Monthly Archives: December 2021

WEST VIRGINIA REDISTRICTING UPDATE

West Virginia Legislature’s 2021 redistricting process has concluded.

The Mountain State is down a congressional district in reapportionment because West Virginia lost approximately three percent of its population since 2010. Therefore, despite Republicans controlling the redistricting process, their 3R-0D delegation will recede to 2R-0D. The district collapse forces Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) into a paired situation with Rep. David McKinley (R-Wheeling). This race will be decided in the May 10 Republican primary, with the winner becoming the prohibitive favorite in the general election.

Sans Sununu, New Hampshire Republican Candidates Still in Favorable Position

By Jim Ellis

US Senate candidate Corky Messner (R) | Photo by Amanda Blundo, Corky for Senate Campaign

Dec. 6, 2021 — A new Tarrance Group poll of the New Hampshire general electorate conducted for potential US Senate candidate Corky Messner (R) shows the Republicans in a favorable position to challenge Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) even without Gov. Chris Sununu (R) as her opponent.

The survey (Nov. 14-17; 500 likely 2022 New Hampshire general election voters, live interview) finds Messner lagging only two points behind the first-term senator, 47-45 percent. This type of ballot test result shows a weaker standing for the Republican nominee than when Gov. Sununu was paired with Hassan — in virtually every poll during the past year, the governor was leading — but a lesser known candidate’s support figure lying within the polling margin of error is certainly a positive sign for Republican chances.

Digging deeper into the poll, we find positives for both candidates. Sen. Hassan’s job approval rating is in positive territory at 50:45 percent, with a personal favorability index of 48:44 percent. Though her numbers are not stellar, considering the generic question (would you vote for a Republican or Democrat for US Senate) actually favored the GOP by a 45-42 percent count, her standing is at least stable within the context of what, for her, is an adverse political climate. Typically, the Democrats almost always lead on the generic question.

Perhaps the biggest positive for Messner from this data revolves around a ballot test within the cell group of respondents who are familiar with both candidates. This is a particularly large cell, since 74 percent of the sample participants expressed knowledge of both contenders. In looking at the ballot test figures within just this group, Messner forges into the lead, 50-43 percent.

Assuming the electorate at large would also behave in such a manner upon gaining adequate familiarity with both candidates, such a finding would be highly significant and reinforces the analysis that New Hampshire remains the Republicans’ strongest conversion opportunity.

Messner has not yet announced for the Senate, only saying he is considering becoming a candidate. He was the party’s 2020 Senate nominee, losing to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), 57-41 percent, with the senator outspending Messner, $17 million to $7 million.

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MASSACHUSETTS REDISTRICTING UPDATE

Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is considering a map the legislature passed that would continue sending the state’s 9D-0R delegation to Washington for most, if not all, of the current decade.

The biggest change is Ways & Means Committee chairman Richard Neal’s (D-Springfield) western district having to gain 50,635 individuals. Otherwise, the core of the Massachusetts’ CDs remain intact.

MAINE REDISTRICTING UPDATE

Maine Congressional Districts

The new Maine map made changes in the Augusta area, transferring the region from Rep. Chellie Pingree’s (D-North Haven/Portland) 1st District to Rep. Jared Golden’s (D-Lewiston) expansive 2nd District. The move meant 23,031 people were moved from the 1st to the 2nd.

Maine’s districts are important in that this is one of two states where congressional seats carry their own electoral votes in the presidential race. Though Maine went for Joe Biden in 2020 and Hillary Clinton in 2016, Donald Trump gained an electoral vote in each election because he carried the 2nd District. Under the new map, the Augusta area addition makes the 2nd slightly more Democratic, but it will remain competitive