On a radio program yesterday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) indicated that he could well become a presidential candidate in 2024, further saying he would consider running even if President Trump again enters the field. Mr. Christie also left the door open to supporting Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan if he were to decide to become a presidential contender as he has intimated.
In addition to Messrs. Trump and Hogan being named as potential candidates, Vice President Mike Pence, former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are often mentioned as early potential contenders.
State Republican Party chairman and former local Mayor Doug Steinhardt declared his gubernatorial candidacy yesterday for the 2021 campaign. He joins a Republican primary field that includes former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and businessman and former congressional candidate Hirsch Singh. The eventual Republican nominee will challenge first term Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in November of next year.
With voting almost complete in New Jersey’s 7th CD, a race originally called for freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) but then put back in the undetermined column when late voting pulled state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R) back within shouting distance has now been resolved. Though Mr. Malinowski’s lead has dwindled to well under 5,000 votes, there are now less votes to count than the margin between the two candidates. Therefore, the Congressman has been re-projected as the winner.
The Republicans have now gained a net of 9 seats in the House with five races remaining uncalled. In the five outstanding contests, Republicans lead in four.
One of them, in Iowa, has been certified as a 47-vote win for state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa), but Democratic nominee Rita Hart has requested a recount in all 24 of the 2nd District’s counties, which began yesterday. Republicans, including Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA), hold tenuous leads in the two remaining California races. Former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) looks poised to re-claim New York’s 22nd District, and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) continues to lead as final counting winds down in his New Jersey re-election race.
Another race will be decided in a Louisiana December 5th runoff election. There, former congressional aide Luke Letlow and state Rep. Lance Harris (R-Alexandria) will advance to a secondary vote. Since both are Republicans, the GOP is assured of holding the open seat regardless of the outcome.
Two Senate races were called yesterday, one for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who scored a 51-42% victory over state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport). Ms. Gideon conceded the race yesterday even though the count had not ended. In Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters (D) was projected with a very close win (49.6 – 48.5%) over GOP challenger John James.
The two calls mean that the high number for the Republican majority is 52, with the Democratic maximum being 51. The most likely outcome from the current trends and potentially projecting the runoff election under what may be a Biden victory at the presidential level is either a Republican majority of 51 or 52 seats.
In the House, 40 races remain uncalled, yet many of them are now reporting 100% of the vote being received. Of the 40, the Republicans lead in 25 and the Democrats in 15. This would translate in a Republican net gain in the House of most likely between five and nine seats.
Below is a list of the races that remain uncalled and which candidate is currently leading.
Alaska: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) - Status: 62.3%; Reporting: 50%
Georgia-A: Sen. David Perdue (R) - must reach 50%; Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 97%
Georgia-B: Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) - Status: 32.5%; Reporting: 96%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) - Status: 26.2%; Reporting: Runoff
Maine: Sen. Susan Collins (R) - Winner; Status: 51.1%
Michigan: Sen. Gary Peters (D) - Winner; Status: 49.6%
North Carolina: Sen. Thom Tillis (R) - Status: 48.7%; Reporting: 93%
AK-AL: Rep. Don Young (R) - Status: 63.3%; Reporting: 53%
AZ-1: Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D) - Status: 52.1%; Reporting: 92%
AZ-6: Hiral Tipirneni (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 76%
CA-4: Rep. Tom McClintock (R) - Status: 52.9%; Reporting: 87%
CA-8: Jay Obernolte (R) - Status: 53.3%; Reporting: 37%
CA-21: David Valadao (R) - Status: 51.4%; Reporting: 42%
CA-25: Christy Smith (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 77%
CA-39: Young Kim (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 89%
CA-48: Michelle Steel (R) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 93%
CA-50: Darrell Issa (R) - Status: 52.2%; Reporting: 51%
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) - Status: 51.2%; Reporting: 100%
IA-2: Marianette Miller-Meeks (R) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 100%
IL-14: Jim Oberweis (R) - Status: 50.1%; Reporting: 100%
IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D) - Status: 51.8%; Reporting: 100%
IN-5: Victoria Spartz (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 99%
MI-3: Peter Meijer (R) - Status: 53.1%; Reporting: 99%
MI-5: Dan Kildee (D) - Status: 54.3%; Reporting: 100%
MI-11: Haley Stevens (D) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 97%
MN-1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) - Status: 48.6%; Reporting: 100%
MN-2: Rep. Angie Craig (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 100%
NJ-2: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 75%
NV-3: Rep. Susie Lee (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 85%
NV-4: Rep. Steven Horsford (D) - Status: 49.7%; Reporting: 65%
NY-1: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) - Status: 61.3%; Reporting: 99%
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino (R) - Status: 58.1%; Reporting: 99%
NY-3: George Santos (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 99%
NY-4: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D) - Status: 52.0%; Reporting: 100%
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis (R) - Status: 57.9%; Reporting: 95%
NY-18: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) - Status: 50.8%; Reporting: 100%
NY-19: Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) - Status: 51.3%; Reporting: 98%
NY-22: Claudia Tenney (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 100%
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) - Status: 58.5%; Reporting: 100%
PA-7: Lisa Scheller (R) - Status: 50.7%; Reporting: 86%
PA-8: Jim Bognet (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 86%
PA-10: Rep. Scott Perry (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 89%
PA-17: Sean Parnell (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 94%
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne (R) - Status: 48.8%; Reporting: 99%
UT-4: Rep. Ben McAdams (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 69%
VA-7: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) - Status: 50.6%; Reporting: 100%
WA-3: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) - Status: 54.7%; Reporting: 80%
After several polls in early October found challenger Amy Kennedy (D) leading party-switching freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/ Atlantic City) and opening a lead beyond the polling margin of error, we began a four-week period without seeing fresh data.
A closing Stockton University poll (10/22-27; 676 NJ-2 likely voters; live interview), however, projects Rep. Van Drew rebounding into a virtual ballot test tie, 46-45%, with Ms. Kennedy still clinging to a lead. The 2nd District will be another race to watch tomorrow night.
Party-switching New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/Atlantic City), who left the Democratic Party after a year in Congress, finds himself in a re-election fight with Amy Kennedy (D), the wife of former US Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI). A new Public Policy Polling survey, without using push questions (9/14-15; 550 NJ voters; interactive voice response system), posts Ms. Kennedy to a five-point, 48-43%, lead over the incumbent Congressman. Expect this race to draw more attention from both parties in the closing campaign weeks.
The New Jersey legislature just passed a measure and sent to Gov. Phil Murphy (D) that would allow each municipality to host one in-person voting center. Otherwise, the election will be conducted by mail. The legislative move is to nullify a lawsuit challenging Gov. Murphy’s individual authority to schedule an all-mail election. If the legislation is enacted, such a move would make the lawsuit moot. It is likely that the legislature’s described procedure will be the system that New Jersey employs for this general election.
After two polls were released last week that gave challenger Amy Kennedy (D) a slight lead over party-switching Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/Atlantic City), a new RMG Research survey (7/30-8/5; 500 NJ-2 registered voters) gives the Congressman a slight 42-39% advantage. This is another New Jersey race that will feature a close finish. The Garden State is a key indicator as to which party will assume House majority control in the next Congress.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that, just like for the postponed New Jersey primary, all voters will be mailed a live ballot for the general election. Though this will have no effect on the presidential race since Democrat Joe Biden is well ahead of President Trump here and the state is not a national target, several close US House elections are expected. Therefore, we may see ballot verification issues arise if we have one or more contests lapse into political overtime to reach a final conclusion.
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