By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 5, 2023
Texas: Rep. Allred Announces for Senate — As reported earlier in the week, US Rep. Colin
Allred (D-Dallas) was expected to announce a US Senate bid this week, and on Wednesday he released an announcement video to that effect. While Rep. Allred is likely the strongest Democrat the party leaders could recruit to oppose Sen. Ted Cruz (R), scoring an upset win in a Republican stronghold like Texas in a presidential election year will still be a major challenge.
Expect polling throughout the cycle to be closer than the actual ending result. Sen. Cruz has been expecting a tough challenge and is ready for a fight. Several months ago, he took himself out of presidential contention to concentrate fully on his re-election campaign. While Democrats have scored a recruitment victory here, and Texas is likely to now be their top conversion opportunity, Sen. Cruz still must be favored to win re-election.
Montana: No Top-Two Primary — Republican efforts to use the 2024 Montana Senate race as a test case for changing the state’s primary system to an all-party top-two jungle structure have failed. The legislature adjourned with the bill not moving from the state House of Representatives. The measure had previously passed the state Senate, but then was tabled in a state House committee. Another committee attempted to revive the bill, but that effort failed, and the session ended. Therefore, we will see a traditional Montana Senate primary next year.
An enacted bill would have changed next year’s Senate primary structure and only two candidates, presumably Sen. Jon Tester (D) and a Republican nominee, would have advanced into the general election.
From a partisan perspective, the idea was to eliminate the Libertarian Party from the ballot. Typically, these nominees attract about three percent of the vote, most of which is drawn from a Republican nominee. Considering Sen. Tester won the 2018 election with just a three-point margin, the Libertarian vote total did, and could again, prove significant.
West Virginia: Gov. Justice Leads in First Post-Announcement Poll — The co/efficient Republican polling firm tested the West Virginia electorate soon after Gov. Jim Justice (R) formally announced his senatorial campaign. The survey (April 24-25; 974 likely West Virginia general election voters; 753 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters; online) posts Gov. Justice as the leading candidate in the Republican primary, the general election, and in personal approval ratings.
Opposite GOP Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town), Gov. Justice would lead 45-17 percent. Advancing to the general election, the two-term state chief executive would top incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D), 43-29 percent. If Rep. Mooney were the Republican nominee, he would trail Sen. Manchin 30-36 percent.
Additionally, Gov. Justice is the only one of the three with a positive favorability index of 49:29 percent. This compares with a poor 27:47 percent favorable to unfavorable rating for Sen. Manchin, and 21:34 percent for Rep. Mooney.
NY-17: Ex-Rep. Maloney Accepts Appointment — President Biden announced that he is appointing defeated New York Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D) as the US Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is headquartered in Paris, France. The OECD is comprised of representatives from 38 countries to develop common economic platforms and initiatives.
Maloney, even as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), was defeated for re-election in 2022. There was some talk that he was considering returning for a re-match with freshman Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River), but this international appointment would seemingly remove him from a political run in 2024. This makes it even more likely that former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D) will declare his candidacy in the 17th District.
We can expect this campaign to become a national congressional battle and one of the keys to determining the next House majority.