Jim Ellis on the Daily Caller
With Trey Trainor

Read the full article by clicking on the image above or here: Daily Caller

“Amid the fervent debate about the legal ramifications of former President Donald Trump’s conviction, there lies an intriguing potential for a unique political coalition to emerge.”

So begins the article by Jim Ellis and Trey Trainor published today, June 10, 2024 on the front page of the Daily Caller.

Take a read through the piece, headlined: TREY TRAINOR And JIM ELLIS: The Silver Lining From Trump’s Conviction

June 11 Primary Preview: Part I

By Jim Ellis — Monday, June 10, 2024

Primaries

Four states and a special election are on tap for tomorrow, as voters in Nevada, Maine, North Dakota, South Carolina, and eastern Ohio decide some important primaries and fill another US House vacancy.

Today, we look at the races in Nevada, Maine, and North Dakota. Tomorrow, the two congressional races in South Carolina and the special election in Ohio’s 6th District.

Army veteran Sam Brown

Nevada — Republicans will choose their Senate nominee tomorrow night and we see conflicting final week polls. It appears that Afghan War veteran Sam Brown, the choice of the Republican Party establishment, should win, which is the prelude to what will become one of the most competitive Senate campaigns in the country. Before challenging Sen. Jacky Rosen (D), Brown must first top former Trump Administration Ambassador to Iceland and physician Jeff Gunter along with 10 other minor candidates.

Last week, Gunter released his internal Kaplan Strategies poll (May 30; 802 likely Nevada Republican primary voters; online) that found him leading Brown 31-30 percent. Noble Predictive Insights then published their early June survey results (June 4-5; 424 likely Nevada Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system and text) that posted Brown to a much different 50-15 percent whopping advantage. The latter poll is more reflective of previous research studies conducted for this race.

In the House, Republicans look to challenge three Las Vegas Democratic incumbents, all from politically marginal districts. In Rep. Dina Titus’ (D) 1st CD, the main Republican primary battle appears to be between 2022 nominee Mark Robertson and businessman Flemming Larsen.

In District 3, a total of seven Republicans are running with hopes of challenging Rep. Susie Lee (D). The race appears to be between electronic game company owner Marty O’Donnell and former state Treasurer Dan Schwartz.

In District 4, former North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee looks to advance into the general election opposite four-term US Rep. Steven Horsford. All three races should be rated as Lean Democratic. When the House majority comes down to just a few seats, these districts will be important in determining which party will control the House in the next Congress.

Nevada’s lone Republican House member, 2nd District Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Carson City), faces minor opposition tomorrow and only Independents and minor party candidates in the general election.

Maine — While the Pine Tree State could have a significant role in the presidential campaign because their congressional districts carry their own electoral vote, US House competition appears present in only one of Maine’s two CDs. While Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-North Haven/Portland) is secure in the southern 1st District, Republicans will make a play for northern District 2.

At this point, polling suggests that former President Donald Trump has possibly a 20-point lead in District 2, thus not only putting the statewide vote up for grabs in the national race but also exerting more pressure on three-term Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston). Tomorrow’s Republican primary is expected to yield a victory for state representative and former NASCAR driver Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent) over fellow state representative and actor Mike Soboleski (R-Phillips).

North Dakota — With Gov. Doug Burgum (R) choosing not to seek a third term, we see an open governor and at-large US House race adorning the political ballot. Three-term Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Bismarck) is leaving Congress in an attempt to succeed Gov. Burgum, and the move appears to be paying dividends. As a former chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, Armstrong won the official party endorsement in overwhelming fashion and faces Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller in tomorrow’s GOP primary.

Polling also gives Rep. Armstrong a big advantage. The most recent survey, from WPA Intelligence (May 20-22; 500 likely North Dakota Republican primary voters; live interview) sees Armstrong posting a huge 57-19 percent lead over Miller. It appears that tomorrow’s primary will launch Rep. Armstrong well on his way into the governor’s mansion.

In the open at-large House district, the eventual Republican nominee will become a prohibitive favorite in the general election. The GOP race is a five-way affair. Two of the contenders appear to be the leading combatants, Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, who has the Trump endorsement, and former state Rep. Rick Becker. Former Miss America Cara Mund is also in the race along with two minor candidates.

A pair of May polls found Fedorchak and Becker each leading a ballot test. Therefore, we could see an interesting finish tomorrow night, with most observers giving Fedorchak a slight advantage.

Trump Conviction Not Hurting Poll Standing; Top Nevada GOP Candidate Struggles; GA-3 Candidate Gaining Strength; Junge Takes Lead in MI-8

By Jim Ellis — Friday, June 7, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump

Polling: Trump Conviction Not Hurting Poll Standing — In the first released polls since former President Donald Trump’s conviction was announced on Thursday night, a pair of pollsters still project him locked in a virtual national tie with President Joe Biden. YouGov, polling for The Economist publication and Morning Consult released their frequent tracks.

In the YouGov survey (June 2-4; 1,566 registered US voters; online), the ballot test finds Trump and Biden tied at 42 percent apiece. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) records three percent support, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Independent Cornel West each secure one percent preference. Morning Consult (May 31-June 2; 10,404 registered US voters; online) sees Trump holding a slight 44-43 percent edge in a head-to-head test. Therefore, with the respondents knowing of the Trump conviction, the voting populace seems unfazed.

Senate

Nevada: Shock GOP Primary Poll — While Afghan War veteran and official Republican Party backed Senate candidate Sam Brown was expected to breeze through the GOP primary, a new poll suggests otherwise. A Kaplan Strategies study conducted for the Jeff Gunter (R) campaign (May 30; 802 likely Nevada Republican primary voters; online) sees the former Ambassador to Iceland and physician moving ahead of Brown by a 31-30 percent count.

In further bad news for Brown, the Tyson Group (May 22-25; 601 likely Nevada general election voters; online) shows Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leading the general election ballot test with a large 47-33 percent advantage. In both the Gunter and Rosen cases, the candidates had launched large media blitzes prior to the polling, which could explain the swing away from Brown. Gunter may be hitting his peak at the right time, however, as the Nevada primary is fast approaching on June 11.

House

GA-3: Jack Continues to Gain Runoff Support — Former Trump White House aide Brian Jack (R) came close to winning the open GA-3 primary on May 21 when he captured 47 percent of the initial vote against five GOP opponents. Still short of the majority threshold, Jack was forced into a runoff with state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) who received 25 percent support.

The third and fourth place finishers — former state Sen. Mike Crane and ex-state Rep. Philip Singleton — both have endorsed Jack. Coming close to the majority marker and getting former opponents’ support places Jack in a strong position for the upcoming June 18 runoff election. With an R+38 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, winning the GOP runoff is tantamount to claiming the seat. Four-term Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-The Rock) is retiring.

MI-8: Junge Takes Lead in Primary & General — Michigan’s open 8th Congressional District is one of the key toss-up races in the country. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+1, but the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians calculate a 51.0D – 46.2R partisan lean. President Biden scored a tight 50.3 – 48.2 percent win here in 2020, and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks MI-8 as the 11th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference. Therefore, it is safe to predict that either eventual major party nominee will have a legitimate chance to win the general election.

A poll from the UpOne Insights group (June 1-4; 400 registered MI-8 voters; 341 likely GOP primary voters; live interview) projects former news anchor and two-time Republican nominee Paul Junge leading both the Republican primary and the general election. According to the UpOne results, Junge commands a large 53-11 percent advantage over his three Republican opponents combined, including Board of Education member Nikki Snyder who was disqualified for failing to submit the required number of nominating petition signatures.

For the general election, Junge leads the leading Democratic candidate, state Sen. Kristen McDonald-Rivet (D-Bay City), by a 42-39 percent clip. The Michigan primary is scheduled for Aug. 6. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) is retiring after serving what will be six full terms at the end of this Congress.

Incumbent Trend Could Soon Turn

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, June 6, 2024

Incumbents

New Jersey freshman Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City)

We have now seen primary elections held in 22 states, meaning electorates in a majority of 242 US House districts have chosen their general election nominees, and we have yet to see one incumbent lose renomination to a challenger. Alabama Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) did lose to Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), but that was due to an incumbent pairing from a court-ordered redistricting directive.

Earlier in the week, New Jersey US Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) defeated his Democratic challenger, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, by a 54-36 percent margin in a race that polling and fundraising suggested would be close. To date, it appeared that Rep. Menendez was the most vulnerable House incumbent standing for renomination, but in the end he easily repelled the strong challenge.

Menendez, a freshman member of the New Jersey delegation, saw his favorability numbers tumble as a result of his father, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and step-mother being indicted for bribery.

With Menendez and Iowa Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-LeClair) and Randy Feenstra (R-Hull/Sioux City) winning their primaries on Tuesday, we’ve now seen the incumbents going nine for nine in non-jungle partisan primaries when facing a reasonably credible intra-party opponent. At least another 16 challenges are on tap in the remaining primaries.

The strong incumbent performances suggest we may be seeing early signs that the 2024 election cycle will be similar to 2022. In an election year when polling suggested that the public overwhelmingly believed, and still does, that the country is on the wrong track, and moving in the wrong direction, the voting public then turned around and re-elected virtually every incumbent on the ballot.

Two years ago, 56 senators and governors from both parties ran for re-election; 55 won. In the House, the incumbent retention rate for those seeking re-election was 98.1 percent. These are unusual statistics for an electorate demanding a change in public policy. Though we see the same unrest regarding government policies today, the early voting pattern suggests that, so far, we again see the juxtaposition of incumbents having a strong year even though the electorate is generally displeased.

The trend may soon change, however. Two of the most vulnerable incumbents facing primary challenges are on the ballot this month. Reps. Bob Good (R-VA) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) look to be in serious trouble as their respective primaries loom on the near horizon — June 18 for Good and a week later in Bowman’s case.

Rep. Good’s opponent is state senator and retired Navy SEAL John McGuire, who brandishes an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. Since Good was one of the key Republican House members behind the ouster of then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, another source of opposition is present. Thus, Rep. Good not only faces a Trump endorsement going against him, which has more often than not been golden in a Republican primary, but McCarthy is assisting in directing outside money to help ensure the congressman’s defeat.

Furthermore, competing in a primary is something new for Rep. Good. Previously, he won his nominations through a district party convention before a small number of delegates who favored him. Therefore, facing a credible opponent with backing from national party leaders in an unfamiliar election structure could well be enough to deny Congressman Good renomination.

Rep. Bowman is facing an even more difficult opponent than Good. George Latimer is the Westchester County Executive who represents 91 percent of Bowman’s 16th Congressional District’s constituency in his current position. Before being elected County Executive, Latimer served in the state Senate and Assembly. Latimer has also raised about $1 million more than Rep. Bowman, and even has the endorsement of one of the congressman’s fellow “Squad” members.

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D), who represented the adjoining Westchester County congressional district for a term, was a “Squad” member, and is trying to come back in this election. Earlier this week, Jones endorsed Latimer, a former employer, and publicly dispelled Bowman’s comments that Latimer is a racist.

Only two polls of this race have been released, and those were back in March. One showed the two men virtually tied, while the other yielded Latimer a 17-point lead. Yet, Bowman has not produced any countervailing data in the succeeding weeks.

Ironically, both Good and Bowman came to office by deposing an incumbent from their own party. Good, via the district convention, unseated freshman Rep. Denver Riggleman in 2020, while Bowman defeated veteran Congressman Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary of the same year. Now, both men could see the tables turn on themselves very soon.

Yesterday’s Primary Results

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Primary Results

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-LeClaire) wins tight primary race.

Iowa: Closer Results Than Expected — In the 1st Congressional District, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-LeClaire) only scored a 56-44 percent renomination victory over businessman David Pautsch, who attacked over a series of her centrist votes. Pautsch had raised just $35,000 through the May 15 pre-primary disclosure period. Therefore, him holding Miller-Meeks to only 56 percent within her own party suggests significant incumbent weakness for the general election.

In the state’s western district, two-term Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull/Sioux City) only scored a 60 percent win over former CIA agent Kevin Virgil who was backed by many of former US Rep. Steve King’s supporters. Rep. Feenstra holds Iowa’s safest congressional district and will now have little trouble winning a third term in November.

In the most competitive seat, the Des Moines-anchored 3rd District, Rep. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) will face former Department of Agriculture official Lanon Baccam, who scored an easy 84 percent victory in the Democratic primary. In 2022, Nunn nipped two-term incumbent Cindy Axne (D) with a less than a one-point margin.

Montana: No Surprises — Last evening in Montana went as expected. Sen. Jon Tester (D) and Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) both easily won renomination. Overall, Republican participation was greater as one would expect based upon vote trends from elections after 2012. Approximately 57 percent of those who cast a ballot in the primary did so on the Republican side.

Sen. Tester will now officially face retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) in the general election for what will be one of the most important Senate races on anyone’s ballot.

In the open 2nd District, State Auditor Troy Downing defeated former US Rep. Denny Rehberg, ex-DEA agent Stacy Zinn, and state superintendent for Public Instruction to score a 37-17-15-9 percent Republican primary victory. As the new 2nd District Republican nominee, Downing is virtually assured of succeeding retiring Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) in the safely Republican eastern Montana congressional district.

New Jersey: Rep. Menendez Wins — After being outspent and trailing in an early poll, freshman New Jersey US Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) defended himself last night against a serious challenge from Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla to record a 54-36 percent renomination victory. In a seat that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+47, the congressman’s primary win has unofficially secured him a second term. He also overcame the baggage he inherited from his father, Sen. Bob Menendez, and the latter’s criminal indictment and trial.

In the open Garden State Senate race, as predicted, US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) easily won the Democratic primary, scoring 75 percent of the vote against two minor candidates. Republicans nominated real estate developer Curtis Bashaw with approximately 46 percent of the vote against three GOP opponents. Bashaw will advance to the general election against Rep. Kim and Sen. Menendez who is running as an Independent.

In Rep. Kim’s open 3rd District, also as expected, state Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Delran) looks to have topped state Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Mt. Laurel) by a 2:1 margin. Conaway will now have a relatively easy ride in the general election from a seat that redistricting transformed into a likely Democratic domain. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates NJ-3 as D+9.

New Mexico: Senate & House Races — All major candidates unopposed in both New Mexico and South Dakota; there was no drama in either state, and obviously no close results.

The New Mexico Senate race will feature Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) and former hedge fund executive Nella Domenici (R), the daughter of the late Sen. Pete Domenici (R). Unsurprisingly, turnout favored the Democrats last night, and though the Senate race has the underpinnings of a race that could be competitive, Sen. Heinrich remains a clear favorite for re-election.

Another major contest will be the rematch between 2nd District US Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-Las Cruces) and former Rep. Yvette Herrell (R). The two battled to a close finish in 2022, with the challenger unseating the incumbent by less than a percentage point in a district redrawn to elect a Democrat. The rematch will be highly competitive and a race that will go a long way toward determining which party controls the next House majority.

South Dakota: Two Statewide Races — The only two statewide races will be the presidential and US House races. Both congressional candidates were unopposed yesterday, so we will see Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-Mitchell) defend his seat against retired school employee Sheryl Johnson (D). The congressman should have little trouble securing a fourth term in November.

Today’s Primaries

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Another primary day occurs today, and this time voters in Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota will complete their 2024 nomination process.

Iowa

Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ (R-Le Claire)

The Hawkeye State US House incumbents do not face any serious challenges, but three of their four seats are extremely important to the House Republicans’ chances of holding their slim majority.

In the 1st District, a rematch of the 2022 campaign that saw Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Le Claire) defeat then-state Rep. Christina Bohannan (D) by a 53-46 percent count, is on tap for November. We can expect another competitive general election with Rep. Miller-Meeks favored to win. Congresswoman Miller-Meeks faces only minor primary opposition tonight.

Second District Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion/Cedar Rapids) sees a new opponent emerge in 2024, businesswoman Sarah Corkery (D). Both women are unopposed in their respective primaries. Rep. Hinson will be the clear favorite to claim a third term in November.

The state’s Des Moines-anchored 3rd District is the pure toss-up CD. Rep. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) nipped two-term incumbent Cindy Axne (D) in 2022 with a less than one-point margin spread. Axne, who accepted an appointment in the Biden Administration, is not returning for a rematch. Democrats Lanon Baccam, the Department of Agriculture’s former Deputy Under Secretary, and non-profit executive Melissa Vine are battling for the Democratic nomination. Baccam is favored to win, and we can expect the 3rd District to again become the site of a very close congressional race.

In the western Iowa 4th District, two-term Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull/Sioux City) has little to worry about in tomorrow’s primary or the general election.

Montana

Turning to Big Sky Country, Sen. Jon Tester (D) and Republican challenger Tim Sheehy both will overcome minor primary challenges and proceed into one of the most important Senate general elections in the nation. The winner of this race will go a long way to determining the next Senate majority.

Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) is also on the ballot running for a second four-year term. He also has only minor primary opposition and will likely cruise to re-election in November.

In the 1st Congressional District, we will likely see voters renominate both US Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Whitefish) and Democrat Monica Tranel who held the former to a closer than expected 50-46 percent result. The congressman leads Montana House candidates in fundraising, attracting over $5.2 million for the cycle. He is expected to perform better in this year’s general election.

It is almost a certainty that retiring Rep. Matt Rosendale’s (R-Glendive) successor will be determined tonight in the Republican primary. Through a crowded field of nine candidates, the GOP winner will likely be State Auditor Troy Downing, former Congressman Denny Rehberg, or state Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen.

New Jersey

The Garden State is likely to produce the most interesting June 4 primary. Indicted US Sen. Bob Menendez (D) is not running in the Democratic primary but is submitting signatures at tomorrow’s deadline to qualify as an Independent. His candidacy is likely launched so he can tap the $3.6 million in campaign funds to pay for his legal fees.

The prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination is US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown). Once New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy (D) ended her campaign, the victory path cleared for Rep. Kim. Four Republicans are fighting for the GOP nomination, but tomorrow’s winner will have little chance against Kim in November.

The most vulnerable House member seeking renomination is freshman Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City), the senator’s son. Saddled with his father’s negative publicity surrounding his bribery trial, Rep. Menendez has drawn a strong opponent in the person of Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Bhalla has out-raised the incumbent, and earlier polls found Bhalla even taking the lead among sampled Democrats. This is the race to watch tonight, and it is possible we could see the first Democratic incumbent defeat of the 2024 election cycle.

Rep. Menendez has been campaigning hard and has both Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Mrs. Murphy stumping for him. It remains to be seen if he has enough to withstand the family’s negative publicity and the strong challenge that Mayor Bhalla has afforded.

In Rep. Kim’s open 3rd District Democratic primary, state assemblyman and physician Herb Conaway (D-Delran) is favored to defeat Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Mt. Laurel). Post-redistricting, NJ-3 became a safe Democratic seat. Therefore, today’s Democratic primary winner will claim the seat in November.

The death of Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) has caused the 10th District primary to be nominated in a party convention after the July 16 special election to fill the balance of the term. It is a foregone conclusion that the special election nominee will become the anointed regular general election standard bearer and we will cover this district prior to the special election primary.

In other races, Reps. Chris Smith (R-Manchester), Frank Palone (D-Long Branch), Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield, Bill Pascrell (R-Paterson), Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), and Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D-Ewing Township) all face only minor opponents tomorrow night.

New Mexico

There are no challenged primaries in New Mexico major races. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) and Nella Domenici (R) will advance into the general election in a race that promises to produce some competitive fireworks.

The major US House race comes in the form of a rematch in District 2 after then-Las Cruces City Councilman Gabe Vasquez (D-Las Cruces) unseated then-Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) in 2022 by less than a percentage point from a district that was reconfigured to elect a Democrat. The rematch will again yield a competitive contest in a place where the Republicans will heavily target.

South Dakota

Though the Mount Rushmore State has a primary scheduled, there is no Senate or governor’s race, and the at-large House candidates are unopposed.

Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-Mitchell) will face retired school employee Sheryl Johnson (D) in what will be another easy ride to re-election for the three-term congressional incumbent.

Running Against “No Name”;
Sen. Manchin Leaves Democrat Party; Masters Well Up in Arizona Poll; Boebert Re-Election Bid Struggling

By Jim Ellis — Monday, June 3, 2024

Senate

Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen (D)

Generic Polls: Michigan and Nevada Incumbents vs. “No Name” — The Cook Political report released a series of US Senate surveys conducted by two Democratic polling firms, BSG and the Global Strategy Groups. Their Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, head-to-head results are consistent with other polling, i.e., the Democratic consensus candidate or incumbent has a significant lead, but the two where no Republican was named proved interesting.

In Michigan, the numbers testing consensus candidate Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) with an unnamed Republican, yield a 44-42 percent edge for the Democratic contender. This result is similar to data we have seen from other pollsters when a Republican candidate, usually former US Rep. Mike Rogers, is tested. Therefore, Republican chances here are legitimate.

In Nevada, however, the generic Republican does better than the identified Republican, usually Afghan War veteran Sam Brown. In the Cook Report’s survey, Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leads a generic Republican 48-41 percent. This is a closer showing for the GOP than the most recent Rosen-Brown results.

The last two polls, from the Tyson Group (May 22-25; 601 likely Nevada voters; online) yields Sen. Rosen a 47-33 percent advantage. The Mainstreet Research study, for Florida Atlantic University (May 19-24; 494 likely Nevada voters; interactive voice response system & online), sees the senator recording a 48-37 percent split. Therefore, the fact that the generic Republican numbers are better than those for Brown indicates a greater need for increasing his familiarity among the voters.

West Virginia: Sen. Manchin Leaves Democrats — West Virginia no longer has a Democratic senator. Incumbent Joe Manchin, who is serving his final year in the Senate, announced he is leaving the Democratic Party to become an Independent. The senator says he can work better outside the political party structure to help bring the country closer together.

Though Sen. Manchin has already stated that he would not enter the governor’s race because of his support for the Democratic Party nominee, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, speculation that he will make a ballot appearance before the Aug. 1 Independent and minor party candidate filing deadline continues. It’s likely that we will also hear about a prospective Manchin political move either in the governor or Senate race as the Sept. 17 write-in deadline approaches.

At the end of the day, the chances of Sen. Manchin running for any office this year are slim. Additionally, attempting to get in at such a late date would likely leave him in an underdog position in a three-way governor’s race, or against Gov. Jim Justice (R) for the Senate.

In any event, Sen. Manchin leaving the Democratic Party will change the Senate party division to 47D-49R-4I, with Sens. Angus King (I-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Manchin continuing to caucus with the Democrats. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) remains a true Independent but keeps her committee assignments through the Democratic Caucus.

House

AZ-8: Masters Well Up in New Poll — Fabrizio Lee & Associates (May 13-15; 400 likely AZ-8 Republican primary voters), polling for the Blake Masters campaign, finds their client leading attorney Abe Hamadeh and former US Rep. Trent Franks by a 28-16-14 percent margin in the Republican primary battle to succeed US Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) who is running for Maricopa County Supervisor. The poll suggests that the latest Masters negative ad attacking Hamadeh as a son of illegal immigrants, a supporter of abortion, and one who claimed that Israel was behind the 9-11 attacks is having an effect. A late January poll found the two tied at 24 percent support.

Masters, the 2022 US Senate nominee who lost 51-47 percent to Sen. Mark Kelly (D), has improved his favorability image according to the Fabrizio Lee response data. They show a 56:24 percent positive to negative Masters ratio. In 2022, Hamadeh ran a close race for attorney general, losing by a razor-thin 280 votes in the statewide contest. The July 30 Republican primary winner will easily take the 8th District seat in November.

CO-4: Rep. Boebert Not Home Free in General — A new Gravis Marketing poll released of Colorado’s 4th District (May 22-24; 423 likely CO-4 general election voters; online & text) finds retired Marine Corps officer Ike McCorkle (D) leading Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), 41-27 percent, in a hypothetical general election poll. This result is surprising in an eastern Colorado 4th District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+26, which is the safest Republican seat in the Centennial State.

While Rep. Boebert’s move to the 4th District from the Western Slope 3rd CD that she currently represents appears to be working, since she won the party convention and has a huge resource lead on all of her GOP opponents, it appears she will have more work to do to convince a majority of the new district voters to support her in November. Of course, McCorkle, who has twice run for the seat, is no lock in the Democratic primary. He faces his own field of three other Democratic candidates.

The Colorado primary is June 25. A special election will also occur that day to fill the balance of Rep. Ken Buck’s (R) final term. The Republican special election nominee is former local mayor Greg Lopez who is not running for the regular term. The Democratic nominee, speechwriter Trish Calvarese, is a candidate in both the special and regular elections.