenge veteran Rep. Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) in next year’s Democratic primary. Counting his time in the state legislature, Rep. Serrano has represented his portion of the Bronx for what will be 46 years come the next election. He was originally elected to Congress in 1990 and has had little in the way of challenges ever since.
For his part, Councilman Torres is not denying the Post story, but says he will make his plans clear at a later date.
As we reported yesterday, Emerson College conducted a survey of Wisconsin voters, and now they have released their general election pairings. The Democratic primary results projected Sen. Bernie Sanders to be holding a 39-24% advantage over former Vice President Joe Biden.
The general election sample (3/15-17; 775 WI likely voters) pits President Trump individually against the Democratic field. Though the President trails in virtually all settings, he is within the polling margin of error against everyone but Mr. Biden.
When paired with the former Vice President, Mr. Trump trails 51-44%. Sen. Sanders leads him by just two percentage points, 48-46%. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is up by a larger 52-48%, while Beto O’Rourke is staked to a 51-49% edge. The President breaks even with both Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke just eclipsed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ record one-day post-announcement fundraising haul. Back in February, Sen. Sanders raised $5.9 million in the 24-hour period after he became an official candidate. Late last week, Mr. O’Rourke officially announced his candidacy and brought in $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his new campaign.
It appears evident that the former Congressman will be able to continue the torrid fundraising pace he engendered in his unsuccessful US Senate race where he attracted over $80 million in contributions for his Lone Star State contest.
Two Democratic Congressmen are reportedly readying to enter their respective state’s US Senate races.
After his ex-wife, Kate Gallego, was elected Phoenix Mayor last week, Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) is reportedly prepping his political operation for a Senate announcement in early April. The timing allows Mayor-Elect Gallego to conduct her inauguration festivities without the distraction of the Senate announcement, and the timing of beginning the Congressman’s statewide campaign at the start of a new finance period is optimum. The first quarter filing deadline is March 31st.
In Texas, the Democrats may be on the cusp of successfully recruiting their second choice to challenge Sen. John Cornyn (R). The Texas Monthly magazine is reporting that Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) has privately made the decision to run statewide next year. The party leaders’ first choice was former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso), but he of course entered the presidential contest.
New York ex-Rep. Claudia Tenney (R), who lost her seat in November after one term, says she is looking at all future political options including attempting to force a re-match with freshman Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica). The 2018 campaign was bitter and ended in a close 50.0-48.3% Brindisi victory.
Ms. Tenney made several controversial comments during her one term in the House that hurt her favorability index. NY-22 is now the strongest Trump seat that a Democrat holds. The President carried the seat 55-39% suggesting that Ms. Tenney needs to strengthen her appeal among Republicans. Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell has already announced his candidacy, so if Ms. Tenney decides to make a return appearance, she will likely have GOP primary opposition.
Ever since Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Kailua) announced for President, things have not gone well for her at home. Soon after her presidential move, state Sen. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo) announced for her congressional seat. Should Ms. Gabbard not fare well in the presidential race she will now face a serious re-nomination challenge in the Democratic primary.
On Friday, Democratic former Governor Ben Cayetano announced his endorsement of Sen. Kahele. Previously, two other Democratic ex-Governors, Neil Abercrombie and John Waihee, also endorsed the challenger. Rep. Gabbard has consistently absorbed attacks from both the left and right. She also created major controversy when she met with Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad.
Emerson College conducted a survey of the Wisconsin Democratic electorate, the first reported study since Beto O’Rourke joined the field of candidates.
According to the small-sample poll (3/15-17; 324 WI likely Democratic primary voters) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-VT) opens with a large lead over former Vice President Joe Biden and the rest of the field. Here, Sen. Sanders captures 39% of the Democratic vote as compared to only 24% for Mr. Biden. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren may have hit her highest number of any poll so far in the early cycle. She posted 14% for third place. Mr. O’Rourke was next with 6%. Neighboring Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) recorded a disappointing 4%.
In 2016, Sen. Sanders scored a 57-43% win over Hillary Clinton, making Wisconsin one of his strongest states. The 2020 Badger State primary is scheduled for April 7th.
WPA Intelligence conducted a new poll of Alabama Republicans (3/10-12; 501 AL Republican primary voters) to test how former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who lost the 2017 special election to Sen. Doug Jones (D), would fare against Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville). Mr. Moore defeated Rep. Brooks and eight other candidates including appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) for the special GOP Senate nomination.
According to the WPA results, Mr. Brooks would cruise to the Senate nomination in a one-on-one battle with former Justice Moore. The numbers would break 52-32% in Brooks’ favor. At this point, Mr. Brooks is saying he does not intend to run for the Senate. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) is in the race, but WPA numbers featuring him were not released. Mr. Moore says he is considering making another run even though his 2017 attempt ended in political disaster.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), serving his second and final term as the state’s chief executive, is in Iowa testing the presidential waters. Still, questions abound, however, as to whether he might turn away from his national ambition and instead challenge Sen. Steve Daines (R) next year.
Gov. Bullock has previously indicated his disinclination toward challenging the first-term Republican Senator, but he always seemed to leave the door to such a possibility open a crack. Yesterday, he closed off his Senate option, telling the news media that he has “ruled out” running against Sen. Daines next year. He is still a potential presidential candidate and appears leaning toward entering the national Democratic campaign.
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