By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, May 9, 2023
PresidentVivek Ramaswamy: Identifies VP Choice — In the unlikely event that businessman Vivek Ramaswamy wins the Republican presidential nomination, we will have the first bipartisan presidential ticket. Ramaswamy just announced that he would choose Robert F. Kennedy Jr., currently challenging President Biden for the Democratic Party nomination, as his running mate.
The idea, meaning a bipartisan ticket, is something similar to what the No Labels Party would craft if they can recruit a presidential ticket. Speculation abounds that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) could eventually become the No Labels presidential nominee in lieu of him embarking upon an uphill battle for re-election.
Georgia: No Second Primary — Earlier in the year, the Democratic National Committee adopted a new primary voting schedule that moved Georgia and Michigan into the pre-Super Tuesday group, bounced Iowa, made South Carolina first, and added Nevada to New Hampshire’s early primary date. With the announcement on Friday, Georgia will not be going along with the plan, and it’s states and not the political parties that have the ultimate decision-making power in this regard.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) declared that the state’s presidential primary will be held on March 12, and not Feb. 13 as the DNC wanted. The decision is not a surprise. With the Republicans not going along with the Democrats’ pre-Super Tuesday calendar change, it was always highly unlikely that Georgia or New Hampshire would accommodate the DNC. Michigan, by vote of the legislature and agreement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), did comply.
Seeing that the Republicans were not moving and thinking that a Republican governor and legislature would schedule and finance two separate primary elections in order to accommodate the Democrats was never a reasonable supposition, and now it is official that Georgia won’t. The task of convincing a Republican governor and legislature to pay for the scheduling whims associated with a non-competitive Democratic nomination system was clearly a bridge too far. Expect New Hampshire soon to follow Georgia’s lead.
As a result, the Georgia stand alone presidential primary will be held one week after Super Tuesday. The regular primary election for every other office is scheduled for May 21, 2024, with a runoff date of June 19 for those races where no Peach State candidate exceeds the 50 percent majority mark.
CA-25: Second Candidate Comes Forward to Oppose Rep. Ruiz — Six-term California Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Indio) has drawn his second 2024 opponent. Former state Assembly candidate Ian Weeks (R) joins businesswoman Cici Truman (R) in the all-party jungle primary scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Neither candidate is likely to be a major threat to Rep. Ruiz, but it is indicative of a California Republican Party potentially wanting to contest more Democratic seats in the state, building upon their success in like districts during the 2022 election. In that year, Republican candidates outperformed the redistricting map by four seats.
Rep. Ruiz’s seat changed significantly in redistricting. Instead of a 36th District that was fully contained within Riverside County, his new 25th CD, along with annexing the far eastern section of San Bernardino County, includes Imperial County. This entity houses about half of the California-Mexico border, including the border crossing point at Calexico. Previously, Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) represented this area.
The new Ruiz constituency, before which he recorded 57 percent of the vote in the 2022 election, contains 24 percent of people he had previously not represented. With the FiveThirtyEight data organization rating of D+12, and Dave’s Redistricting App’s partisan lean calculation of 56.4D-42.0R, Rep. Ruiz should have little concern, but the activity here potentially signals budding signs of a more competitive Golden State GOP.
CA-47: Republicans Endorse — The California Republican Party has already voted to officially endorse 2022 congressional candidate and ex-state Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R) for the open 47th CD that Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) is vacating to run for the Senate. Baugh, also a former chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, scored 48.3 percent against Rep. Porter in the 2022 election though outspent by almost $26 million.
The 47th could become highly competitive as an open seat. Fully contained in Orange County, the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+6, which is better from a GOP perspective than three of the seats their candidates won in the last election. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at a competitive 52.5D-45.5R.
Additionally, Democrats have had some recent candidate problems here. Former US Rep. Harley Rouda, who had announced his candidacy, has already withdrawn due to health problems. State Sen. David Min (D-Irvine), largely believed to be the leading candidate, has just been cited for a serious drunk driving violation. CA-47 will be a race to watch next year.