By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023
SenateCal Berkeley Poll: Porter Edges Schiff, Garvey Alive — The University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies (IGS) released their latest Golden State survey (Oct. 24-30; 6,342 registered California voters; 4,506 likely March 5th California primary voters; online) finds US Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) eclipsing US Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) by a scant 17-16 percent plurality within the large all-party field. While the 17 percent support number represents no gain for Porter when compared to the IGS August study, it does show Schiff losing four percentage points within the same time period. Among self-identified Democratic respondents, the two are tied at 26 percent apiece.
Former professional baseball star Steve Garvey (R), has increased his position now that he is an announced candidate. He finished third in the IGS poll with 10 percent support. The race is close enough that if Garvey can coalesce the GOP support around his candidacy (a total of 21 percent chose a Republican candidate), he could secure a general election ballot position. Among Republican respondents, Garvey receives 27 percent support as compared to 13 and 12 percent for candidates James Bradley and Eric Early.
The Golden State, like Louisiana and Washington, employs an all-party jungle primary system. In California, all candidates are placed on the March 5 ballot and the top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation or primary percentage attained, qualify for the general election. Democrats are favored to hold the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D) seat that appointed Sen. Laphonza Butler (D) now holds, but whether a Republican qualifies for the general election or two Democrats advance from the primary remains to be seen.
AL-2: Republicans Field Candidate — Though the new court ordered map has drawn a new Montgomery-Mobile district designed to elect a black Democrat, Republicans now have a candidate to compete in a general election campaign. Former state Sen. Dick Brewbaker announced over the weekend that he will file for the new congressional seat. Democrats already see seven announced candidates including two state senators, two state representatives, a Jefferson County Commissioner, and two minor candidates.
The candidate filing deadline is this week, on Nov. 10, so the official candidate field will soon be set. The Alabama statewide partisan primary is March 5. If no one secures majority support in the first election, a secondary runoff vote between the top two finishers will be held on April 2, 2024.
Election Day: Kentucky, Mississippi & Virginia — Today is election day around the country, and the contests drawing the most attention are occurring in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Virginia.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) runs for a second term while Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) opposes him. This contest has the potential to be close. The latest poll, from Emerson College (Oct. 30-Nov. 2; 1,000 likely Kentucky voters; multiple sampling techniques), finds Cameron taking a lead for the first time in the race, with a 49-48 percent edge. A Cameron victory would be viewed as a major upset.
Another upset is possible in Mississippi. Public Service Commission Brandon Presley (D) is polling close to Gov. Tate Reeves (R) who, like Gov. Beshear in Kentucky, is on the ballot for a second term. The latest available survey comes from Public Policy Polling for the Democratic Governors Association (Oct. 19-20; 601 likely Mississippi voters; live interview & text) and the results find Gov. Reeves’ previous much larger lead dropping to just 46-45 percent. Polling was similar four years ago and Reeves considerably outperformed the polling. It remains to be seen if that pattern repeats itself tomorrow.
Virginia hosts critical state legislative elections with all 140 seats in the General Assembly up for election. Republicans hold a two-vote margin in the House of Delegates; Democrats a two-vote edge in the state Senate. Majorities in both houses are very much up for grabs in redistricted seats where candidates are running for the first time.
Trends coming from these elections, plus the Republican outright victory in Louisiana back in October, could set a precursor trend for the regular 2024 elections.