Arizona: 2022 GOP Nominee Preparing ’24 Senate Run: Reports are surfacing from Arizona that 2022 Republican US Senate nominee Blake Masters, a venture capitalist who fell to Sen. Mark Kelly (D) by a 51-47% margin, will soon enter the current three-way Senate race. Independent incumbent Kyrsten Sinema is expected to seek re-election possibly as the No Labels Party candidate, while Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) is already becoming a likely consensus Democratic contender.
The Grand Canyon State contest will prove unpredictable because all three contenders, Sen. Sinema, Rep. Gallego, and the eventual Republican nominee, will have a pathway to victory.
Should Mr. Masters choose to enter the campaign, he will likely have Republican primary opposition. Kari Lake, the former news anchorwoman who received 49.6% of the gubernatorial vote in a losing effort against current incumbent Katie Hobbs (D), is also expected to become a Senate candidate. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb is already in the race and has been campaigning for the party nomination over a period of months.
The Arizona primary is scheduled for August 6, 2024, meaning this race will have a long development period.
NC-13: Republican State Rep Announces for Congress: State Rep. Erin Pare (R-Holly Springs), the only Republican to represent part of Wake County in the legislature, announced yesterday that she will seek the GOP congressional nomination with the goal of challenging 13th District freshman Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary). This will be an interesting race since the NC-13 seat is sure to change, and likely in a dramatic way. The legislature is scheduled soon to redraw the congressional map, and it is expected that the 13th will become much more Republican.
In 2022, Mr. Nickel defeated Republican Bo Hines, 52-48%, in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rated R+3. Dave’s Redistricting App saw a different picture, however. This group calculates the partisan lean at 49.5D – 48.1R. President Biden carried the district with a slight 50.1 – 48.4% victory margin even though he lost the statewide count.
After the redraw we can expect this seat to lean decidedly Republican, thus making Rep. Nickel a highly vulnerable Republican target.
WI-3: 2022 Dem Nominee Bypasses Rematch Opportunity: State Senator Brad Pfaff (D-La Crosse), who did surprising well in the 2022 WI-3 congressional race in losing to freshman Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Prairie du Chien) 52-48% even though Democratic party leaders virtually conceded the open race, has made a decision about seeking a re-match. Since Sen. Pfaff’s four-year term in the legislature expires at the end of next year, he announced yesterday that he will seek re-election instead of embarking upon another congressional race.
The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the WI-3 district as R+9, and the Democratic presidential nominee lost here in both 2020 and 2016 by five percentage points, thus leading the national party leadership to spend outside resources in places they believed to be more competitive.
In the upcoming 2024 campaign, however, Democrats are likely to make a stronger run since Mr. Pfaff exceeded expectations in 2022, but now it will have to be with a new candidate.
Mississippi: Dem Poll Shows Tie: An Impact Research poll taken for Democrat Brandon Presley (D) in early August but just released yesterday (8/6-9; 600 MS likely 2023 general election voters) produced interesting results in the Mississippi Governor’s race. The ballot test finds Mr. Presley tied with Gov. Tate Reeves (R) at 46%, apiece. The pollsters note that Mr. Presley’s support has risen in all three of their previously conducted surveys, while Gov. Reeves has consistently dropped.
Similar polling trends were published in the 2019 Governor’s race, and many believed Mr. Reeves, then the state’s Lt. Governor, would lose to Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood. In the end, Mr. Reeves scored a 52-47% win, a much stronger performance for the Republican than most believed would occur. Expect the Reeves campaign to soon counter with their own polling data. This year’s general election is scheduled for November 7th.
Francis Suarez: Drops Presidential Bid: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R), who was unable to jump start a long shot presidential campaign and culminating with not qualifying for the first presidential debate, announced yesterday that he is officially ending his national bid. The move came with little in the way of surprise since, for the most part, he was not even registering in national polls.
Georgia Poll: Despite Indictment, Trump Soars in New Survey: The new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll that the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs (8/16-23; 807 likely and probable Republican primary voters; live interview) conducts finds former President Donald Trump posting his strongest Republican primary number in the state despite now being under indictment by the Fulton County (GA) legal establishment.
According to the AJC survey, Mr. Trump captures 57% of the Republican primary respondents’ support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a distant second at 15% with no other contender even reaching the 5% support threshold. Since pollsters began testing the Georgia 2024 Republican presidential race, this current AJC poll reveals Trump’s strongest standing within the Peach State electorate. At the end of March, for example, WPA Intelligence detected a one-point DeSantis lead over Trump at 37-36%.
Michigan: Ex-Rep. Rogers Moving Toward Candidacy: Former Michigan US Representative Mike Rogers (R), who rose to chair the House Intelligence Committee during his fourteen years in the House, is taking definitive steps to enter the open Wolverine State US Senate contest according to a published Associated Press report. Supporters indicate he may announce as soon as September 5th.
The imminent move will give the Republicans a top tier candidate to battle Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) who currently represents the same district as did Rogers. Ms. Slotkin is heavily favored to win a crowded August 6, 2024, Democratic primary. A Slotkin-Rogers race would promise to be close, though the electorate has leaned Democratic in recent elections.
Early polling – two conducted in August from EPIC-MRA and Emerson College – finds Rep. Slotkin leading a hypothetical general election with Mr. Rogers by only 5-6 percentage points, with neither candidate nearing the 50% threshold and both largely unknown statewide.
A Rogers candidacy would put Michigan in play for the GOP, though Rep. Slotkin would begin the campaign as a slight favorite.
FL-28: Rep. Gimenez Considering Mayor’s Run: Before being elected to the US House in 2020, Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Miami) served as Mayor of Miami-Dade County. Apparently, he is now considering not seeking re-election in 2024 in order to challenge his successor, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, to regain the municipal post. FL-28 is a South Florida politically marginal district that stretches from Miami all the way through the Florida Keys, and then westward toward the Alabama border, territory that includes Monroe County.
The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this South Florida seat as R+4. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 51.0D – 47.6% and is one of twenty districts in the country where the two organizations differ as to which party has the advantage. Former President Trump defeated current President Biden here, 52.9 - 46.5%.
In an open seat situation, the seat will likely be rated a toss-up. Mr. Gimenez first won here in 2020, defeating then-one-term incumbent Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), 51.7 – 48.3%, in the district then numbered 26. Ms. Mucarsel-Powell is now running for the US Senate.
National Polling: Two More Pollsters Show Trump Leading Biden: Emerson College and Ipsos/Reuters just released their post-debate, post-indictment national surveys and they become the third and fourth consecutive pollsters to find former President Donald Trump topping incumbent President Joe Biden.
The Emerson numbers (8/25-26; 1,000 US registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) give Mr. Trump a 46-44% edge without including a minor party candidate. In the question that added Green Party candidate Dr. Cornel West, Trump increased his lead over Biden to 44-39%. Dr. West garnered 4% support, which is consistent with his showing in other polls.
Ipsos/Reuters (8/24-25; 1,004 US adults; online) finds Mr. Trump leading President Biden, 38-32%, with a high undecided factor. The poll analysis indicated that those not choosing Trump or Biden were either undecided, would vote for another candidate, or wouldn’t vote at all.
RI-1: One Less Candidate: Democratic attorney Don Carlson has withdrawn from the special congressional election, just eight days before the September 5th special primary election conducted to replace resigned US Rep. David Cicilline (D). Reports surfacing that he was fired in 2019 from his position as an educator at Williams College due to “sexually inappropriate conduct” created enough negative publicity to force Mr. Carlson from the race before voting began, buy it is too late to remove his name will remain from the ballot.
The leading candidates for the party nomination appear to be former state Representative Aaron Regunberg and ex-Biden and Obama White House aide Gabe Amo.
TX-23: Sheriff Decides not to Challenge Rep. Gonzales: Terrell County Sheriff Thaddeus Cleveland (R) announced yesterday that he would not follow through with plans to challenge two-term Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-San Antonio). Earlier in the year, Sheriff Cleveland had filed a congressional exploratory committee. In the Republican primary race are retired ICE agent Victor Avila and Medina County Republican chair Julie Clark, along with two minor candidates.
Surprisingly, Democrats have yet to recruit a strong candidate in this district that has a history of flipping back and forth between the parties. Redistricting made the seat more Republican, however. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+13, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 52.5R – 45.4D.
UT-2: Convention Choice Badly Trails in Poll: Dan Jones & Associates, a regular Utah pollster, just published the UT-2 special election survey conducted for the Deseret News and the University of Utah earlier in the month.
The study (8/7-14; 471 UT-2 registered Republican voters) sees ex-state Representative and 2022 US Senate candidate Becky Edwards leading her two opponents with 32% of the vote. Former Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough trails with 11% support, while congressional legal counsel Celeste Maloy, who won the special congressional district convention, is well back with only 9% support.
The special primary election is scheduled for September 5th. State Senator Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights) is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Incumbent Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington) will resign his seat due to family matters on September 15th. The special general election will be held November 21st.
Iowa Poll: Margin Tightening: Public Opinion Strategies tested the Iowa electorate just after the Republican presidential debate (POS for Citizen Awareness Project; 8/24; 400 IA likely Republican Caucus attenders; live interview) and their flash poll numbers show some movement within the Hawkeye State voting pool. The ballot test projects former President Donald Trump to hold a 41-21-11-7-7% lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
The numbers represent a seven-point gain for Gov. DeSantis, who most believe delivered the strongest debate performance. Ms. Haley also gained eight points while Sen. Scott and Mr. Ramaswamy lost one and three points, respectively, when compared with the pre-debate POS survey.
Nebraska: Ricketts May Avoid Challenge: Rancher and former gubernatorial candidate Chuck Herbster (R), who lost the 2022 open Republican nomination for Governor despite receiving former President Trump’s endorsement, indicates he is still “considering” challenging appointed Senator and former Governor Pete Ricketts (R) next year, but clearly doesn’t have running on his front burner. He said, while still thinking about the race, his top objective is working to see that Mr. Trump returns to the White House.
The response suggests that Mr. Herbster is unlikely to challenge Sen. Ricketts. If not, it is probable that the new Senator will have an easy run for the Republican nomination and in the general election. Sen. Ricketts, appointed when former Sen. Ben Sasse (R) resigned to become the University of Florida’s president, must stand for election in 2024 to fill the balance of the unexpired term. Assuming he wins next year, he will then seek a full six-year term in 2026.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.