Category Archives: House

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.

Could Boebert Succeed Buck? Candidates Settle in MT-2;
No Runoff in NC-6; Baseball Owner Leads in Ohio Senate Race

By Jim Ellis — Friday, March 15, 2024

House

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

CO-4: Clarifying the Situation — Several reports are circulating around the internet suggesting that Colorado US Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) is ineligible to run in the special election to replace now resigning Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor). Such a statement is incorrect. Boebert weeks ago announced that she would seek Buck’s open 4th District, thus bypassing running in a tough re-election campaign in her own 3rd CD. Therefore, the legal eligibility is no different for a special election. Should she run in and win the special, she would then have to resign her 3rd District seat, thus likely requiring another special election to fill that vacancy.

Practically speaking, however, it is unlikely that Boebert will run in the special election, because a 4th District party leadership committee is unlikely to choose her. Under Colorado law, the political parties select the nominees to fill vacancies, meaning there is just one election for voters to pick the replacement. Gov. Jared Polis (D) has already said he will schedule the special election concurrently with the June 25 state primary.

Also, since the special and the regular primary is on the same day, there will be no incumbency advantage for the regular term. Should a different person win the special and regular primary, the two would not face each other. If the special election winner failed to win the regular primary, that individual would only serve the balance of the term and not appear on the general election ballot. Certainly, the Buck resignation has changed the District 4 political dynamics, but it does not particularly affect Rep. Boebert more adversely than any of the other candidates.

MT-2: Candidates File — Considering Rep. Matt Rosendale’s (R-Glendive) indecision about whether he would run for the House, Senate, or for no office, the large Republican field of potential candidates interested in running for Montana’s 2nd Congressional District were in a state of flux. Now that we know the seat will be open for the 2024 election and candidate filing has closed, we see nine contenders for the post. Three current or former statewide officeholders are in the GOP field: State Auditor Troy Downing, Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, and former at-large Congressman Denny Rehberg.

Also, in the Republican race are state Senate President Pro Tempore Ken Bogner (R-Miles City), ex-state senators Ric Holden and Ed Walker, former state Rep. Joel Krautter, pharmacist Kyle Austin, and retired DEA agent Stacy Zinn. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the MT-2 seat R+30, and former President Donald Trump posted a 62-35 percent victory here in 2020. Therefore, the June 4 Republican plurality primary winner becomes the prohibitive favorite for the general election.

NC-6: Walker Won’t Force Runoff; McDowell Unofficially Wins Seat — Former Congressman Mark Walker, who finished second to lobbyist and former congressional aide Addison McDowell in the March 5 Republican primary announced Wednesday that he will not pursue his entitled runoff election. In North Carolina, a candidate must receive 30 percent of the vote to win a nomination outright. In this election, McDowell posted 26 percent of the vote, and Walker 24 percent.

Instead of continuing his congressional campaign, Walker announced that he has accepted former President Trump’s offer to become the national campaign’s Director of Outreach for Faith and Minority Communities.

The move means that McDowell, who Trump endorsed in the Republican primary, wins the congressional seat. Post-2023 redistricting, Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) decided not to seek re-election because she saw no path for victory. The Democrats then didn’t even file a candidate. It is still possible, however, for an Independent or minor party candidate to file. Their deadline is May 5. Even if one or more should run, McDowell’s general election victory is virtually assured. Therefore, North Carolina’s 6th District becomes the Republicans’ first unofficial conversion victory for the 2024 regular election cycle.

Senate

Ohio: Dolan Takes Lead in New Poll — Emerson College polled the tight Ohio Senate primary (March 7-10; 443 likely Ohio Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) and finds a change on the leader board. For the first time in any survey, state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), a minority owner of the Cleveland Guardians professional baseball club, has taken the Republican primary lead. According to the Emerson findings, Sen. Dolan posts a 26-23-16 percent edge over businessman Bernie Moreno and Secretary of State Frank LaRose, respectively.

Also, this week Gov. Mike DeWine (R) endorsed Sen. Dolan, which may counter to a degree former President Trump’s endorsement of Moreno. In the 2022 Senate race, Sen. Dolan came on strong at the end and fell just one point short of finishing second. In this race, which will be decided in the Ohio plurality primary on Tuesday, he again appears to be finishing the campaign with momentum. Tuesday’s winner will then face Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the most important 2024 national Senate races.

No Labels Party – Spoiler Alert? Sen. Menendez Says He’s Out; Rosendale Out, Again; Santos to Run Again

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, March 14, 2024

President

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan

No Labels Party: Votes to Field Candidate — On Friday, the No Labels Party members voted to move forward with fielding a presidential ticket in this year’s election, but apparently the organization is not close to identifying who might be those contenders. Some within the organization suggested nominating former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R), who is critical of former President Donald Trump.

If No Labels were to go in this direction, it would signal that they are trying to be a spoiler — despite publicly saying that is not what their intention is — i.e., using a figure such as Duncan to draw votes away from Trump in the critical state of Georgia, which would give President Joe Biden a strong chance of again winning the state, thus assuring his re-election. Though the group wants to move forward with nominating a presidential candidate, the members are apparently a long way from selecting a ticket and gaining agreement from those who they might eventually choose.

Senate

New Jersey: Sen. Menendez Won’t Seek Re-Election — Facing multiple federal charges and consistent polling data showing him only with single-digit support within his own party, Sen. Bob Menendez (D) announced on Friday that he will not seek re-election later this year. This leaves the Senate Democratic field ostensibly to US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) and Tammy Murphy, the state’s First Lady.

Sen. Menendez now becomes the ninth incumbent not to seek re-election in 2024, a figure that represents more than one-quarter of the 34 in-cycle senators. Of the nine, six are Democrats, two are Republican, and one, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who is now an Independent. Despite the large number of openings, it appears only two, Arizona and Michigan, will be competitive in the general election while three, Maryland, New Jersey, and Utah will see highly volatile Democratic (MD, NJ) and Republican (UT) primary elections.

House

MT-2: Rosendale Out, Again — Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), in a statement saying he has received recent death threats amidst rumors of an extra-marital affair, has now decided he will not file for re-election. Yesterday was the Montana candidate filing deadline. MT-2 again joins the open seat ranks, as it did when Rosendale announced his short-lived US Senate campaign in February, which lasted only a week. He will retire from the House after serving two full terms, one as the at-large representative, and the other from District 2 since Montana earned a new seat in 2021 reapportionment.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen announced before Rep. Rosendale decided to step aside that she would continue running for the House. State Auditor Troy Downing confirmed his congressional candidacy shortly after the congressman’s retirement announcement.

It is expected that most, if not all, of the seven other announced contenders, including former Congressman Denny Rehberg and state Senate President Pro Tempore Ken Bogner (R-Miles City), will continue with their congressional campaigns. The Montana primary election will be held June 4. The new Republican nominee will be a lock to win the general election in an eastern Montana district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+30.

NY-1: Santos to Run Again — Expelled US Rep. George Santos (R), announced that he will indeed be on the ballot to return to Congress. He will not challenge Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who replaced him in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, but rather will oppose 1st District freshman Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Suffolk County). Santos calls LaLota an “empty suit RINO” (Republican In Name Only). LaLota was especially critical of Santos during his short tenure in office.

The new redistricting map makes the 1st District more Republican, but it is highly unlikely the new configuration will allow Santos to deny Rep. LaLota renomination. The New York primary is scheduled for June 25.