By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 6, 2023
PresidentPennsylvania: Trumps Nips Biden in New Q-Poll — Quinnipiac University tested the Keystone State electorate (Sept. 28-Oct. 2; 1,725 Pennsylvania adults; 1,470 registered Pennsylvania voters; 759 self-identified Democratic registered voters; 711 self-identified Republican registered voters; live interview) and sees former President Donald Trump moving into a slight lead over President Joe Biden in this critical swing state. The ballot test yields Trump a 47-45 percent edge.
Both candidates have upside-down favorability scores. President Biden registers 39:57 percent favorable to unfavorable. Trump’s index is a similar 40:56 percent. The president’s job approval ratio is 41:55 percent positive to negative. Pennsylvania has 19 electoral votes and is one of the four states (Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin are the others) that will likely decide the presidential campaign’s final outcome.
Pennsylvania: Q-Poll Shows Close Race — The aforementioned Pennsylvania Quinnipiac Poll (see presidential post above) also tested the state’s budding Senate race between three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) and Republican businessman and 2022 Senate candidate David McCormick (R).
Here, we see a closer than expected early result with Sen. Casey holding only a 50-44 percent lead over McCormick. The surprising data point in this survey is McCormick already carrying the Independent voter segment by a percentage point, 45-44 percent.
Sen. Casey holds a 48-31 percent job approval score. With 57 percent of the people saying they need to know more about McCormick, he records a 25:17 percent favorability index. By contrast, Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) holds a strong 53-27 percent job approval rating, but Sen. John Fetterman (D) finds his ratio in upside-down territory at 41:48 percent favorable to unfavorable.
CA-20: McCarthy Could Retire — Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) conceded that he will not again run for his former House speaker position and said he will not resign, but left unanswered whether he will seek another term in Congress. The California candidate filing deadline is Dec. 8 for the March 5, 2024, all-party jungle primary, so the congressman does not have much time to decide. Should he opt for retirement, it is likely that several of the state legislators whose districts overlap his Central Valley CD will enter what would be an open race.
State Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), a former Minority Leader, represents 89 percent of the 20th Congressional District, thus putting her in strong position to be McCarthy’s successor. The state assemblyman with the most overlap is Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), who represents 58 percent of the McCarthy territory.
CA-20 is the safest Republican district in California with a FiveThirtyEight data organization rating of R+31. The Daily Kos Election site ranks CA-20 as the 146th-safest seat of the 222-member Republican Conference.
MD-5: Dem County Chairman to Oppose Rep. Hoyer — Charles County Democratic Party chair Lenny Proctor earlier this week became the fifth member of Rep. Steny Hoyer’s (D-Mechanicsville) party to announce a primary challenge against the former majority leader, a 44-year congressional veteran who appears primed to seek election to yet another term.
The crowded field, also including Prince Georges County Environmental Director Angela Crooms, public affairs specialist Sean McKelvey, two-time congressional candidate McKayla Wilkes, and Democratic activist Joey Thompson, will split the anti-Hoyer vote, thus allowing him to again win easily.
Hoyer will have little trouble winning the Democratic primary, and then the general election in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates at D+28. The Daily Kos Election site ranks MD-5 as the 109th-safest seat of the 213-member Democratic Conference.