Nevada: Laxalt Leading
WPA Intelligence released a new survey of the Nevada Senate race featuring first-term incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R). According to the WPAi survey (9/11-15; 504 NV likely voters; live interview), the GOP challenger, Mr. Laxalt, holds a slight 39-37% edge over Sen. Cortez Masto. The poll features a very high undecided/refused to say response of 24% considering both individuals have long political histories in the state.
Colorado: New Map Adopted
The congressional Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission approved a new 8-district map on an 11-1 vote, adhering to the September 28th initiative mandated deadline. The map, that appears to be a 4D-3R-1Swing partisan division, now goes to the Colorado state Supreme Court for legal approval. The high court has until December 15th to provide legal confirmation for the new map. The new 8th District lies to the north and northeast of Denver and becomes only a 1.3% Democratic district meaning that the new district is in play for both parties.
OR-6: New District has First Candidate
Just after the Oregon legislature and Governor enacted the state’s new six-district congressional map, Dundee Mayor David Russ (R), who had announced against Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington County) in the safely Democratic 1st District, said yesterday he will switch into the new more competitive and neighboring 6th District. Like Colorado, Oregon was awarded a new district in reapportionment.
Three pollsters have released September data for the New Jersey Governor’s race, and while all three find Gov. Phil Murphy (D) holding an advantage, the margin differences are large.
Stockton University Polling Institute (9/17-25; 552 NJ likely voters; live interview) finds Gov. Murphy topping former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R), 50-41%. Monmouth University (9/16-20; 804 NJ registered voters; live interview) projects Murphy holding a larger 51-38% advantage. Finally, National Research, Inc. released their September data (9/13-16; 600 NJ likely voters; live interview) showing a much closer conclusion with the Governor holding only a 45-42% edge.
A trio of new surveys again confirm that former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) maintains a small but discernible lead over Republican Glenn Youngkin. Roanoke College (9/12-26; 603 VA likely voters; live interview) posts the Democratic advantage to be 48-41%. Monmouth University (9/22-26; 801 VA registered voters; live interview) produced a similar 48-43% McAuliffe spread. The closest result, from Democratic pollster Global Strategy Group (9/16-20; 600 VA likely voters; live interview) sees only a three point difference, 48-45%, also in favor of the former Governor and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman.
Ohio: Mandel Continues to Dominate
Former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel continues to maintain a large lead in the open US Senate Republican primary according to a new statewide survey. WPA Intelligence went into the field during the September 20-23 period, interviewing 510 likely Republican primary voters. The results find Mr. Mandel holding a 37-13% lead over author J.D. Vance. All other contenders, including former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken, fall well below the 10% double-digit mark.
Oregon: First State to Enact New Maps
After a walk-out threat from Republicans was not carried through, both houses of the Oregon legislature passed the new six-district congressional map and re-draws of the state House and Senate plans. Gov. Kate Brown (D) immediately signed the bills making Oregon the first state to complete 2020 census redistricting.
The congressional map creates two Portland area safe Democratic seats, for Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington County) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) and one safe Republican district for freshman Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario). The remaining three districts all lean the Democrats’ way, but none can be considered safe. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield), after only scoring 51.5% in the 2020 election, sees his district improve by about five percentage points.
On the other hand, Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) finds his 5th District splitting in half, with most of his territory forming the heart of the new 6th District. The 5th, which will now stretch to the Bend community from the Salem metro area, becomes a competitive seat, only slightly leaning toward Rep. Schrader. The new 6th CD is more Democratic but could also be competitive with a viable Republican candidate in a good GOP year. The idea was to stretch the map to elect five Democrats and one Republican, but the Democratic map drawers may have pushed too far. Expect Rep. Schrader to have a difficult road to re-election and a political battle to form over the new 6th.
Texas: Rep. Doggett’s Decision
If the Texas redistricting map unveiled this week actually becomes law, veteran Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) will have a decision to make. The map creates a new Democratic 37th District wholly contained within Travis County, of which he could easily run and win. His current 35th District is majority Hispanic and stretches from East Austin into San Antonio.
If he runs for the 37th, it is likely a Hispanic Democrat would win the 35th. Should he remain in the 35th, former gubernatorial nominee, ex-congressional candidate, and Ft. Worth state Senator Wendy Davis (D) would be primed to run for the 37th. Either way, Mr. Doggett could see a core Democratic constituency upset with his decision. Throughout his congressional career, which began in 1995, Rep. Doggett has represented the 10th, 25th, and 35th CDs, always re-locating based upon redistricting maps.
New York: Gov Primary Unfolding
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has formed a political exploratory committee to assess his chances of challenging Gov. Kathy Hochul in next year’s statewide Democratic primary. Mr. Williams entering the race will take the primary to a competitive level and may encourage other credible Democrats to enter.
Mr. Williams and Gov. Hochul have previously opposed each other. She defeated him 53-47% in the 2018 Democratic primary for Lt. Governor. Ms. Hochul is now Governor because she ascended to the office when then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned. She can expect a competitive 2022 Democratic primary and general election.
NJ-11: Seventh Challenger Emerges
Even before the New Jersey redistricting map is adopted, Republican candidates are lining up to challenge sophomore Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), who is one of the Democrats’ strongest fundraising House incumbents. The newest entry is former Kinnelon Borough Councilman Larry Casha (R). The strongest early candidate, however, appears to be Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen.
The 11th is a formerly reliable Republican district until Rep. Sherrill converted it in 2018, but the re-mapping process is expected to make her seat stronger. The 11th District will be one of the state’s redistricting focal points.
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