By Jim Ellis — Friday, April 7, 2023
PresidentUnder Indictment: Trump’s Numbers — Though under indictment, former President Donald Trump sees his polling numbers continue to improve, this time in three states. His lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and others, has grown according to new surveys from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, while his deficit has tightened in Florida.
Clearly, looking at his flash polling numbers and post-indictment, multi-million dollar fundraising haul, there is no question that former President Trump’s political base is rising to the occasion. The question is, as this legal process will almost assuredly drag on for the foreseeable future, will he be politically sustained for the long run?
The early states next year will be critical for Trump. The court scheduled his next appearance for Dec. 4, which is just two months before the Feb. 5 Iowa Caucuses. At that point, perception could change.
CA-45: New Field Forming Against Rep. Steel — Harvard-educated attorney Aditya Pai, who moved to Orange County from India as a child when eight years old, announced that he will join the growing field to challenge two-term Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) in next March’s all-party jungle primary. Already declared are Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen and attorney Cheyenne Hunt. Jay Chen, the Community College Trustee who held Rep. Steel to a 52-48 percent re-election win in November, is also a potential candidate.
The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-45 as D+5. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 52.2D – 45.9R partisan lean. Rep. Steel was recently added to the Democrats’ Frontline target list. We can expect another competitive campaign here next year.
MI-3: Another Attempt — Financial Advisor Michael Markey (R) intended to run for the House two years ago, but the company he hired to gather petition signatures failed to complete the job and his candidacy was rejected. Now, with a new incumbent in the redrawn 3rd District, freshman Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-Grand Rapids), Markey returns. This time, it is likely he will better handle the campaign mechanics.
Rep. Scholten won the 3rd District after GOP incumbent Peter Meijer was defeated for renomination. For his part, Meijer may run for the Senate. The 2021 redistricting map changed the 3rd CD from one that favored Republicans when then-Rep. Meijer was first elected (R+9 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization), to its current D+3 configuration.
NM-2: Re-Match on Tap — Former New Mexico Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R), who lost her re-election bid by a razor-thin 50.3 – 49.7 percent margin to freshman Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-Las Cruces) is preparing for a re-match. Herrell has already filed a 2024 committee with the Federal Election Commission and has scheduled an April 10 kick-off event for her new campaign that will feature House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
The 2nd will yield another competitive congressional contest and promises to be a top Republican conversion target. The district was re-drawn with a 19-point swing from the previous version giving the Democrats a small advantage.
West Virginia: AG Morrisey to Run for Governor — As has been expected at least since a mid-March National Research, Inc. Republican primary poll found him leading the open GOP field, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that he will enter the 2024 gubernatorial campaign.
In 2018, Morrisey held Sen. Joe Manchin (D) to a 49.6 – 46.3 percent re-election win. He has averaged 55.5 percent of the vote in his three victories as the state’s attorney general. In the 2018 Republican Senatorial primary, Morrisey defeated five opponents with 35 percent of the vote.
Currently, there are eight candidates in the gubernatorial race including Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner, State Auditor J.B. McCuskey, state Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston), the son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), and auto dealer Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington). Gov. Jim Justice (R), who is ineligible to seek a third term, is likely to run for the Senate.