By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, June 20, 2023
PresidentSen. Tim Scott: Showing Movement — Last week we saw New Hampshire polls found Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) moving into either third place on the GOP ballot test question, or tying for that same position. Now, we see a new national poll showing similar upward mobility for the South Carolina senator.
YouGov America, polling for the University of Massachusetts (May 31-June 8; 1,133 US adults; online), finds former President Donald Trump again leading among national Republicans with a 56 percent preference figure while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails with 26 percent support. Sen. Scott, though posting only four percent, moves past the other second tier candidates for third place.
The general election pairings also show him highly competitive with President Joe Biden. While Biden leads former President Donald Trump 43-40 percent in the national popular vote question and posts a 41-37 percent margin against Gov. DeSantis, Sen. Scott falls into the same realm. Despite not being well known nationally, he actually polls the best against the president, trailing only 37-35 percent.
Michigan Poll: Highly Competitive Results — The new EPIC-MRA Michigan poll (June 8-14; 60 likely Michigan voters; live interview) again reveals a familiar pattern. That is, President Biden’s job approval rating is extremely low, yet he pulls even in the ballot test with both former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The polling sample tilts slightly Republican because the black vote is under-represented by three points when compared to the US Census Michigan population figures.
While President Biden’s job approval ratio is a terrible 29:69 percent favorable to unfavorable (nine percent excellent; 20 percent pretty good; 25 percent just fair; 44 percent poor), he still pulls even with Trump in the Michigan ballot test at 44 percent apiece. When paired with Gov. DeSantis, the president trails by one point, 45-44 percent.
The EPIC poll obviously suggests that Michigan will be a battleground state in the presidential race, but most analysts are projecting it will remain in the Democratic column when the votes are ultimately counted.
Michigan: Poll Shows Tight Race — The aforementioned EPIC-MRA Michigan poll (see Michigan president above) also tested the impending open Wolverine State US Senate race. The pollsters pitted Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing), the early favorite for the Democratic nomination, and retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig, potentially the most well known Republican. The ballot test revealed a tighter contest than expected with Rep. Slotkin holding only a 40-39 percent edge over retired Chief Craig. Both figures contain eight percent in the “lean” category for both Rep. Slotkin and Craig.
The Michigan race will likely move closer to the Democratic column as the year-long campaign evolves. There is a slight Republican skew in this polling sample as blacks are slightly under-represented. Both Rep. Slotkin and Craig are unknown to the majority of the respondent universe indicating that each will have to spend money to increase name identification. The seat is open because four-term incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is retiring.
Alabama Redistricting: Court Determines Re-Mapping Calendar — After last week’s US Supreme Court’s ruling that invalidated the Alabama congressional map, the federal three judge panel assuming jurisdiction has sent the map back to the state legislature to begin the re-drawing process. SCOTUS agreed with the plaintiffs in the case that a second majority minority district can be drawn in the state. The current map yields a 6R-1D split.
The court is giving the legislature until July 21 to produce a new map for judicial review. If the legislature cannot complete the plan within that time frame, the court may step in and order a special master to manage the map drawing process.
SCOTUS will also rule on the North Carolina partisan gerrymandering and judicial power lawsuit before the end of June. That ruling could have an effect upon the Alabama case as it relates to judicial control over the redistricting process. Therefore, the situation could again change once the North Carolina ruling is made public.