Author Archives: Jim Ellis

Trone’s Spending & Gaffes;
CA-49 Becoming Competitive; Understanding CA-16;
Daughtry Drops Out of NC-13 Race

By Jim Ellis — Monday, May 6, 2024

Senate

Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac)

Maryland: Trone’s Spending & Gaffes — Reports are surfacing that Rep. David Trone’s (D-Potomac) personal spending on his Senate race to win the Maryland Democratic US Senate primary has now exceeded an incredible $57 million. Polling, however, suggests that while Trone leads on the various ballot tests he still hasn’t quite put away Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.

Trone is now recovering from two misstatements that have caused him to publicly apologize. The first was uttering a racially insensitive comment during a committee hearing, and the second is verbiage in his latest ad that suggests he wouldn’t need “training wheels” once he entered the Senate, which is a condescending backhanded swipe at Alsobrooks’ lack of legislative experience. Trone had to publicly apologize for the committee remark, and now has removed the training wheels language from his ads, yielding to the criticism. Thus, he is in an apologetic position entering the critical final two weeks of campaigning before the May 14 primary election.

House

CA-49: Becoming Competitive — California Rep. Mike Levin’s (D-San Juan Capistrano) Orange-San Diego County district is on the borderline of competitiveness. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+5 and President Joe Biden carried the district with a 55-43 percent margin. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks CA-49 as the 29th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference. In the 2022 election, Rep. Levin defeated frequent Republican congressional candidate Brian Maryott, 52.6 – 47.4 percent, which is a closer margin than President Biden’s.

Republicans, armed with what appears to be a better candidate in the ’24 election, just released an 1892 research organization poll from three weeks ago (April 9-11; 400 likely CA-49 general election voters; live interview) that finds Rep. Levin only leading business owner Matt Gunderson (R) by a scant 44-42 percent margin with President Biden’s image degrading to an upside-down 39:56 percent favorable to unfavorable ratio. This, coupled with the fact that Rep. Levin only pulled 51 percent of the vote in the March jungle primary, suggests this race could become highly competitive in November.

CA-16: A Greater Understanding — The Silicon Valley congressional situation may be becoming clearer. With the original count showing Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) and San Mateo County Supervisor Joe Simitian (D) tied for the second general election qualifying position after all ballots were counted, curiosity arose when allies of first-place finisher Sam Liccardo (D), the former mayor of San Jose, requested and paid for an electronic recount. Under California election procedure, in the event of a tie between candidates for a general election qualifying position, both would advance to the November ballot. Therefore, it was in neither Simitian nor Low’s interest to request a recount.

An early April Lake Research poll (April 5-8; 400 likely CA-16 general election voters; live interview) found a tight three-way contest if the tie stood, with Liccardo leading Assemblyman Low and Supervisor Simitian by a tight 26-21-20 percent count. If the battle were only between Liccardo and Low, the former mayor would hold a stronger 36-26 percent advantage. The recount did change the outcome, and the final numbers now show Low with a five-vote advantage. It remains to be seen if Simitian will challenge that result.

NC-13: Candidate Daughtry Drops Out — Attorney Kelly Daughtry (R), who placed first in the 14-candidate 13th District Republican primary on March 5, has now dropped out of the race. Daughtry indicated her initial internal polling suggested she led the runoff against former federal prosecutor Brad Knott, but the candidate said when former President Donald Trump endorsed her opponent, the race’s entire political flow changed.

Saying that Trump’s “involvement has foreclosed her path to victory,” Daughtry announced late last week that she is ending her campaign. This means that Knott will be effectively unopposed in the May 14 Republican runoff and is a lock to convert the newly redistricted seat to the GOP column in November.

Joe Biden, “Spoiler”

By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 3, 2024

President

President Joe Biden / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Joe Biden: Presidential Election Spoiler? — The Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) campaign not only refutes the analysis that it is principally a presidential race spoiler but goes a wild step further to claim that President Joe Biden is the candidate who should exit the campaign.

Obviously, to arrive at such a bizarre conclusion means the Kennedy strategists’ logic is questionable to say the least. The supposition is based upon a Zogby Strategies poll (dates not released; 26,408 US respondents; online; claiming a 0.6 percent error factor). Zogby generally has not been particularly well regarded in the polling industry. According to the most recent FiveThirtyEight pollster ranking chart (February 2024), the parent Zogby Analytics firm ranks 226th on the aggregate list and is awarded only one of three possible stars.

The first scenario Zogby produced for purposes of demonstrating Biden weakness was a Biden-Trump head-to-head ballot test. Nationwide, counting all 51 voting entities, the poll results projected former President Donald Trump as defeating President Biden with an electoral vote spread of 294-244, or 24 more than needed to re-claim the presidency.

This configuration showed at least two states going Trump’s way that no other survey had projected in such a one-on-one pairing. Along with the critical swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin, the Zogby conclusion yielded Trump victories in Maine and Virginia.

These results are obviously dubious. As mentioned, Maine and Virginia do not appear to be in play for Trump, at least in a flat Biden-Trump contest. Additionally, in the Great Lakes, it is mandatory that one of the three regional states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin, land in the Trump column if he is to have any chance of cobbling together a national victory coalition. Typically, polling has shown Wisconsin to be Trump’s weakest state of the three, but the Zogby result shows the Badger State as the only one favoring the former president.

When the pollsters added Kennedy’s name to the survey questionnaire, Maine and Virginia reverted to Biden, but the end result was still a 278-260 Trump victory.

Kennedy’s Zogby poll then tested the completely unrealistic scenario of a Biden-Kennedy pairing. There was no explanation as to why they believe Trump would drop out, but the prevailing point for devising such a scenario was to illustrate Biden weakness.

In this configuration, Kennedy would defeat Biden with a whopping electoral vote count of 367-171. Under this unrealistic scenario, Biden would carry only 11 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illiniois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Vermont) along with the District of Columbia. Note: the configuration of these particular states contains only 170 electoral votes. There is no illustration that the 2nd District of Nebraska votes for Biden, but it is possible that the district was contained in the count but not shown on the map.

The final tested polling scenario is a head-to-head pairing with Trump and Kennedy. In this configuration, the pollsters predict a very close race, with Kennedy upsetting former President Trump by the smallest of margins, 270-268. Under this outcome, Trump loses Georgia but wins Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The remainder of the map appears similar to what is projected for the traditional Biden-Trump election.

The major flaws in these scenarios, outside of the virtually impossible scenario of Kennedy pairing individually with either Biden or Trump with no explanation as to why there would not be a Democratic and Republican nominee under all circumstances, involves the states of Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

There is one poll that found Trump winning Maine, but only with a significant vote for an unnamed “other” candidate. There is no published research data that finds any result where Biden fails to carry Virginia.

In the Great Lakes, again a region in which Trump must claim at least one state to have any chance at winning the presidency, aggregate polling generally finds Michigan to be Trump’s best state of the three targets and Wisconsin the weakest. In the Kennedy polling scenarios, Michigan is the only state that Trump doesn’t win, and Wisconsin appears as his strongest.

The purpose for the Kennedy campaign releasing this information with a video explanation is to simply draw attention to their candidate through media discussion and wild speculation that Biden is the race’s actual “spoiler,” while not bringing forth realistic statistical data.

The most credible fact is that Kennedy looks to draw support in the mid-teen range with the other minor party candidates accumulating enough combined vote to possibly see as much as 20 percent of the cast ballots going to someone other than the Republican or Democratic nominee. There is no realistic scenario that yields a Kennedy win, and none factoring a race without either Biden or Trump.

RFK Jr. Qualifies in California; CA-16 Tie is Broken; Dem Disqualified in NY-26; New Leader in OR-5 Race

By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 3, 2024

President

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Qualifies in CA — Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has qualified for the 2024 general election ballot in California as the nominee of the American Independent Party. In addition to the Golden State, he has an official ballot position in Michigan and Utah. He has filed the requisite number of signatures in Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and North Carolina, and awaits certification in each of those states.

While Kennedy may affect the outcome in some of the aforementioned swing states, solidly blue California will not be in play. President Joe Biden will easily carry the nation’s largest state regardless of RFK Jr.’s ballot presence.

House

CA-16: The Tie is Broken — As expected, recounting all ballots in California’s 16th District jungle primary election did break the tied vote for the second qualifying general election ballot position. Both state Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) and San Mateo County Supervisor Joe Simitian each finished the initial count with 30,249 votes. Allies of the first-place finisher, former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D), then paid for a recount. Neither Low nor Simitian moved for a recount because California election procedure allows all tied candidates to advance into the general election. Otherwise, it is only the two top vote-getters who compete in November.

With the recount now final, Assemblyman Low finished with an adjusted five-vote margin, meaning he will solely advance to the general election to face former Mayor Liccardo. It will now be interesting to see if Simitian now requests and finances a second recount. With such small vote margins, another recount could produce a different result.

NY-26: Democrat Disqualified — A day after state Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) easily won the special election to succeed resigned Rep. Brian Higgins (D) in New York’s 26th Congressional District, his regular election Democratic challenger, former two-time congressional candidate Nate McMurray, has been disqualified. Election officials ruled he did not file enough valid petition signatures to be awarded a ballot position. Therefore, it appears Rep-Elect Kennedy will now be unopposed for re-nomination. Winning the Democratic primary in this Buffalo-anchored district is tantamount to claiming the November election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-26 as D+18.

McMurray lashed out at the party leaders after his rejection was made public claiming in a long letter on X that, “it feels like even if we collected 100,000 signatures it would not have made a difference. They would have found something to throw me off. I’m a threat to their closed shop business. And don’t kid yourself; it’s a business.”

OR-5: New Dem Leader — In 2022, one of the bigger upsets on election night was Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer defeating Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner to convert Oregon’s 5th District to the GOP. Earlier that year, in May, McLeod-Skinner upset seven-term Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary.

A new brilliant corners Research & Strategies poll (April 26-28; 402 likely OR-5 general election voters; live interview) finds McLeod-Skinner now trailing state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) by a 37-34 percent count. Due to McLeod-Skinner losing the seat in the previous election and generally rated as a weaker candidate, most of the Democratic leadership and establishment are backing Rep. Bynum. Therefore, this polling result is not particularly surprising.

Whoever wins the Democratic primary will find themselves already in a toss-up general election battle against Rep. Chavez-DeRemer. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates OR-5 as D+3. President Biden carried the district in 2020 with a 53-44 percent margin. The Daily Kos Election site statisticians rank the seat as the ninth most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference.

Examining Polling Margin of Error; McCarthy Ally to Challenge Florida Rep. Gaetz; Court Strikes Down New Louisiana Congressional Map; Kennedy Wins NY-26 Special Election; Gov. to Run for Mayor in Delaware

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Senate

Polling Margin of Error: Different Ballot Tests — All polls contain a margin of error, and two sets of surveys in the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin Senate races demonstrates the importance of the spread.

Both CBS News and Emerson College were in the field in both states at relatively the same point in time, but they arrived at significantly different results for the same races. CBS News (conducted by the YouGov polling firm; April 19-25; 1,306 registered Pennsylvania voters; online) found Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) leading businessman David McCormick (R), 46-42 percent. Beginning on April 25, Emerson College also studied the Keystone State Senate race. Their data (April 25-29; 1,000 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) posted Sen. Casey to a much larger 46-39 percent advantage.

Using a margin of error figure of three percentage points, we see that these two polls do fall within the pre-stated specter. Yet, the difference between a four- and seven-point edge on the ballot test is substantial.

We see a similar situation in the latest Wisconsin polling. During the same polling periods, again for both pollsters, we see similar divergent results yet within the polling margin of error. CBS/YouGov (April 19-25; 1,245 likely Wisconsin general election voters; online) finds Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) leading businessman Eric Hovde (R) 48-41 percent, while Emerson (April 25-29; 1,000 registered Wisconsin voters; multiple sampling techniques) again finds a closer race. Their result detects a Baldwin edge of only 46-43 percent. Again, a significant difference, yet within the polling margin of error spread.

House

FL-1: McCarthy Ally to Challenge Rep. Gaetz — At last Friday’s candidate filing deadline, controversial Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Niceville/Pensacola) drew a Republican primary challenger who could enjoy outside support. Retired Navy officer Aaron Dimmock (R) filed his candidacy just before time expired. Reports suggest that former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will back Dimmock and raise substantial support money from loyal organizations who want to even the score for McCarthy’s political demise. Rep. Gaetz was the leader of the McCarthy ouster movement.

It remains to be seen how well Dimmock could perform in the Aug. 20 Republican primary. In 2022, Rep. Gaetz easily turned back a well-funded Republican primary challenge from businessman Mark Lombardo who spent just under $800,000 for his campaign. The congressman won renomination over Lombardo with a landslide 70-24 percent victory margin.

Louisiana: Court Strikes Down New Congressional Map — Louisiana plaintiffs challenging the state’s new congressional map that created a second majority minority district that stretched from Baton Rouge to Shreveport received a favorable ruling yesterday from the three-judge federal panel hearing the lawsuit. The decision means the new congressional map is nullified. The judicial panel will now consider replacement maps. The plaintiffs argued the district was drawn only on racial criteria in violation of the US Constitution.

The ruling is likely to help Republicans, and particularly Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) whose GOP favorable 6th District was reconfigured as a majority minority seat designed to elect an African-American Democrat. The secretary of state informed the court that the 2024 districts must be in place by May 15 to allow the election office to properly administer the election. Therefore, a quick remedy decision will soon follow.

NY-26: Tim Kennedy (D) Wins Special Election — As expected, state Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) easily scored a special election victory last night to succeed resigned Rep. Brian Higgins (D) in New York’s 26th Congressional District. Kennedy received 75 percent of the vote in the heavily Democratic seat that Republicans basically conceded. The latter party’s candidate, West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson, reported raising only $35,000 in the pre-election Federal Election Commission disclosure report.

The Kennedy victory means the House party division will move to 217R – 213D with five vacancies (4R – 1D). The 26th District encompasses the Buffalo metropolitan area including parts of Erie and Niagara Counties.

Governor

Delaware: Gov. Carney to Run for Mayor — Two-term Delaware Gov. John Carney (D), who is ineligible under the state’s election law from seeking a third term, instead announced that he will run for mayor of Wilmington. Should Gov. Carney win the open municipal post — he’ll be favored to top City Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter (D) — he would become at least the third governor to later become a mayor.

Gov. Carney would join former Maryland Gov. Ted McKeldin (R) who was elected the state’s chief executive in the 1950s and then return as mayor of Baltimore in the 1960s. Gov. Jerry Brown was elected mayor of Oakland after his first stint as governor of California. He would then return to the governorship and eventually serve 16 non-consecutive years as the state’s chief executive.

Mayor Drops Congressional Bid in Michigan; Special Election in New York; Close Texas Rematch; Polling Flip in West Virginia

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, April 30, 2024

House

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley / Photo: Spectacle TV

MI-8: Flint Mayor Drops Congressional Bid — The open race to replace retiring Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) just got smaller. Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley (D) ended his congressional bid after filing for the seat. The Democratic establishment is coalescing around state Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) and this, in addition to poor fundraising totals, was relegating Mayor Neeley to the second tier of contenders.

Therefore, the Democratic field has winnowed to Sen. Rivet, Michigan Board of Education President Pamela Pugh, and former Flint Mayor Matt Collier. On the Republican side, two-time congressional nominee and former television anchor Paul Junge, state Board of Education member Nikki Snyder, retired Dow Corporation executive Mary Draves, and frequent candidate Anthony Hudson are competing for the nomination.

The open 8th District is politically marginal. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the district R+1, but President Joe Biden carried the seat 50-48 percent while the Daily Kos Elections site ranks MI-8 as the 11th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference. In practice, however, the Democrats will carry at least a small edge heading into the 2024 general election.

NY-26: Special Election Today — One of the House’s six vacancies will be filled today, and the projected outcome appears clear. New York Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) resigned the seat in February, and the local New York political parties chose state Sen. Brian Kennedy (D-Buffalo) as the Democratic nominee while the GOP selected West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson.

Kennedy is a heavy favorite tonight in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+18. Therefore, it is most probable that the House party division will move to 217R – 213D after the votes are counted this evening with five vacancies (4R -1D) remaining. The 26th District is comprised of the Buffalo metropolitan area and includes parts of Erie and Niagara Counties.

TX-34: Close Texas Rematch — In 2022, due to the Texas redistricting map, Reps. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) and Mayra Flores (R-McAllen) were forced to run against each other in the new Brownsville-McAllen anchored 34th District. In November of that year, Rep. Gonzalez scored a 53-44 percent victory in the new district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rated as D+17.

With the political climate changing on the Texas-Mexico border, this district will become more competitive during this election cycle. A new 1892 polling organization survey (April 11-13; 400 likely TX-34 general election voters; live interview) confirms the final result is likely to be closer in 2024. The Gonzalez-Flores ballot test only breaks 48-45 percent in Democrat’s favor, suggesting the campaign could evolve into a toss-up.

On the presidential front, the 1892 pollsters did not ask a direct ballot question. Rather, they phrased a similar query testing which candidate’s border policies are viewed more favorably. The Trump policies were selected in a 51-36 percent margin. It appears this rematch contest will be one to watch in November.

Governor

West Virginia: Polling Flip — The polling in the open West Virginia Republican gubernatorial primary has been erratic for several months. After eight consecutive polls showed Attorney General Patrick Morrisey leading the race in a wide range between one and 19 percentage points, a new NMB Research survey (for West Virginia’s Future PAC; April 20-24; 500 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters) finds former Delegate Moore Capito, son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), now assuming the lead.

The ballot test projects a 31-23 percent margin for the top two candidates with businessman Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), attracting a 14 percent preference factor, and Secretary of State Mac Warner right behind at 13 percent support.

The West Virginia’s Future PAC is an organization supporting Capito. The poll comes on the heels of Gov. Jim Justice (R) endorsing the former Delegate. The West Virginia primary is scheduled for May 14.

Utah GOP Nominating Convention Upends Establishment; After Just Filing for FL-8 Race, Posey Withdraws; Rehberg Trails in MT-2 Poll

By Jim Ellis — Monday, April 29, 2024

States

Riverton, Utah Mayor Trent Staggs

Utah: GOP Nominating Convention Upends Establishment — After being booed during his speech to the Republican nominating convention delegates on Saturday, Gov. Spencer Cox fell to state Rep. Phil Lyman (R-Blanding) by a whopping 67-33 percent vote. To qualify for the ballot in a statewide race, a candidate needed to attract at least 40 percent of the delegate vote. While the governor did not qualify through the convention process, he had filed to get the necessary 28,000 valid petition signatures prior to the party assembly to guarantee his ballot position in the June 25 Republican primary.

In the Senate race, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs rode former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, which was announced just before the convention began. Staggs proved himself the delegates’ favorite with a 70-30 percent victory over Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo).

The vote makes Mayor Staggs the only candidate qualifying through the convention process. Rep. Curtis submitted the requisite number of petitions, so he, too, will be on the primary ballot. Joining them are a pair of others qualifying via petition, former state House Speaker Brad Wilson, and businessman Jason Walton. Attorney Brent Orrin Hatch, son of the late Sen. Orrin Hatch, who fell short of the 28,000 signature requirement, did not receive 40 percent delegate support. Therefore, he is eliminated from further competition.

In the House races, both Reps. Blake Moore (R-Salt Lake City) and Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) finished second to a Republican opponent but cleared the 40 percent threshold. Rep. Moore had previously qualified through petition, but Rep. Maloy was a “convention only” candidate. Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Salt Lake City) was renominated by acclamation. In the open 3rd CD, the only candidate to win the delegate support is state Sen. Mike Kennedy (R-American Fork). Qualifying through petition are State Auditor John “Frugal” Dougall, Roosevelt Mayor J.R. Bird, and businessman Case Lawrence. The Utah primary will be conducted on June 25. The eventual GOP nominee in all races will be favored in the general election.

House

FL-8: Rep. Posey Withdraws — After filing for re-election, eight-term Florida US Rep. Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) announced that he is withdrawing from the race.

Immediately, and obviously after receiving a tip from the congressman, former state Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R) filed his own federal campaign committee. Since Florida does not extend candidate filing time when the incumbent does not seek re-election, Haridopolos is clearly the front runner to succeed the 30-year office holder. In addition to his 16 years in Congress, Rep. Posey served another 16 years in the legislature, eight in each house.

Attorney Joe Babits and technology company executive John Hearton, both viewed as minor candidates, are the only other individuals to have declared their candidacies. For the Democrats, West Melbourne City Councilman Don McDow is favored for the party nomination over attorney Sandy Kennedy.

Florida’s 8th District, that stretches from Titusville to Vero Beach on the Atlantic Coast, is safely Republican. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+23. Former President Trump carried the district, 58-41 percent, in 2020. The Posey retirement means there are now 52 open seats headed into the next election, with 26 coming from the Democratic Conference versus the Republicans’ 25. One seat is newly created in Alabama.

MT-2: Ex-Rep. Rehberg Trails in New Poll — Guidant Polling & Strategy just released the results of their recent Montana Republican primary congressional poll (April 14-17; 400 likely MT-2 Republican primary voters). The data find State Auditor Troy Downing (R) leading former Congressman Denny Rehberg and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, 38-26-10 percent.

Ex-Rep. Rehberg, who represented the at-large district for 12 years after serving six years as lieutenant governor, is being heavily outspent. Downing, through March 31, had spent just over $630,000 compared to Rehberg’s $7,300. The former congressman then infused his own campaign treasury with a loan of $300,000.

The winner of the June 4 primary election will succeed retiring Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) in the safely Republican eastern Montana seat.

Trump Leads in All But One Swing State; Utah GOP Nominating Convention Saturday; Kansas State House Leader Nixes Run

THE SWING STATES: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

By Jim Ellis — Friday, April 26, 2024

President

Bloomberg Swing State Polls: Trump Leading in All But One — Bloomberg News, in partnership with the Morning Consult data organization, conducted presidential polls in all seven of the key swing states during the April 8-13 period. The cumulative data produced very good news for former President Donald Trump, as he is projected to lead in six of the seven states in both head-to-head pairings with President Joe Biden and when the independent and minor candidates are added to the polling questionnaire.

In the one-on-one polling series, Trump leads Biden in a range from one (Pennsylvania) to 10 (North Carolina) percentage points. Only in Michigan does President Biden have an advantage (+2). When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) and the minor party candidates are added, which is the more realistic ballot test, Trump’s advantage either holds or grows. Under this scenario, his advantage stretches from one (Pennsylvania) to a whopping 14 percentage points (Nevada). Again, under this configuration, President Biden would lead only in Michigan (+3).

This polling series represents Trump’s strongest cumulative swing state showing of 2024. The polled states are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Senate

Utah: GOP Nominating Convention Tomorrow — Utah Republican delegates convene tomorrow at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City to consider a large ticket of primary endorsements, the most important of which are for the open US Senate seat and governor.

In Utah, candidates can qualify for the ballot in one of two ways. The first is to obtain 40 percent of the delegate vote at the state convention. Doing so guarantees a primary ballot line for no more than two candidates. The second way is to petition onto the ballot, which means collecting 28,000 valid registered party members’ signatures for a statewide candidacy. For a US House race, the required signature number is 7,000 within the particular district.

Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo), former state House Speaker Brad Wilson, and businessman and podcast host Jason Walton have already qualified for the US Senate Republican primary ballot via petition signatures. Therefore, regardless of whether these men receive the 40 percent delegate support necessary to advance to the primary in tomorrow’s convention, they have each secured a ballot line. Attorney Brett Orrin Hatch, son of the late Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), submitted petitions but is approximately 7,000 signatures short of qualifying. Thus, he can access the ballot only through the delegate process tomorrow.

In the governor’s race, the only candidate qualifying through petition is incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox. For the US House, 1st District Rep. Blake Moore (R-Salt Lake City) is the only incumbent to qualify through petition signatures. The state’s other incumbents, Reps. Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) and Burgess Owens (R-Salt Lake City), will qualify through the delegate process. No opponent to either Reps. Maloy or Owens has submitted petition signatures.

House

KS-2: Majority Leader Won’t Run for House — Despite indicating interest in running for Congress when Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Topeka) announced his retirement last week, Kansas state House Majority Leader Chris Croft (R-Overland Park) yesterday issued a statement saying he will not run.

Croft’s decision is principally due to the fact that his home Overland Park area is fully contained in the 3rd District, thus giving him very little in the way of a political base in District 2. A crowded Republican field is expected to form before the June 1 candidate filing deadline. With a FiveThirtyEight data organization rating of R+21, the Republican primary winner will become the definitive favorite in the general election.