Category Archives: Senate

Dems Cancel Florida Presidential Primary; Moreno Leads in Ohio; Trump Turns Against Masters; Menendez Challenged in New Jersey

President Joe Biden / Photo by Gage Skidmore

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Dec. 15, 2023

President

Florida: Dems Cancel Presidential Primary — In what could be the first of several states where the Democratic Party will suspend the presidential primary and award their delegate slate to President Joe Biden, Florida took such action with Wednesday’s announcement. This move is not uncommon for both political parties with an incumbent president seeking re-election. It is used mostly in states where the political party is responsible for financing the party primary. When the incumbent is a sure bet to win the state’s primary, the party suspends the election in order to save the money to use in the general election.

Primary suspension and the awarding of delegate slates to, in this case President Biden, is one of the reasons that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. abandoned his Democratic primary challenge to Biden and instead became an independent presidential candidate.

Senate

Ohio: Moreno Leads in Second Poll — On the heels of last week’s co/efficient poll that posted businessman Bernie Moreno to a slight Ohio Republican US Senate primary lead (15-14-13 percent over Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan), the new Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey places Moreno in an even better position. The F&L poll (Dec. 3-5; 600 likely Ohio Republican primary voters; live interview & text) sees Moreno’s lead expanding to 23-19-18 percent over LaRose and Dolan.

Obviously, the Republican nomination is up for grabs and any of these three contenders can still win the March 19 primary. The eventual winner will challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the country’s most important Senate races.

House

AZ-8: Trump Turns Against Masters — Early this week, former President Donald Trump surprisingly endorsed Abe Hamadeh for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Arizona US Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria). The move was unexpected because the man Trump supported for US Senate in 2022, Blake Masters, is also in the congressional race. Hamadeh was the 2022 nominee for attorney general, losing the statewide race by just 280 votes from more than 2.5 million ballots cast.

The endorsement could prove pivotal because the eventual Republican nominee will become the strong favorite to win the seat in the general election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates AZ-8 as R+22. Trump carried the 8th District with a 56-42 percent victory margin in 2020.

NJ-8: Hoboken Mayor to Challenge Rep. Menendez — As expected, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla officially announced his Democratic primary challenge to freshman New Jersey US Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City). Since the indictment of the congressman’s father, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Menendez’s approval numbers had precipitously dropped to where he could be endangered in a race against Mayor Bhalla.

For his part, representatives for a Super PAC associated with his fledgling candidacy say they have already raised $500,000 to support Bhalla’s campaign. Conversely, Rep. Menendez reported a $433,244 cash-on-hand figure in his Sept. 30 Federal Election Commission campaign committee report. Expect this to become a serious nomination challenge. The New Jersey primary is scheduled for June 4.

Trump Tops 50 Percent in Iowa; Leading CA-20 Contender Won’t Run; Tight IA-1 Race; Jackson Lee Registers in TX-18 at Deadline

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023

President

Former President Donald Trump / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump: Tops 50 Percent in Iowa — The latest Des Moines Register/NBC News poll (Selzer & Company; Dec. 2-7; 502 likely Iowa Republican Caucus attendees; live interview) sees former President Donald Trump again breaking the majority vote threshold. Selzer & Company, a survey research firm that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as an A+ pollster and consistently described as Iowa’s most accurate research entity, projects Trump to be holding a 51-19-16-5-4 percent advantage over Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, respectively.

According to the analysis, this is the largest historical advantage anyone has held for a competitive Iowa Caucus.

House

CA-20: Leading Contender Won’t Run — With Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) resigning his seat before the end of the year, the California candidate filing deadline has been extended five days in this district because the incumbent is not seeking re-election. A surprise occurred Monday, as the potential candidate viewed as having the best chance to succeed McCarthy, state Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) who already represents 91 percent of the 20th Congressional District constituency, announced that she will not run for Congress.

Immediately, state Assemblyman Vincent Fong (R-Bakersfield), who had filed for re-election after announcing he would not run for Congress, now wants to file for the congressional seat. It may be difficult for him to withdraw from the assembly race, however, since his candidacy for the legislature has been officially approved. At the time of this writing, rumors also abound that former Congressman Devin Nunes (R) may also file at the last moment. The filing period ends today, so all questions will be answered at that time.

IA-1: Poll Shows Rep. Miller-Meeks With Close Lead — The US Term Limits organization polled Iowa’s politically marginal southeastern 1st Congressional District (RMG Research; Nov. 28-Dec. 2; 448 likely IA-1 voters; online) and finds Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Le Claire) edging former state representative and 2022 congressional nominee Christina Bohannon (D) by a 38-35 percent margin.

The term limits push question then places Bohannon ahead after the pollsters indicate that the challenger supports limiting terms while the incumbent does not, but this will not likely be a determinative issue for the 2024 election campaign.

TX-18: Rep. Jackson Lee (D) Files for Re-Election — Just two days after losing a landslide runoff election in the Houston mayoral campaign, veteran Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) quickly turned around and filed for re-election to the House. Candidate filing closed Monday in Texas for the 2024 election cycle in preparation for the state’s March 5 primary.

Now, we could potentially see a Democratic primary battle develop. Anticipating the seat would be open if Jackson Lee was elected mayor, five Democrats filed as congressional candidates including former Houston City councilwoman and ex-US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards. It remains to be seen how many of these filed contenders decide to continue to run now that the incumbent has returned.

The 18th District is fully contained within Harris County. The population is 40 percent Hispanic, 34 percent black, and 6 percent Asian. Only 19 percent is recorded as non-Hispanic white. Dave’s Redistricting App’s partisan lead calculation is 73.6D – 24.4R. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-18 as D+43, so winning the Democratic nomination process is tantamount to claiming the seat.

A Ramaswamy Switch to Libertarian Ticket?; Van Drew Won’t Run in NJ; Nunes Rumored to Return; Big Lead in OR-5; Jackson Lee Loses Mayoral Race

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023

President

2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Vivek Ramaswamy: A Libertarian Option? — Political speculation is percolating regarding reports that the national Libertarian Party may be looking toward GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy as their general election presidential nominee.

At this point, Ramaswamy says he is not interested in such an option and plans to continue his quest to top the GOP field. Since he is a long shot to overtake former President Donald Trump and the other candidates currently running ahead of him, the idea of Ramaswamy as the Libertarian Party nominee may soon become a relevant discussion topic.

Senate

New Jersey: Rep. Van Drew Won’t Run — The situation involving indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) has brought a great deal of attention to the 2024 New Jersey Senate race. The senator has not yet taken himself out of the discussion for next year’s election, but he will at the very least be seriously challenged for renomination. Both New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) are actively running.

One person who will not enter the Senate race, as was announced Friday, is Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/Atlantic City). The congressman announced that he won’t become a Senate candidate but will seek re-election as US representative for the people of New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District.

House

CA-20: Devin Nunes Rumored to Return — Rumors abound in central California that former Congressman Devin Nunes (R) may file for resigning Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Bakersfield) open seat. Nunes has not denied he is considering making the move. Suggesting that the Nunes rumor has legs, both Assemblymen Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) and Vincent Fong (R-Bakersfield) have declined to run for the congressional seat. State Sen. Shannon Graves (R-Bakersfield), who already represents 89 percent of the overlying congressional district, has yet to say whether she will run.

We won’t have to wait long to see a resolution. Though the 2024 candidate filing deadline was Friday, the period is extended five days when a district incumbent does not file for re-election. This means the CD-20 regular election field will be finalized on Wednesday. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will then set the calendar for a special election to fill the balance of the current term.

OR-5: McLeod-Skinner Opens with Big Dem Lead — RMG Research, polling for the US Term Limits organization, conducted a short, small sample survey for Oregon’s 5th District Democratic primary (Nov. 4-17, released Dec. 8; 300 OR-5 likely voters; online). The winner will face freshman Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Happy Valley). The UST results find 2022 Democratic nominee Jamie McLeod-Skinner leading state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) and Oregon Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, 41-9-4 percent.

The pollsters concentrated only on the ballot test and asking the respondents about their support for federal term limits. With a small online sample of just 300 individuals, the error factor here is high (5.7 percent). Still, the size of McLeod-Skinner’s lead suggests that she is the favorite for the party nomination and has a major lead in name identification. A competitive general election in this politically marginal congressional district is promised.

Cities

Houston: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Loses Mayoral Race By Lopsided Margin — The Houston mayoral runoff was held on Saturday, and state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) easily outpaced US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston), winning by a 64-36 percent margin. Because this is an odd-numbered year race, Rep. Jackson Lee did not have to risk her US House seat. She is now expected to seek re-election next year. Sen. Whitmire, the second-longest serving state legislator in Texas history and the senator with the longest tenure, will leave the legislature to serve the four-year term as chief executive for America’s fourth-largest city.

Schiff Leads in Two Polls; Democrats Nominate Ex-Rep. Suozzi; Manning Won’t Seek Re-Election; Competitive North Carolina Governor’s Race

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Dec. 11, 2023

Senate

California Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)

California: Schiff Leads in Two Polls — A pair of mid-November polls were released of the California Senate race, and both find Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) leading the pack of open-seat candidates, but by a small margin. If these two polls prove accurate, both Schiff and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) would advance into a double-Democratic general election to be decided in November. Former baseball great Steve Garvey is a close third and still could be in position to claim second place in the March 5 all-party jungle primary if he could unite the Republican vote.

Emerson College (Nov. 11-14; 1,000 likely California primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) posts Schiff to a 16-13-10-9 percent advantage over Porter, Garvey, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), respectively. The University of California at Berkeley through the Public Policy Institute of California (Nov. 9-16; 1,113 likely California voters; online) conducted an extensive survey that included a ballot test question about the US Senate race. Their results, similar to those Emerson produced, projects Rep. Schiff leading the field by a larger 21-16-10-8 percent spread over Porter, Garvey, and Lee.

House

NY-3: Democrats Nominate Ex-Rep. Suozzi — Though the timing took a bit longer than expected, the Nassau County Democratic Party chairman announced late last week that former US Rep. Tom Suozzi will be the special election nominee to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R). Republicans are expected to name their candidate early this week.

While the prevailing wisdom is that Suozzi is a lock to convert the seat for the Democrats, an Opinion Diagnostics survey suggests the race may be closer than one might expect. The survey, conducted for financial executive Kellen Curry’s (R) campaign (Nov. 30; 900 NY-3 registered voters; text & online) found Suozzi scoring only between 43.3 and 44.9 percent against three potential Republican special election nominees. The three Republicans record percentages between 38.0 and 39.9 percent, thus signaling a potentially competitive special election campaign. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called the election for Feb. 13.

NC-6: Rep. Manning Won’t Seek Re-Election — Two-term North Carolina US Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) announced late last week that she will not file for re-election. Saying, “I would love nothing more than to continue representing our community in Congress. Unfortunately, the egregiously gerrymandered maps do not make this race competitive, and I cannot in good conscience ask people to invest their time, resources and efforts in a campaign that is rigged against us. However, if the impending lawsuits are successful and the general assembly is forced to draw fair congressional districts, I will seek to continue my service to our community.”

The new 6th District would have voted for former President Donald Trump in a 57-41 percent count. Under the Democratic court map, the 6th supported President Joe Biden with a 56-43 percent margin. North Carolina redistricting had gone back and forth for a decade between the Republican legislature and the Democratic state Supreme Court. With the Republicans winning the court races in 2022, the court and legislature now approach redistricting legislation from largely the same viewpoint.

Rep. Manning’s retirement means 36 seats are now open for the next election. A total of 22 of the open seats are currently Democratic held, 13 come from the Republican column, and one new seat has been created under the new Alabama court-drawn redistricting plan.

Governor

North Carolina: Lt. Gov. Robinson Still in Front — The open North Carolina governor’s post will feature one of the most competitive such campaigns in the nation. The likely party nominees are Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) and Attorney General Josh Stein (D). Early polling has given Robinson a slight lead, and the new East Carolina University survey (Nov. 29-Dec. 1; 915 North Carolina registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) draws a similar conclusion. The new numbers find Robinson posting a 44-40 percent general election lead over AG Stein.

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. Robinson is completing his first term as lieutenant governor, while Stein will be serving his eighth year as attorney general. Stein’s most recent victory was a razor-thin 50.1 – 49.9 percent in 2020 and further suggests that he begins this gubernatorial race in an underdog position.

Trone Leads in NJ Poll; Three-Way Tie in Ohio; Menendez Repercussions; Incumbent Challenge in NY; Early Showdown in Virginia

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023

Senate

Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac)

Maryland: Rep. Trone Leads in New Internal Poll — The Trone for Senate campaign released an internal Hickman Analytics survey (Nov. 27-30; 1,000 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters; live interview) that projects US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) to be leading his top primary competitor in the open Senate race, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, by a 41-34 percent spread.

Rep. Trone, who is largely self-financing his own campaign, has already spent more than $10 million on his statewide effort. The Hickman poll sample consisted of 50 percent white and 42 percent black voters, which may prove an accurate depiction of the Maryland Democratic primary’s racial composition. On the other hand, the sample was weighted heavily toward females, with women comprising 62 percent of the respondent base. This number will prove too high. The Maryland primary is scheduled for May 14.

Ohio: Virtual Three-Way Tie — A new co/efficient poll for the Bernie Moreno (R) Senate campaign finds the Ohio businessman edging ahead of his two Republican opponents, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls). Moreno has gained support with a new ad tying him to former President Donald Trump. Still, with the overwhelming majority of respondents classifying themselves as undecided, and the trio of candidates separated by a total of two percentage points, this Republican primary race appears as a pure three-way tie. The Ohio plurality primary is scheduled for March 19.

House

NJ-8: Rep. Menendez Gains Endorsement, Fares Poorly in Poll — It appears that freshman New Jersey Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) is absorbing heavy political baggage from his indicted father, Sen. Bob Menendez (D). While just winning the Hudson County Democratic Party’s endorsement, which houses 72 percent of the 8th District’s population and translates into a very favorable primary ballot position, a new Change Research poll (Nov. 28-12/1; 762 likely NJ-8 Democratic primary voters; online) suggests Rep. Menendez is in trouble for re-nomination.

According to the Change Research results, Rep. Menendez’s favorability index stands at a poor 17:51 percent favorable to unfavorable. In a ballot test with his top Democratic primary opponent, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla who had already raised $400,000 through the end of September, the congressman posts only a 16-13 percent edge. Clearly, this primary challenge will be a race to monitor throughout the early cycle. The New Jersey plurality primary is scheduled for June 4.

NY-16: County Executive Files Congressional Committee — Another hotly contested Democratic primary battle is beginning. On Monday, Westchester County Executive and former state legislator George Latimer (D) filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission. A formal declaration of candidacy is likely to follow shortly. Latimer will be challenging two-term Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers) who himself came to office by denying an incumbent renomination. In 2020, Bowman unseated veteran Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel.

Latimer has been in elective office consecutively since the beginning of 2005. This includes his time as Westchester County Executive, a state senator, and a state assemblyman. He will be able to command financial resources and clearly has a base of support. Westchester County comprises 91 percent of the 16th Congressional District’s population. Rep. Bowman’s base comes from the African American community, which is a quarter of the resident base but accounts for a far greater percentage in the Democratic primary.

Governor

Virginia: An Early Showdown — A year and one-half before the next Virginia gubernatorial primary election, we already have a brewing contest. In mid-November, US Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) announced she would forego re-election to a fourth term in the US House in order to run in the open 2025 governor’s race. Now, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has already joined the Democratic primary race with his announcement.

Since Virginia is the only state in the Union that has a one-term limit for its governors, incumbent Republican Glenn Youngkin is ineligible to seek re-election, thus guaranteeing an open contest in 2025.

Christie Out in Maine; Florida Redistricting; Santos Out, Now What?; Maloy Challenged in Utah; House Retirements Reversal

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023

Senate

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

Chris Christie: Fails to Qualify for Maine Ballot — Due in part to a notary clerical error, GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie has failed to qualify for the Maine Super Tuesday primary scheduled for March 5, 2024. It remains to be seen if the Christie campaign will attempt to access the ballot via court order. Christie is the only significant GOP candidate not to meet the Maine ballot qualification requirement of submitting 2,000 valid registered voter petition signatures.

House

Florida Redistricting: Appeals Court Overturns Map Rejection — A Florida appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that declared the state’s congressional map as an illegal racial gerrymander. This means the ruling that the northern portion of the map be redrawn is nullified. An appeal to the state Supreme Court is likely. Even if the plaintiffs move forward, however, the time it would take for the high panel to hear the complaint could well extend past the April 26 candidate filing deadline. This means the current map now has a relatively strong chance of lasting at least through the 2024 election cycle.

In its ruling, the appellate directive stated, “The constitution cannot demand that all voters are treated equally without regard to race and at the same time demand that voters are treated differently based on race.” The plaintiffs want a majority minority district reinstated in northern Florida. In the previous decade a 5th District that stretched from Tallahassee into Jacksonville was drawn to elect an African American Representative.

NY-3’s Rep. Santos Expelled: What Now? — Based upon the House Ethics Committee report about now former Rep. George Santos’ (R-Long Island) alleged unethical and illegal activities, the House on a 311-114 count reached the necessary two-thirds vote of those present and voting to expel the freshman member. A special election will now be called to fill the balance of the term. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will have 10 days in which to schedule the vote. According to New York governing parameters, the eligible election days are either Feb. 20 or 27.

Under the Empire State procedure, the affected county party chairmen have the power to nominate their special election standard bearers. Because Nassau County comprises three quarters of the 3rd District, only one individual will effectively select the nominee for the various parties. Since the county chairmen votes are weighted based upon entity population, the Nassau chairman can out-vote the Queens Borough chairman.

The Democrats are apparently going to announce their nominee today, which will very likely be former Congressman Tom Suozzi. He will be favored in the special general against whomever the Republican chairman chooses. It is less clear what action the Republican chairman will take and when.

Suozzi represented the 3rd District for three terms beginning in 2017. He did not seek re-election in 2022 because he launched a long-shot campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was unsuccessful.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-3 as D+4, but Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a more favorable Democratic partisan lean, 56.4D – 42.0R. President Joe Biden posted a 53.6 – 45.4 percent victory here opposite Donald Trump in 2020. Republicans scored a rebound in 2022, however. Gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin carried NY-3 with a 56-44 percent margin despite losing statewide. The Republicans also saw their Nassau County Executive candidate unseat a Democratic incumbent.

UT-2: New Rep. Maloy Already Challenged — While Utah Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) was just sworn into office last week after winning the Nov. 21 special election, she has already drawn a 2024 Republican primary opponent. Army Reserve colonel and technology company executive Colby Jenkins (R) declared his congressional candidacy against the new congresswoman on Friday.

Jenkins says he will pursue the controversial ruling that awarded Maloy a ballot position even though she registered to vote after the candidate filing deadline. At this point, Rep. Maloy should be favored for renomination, but it is likely that she will already become embroiled in a new campaign. The Utah state primary is scheduled for June 25.

House Members: Re-Election Announcements — While we saw a spate of House retirements in November (13 in all), five members on Friday declared for re-election. Reps. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Chris Smith (R-NJ) second in House seniority and returning to seek a 23rd term, Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Joe Wilson (R-SC) are en masse reversing the retirement trend.

Sen. Cantwell Well Ahead; Ex-Mayor Flips on Decision to Run; CA-45 Logjam; Louisiana Deadline Extended

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Dec. 4, 2023

Senate

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)

Washington: Sen. Cantwell Easily Leads in New Poll — Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute (Nov. 14-15; 700 likely Washington general election voters; live interview & text) finds Sen. Maria Cantwell (D), running for a fifth six-year term, leading physician and former gubernatorial candidate Raul Garcia (R) by a 51-38 percent margin. Sen. Cantwell is a clear favorite for re-election in a race that should not become particularly competitive.

House

CA-16: Despite Saying No, ex-San Jose Mayor Forms Congressional Committee — Early this year, former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) said he was planning to challenge either Reps. Ann Eshoo (D-Atherton) or Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) in the 2024 jungle primary. In September, he indicated that he would not run for Congress but instead was pursuing opportunities in the private sector. Adding Rep. Eshoo’s recent retirement announcement to the political equation, Liccardo has now reversed course again and filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission.

Though Liccardo still says he has not yet made a final decision about running, he cited a poll from Public Policy Polling showing him leading what will likely be a crowded field. Liccardo was twice elected to four-year terms as San Jose’s mayor, in addition to winning a pair of four-year terms on the City Council prior to his citywide victory.

Other Democrats in the race are Santa Clara County supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian, Saratoga City Councilman Rishi Kumar, who twice challenged Rep. Eshoo, labor union organizer Evan Bell, and financial advisor Joby Bernstein. Former Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki and 2018 congressional candidate Karl Ryan are Republican contenders. State Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) is a possible candidate as is State Board of Equalization member and ex-state Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D).

The city of San Jose comprises approximately 40 percent of the 16th CD. A total of 85 percent of the district lies in Santa Clara County, with the remaining precincts crossing into San Mateo County. It is probable that two Democrats will advance from the March 5 all-party jungle primary. The candidate filing deadline in this race is Dec. 13. In California, candidate filing is extended five days when the incumbent does not file.

CA-45: Democrats Bunched in New Poll — A new Tulchin Research survey (Nov. 13-19; 500 likely CA-45 jungle primary voters; live interview & online) finds Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) easily securing first place in the March 5 jungle primary but shows a tightly bunched group of Democrats trying to advance into the general election. According to the Tulchin results, Rep. Steel posts 39 percent support.

Iraq War veteran Derek Tran records 11 percent, just ahead of Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen-Penaloza with 10 percent, and attorney Cheyenne Hunt at 6 percent. Jay Chen, the 2022 finalist who is reportedly considering running again, was not included in this poll.

The 45th District is almost fully contained within Orange County with an added sliver of Los Angeles County and is highly competitive. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+5. The Daily Kos Elections statisticians rank the seat as the fifth most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. President Joe Biden carried the district with a 52-46 percent margin in 2020. Rep. Steel defeated Chen with a 52-48 percent victory margin in 2022.

Louisiana: Court Extends Redistricting Deadline — With Gov-Elect Jeff Landry (R) taking office on Jan. 8, the special federal three judge panel has extended the deadline for the state to draw a Voting Rights Act compliant map, in accordance with the US Supreme Court’s Alabama decision, from Jan. 15-30. It will be interesting to see what the legislature draws because the state is suing over the VRA in another lawsuit. This action concerns the Louisiana legislature maps.

Chances are strong that we will see a similar situation to that of Alabama, where a new African-American influenced district is drawn, and two incumbent Republicans are paired into one district. Democrats are likely to gain one seat when the process eventually concludes.