Category Archives: Polling

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.

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.

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.

Last Night’s Primary Results; Rep. Buck to Resign; California Projections; Close Polls in North Carolina

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, March 13, 2024

President

Primary/Caucus Results — Primaries were held in three states last night, and even without results from the Hawaii caucuses, both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump exceeded the bound delegate vote requirement to score first ballot nominations. Therefore, both men become their party’s “presumptive nominee,” meaning they will become the official standard bearer at the respective party conventions in July (Republicans) and August (Democrats).

The Georgia, Mississippi, and Washington primaries went as expected with both Biden and Trump winning with landslide totals against opponents who appear on the ballot but who have withdrawn from the race.

Mississippi was the state that held its full ballot primary last night. Sen. Roger Wicker (R) won renomination against two opponents with just over 60 percent of the vote. Wicker won all but 10 counties in the state from a total universe of 82. All four Magnolia State US House incumbents were either unopposed for renomination or easily won. Freshman Rep. Mike Ezell (R-Pascagoula) had two GOP opponents, and still surpassed 73 percent of the vote. All four: Reps. Trent Kelly (R-Saltillo/Tupelo), Bennie Thompson (D-Bolton), Michael Guest (R-Brandon/Jackson), and Mr. Ezell, now become prohibitive favorites to win again in November.

House

Rep. Ken Buck / Photo by Gage Skidmore

CO-4: Rep. Buck to Resign — Colorado US Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor), who had previously made public his intentions not to seek a sixth term later this year, announced yesterday that he will resign much sooner — on March 22. The move initiates the calling of a special congressional election — the fourth in the country prior to the regular general election. Gov. Jared Polis (D) responded that he will schedule the special vote concurrently with the state’s June 25 primary election.

In Colorado, special election nominations are handled through vacancy committees that the local political parties construct. This means the voters will go to the polls only once to fill the balance of the current term.

This system likely plays to Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Silt) detriment. It is highly unlikely that the District 4 vacancy committee members will choose her as the party nominee considering she is still the District 3 incumbent. This also means the dozen announced candidates already vying to replace Rep. Buck will see one of their colleagues likely chosen for the special.

California: More Finalists Projected — As the California ballot counting process moves laboriously along, the Associated Press is projecting that three more candidates will qualify for the general election from the top-two jungle primary. In the Los Angeles-anchored 34th District, both incumbent Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) and movie executive David Kim (D) will again advance into the general election. This will be the third consecutive election in which the two have faced each other in a double-Democratic contest. In 2022, Rep. Gomez registered only a 51-49 percent general election win over Kim, so another close race is expected later this year.

In the open South San Francisco Bay seat from which veteran Rep. Anna Eshoo (D- Atherton) is retiring, former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) is assured of advancing to the November election, but his eventual opponent has still not been decided. In second place is San Mateo Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D), who is only 749 votes ahead of Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) with approximately 26,000 ballots remaining to be counted.

Whoever wins the special will have a major advantage in the subsequent November regular election if the primary electorate chooses someone in the regular primary other than whom the vacancy committee decided upon. Another option the committee may have is to select someone who agrees not to seek a full term. Therefore, we will see more political drama occurring in Colorado as the campaign to replace Rep. Buck continues to unfold.

Governor

North Carolina: Two More Close Polls — Now that Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) and Attorney General Josh Stein (D) are the official gubernatorial nominees of their respective political parties after last Tuesday’s primary vote, Survey USA and the Cygnal firm went into the field to test the general election between the two new official nominees.

The S-USA poll, conducted for WRAL-TV in Raleigh (March 6-9; 850 NC adults; 736 registered North Carolina voters; 598 likely North Carolina general election voters; online), sees AG Stein leading Lt. Gov. Robinson by a tight 44-42 percent margin, which is in the consistent realm of previously released surveys. When asked about presidential preference, the sampling universe would favor former President Trump over President Biden by a 50-45 percent margin in this most critical of swing states.

The Cygnal survey was conducted during the March 6-7 period (600 likely North Carolina voters; live interview & text) and produced a slightly different outcome. While projecting a similarly close result as Survey USA, Cygnal sees Lt. Gov. Robinson leading the gubernatorial race with a 44-39 percent spread. The latter firm also finds former President Trump holding a five point lead over President Biden but with a slightly different 45-40 percent count.

Four Primaries Today; Fong Advances; Trump Endorses Nancy Mace; Indiana Governor’s Poll

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 12, 2024

President

Primaries Today: Four States — Voters go to the polls today in Georgia, Hawaii (Republican Caucus only), Mississippi (full primary), and Washington.

In all, there are 161 Republican delegates at stake in the four states, and with former President Donald Trump already having 1,078 bound delegates of the 1,215 he needs to score a first ballot victory, securing just over 85 percent of the available delegates tonight will allow him to clinch “presumptive nominee” status. This means he will have enough bound delegates to claim a first ballot victory at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee during mid-July. For President Joe Biden, it appears he will clinch “presumptive nominee” status next week in the March 19 primaries.

In Mississippi, a quiet night is expected regarding the full ballot primary. Sen. Roger Wicker (R) faces two Republican challengers, including state Rep. Dan Eubanks (R-Walls), but there is little doubt the incumbent will be renominated outright for a fourth term tonight. In House races, each of the state’s four incumbents: Reps. Trent Kelly (R-Saltillo/ Tupelo), Bennie Thompson (D-Bolton), Michael Guest (R-Brandon/Jackson), and Mike Ezell (R-Pascagoula), are seeking re-election and only Ezell faces an intra-party challenge.

The first-term congressman, who unseated then-Rep. Steven Palazzo in the 2022 Republican nomination battle, faces two Republican opponents. Businessman Carl Boyanton, who finished fifth in the 2022 congressional primary with just 6.2 percent of the vote, returns for a re-match with Ezell, and retired Army veteran Michael McGill joins them. Rep. Ezell is expected to easily win renomination tonight, thus avoiding an April 2 runoff election. Should any candidate fail to reach majority support in the initial primary, a runoff election then becomes mandatory.

House

CA-20: Fong Officially Advances — NBC News is projecting that state Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) will advance into the regular general election from the still unfolding California jungle primary. Fong has 38.8 percent of the votes counted with approximately 26 percent of the ballots still outstanding.

Ironically, the group of candidates may be on the ballot again, in the March 19 special election to immediately replace resigned former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), before the two regular general election participants are officially certified. Under the laborious California ballot counting process, the state still has another 31 days to count and then certify the final results.

Currently in second position is Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux (R) with 25.8 percent, just ahead of Democratic educator and 2022 congressional nominee Marissa Wood who posts 22.0 percent of the vote. A total of 11 candidates are on the jungle primary ballot.

Should Sheriff Bourdeaux hold second place, a double-Republican regular general election will then occur in November. For the special election, with nine of the candidates competing, including Fong and Bourdeaux along with Wood, the special election result is expected to produce a similar result to the one just witnessed.

SC-1: Trump Endorses Rep. Mace — In 2022, former President Donald Trump endorsed former state Rep. Katie Arrington against Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston), saying the incumbent is “a terrible candidate,” and she was renominated with only 53 percent of the vote.

Trump is singing a different tune for the 2024 election. Yesterday, he announced his support for Rep. Mace as she again faces a serious primary election opponent. Saying she is “a strong conservative voice for South Carolina’s 1st District,” Trump now endorses Mace as she faces former Haley cabinet secretary Catherine Templeton, who is campaigning from the congresswoman’s right political flank. Three other Republicans, including the representative’s former chief of staff, are also announced candidates.

If no one receives majority support in the June 11 primary election, a short schedule runoff will occur on June 25. The US Supreme Court is also considering a lawsuit that would declare this district an illegal racial gerrymander. If the court rules such, the 1st CD will have to be redrawn and that could lead to a postponed primary.

Governor

Indiana: Sen. Braun Way Up in Governor’s Poll — A new Emerson College statewide Indiana Republican primary survey (March 2-5; 526 likely Indiana Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) finds US Sen. Mike Braun (R) cruising in his quest for the state’s open governorship. The Emerson data finds Sen. Braun posting a 34-7-7-5 percent split over Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, venture capitalist Eric Doden, and former State Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers.

This data tracks with reported internal Braun data from the Mark It Red polling firm that records a 41-12 percent split over Lt. Gov. Crouch. The Indiana plurality primary is scheduled for May 7. The eventual Republican nominee will become a prohibitive favorite to then win the general election in November.

No Labels Party Announcement; California House Primaries Projected; Close IL-12 Poll;
Rosendale Challenger in Montana

By Jim Ellis — Friday, March 8, 2024

President

No Labels Party: Announcement Today — Later today, the centrist No Labels Party, the leadership of which has been working to secure ballot position around the country, is scheduled to make an announcement about their future plans. It is unlikely that they will announce a presidential ticket to compete with President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and others, but they are likely to reveal the voting preference of their members to move forward with entering the presidential campaign. If so, the declaration of the presidential ticket will come at a later date.

House

California: House Primaries Projected — The Associated Press has projected several more qualifiers in California House races from the all-party jungle primary. In Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Burbank) open 30th District, with 68 percent of the vote counted, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) has qualified for the general election, topping a field of 15 candidates. She now becomes a prohibitive favorite in the general election from a Los Angeles County congressional district where President Biden recorded 72 percent of the vote in 2020.

Fortunately for Friedman, Republican Alex Balekian is projected to have topped state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-Glendale) for the second qualifying position. Balekian uniting the small number of district Republicans was enough to propel him past a fractured Democratic field. In the general election, however, a Republican has almost no chance of winning the seat.

Farther south in San Diego, the AP has projected that auto dealer and 2022 state Senate finalist Matt Gunderson (R) has qualified as Rep. Mike Levin’s (D-San Juan Capistrano) general election opponent. Unlike District 30, the San Diego-Orange County 49th District is much more competitive. Rep. Levin will again be favored to win the general election, but this contest could become close. Though losing a state Senate race in 2022 with similar boundaries to District 49, Gunderson attracted 48 percent of the vote. Rep. Levin won his previous re-election with 52.6 percent of the vote against frequent congressional candidate Brian Maryott (R).

IL-12: Close GOP Primary Poll Released — Illinois pollster M3 Strategies released a survey of the 12th Congressional District Republican primary between Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and former state senator and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey. The poll (March 2-4; 473 likely IL-12 voters) projects Congressman Bost to be holding only a 45-39 percent edge over Bailey. When undecideds are pushed for an answer, Bost’s lead expands to 54-46 percent, largely on the strength of the oldest voting demographic segment.

The 12th District is one of three seats in Illinois that will elect a Republican, so this race will be decided in the March 19 Republican primary.

MT-2: Rosendale Primary Building — Rep. Matt Rosendale’s (R-Glendive) jump in and out of the Senate race and lack of clarity over whether he would seek re-election after leaving the statewide contest has led to him having at least one major primary opponent. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, one of nine Republicans who had announced their congressional candidacy when Rosendale appeared headed for the Senate race, declared yesterday that she will file as a candidate on Monday and force a primary challenge.

None of the other candidates have definitively said they are leaving or staying in the congressional race, so Monday’s Montana candidate filing deadline will prove interesting. Former Congressman Denny Rehberg, State Auditor Troy Downing, and state Senate President Pro Tempore Ken Bogner (R-Miles City) are among the contenders who have yet to confirm or deny that they are continuing their congressional campaign now that the incumbent has decided to return.