By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024
PresidentSouth Carolina: First Post-NH GOP Poll Released — The first post-New Hampshire primary survey is out, and we see former President Donald Trump performing well in former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s home state. The Tyson Group tested the Palmetto State Republican electorate immediately after the New Hampshire vote (Jan. 24-26; 543 likely South Carolina Republican primary voters; online) and found Trump holding a large 58-31 percent advantage over Haley.
The poll sample, including Independents who say they will vote in the Republican primary, hold both presidential candidates in high regard. Trump’s approval index is 68:27 percent favorable to unfavorable, while Haley’s is slightly worse at 56:33 percent. In comparison, Sen. Tim Scott’s (R) rating is 57:20 percent.
The South Carolina Republican primary is scheduled for Feb. 24 while the Democrats vote on Feb. 3, so the state’s residents can expect a great deal of political action coming their way in the next few weeks.
California: Second-Place Flipping — As the March 5 Super Tuesday vote approaches, polling in the California Senate jungle primary consistently shows Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) nailing down first place, but second place as undecided. The latest released survey, from Emerson College (Jan. 11-14; 1,087 registered California voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Rep. Schiff holding a 25-18-13-8 percent lead over Republican baseball great Steve Garvey (R), while US Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) trail with their respective support percentages.
A similar poll from The LA Times (UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies; Jan. 4-8; 8,199 registered California voters; 4,470 likely March 5 primary voters; online) released 10 days earlier than the Emerson data found Rep. Schiff leading Rep. Porter, Garvey, and Rep. Lee in a 21-17-13-9 percent spread.
Comparing the current Emerson poll with their November California survey, Garvey gained eight percentage points, while Rep. Porter remained stagnant. Under the California system, all primary contenders compete on the same ballot, with the top two — regardless of percentage attained and party affiliation — advancing to the Nov. 5 general election.
MD-2: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) to Retire — Maryland US Rep. Charles A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville) announced on Friday that he will not seek a 12th term in the House, thus completing what will be 30 consecutive years in elective office counting his time in Congress and as Baltimore County Executive. He leaves a northern Maryland congressional district that could be on the cusp of competitiveness, but Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski (D) appears primed as Rep. Ruppersberger’s heir apparent.
The 2nd District covers the area just north of Baltimore city and extends all the way to the Pennsylvania border. It includes about two-thirds of Baltimore County, 90 percent of Carroll County, and about 30,000 residents in Baltimore City. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+11. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 52.5D – 41.4R partisan lean, and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks MD-2 as the 62nd most vulnerable seat in the House Democratic Conference.
NJ-7: Dem Field Winnows to Two — Democrats want to make a strong run against freshman New Jersey US Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield), but one of their candidates just decided to end his congressional bid. Summit Township Councilman Greg Vartan announced on Friday that he will suspend his campaign, leaving former State Department official Jason Blazakis and ex-Working Families Party state director Sue Altman as the two competing Democrats.
Former Congressman Tom Malinowski (D), the man Rep. Kean unseated in 2022, just announced he would not enter the Senate race. Speculation has surrounded him about seeking a congressional rematch, but there is no tangible evidence that the former representative is planning to make a 2024 comeback.