By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023
SenateOhio: Trump Makes an Endorsement — As has been expected for several months, former President Donald Trump, the leader for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, signaled his official support to one of the three major Republican US Senate contenders Monday. While a Survey USA poll earlier in the week (Dec. 8-12; 573 likely Ohio Republican primary voters; online) found businessman Bernie Moreno trailing both Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) by a 33-18-12 percent margin, Moreno man did finish in first place for the Trump endorsement. Previously, two other surveys found Moreno holding a slight lead in the primary race.
The Ohio primary is scheduled for March 19, and promises to be a highly competitive nomination campaign. The eventual winner of the plurality election will face three-term Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the general election.
New Jersey: Competing Poll Places Rep. Kim First — Though indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) for now remains in the 2024 Senate race, the Democratic primary battle appears to be a contest between US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) and the state’s First Lady, Tammy Murphy. Approximately a month ago, Public Policy Polling released a survey favoring Murphy for the party nomination by a large 40-21 percent spread.
Rep. Kim released his internal Breakthrough Campaigns survey Monday (Dec. 7-14; 1,004 NJ likely Democratic primary voters; live interview & text) that produced a virtual mirror-like result. This study found Rep. Kim leading Ms. Murphy, 45-22 percent. Sen. Menendez, as was the case in the PPP survey, languishes in single digits. The dueling wide discrepancy polls suggest the statewide Democratic primary will be an interesting one to chart. The New Jersey primary is scheduled for June 4.
AK-AL: New Polling Favorable for Rep. Peltola — Once again, Alaska’s Ranked Choice Voting system may re-elect at-large Democratic US Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Bethel) even though more voters select a Republican candidate. Under the state’s primary system, four candidates advance into the general election. If no candidate receives majority support in the November vote, Ranked Choice Voting takes effect.
The Remington Research Group conducted a new poll for Republican candidate Nick Begich III (Dec. 11-14; 672 likely Alaska primary voters; live interview) and the ballot test finds Rep. Peltola attracting 42 percent support. Begich follows in second place with 28 percent. Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom (R) is third with nine percent, while Libertarian Chris Bye, running on the No Labels ballot line, would secure the fourth position with seven percent of the prospective vote. If this were the actual vote totals, RCV would begin with Bye being eliminated and his second choice votes added to the aggregate.
Rep. Peltola has been successful in the Ranked Choice process in both of her elections. In this case, the RCV process would begin because no candidate reached the majority support level.
Census Estimates: Early Reapportionment Projections for 2030 — The Census Bureau released its 2023 population estimates and from that data, extrapolated congressional seat gain and loss estimates for the next census, which is seven years away. Obviously, much can change over that time period, but the projections suggest serious population movement. California appears headed to lose a whopping four seats, while Texas would gain four. The other prospective multi-seat gainer would be Florida at plus-3. Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah would each gain one seat.
In addition to California, the losing states would include New York (minus-3) and Illinois (minus-2) with Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, and Pennsylvania losing one seat apiece. Oregon is the biggest surprise in the loser column because they gained a seat in the 2020 reapportionment.
Since these numbers are all long-range projections, the gainers and losers are not equal, which will correct itself once the final apportionment is completed after the next census many years from now.