By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023
PresidentMike Pence: Suspends Campaign — At the Republican Jewish Coalition event in Las Vegas on Saturday, former Vice President Mike Pence, saying it is evident that “now is not my time” suspended his 2024 presidential campaign. Pence follows former US Rep. Will Hurd and commentator Larry Elder in dropping out of the presidential race. Upon his exit, Pence did not endorse another candidate as Hurd did, who now supports former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley; Elder is backing former President Donald Trump.
Texas: Rep. Allred Leads in Dem Primary Poll — YouGov, polling for the University of Texas, conducted a new statewide poll of the Lone Star electorate (Oct. 5-17; 1,200 registered Texas voters; 568 likely Republican primary voters; 409 likely Democratic primary voters; online; weighted sample). In testing the Senate Democratic primary, the pollsters found US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) leading state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), 2022 congressional candidate Sherri Taylor, former Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez, and state Rep. Carl Sherman (D-Dallas) with a 21-10-3-2-2 percent, respectively. Nine additional names were also included on the ballot test question.
Though Rep. Allred, the Democratic establishment-backed candidate, has a lead in polling and certainly fundraising, the large field and his underwhelming early support total suggests it will be difficult for him, or any other candidate, to win the primary outright on March 5. Therefore, advancing to a May 28 runoff election between the top two Democratic primary finishers at this time appears a likely result.
CO-3: Boebert Primary Opponent Gaining Steam — Attorney Jeff Hurd, one of four Republicans challenging Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) for re-election in Colorado’s western slope 3rd District, has earned a major endorsement. Former two-term Gov. Bill Owens (R-1999-2007), the last Republican to win the office, announced his support for Hurd late last week.
Rep. Boebert will be hard-pressed to win re-election. Surviving in the closest campaign of 2022 (a 546-vote margin), her former opponent, ex-Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch (D), is returning for a re-match and has already raised a whopping $8.5 million toward his 2024 campaign. A strong Republican primary challenge from Hurd will now be interesting to watch. The Colorado primary is scheduled for June 25, 2024.
FL-28: Rep. Gimenez Leads in New Poll — Retired Navy Cmdr. Phil Ehr (D), who twice ran unsuccessfully for Florida’s northernmost district (FL-1; losing general election to Rep. Matt Gaetz in 2020; losing Democratic primary in 2018) is now attempting to win the state’s southernmost district, FL-28. A new Change Research poll, conducted for Ehr’s fledgling campaign (Oct. 13-17; 500 likely 2024 FL-28 general election voters; online) finds Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Miami) leading Ehr, 45-32 percent.
There has been speculation that Rep. Gimenez, a former Miami-Dade County mayor who was ineligible to seek re-election to a third term in 2020, may eschew re-election to the House in order to oppose the individual who succeeded him, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D).
Rep. Gimenez first won his US House seat in 2020, defeating then-Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), who is now running for US Senate. He was re-elected in 2022 with a strong 64-36 percent victory margin. The 28th District, which stretches from Miami to Key West, is politically marginal. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+4. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a different partisan lean, however. Dave’s App finds the Democrats holding a 51.0 to 47.6 partisan advantage. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 12th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference.
Georgia: Governor Calls Special Session — In order to comply with last week’s federal district judicial ruling that declared the Georgia congressional and state legislative maps as illegal racial gerrymanders, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has scheduled a special legislative session for Nov. 29 for purposes of drawing new congressional and legislative boundaries. Republicans may appeal the ruling, however, which could delay the process. Therefore, it remains unclear if any new map will take effect in time for the 2024 election.