Monthly Archives: January 2023

Sen. Feinstein’s Cryptic Statement; Montana Sen. Tester’s Timetable; Sen. Casey Clarifies Re-Election Status in Wake of Cancer Diagnosis; Miss. Gov. Reeves Faces Challenger

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

Senate

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D)

California: Sen. Feinstein’s Cryptic Statement — Responding to a large number of Democrats making political plans based upon what they believe surrounds her impending retirement announcement, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) made a statement Wednesday that at the very least strings along the people chomping at the bit to run for a new or different office.

The only individual to announce for the Senate so far is Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), but her move kicked off an array of candidates, six to be exact, already declaring for what they believe will be her open congressional seat, while others openly plan to enter the statewide race.

In a way of saying, “not so fast,” Sen. Feinstein said that she will make up her mind about the 2024 election “in the next couple of months.”

Montana: Sen. Tester’s Timetable — Sen. Jon Tester (D), answering reporters’ questions about whether he will run for a fourth term from Big Sky Country earlier this week, said he would make a decision by the end of the first quarter. Sen. Tester will face a difficult re-election in a state that has turned decidedly more Republican since he was re-elected in 2018. In that year, his victory margin was only 50-47 percent over Matt Rosendale (R) who was subsequently elected to the House in 2020.

Pennsylvania: Sen. Casey Clarifies Re-Election Status — Just after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Keystone State Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) indicated that he would be running for re-election once he recovers from his impending surgery. Clarifying his status yesterday, the senator said running will be dependent upon his health once he completes his cancer treatment, but his goal is to run again. Sen. Casey said he is not yet ready to commit to launching another campaign.

House

CA-45: Rep. Steel (R) Draws Different Challenger — Golden State Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County), fresh from a 52-48 percent victory in a new 45th District that contained only 16 percent carryover from the 48th District to which she was originally elected in 2020, has drawn a potentially new opponent for 2024.

Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Bernice Nguyen (D), a twice defeated county supervisor contender, announced her congressional candidacy Wednesday in a district that is 41.4 percent plurality Asian and over 72 percent minority. Community College Trustee Jay Chen (D), who held Rep. Steel to her four-point win in a district that contains a five-point Democratic lean according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, is also a potential candidate, but has not yet formally decided whether he will seek a re-match.

Governor

Mississippi: Gov. Reeves Faces GOP Challenge — With the Feb. 1 candidate filing deadline fast approaching for the 2023 governor’s race, incumbent Tate Reeves will not have a free ride in the Republican primary. Dr. John Witcher, who is an anti-Covid vaccination physician, formally declared his candidacy Wednesday. This could be a harbinger to Gov. Reeves getting a stronger GOP opponent, however, such as Secretary of State Michael Watson who has still not ruled out entering the governor’s contest. Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is the leading Democratic candidate.

Republicans Court Sen. Sinema; Another CA-47 Candidate Joins Race; Lightfoot Rebounds in New Poll

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

Senate

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ)

Arizona: Republicans Court Sen. Sinema — Reports suggest that Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is leading the group of GOP senators who are attempting to convince newly Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to join the GOP caucus. If successful, the Republicans would then draw even with the Democrats in that both parties would have 50 senators. The main benefit for the GOP would be neutralizing the Democratic advantage on all committees since the Sinema move would force committee membership parity, just as was the case in the last Congress.

It is unlikely that Sen. Sinema will coalesce with the Republicans, however. From a re-election standpoint, her best position would be running as an Independent in a three-way general election. An inability to clinch renomination in the Democratic Party primary was one reason she bolted, but winning a GOP nomination would likely be just as difficult. Therefore, cobbling together an Independent coalition that can reach a plurality figure of 35 percent with a Democratic and Republican nominee almost splitting evenly the remaining votes is her best victory scenario. Count on the Arizona Senate race again becoming a major national campaign in 2024.

House

Dom Jones (D)

CA-47: Sixth Candidate Joins Early Forming Field — Over the weekend, we saw an announcement from locally well-known community activist and fitness business owner Dom Jones (D) that she would be the fifth entry into what will be an open Orange County 2024 congressional race after California Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-Irvine) very early Senate announcement initiated a plethora of early political action.

Yet another person stepped forward to declare her candidacy in what is quickly becoming a crowded race. Hollywood television writer and producer Lori Kirkland Baker (D) joined the 47th District political fray and will compete against former US Rep. Harley Rouda (D), state Sen. David Min (D-Irvine), ex-state assemblyman and 2022 congressional candidate Scott Baugh (R), IT consultant Brian Burley, and Jones. All will share the ballot in a March 2024 jungle primary that will yield two of the contenders advancing into the general election.

Baker is a significant figure in television, working on such shows as Frasier, Wings, and Desperate Housewives, among others. We can expect a very competitive open primary and general election campaign to shortly ensue.

Cities

Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot Rebounds in New Poll — For the first time in this election cycle, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had been trailing in every released poll since early December, has moved into the lead according to a just released GBAO survey, as the nine candidates move toward a Feb. 28 non-partisan primary election. If no contender receives majority support in that election, the top two finishers will advance to an April 4 runoff.

The GBAO poll conducted for the Lightfoot campaign (Jan. 18-22; 800 likely Chicago municipal election voters; live interview & text) projects the mayor to a 25-22-18-11-9 percent leading edge over former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago), businessman Willie Wilson, and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, respectively. No other individual breaks the two percent support mark.

This is the first poll that fails to project Rep. Garcia as the leader, but he is just now beginning his advertising campaign. It appears a virtual certainty that no candidate will reach majority support in the first election, thus triggering the runoff. Should Rep. Garcia ultimately win the election, a special vote would then be scheduled to replace him in the US House.

House of Reps Makeup Assessed; Crowded Candidate Field Already in Porter’s CA-47; GOP Leads in Nationwide Party ID in Gallup Poll

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

Elections

Reassessing Republican Performance — It is a common analysis that the Republicans under-performed in the 2022 election, but a closer inspection of the final US House results suggests such a conclusion may be somewhat unwarranted.

It is certainly clear that the Republicans fell below the congressional leadership and conservative media’s expectations, but the flaw may have been unrealistic predictions instead of candidates falling woefully short at the ballot box.

Several points lead to this new conclusion. 

First, the Daily Kos Elections blog conducted an analysis of all 435 districts once the 50 post-redistricting state maps were in place. The DK researchers calculated the 2020 Biden-Trump presidential results for all 435 congressional districts and found that the national Democratic nominee carried 226 seats from the grand total, therefore suggesting that the final redistricting maps actually favored the Democrats and not the Republicans.

Therefore, seeing 222 seats in a new Republican majority when the opposing party had the advantage in 226 seats possibly puts the final result in a different light. 

Secondly, the national congressional vote favored the Republicans by a 50.6 – 47.8 percent margin, a spread of some 3.04 million votes. Directly extrapolating this national congressional popular vote number with an overlay of the 435 seats would directly yield the majority party 221 seats. 

These latter figures tell us that the new redistricting maps accurately reflect the national vote count, at least in relation to the 2022 election. This, too, shows that the Republicans gaining 222 seats when their national vote would project to 221 was not the poor performance that many believe occurred.

Another common statement surrounding Republican 2022 performance in House races is the party left too many close contests “on the table.” The numbers pertaining to this observation also tell a different story.

In the 25 closest House races, Republicans won 15, including the five overall closest results. Looking at the 10 Democratic wins in this category, there is an argument to be made that the outcome could have realistically changed in only four of these hotly contested campaigns. Thus, if the Republicans won the reasonable “races on the table” their majority would have grown to only 226.

The six tightest races that statistics suggest should have gone to the Democrats are:

• NM-2: Las Cruces City Councilman Gabe Vasquez (D) defeated Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) due mainly to redistricting. The Democratic map drawers changed the 2nd CD from a seat that favored Republicans by 14 points to a new domain giving the Democrats a four point statistical advantage. These numbers are from the FiveThirtyEight data organization calculations. Therefore, the Democratic candidate scoring a 50.3 percent victory is actually a bit below what was expected.

• CT-5: Connecticut Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Wolcott) won a third term, but in a closer-than-expected finish, taking just 50.4 percent of the vote in a seat rated D+3. Again, statistics suggest that this is a Democratic district, and especially so with an incumbent on the ballot.

• NY-18: Another district where the Democrats were favored (D+3) went to 19th District special election winner Pat Ryan (D-Gardiner). He defeated a strong Republican effort from then-state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt with only 50.6 percent of the vote.

• OR-6: The surprise of this race is how close Republican Mike Erickson came to scoring an upset victory in a district rated D+7. State Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Tigard) won the election, but her 50.0 – 47.5 percent margin should have been greater.

• RI-2: Republicans had high hopes that former gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung could upset then-state Treasurer Seth Magaziner (D-Cranston) in a seat rated D+17. Such expectations proved unrealistic, but Fung did hold the new Congressman to only a 50.4 winning percentage.

• CA-47: Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) was always favored to defeat former state Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R), and did so by a 51.7 – 48.3 percent vote spread. She outspent Baugh by a $25.7 million to $3.1 million ratio, thus overwhelming her opponent with resources.

The four races Republicans might have turned around were:
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Gallego, Kaine Announce for Senate; Cameron Leads in Kentucky; Lightfoot’s Downward Trend Continues

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023

Senate

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) Announces for Senate.

Arizona: Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) Announces for Senate — Taking quick advantage of Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) not pursuing a US Senate run next year, fellow Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), a long-presumed 2024 Senate candidate, officially declared his candidacy yesterday. At this point, he must be considered the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination and his moving so quickly after Rep. Stanton’s announcement is intended to lock down the nomination way in advance of the candidate filing deadline.

The general election will be tough in that Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is likely to be in the field and certainly whittles away some Democratic support. While her prospects of winning a Democratic primary against Rep. Gallego or anyone else appear poor, her victory path is more reasonable in a three-way general election. As has been the case in the past three elections, the Arizona Senate race will again become a key national campaign.

Five-term Rep. Gallego says he is not opposing incumbent Sen. Sinema because “she abandoned the Democratic Party — it’s that she abandoned Arizona.” Rep. Gallego, who was long expected to be a Democratic Senate candidate long before Sen. Sinema switched her partisan allegiance in December, at this point sees no major intra-party opposition. US Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix), who would have been a top contender, but on Friday said he would not enter the statewide contest.

The Arizona nomination system is long, and we are still more than a year away from the April 2024 candidate filing deadline, so much will happen in this Senate contest before the political dust settles. Should Sen. Sinema seek re-election, a legitimate three-way race among she, presumably Rep. Gallego on the Democratic line, and a Republican nominee would yield a race in which any of those three contenders, under the right circumstances, could win the general election.

Virginia: Sen. Tim Kaine (D) Announces for Re-Election — Though some speculation was beginning to percolate that Democratic senator and 2016 vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine would retire, on Friday he announced that he will seek a third term. At this point, he becomes a prohibitive favorite to win the 2024 general election in a state that is moving into the reliably Democratic category even after the Republican success in the 2021 odd-year elections.

The budding Republican candidate field is not impressive so far, but retired Navy Capt. Hung Cao, who scored 47 pecent against Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg) in a 10th District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+8 and Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 55.2D-42.99R, is apparently considering a Senate challenge. Cao would provide Republicans with a credible and interesting candidate, but with the state continuing to move toward the Democrats, which is accentuated in a presidential year, Sen. Kaine is in a strong political position as he begins his quest for a third term.

Governor

Kentucky: AG Cameron Opens with Lead — A Meeting Street Kentucky statewide poll (Jan. 9-11; 500 likely Kentucky Republican primary voters; live interview & text) gives Attorney General Daniel Cameron a strong opening advantage for the party nomination in the May primary election. In a field of a dozen candidates vying for the opportunity of challenging Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in November, AG Cameron is staked to an early 39-8-8 percent lead over state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft.

Cameron is clearly the most well known and positively viewed of the GOP candidates. His favorable recognition and positive image among the Republican voter sample was 62 percent as compared to Quarles’ 28 percent and Craft’s 22 percent. In 2019, Cameron was elected attorney general with a 58-42 percent victory margin.

Cities

Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot’s Downward Re-Election Trends Continue — Two new polls continue to show Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) in an underdog position for re-election in likely the nation’s most important 2023 mayoral election.

The surveys, from M3 Strategies (Dec. 11-13; 440 likely Chicago voters; SMS text to web) and a more recent study from Lester & Associates for the Sophie King campaign (Jan. 9-14; 600 likely Chicago voters; live interview), find Mayor Lightfoot trailing in the Feb. 28 non-partisan primary election. There is also a fair chance that she will fail to even qualify for the April 4 runoff, a secondary election that appears inevitable since no one is close to obtaining majority support.

Both polls find US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago) claiming first place. The M3 poll showed Lightfoot dropping to third position behind former Chicago budget director Paul Vallas, while Lester & Associates sees the incumbent mayor holding the second slot. The M3 poll found Lightfoot saddled with a terrible 25:74 percent favorable to unfavorable ratio. This latter statistic might be most indicative in suggesting that she will fail to win re-election.

Phoenix Restaurant Owner Makes House Run; CA-30 Field to Replace Schiff Grows; Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Challenger; Miss. Gov. Gov. Reeves Clings to Tight Lead

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

House

Phoenix area restaurant owner Kelly Cooper (R)

AZ-4: Cooper to Return — Phoenix area restaurant owner Kelly Cooper (R), who lost in November to Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix), 56-44 percent from a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates only as D+1, said late last week that he will run again in 2024. With Congressman Stanton eschewing a US Senate run, the chances are good that we will see a re-match congressional race here next year. In 2022, Cooper upset GOP establishment favorite Tanya Wheeless in the Republican primary with a 28-25 percent win within a field of five contenders.

CA-30: Field to Replace Schiff Again Grows — Though California Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) has yet to announce that he is running for the Senate, it is becoming a foregone conclusion that he will officially declare his candidacy when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) publicly confirms her retirement. We now see a fourth Democratic candidate coming forward to run in what they believe will be an open 2024 congressional race.

Actor Ben Savage (D), brother of actor Fred Savage, who has appeared in film and television in roles from 1989 to the present, made public his intention to enter the 30th District congressional field. Already in the race are Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), Los Angeles Unified School District board member Nick Melvoin, and businessman John Bocanegra. CA-30 is a safely Democratic seat that will likely advance two Democrats from the top-two jungle primary format.

IN-3: First Open Seat Potential Candidate Emerges — Responding to four-term northern Indiana Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) announcing for the open Senate race, the first major potential US House candidate has filed an exploratory committee. State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) confirmed that he is testing the waters for a congressional run but has not made any final decision about entering the open contest. A crowded Republican field is expected in a seat where the GOP nominee will have a major advantage in the general election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates IN-3 as R+34.

Puerto Rico: Resident Commissioner Draws Challenger — There are several unique points in Puerto Rico politics associated with sending one non-voting Delegate to the US House of Representatives. First, the position in Puerto Rico is designated as “Resident Commissioner,” second, the term is four years instead of two, and third, the political parties are different.

The current Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, is a member of the New Progressive Party (PNP), which is closely associated with the Republican Party. Yesterday, she received a challenge for the 2024 election from attorney and former gubernatorial aide Pablo Jose Hernandez Rivera of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), which is closely aligned with the mainland Democratic Party.

Governor

Mississippi: Gov. Reeves’ Tight Lead — A Siena College poll conducted for the Mississippi Today organization (Jan. 8-12; 821 registered Mississippi voters; live interview) finds first-term Gov. Tate Reeves (R) holding only a four-point, 43-39 percent, edge over newly announced Democratic candidate Brandon Presley, a cousin to the late music legend Elvis Presley, as the Feb. 1 candidate filing deadline fast approaches. The statewide primary is scheduled for Aug. 8, with a runoff on Aug. 29 for those races where no candidate receives majority support on the initial vote.

Gov. Reeves polled close in the 2019 election, but in the end won a 52-47 percent victory over four-term Attorney General Jim Hood (D). While his job approval rating, according to the Siena poll, is 48:45 percent positive to negative, his personal rating is an upside down 40:48 percent. It is unusual to see a personal rating register more negative than a job approval score.

Kari Lake Considering Senate Run; State Senator Declares for Porter’s Seat; Louisiana Rep. Graves Poised to Enter Gov Race; Two Dem Reps Oppose Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

Senate

Former news anchor and candidate for governor, Kari Lake (R), is considering Senate run.

Arizona: Kari Lake (R) Considering Senate — Media reports from Arizona suggest that defeated gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a former multi-decade Phoenix news anchor, is considering entering the 2024 US Senate contest. This campaign will be unique since it features the incumbent, Kyrsten Sinema, originally elected as a Democrat running as an Independent.

Democrats could be headed for a tough primary battle between Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) and Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix). The latter man also served six years as Phoenix’s mayor before being elected to the House. Other potential Republican candidates include Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and state Treasurer Kimberly Yee. This race will prove interesting since both eventual major party nominees and Sen. Sinema all would have legitimate victory scenarios in a tight three-way general election campaign.

House

CA-47: State Senator Declares for Porter’s Seat — The whirlwind of California political activities in early anticipation of the 2024 election continues. With Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) already declaring for the US Senate and three others announcing for Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Burbank) House seat even though he has yet to say he’s running for the Senate, we now see a state legislator, Sen. David Min (D-Irvine), making a move.

Min announced his intention to compete for Rep. Porter’s open seat and will have the congresswoman’s endorsement. Since California state Senate seats are larger than congressional districts, Min’s overlay into the current 47th CD from his 37th District state Senate seat is substantial and includes the region’s anchor city of Irvine.

Governor

Louisiana: GOP Rep. Graves Poised to Enter ’23 Gov Race — It is believed that US Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge), who was just elected to a fifth term in the House, will imminently announce his 2023 gubernatorial candidacy. With both Sen. John Kennedy (R) and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R) deciding not to run for governor and incumbent John Bel Edwards (D) ineligible to seek a third term, the race becomes wide open.

The early leader appears to be attorney general and former Congressman Jeff Landry (R), but with the candidate filing deadline set for Aug. 10 and the initial primary scheduled for Oct. 14, this race still has months to develop. Since this is an odd-year election, Rep. Graves would not have to risk his House seat in order to enter the statewide contest.

North Carolina: AG Josh Stein (D) Declares for Governor — Two-term state Attorney General Josh Stein (D), who barely won re-election in 2020 with a scant 50.1 – 49.9 percent majority, announced his bid for governor Wednesday. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term in 2024, which will lead to another tight North Carolina open statewide campaign. Stein, who is the early favorite to win the Democratic nomination, will probably face Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who looks to have the inside track toward becoming the GOP standard bearer. We can expect another close statewide election in this highly competitive political state.

State & Local

Chicago: Two Dem Reps Oppose Mayor Lightfoot — Embattled first-term Mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to see support drift away. At an event the Chicago Teachers Union sponsored to declare its support of Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson for mayor, US Reps. Jonathan Jackson (D-Chicago) and Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) also announced their endorsement of the county official. Rep. Jackson criticized Mayor Lightfoot for not keeping her 2019 campaign promises.

The congressional member endorsements were a bit surprising since polling suggests that Mayor Lightfoot’s top competitor is their colleague in the House of Representatives, Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago). The mayoral election is Feb. 28. If no candidate receives majority support, the top two finishers will advance to an April 4 runoff election.

Rep. Banks Announces for Senate; Ohio Senate Rerun; More CA-30 Candidates; Mayor Announces House Challenge in Minnesota

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023

Senate

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City)

Indiana: Rep. Banks (R) Announces for Senate — Not backing down from a potential Republican primary race against former Gov. Mitch Daniels, four-term US Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) announced Tuesday that he will enter Indiana’s open Senate race next year. Daniels has been sending signals that he will also run for the Senate, but the Banks move means the May Republican primary will likely be the big battle to replace first-term Sen. Mike Braun (R) who is bypassing re-election to run for governor. Other potential GOP candidates include term-limited Gov. Eric Holcomb and US Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville), among others.

Banks ended the 2022 election cycle with approximately $1.4 million remaining in his campaign account. Gov. Daniels last appeared on the ballot in 2008 when he was re-elected to a second term with a 58-40 percent victory margin. Rep. Banks leaving the safely Republican 3rd Congressional District means we will see a crowded and hotly contested GOP congressional field in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+34.

Ohio: 2022 GOP Senate Candidate Returns — Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), a minority owner of the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball club, will return for a second consecutive US Senate contest. This time, he hopes to challenge veteran Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the 2024 general election.

In the last election, for the open seat created when Sen. Rob Portman (R) announced he would not seek a third term, Sen. Dolan competed against six opponents, losing to now-Sen. J.D. Vance (R) by a 32-23 percent margin with former state Treasurer Josh Mandel placing second just a point ahead of Dolan. In the current election cycle, Dolan’s chances for the party nomination appear better. If he is successful in the Republican primary, Dolan faces a difficult general election opponent in Sen. Brown even though Ohio has been moving decidedly closer to the GOP in recent elections. In 2018, Sen. Brown defeated then-US Rep. Jim Renacci (R), 53-47 percent.

House

CA-30: Yet, Another — Businessman Josh Bocanegra (D) who was looking to enter the US Senate race has instead decided to compete for the Burbank-anchored congressional race that most presume will be open. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is widely expected to run for the Senate once incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D) announces her retirement. Already in the congressional race are state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) and Los Angeles Unified School Board Vice Chairman Nick Melvoin.

The seat will remain in Democratic hands, but it is likely we will see two Democrats advance to the general election from the top two jungle primary format that California has used since the 2012 election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-30 as D+45.

MN-2: Local Mayor Announces for House — After Navy veteran Tyler Kistner (R) ran two close but unsuccessful campaigns against Rep. Angie Craig (D-Prior Lake) in 2020 and 2022, Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy (R) announced that he will attempt to win the party nomination in hopes of becoming the congresswoman’s 2024 challenger. There is little indication as to what Kistner might be thinking about a third congressional run, but him losing two consecutive races suggests that the party leaders will be looking for a new contender.