Category Archives: Governor

Inconsistent GOP Coalition in Texas; Cuellar Indicted; NJ-10 Special ; Indiana Primary Today; Morrisey Back on Top in West Virginia

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, May 7, 2024

House

TX-12: An Inconsistent Coalition — While the Republican Party’s more conservative wing looks to be lining up behind real estate developer John O’Shea in the GOP runoff for the party nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth), state Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth) launched a new ad (above) that purports to prove that O’Shea is not even a consistent Republican voter. The ad contains a video clip of O’Shea saying, “I am not a conservative,” and points out that he did not vote in the 2016, 2018, and 2020 elections. Conversely, Goldman brandishes his endorsements from Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), and the National Rifle Association.

The March 5 primary ended with Goldman capturing first place with 44.4 percent of the vote as compared to O’Shea’s 26.4 percent. The May 28 runoff was forced because none of the four competing Republican candidates reached the majority support mark. The runoff winner will be a lock to win the seat in November.

TX-28: Rep. Cuellar Indicted — On Friday, 10-term Texas US Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and his wife were indicted on federal bribery charges, but the congressman says he is innocent and will not leave his re-election race. After two consecutive close call renomination campaigns in 2020 and 2022, Rep. Cuellar was unopposed in this year’s Democratic primary. The Republican side ended in a runoff between retired Navy officer Jay Furman and rancher Lazaro Garza, which will be decided on May 28. Neither man was expected to mount a major challenge in the general election, but the congressman’s legal situation could change that.

Texas’ 28th District begins in southeast San Antonio and moves all the way to the Mexican border through nine counties. In addition to part of San Antonio, the district houses the Laredo, Rio Bravo, and Rio Grande City communities. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-28 as D+7. President Joe Biden carried the district by a 52-46 percent margin. After a very tight 2022 Democratic primary and runoff, Rep. Cuellar won a comfortable 57-43 percent general election victory.

NJ-10: Special Election Scheduled — Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has called a special election to replace the late Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) who passed away on April 24. The special primary will be held on July 16th, with the special general on Sept. 18. The winner will take the seat in late September and then be on the ballot for the regular term on Nov. 5.

Because Rep. Payne passed away after the candidate filing deadline, the local Democratic Party organizations will choose a replacement nominee after the July 16 special primary. It is presumed the delegates will choose the special primary winner. Republican Carmen Bucco and Green Party candidate Jon Serrano, along with Congressman Payne, were the only candidates to file at the March 25 filing deadline.

The Democrats will easily retain the Newark-anchored 10th District. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+58, and President Biden scored an 81-19 percent victory here in 2020. Now that Gov. Murphy has scheduled the special election, candidates will soon come forward.

Primary

Indiana: Primary Today — Indiana voters cast their primary ballots today, and while the presidential election nomination process is locked for both parties, several key US House races will be effectively decided. The incumbent facing the most competitive challenge today is Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) who originally announced her retirement only to change her mind before filing time. While eight Republican challengers are opposing the incumbent, the race is really between Rep. Spartz and state Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville). The crowded field likely helps Rep. Spartz, but polling suggests a close finish.

The state features three Republican open seats, and GOP nominees who will be heavy favorites in the general election will be chosen today. Reps. Greg Pence (R-Columbus) and Larry Bucshon (R-Evansville) are retiring, and the Republican winners this evening will be locks to win in November. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City), who is running unopposed for the party nomination in the US Senate race, leaves a field of eight Republican candidates vying to be his successor. The contest is winnowing to three candidates: former Circuit Judge Wendy Davis, former Congressman Marlin Stutzman, and state Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington).

Sen. Mike Braun: Likely to Win GOP Governor’s Primary — Indiana is one of 11 states featuring governors’ campaigns this year, and eight are open seat contests. US Sen. Mike Braun (R) is foregoing a re-election bid to attempt to succeed Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) who is ineligible to seek a third term.

Sen. Braun looks to be well positioned to win a plurality primary victory over Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and businessmen Eric Doden and Brad Chambers. The Republican nominee then becomes a heavy favorite in the general election against consensus Democratic candidate Jennifer McCormick, the former state Superintendent of Public Instruction and an ex-Republican.

Governor

West Virginia: Morrisey Reassumes Polling Lead — Two weeks ago, when a poll for the first time showed former state Delegate Moore Capito (R), son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), leading Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the open race for governor, we expected a counter poll to soon surface. Such is now the case.

During the April 20-22 period, NMB Research released survey results revealing a Capito GOP primary lead of 31-29 percent over AG Morrisey with businessman Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), and Secretary of State Mac Warner trailing with 14 and 13 percent, respectively.

The counter poll was released late last week. Research America (April 24-May 1; 407 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters; live interview & online) sees Morrisey returning to the lead with 32 percent, while Miller and Moore follow with 25 and 24 percent, respectively. Secretary of State Warner drops back with 10 percent support.

Since polling for this race was first published in February of 2023, 10 surveys have been released. Morrisey has led in nine. The West Virginia primary is scheduled for May 14. The Republican nominee will almost certainly succeed term-limited Gov. Jim Justice (R).

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.

Pennsylvania Presidential, House Primary Results; Challenger in MI-4; Changes in Virginia’s Governor Race

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, April 24, 2024

President

President Joe Biden / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Pennsylvania: Presidential Primary Results — Recently, there has been an uptick in President Joe Biden’s polling numbers, particularly in the critical Great Lakes states, and the turnout pattern in last night’s Pennsylvania primary looks to verify those figures.

While we had consistently seen higher Republican turnout opposite the Democrats in the earlier primary states around the country, yesterday in the Keystone State, approximately 100,000 more Democrats look to have voted than Republicans once all of the cast ballots are recorded. President Biden recorded 88.8 percent in the Democratic primary, while former President Donald Trump took 82.8 percent on the Republican side.

House

Pennsylvania: House Primary Results — In the Pennsylvania congressional races, the most competitive incumbent challenge occurred in the Pittsburgh-anchored 12th District. While challenger Bhavini Patel ran a strong grassroots effort against freshman Rep. Summer Lee (D-Swissvale), the race ended in a projected 60.2 – 39.4 percent split in the congresswoman’s favor. A combination of a major Lee resource advantage and staying away from any emphasis on her being part of the Socialist Democratic caucus’ “Squad,” allowed her to capture a definitive renomination victory.

In terms of challenger races, state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Emmaus) defeated technology business owner and 2022 congressional candidate Kevin Dellicker and attorney Maria Montero to win the GOP nomination in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton anchored 7th District. Mackenzie will now advance to the general election to face three-term Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) in what figures to be another competitive campaign. Rep. Wild has averaged only 51.5 percent of the vote in her last two elections. Yesterday’s turnout in this seat proved to be about even between the two parties.

In the 10th District that featured a competitive Democratic primary for the right to challenge veteran Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg), former local news anchor Janelle Stelson outpaced businessman Mike O’Brien and four others to claim the party nomination. Turnout favored the Republicans in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+9. Still, this is another campaign to watch in the coming general election.

MI-4: Rep. Huizenga Draws Primary Challenger — On the last day of candidate filing in Michigan, Ottawa County Republican Party chairman Brendan Muir announced that he will challenge seven-term US Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) in the 2024 Republican primary. This is Rep. Huizenga’s first term representing the post-redistricting 4th CD. Prior to the 2022 election, he was the 2nd District incumbent, but that seat was eliminated in reapportionment and redistricting.

Ottawa County, which houses Huizenga’s home city of Holland, is an entity housing just over 300,000 residents. The 4th District portion of Ottawa County — the municipality is split between the 3rd and 4th Districts — is the second largest voting block in the CD behind Kalamazoo County. Rep. Huizenga will be a heavy favorite both for renomination and re-election.

Governor

Virginia: Spanberger Opponent Drops Bid — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) announced yesterday that he is ending his 2025 bid for governor and instead will enter what is expected to be an open contest for lieutenant governor. The move, at least for the short term, leaves Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Cove) as unopposed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Stoney, however, is entering a contested primary for the secondary position. State Sen. Aaron Rouse (D-Virginia Beach), a former NFL and UFL football player, also announced his bid for lieutenant governor yesterday. Sen. Rouse, also a former Virginia Beach City Councilman, was elected to the Senate in a special election in early 2023.

Trump Leads Among Texas Hispanics; Trone Rebounds in Maryland; Figures Wins Runoff in Alabama; Indiana Sen. Braun Criticized for Supporting BLM

By Jim Ellis — Friday, April 19, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Texas: Trump Leads Among Texas Hispanics — The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation conducted a recent poll of the Lone Star State electorate (April 5-10; 1,600 likely Texas voters) and finds former President Donald Trump posting a 12-point lead over President Joe Biden in a five-way race that includes the two major party candidates, Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and potential Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver. The preference split was 46-34-9-2-1 percent in the above candidate order. Texas, the second-largest state in population, has 40 electoral votes to award to its presidential winner.

The most interesting part of the poll, however, was the vote division among Hispanics. Within this segment, Trump actually leads President Biden 41-37 percent, which is another indication that Trump has upward mobility among Hispanics while Biden exhibits clear weakness within the community. Trump also does well with Texas women, leading the president 44-34 percent, a trend not seen in many other places. His spread among Lone Star men is 50-34 percent.

Senate

Maryland: Trone Rebounds from Close Poll — We earlier reported on a poll from Maryland Democratic Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks (Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group; April 8-10; 600 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters; live interview) that found her trailing US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) by just three percentage points, 43-40 percent.

Already, we see a counter poll, this one coming from the Baltimore Sun newspaper. According to their new survey (OpinionWorks; April 7-10; 1,292 likely Maryland general election voters; 600 Democratic primary voters), Rep. Trone holds a commanding advantage over Alsobrooks, topping her 48-29 percent. With such an obvious difference between the two professional polls conducted in the same time frame with identical sample sizes, it is clear we will need further data to better understand where this race resides. Expect heavy campaigning to occur as we move closer to the May 14 Maryland primary.

House

AL-2: Shomari Figures Wins Dem Runoff — As expected, Obama Justice Department official Shomari Figures, who placed first in the original Democratic primary back on March 5, easily defeated state House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels by a 61-39 percent count. Figures, the son of parents who both served in the Alabama Senate, now advances to the general election where he will be favored to win a newly created district that President Biden would have carried 56-43 percent.

The Republican runoff ended with a surprise, as attorney Caroleen Dobson upset former state Sen. Dick Brewbaker with a 58-42 percent victory. In the March 5 primary, Brewbaker led a field of eight candidates. Dobson trailed Brewbaker by more than 12 percentage points and only qualified for the second runoff position by 632 votes over the third-place finisher. Like Figures, Dobson will now advance into the Nov. 5 general election.

Governor

Indiana: Braun Attacked for Supporting BLM — While Sen. Mike Braun (R) has shown Republican primary polling strength against Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, former state Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers, and venture capitalist Eric Doden in their battle for the open governor’s position, he is now under attack for statement indicating his support for the Black Lives Matter organization.

The American Advancement organization is running ads featuring Braun saying, “I support that movement because it’s addressing an inequity that has not been solved.” The ad further has him saying he would, “if asked,” join a BLM protest as the narrator continually calls him a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only). It remains to be seen if the Super Pac buys enough airtime to make their negative attack on Sen. Braun stick.

Biden Already Buying October Media; Cornel West Continues Ballot Push; North Dakota Governor News

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, April 10, 2024

President

President Joe Biden / Photo by Gage Skidmore

President Biden: Already Buying October Media — The Financial Times publication is reporting that the Biden for President committee has initially reserved more than $6 million of media time in October, with much more to come. The Trump campaign has yet to make any reservations in political prime time. The president’s campaign arm is taking advantage of buying early at the lowest cost and ensuring that their time is set.

In 2020, not doing this proved to be a major mistake for then-President Donald Trump’s political operatives. The campaign had the early money advantage but did not book the time. Not doing so allowed the Biden campaign to outspend the Trump apparatus in media advertising during political prime time in critical swing states like Arizona.

Cornel West: Vying for CO Ballot Saturday — Dr. Cornel West is continuing his quest to access the ballot in important campaign states. He is competing this Saturday at the Unity Party convention in Colorado, vying to become the minor party’s Centennial State nominee in November.

Dr. West is the Oregon Progressive Party nominee in the Beaver State. He is on the Aurora Party line in Alaska and will represent the United Citizens Party in South Carolina. He has also qualified as an Independent in Utah. Dr. West is actively attempting to gain ballot access in Florida, North Carolina, and Washington with a new Justice for All party that he founded. Petition signature gathering is underway in an additional 35 states. He failed to win the Peace & Freedom Party nomination on Super Tuesday in California.

Governor

North Dakota: Party Conventions Endorse — Republican and Democratic state delegates met in convention over the weekend to endorse their candidates for the November election. The Republicans, despite outgoing Gov. Doug Burgum (R) endorsing Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller (R) in the open governor’s race, unanimously awarded the party endorsement to at-large US Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Bismarck), a former North Dakota Republican Party chairman. The action was not a surprise, and Miller did not even attend the state party gathering. She will force a primary, however. Lt. Gov. Miller and Rep. Armstrong will compete for the gubernatorial nomination in the state’s June 11 primary election.

The Democrats also met, and they endorsed state Sen. Merrill Piepkorn (D-Fargo), a well known country singer and radio personality in the state. Since there is no further intra-party opposition, Sen. Piepkorn is now the party’s official gubernatorial nominee. The Republican primary winner will have the inside track to clinching the office in November. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the state as R+37.