Category Archives: Polling

Hogan & Rosendale for Senate;
Montana Rep. Gallagher to Retire;
Final Nevada Primary, Caucus Results

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Feb. 12, 2024

Candidate announcements and a surprise retirement made Friday a very interesting political day even outside of the presidential-level happenings.

Maryland

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R)

Candidate Filing Closed — Maryland 2024 candidate filing closed on Friday and, after saying he would not run for Senate, former two-term Gov. Larry Hogan (R) unexpectedly agreed to seek the GOP nomination. Despite leaving office with the highest approval rating of any Maryland governor after eight years, Hogan will still be in an underdog position for the general election in heavily Democratic Maryland during a presidential year.

The Democratic nominee will be either US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) or Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. The May 14 primary will likely produce a close result. Trone, the founder of the Total Beverage chain store, has already spent $23 million on his Senate campaign through the end of 2023, all but $427,000 from his own pocket.

Knowing that she cannot match his virtually unlimited personal war chest, Alsobrooks had raised just over $5 million for her campaign, and had more than $3 million in her campaign treasury at the end of 2023. She will obviously stockpile as much money as she can for the final month in hopes of coming close to parity with Trone in late campaign advertising.

The latest released internal polling from the Trone campaign (Hickman Analytics; Jan. 18-24; 1,500 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters) finds the congressman leading Alsobrooks 45-34 percent. The poll shows his ads are working, since Hickman’s November survey (Nov. 27-30; 1,000 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters) staked Trone to a 41-34 percent advantage.

Considering her support within the African American community and its strength in the Democratic primary, particularly in her home county of Prince George’s and Baltimore, this primary campaign is far from over regardless of Trone’s insurmountable financial edge.

For Hogan, despite winning two terms as governor, his task to win a federal election in Maryland is daunting. The last Republican to win a Senate race here was then-two term incumbent Charles Mathias back in 1980.

Hogan, an avowed “Never Trumper,” has clearly distanced himself from the former president, but that will be of only marginal assistance. Donald Trump is extremely unpopular in Maryland, and Hogan will be forced to share a ballot with him in November. Therefore, Trump as the Republican presidential nominee will negatively affect the GOP general election turnout model.

Though Hogan will run a competitive race and certainly do better than any Republican at least since Michael Steele pulled to within the 54-44 percent margin that first elected current Sen.Ben Cardin (D) in 2006, the eventual Democratic nominee must still be rated as the favorite to win in November.

Montana

Rosendale to Run — In a move that has been anticipated for well over a year, US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) announced on Friday that he will run for the Senate later this year.

Immediately after the announcement, former President Donald Trump endorsed Rosendale’s Republican primary opponent, aerospace company CEO and retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, as have Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), and Montana US Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Whitefish). In 2018, Rep. Rosendale, then the state auditor, challenged Sen. Jon Tester (D) and lost 50-47 percent.

Campaigning for a different office is nothing new for Rosendale. Since 2010, he has run for state House of Representatives, state Senate, US House (at-large), state auditor, US Senate, US House (at-large), and US House (District 2), and won five of the seven campaigns. His move into the Senate race opens the 2nd District to what will be a crowded Republican primary.
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It’s a Trump Sweep in Nevada; Williamson Ends Her Campaign;
Close Special Election Poll in NY-3;
WA-5’s McMorris Rodgers to Retire

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 9, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump sweeps in Nevada.

Nevada Caucus: A Trump Sweep — Former President Donald Trump, as expected, won almost unanimous support last night at the Nevada Republican Caucuses where the state’s 26 delegates are apportioned. Trump will be awarded all of the state’s national convention delegates. Reports of high turnout around the state are numerous. A complete report will be forthcoming when the final results are formally released.

Marianne Williamson: Draws Campaign to a Close — After placing behind the “None of These Candidates” ballot line in the Nevada primary, Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson suspended her national campaign reducing the field to President Joe Biden and US Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). With the president recording a mean average of 93 percent in the last two primaries, it is already a foregone conclusion that Biden will clinch the Democratic nomination no matter how long Phillips remains an active candidate.

House

NY-3: Another Close Special Election Poll — Siena College, conducting a congressional poll for the Newsday publication (Feb. 3-6; 694 likely NY-3 voters) finds a tight special election race to replace expelled US Rep. George Santos (R).

The ballot test gives former US Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) a 48-44 percent edge over Republican Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip. A second survey, from Emerson College (Feb. 4-5; 742 likely NY-3 voters; multiple sampling techniques), reported a similar result: Suozzi leading 52-48 percent when respondents were pushed for a choice between the two candidates. Previously, Emerson conducted a survey in mid-January (Jan. 13-15; 975 registered NY-3 voters; multiple sampling techniques) again finding Suozzi holding a similarly small 45-42 percent edge.

All of this data suggests that the Feb. 13 special election contest is within the polling margin of error and will come down to a turnout battle between the Democratic and Republican teams. The survey research suggests the race is close enough that the side doing a better job getting their voters to cast a ballot will claim the seat in the special election.

WA-5: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) to Retire — Another House member has joined the retirement list. Ten-term Washington US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane), the House Energy & Commerce Committee chair, announced yesterday that she will not seek re-election later this year. In a long statement that thanks and extolls the virtues of her eastern Washington constituents, McMorris Rodgers formally announced her political intentions.

The open seat count now returns to 47, accounting for Rep. McMorris Rodgers retiring and Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) changing her mind about not seeking re-election. Within the group, 24 Democrats are not seeking another term in the House, and the Republican number now grows to 22. The new Alabama redistricting plan creates an open seat that begins in Montgomery and stretches to Mobile.

The 5th District of Washington occupies the furthermost eastern part of the state from Canada to Oregon and is anchored in the city of Spokane. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates WA-5 as R+17. In the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump won the district by a 53-43 percent margin. The Daily Kos Elections site statisticians rank the district as the 56th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. We can expect a crowded jungle primary in August leading to a general election where the Republican candidate should be favored.

McDaniel Reported Out at RNC; Trump Way Ahead in New Poll; Schiff Helps Garvey; Another Close Ohio Poll; Utah’s Tight Senate Race; House News

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024

President

Ronna McDaniel / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Republican National Committee: Trump Recommends New Chairman — As reports intensify that RNC chair Ronna McDaniel will be leaving the committee after the South Carolina primary, former President Donald Trump has made a replacement recommendation.

The news media is reporting that North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley is Trump’s choice largely because he was “so powerful on election fraud” in 2020, according to the ex-president’s statement. It is a virtual certainty that the committee members will adopt Trump’s recommendation, but the question to be asked is how strong a fundraiser is Whatley? While Trump may be most concerned with his election fraud narrative, the RNC is under-performing in the campaign resource battle and must quickly upgrade their efforts.

South Carolina: Trump Way Ahead in New Poll — A new Monmouth University poll for the Washington Post (Jan. 26-30; 815 registered South Carolina voters; live interview & online) sees former President Donald Trump posting a significant 58-32 percent lead over former Gov. Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina leading to the Feb. 24 Republican primary election.

Trump holds an advantage among both men and women in the statewide voter sample, and within all age groups. He trails Haley only among college-educated voters, but by only two points, and certain non-evangelical voter groups. Additionally, 90 percent of the respondents saying they would vote for Trump in the primary election would do so in the general election even if he is convicted of some of the many legal charges he faces.

Senate

California: Schiff Helps Garvey — Confident he will finish first in the March 5 open California US Senate primary, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is running ads “against” Republican baseball great Steve Garvey claiming he is too conservative for California in that he twice voted for Donald Trump. In reality, Schiff is attempting to help Garvey finish second in the top two jungle primary, thus eliminating Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), which would allow him to escape having to run a double-Democratic general election.

Having Garvey, or any Republican as an opponent, would virtually guarantee that Schiff would win the seat in November. The ads’ actual purpose is to move more Republicans to Garvey, and thus edge him into second place.

A new University of Southern California for the Center for Urban Politics and Policy at California State University at Long Beach (Jan. 21-29; 1,416 likely Califoria jungle primary voters) survey sees Rep. Schiff holding a 25-15-15-7 percent lead over Garvey and Rep. Porter (D-Irvine). Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) trailed the other major candidates in fourth position. Therefore, a small push from Schiff might just help Garvey succeed.

Ohio: Another Close Poll — The March 19 Ohio Republican primary will be a hugely important election. Among other races, it will decide which GOP candidate will challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the country’s most compelling statewide campaigns. The Emerson College poll (Jan. 23-25; 1,844 registered Ohio voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees all three Republican candidates coming to within one or two points of Sen. Brown with the incumbent failing to reach 40 percent support in all iterations.

In the Republican primary, the battle is equally close. Businessman Bernie Moreno, who former President Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance support, nips Secretary of State Frank LaRose, 22-21 percent, with state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) trailing with 15 percent. In 2022, Sen. Dolan came on strong at the end, failing to reach second place by one percentage point after lagging during the early part of the campaign. Therefore, the Republican nomination is still very much in doubt.

Ohio features a modified primary system that allows voters to change their registration on the day of the election in order to choose a selected primary.

Utah: Rep. Curtis Begins with Small Lead — Dan Jones & Associates, Utah’s top media polling firm, released a new US Senate Republican primary survey, the first since US Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) joined the field. The survey (Jan. 16-21; 428 registered Utah Republican voters) finds Rep. Curtis posting a tepid 18-14 percent lead over attorney Brent Orrin Hatch, the son of the late seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch (R). Following at eight percent is former state House Speaker Brad Wilson. With a majority of the Republican voters still undecided, this contest is wide open.

The state’s April Republican nominating convention will send two candidates to the primary ballot. The others will have to petition for a ballot line. The Utah primary is scheduled for June 25. Sen. Mitt Romney (R) is retiring after one term.
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Biden Sweeps SC Amid Low Turnout; Sen. Hawley Up 13; Sen. Bob Menendez Can’t Escape Single-Digit Support;
Sen. Bob Casey Jr.’s Strong Showing

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Feb. 5, 2024

President

President Joe Biden

South Carolina: Biden Romps in Dem Primary — President Joe Biden claimed Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, capturing an almost unanimous vote share. Biden recorded a 97 percent support figure over author Marianne Williamson (2.1 percent) and Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips (1.7 percent). Not surprisingly, the president swept all 55 of the state’s national Democratic delegate votes and placed first in each of the Palmetto State’s 46 counties.

Turnout, however, was extremely low with only about 131,000 ballots being cast. The unofficial count represents just 24 percent of the number of voters when compared to the 2020 South Carolina Democratic primary. The president was virtually unopposed in terms of the campaign efforts from Williamson and Phillips; therefore, it is not surprising to see a low participation rate. Still, three-quarters of the past electorate failing to return in 2024 does suggest a lack of enthusiasm for the pending national election.

Next, the candidates move to the Nevada primary on Tuesday where a similar result is expected. Unlike the Republicans, the Democratic primary is a delegate-apportionment event, so all candidates will be on the ballot. On the Republican side, the Nevada delegates will be awarded from the accompanying caucus events scheduled two days later, on Feb. 8. GOP candidate Nikki Haley chose to enter the primary and not the caucus, so former President Donald Trump is virtually assured of a Nevada delegate sweep.

Senate

Missouri: Sen. Hawley Up 13 — Emerson College released the first Missouri polling results of the new year. In the state’s US Senate campaign, the Emerson poll (Jan. 3-28; 1,830 registered Missouri voters; multiple sampling techniques) yields Sen. Josh Hawley (R) a 43-30 percent lead over attorney and Afghan/Iraq War veteran Lucas Kunce (D).

In 2022, Kunce ran for the Senate and performed well on the fundraising circuit, raising $5.7 million, but lost the Democratic nomination to philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, who was a late entry into the race. He now returns in better position to win the party nomination and has already almost equaled his 2022 fundraising total but remains a severe underdog to Sen. Hawley in a state where the Biden national campaign is sure to concede.

Therefore, considering Sen. Hawley’s incumbency and the political winds blowing against the Democrats in the Show Me State, this race is not likely to become a battleground Senate contest.

New Jersey: Sen. Menendez Again Languishing in Single Digits — Madison, New Jersey-based Fairleigh Dickinson University went into the field to test the Garden State’s Democratic electorate pertaining to the upcoming US Senate race. The survey (Braun Research conducting; Jan. 21-28; 504 likely New Jersey Democratic primary voters; live interview & text) projects US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) to be opening a double-digit lead over New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy of 32-20 percent, while indicted incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez can outpace little-known labor union official Patricia Campos-Medina by only a single point, as he again polls under 10 percent.

According to the just-released Federal Election Commission year-end campaign finance reports, both Rep. Kim and Murphy held $2.7 million cash-on-hand at the end of 2023. Largely due to funds raised before being indicted, Sen. Menendez has just over $6.1 million in his campaign account.

The New Jersey primary is June 4. At this point, Sen. Menendez maintains that he is running for re-election, but a final decision from him will be likely be made just before the March 25 candidate filing deadline.

Pennsylvania: Sen. Casey Again Posts Double Digit Lead — Franklin & Marshall College, a regular Pennsylvania pollster, just released their latest statewide research iteration. The survey (Jan. 17-28; 1,006 registered Pennsylvania voters; live interview) sees Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) again posting a sizable lead over former hedge fund CEO David McCormick (R). The ballot test gives Sen. Casey a 12-point advantage, 47-35 percent. This counters Susquehanna Polling & Research’s findings in their Pennsylvania poll, taken partially within the same sampling period, that showed only a four-point separation between the two candidates.

The F&M result is more consistent with other released polls since mid-December. The Bullfinch Group saw a 15-point Casey margin, while Quinnipiac University projected a 10-point split. The Pennsylvania Senate race could become a top-tier contest assuming the presidential race here remains close in polling. In both the presidential and Senate contests, however, the Democratic candidate maintains the edge.

Is RFK Jr. Going Libertarian? Conflicting Presidential Polling; Trone Expands Lead in Maryland; Special Election Ad Spending in NY

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 2, 2024

President

Will Robert F. Kennedy Jr., currently running as an Independent general election candidate, switch to the Libertarian Party?

RFK Jr.: Flirting with Libertarian Party — Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) and Libertarian Party leaders confirm they are discussing the possibility of Kennedy becoming the party’s presidential nominee. They are likely still a long way from coming to an agreement, though, mostly because some of Kennedy’s major issue positions such as climate change and gun control do not align with the party leadership; the move, however, makes practical sense for both entities.

First, being the Libertarian Party nominee would give Kennedy ballot access in all 50 states, something that is difficult for any Independent to obtain. The Libertarian Party was the only non-Democratic or Republican entity to achieve universal ballot status in 2020 (Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen appeared on the Libertarian line in 48 states and the District of Columbia; in Alabama and Tennessee, she appeared as an Independent), and they again would with Kennedy as their nominee.

Additionally, featuring RFK Jr. as their candidate, it is highly likely that the Libertarian Party would attract its highest historical number of votes. This is important for the organization’s future because many states base future party status upon performance in the national election.

Morning Consult/Bloomberg/Quinnipiac Polls: Any Given Poll — It’s a common saying in the NFL that “on any given Sunday any team can beat another.” A similar phrase appears applicable in political polling, as well. On almost any given day, we can find polls that disagree over outcome even though conducted during the same time period. Wednesday’s Morning Consult/Bloomberg News and Quinnipiac University are good examples.

The day began with Morning Consult/Bloomberg releasing their new regional survey series (Jan. 16-22; 4,596 registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; online; part of regular tracking), which finds former President Donald Trump leading in all of the key swing states with margins between three (Arizona, Pennsylvania) at 10 percentage points (North Carolina). Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin each posted five-point Trump margins, while Georgia and Nevada were closer to the North Carolina number at plus-eight. Turning to their national track, MC/Bloomberg posted Trump to a two-point advantage over President Joe Biden in the head-to-head ballot test.

Yet in the Quinnipiac University release, a poll that was in the field within a similar same time frame as MC/Bloomberg, though earlier in January (Jan. 4-8; 1,680 US registered voters; live interview), President Biden posted his biggest national popular vote lead of any recent poll, 50-44 percent. When the Independent and minor party candidates were added in, such as RFK Jr., for example, the Biden edge shrinks to just two percentage points, which is much more in line with other pollsters.

Senate

Maryland: Rep. Trone Expands Lead — A new internal Hickman Analytics poll for the David Trone for Senate campaign (Jan. 18-24; 1,500 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters; live interview) sees Trone, the 6th District Congressman, leading Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks by a 45-34 percent margin in the open Democratic US Senate primary. The question, however, is for how long? The poll contained an over-sample of African Americans and females to emphasize the groups with which Rep. Trone is weakest.

Though the early numbers look good for the congressman, it must be understood that his campaign has spent well over $15 million to date, and $7 million alone just since November according to the Inside Elections publication. Trone began advertising a year before the primary election.

The Alsobrooks campaign has yet to run an ad. Since it is clear that she cannot match the congressman in an ad war with him self-financing the race from his huge personal wealth, the Alsobrooks strategists are waiting until late in the contest to unleash their own ad buys. She will be competitive as we get closer to the May 14th primary, so despite Trone’s polling and resource lead, this primary battle is far from over.

House

NY-3: Special Election Ad Spending Update — The Daily Kos Elections and AdImpact organizations charted the spending in the special congressional election to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island) as we approach the Feb. 13 election. According to their data, the overall Democratic operation is outspending the encompassing Republican effort by a large amount, $9.6 million to $5.7 million. The two candidates are former US Rep. Tom Suozzi for the Democrats, and Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip for the GOP.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, however, is coming in late to help even the score. They have reserved $2.6 million in television and digital ads to bring the final days spending into parity. In terms of spending booked for the final two weeks, the Democratic advantage narrows to $2.8 to $2.44 million.

First Post-New Hampshire GOP Poll Released; Battle For California Senate Seat; Ruppersberger to Retire; Field in NJ-7 Now Down to Two

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024

President

Former South Carolina governor and current Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley lags 27 points behind former President Trump in her home state. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

South Carolina: First Post-NH GOP Poll Released — The first post-New Hampshire primary survey is out, and we see former President Donald Trump performing well in former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s home state. The Tyson Group tested the Palmetto State Republican electorate immediately after the New Hampshire vote (Jan. 24-26; 543 likely South Carolina Republican primary voters; online) and found Trump holding a large 58-31 percent advantage over Haley.

The poll sample, including Independents who say they will vote in the Republican primary, hold both presidential candidates in high regard. Trump’s approval index is 68:27 percent favorable to unfavorable, while Haley’s is slightly worse at 56:33 percent. In comparison, Sen. Tim Scott’s (R) rating is 57:20 percent.

The South Carolina Republican primary is scheduled for Feb. 24 while the Democrats vote on Feb. 3, so the state’s residents can expect a great deal of political action coming their way in the next few weeks.

Senate

California: Second-Place Flipping — As the March 5 Super Tuesday vote approaches, polling in the California Senate jungle primary consistently shows Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) nailing down first place, but second place as undecided. The latest released survey, from Emerson College (Jan. 11-14; 1,087 registered California voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Rep. Schiff holding a 25-18-13-8 percent lead over Republican baseball great Steve Garvey (R), while US Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) trail with their respective support percentages.

A similar poll from The LA Times (UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies; Jan. 4-8; 8,199 registered California voters; 4,470 likely March 5 primary voters; online) released 10 days earlier than the Emerson data found Rep. Schiff leading Rep. Porter, Garvey, and Rep. Lee in a 21-17-13-9 percent spread.

Comparing the current Emerson poll with their November California survey, Garvey gained eight percentage points, while Rep. Porter remained stagnant. Under the California system, all primary contenders compete on the same ballot, with the top two — regardless of percentage attained and party affiliation — advancing to the Nov. 5 general election.

House

MD-2: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) to Retire — Maryland US Rep. Charles A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville) announced on Friday that he will not seek a 12th term in the House, thus completing what will be 30 consecutive years in elective office counting his time in Congress and as Baltimore County Executive. He leaves a northern Maryland congressional district that could be on the cusp of competitiveness, but Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski (D) appears primed as Rep. Ruppersberger’s heir apparent.

The 2nd District covers the area just north of Baltimore city and extends all the way to the Pennsylvania border. It includes about two-thirds of Baltimore County, 90 percent of Carroll County, and about 30,000 residents in Baltimore City. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+11. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 52.5D – 41.4R partisan lean, and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks MD-2 as the 62nd most vulnerable seat in the House Democratic Conference.

NJ-7: Dem Field Winnows to Two — Democrats want to make a strong run against freshman New Jersey US Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield), but one of their candidates just decided to end his congressional bid. Summit Township Councilman Greg Vartan announced on Friday that he will suspend his campaign, leaving former State Department official Jason Blazakis and ex-Working Families Party state director Sue Altman as the two competing Democrats.

Former Congressman Tom Malinowski (D), the man Rep. Kean unseated in 2022, just announced he would not enter the Senate race. Speculation has surrounded him about seeking a congressional rematch, but there is no tangible evidence that the former representative is planning to make a 2024 comeback.

Sen. Cruz in Potentially Competitive Re-Election Bid; Senate Challenge in New Mexico; Rep. Susie Lee Draws Opponent in Nevada; Redistricting Developments in Wisconsin

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Jan. 29, 2024

Senate

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Texas: Tight New Poll — Emerson College just released the results of their latest Texas statewide survey (Jan. 13-15; 1,315 registered Texas voters; interactive voice response system & online) that finds Sen. Ted Cruz (R) heading into a potentially competitive general election. The ballot test found the senator leading US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) by a slight 42-40 percent margin, and holding only a one-point, 41-40 percent split over state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio). Simultaneously, former President Donald Trump leads President Joe Biden 49-41 percent.

The poll is not particularly surprising in that Sen. Cruz’s personal favorability numbers have never been particularly good. However, there are a number of things that favor Sen. Cruz: the presidential election turnout model, Trump beating Biden in the state, the Biden energy policies being detrimental to Texas, and the southern border controversy — all play politically to Sen. Cruz’s favor. Therefore, despite the likelihood that we will see many close Texas Senate polls between now and the November election, the actual votes will favor Sen. Cruz winning re-election by a relatively comfortable margin.

New Mexico: Republicans Making Move to Challenge Sen. Heinrich — In order to expand what is a favorable Republican US Senate map, a prominent member of the GOP announced her candidacy. Nella Domenici, a former hedge fund CEO and daughter of the late six-term Sen. Pete Domenici (R), is the latest Republican to declare for the seat. Last week, former Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales switched parties to enter the GOP Senate primary. The eventual winner of the June 4 Republican primary will challenge two-term incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich (D).

The senator is favored for re-election, but Republicans improving among Hispanics could make this a competitive contest. New Mexico’s Hispanics register 50.2 percent of the state population universe according to the latest US Census report. The last time Republicans won a New Mexico statewide race was in 2014 when then-Gov. Susanna Martinez was re-elected. An August Public Policy Polling survey showed President Biden topping former President Trump 49-41 percent, suggesting the state could become competitive in the national election.

House

NV-3: GOP Ex-State Treasurer Announces for House — Earlier this month, Republicans lost their top congressional recruit in state Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama (R-Las Vegas), who instead of running for the House will seek re-election to what could become a tight Nevada Assembly. Kasama was clearly the top contender for the GOP nomination in a seat that is the most winnable for a Republican (FiveThirtyEight data organization rating: D+2) of the three Las Vegas competitive districts.

Now, former State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) is coming to the forefront to announce his congressional candidacy. While winning a statewide position in 2014, Schwartz has not fared well since, losing landslide races in his attempts to be elected governor, lieutenant governor, and a previous run for the 3rd Congressional District. It is likely the Republicans will have to recruit a stronger candidate against Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) if they are to move this race into the top tier.

Wisconsin: Congressional District Lines Challenged — A citizens group that famed Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias represents filed suit before the Wisconsin state Supreme Court arguing that the panel’s rejection of the state Senate and Assembly maps compels them to reconsider striking down the state’s congressional map.

According to the Daily Kos Elections site’s legal analysts, the legislature’s maps were returned for a re-draw because the court rejected the “least change” (from the previous map) practice that the legislature relied upon to draw the 2021 maps. The Elias group’s lawsuit maintains that the congressional map was also drawn under the “least change” practice, and therefore should be redrawn.

So far, however, the court has not taken action against the congressional map and time is running out. The secretary of state has informed the court that unless new maps are enacted into law by March 15, they will not be able to convert the electoral system in time for the 2024 election.