Already, the North Carolina Senate race, expected to be one of the nation’s top statewide contests, has drawn its share of political polling. All the results show a close race, which is predicted in the state that has defeated more incumbent Senators than any other. Yesterday’s Survey USA poll falls in line with the other polling firms that project a tight contest.
According to the S-USA data (4/23-26; 580 NC likely general election voters), former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) has a slight 41-39% edge over first-term Republican Sen. Thom Tillis. We can expect a plethora of polling here in the coming months for this race and the presidential contest that figures to be equally close.
State Sen. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull/Sioux County) released his American Viewpoint survey (4/22-23; 400 IA-4 likely Republican primary voters) that gives incumbent Rep. Steve King (R-Kiron) a slight 41-34% edge in their Republican primary congressional battle that will be decided on June 2nd. Three other candidates are on the primary ballot, but they together split only 8% of the stated preference.
While Sen. Feenstra trails, he has the polling momentum and the financial support. In American Viewpoint’s late January poll, Rep. King led 53-22%, making the current late April numbers a net 24-point gain for the challenger. Among people who have an opinion of both candidates, Feenstra leads 53-29%. On the money front, Sen. Feenstra had a cash-on-hand advantage at the end of March of $415,651 to Rep. King’s $26,773. For the campaign, Sen. Feenstra has raised over $844,000, as compared to Rep. King’s $301,000.
Five-term Michigan Rep. Justin Amash (L-Cascade Township/Grand Rapids) made three announcements, yesterday.
First, he informed the Clerk of the House that he will now be listed as an official member of the Libertarian Party instead of an Independent and becomes the party’s first member to hold a US House seat. Second, he has filed a presidential exploratory committee to determine his chances of obtaining the Libertarian Party presidential nomination. Third, Mr. Amash acknowledged that he would not be seeking re-election to the House because he expects to be a presidential candidate, meaning Michigan’s 3rd District becomes the 43rd current open seat.
Citing the lack of needing the New York presidential primary to nominate former Vice President Joe Biden, the New York State Board of Elections has canceled the presidential primary from the June 23rd New York state primary ballot. Presumably, all of the Empire State’s delegates will be awarded to Mr. Biden. This is a fairly common practice in both parties when a nomination is unofficially secured, or an incumbent is seeking re-election.
At least one person isn’t happy with the decision, however. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang says he plans to file a lawsuit to overturn the Board’s decision stating that New York Democratic voters should have the right to participate in the nomination process.
While the Texas judiciary is in the middle of deciding lawsuits attempting to expand absentee balloting for the runoff and general elections, a new complaint was just filed that challenges the state’s current practice of not requiring a reason for voting absentee of people over age 65, but forcing anyone under that age threshold to provide a reason for not appearing in person. The lawsuit states that the practice is unconstitutional because it doesn’t treat all segments of the voting population equally.
Healthcare company executive Kate Schroder defeated engineer and Air Force Reserve officer Nikki Foster, 68-32%, in the Cincinnati anchored 1st Congressional District primary election last night. Ms. Schroder now advances into the general against veteran Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) who was first elected in 1994 but lost the seat in 2008. He came back in the 2010 election and again looks to face a competitive challenge this year. In 2018, Mr. Chabot defeated Hamilton Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, 51-47%.
Four-term Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) easily defeated former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official Morgan Harper in last night’s Democratic primary. Mr. Harper raised more than $800,000 for his campaign and was clearly a serious candidate. But, Ms. Beatty, who was first elected to the House in 2012, was able to win with a substantial 68-32% victory margin. She will have little trouble in the general election and is a lock to win another term in November now that her re-nomination is secured.
In an election that was a foregone conclusion after Kweisi Mfume won the special Democratic primary on February 4th, the former Congressman completed his political comeback with a 73-27% win over sacrificial Republican Kim Klacik last night. Mr. Mfume left the House in 1996 to assume the Presidency of the NAACP. In 2006, he returned to elective politics with an unsuccessful run for Senate.
The former Congressman will now again be sworn into the House to serve the balance of the current term and appear on the ballot in the delayed June 2nd primary and likely November for the full term. Mr. Mfume replaces the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) who passed away in October.
Early this week, Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin (D) informed the state legislature that the body must pass any bill changing the election procedure as it relates to conducting the September 1st primary election by mail no later than June 2nd. Mr. Galvin is under statutory authority to begin printing ballots and cannot wait any longer than this point in June. It is likely the state will adopt the all-mail format for the upcoming primary, but the members of the General Court will have to act quickly if the change is to be made.
In addition to filing a lawsuit asking the judiciary to mandate ballot harvesting in the state, a new petition has been filed asking a judge to allow any mailed ballot postmarked on election day in either the primary or general election to be accepted and counted. Currently, county election authorities must receive absentee ballots no later than election day. The rulings will have to come quickly since the Pennsylvania primary is now June 2nd and mail voted has been greatly expanded.
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