The Michigan Information and Research Service and the Target-Insyght polling firm, frequent Wolverine State pollsters, tested controversial freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) in a hypothetical Democratic primary. According to the MIRS/Target results, the Congresswoman is standing strong. Paired against Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who she beat by only one percentage point in the regular 2018 Democratic primary, Rep. Tlaib scores a 56-19% lead among likely Democratic voters from what is one of the safest districts for her party in the entire country.
Now that Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township) has officially left the Republican Party, the 3rd District congressional nomination is now up for grabs. Yesterday, businessman Joel Langlois, owner of the DeltaPlex arena in Grand Rapids, announced he is joining the crowded GOP congressional field.
Already in the race are state Reps. Jim Lower (R-Greenville) and Lynn Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids), along with retail chain store owner Peter Meijer, and Sand Lake Village president Tom Norton. Four Democrats, including former Obama White House aide Nick Colvin, are announced candidates. Rep. Amash may return to the race on the Independent line or could run for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination.
As we covered last week, the US Supreme Court released their rulings on the Maryland and North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases and whether asking about a person’s citizenship status can be placed on the 2020 census questionnaire.
On the redistricting question, the high court definitively ruled that the partisan gerrymandering question will not be adjudicated by the federal court system. Looking practically at the live cases the SCOTUS’ action affects, the redistricting battles in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin are essentially dead and their current congressional district boundaries will remain in place through the last election of this decade, in 2020.
With Democrats controlling the North Carolina state Supreme Court, it may be possible that the Tarheel State lines are redrawn because of partisan gerrymandering but whether a new case can get to them in time to affect 2020 remains questionable. Unlike the US Supreme Court, the North Carolina high panel does not have the authority to bring a case up before the lower courts rule.
The citizenship question is a bit more convoluted. The court ruled that the government has the right to add this question to the census, but they are sending this particular case back to the Department of Commerce because of potential motivational evidence relating to placing the citizenship query on the questionnaire.
Turning to the census ruling, though the SCOTUS made clear the government does have the right to ask the question, the result of returning it to the Commerce Department likely means the citizenship question will not be on the census questionnaire. Though the Trump Administration may try to stretch the calendar, it is probable that Commerce will not be able to comply with the high court’s directive before the 2020 census must be fielded.
State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids) announced yesterday that she is joining the Republican primary to challenge Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township), who is the only member of the GOP conference to call for President Trump’s impeachment. Also in the race is state Rep. Jim Lower (R-Greenville) and ex-Sand Lake Village President Tom Norton. Without a run-off under Michigan election law, the more candidates opposing Amash, the easier it will be for the incumbent to win with just a base plurality vote.
It’s unclear whether Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township/Grand Rapids) will run for re-election after calling for President Trump’s impeachment, but several individuals in both parties have already declared their candidacies against him.
We already know that state Rep. James Lower (R-Greenville) and local official and Iraq War veteran Tom Norton are challenging Mr. Amash in the Republican primary. Yesterday, attorney Nick Colvin declared for the Democratic nomination joining two other Democrats in a district that is quickly becoming a hotbed of political activity. Speculation continues to grow that Rep. Amash may jettison the House to run for the Libertarian presidential nomination.
The Michigan Information & Research Service published a new congressional poll from the Practical Political Consultants firm (6/5-9; 335 MI-3 likely Republican primary voters) testing Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township/Grand Rapids) conducted after his call for President Trump to be impeached. The results find the Congressman now trailing badly, which will likely enhance calls for him to run for the Libertarian presidential nomination. According to this latest data, state Rep. James Lower (R-Greenville), an announced congressional candidate, would lead Mr. Amash by a whopping 49-33% among the likely primary voters.
The Republican leadership had been attempting to recruit 2018 US Senate nominee John James to again run for the Senate, this time against first-term incumbent Gary Peters (D). Last November, Mr. James, a manufacturing company owner and retired US Army Ranger, held Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) to a 52-46% victory, much closer than experts had predicted.
Additionally, Mr. James raised over $12 million for his race, an impressive number since he received very little outside support. Yesterday, Mr. James announced that he will return for the 2020 Senate race, and he will likely be the Republicans’ top challenger.
Early polling showed James matching up well with Sen. Peters, surging into a virtual tie with the incumbent, whose approval ratings are less than stellar: 33:23% favorable to unfavorable, with 43% saying that have not heard of Mr. Peters according to the first quarter Morning Consult national approval ratings. Morning Consult ranks him 99th of the 100 Senators in favorability, ahead of only New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D).
At the end of last week, the US Supreme Court granted the Republicans’ motion to stay redistricting orders in Michigan and Ohio that would have forced the legislature to re-draw the respective states’ congressional maps before the 2020 election. The move could be a prelude to three important high court rulings scheduled for release at some point in June: those on the Maryland and North Carolina redistricting cases, and the constitutionality of including a citizenship question on the upcoming census questionnaire.
President Trump brandishing Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township/Grand Rapids) a “loser” after the latter man became the first Republican to call for the former’s impeachment upon reading the Mueller Report, is going to be a factor in a new primary challenge set for announcement this morning. State Rep. Jim Lower (R-Greenville) will make his congressional declaration today and release a survey that gives numerical support to the claim that Rep. Amash will be vulnerable in a Republican primary.
Mr. Amash, who repeatedly has bucked House Republican leadership during his nine years of congressional service, faced serious opposition in 2014 but the Congressman defeated challenger Brian Ellis, 57-43%. He was re-elected 54-43% in the 2018 general election against activist Cathy Albro (D) who spent less than $160,000 on her campaign.
Five-term Michigan Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township/Grand Rapids) has been a thorn in the side of his party’s leadership because of his intransigence over most issue positions that leads him to vote against virtually every bill.
Now, he will have a Republican primary challenger, possibly his first of any substance since his 2014 campaign. Yesterday, Iraq War veteran Tom Norton announced that he will oppose Rep. Amash for the GOP nomination. Assuming Norton can raise some early money to become credible, mounting a primary challenge here could catch some fire since the Congressman has alienated many in his own party.
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