By Jim Ellis — Monday, Aug. 28, 2023
PresidentFlorida Poll: Trump Cruising — The Victory Polling organization surveyed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ home state of Florida’s electorate (Aug. 21-23; 590 likely Florida Republican primary voters) and delivered bad news for the host politician. The Victory results find former President Donald Trump holding a commanding Sunshine State lead of 59-23 percent over Gov. DeSantis with no other candidate even reaching five percent support. The former president now lives in Florida, having filed a “declaration of domicile” that declared his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach as his permanent residence in 2019. It will be curious to see if Gov. DeSantis’ strong debate performance begins to change some voters’ allegiance.
Pennsylvania Poll: Getting Closer — Franklin & Marshall College, a Lancaster, PA institution that regularly polls the Keystone State, released their new small-sample Republican statewide survey (Aug. 9-20; 723 PA registered voters; 297 Republican primary voters; live interview) and the results show a tightening presidential field when compared with most other states. While former President Trump still leads the group, his margin is becoming somewhat smaller. The F&M numbers find him commanding 39 percent support as compared to Gov. DeSantis’ 21 percent. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy is third with nine percent, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) pulls six percent, and no other candidate exceeds the five percent threshold.
RI-1: Lead Change in New Poll — Apparently, the controversy over Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos’ petition signatures has taken a toll on her approval rating. The previous polling leader has slipped to an upside-down favorability index of 29:44 percent positive to negative. A new Blueprint Polling survey (Aug. 15-17; 451 definite and probable RI-1 special election voters), the source of the Matos approval rating data, finds former state representative and 2018 lieutenant governor candidate Aaron Regunberg now leading the large field of 12 candidates vying for the all-important Democratic primary in this district.
Regunberg tops former Obama and Biden White House aide Gabe Amo, 28-19 percent. Lt. Gov. Matos drops to a virtual tie for third place with state Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket) with 11 percent apiece. The special primary is scheduled for Sept. 5. Former Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) resigned in June. Winning the Democratic primary here is tantamount to clinching the Nov. 7 special general.
Louisiana: Landry, Wilson Look to Advance — Louisiana voters will choose a new governor later this year, and a new Faucheux Associates poll conducted for the Advocate online publication, the Urban League of Louisiana, the Public Affairs Research Council of Baton Rouge, and three Louisiana television stations (Aug. 14-19; 800 likely Louisiana voters; live interview) finds Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) and former LA Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) developing strong leads to capture the two runoff positions from the upcoming Oct. 14 jungle primary.
Landry attracts 36 percent support as compared to Wilson’s 26 percent. The two are far ahead of the other five candidates, none of whom even reach eight percent support. Should no candidate receive majority support in the Oct. 14 primary, the top two finishers will advance to a Nov. 18 runoff election. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.
North Carolina: Retiring Judge May Enter Gov Race — North Carolina state Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan (D) announced that he will resign his seat 16 months prior to his term expiring. Justice Morgan had already said he would not seek another eight-year term on the high court largely because the state imposed age limit on judges would only allow him to serve only half of the next term. No North Carolina judge may serve past the age of 72.
It is now likely that the early resignation means Justice Morgan will enter the Democratic primary for governor and oppose Attorney General Josh Stein, who so far is unchallenged for the party nomination. A Morgan candidacy would create a seriously contested Democratic primary. Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is purportedly the leading GOP candidate. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term in the 2024 election.