Category Archives: House

Ramaswamy Advances in Polling; Romney Support Dips in Utah;
Rep. Boebert’s Colorado Challenge; Significant Candidate Lead in NH

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Aug. 21, 2023

President

Vivek Ramaswamy (R) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Vivek Ramaswamy: Major Move in National Polls — Three new national Republican primary surveys find businessman Vivek Ramaswamy moving into the top tier within the large field of presidential candidates. The Fox News Poll (Aug. 11-14; 1,002 registered US voters; live interview) and the Quinnipiac University national surveys (Aug. 11-14; 1,632 self-identified US registered voters; 681 Republican and Republican leaning voters; 666 Democratic and Democratic leaning primary voters; live interview) project Ramaswamy as placing third behind former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The RMG Research survey finds Ramaswamy doing even better. In their latest poll (Aug. 11-14; 1,000 registered US voters; 229 likely Republican primary voters), though with a very small national GOP sample, Ramaswamy moves into second place with 13 percent compared to Gov. DeSantis’ 8 percent. Former President Trump tops the RMG poll with a whopping 60 percent support figure.

Senate

Utah: Sen. Romney at 30 percent in New GOP Poll — A Noble Predictive Insights survey conducted a month ago but just released just late last week (July 7-18; 598 registered Utah voters; 301 likely Republican primary voters; online) finds Utah Sen. Mitt Romney drawing only 30 percent support among a respondent sample of his own Republican primary voters.

Despite the low preference number, Sen. Romney leads a group of potential GOP opponents. Closest to him is Attorney General Sean Reyes, an unannounced Senate candidate, who posted 13 percent support. The two official candidates, state House Speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs posted five and three percent, respectively. When asked of the entire sample whether they believe Sen. Romney should run for re-election, 39 percent answered yes, while 44 percent replied with a negative response.

House

CO-3: Rep. Boebert’s Republican Challenge — Saying he’s “… not interested in becoming a social media celebrity … I’m interested in helping families and helping businesses and helping communities,” attorney Jeff Hurd entered Colorado’s 3rd District Republican primary hoping to deny two-term incumbent Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) renomination. In 2022, then-state Sen. Don Coram challenged her in the party primary but received only 34 percent of the Republican vote.

Should Rep. Boebert win renomination, she will again face a difficult general election against Democrat Adam Frisch who came within 546 votes of unseating her in the 2022 general election. This, despite the FiveThirtyEight data organization rating CO-3 as R+15.

Governor

New Hampshire: Significant Open Primary Polling Leads — Earlier in the week, we covered an Emerson College survey (Aug. 9-11; 837 registered New Hampshire voters; interactive voice response system, text & online) that posted former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) to substantial leads over two strong Democratic contenders. Now, we see the primary numbers from this same poll.

According to Emerson, Ayotte would not only lead in the general election, but she opens a definitive edge over who will likely be her chief Republican opponent, former state Senate President Chuck Morse. The initial ballot test finds Ayotte leading Morse, 45-9 percent. On the Democratic side, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is staked to a strong 52-15 percent advantage over Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is retiring after serving what will be four consecutive terms when his tenure expires at the beginning of 2025.

Unusual NH Presidential Poll; Republican Primary Developing in Montana; VA-7 Candidates Coming Forward; NH Governor News

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023

President

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

New Hampshire: New Poll; Unique Info — The new Emerson College survey (Aug. 9-11; 837 registered New Hampshire voters; interactive voice response system, text & online) provides new information not seen in any other similar study.

For example, the results find:

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie moving into second place
  • No candidate but former President Donald Trump landing in double digits
  • Cornel West’s influence level is confirmed at four percent, which appears to come from President Joe Biden’s vote pool
  • Businessman Perry Johnson attracting enough support to be recorded on a poll
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence flirting with last place

It remains to be seen if this survey is an outlier, or if new trends are forming.

House

MT-2: Republican Primary Developing — We reported that Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen (R) filed a congressional exploratory committee in anticipation that Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) will run for the Senate. Now we see State Auditor Troy Downing (R) doing the same.

Both qualify that their interest in the 2nd District seat is present only if Rep. Rosendale foregoes re-election and formally enters the Senate race. Downing has run for Congress before. He entered the 2018 US Senate primary and placed third with 19.1 percent of the vote. Rosendale won the nomination with 33.8 percent, and then lost 50-47 percent to Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the associated general election.

VA-7: GOP Candidates Coming Forward — Political speculation suggesting that Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) will not seek re-election in order to prepare for a 2025 open governor’s race has already encouraged potential Republican candidates to come forward. Several are now testing the political waters for a 2024 run in the politically marginal 7th Congressional District.

Two military veterans — retired Navy SEAL and defense contractor Cameron Hamilton and Iraq War veteran Jon Myers, a retired Marine Corps officer — have both filed congressional campaign committees with the Federal Election Commission. Business consultant Bill Moher and Army veteran Shaliek Tarpley are previously announced Republican candidates.

Should Rep. Spanberger retire, we can expect a very crowded Republican and Democratic primary season. Republicans will likely hold either a nominating convention or what they term as a “firehouse primary” (where only a few polling places are open throughout the sprawling district), while Democrats typically hold a traditional primary. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates VA-7 as a highly competitive D+2.

Governor

New Hampshire: Ayotte Leads in Early Poll — Former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is starting her campaign for governor with a lead according to a new Emerson College poll (Aug. 9-11; 837 registered New Hampshire voters; interactive voice response system, text & online). According to the results, Ayotte would lead Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig (D) 46-37 percent, and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington (D) by a larger 47-34 percent span.

The poll did not test the Republican primary. At this point, former state Senate president and 2022 US Senate candidate Chuck Morse is opposing Ayotte for the Republican nomination and others are expected to enter. Incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is not seeking a fifth term.

General to Oppose Marjorie Taylor Greene; Montana Candidate Filing; Another Opponent for Wisconsin Rep. Steil; Republican Candidate for Houston Mayoral Race

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023

House

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

GA-14: Retired General to Oppose Rep. Greene — Retired Army Brigadier Gen. Shawn Harris (D) announced that he will enter the Democratic primary to hopefully challenge two-term Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome).

Defeating Rep. Greene in the general election is the longest of shots. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates GA-14 as R+45. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 69.4R – 28.8D. The question as to whether Greene is even vulnerable to a Republican primary challenge remains doubtful. In the 2022 race, the congresswoman was re-nominated with 69.5 percent of the vote with five opponents dividing the remaining 30.5 percent.

MT-2: Republican Files Exploratory Committee in Anticipation — Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen (R) filed a congressional exploratory committee Monday in anticipation that Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) will run for the Senate. Arntzen, who is ineligible to seek a third term in her current statewide position, says she will only enter the US House contest if Rosendale vacates the seat for another statewide race.

Should he depart for the Senate, the 2nd District Republican primary figures to host a very crowded and competitive open primary. Carrying a R+30 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization and a 59.8R – 37.9D partisan lean factor that the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians calculate, a succession battle here would be decided in the Republican primary. The 2nd District covers central and eastern Montana and encompasses the cities of Billings, the state’s largest municipality, Great Falls, and the state capital of Helena.

WI-1: Second Democrat Announces Against Rep. Steil — Lorenzo Santos (D), a Racine County Emergency official, joined the Democratic primary with the goal of challenging three-term Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) next year. Already running is former local official Anthony Hammes (D).

This race is beginning to attract attention because of the possibility that the Wisconsin congressional map will be redrawn. If that happens, there is a strong probability the 1st District becomes more Democratic and enhances the possibility that Rep. Steil may opt for a Senate bid. We can expect further action coming from southern Wisconsin as the potential of a district reconfiguration begins to grow.

Cities

Houston: Republican Emerges — Hoping to split the Democratic vote between US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) and veteran state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), former at-large City Councilman Jack Christie (R) announced that he will now compete in the open mayoral race scheduled for Nov. 7. The structure is a jungle election contest where all 14 declared candidates would appear on the same ballot. If no contender receives 50 percent of the vote in the first election, a runoff will be scheduled between the two top finishers.

Though the field is large, polling suggests that Sen. Whitmire and Rep. Jackson Lee are well ahead of the remaining candidates who comprise the pool. Therefore, Christie’s strategy of coalescing the minority Republican vote and coming from the outside to capture a runoff position could potentially become viable. Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to run for a third term.

Candidate Finds Joy Again; Dem Explores Challenge to NJ Rep. Kean; Goroff to Challenge in NY-1; Louisiana Governor’s Candidates Set

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023

House

Attorney and CA-45 candidate Aditya Pai (D)

CA-45: Candidate Returns — A day after attorney Aditya Pai (D) announced that he was leaving the campaign trail because he found “no joy” in his effort, he reversed himself. Now, Pai is back in the race. Three other Democrats are competing, so it is probable that Pai fails to advance from the jungle primary. Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) is the two-term incumbent and is a lock to secure the first general election ballot position.

Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen and attorney Cheyenne Hunt appear to be the leading Democrats. The California jungle primary is held concurrently with Super Tuesday on March 5, 2024.

NJ-7: New Candidate Files Exploratory Committee — Former State Department official Jason Blazakis (D) filed a congressional exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission for a potential run in New Jersey’s 7th District against GOP freshman Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield). Should Blazakis officially enter the Democratic primary he would have to get past Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello and Working Families Party state Director Sue Altman in order to advance into the general election. Another State Department official previously represented the district, former Rep. Tom Malinowski (D), who lost his 2022 re-election campaign to Kean after defeating him in 2020.

New Jersey’s 7th CD covers about one-third of Union County, all of Hunterdon and Warren, and parts of Morris, Somerset, and Sussex counties. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+3. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 51.5R – 46.6D. Rep. Kean will have the edge for re-election, but we can anticipate seeing a competitive campaign develop within the district confines.

NY-1: Democratic Primary Brewing — Late last week, Nancy Goroff, the 2020 NY-1 Democratic nominee who lost to then-Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) 56-44 percent, announced that she will enter the 2024 Democratic primary in hope of challenging freshman Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Suffolk County). First, however, she will have to overcome a bid from former state Sen. Jim Gaughran, who announced two days before Goroff. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-1 as R+5. Dave’s Redistricting App, however, calculates the partisan lean in the Democrats’ favor at 51.1D – 47.1R.

Governor

Louisiana: 2023 Candidate Filing Closes — The candidate filing period for this year’s Louisiana governor’s race closed on Friday, and 16 candidates filed for the office. The field includes eight Republicans, three Democrats, and five Independents. The jungle primary is scheduled for Oct. 14.

For the Republicans, the battle appears to be among Attorney General Jeff Landry, state Treasurer John Schroder, and former gubernatorial chief of staff Stephen Waguespack. Democrats are coalescing behind former state Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson. It is likely that Wilson and one of the three aforementioned Republicans will advance to a Nov. 18 runoff election. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to run for a third term.

DeSantis Accepts Debate Challenge; Poll Shows Gallego Leading; New NC AG Candidate; Cuellar Starting Early

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Aug. 7, 2023

President

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

DeSantis: Accepts Debate Challenge — Gov. Ron DeSantis has accepted the rather unusual debate challenge he received from California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), a non-candidate. The idea came from an interview Newsom held with Fox News television host Sean Hannity. The California governor said he would go as long as three hours and not use any notes. He also agreed for Hannity to moderate. Details to follow.

Senate

Arizona: New Poll Finds Rep. Gallego Leading — A new Noble Predictive Insights (formerly OH Predictive Insights) Arizona survey (July 13-17; 1,000 registered Arizona voters; online) finds US Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), the likely 2024 Democratic Senate nominee, leading incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), and unannounced Republican candidate Kari Lake. According to the ballot test, Rep. Gallego is staked to a 34-26-25 percent advantage over Sinema and Lake. In this wild card race, as the Noble poll illustrates, all three candidates can craft a victory path.

The good news for Sen. Sinema is that 69 percent of Independents, 57 percent of Republicans, and 43 percent of Democrats say they are extremely willing, very willing, or at least somewhat willing to support her, which is a marked improvement when compared to previous research studies.

House

NC-8: Rep. Bishop to Run for NC Attorney General — As expected, three-term US Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) announced late last week that he will enter the open 2024 race for attorney general in his home state of North Carolina. The move opens his 8th Congressional District, which, for now, is a safe Republican seat. With the North Carolina map slated to be redrawn in early October, we can expect this Charlotte metro open seat to be radically changed.

Rep. Bishop is the 15th House member to announce he won’t be seeking re-election in 2024, and the fifth Republican. Of the 15, only two are retiring. The remainder are seeking other elective offices. The North Carolina attorney general’s office will be open because incumbent AG Josh Stein (D) is running for governor.

TX-28: Rep. Cuellar Starting Early — Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), generally viewed as the most conservative member of the House Democratic Conference, is taking fast action to answer two political questions.

First, if there there is a chance he might switch parties; and second, is he preparing for another Democratic primary challenge? He is clearly staying in the Democratic Party, and he is already working to blunt what could be another intra-party challenge. In the past two election cycles, he edged attorney Jessica Cisneros by a 48.7 – 46.6 percent split in 2020 followed with a bare 50.3 – 49.7 percent win in 2022.

In an attempt to unite the party behind him for the 2024 election, Rep. Cuellar late last week announced endorsements from House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA), Democratic Conference chairman Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and ex-Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

GOP Changes Delegate Allocation Rules; Former Rep. Cisneros May Return; Re-Match Possible in New Hampshire, Other House News; Wisconsin Redistricting Lawsuit

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Aug. 4, 2023

President

California: GOP Changes Delegate Allocation Rules — The California Republican Party’s executive committee, a total of 100 members, voted to change the way the state allocates its Republican delegates. Despite California being a poor performer for Republicans, the presidential delegation to the GOP national convention is still the largest in the country. In 2024, the state will feature 169 voting delegates.

Instead of allocating the delegates through the state’s 52 congressional districts – three delegates per district plus at-large votes – the California GOP will now authorize a system that awards a winning candidate who obtains majority support in the March 5, 2024 primary all of the state’s delegate votes. Many states use this system, but California doing so will provide an extra vote boost to the Golden State primary winner.

At this point, several polls show former President Donald Trump at or exceeding the 50 percent threshold. The change makes it all the more likely that the nomination will be clinched as voting ends on Super Tuesday.

House

One-term ex-Congressman Gil Cisneros (D)

CA-31: Former Rep. Cisneros May Return — One-term ex-Congressman Gil Cisneros (D), a former US Navy officer who struck it rich in winning over $200 million from a major lottery, has resigned his position as Under Secretary of Defense. Speculation suggests this is his first definitive move to declare for retiring Rep. Grace Napolitano’s (D-Norwalk) Los Angeles County congressional seat.

Cisneros defeated now-Congresswoman Young Kim (R-La Habra) in 2018 from a 39th District that covered parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties. In 2020, Kim returned for a re-match and reversed the outcome. She now represents the post-redistricting 40th CD that covers parts of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

Already in the open 31st District race are state senators Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) and Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) along with Community College Trustee and former Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz (D). It is likely that two Democrats will advance into the general election from the all-party primary. While Cisneros represented virtually none of the current 31st CD during his previous stint in the House, even Rep. Napolitano fails to reside within the district, so the lack of residency is likely not much of a detriment.

NH-2: Re-Match Possible — Former Hillsborough County Treasurer Robert Burns (R), who lost the 2022 congressional race 56-44 percent to veteran Rep. Annie Kuster (D-Hopkinton/ Concord), confirms that he is considering returning for a re-match. His decision is nowhere close to being made, however. He also says he would like to run for governor and would even consider a bid for Executive Councilor if one of those seats were to open. It is likely the Republican leadership would prefer a more committed candidate.

Since the New Hampshire June candidate filing deadline is later than most state’s primaries, this race will develop over a long period. At this point, Rep. Kuster will be favored to win a seventh term in 2024.

PA-7: New Candidate Announces — The Public Affairs director of the Philadelphia Convention Center, Maria Montero (R), announced her congressional candidacy Wednesday. This will be the second time she has run for the US House. Montero, also former staff member for Republican former Gov. Tom Corbett, entered the special nomination for the 12th District seat, closer to central PA, when then-Rep. Tom Marino (R) resigned. She lost to then-state Rep. Fred Keller who would go onto win the special election.

Already in the race are state Rep. Ryan MacKenzie (R-Macungie) and 2022 candidate Kevin Dellicker who secured 49 percent of the Republican primary vote. The winner will face vulnerable Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) in a politically marginal 7th CD that covers the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area. In the past two competitive elections against Republican Lisa Scheller, Rep. Wild has been re-elected with 52 and 51 percent of the vote.

UT-2: Maloy Approved for Ballot — Celeste Maloy, who the Republican 2nd District convention chose as its candidate for the special election to replace resigning Rep. Christopher Stewart (R-Farmington), has faced a serious challenge to her standing as a candidate.

A state judge in ruling Wednesday over a lawsuit filed against Maloy claiming that she did not meet the state’s residency requirement to run for Congress, declared that she will be slated on the Sept. 5 special primary ballot. The judge stated that “the public interest favors respecting the party convention’s choice.” He further said that the election process is well underway, and ballots have been printed. Therefore, altering the candidate configuration would be disruptive.

Earning Republican ballot positions through the signature petition process are former state Rep. Becky Edwards and ex-Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough. Democrats have united around state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights). The special general election is scheduled for Nov. 21. Rep. Stewart will resign on Sept. 15.

States

Wisconsin: Redistricting Lawsuit Filed — A coalition of law firms and progressive left activists filed a challenge to Wisconsin’s state Senate and Assembly redistricting maps, labeling them partisan gerrymanders. Now that the new liberal majority state Supreme Court has taken office, the plaintiffs winning this lawsuit is probably just a matter of time.

The court will likely order a redraw of the two plans, which will almost assuredly be a precursor to the congressional map being re-configured as well. At this time, however, the federal plan is not included in this particular lawsuit.

Ramaswamy Claims 2nd Place in New Poll; Testing the Waters in Virginia; Brown With Big Lead in Ohio; Houston Mayoral Poll Released

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023

President

2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Ohio: Ramaswamy Claims 2nd Place in New Poll — Ohio Northern University Institute for Civics and Public Policy released a new survey of the Buckeye State electorate (July 17-26; 67 registered Ohio voters) and found businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who has been climbing in recent Republican presidential polls, moving into second place behind former president Donald Trump with 12 percent support, ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who posted only 9 percent. Trump recorded a whopping 64 percent backing.

Since the poll has only 675 total respondents, the unpublished Republican primary sample would be very low. Therefore, the error factor will be quite high. Still, Ramaswamy moving to second place in any survey is affirmation that his campaign is building upward momentum.

House

VA-7: Rep. Spanberger Testing Gov Waters — Reports are surfacing that three-term Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) is laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run in 2025 when incumbent Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) will be ineligible to seek re-election. Virginia is the only state in the Union that limits its governors to one four-year term. Apparently, she is also considering not seeking re-election to the House in 2024 to conserve resources for the gubernatorial run.

If she does decide to run for governor, leaving the House makes political sense. Her 7th District is politically marginal, and the seat has been reconfigured to the point that her Glen Allen political base is nowhere even close to the 7th CD lines, which is now a district that comes as far north as Prince William County.

Additionally, with Virginia’s more open campaign finance law her ability to transfer funds from her congressional committee to a gubernatorial committee is very favorable. After the 2nd Quarter financial disclosure period closed, Rep. Spanberger reported $1.184 million cash-on-hand.

Senate

Ohio: Sen. Brown Posts Bigger Lead — The aforementioned Ohio Northern University Institute for Civics and Public Policy poll (July 17-26; 675 registered Ohio voters) also tested the important Ohio US Senate race. In this instance, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), contrary to previous studies that showed a very tight race, opens a substantial lead over the Republican field.

In this survey, state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) fares slightly better than the rest of the GOP contenders, but is still down double-digits, 45-33 percent. Opposite Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), Sen. Brown’s advantage is a similar 45-32 percent. If businessman Bernie Moreno were the GOP nominee, Sen. Brown would begin with a 45-28 percent lead.

This poll is inconsistent in that the Republican support figure is very low against Sen. Brown while the presidential numbers place the GOP candidates in much better standing against President Joe Biden. The numbers are consistent with Sen. Brown’s support figure, however, when compared to previous surveys. In all published data, Sen. Brown lands in the mid-40s and not particularly close to the 50 percent majority figure.

Cities

Houston: New Mayoral Poll Released — The Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston conducted a survey of their city’s open mayoral race (July 12-20; 800 likely Houston voters) and found state Sen. John Whitmire (D), who has been in the state legislature since 1973, and US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) breaking away from the remaining candidates.

The UoH poll found Sen. Whitmire posting a 34-32 percent edge over Rep. Jackson Lee, with the next closest candidate only at the three percent mark. If no candidate receives majority support in the Nov. 7 nonpartisan election, the two front runners will advance to a runoff on a date scheduled after the initial election, likely for mid-December. Testing a runoff between Sen. Whitmire and Rep. Jackson Lee, the pollsters find the former developing a strong 51-33 percent advantage. Jackson Lee would have to relinquish her US House seat only if she wins the 2023 municipal election.