By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023
PresidentNew Hampshire: New Poll; Unique Info — The new Emerson College survey (Aug. 9-11; 837 registered New Hampshire voters; interactive voice response system, text & online) provides new information not seen in any other similar study.
For example, the results find:
- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie moving into second place
- No candidate but former President Donald Trump landing in double digits
- Cornel West’s influence level is confirmed at four percent, which appears to come from President Joe Biden’s vote pool
- Businessman Perry Johnson attracting enough support to be recorded on a poll
- Former Vice President Mike Pence flirting with last place
It remains to be seen if this survey is an outlier, or if new trends are forming.
MT-2: Republican Primary Developing — We reported that Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen (R) filed a congressional exploratory committee in anticipation that Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) will run for the Senate. Now we see State Auditor Troy Downing (R) doing the same.
Both qualify that their interest in the 2nd District seat is present only if Rep. Rosendale foregoes re-election and formally enters the Senate race. Downing has run for Congress before. He entered the 2018 US Senate primary and placed third with 19.1 percent of the vote. Rosendale won the nomination with 33.8 percent, and then lost 50-47 percent to Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the associated general election.
VA-7: GOP Candidates Coming Forward — Political speculation suggesting that Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) will not seek re-election in order to prepare for a 2025 open governor’s race has already encouraged potential Republican candidates to come forward. Several are now testing the political waters for a 2024 run in the politically marginal 7th Congressional District.
Two military veterans — retired Navy SEAL and defense contractor Cameron Hamilton and Iraq War veteran Jon Myers, a retired Marine Corps officer — have both filed congressional campaign committees with the Federal Election Commission. Business consultant Bill Moher and Army veteran Shaliek Tarpley are previously announced Republican candidates.
Should Rep. Spanberger retire, we can expect a very crowded Republican and Democratic primary season. Republicans will likely hold either a nominating convention or what they term as a “firehouse primary” (where only a few polling places are open throughout the sprawling district), while Democrats typically hold a traditional primary. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates VA-7 as a highly competitive D+2.
New Hampshire: Ayotte Leads in Early Poll — Former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is starting her campaign for governor with a lead according to a new Emerson College poll (Aug. 9-11; 837 registered New Hampshire voters; interactive voice response system, text & online). According to the results, Ayotte would lead Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig (D) 46-37 percent, and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington (D) by a larger 47-34 percent span.
The poll did not test the Republican primary. At this point, former state Senate president and 2022 US Senate candidate Chuck Morse is opposing Ayotte for the Republican nomination and others are expected to enter. Incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is not seeking a fifth term.