By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023
PresidentIowa: Trump Well Below 50 Percent, Again — According to the new Selzer & Company poll for the Des Moines Register newspaper (Oct. 22-26; 404 likely Iowa Republican Caucus attenders; live interview), former President Donald Trump is still enjoying a healthy lead over the Republican field, but his support level continues to become stagnant. According to this survey, he has 43 percent of the impending Iowa Caucus vote, scheduled for Jan. 15, 2024. This is a one-point increase from Selzer’s August survey. Tied for second place are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and ex-UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Both record 16 percent support.
The allegiance percentage is an increase of 10 points since the August survey for Haley but a three-point drop for Gov. DeSantis. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who has now moved his whole campaign focus to Iowa, draws a seven percent preference. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy are tied in this poll with four percent apiece.
AL-1: GOP Primary Pairing Develops — The recently completed court-driven Alabama congressional map creates a new majority minority district anchored in the capital city of Montgomery, but then stretches southwest to encompass downtown Mobile. Now we see that the draw results in a pairing of two Republican congressmen. Two-term Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) announced Monday that he will challenge Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), also serving his second term, in the state’s new 1st District. The seat now spans the entire width of southern Alabama from the Mississippi border all the way to Georgia.
This will be a short-term paired campaign in that the Alabama state primary is held concurrently with the Super Tuesday presidential vote on March 5. Should no one receive majority support, the top two finishers will advance to an April 2 runoff election.
This version of AL-1 favors Rep. Carl in that he already represents 59 percent of the new territory as compared to 41 percent for Rep. Moore. The former also leads in fundraising and cash-on-hand. According to the Sept. 30 Federal Election Commission disclosure filing. Rep. Carl reported raising $1.3 million for the campaign-to-date; $257,000 in the 3rd Quarter just completed and holds $869,000 in his account.
By contrast, Rep. Moore has raised just $309,000 during the cycle-to-date, $109,000 for the Q3 period, and shows $647,000 cash-on-hand. Rep. Moore, a member of the Freedom Caucus, may be viewed as the more conservative of the two, which often proves to be the defining factor in a safe district Republican primary.
MO-1: Democratic Prosecutor Exits Senate Race to Run for House — St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell (D) who was challenging for the Democratic US Senate nomination, announced Monday that he is ending his statewide bid and will instead run a primary challenge against Democratic Socialist Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-St. Louis).
Four Democrats opposed Rep. Bush in the 2022 election, two years after she upset veteran Rep. Lacy Clay (D), but she was easily renominated with 69.5 percent of the primary vote.
Bell will be a credible challenger, but Rep. Bush must be viewed as the favorite for renomination and then an easy re-election in a 1st District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+52.
West Virginia: First Credible Dem Candidate Announces — Though Democrats are viewed as a clear underdog to convert the open West Virginia governor’s mansion next year, the party now has a candidate capable of running a credible general election campaign. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) announced his candidacy late last week. He is a former state Delegate and ex-Huntington City Manager.
Republicans are headed for a competitive gubernatorial primary among Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, state Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston), Secretary of State Mac Warner, and businessman Chris Miller. Capito is the son of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Mr. Miller is US Rep. Carol Miller’s (R-Huntington) son.