NBC Poll: Bad News for Both Candidates: The new NBC News national poll has been released (Public Opinion Strategies; 9/15-19; 1,000 US registered voters; live interview) and it generally contains bad news for both President Biden and former President Trump. While the ballot test shows both candidates with 46% support, President Biden’s approval rating is 15 points underwater, (41:56% favorable vs. unfavorable). More troubling for the President, 59% of sampled Democrats want to see a candidate challenge Mr. Biden for the party nomination.
Though Republicans are viewed at a record high positive in dealing with crime, the economy, immigration, and protecting democracy, the ballot test is still tied, and Mr. Biden has an 18 point lead among those who somewhat disapprove of his job performance. This latter category has proven key in projecting the outcome of recent campaigns.
Arizona: Lake Planning to Announce Candidacy on Oct 10: As has been speculated upon for months, former news anchorwoman and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake will announce her US Senate candidacy at a rally on October 10th. If 2022 US Senate nominee Blake Masters (R) is true to his word, we will then see him exit the race. Mr. Masters has been quoted as saying he will not oppose Ms. Lake if she decided to run for the Senate. Already in the GOP race is Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb.
Ms. Lake entering the Senate contest means we will see a legitimate three-way race in the general election among incumbent Kyrsten Sinema (I), US Rep. Ruben Gallego (D), and Ms. Lake. Though her image has taken a hit since the election due to her persistence in charging election fraud that she claims denied her a victory in the Governor’s race, Ms. Lake still received 49.6% of the vote in the 2022 general election.
With three major candidates in this Senate race, the winning candidate will likely only need 35-38% of the vote. Therefore, Sen. Sinema, Rep. Gallego, and Ms. Lake all have legitimate victory paths.
New Jersey: Lines Drawn on Menendez Resignation: Indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) appeared before the Senate Democratic Conference and reiterated his decision not to resign despite many members, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), already publicly calling for him to step down. Sen. Menendez told the group he will fight to prove his innocence.
In response, Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) reiterated his call for Menendez to resign and indicated “his team” is looking into expulsion options. In potentially supporting an expulsion resolution, Sen. Fetterman said, “Whatever way, you know, we can remove him, I hope that that’s pursued.”
Utah: House Speaker Brad Wilson Announces: As expected, former state House Speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville), who resigned his post within the past two weeks, as expected declared for the open US Senate seat yesterday. Mr. Wilson had already formed an exploratory committee to challenge now-retiring Sen. Mitt Romney (R) and had raised over $2 million prior to the June 30th campaign financial disclosure deadline.
Also in the race, and has been for some time, is Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs (R). We can soon expect other prominent Republicans to join the field but, for now, it appears that Mr. Wilson is the top contender. No Democrat has declared. The eventual Republican nominee will be a heavy favorite in the 2024 general election.
Puerto Rico: Resident Commissioner (Delegate) to Announce for Governor: Jenniffer Gonzalez (PNP), Puerto Rico’s non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives, called the Resident Commissioner on the island, says she will challenge Gov. Pedro Pierluisi next year. Ms. Gonzalez, who caucuses with the Republicans, is Puerto Rico’s lone Representative, and is the only member of the House who carries a four-year term. Since she is in-cycle in 2024, Ms. Gonzalez would have to risk her current position to challenge the incumbent Governor.
California: Reps. Schiff & Porter Favored to Advance: The Public Policy Institute of California conducted another of their statewide polls (8/28-9/5; 1,671 CA adults; 1,414 CA registered voters; online) and sees Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) seriously falling off the pace in the crowded open US Senate field. Though only one candidate even reaches the 20% support mark, there is a clear break between the top two poll finishers and the rest of the candidates.
The PPIC survey finds Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) leading fellow Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) by a 20-15% count. Rep. Lee trails with just 8% support. All other candidates are in low single digits. California features an all-party top two jungle primary format. The pair of top finishers in the March 5th primary regardless of party affiliation and percentage attained will advance into the November general election. This poll suggests we will see an eight month Double-Democrat bruising campaign between Reps. Schiff and Porter.
AL-7: Legislative Leader Exploring Cong Run Against Rep. Sewell: State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), who represents a western Alabama legislative district, announced he is forming a congressional exploratory committee to launch a Democratic primary challenge against seven-term Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham). Since his district lies in the heart of Rep. Sewell’s seat, the state Senate’s top Democrat said, "I’m not running in the new district. I’m running in Congresswoman Sewell’s ... I want the big fish." The new district will likely be drawn with Montgomery County as the population anchor, which will encompass much of the southeastern side of the state.
Sen. Singleton won’t have much time to weigh his chances. The candidate filing deadline is November 10th for the March 5, 2024, Alabama primary. The new redistricting map will likely be completed late this week or early next.
NJ-7: Prominent Democrats Won’t Run: Democratic leaders are still trying to find the top candidate they believe can unseat freshman Rep. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), but two of their prospects have both declined to run. Former state Senator, ex-Assemblyman, and previous gubernatorial candidate Ray Lesniak yesterday said he will not enter the 7th CD race, as did Dr. Tina Shah, a veteran of both the Obama and Biden Administrations. In the race are Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello, who left the Senate race to run here, former State Department official Jason Blazakis, and political organizer Sue Altman.
The FiveThirtyEight organization rates NJ-7 as R+3. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 16th most vulnerable seat in the 222 member House Republican Conference.
TX-28: Ex-Staffer to Challenge Rep. Cuellar: For the second time, a former staff member of Texas US Rep. Henry Cuellar’s (D-Laredo) is challenging him for re-election. Jose Sanz, who left Rep. Cuellar’s staff as his District Director earlier in the year, is returning as a Republican candidate to hopefully challenge his ex-boss in the 2024 general election.
Previously, a former office intern has twice opposed the Congressman in the Democratic primary. Jessica Cisneros ran two close primary campaigns to Mr. Cuellar. In 2022, she forced him into a runoff before losing by just under 300 votes in the secondary election.
Ms. Cisneros says she is contemplating a third run. Rep. Cuellar is favored for re-election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-28 as D+7. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the district as the 53rd most vulnerable seat in the 213 member House Democratic Conference.
New Jersey: Other Potential Dem Candidates Surface: While Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) has already announced and reiterated yesterday that he will challenge Sen. Bob Menendez (D) in next year’s Democratic primary, other Democrats could make this contest quite crowded. Those mentioned as possible candidates include New Jersey’s First Lady Tammy Murphy, and US Reps. David Norcross (D-Camden City), Josh Gottheimer (D-Wycoff) and former House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch). Only Rep. Kim, however, has made a firm declaration.
Alabama: SCOTUS Rejects Alabama Redistricting Appeal: The US Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the three-judge panel ruling that will allow a special master to draw the new Alabama congressional map after the legislature and Governor’s map was rejected. The result of the redraw will likely pair Reps. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) and Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and create a new black majority district anchored in Montgomery County. This will almost assuredly mean a one-seat gain for the Democrats in the 6R-1D Alabama congressional delegation.
IL-5: Rep. Quigley to Seek Re-Election: Rumors had been prevalent that eight-term Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) was contemplating retirement. Yesterday, the Congressman made clear, however, that he intends to seek re-election next year. "Reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated. There’s a lot still to do ... I’m not in the first quarter of my political career, but I’m not in the last quarter either," Mr. Quigley said yesterday in saying that he will run again.
PA-10: Race Against Rep. Scott Perry Becoming Voluminous: The third Democratic challenger hoping to face six-term Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg) announced his candidacy yesterday. International business consultant John Broadhurst has joined the Democratic primary field that includes 2022 nominee Shamaine Daniels, a member of the Harrisburg City Council, and Carlisle School Board Member Rick Coplen. Former Lancaster television news anchor Janele Stelson is also expected to soon become a Democratic congressional candidate.
The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates PA-10 as R+9. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 37th most vulnerable district in the Republican Conference. Therefore, the data again favors Rep. Perry regardless of who wins the upcoming Democratic primary.
San Francisco: Levi Strauss Heir to Challenge Mayor Breed: Dan Lurie, an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune and cousin to freshman US Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), announced yesterday that he will join San Francisco County Supervisor Ahsha Safai (D) as 2024 election opponents to San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D). The mayoral campaign, labeled as nonpartisan, will be run concurrently with the regular 2024 election calendar. Both Lurie and Safai are attacking Mayor Breed on her handling of the crime issue, which has led to many businesses and residents leaving the city. Expect this to be a competitive contest.
Presidential Debate: Seven May Qualify: The second Republican presidential debate is scheduled for tomorrow, and at this writing it is still a bit unclear as to exactly who will participate. With enhanced debate requirements, it was believed that North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and ex-Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), who both appeared in the first debate, would be disqualified leaving six participants. Former President Donald Trump also qualifies but is again declining to appear. A last minute move from Gov. Burgum, however, suggests that he in fact may earn a debate podium, while Mr. Hutchinson will fail to do so.
Six are sure to be present: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), ex-Vice President Mike Pence, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. Aside from Mr. Hutchinson, national commentator Larry Elder and former US Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) will also not meet the final requirements.
Debate: DeSantis-Newsom Forum Set: Continuing their ongoing public political feud, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) have agreed to a date and state for their mutual debate challenge. The event will occur on November 30th at a site to be determined in Georgia. Fox News will air the forum that network headliner Sean Hannity will moderate.
New Jersey: Sen. Menendez Addresses Media; Rep. Kim to Run: Yesterday, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) held an indictment response news conference. His statements left little doubt that he intends to fight the charges levied against him and has no intention of resigning his seat.
Some pre-news conference reports were predicting that the Senator would announce his campaign for re-election. He did not specifically address his election status, only to say that he intends to remain New Jersey’s senior Senator after he is cleared. He asked the Garden State voters to reserve judgment until “all the facts are known.” Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) isn’t waiting. Mr. Kim announced that he will file a Democratic primary challenge against Sen. Menendez.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.