Confirming other recent data, the We Ask America research organization polled the Louisiana electorate for the upcoming October 12th gubernatorial jungle primary. The survey (9/24-26; 600 LA likely gubernatorial primary voters) again finds Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) hovering around the 50% mark but not quite reaching the majority plateau. He scores 47% according to WAA.
In second now is developer Eddie Rispone who has pulled ahead of Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-Alto/Monroe) for second position as this and other polls report. Second place is important because that individual will advance to a secondary run-off election on November 16th if Gov. Edwards fails to reach majority support in the October vote.
Mike Collier, the 2018 Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, is reported to be considering entering the race to oppose freshman Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston). While the 2nd District is decidedly Republican (Trump ’16: 52-43; Crenshaw ’18: 53-45%), fielding Mr. Collier would give the Democrats a credible candidate to oppose the freshman Congressman in this transforming Houston suburban seat.
As preparations continue for the next presidential debate, the Democratic National Committee leadership announced that the next debate from the Columbus, Ohio suburbs will be a one-night despite having twelve candidates participating. In addition to the ten that were on stage in September, the new field will include Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), returning to the forum, and first-time entry Tom Steyer, the billionaire candidate who originally said he would not run but then later changed his mind.
Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro may be making his final debate appearance. Late this week he said that he would drop out of the race if he does not make the November debate now that the qualification hurdles have again been increased. At this point, Mr. Castro appears to be a long way from meeting the new requirements.
Joe Biden: Takes Lead in Virginia Poll
Virginia is another state whose electorate will vote on Super Tuesday, March 3rd, but polling here has been infrequent. The Research America, Inc. firm tested the state (9/3-15; 882 VA registered voters), however, and found that former Vice President Joe Biden has a substantial lead here as he does everywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
According to RA, Mr. Biden records 23% preference, which is a big lead against the rest of the field. Tied for second place with just 9% apiece are Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg trailing with just 5 and 4% support, respectively. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and businessman Andrew Yang follow with 2% support. All others record 1% or less.
CA-50: Ex-Rep. Issa Announces
Former Congressman Darrell Issa (R), who represented California’s 49th District for nine terms before retiring prior to the beginning of the current Congress, formally announced yesterday that he will enter the crowded 50th District primary contest against indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine). Appearing with him at the announcement event were two other GOP candidates, former Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and current El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, who both said they will not file for the office and instead endorsed Mr. Issa.
Remaining in the race are seven other challenger candidates, four Republicans, two Independents, and 2018 Democratic candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar who lost to Rep. Hunter, 52-48%. All contenders will appear on the March 3, 2020 primary ballot, with the top two advancing into the November general election irrespective of party affiliation.
Impeachment Pledge: Vulnerable Yeses
A total of 219 House Democrats and one Independent have signed the petition pledge indicating they will vote for at least some version of an impeachment resolution. Doing so would impeach, or indict, the President, and send the charge to the Senate for a potential trial and motion to remove from office. Among the signers are several members who have competitive re-elections, are in Trump districts, or have primary competition. The lone Independent, Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), will likely face attacks from both sides as he presumably seeks re-election as an Independent or minor party nominee.
The Democrats supporting impeachment who already face credible general election opposition are (listed alphabetically by name) Reps: Cindy Axne (IA), Gil Cisneros (CA), Sharice Davids (KS), Antonio Delgado (NY), Abby Finkenauer (IA), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Andy Kim (NJ), Susie Lee (NV), Elaine Luria (VA), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Chris Pappas (NH), Katie Porter (CA), Harley Rouda (CA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Abigail Spanberger (VA), and Lauren Underwood (IL).
Mark Yancey, an investor and former co-owner of the Dallas Wings basketball franchise of the Women’s National Basketball Association, announced his Republican primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn yesterday. Since Mr. Yancey is challenging Cornyn from the left, the primary battle may actually help the Senator with the Republican base. If Mr. Cornyn has any weakness in running for a fourth term, it would come from the party’s hard right faction. In 2014, Sen. Cornyn was challenged from the right and was re-nominated with 59% of the vote against seven opponents.
Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones (D) both won and lost congressional races to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) on the same day in 2018. Running to fill the unexpired term of resigned Rep. John Conyers (D), Ms. Jones scored a 38-36% victory over Tlaib and two others and served the final two months of the previous Congress. But, in a primary for the regular term, one that included two additional candidates, then-state Sen. Coleman Young II, the son of former long-time Mayor Coleman Young, and former state Rep. Shanelle Jackson, it was Ms. Tlaib who scored a 31-30% win over Jones and the rest of the six-candidate field.
Speculation continues to mount that Ms. Jones, still the City Council President, will seek a re-match. Ms. Jones has not confirmed her intentions, but reports quote those close to her as saying she is considering running and is moving toward doing so. The Michigan candidate filing deadline isn’t until April 21st for the August 4, 2020 state Democratic primary. So, this potential race has plenty of time to develop.
CA-50: Ex-Rep. Issa May Announce Today
Former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa (R), who served in the House for nine terms, is expected to announce his candidacy for the neighboring 50th District today. But, instead of seeing the field against indicted Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) grow, it apparently will actually contract. Two of the current candidates, ex-Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells are slated to appear with Mr. Issa. It is presumed that they will both drop out of the race and endorse the former Congressman.
California candidate filing is December 6th, and the Golden State jungle primary is scheduled concurrently with their presidential primary on March 3rd. Regardless of percentage attained and party affiliation, the top two finishers will advance to the November general election. Mr. Hunter is scheduled for trial in February and he has not yet indicated whether he will run for re-election.
WI-7: One In, Three Out
After Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) called the special election to replace resigned Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wausau), political moves were quickly made. Iraq War veteran Jason Church, a congressional aide to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), announced his candidacy and may well become state Sen. Tom Tiffany’s (R-Minocqua) lone major Republican opponent.
Two other expected GOP candidates, Mosinee Mayor Brent Jacobson and surgeon Fernando Riveron both said yesterday that they would not enter the special election campaign. Same for Democratic former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow. The special general is scheduled for January 27, 2020, with a special primary on December 30, 2019.
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