By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 15, 2023
PresidentPresident Biden: Maintains Standing Against Kennedy — The newly released Issues & Insights TIPP poll (Aug. 30-Sept. 1; 606 likely US Democratic primary voters; online) again finds President Joe Biden holding an overwhelming lead over Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in a Democratic primary trial heat.
The margin, though still on the weak side for an incumbent president, considering that 32 percent of the Democratic respondents would choose a candidate other than Biden, continues to stake the President to a 68-10 percent margin.
More importantly than the Biden number, which fluctuates to a degree, the Kennedy support figure has remained consistent in the low double-digit range. The fact that we have seen little movement in the nomination campaign despite months of campaigning from Kennedy, suggests that the final result will not differ greatly from what we’re seeing in the multitude of similar polling totals.
Iowa: Trump Grows Stronger — The newly released Emerson College Hawkeye State survey (Sept. 7-9; 839 Iowa respondents; 357 likely Iowa Republican caucus attenders; multiple sampling techniques) stakes former President Donald Trump to a 50-39 percent advantage over President Biden in a head-to-head ballot test. If Green Party candidate Dr. Cornel West is added to the questionnaire, Trump would lead both Biden and West, 48-35-5 percent.
Comparing Trump’s current polling numbers to those found during the 2016 and 2020 election cycle indicates that the former president’s lead over Biden could be even greater. In the two previous elections, Trump clearly under-polled in Iowa surveys when compared with the ultimate final result.
CA-31: Ex-Rep Enters California Open Seat Campaign — Former US Rep. Gil Cisneros (D), who was elected in 2018 but defeated for re-election two years later in a pre-redistricting Los Angeles-Orange County congressional district, and then who served as a Defense Department Under Secretary in the Biden Administration, has once again become an unofficial congressional candidate. Cisneros this week filed exploratory committee documents with the Federal Election Commission that allow a potential candidate the ability to raise greater than $5,000 in campaign funds.
The former congressman is starting from scratch in his new CD. The open 31st District, from which veteran Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) is retiring, has no constituent in common with the district that Cisneros previously represented. He won’t have money problems, however. You may recall that in 2010, Cisneros, then a recently retired US Navy officer, won a $266 million Mega Millions lottery so campaign funding should not be a particular issue for him.
State senators Bob Archuleta (D-Norwalk) and Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) who represent large parts of the current CD will offer stiff competition, however. The seat will remain in Democratic hands, and it is likely that two Democrats will advance into the general election from the California top-two jungle primary system but there is no early guarantee that Cisneros will be one of the qualifiers.
NC-8: Ex-Candidate Harris to Return — In 2018, it looked for a time that Republican former pastor Mark Harris had won a southern North Carolina congressional seat. After challenges uncovered serious voter fraud and a new election was called, Harris withdrew from the campaign.
Then-state Sen. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) went on to claim the seat despite being badly outspent in the special general election. Now, Bishop is leaving the House to run for state attorney general. Harris announced Tuesday that he will return as a candidate in what will be an open 2024 election.
The district, however, may be drastically changed once the legislature submits a new redistricting plan sometime next month, so it is likely too early to forge any serious predictions. The only other announced candidate from either party is former Union County Commissioner Allan Baucom. Currently, Union County is the Republican bedrock of the 8th CD, a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as a whopping R+38.