Category Archives: House

New Jersey First Lady Suspends Campaign; Gov. Justice Up in West Virginia Poll; Tight Voting Results in California; Michigan Senate Candidate Moves to House Race

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Senate

Tammy Murphy, New Jersey’s First Lady

New Jersey: First Lady Suspends Campaign — New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy (D), who had been fighting with Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) over county Democratic Party endorsements that yield favorable ballot placements, surprisingly has ended her campaign. Murphy said she didn’t want to spend money attacking another Democrat when the funds could be used to help defeat former President Donald Trump.

The more likely reason for her withdrawal decision is failing to see a viable victory path after falling behind Rep. Kim in early polling. Additionally, Kim’s lawsuit against the state for the county ballot placement system that awards a favorable line position might well be successful, thus derailing the advantage she gained by winning endorsements in several entities. The development makes Rep. Kim a prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination, which is tantamount to winning the general election.

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Way Up in GOP Primary Poll — Emerson College, polling for WOWK-13 television station in the Charleston-Huntington market (March 19-21; 735 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques), sees Gov. Jim Justice holding a commanding 54-17 percent lead over US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) with the West Virginia primary now seven weeks away on May 14. Without incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in the race, the eventual GOP nominee becomes a heavy favorite to convert the seat in the general election.

In the governor’s race, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) also enjoys a GOP primary advantage according to the same poll. Morrisey holds a 33-16-14-6 percent advantage over businessman Chris Miller, former state Delegate Moore Capito, and Secretary of State Mac Warner, respectively. Miller is the son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), while Capito is Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-WV) son. Here, too, the eventual Republican nominee will be a virtual lock to win the general election.

House

California: CA-45 Set, Down to One Vote in North — With still 17 days remaining in the California election certification process, another congressional finalist has clinched a general election ballot position. With virtually all of the votes finally tabulated, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen-Penaloza yesterday ended her fight for the second qualifying position, conceding the vote to attorney Derek Tran. The race came down to a spread of just 366 votes between the two candidates, or a percentage spread of 15.9 – 15.6.

US Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County), on the ballot for a third term, easily captured the first general election ballot position with a 54.9 percent showing. While Rep. Steel is in good position to begin the general election campaign, the 45th CD leans Democratic at D+5 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization. Therefore, plan for a highly contested congressional battle here in political prime time.

A few more votes were released in the nip-and-tuck open 16th Congressional District and San Mateo County Supervisor and ex-state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) saw his lead over Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) shrink from four votes to only one, 30,229 to 30,228. The eventual second-place qualifier faces former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) who locked down first place with 38,464 votes or 21.1 percent of the jungle primary total. Should Simitian and Low end in a flat tie, both would advance into the general election, thus leading to a three-way general election campaign.

MI-8: Senate Candidate Moves to House Race — State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder (R), who was the first person to declare for the open Senate race after incumbent Debbie Stabenow (D) announced that she would retire, never saw her campaign generate excitement or significant support. Therefore, Snyder announced that she is ending her Senate quest and will instead enter the Republican primary for the open 8th Congressional District.

There, Snyder will join two time congressional candidate and former news anchor Paul Junge in the GOP primary. Snyder is also not the first candidate to switch from the Senate race to this congressional contest. Earlier, State Board of Education president Pamela Pugh (D) made the change soon after six-term incumbent Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) announced that he would not seek re-election.

The 8th District will feature a hard-fought and tough election cycle. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the central Michigan 8th CD as R+1. President Joe Biden carried the district with a slight 50.3 – 48.2 percent margin.

Rep. Gallagher to Leave in April;
A Squeaker in CA-16; Party Chair Advances in Colorado;
Santos Leaves GOP

By Jim Ellis — Monday, March 25, 2024

House

Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay)

WI-8: Rep. Gallagher to Resign in April — In February, four-term US Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) announced that he would not seek a fifth term this year. On Friday, Gallagher reiterated his plan to leave Congress, and will do so earlier than expected. The congressman indicated he will resign from the House on April 19.

Leaving at that point in April does not allow the state to replace him with an early special election to fill the balance of the term instead of waiting until the November election. Therefore, Republicans will be another seat down until the regular general. Gallagher becomes the sixth House member to resign during this session of Congress in addition to Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who was expelled from the body.

CA-16: 1, 2, 3, & 4 — The battle to claim the second general election position in California’s open 16th Congressional District continues to drag on, and now the election officials are determining if provisional and late arriving ballots should be added to the aggregate count. An estimated 400-plus ballots are in this category.

The current standing finds San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) now leading Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) by a mere four votes — 30,222 to 30,218. This small number is an increase for Simitian from his previous one-vote edge. Previously, Low held two and three vote leads from a pair of released counts.

Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) has already clinched the first general election finalist position. The Secretary of State has until April 12 to certify all March 5 primary elections and it is likely determining the second place finisher here will consume the entire time allotment. Whoever is declared the loser once all ballots are tabulated will obviously call for a recount. Should the race for second place end in a tie, both contenders would advance into the general election against Liccardo. Incumbent Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) is retiring.

CO-5: State Chairman Advances to GOP Primary — Local Republican delegates in Colorado’s open 5th District met over the weekend in their nominating convention. With Rep. Douglas Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) retiring, the seat becomes open for the first time in 18 years. Counting his time in the state legislature, Lamborn will leave elective office at the beginning of next year after serving 30 consecutive years.

The delegates, with a 70.4 percent vote, propelled Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave Williams into the general election. A candidate must receive at least 30 percent of the vote to automatically advance. Falling below the lower threshold requires a candidate to access the ballot by submitting 1,500 valid petition signatures. Therefore, the only other announced GOP candidate for the seat, radio talk show host and former two time congressional candidate Jeff Crank, must circulate petitions in order to compete in the June 25 Republican primary.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CO-5 as R+18. Then-President Donald Trump carried the seat in 2020 with a 53.2 – 43.1 percent majority vote. Therefore, the eventual Republican nominee will become a definitive favorite for the general election. With the candidate filing deadline fast approaching on April 1, seven Democrats are announced contenders.

NY-1: Santos Leaves GOP — After declaring earlier this month that he would challenge freshman Republican Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Suffolk County) in the GOP primary, on Friday the expelled Congressman George Santos announced he would leave the Republican Party and campaign for the 1st District congressional seat as an Independent.

In a written statement, Santos said, “The Republican Party continues to lie and swindle its voter base. I, in good conscience, cannot affiliate myself with a party that stands for nothing and falls for everything.” It is unlikely that Santos will be a factor in the general election for the Independence Party, or any other ballot line. Any votes he does attract, however, would likely come from LaLolta’s base, thus allowing the eventual Democratic nominee, either 2020 congressional nominee Nancy Goroff or former CNN news anchor John Avlon, to potentially gain support from these disaffected Republicans.

Nevada Poll Showing Tight Races; Menendez May Not Be Done; Wisconsin Looks Close;
New Hampshire Governor’s Race

By Jim Ellis — Friday, March 22, 2024

Senate

Nevada: New Margin of Error Poll — Prolific pollster Emerson College also tested the Nevada electorate and finds the Senate race already becoming a dead heat. The survey results (March 12-15; 1,000 likely Nevada voters; multiple sampling techniques) see Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leading Afghan War veteran Sam Brown (R) by a slight 41-39 percent split, well within the polling margin of error. In the presidential race, former President Donald Trump slips past President Joe Biden 44-41 percent, a pattern that has been evident for weeks in the Silver State.

Possibly the most encouraging news for Republicans, which helps explain the GOP presidential performance in the poll, is the fact that Hispanics, traditionally heavy Democratic voters, would break for Biden in only a 44-39 percent clip. Hispanics account for just over 30 percent of the Nevada population according to US Census figures. Therefore, this group could become a deciding factor in how the state eventually votes.

New Jersey: Menendez May Not Be Done — While indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) has already announced he will not seek re-election as a Democrat this year, the door is apparently open for him to file as an Independent. He would have until June 4 to file 1,000 valid New Jersey voter petition signatures in order to obtain a ballot position.

Though his chances of winning the 2024 general election as an Independent are virtually nil, maintaining candidate status would allow him to use his still substantial campaign funds to pay his legal expenses. At the end of 2023, Sen. Menendez reports having just under $6.1 million cash-on-hand in his campaign account.

Wisconsin: Surprising Poll Result — Perhaps the most surprising recent poll comes from the Badger State of Wisconsin where Emerson College already sees the Senate race in much closer terms than most would have surmised. With Republicans only recently witnessing businessman Eric Hovde come to the forefront to declare his candidacy, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) had, for most of the election cycle, been forecast as close to being a sure winner.

The new Emerson poll (March 14-18; 1,000 likely Wisconsin voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects Sen. Baldwin as holding only a 45-42 percent margin, this while Trump posts a consistent three point lead over Biden whether on a direct head-to-head question or when most of the projected independent and minor party candidates are added to the questionnaire.

At this point, the Wisconsin Senate race has been regarded as a second-tier challenge opportunity for the GOP. If poll results like this become consistent over the course of time, the race could move into the top tier and attract greater resources. The Wisconsin electorate has been known for routinely producing close election outcomes.

Governor

New Hampshire: Democrat Releases Poll — Democratic Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington released the results of her GBAO Strategies research study (released March 20; Feb. 22-26; 600 likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters; live interview & text) that finds her trailing former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig 37-25 percent in the statewide Democratic primary. When typical push questions are asked, Warmington moves ahead, thus suggesting that this race has the potential of becoming close.

The New Hampshire state primary is not until Sept. 10, so much time remains for the contest to gel. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is not seeking a fifth term, so the New Hampshire governor’s contest will be highly competitive in the general election.

Tightening Senate Race in Arizona; Hogan Building Lead in Maryland; Tight Margins in California Vote Tallies; Bost Wins Tight Primary

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, March 21, 2024

Senate

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) holds a narrow lead in Arizona polling.

Arizona: Emerson College Shows a Tightening Race — Emerson College released a new two-way poll of the Arizona Senate race, their first since Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) announced she would not seek re-election. The survey (March 12-15; 1,000 registered Arizona voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects the new Arizona Senate race dropping to within the polling margin of error between Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) and 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. The ballot test finds Gallego holding a 44-40 percent lead, which is approaching the toss-up realm.

Within the same polling sample, former President Donald Trump leads President Joe Biden, 48-44 percent, which is bad news obviously for Biden, but also for Lake. With the data showing Trump leading the Republican ticket in the Grand Canyon State, her standing trails him by a full eight percentage points.

While Emerson tested only Biden and Trump and did not include the independent or third party candidates, they did push the undecided respondents to make a choice. When doing so, Trump would lead the aggregate count 52-48 percent, suggesting the undecideds, which are good prospects to support one of the minor candidates, would break evenly between the two men.

Rep. Gallego has an edge among the youngest and the oldest respondents in the sample. He is also rather surprisingly favored, 43-38 percent, among those who said the economy is their top issue. Lake is favored by a whopping 77-12 percent margin among those who are most concerned about the southern border.

Maryland: Ex-Gov. Hogan Building Lead — The University of Maryland, partnering with the Washington Post, released a new survey of the Maryland Senate race (March 5-12; 1,004 registered Maryland voters; live interview & text) that shows former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan building a strong lead in this most Democratic of states. According to the ballot test, Hogan leads US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) 47-39 percent, while his lead would expand to 50-36 percent if Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) were his general election opponent.

Hogan also enjoys an extremely positive 64:23 percent favorability index, while Rep. Trone scores 33:21 percent favorable to unfavorable, and Alsobrooks records a 26:15 percent ratio. Despite Trone so far outspending Alsobrooks by a 12:1 ratio ($24 million to $2 million), he leads the Democratic primary ballot test only 34-27 percent according to this survey.

Considering the lopsided spending amount, the ballot test suggests that Rep. Trone is at least slightly underperforming as a statewide candidate.

House

California: Two-Vote Margin; Another Race in Doubt — While the California vote totals are still not complete from the March 5 Super Tuesday primary, the battle for second qualifying position in the open 16th Congressional District continues to get tighter and tighter. The latest vote iteration, with an estimated 400-plus votes remaining to count, is literally down to a two-vote margin.

State Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) now leads San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D), 30,211 to 30,209. It is obvious we will see a recount when all the votes are finally tabulated. The Secretary of State has 22 more days to certify the election, and it is likely the tabulation process for this race will consume every bit of the allowable time. Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) has already clinched the first general election position. Incumbent Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) is retiring.

Another race is also uncalled. Forty-fifth District Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) has easily clinched the first qualifying position with just under 55 percent of the aggregate jungle primary vote. Attorney Derek Tran (D) has run in second place during the entire counting period, but he now leads Garden Grove Councilwoman Kim Nguyen-Penaloza (D) by only a 327-vote margin and the end result is now in doubt. An estimated 2,500 ballots remain to be counted.

IL-12: Rep. Bost Wins Close Primary Battle — It took well into a second day of counting, but Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) successfully won renomination in his southern Illinois congressional district. His opponent, 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey, issued a statement conceding defeat but saying his campaign “made a statement.” The current unofficial tally shows Rep. Bost capturing 51.4 percent of the vote as compared to Bailey’s 48.6 percent, translating to a vote spread of 2,590 from a turnout of over 94,000 individuals. A smattering of ballots will soon be added to the final tally.

The district featured wide swings, as both candidates typically won their respective counties by landslide proportions. Both men won 17 of the district’s 34 counties.

Tuesday’s Roundup of Primaries: Moreno Wins Big; Deja Vu in California; Bost in Close Finish; Replacement Vote in Ohio

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Senate

Ohio businessman Bernie Moreno (R)

Ohio: Moreno Wins Big — Chalk up a big mistake for the polling community. The polls prior to yesterday’s primary predicted very tight Republican Senate contest, but it proved to be quite the opposite as businessman Bernie Moreno won in a landslide. Moreno will now move into the long general election cycle against three-term Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).

With almost the entire state reporting at this writing, Moreno would have been nominated even if Ohio were a runoff state. He captured majority support, at 50.6 percent. State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), who several polls had projected to be leading the race, finished a distant second with 32.8 percent. Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the field’s only statewide official who was perceived to be falling off the pace as the election drew near, lagged in third position recording just 16.6 percent support.

The result is another big win for former President Donald Trump who, along with Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), had endorsed Moreno. The victory margin was so complete that Moreno carried all of the state’s 88 counties. Turnout was heavily Republican. Though he was in a three-way race in the Republican primary and Sen. Brown was unopposed for the Democratic nomination, Moreno still received more votes last night than the Democratic incumbent.

House

CA-20: Special Election Deja Vu — Last night’s CA-20 special election, held as the first step in replacing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R), unfolded as a virtual carbon copy of the original March 5 regular primary. As in that election, it appears that Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), who is well over 40 percent support in early returns, will advance into the special general election scheduled for May 21. Just like in the coming November regular general election, he will face fellow Republican and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux in the special general.

The special general winner will immediately take the seat and serve the balance of the current term. Regardless of the outcome in May, Fong and Bourdeaux will face each other again on Nov. 5.

Illinois: Rep. Bost in Close Finish — While almost all of the congressional primary challengers lost in landslide proportions to the veteran incumbents, southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) looks to have only eked out a close renomination win over 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee and ex-state Sen. Darren Bailey (R), but the turnout projection totals suggest that as many as 30,000 votes could still be outstanding. At this writing, with 75 percent of the estimated number of total votes having been counted, Rep. Bost has only a 51.8 – 48.2 percent advantage, a margin of 3,362 votes.

The county votes were polarized. Two small counties are not reporting any votes as yet, while Bost has won 17 counties to Bailey’s 15. In virtually every county, the vote produced lopsided leads for either man. It is probable that Rep. Bost’s advantage will hold, but the final result could become much closer.

Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago), who faced four challengers, managed to break the majority threshold with a 53 percent total. Because the opposition vote was evenly spread among his challengers, his closest competitor had just under 22 percent. Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago) and Bill Foster (D-Naperville) also faced credible opposition, but both won easily.

In the Quad Cities region, retired Circuit Judge Joe McGraw (R) will now challenge freshman Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Moline) in what should be a competitive general election.

Ohio: Key House Races Also on Ballot — The top House primary attraction was the special primary for the vacant 6th Congressional District where state Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) and state Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Delaware) battled to replace resigned Rep. Bill Johnson (R). Since this is a partisan special election, the winner advances to a June 11 general election. The result was close most of the evening, but Sen. Rulli pulled away in the final count to score a 49-41 percent win.

Highly competitive crowded battles are underway in the open 2nd District from which Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Hillsboro) is retiring. Three self-funding businessmen led the crowded field, and concrete company owner David Taylor defeated entrepreneurs Tim O’Hara and Larry Kidd by a 25-22-19 percent split. Taylor’s victory last night virtually assures him of winning the seat in November in what is Ohio’s safest Republican seat.

The other major primary occurred in the Toledo anchored 9th District where Republican state Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) and former state Rep. Craig Reidel battled for the nomination after 2022 nominee J.R. Majewski dropped out of the race. The race went Merrin’s way with a 52-34 percent victory margin. The state representative now faces 21-term incumbent Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) in the general election in what should be a highly competitive election in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+6.

In the Akron-based 13th CD, former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin (R) easily defeated local City Councilman Chris Banweg. Coughlin will now challenge freshman Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) in another competitive Ohio general election campaign.

Three-Way Ohio Race Ends Tonight; California Special Election;
Key Illinois, Ohio House Races

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Senate

Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan (R)

Ohio: Primary Today — A hard-fought Republican US Senate primary draws to a close tonight. The contest is a three-way race among state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), Secretary of State Frank LaRose, and businessman Bernie Moreno.

Polling has shown a close race for months. In the closing week, the polling lead has changed hands between Sen. Dolan and Moreno. Moreno man has former President Donald Trump and US Sen. J.D. Vance’s (R-OH) endorsements. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) supports Sen. Dolan. Both Moreno and Dolan have loaned millions of their own personal fortunes into their respective campaigns. Secretary LaRose, the only previously elected statewide official, appears to have fallen well back and consistently into third place.

Whatever tonight’s final result, the winner will head into what promises to be a tight and bruising campaign against three-term Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the nation’s most important 2024 Senate races.

House

CA-20: Special Election Today — Despite California’s 20th District voters choosing general election finalists on March 5, they go back to the polls today to potentially select an immediate successor to resigned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R). If no candidate receives majority support in today’s vote, the top two finalists will advance to a May 21 special general election. At that point, the winner will take the seat.

Chances are strong that Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux (R), both of whom have secured regular general election ballot positions for November, will also advance tonight. The field is somewhat different than what was present for the regular election, but the major participants return. The reason this special vote was not made concurrent with the March 5 election is that California law stipulates a specific number of days must elapse between the occurrence of an official vacancy and the subsequent replacement election.

Illinois: House Races Dominate — With no Senate or governor’s election on the Illinois ballot this year, the most interesting elections tonight, now that both parties have presumptive presidential nominees, are for the US House. Several members face primary challenges, but all incumbents are favored to win renomination.

For the Democrats, Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago), Danny Davis (D-Chicago), and Bill Foster (D-Naperville) face opponents with either campaign resources or a political base. Chicago Alderman Ray Lopez, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress and mayor, opposes Rep. Garcia who also lost the 2023 mayor’s race. Rep. Davis received only 52 percent in the 2022 Democratic primary and faces four relatively strong candidates. The large number of challengers and the plurality format certainly favors Rep. Davis since his opposition vote will be split among four contenders. Rep. Foster is facing a well-financed effort from human rights activist Qasim Rashid, but his previous electoral experience has come in Virginia. Therefore, expect Rep. Foster to record a comfortable win tonight.

The top Republican primary comes in southern Illinois where five-term Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) defends his seat against the 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee and former state Sen. Darren Bailey. Though the congressman has a major financial advantage, the only recent publicly released poll found only a single-digit support difference between the two men.

Ohio: Key House Races Also on Ballot — The top House attraction this evening is in the vacant 6th Congressional District where state Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) and state Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Delaware) battle to replace resigned Rep. Bill Johnson (R). Since this is a partisan special election, the winner advances to a June 11 general election. After the subsequent winner is chosen, the individual will immediately take the seat to fill the balance of the current term.

Highly competitive crowded battles are underway in the open 2nd District from which Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Hillsboro) is retiring. Tonight’s Republican primary winner will be a lock to claim the seat in November. The other major primary occurs in the Toledo anchored 9th District where Republican state Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) and former state Rep. Craig Reidel are battling for the nomination after 2022 nominee J.R. Majewski dropped out of the race. The winner faces 21-term incumbent Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) in the general election.

Conflicting Polls in Ohio; Boebert Won’t Run in Special; Ranked Choice Toss-up Result in Alaska; California General Election Becoming Clearer

By Jim Ellis — Monday, March 18, 2024

Senate

Ohio businessman Bernie Moreno (R)

Ohio: Conflicting Polls — Late last week, we reported on an Emerson College poll of the Ohio Senate Republican primary that posted state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) to a 26-23-16 percent edge over businessman Bernie Moreno and Secretary of State Frank LaRose, respectively. Now we see a Survey USA study (March 6-11; 1,241 registered Ohio voters; 533 likely Republican primary voters; online) that projects Moreno holding a 22-18-16 percent lead over Sen. Dolan and Secretary LaRose. The closeness of both polls suggests any of the three still has a chance to win this coming Tuesday.

House

CO-4: Boebert Won’t Run in Special — Colorado US Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) announced late last week that she will not compete in the special election to replace resigning Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor) but will remain in the race for the full term. Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave Williams, who is himself a congressional candidate in open District 5, announced that he will be assembling a committee of party leaders and elected officials to choose a 4th District special election nominee within “the next several weeks.” Gov. Jared Polis (D) has already said he will schedule the special election concurrently with the state’s June 25 primary election. The Democrats have a selection committee of more than 200 members, and the party leadership says a special vote to choose their nominee will occur on April 1.

The move not to enter the special makes sense for Boebert. It is highly unlikely that she would be chosen as the committee’s nominee, since she currently represents another district. Therefore, if the congresswoman wins the regular primary election it is irrelevant as to who would hold the seat for the remainder of this term. Unless the special election winner also wins the regular primary on the same day, then said person will not compete in the general election.

AK-AL: New Poll Shows Ranked Choice Toss-up Result — A new Data for Progress survey (Feb. 23-March 2; 1,120 likely Alaska general election voters; web to text) finds a very tight impending at-large congressional race with no clear leader after several hypothetical rounds of Ranked Choice Voting. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Bethel) leads the original field of businessman and former congressional candidate Nick Begich III (R), Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom (R), and Libertarian Chris Bye by a 44-35-10-2 percent break. In Ranked Choice Voting, the primary sends four candidates to the general election and the pollsters project these individuals would be the eventual finalists.

Since no one receives majority support in the initial round, RCV begins, and Bye is eliminated. In the second round, Rep. Peltola would lead 48-41-12 percent over Begich and Dahlstrom. This result would lead to Dahlstrom’s elimination. The third round finds Peltola and Begich in a dead heat at 50-50 percent. Though Rep. Peltola has a 10-point personal favorability spread, the best of all the tested politicians, it appears the electoral system makes this race a toss-up.

California: General Election Becoming Clearer — More vote totals are being released from the long California ballot counting process, and congressional general election matchups are now becoming cemented. In preparation for Tuesday’s special election to replace resigned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, it is now likely that we will see a double-Republican regular general election between Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux.

To the Democrats’ benefit in open Districts 30 and 31, Democratic-Republican general elections appear to be the final result. Such pairings would almost assuredly elect state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) to replace Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), and former Congressman Gil Cisneros (D) returning to the House to succeed retiring Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) also appears to be a certainty.

The closest race is occurring in open District 16 where Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) is retiring. Former San Jose Mayor Sam Riccardo (D) has secured the first general election position, but the battle for second place is still undecided. San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) has yielded second place to Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell). The razor-thin margin is only 59 votes between the two according to the secretary of state’s official count. An unspecified number of ballots remain uncounted. District 16 will definitely send two Democrats to the general election, but the second finalist position is still undecided.