By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023
PresidentRep. Dean Phillips: Reportedly Still Considering Biden Challenge — Media reports are again suggesting that three-term Minnesota US Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Plymouth) is still considering challenging President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination. It is difficult to see how the congressman would have any reasonable path of victory in challenging the incumbent president of his party when starting at such a late date.
Rep. Phillips has been urging more prominent Democrats to challenge the president, the reason for which is he believes there should be competition for the party nomination. Phillips concedes, however, that he agrees with President Biden ideologically.
Maryland: Jawando Drops Senate Bid — Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando (D), who was one of the first individuals to declare for the Senate once incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin (D) announced his retirement, now becomes the first to withdraw. Jawando indicated he does not see a path to victory for himself, hence his decision to end his campaign. With his main opponents for the Democratic nomination having much more in the way of resources, a gap which was looking to grow larger, Jawando was finding it hard to compete.
Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) has already spent nearly $10 million on his race and is already advertising heavily. Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) has raised over $3 million. Jawando reported just over $320,000 in his campaign account. The May 14, 2024, Democratic primary will likely be the deciding factor and it appears the race is already becoming a two-way contest between Trone and Alsobrooks.
IA-2: Rep. Hinson Draws First Challenger — Disability rights activist Sarah Corkery (D) became the first individual from either party to announce a challenge to two-term Iowa US Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion/Cedar Rapids). Three of the four Iowa districts are competitive, including Rep. Hinson’s 2nd. According to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, IA-2 rates R+4. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 51.4R – 45.6D. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks IA-2 as the 29th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference.
While the district is competitive on paper, Rep. Hinson is in strong position. She won re-election last year with a 54-46 percent margin against then-state Sen. Liz Mathis (D) who, like Hinson, is a former television news anchor and very strong challenger who spent $4.2 million in her race against the congresswoman. Rep. Hinson also outperformed then-President Donald Trump in the district by a net four percentage points. Therefore, though the district is politically marginal, Rep. Hinson, who is reporting more than $1.3 million in her 2024 campaign account, is a well-positioned incumbent.
North Carolina: Redistricting Numbers Calculated — North Carolina legislative leaders released two congressional maps late last week, and now we see voting trend analyses being made public. Dave’s Redistricting App has already calculated partisan leans for the pair of maps.
The map drawers obviously adopted a strategy of making the maximum number of Republican districts. They did so by giving each of the seats targeted for GOP candidates partisan trend numbers between 54 and 58 percent. The three Democratic districts have partisan trends between 66 and 74 percent. In the second map, the one that could produce an 11R-3D result, Rep. Don Davis’ (D-Snow Hill) 1st District would be up for grabs, with a partisan lean of 50.4D – 48.7R.
Expect the legislature to vote on the maps this week. Legal challenges will follow enactment, but the chance of the plan being upheld in the North Carolina Supreme Court with its new 5R-2D composition is strong.