A University of Texas at Tyler poll for the Dallas Morning News (11/9-16; 1,106 TX registered voters) finds actor Michael McConaughey, should he run for Governor as an Independent, doing well statewide. According to the ballot test results, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) would lead McConaughey and former US Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), 37-27-26%, respectively in a three-way race.
By a margin of 49-37%, however, the respondents said they would be more likely to support McConaughey than O’Rourke. If McConaughey and Gov. Abbott were paired, the actor would lead 43-35%. In a more likely Abbott-O’Rourke general election, the Governor would hold a 45-39% advantage.
It is not unusual to see a celebrity doing well in polling when considering running for a public office. When such individuals actually announce and begin the race in earnest, their numbers typically fall.
Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute (11/10-11; 909 WA likely voters; live interview and text) tested the Evergreen State electorate for their upcoming Senate race featuring incumbent Patty Murray (D) running for a sixth term. According to the survey, Sen. Murray holds a 50-37% advantage over Republican Tiffany Smiley. She is a prohibitive favorite for re-election.
Just two days after Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough/San Mateo) announced her retirement after this Congress ends, two Democratic local officials have come forward to declare their congressional candidacies. San Mateo County Board of Supervisors’ chairman David Canepa (D) and Burlingame City Councilwoman Emily Beach (D) both made public their intentions yesterday. We can expect a crowded jungle primary to develop with the Democrats likely sending two party members into the general election.
As correctly predicted earlier in the week, ten-term North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-Wilson) announced his intention to retire from the House yesterday. He again stated his displeasure over the new redistricting map, saying the draw hurts African Americans in his district.
The seat, formerly labeled CD-1. still leans Democratic, but President Biden would have only carried it in a close 51-48% result. His current 1st District yielded Mr. Biden a 54-45% victory margin, but Rep. Butterfield’s 2020 spread dropped to that same vicinity, 54-46% after typically winning with percentages in the high 60s, 70s, and even 80s during his long career. Mr. Butterfield exiting means that 24 sitting members will not seek re-election next year in addition to eight seats being created through reapportionment and redistricting. Of the 24 incumbents not running, 14 are Democrats.
In the past few days, several incumbents, most not waiting for redistricting, announced intentions to seek another term in 2022. Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Chris Pappas (D-NH) all announced or gave strong indications that they would seek re-election next year. Rep. Rogers had been retirement prospect, and Mr. Pappas was seriously looking at a Governor’s race before Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced that he would run for a fourth term, while Rep. Bucshon originally committed to only running for six terms: now he will seek a seventh.
Both the Ohio state House and Senate held floor votes on the new congressional redistricting map and passed the legislation through the respective legislative chambers. The map now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine (R) for his signature.
In Wisconsin, saying “these gerrymandered maps were modeled after the same gerrymandered maps we've had for a decade…” Gov. Tony Evers (D) vetoed the legislation, thus sending the three-map package (congressional, state Senate, state House) to the state Supreme Court where the justices will draw the maps from scratch.
Missouri State Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan) announced that he will join the crowded Republican primary attempting to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R). He becomes the tenth announced GOP candidate. The competitive contenders are former Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, US Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) and Billy Long (R-Springfield), and attorney Mark McCloskey. At this point, the leading Democrat appears to be former state Sen. Scott Sifton.
Responding to Sen. Pat Leahy’s (D) retirement announcement, several prominent individuals are already declining to run. Gov. Phil Scott (R), former Governor and ex-US Senate candidate Jim Douglas (R), and former Lt. Governor and 2020 Democratic gubernatorial nominee David Zuckerman all say they will not enter the open Senate contest. Meanwhile, reports suggest that at-large Rep. Peter Welch (D-Norwich) is telling his colleagues that he will announce his Senate candidacy in the coming days.
Veteran California Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough/San Mateo) announced yesterday that she will not seek an eighth full term in the US House and will retire at the end of the current Congress. Ms. Speier has been in elective office since 1980, serving consecutively on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, the California state Assembly, and the state Senate before winning a special election to the House in 2008 to replace the late Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA). Counting the newly created seats via reapportionment, at least 32 districts will be open in the 2022 midterm election.
Rep. Speier is the second Californian to announce she will not be seeking re-election. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) previously declared her intention to run for Mayor of Los Angeles. Redistricting is not expected to greatly change the 14th District. The seat needs to only gain 13,729 individuals, 10,660 of which would probably come from a swap with a district directly to the north in San Francisco, that being Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 12th CD.
The November 2nd Democratic special primary election in Florida’s 20th Congressional District is finally over. The Secretary of State has certified the five-vote nomination victory of businesswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D), meaning she will advance to compete in the January 11th special general election, a vote she will easily win in the heavily Democratic district. Runner-up candidate Dale Holness, a Broward County Commissioner, will apparently not challenge the special election result in court but will likely return to run in the regular 2022 primary. Therefore, it is likely this district will again see a very competitive Democratic primary next August.
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