Skincare company CEO Daniel McCarthy (R) earlier this week announced that he will challenge appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R) for the Republican nomination in next year’s August 4th Arizona primary. Mr. McCarthy, a Trump campaign activist, is planning to attack McSally from the right. It is presumed he has the ability to self-fund.
Ms. McSally had trouble with the late 2018 Arizona primary, which was scheduled three weeks later than the 2020 version, and many believed the rough intra-party campaign contributed to her general election defeat at the hands of then-Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D). It remains to be seen if this challenge will develop but, in preparing for a race against retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D), it would no doubt help Sen. McSally to become a consensus candidate.
CA-21: Ex-Rep. Valadao to Return
Former Congressman David Valadao (R), who lost his Central Valley California congressional seat to now-freshman Rep. T.J. Cox (D-Fresno) by 862 votes of more than 113,000 ballots cast in a final count produced weeks after the election drew to a close, announced that he will return for a re-match next year. The new California ballot harvesting law was largely responsible for changing the outcome since Valadao had originally been projected as the winner. Ballot harvesting allows individuals to collect ballots from voters and return them to the county authorities in batches.
The rural 21st District is typically a Democratic CD, but Mr. Valadao successfully held the office for three terms after serving a two-year stint in the state Assembly. This contest will be a top GOP target next year.
Former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) has formed an exploratory committee to assess his chances in adjacent District 50. The current incumbent, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) is scheduled for trial early next year on campaign finance charges.
The race has already attracted five Republican challengers for the jungle primary. The candidates include a Mayor, former Mayor, city councilman, a retired Navy SEAL and 53rd District candidate, and a radio talk show host who has run for both Mayor of San Diego and the 52nd CD, along with the 2018 Democratic candidate and two Independents. Because the trial has now been postponed to after the December 6th candidate filing deadline, it is probable that Rep. Hunter will file for re-election. The California jungle primary is scheduled for March 3rd. The top two finishers will advance to the November 2020 general election.
Mississippi: Pre-Run-off Polling
Just after Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial run-off election that saw Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeating former state Supreme Court Judge Bill Waller Jr., 54-46%, Hillman Analytics released their mid-August general election survey (8/11-15; 600 MS likely 2019 general election voters). The results gave Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood a 43-42% edge over Mr. Reeves. It will be interesting to see how the run-off result will affect the next polls. The general election is scheduled for November 3rd.
Louisiana: Gov. Edwards' Strong Poll
A just-released mid-August Market Research Insight survey (8/13-16; 600 LA likely 2019 jungle primary voters) finds Gov. John Bel Edwards performing well enough in the prelude to the October 12th jungle primary election that he may be re-elected outright. According to the results, Gov. Edwards would score a 52-25-19% victory over US Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-Alto/Monroe) and developer Eddie Rispone (R).
Should any candidate exceed majority support in the October election, the individual will be elected outright. If no candidate reaches the 50% plateau, a November 16th run-off election will be conducted between the top two finishers regardless of their political party affiliation.
For Gov. Edwards, his numbers in the three-way race are better than if he’s forced into a run-off. Against Rep. Abraham, his lead would dip to 53-47%. If Mr. Rispone advanced opposite the Governor, the Edwards’ margin would be 55-45%.
Georgia: Sen. Johnny Isakson to Resign
Veteran Republican Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) announced yesterday that his deteriorating health condition is forcing him to resign his seat at the end of the year. Sen. Isakson said his Parkinson’s Disease is progressing, and this and further health complications make doing his job as effectively as he wants virtually impossible. His resignation is effective on December 31, 2019.
The development means that Gov. Brian Kemp (R) will appoint a replacement Senator for a year. A special election will be held to fill the balance of the current term, which ends at the beginning of 2023. The special primary will be in a jungle format, that is where all candidates are placed on the same ballot, for a vote on November 3, 2020, concurrent with the regular general election. If no candidate receives majority support the top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to a January 5, 2021 special run-off election.
The final two polls that help determine debate qualification were released, those from Quinnipiac and Suffolk universities, and the two candidates on the cusp, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and billionaire Tom Steyer, failed to reach 2% support in the required number of surveys. Had they done so on at least one of these last two surveys during the qualifying period, they would have been admitted. But, each could only muster 1% preference.
Therefore, the next debate will feature ten candidates and occurs over just one night, and not two as has been previously the case. The qualifiers are the obvious top tier candidates: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg. Joining them are Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, ex-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), and New York City businessman Andrew Yang.
The new Quinnipiac University poll (8/21-26; 1,422 US registered voters; 648 self-identified Democratic and Democrat-leaning Independent primary voters) and the latest Suffolk University survey (8/20-25; 424 likely US Democratic primary voters) find very similar results, and to former Vice President Joe Biden’s benefit. The Q-Poll sees Biden with a 32-19-15-7-5% advantage over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Suffolk sees the same order, with just slightly different numbers, 32-14-12-6-6%.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: Out
Officially failing to qualify for the September 12th presidential debate, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has ended her presidential quest. She joins Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), ex-Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Gov. Jay Inslee (WA), and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) in withdrawing from the presidential campaign. The race effectively has 12 remaining active candidates.
Kentucky: Gov. Matt Bevin Trails
A new Garin Hart Yang Research Group internal survey for the Andy Beshear for Governor campaign shows incumbent Matt Bevin (R) falling behind Democratic Attorney General Beshear. According to the poll (8/19-22; 501 KY likely voters) Beshear has jumped out to 48-39% lead over Gov. Bevin for the November 2019 election.
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