A newly released Atlantic Media & Research survey conducted earlier in January (for Courageous Conservatives PAC; 1/5-11; 504 TX registered voters) finds Sen. John Cornyn (R) posting healthy re-election numbers when tested against former US Representative and 2018 US Senate nominee Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso), though the sample appears to have a right-of-center skew.
According to the results, Sen. Cornyn would lead Mr. O’Rourke, 50-37%, which seems a bit of a stretch considering the latter man’s close finish with Sen. Ted Cruz (R) last November. Additionally, O’Rourke’s favorability numbers (28:44%) revealing an upside-down ratio is not consistent with other post-election polling.
With the most liberal Democratic faction already saying they want to force 2020 primary challenges against veteran party office holders, at least one more looks to be a certainty. Nurse Cori Bush, who fell to Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) by a 57-37% count last August, says that she will run again in 2020. Ms. Bush spent just under $150,000 for her primary battle against Rep. Clay, but her chances of attracting greater resources for the next campaign appear enhanced.
Lacy Clay is serving his 10th congressional term after spending 18 years in the Missouri legislature. He succeeded his father, Rep. Bill Clay (D), in the US House. The senior Mr. Clay was elected to 16 terms. Combined, the St. Louis city district has been represented by a member of the Clay family for just over 50 consecutive years.
In a further effort to recruit former gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams into the race to challenge Sen. David Perdue (R) next year, the party brass, at the behest of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), invited her to present the national Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union Address. Ms. Abrams continues to maintain that she will make a decision about whether to undertake a Senate campaign sometime in March.
The prospective presidential candidate field is beginning to contract. While we reported yesterday that former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said he will not challenge President Trump for re-nomination, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti simultaneously declared that he will not enter the Democratic presidential foray. It is still likely we will see Democratic candidates numbering well into double-digits, but the actual number of active candidates may end up being closer to 18-20 rather than 23-25.
It’s already been an active political year in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Several candidates have begun issuing statements about challenging freshman Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta), including defeated Rep. Karen Handel (R-Roswell). Speculation suggests that we will also see another tight campaign in the adjacent 7th District.
In November, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville) and former state Senate committee staff director Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) battled to the closest vote spread in the country, a 419-ballot difference tipped in the Congressman’s favor. So far, 2018 candidate Davide Kim and Democratic activist and attorney Marqus Cole have come forward to publicly express interest in running, and now the Atlanta Journal Constitution issued a story saying that Ms. Bourdeaux is eyeing a political comeback. It is evident that in the coming election, Rep. Woodall will take his 2020 challenger more seriously than he did in the early part of the previous election cycle.
Salt Lake County Councilor Jenny Wilson (D) challenged Sen. Mitt Romney (R) for the Utah’s open US Senate seat last November, and fell to him, 31-63%. But, she now has a new political position, nonetheless. The Salt Lake County Democratic leadership has appointed her as the local Mayor to replace Ben McAdams (D), who was elected to Congress. Because the Democrats controlled the position, state succession law allows the party leaders to name a replacement if a vacancy occurs. Mayor Wilson will be able to run for a full term as Salt Lake County’s chief executive in 2020.
To no one’s surprise, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R) has filed a gubernatorial exploratory committee to gauge his victory chances in challenging Gov. Roy Cooper (D). It has always been expected that Mr. Forest would run for the state’s top office.
The question to be answered, however, is whether former Gov. Pat McCrory (R), the man Mr. Cooper unseated in a razor-thin 2016 election, will return for a re-match. Mr. McCrory said he will not become a candidate in the 9th Congressional District when that still undecided political situation eventually evolves into a special election, but he did say that running again for Governor, or for US Senate in 2022 if Sen. Richard Burr (R) declines to seek a fourth term, remain distinct possibilities.
Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), now a CBS News commentator, publicly confirmed that he will not be running for President next year. Speculation previously occurred that he was testing the waters toward challenging President Trump for the GOP nomination.
Now media speculation is centering around Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as a possible Republican opponent to the President. The latest tangent suggests that his second gubernatorial inaugural address, where he calls for more conciliatory politics, actually lays the groundwork for a national campaign against the GOP incumbent.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, leading in all national polling for both the Democratic nomination and against President Trump, says he is getting closer to making a decision about running but will still ultimately decide whether to launch a new national campaign in the very near future.
Over the weekend, state Sen. Erica Smith (D-Beaufort) announced that she will enter the Democratic US Senate primary in hopes of winning the opportunity of challenging Sen. Thom Tillis (R). Already in the race is Mecklenburg County Commissioner at-large Trevor Fuller (D). State Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte) is also expected to soon enter. So far, however, no statewide official has indicated a preference to enter the Senate race. The North Carolina contest is viewed as highly competitive heading into 2020.
Any doubt that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) would seek a third term has now been dispelled. Yesterday, Sen. Shaheen announced that she will stand for re-election in 2020. Because New Hampshire is the quintessential swing state, the race must be viewed as competitive even though no GOP competitor has yet come forward to declare a challenge.
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