By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 7, 2023
PresidentRoanoke College Poll: Surprising VA Numbers — Roanoke College just released their new Virginia general electorate poll that tested three GOP candidates or potential candidates against President Biden. The survey (Feb. 12-25; 585 Virginia registered voters; live interview) finds the Commonwealth’s own governor, Glenn Youngkin (R), as enjoying the best standing against the president, and in major fashion.
According to this sampling universe, which the pollsters say has a D+5 partisan complexion, Gov. Youngkin would swamp the president, 55-39 percent, in what has become a reliable Democratic state. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would also top President Biden. His margin is 48-43 percent. Former President Donald Trump, however, would still trail President Biden, but by only a single point, 47-46 percent.
GOP strategists would have to see these types of results repeating themselves for Virginia to become a top tier target state. In 2020, President Biden carried the state, 54-44 percent. In 2016, Hillary Clinton topped Trump, 49.7 – 44.4 percent. Roanoke College is rated as a B/C pollster according to the FiveThirtyEight independent pollster ratings.
MI-7: Potentially Yes, and No — With three-term Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) now officially in the Senate race, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor (D) announced that he has launched a congressional exploratory committee to assess his chances of winning what will be a competitive open seat contest. Conversely, former Congressman Mike Bishop (R), who Rep. Slotkin unseated in 2018, said he will not run. Saying he doesn’t live in the new 7th District, Bishop said, “I know it’s the trend lately to run in districts where you don’t live, but I have no interest in that.”
The 7th District, which includes territory in and around the state’s capital city of Lansing, is politically marginal and one of only 20 districts where the FiveThirtyEight and Dave’s Redistricting App data organizations disagree as to how the partisan lean breaks. The 538 group rates MI-7 as R+4, while Dave’s App finds the partisan spread to be 49.2D – 47.7R.
SCOTUS: NC Political Gerrymandering Case Could be Dropped — Speculation is mounting that the US Supreme Court will drop the North Carolina political gerrymandering and judicial authority case, even though the justices have already conducted oral arguments. After the SCOTUS hearing, the new North Carolina Supreme Court, now with a 5R-2D majority, scheduled reconsideration hearings on two election cases that the former state Supreme Court, just before leaving office, had ruled upon. The 4D-3R court declared both the NC Senate district lines and the state’s voter ID law unconstitutional in separate rulings.
Since the state Supreme Court is now actively considering cases that generally come under the purview of what SCOTUS is considering, the national court may defer to the state court, which would make the case before them moot.
Regardless of what happens pertaining to these federal and state election law cases, it is clear the state legislature plans to replace the interim court maps for the US House, state House, and state Senate. Expect a great deal of action coming from North Carolina in the coming months. It is possible that we could see a three-seat Republican gain in the 7D-7R current delegation map.