Ohio: Ramaswamy Claims 2nd Place in New Poll: Ohio Northern University Institute for Civics and Public Policy released a new survey of the Buckeye State electorate (7/17-26; 675 OH registered voters) and found businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who has been climbing in recent Republican presidential polls, moving into second place behind Donald Trump with 12% support, ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who posted only 9 percent. Mr. Trump recorded a whopping 64% backing.
Since the poll has only 675 total respondents, the unpublished Republican primary sample would be very low. Therefore, the error factor will be quite high. Still, Mr. Ramaswamy moving to second place in any survey is affirmation that his campaign is building upward momentum.
VA-7: Rep. Spanberger Testing Gov Waters: Reports are surfacing that three-term Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) is laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run in 2025 when incumbent Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) will be ineligible to seek re-election. Virginia is the only state in the Union that limits its Governors to one four-year term. Apparently, she is also considering not seeking re-election to the House in 2024 to conserve resources for the gubernatorial run.
If she does decide to run for Governor, leaving the House makes political sense. Her 7th District is politically marginal, and the seat has been reconfigured to the point that her Glen Allen political base is nowhere even close to the 7th CD lines, which is now a district that comes as far north as Prince William County.
Additionally, with Virginia’s more open campaign finance law her ability to transfer funds from her congressional committee to a gubernatorial committee is very favorable. After the 2nd Quarter financial disclosure period closed, Rep. Spanberger reported $1.184 million cash-on-hand.
Ohio: Sen. Brown Posts Bigger Lead: The aforementioned Ohio Northern University Institute for Civics and Public Policy poll (7/17-26; 675 OH registered voters) also tested the important Ohio US Senate race. In this instance, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), contrary to previous studies that showed a very tight race, opens a substantial lead over the Republican field.
In this survey, state Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) fares slightly better than the rest of the GOP contenders, but is still down double-digits, 45-33%. Opposite Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), Sen. Brown’s advantage is a similar 45-32%. If businessman Bernie Moreno were the GOP nominee, Sen. Brown would begin with a 45-28% lead.
This poll is inconsistent in that the Republican support figure is very low against Sen. Brown while the presidential numbers place the GOP candidates in much better standing against President Biden. The numbers are consistent with Sen. Brown’s support figure, however, when compared to previous surveys. In all published data, Sen. Brown lands in the mid-40s and not particularly close to the 50% majority figure.
Houston: New Mayoral Poll Released: The Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston conducted a survey of their city’s open Mayoral race (7/12-20; 800 Houston likely voters) and found state Senator John Whitmire (D), who has been in the state legislature since 1973, and US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) breaking away from the remaining candidates.
The UoH poll found Sen. Whitmire posting a 34-32% edge over Rep. Jackson Lee, with the next closest candidate only at the 3% mark. If no candidate receives majority support in the November 7th nonpartisan election, the two front runners will advance to a runoff on a date scheduled after the initial election, likely for mid-December. Testing a runoff between Sen. Whitmire and Rep. Jackson Lee, the pollsters find the former developing a strong 51-33% advantage. Ms. Jackson Lee would have to relinquish her US House seat only if she wins the 2023 municipal election.
Michigan: Rep. McClain Declines Senate Run: Two-term Michigan US Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Bruce), who represents the region commonly referred to as “the thumb” since the state’s Lower Peninsula configuration resembles a human hand, said yesterday that she will not enter the open US Senate race next year. The move presumes that she will seek re-election to the House in 2024.
Rep. McClain had been mentioned from time to time but was not considered as having a serious desire to run for the Senate, so her decision to pass on the statewide run is unsurprising. As the Republican Conference Secretary, Rep. McClain is part of the GOP majority leadership team.
CO-3: Dem Primary Forming to Challenge Rep. Boebert: Grand Junction Mayor Mary Anna Stout (D) announced yesterday that she will run for the US House. Her main opponent in the Democratic primary is 2022 nominee Adam Frisch, who only lost to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) by 546 votes in the closest US House race in the country. Beginning this campaign, Mr. Frisch has already raised a whopping $2.6 million in the 2nd Quarter and has $2.5 million cash-on-hand, or more than $1 million over what Rep. Boebert has in her account ($1.4 million). Three other minor Democrats are also announced candidates.
There are two options for qualifying for the Colorado ballot. First, is through garnering the requisite number of delegate votes at the Democratic Party district convention, or second, through obtaining petition signatures from registered voters in the particular district. It is a virtual certainty that Mr. Frisch will dominate the convention, so the others will likely choose the petition route. The CO-3 race will probably be the top Democratic conversion target in the country next year despite a R+15 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization.
NH-1: Rep. Pappas Draws GOP Opponent: Former New Hampshire Executive Councilor and ex-state Senator Russell Prescott (R) announced that he will again enter the 1st District congressional race. He ran in 2022 but finished a poor fourth in the Republican primary with only 10% of the vote. Mr. Prescott and incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) are well known to each other. They served together on the state’s Executive Council, the position Mr. Pappas held before his election to the House in 2018.
Prior to redistricting, the 1st District had defeated more incumbents than any seat in the country during the past decade. Therefore, the campaigns here are always competitive. Rep. Pappas won a surprisingly strong 54-46% victory last November over former Trump Assistant Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt (R).
RI-1: Board of Elections Reverses Course: After voting 5-1 to review the signature petition process for Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos’ (D) special election congressional campaign, the Board members reversed themselves 24 hours later. Their stated reasoning is that the local boards had already done the job of culling through the names and referring those they found irregular to law enforcement.
The reversal sets the stage for Ms. Matos being approved for the ballot. Early polling casts her as the race leader. A dozen Democrats have already been awarded a ballot position. The special Democratic primary to replace resigned Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) is scheduled for September 5th. The special general will be November 7th, but winning the Democratic primary will prove tantamount to claiming the seat.
Arizona: New Poll Shows General Election Dead Heat: Public Opinion Strategies, polling for the Citizen Awareness Project (7/22-24; 500 AZ likely general election voters; live interview), finds President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump in a dead heat tie at 46% apiece within the critical state of Arizona, The Grand Canyon State is one of the four swing entities that will likely determine the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.
The numbers are clearer if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis were to become the Republican nominee. In the pairing with he and President Biden, the Governor is posted to a rather strong nine point lead, 49-40%. It is unlikely, however, that Mr. DeSantis will win the party nomination.
Third Party Polling: Most Won’t Consider Independent Pres Candidate: A great deal of media attention has been paid to the possibility of an independent or minor party presidential candidate taking a significant vote share in the 2024 election. According to a Daily Kos/Civiqs research organization poll (7/22-25; 1,154 US registered voters; online), 66% of the respondents, including 78% of Democrats, 68% of Republicans, and 50% of Independents would not vote for such a candidate.
As the Civiqs analysis pointed out, in their January 2023 national survey, 62% said they did not want to see President Biden run again, and 59% said the same about former President Donald Trump. Though we may see ancillary candidates emerge, it is likely that this election will follow the same pattern as almost all others, that is, the race will come down to a decision between the two major party nominees.
NC-9: Rep. Bishop Reported to be Launching AG Campaign: A conservative North Carolina blog site is reporting that US Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) is looking to announce a statewide campaign for the state’s open Attorney General position in August. Should he follow through, his Charlotte anchored 9th District would become open. With the legislature committing to redrawing the congressional map, an open seat in the Charlotte area could be configured in a much different manner than the current 9th CD.
PA-7: State Rep Announces for Congress: Pennsylvania state Representative Ryan MacKenzie (R-Macungie) announced yesterday that he will enter the Republican primary to challenge three-term Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) next year. Rep. Wild has survived two close elections to businesswoman and former Lehigh County Commissioner Lisa Scheller (R): 52-48% in 2020, and 51-49% last November.
Rep. MacKenzie has twice declared for Congress, once in 2018 and again during the last election cycle. Both times he dropped out of the race before candidate filing time began. We will see if he follows through this time. If he does, Rep. MacKenzie appears as a strong contender in a seat the Republicans would rate as a top tier challenge campaign.
Gov. Doug Burgum: Qualifies for GOP Debate: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s campaign team announced yesterday that the candidate has qualified for the first Republican debate on August 23rd in Milwaukee. Gov. Burgum is showing an uptick in backing from both Iowa and New Hampshire and has attracted enough small dollar contributions and polling support to qualify for a podium on the debate stage.
Gov. Burgum is the seventh debate participant joining former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. Ex-Vice President Mike Pence remains the most well-known candidate who has not yet qualified.
Montana: Club for Growth Hedges on Support for Rosendale: The Club for Growth leadership several months ago said they would back US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) to the tune of $10 million if he decided to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D), as he did five years ago. In the 2018 election, Mr. Rosendale, then the state Auditor, lost to Sen. Tester, 50-47%.
Now, CfG president David McIntosh, himself a former Republican Congressman, is hedging on such a support level, saying that retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy is an impressive candidate and Rep. Rosendale is needed in the House. Mr. Rosendale has long been a presumed Senate candidate but has yet to come forward and formally announce his political plans.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.