By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 27, 2023
PresidentRep. Dean Phillips: Apparently Will Challenge President Biden — The Wall Street Journal is reporting that three-term Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips (D-Plymouth) is reportedly prepared to file to enter the New Hampshire Democratic primary to challenge President Joe Biden. Rep. Phillips has been calling for other Democrats to oppose the president for the party nomination, and now he is prepared to take up the mantel. Conversely, Biden’s campaign announced that the president will not participate in the New Hampshire primary, saying that he will “follow the rules” that he proposed to the Democratic National Committee that changes the progression of pre-Super Tuesday states.
It is likely we will see Biden’s New Hampshire supporters initiate a write-in effort for the president, but Rep. Phillips could still be positioned to win the state in a primary that has yet to be scheduled. The only two reasonable dates available that would keep the state as the first-in-the-nation primary is Jan. 23, because state law dictates that their primary not only be first, but also a week before any other.
OR-5: Dem Governor Endorses a New Candidate — Gov. Tina Kotek (D) this week announced her endorsement of state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) in the 5th Congressional District Republican primary, thus eschewing 2022 Democratic nominee Jamie McLeod-Skinner who received 49 percent of the vote against now freshman Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Happy Valley).
Going into the general election, McLeod-Skinner was tabbed as the favorite to retain the seat for the party after she upset then-Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary.
Therefore, her performance against Chavez-DeRemer was deemed an under-performance. This explains why the Democratic leadership would be looking to change nominees for the 2024 election.
The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+3. President Biden carried the seat 53-44 percent. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks OR-5 as the ninth most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference.
Kentucky: Conflicting Polls — As we draw closer to the Nov. 7 gubernatorial election in Kentucky, recent polling shows a major difference regarding the size of Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) lead over Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R).
The co/efficient survey research firm polling for the Bluegrass Freedom Action Fund (Oct. 18-19; 1,845 likely Kentucky general election voters; live interview & text) found Gov. Beshear’s lead dissipating. According to this survey, the ballot test has closed to 47-45 percent. Garin-Hart-Yang Research, however, conducted an internal survey for the Beshear campaign several days earlier and found a different result. The poll (Oct. 14-16; 741 likely Kentucky general election voters; live interview & text) sees Gov. Beshear holding a 52-44 percent advantage. The Kentucky election is scheduled for Nov. 7.
This election, and the governor’s contest in Mississippi, could become precursors for next year’s regular election if the voters follow the Louisiana lead. The Oct. 14 gubernatorial election in the latter state opened eyes when Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry scored an upset outright win on Oct. 14. Polling consistently showed Landry leading, but with a percentage much lower than his final showing. Democrat Shawn Wilson finished well below his research projections. Gov. Beshear is favored to win re-election, but if co/efficient is correct, this race could be headed for a photo finish.
Mississippi: Presley Gaining Ground — Democrats are releasing a new Public Policy Polling internal survey (Oct. 19-20; 601 likely Mississippi general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) that finds their nominee, Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, who is a second cousin to the late Elvis Presley, pulling to within one point of Gov. Tate Reeves (R), 46-45 percent.
Again, the turnout and voter swing dynamics that we saw in Louisiana might also play a role here. If so, we could be seeing a positive Republican trend. If not, then the Louisiana results would be considered an outlier. Additionally, the 2019 featuring then-Lt. Gov. Reeves and then-Attorney General Jim Hood (D), produced similarly close polling within the last month of the campaign. In the end, Reeves posted a 52-47 percent victory.
Independent Gwendolyn Gray is also on the ballot. She could be significant in a close race between the major party contenders by keeping the leader under 50 percent. If no one receives majority support, a secondary runoff election will be held on Nov. 28.