By Jim Ellis — Thursday, June 29, 2023
New Hampshire Poll: St. Anselm College Releases Regular Poll — The New Hampshire Institute of Politics of St. Anselm College published their latest regular survey of Granite State voters (June 21-23; 1,065 registered New Hampshire voters; live interview) and sees former President Donald Trump gaining strength in the Republican primary while principal challenger Gov. Ron DeSantis is losing support. The partisan primary numbers find Trump leading Florida Gov. DeSantis, 47-19 percent with no other candidate exceeding six percent support.
On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden dominates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and author Marianne Williamson, 69-9-8 percent. These numbers exceed how the president is performing nationally. Since the state is unlikely to agree to moving their primary to comply with the new Democratic National Committee calendar, these numbers suggest that Biden could win a write-in campaign against his two intra-party challengers even if he doesn’t enter the official Democratic primary.
In hypothetical general election pairings, President Biden would lead both former President Trump and Gov. DeSantis with the same 49-40 percent spread. This data suggests there is less chance that New Hampshire will become a major general election Republican conversion target.
Montana: Retired Navy SEAL Declares Candidacy with NRSC Endorsement — Retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) announced his US Senate candidacy Tuesday. Immediately, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, with its chairman being Montana’s junior Sen. Steve Daines, endorsed Sheehy’s candidacy. The Montana Senate race is expected to be one of the hottest campaigns in the country as Republicans attempt to deny incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) a fourth term.
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), who is also expected to join the race, responded with a Tweet saying, “congratulations to Mitch McConnell and the party bosses on getting their chosen candidate. Now Washington has two candidates – Tim Sheehy and Jon Tester – who will protect the DC cartel.” Early polling shows Rep. Rosendale beginning the race with a substantial lead, so we can expect both a hot general election campaign, and an equally tough Republican nomination contest next year in Big Sky Country.
Alabama: Governor Calls Special Redistricting Session — To comply with the US Supreme Court ruling on the Alabama racial gerrymandering case that went against the state, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said that she will call a special redistricting session for the purposes of drawing a new map to comply with the decision. The legislature will report on July 17 to begin the process.
Since Alabama is a Super Tuesday state and is holding its regular primary on March 5, time is short to draw a new map and obtain the necessary judicial approvals. The ruling and new map is expected to give the Democrats an extra seat in the Alabama US House delegation that currently stands at 6R-1D.
SCOTUS: North Carolina Case Ruling — In an unsurprising 6-3 ruling, the US Supreme Court ruled against the state of North Carolina on the subject of redistricting. Legal analyst Derek Muller of the Election Law Blog describes the crux of the state’s argument as saying, “the state constitution or state judiciary cannot constrain the state legislature exercising power under the Elections Clause.” Predictably, the justices ruled that the judiciary does have the authority to involve itself in redistricting decisions but underscored that the Supreme Court has the power to restrain lower courts from taking too much power away from the legislative bodies.
Largely because the North Carolina state Supreme Court has already reconsidered its previous partisan gerrymandering decision, the high court confined itself to the judicial power question.