A key 2020 congressional race will occur in the Palmetto State’s 1st District. There, freshman Democrat Joe Cunningham (D-Charleston) will face stiff competition in his first re-election battle. The Club for Growth sponsored a WPA Intelligence poll (10/15-16; 400 SC-1 likely Republican primary voters) that projects state Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Daniel Island), who starts out as the most well-known of the candidates, leading the group with 23%. Following with 8% apiece are Beaufort County Councilman Mike Covert and Bikers for Trump founder Chris Cox. Mount Pleasant Town Councilwoman Kathy Landing registers 5% support.
Generally, the thought that ex-Senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) would attempt to again run for his former Alabama Senate seat has been met with negative response. One prominent person who would support the idea, however, is the state’s senior Senator, Richard Shelby (R). Yesterday, Mr. Shelby released a statement saying that he would endorse Mr. Sessions if the latter man decides to re-enter the political fray.
The Louisiana Governor’s run-off election featuring incumbent John Bel Edwards (D) and Baton Rouge developer Eddie Rispone (R) will be decided shortly, on November 16th. Two polls were just released, one from Baton Rouge-based JMC Analytics (10/24-26; 600 LA likely voters) and the other from Edgewater Research (10/28; 722 LA likely voters). Both find the exact same result: Edwards leading Rispone, 50-47%. This tells us that the candidates will enter the stretch drive in toss-up mode.
Suffolk College and YouGov/The Economist released national Democratic primary polls yesterday, and the pair generally compliments each other. Suffolk (10/23-26; 399 US likely Democratic primary voters) finds former Vice President Joe Biden leading Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, 27-17-13% with Mayor Pete Buttigieg following at 10% preference. No one else even reaches 5%, though Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) posted 4%, which could help her secure a debate podium in November and December.
YouGov, with a more substantial cell sample (10/27-29; 630 US likely Democratic primary voters), finds Biden leading Warren and Sanders, 27-23-14%. Here, Buttigieg scores 8% support, with Sen. Kamala Harris and ex-Rep. Beto O’Rourke each logging 4 percent. The pattern, which finds Mr. Biden holding an underwhelming edge, is a familiar one.
Reports coming from the Yellowhammer State suggest once more that former Attorney General and US Senator Jeff Sessions (R) is again considering entering the Senate campaign. Mr. Sessions is neither confirming nor denying his interest in running. Both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) do not seem to favor a Sessions re-entry. The President is openly unfavorable while Sen. McConnell says he believes the current GOP field is capable of unseating Democratic Sen. Doug Jones.
Downstate Illinois Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville), who announced his retirement from the House in late August, now says he may change his mind and seek to remain in Congress. The retirement of Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) would allow Mr. Shimkus to assume the ranking minority position on the Energy & Commerce Committee. The slot would make him the favorite to become chairman of the full panel should the Republicans regain control of the House next year. Mr. Shimkus lost the internal Steering Committee election to head the committee in the last Congress. Should he change his mind about retiring, Rep. Shimkus would have little trouble winning re-election.
At a pro-shale development rally in western Pennsylvania last week, President Trump, from the podium, encouraged Army veteran and author Sean Parnell to run for Congress. Now, Mr. Parnell has obliged in officially announcing his congressional candidacy. A Parnell for Congress campaign would have to defeat consultant Brian Thomsen and businessman Scott Timko in the Republican primary, and then challenge two-term Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) in the general election. The President carried this district in 2016 by one percentage point and will have to win here again to meet his statewide vote goals.
The new CNN/University of New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary survey (10/21-27; 574 likely Democratic primary voters) finds Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) now taking the lead with former Vice President Joe Biden dropping to third position. The result is not altogether surprising considering Sanders won the 2016 New Hampshire primary with 60% of the vote against Hillary Clinton.
The ballot test projects Sanders to be leading 21-18-15-10-5-5-5-3-3% over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), businessman Andrew Yang, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and billionaire Tom Steyer.
Emerson College conducted a small sample poll in Arizona, a state with 67 first ballot Democratic National Convention delegates. According to their study results (10/25-28; 339 AZ likely Democratic primary voters), a tight three-way race is forming with a fourth candidate moving into double digits.
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the field with 28%, while both Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) post 21% support figures. The new double-digit contender is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who records 12% preference.
Eleven-term Oregon Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released a statement late yesterday saying that he will not seek re-election next year to the position he originally won in 1998. Mr. Walden is the ranking Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and was chairman when Republicans held the majority. He is also a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman.
The 2nd District occupies 19 eastern Oregon counties and part of one other. It is the lone safe Republican seat in the state (Trump ’16: 57-37; Romney ’12: 57-41%). There are now 30 open seats for the next House election, 21 of which come from the Republican column.
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