California: New Senate Entry: Wealthy former Google executive Lexi Reese (D), who says she will spend some of her own fortune on the open statewide US Senate race, announced that she will enter the California March 5th all-party primary for the right to succeed retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D).
While her path to claim one of the two qualifying positions necessary for advancing into the general election is narrow since she faces sitting US Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Katie Porter (D-Irvine), and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), the chances of her taking enough Democratic votes to potentially allow a Republican to sneak past the Democratic field and clinch a general election ballot slot becomes more plausible. The California Senate race will be one of the main attractions on Super Tuesday.
Montana: Another Major Endorsement for Sheehy: On the heels of retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy announcing his Senatorial campaign and receiving the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsement, another has come his way. Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) announced his public support for Mr. Sheehy yesterday.
It is clear the Republican political establishment is getting solidly behind Mr. Sheehy in an attempt to deny Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), who soon will announce his own Senate candidacy, the nomination. Rep. Rosendale begins with a large polling lead, so it will be worth watching to see if the Montana Republican establishment has enough pull to thwart a strong Rosendale bid. The eventual party nominee then challenges three-term Sen. Jon Tester (D) in what should be considered a must-win contest for the GOP.
Nevada: Former Candidate Ready to Announce: Disabled Afghan War veteran Sam Brown lost the 2022 Senate Republican primary to former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, but raised over $4.4 million for his race, which caught the attention of the Nevada Republican leaders. Reports are surfacing that suggest Mr. Brown will return for the 2024 campaign and will announce his intentions next month. Should he enter the Republican primary, he will face former state Assemblyman and ex-Secretary of State nominee Jim Marchant.
The eventual Republican nominee will then challenge first-term Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) in what has the potential of becoming a top tier 2024 Senate race.
Louisiana: Dueling Polls: Two all-party jungle gubernatorial primary polls have been released brandishing very different conclusions. The Remington Research Group (6/22-25; 896 LA likely voters) released a survey this week that projected a close open contest. They found the lone Democratic candidate, former Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, who is now the officially endorsed party candidate, usurping all Republicans to capture the lead with 27%, two points ahead of Attorney General Jeff Landry. Former Louisiana Chamber of Commerce CEO and ex-gubernatorial chief of staff Stephen Waguespack placed a relatively close third with 16 percent.
WPA Intelligence released their earlier poll to counter the Remington data. In their survey (6/15-17; 500 LA registered voters; live interview & text) WPAi sees Mr. Landry (R) leading the candidate field with a 35% preference figure. Former Secretary Wilson secures the second general election runoff slot with 17%. In this poll, Mr. Waguespack (R) is a distant third with 6% support.
The Louisiana open Governor’s primary is scheduled for October 14th. Since it is likely that no candidate will receive majority support, the top two finishers, regardless of political party affiliation, will advance into the general election runoff, on the calendar for November 18th. Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who has already endorsed Mr. Wilson, is ineligible to seek a third term.
North Carolina: Budding Dem Primary on the Horizon: It has been presumed that Attorney General Josh Stein (D) would see little in the way of Democratic primary opposition in his bid to succeed term-limited Gov. Roy Cooper (D), but such may not ultimately be the case. Democratic state Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan made a public comment yesterday that clearly suggests he is seriously considering becoming a gubernatorial candidate.
Understanding that Mr. Stein was only re-elected Attorney General with just 50.1% of the vote in 2020, many in the Democratic Party may believe the party would fare better with a fresh face come the 2024 general election. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and former Congressman Mark Walker are the leading Republican candidates. This is a developing story.
Wisconsin Poll: DeSantis Pulls Within One of Trump: A new Marquette University Law School regular Wisconsin poll finds an unusual trend developing. In this survey (6/8-13; 913 WI registered voters; 419 self-identified Republicans; live interview), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has pulled to within one point of former President Donald Trump, 31-30% in terms of first choice preference, a margin not seen in any other state with the exception of the Governor’s home domain. Former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott are third and fourth with 6 and 5% support.
In a general election pairing with President Biden, Gov. DeSantis pulls to within the polling margin of error, trailing 47-45%. Ex-President Trump fares considerably worse. Mr. Biden would lead this match-up by a substantial 52-43% margin. It remains to be seen if the closeness of this poll is an anomaly, or the beginning of a new trend.
MD-6: Ex-Delegate Parrott to Return: Former state Delegate Neil Parrott (R), who twice lost to Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac), announced earlier in the week that he will return for a third congressional run. Rep. Trone has already declared for the state’s open Senate race, meaning the politically marginal western Maryland 6th Congressional District is also open. Post-redistricting, the 6th became more competitive, so Mr. Parrott’s 55-45% loss to Rep. Trone was an under-performance.
In 2024, however, the former congressional nominee will face at least four other Republicans including a fellow ex-Delegate, Brenda Thiam. Five Democrats have announced for the seat, including two sitting Montgomery County state Delegates, Joe Vogel and Lesley Lopez. In the general election, this seat could evolve into a toss-up race.
OR-5: 2022 Nominee Posting Big Dem Primary Lead: Freshman Oregon Republican Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Happy Valley) scored one of the biggest upset victories of the 2022 election cycle when she defeated Democratic nominee Jamie McLeod-Skinner (D) to capture the 5th District seat with a 51-49% margin. Ms. McLeod-Skinner had unseated then-US Rep. Kurt Schrader in the May Democratic primary.
In a politically marginal district that the FiveThirtyEight organization rates D+2, three credible individuals have already declared their candidacies, state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley), Oregon Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, and former congressional aide Kevin Easton. Ms. McLeod-Skinner confirms she is “seriously considering” running again, and now is releasing an early June poll that posts her to a big lead in a hypothetical Democratic primary among the four early contenders.
According to the GBAO Strategies’ poll (6/30-5/1; 400 OR-5 likely Democratic primary voters), Ms. McLeod-Skinner would lead Rep. Bynum, Ms. Peterson, and Mr. Easton, 50-9-5-4%. No numbers were released for how any of these Democratic candidates would pair with Rep. Chavez-DeRemer. In any event, we can expect another close general election race here in 2024.
UT-2: Trouble Brewing: A story is running in the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper that special Republican Party convention winner Celeste Maloy, legal counsel to resigning Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington), may not have met the legal requirements to become a candidate. During her time in Rep. Stewart’s DC office, she did not vote in Utah, thus was placed on the inactive voter list. She re-registered in Utah after the special election candidate filing deadline. During her time living in Virginia, she registered to vote and cast ballots in Old Dominion elections.
Republican Party officials say there is no requirement to be a qualified voter to compete in the special election, but state law appears to say something quite different. Some of the Republican candidates who failed to win the recent party convention may file a lawsuit to overturn the results.
At this point, it appears that two candidates, former state Rep. Becky Edwards and ex-Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough, may meet the petition signature requirement to enter the special election primary that is scheduled for September 5th. The special general is calendared for November 21st. Rep. Stewart will resign his seat on September 15th.
New Hampshire Poll: St. Anselm College Releases Regular Poll: The New Hampshire Institute of Politics of St. Anselm College published their latest regular survey of Granite State voters (6/21-23; 1,065 NH registered voters; live interview) and sees former President Donald Trump gaining strength in the Republican primary while principal challenger Ron DeSantis is losing support. The partisan primary numbers find Mr. Trump leading Florida Gov. DeSantis, 47-19% with no other candidate exceeding 6% support.
On the Democratic side, President Biden dominates Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and author Marianne Williamson, 69-9-8%. These numbers exceed how the President is performing nationally. Since the state is unlikely to agree to moving their primary to comply with the new Democratic National Committee calendar, these numbers suggest that Mr. Biden could win a write-in campaign against his two intra-party challengers even if he doesn’t enter the official Democratic primary.
In hypothetical general election pairings, President Biden would lead both former President Trump and Gov. DeSantis with the same 49-40% spread. This data suggests there is less chance that New Hampshire will become a major general election Republican conversion target.
Montana: Retired Navy SEAL Declares Candidacy with NRSC Endorsement: Retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) announced his US Senate candidacy yesterday. Immediately, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, with its chairman Montana’s junior Senator Steve Daines, endorsed Mr. Sheehy’s candidacy. The Montana Senate race is expected to be one of the hottest campaigns in the country as Republicans attempt to deny incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) a fourth term.
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), who is also expected to join the race, responded with a Tweet saying, “congratulations to Mitch McConnell and the party bosses on getting their chosen candidate. Now Washington has two candidates - Tim Sheehy and Jon Tester - who will protect the DC cartel.” Early polling shows Rep. Rosendale beginning the race with a substantial lead, so we can expect both a hot general election campaign, and an equally tough Republican nomination contest next year in Big Sky Country.
Alabama: Governor Calls Special Redistricting Session: To comply with the US Supreme Court ruling on the Alabama racial gerrymandering case that went against the state, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) yesterday said that she will call a special redistricting session for the purposes of drawing a new map to comply with the decision. The legislature will report on July 17th to begin the process.
Since Alabama is a Super Tuesday state and is holding its regular primary on March 5th, time is short to draw a new map and obtain the necessary judicial approvals. The ruling and new map is expected to give the Democrats an extra seat in the Alabama US House delegation that currently stands at 6R-1D.
SCOTUS: North Carolina Case Ruling: In an unsurprising 6-3 ruling, the US Supreme Court yesterday ruled against the state of North Carolina on the subject of redistricting. Legal analyst Derek Muller of the Election Law Blog describes the crux of the state’s argument as saying, “the state constitution or state judiciary cannot constrain the state legislature exercising power under the Elections Clause.” Predictably, the justices ruled that the judiciary does have the authority to involve itself in redistricting decisions but underscored that the Supreme Court has the power to restrain lower courts from taking too much power away from the legislative bodies.
Largely because the North Carolina state Supreme Court has already reconsidered its previous partisan gerrymandering decision, the high court confined itself to the judicial power question.
South Carolina: Sen. Scott Again Tops Ex-Gov. Haley: The American Greatness political organization, loosely affiliated with former President Donald Trump, conducted a survey of the critically important South Carolina Republican primary (National Research, Inc.; 6/19-21; 500 SC likely Republican primary voters) and again finds Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who the recent NBC national poll now detects moving into third place on the Republican primary ballot test, topping former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Former President Donald Trump maintains a substantial lead with 41% support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is second with 18%. Sen. Scott and ex-Gov. Haley follow with 10 and 8%, respectively, before their home state electorate. No one else even reaches the 4% benchmark. The South Carolina Republican primary is scheduled for February 24th, the fourth state to vote on the GOP calendar.
FL-16: Rep. Buchanan to Face DeSantis Appointee: Private school superintendent Eddie Speir (R), who Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed to a board that oversees the New College, announced that he will challenge veteran Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Sarasota) in next year’s GOP primary. After Rep. Buchanan lost his bid to become House Ways & Means Committee chairman, there were rumors floating that he would resign his seat. Therefore, Mr. Buchanan remains a retirement prospect. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates FL-16 as R+13, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 55.2R – 42.7D partisan lean.
MD-5: Democratic Challenger for Rep. Hoyer: On the heels of former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville) hinting he will seek re-election to a 23rd term in 2024, he drew a credible Democratic primary challenger. Prince Georges County Environmental Director Andrea Crooms announced her candidacy yesterday, becoming the candidate with the most potential of attracting support. It is highly doubtful, however, that she can unseat Mr. Hoyer who has represented the southern Maryland region since winning a special congressional election in 1981.
It is clear the Democratic primary will be the significant election. With a FiveThirtyEight data organization score of D+28, and a Dave’s Redistricting App partisan lean calculation of 60.9D – 36.4R, the GOP has little chance of making a serious run here in the general election.
Louisiana: Democratic Party Officially Endorses: With the open Bayou State Governor’s race beginning to attract attention, the Louisiana Democratic Party has already gone on record with endorsement support for the leading party contender long before candidate filing closes on August 10, 2023. The LDP now officially endorses former Secretary of Transportation Shawn Wilson, joining outgoing Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) who also publicly supports Mr. Wilson as his successor. Gov. Edwards is ineligible to seek a third term under Louisiana election law.
The Louisiana system features an all-party jungle primary on October 14th of this year. If no candidate receives majority support, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held on November 18th. The leading Republicans are Attorney General and former Congressman Jeff Landry and state Treasurer John Schroder. With eight candidates already actively running, the chances of moving to a runoff are extremely high.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.