Tag Archives: Darren Bailey

Flores Announces Rematch Bid in Texas; New Colorado Candidate; Close Polling in Illinois; New York State Senator to Enter House Race

By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 14, 2023

House

Mayra Flores

TX-34: Former Rep. Flores (R) Announces Rematch Bid — In 2020, Republican Mayra Flores won a special election to succeed resigned Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) in the pre-redistricting 34th District. The post-redistricting seat changed the 34th from a D+5 seat according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization into a D+17. Predictably, Flores, then being forced to run against another incumbent, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen), lost by a substantial 53-44 percent margin.

This week, Flores announced that she will return for a rematch with Rep. Gonzalez, though her odds of attaining victory are not appreciably better. Her presence makes the seat somewhat competitive, but Rep. Gonzalez must again be considered a strong favorite in a district drawn to elect a Democrat so a Republican, in this case Rep. Monica de la Cruz (R-McAllen), could win the adjacent 15th CD.

CO-8: No Rematch; GOP has New Candidate — One of the closest 2022 congressional elections came in the northern Denver suburbs from a new seat that Colorado earned in national reapportionment. In November, then-state Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Thornton) defeated state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R), 48.3 – 47.7 percent, to become the first winner of this new congressional district. In 2024, the Republicans will have a new candidate.

Kirkmeyer announced Wednesday that she will not return for a congressional rematch next year, instead saying she will seek re-election to the state Senate. Upon that announcement, Weld County Commissioner Scott James (R) immediately filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission. The close political nature of this new district means we will again see a competitive race here in 2024, and very likely another close finish.

IL-12: Close Primary Challenge Poll — At a 4th of July celebration event, former state senator and 2022 Illinois Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey announced a congressional primary challenge to veteran Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro), the chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee.

Immediately after the 4th, the Cor Strategies firm went into the field with a survey (July 5-8; 661 IL-12 registered Republican voters; multiple sampling techniques) and sees Rep. Bost posting only a 43-37 percent advantage over Bailey. The congressman leads big in the southern and western parts of the district while Bailey has a clear advantage in the northern and eastern geographic sections.

NY-22: State Senator Says he will Run for Congress — Freshman Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Syracuse) scored a 50-49 percent win in November to secure a D+2 (according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization) seat for the GOP. A pair of Democrats had already announced for the seat, including local town councilwoman Sarah Klee Hood, and now state Sen. John Mannion (D-Geddes) says he will enter next year’s congressional race. During Rep. John Katko’s (R) four-term congressional career, the district was perennially competitive, and the same pattern is likely to continue well into this decade.

Maine Sen. King, 80, to Seek Third Term; Illinois House News; Potential GOP Candidate in Washington

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, July 6, 2023

Senate

Sen. Angus King, Maine (I)

Maine: Independent Incumbent Will Seek Re-Election — Two-term Maine Sen. Angus King, who is elected as an Independent but caucuses with the Democrats, announced that he will seek a third term next year. It was expected that Sen. King, who will be 80 years old at the next election and a cancer survivor, would run again. Before his original election to the Senate in 2012, King served two terms as Maine’s governor. The senator is a prohibitive favorite to win re-election next year.

House

IL-12: Primary Challenge Brewing — Former state senator and 2022 Illinois gubernatorial Republican nominee Darren Bailey is hosting a major gathering where he is expected to announce that he will launch a Republican primary challenge to five-term Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro/Carbondale), the current chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

The challenge is a surprising one in that Rep. Bost is just as conservative as Bailey, so there will be little to draw contrast with him at least in terms of public policy. Because Illinois is so heavily gerrymandered, the 12th CD is one of three solidly Republican seats in the state. Therefore, the only threat to Rep. Bost comes in the GOP primary. Expect the congressman to win renomination and re-election next year. The Illinois primary is early, scheduled for March 19, 2024.

IL-17: Potential Candidacy Brewing — Former state Rep. Dan Brady (R), who represented a central Illinois seat in the state legislature for 20 years before running unsuccessfully for Secretary of State last November, is reportedly close to launching a congressional campaign against freshman Democratic US Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Moline).

On the gerrymandered Illinois congressional map, the 17th appears to be the most competitive seat in the state. In November, Republican Esther Joy King held Sorensen to a 52-48 percent victory in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+4. The seat is shaped almost like a C, beginning in Rockford, and then swinging west to the Quad Cities area, before moving southeast and east through Galesburg and Peoria before ending in Bloomington. Rep. Sorensen will be favored for re-election, but this district could become highly competitive.

Governor

Washington: Ex-GOP Rep Looking at Governor’s Race — Former congressman and ex-King County Sheriff Dave Reichert (R), who served in the House from 2005 to the beginning of 2019, is reportedly exploring a bid for the open governor’s office. Reichert has looked at statewide office before but has not run. His chances of qualifying for the general election in the jungle primary would be good since he would likely corral the votes of what should be a united Republican Party behind him. In the general election, however, probably opposite Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D), he would be a distinct underdog.

Gallego Leads in Three-Way Polling; Montana Jungle Primary System Appears Dead; Rep. Bost Challenger in IL-12; Calif. Gubernatorial Candidate Announces; NH Candidate Jockeying;

By Jim Ellis — April 26, 2023

Senate

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D)

Arizona: Rep. Gallego (D) Leads in New Three-Way Polling — Rep. Ruben Gallego’s (D-Phoenix) US Senate campaign released its internal Public Policy Polling survey that gives the congressman healthy leads over all of the potential Republican opponents as well as incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I). The PPP poll (April 18-19; 559 Arizona voters) finds that former gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake performs best of the potential Republican nominees, trailing 42-35-14 percent with Sen. Sinema in third place. The poll also finds the incumbent plagued with a poor 27:50 percent favorability index.

These results are much different than the recent OH Predictive Insights poll that perched Gallego in the low 30s and Sen. Sinema hovering around the 20 percent mark with a favorability rating much closer to even. Expect to see many polls being released throughout this unique Senate campaign.

Montana: Top Two Primary Idea Appears Dead — The state measure to use the 2024 US Senate race as a test case for a top two all-party jungle primary system appears to be dead. GOP state legislators appear not to have the stomach to move forward with the test, even though the state Senate had originally passed the legislation.

Republicans were apparently trying to eliminate the probability of the Libertarian candidate attracting in the three percent range, which is common in Montana. The belief is most of those votes would go to a Republican candidate. Therefore, eliminating minor party candidates from the general election ballot would at least theoretically make Sen. Jon Tester’s (D) road to re-election much more difficult.

House

IL-12: Ex-GOP Gubernatorial Nominee to Challenge Rep. Mike Bost (R) — Former Illinois state senator and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey (losing 55-42 percent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D) is reportedly testing the political waters for a primary challenge to five-term Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro/Carbondale).

The 12th District is one of just three Republican seats in the state and occupies all of southern Illinois. It appears a Bailey victory path is difficult to chart, since Rep. Bost is solidly conservative and unlikely to upset the party base. Should Bailey move forward, this will be another race to watch in Illinois’ March 19, 2024, primary.

Governor

California: Lieutenant Governor Already Announces — California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) is wasting no time in making her intention known that she will run for governor in 2026. She announced Monday the formation of her campaign committee even though the electoral contest is still three years away from occurring. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will be ineligible to seek a third term at that time. It had become common knowledge that Kounalakis would not enter the open 2024 US Senate race because she was planning a ’26 gubernatorial bid.

New Hampshire: Ex-Senate Candidate Eyes Governor Race — Former state Senate President Chuck Morse (R), who lost the 2022 Republican US Senate primary by one percentage point, confirms that he has interest in running for governor next year if incumbent Chris Sununu (R) decides not to seek a fifth term.

Though New Hampshire has just two-year gubernatorial terms, only Gov. Sununu and former Gov. John Lynch (D) have served four consecutive terms. Most believe that Gov. Sununu will not run a fifth time since he is a potential presidential candidate. It is possible, however, for him to enter the national campaign and still have time to again run for governor should he not succeed in his presidential effort. New Hampshire has one of the latest candidate filing deadlines and primary elections in the country.

Former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is also frequently mentioned as a potential open-seat gubernatorial contender. Outgoing Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig attracts the most attention as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

Lake Leads in Arizona Poll, Masters Closes In; Illinois Gov. Pritzker’s Lead Shrinks; Identical Poll Results Show Dixon Closing on Gov. Whitmer

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

Senate

Former newscaster Kari Lake (R) now running as the open gubernatorial race leader over Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D).

Arizona: More GOP Movement — The Trafalgar Group is reporting on their latest Arizona survey (Oct. 16-17; 1,078 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) that finds venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) pulling to within one point of Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly (D), 47-46 percent. This race is closing and the Trafalgar poll is not an outlier. Since Oct. 10, four research studies have shown chronological deficits for Masters of only 3, 4, 2, and now 1 percentage point.

Additionally, Trafalgar finds former newscaster Kari Lake (R) now running as the open gubernatorial race leader over Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). In this poll, Lake carries a 49-46 percent edge, again consistent with recent trends that other pollsters also detect.

House

OH-1: Rep. Chabot Drops Behind — Despite state legislative Republicans drawing the congressional map, veteran GOP Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati), due to political changes within the Queen City, saw his new district become more Democratic. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates the new OH-1 as D+3, which is the exact margin a new Impact Research internal poll revealed.

The IR survey, conducted for the Greg Landsman (D) campaign (Oct. 13-16; 504 likely OH-1 general election voters; live interview & text), posts the Cincinnati City councilman to a 49-46 percent lead over Rep. Chabot. While the turnout model may provide a different result than what this poll finds, we can count on a close result coming here in November.

Governor

Illinois: Likely an Outlier — An Osage Research survey (Oct. 13-15; 600 likely Illinois general election voters; live interview) reports a ballot test that posts Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to only a 44-42 percent lead over state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) with a right and wrong track result trending 35:56 percent in the downward direction. The ballot test is likely an outlier because the previous six polls, taken during the months of September and October, give Gov. Pritzker an average lead of 13 percentage points. This, however, is yet another piece of survey research showing a resurgence around the country for GOP candidates.

Michigan: Exact Polling — It’s rare to see two pollsters in the field at the same time producing a duplicate result. That’s what we have seen in the Michigan governor’s race, however. Emerson College and the Cygnal research firm surveyed the Wolverine State electorate over the same Oct. 12-14 period, and both found Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer leading Republican nominee Tudor Dixon by a 49-44 percent count. This represents one of the closest results we’ve seen for this race and is more credible since two independent pollsters each detected the identical result.

Another Lead Change in Arizona; Competitive Race Brewing in Illinois Senate? Trending House News

By Jim Ellis — July 27, 2022

Senate

Arizona businessman Jim Lamon (R)

Arizona: Another Lead Change — The Battleground Connect organization tested the Arizona GOP Senate field (July 17-18; 800 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview) and found businessman Jim Lamon bouncing back into the lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. The spread is 33-28-16 percent, which is the second time Lamon has placed first in five publicly released July polls.

The lead is seesawing between Lamon and Masters with AG Brnovich generally registering a distant third. Since April, both Lamon and Masters have each topped the field in seven published surveys. The Arizona primary is Tuesday, and the volatility in the surveys suggest we will see a close finish. The GOP winner then challenges Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in November.

Illinois: A Competitive Race Brewing? — The Victory Research organization polled the Illinois Senate contest between incumbent Tammy Duckworth (D) and attorney and conservative activist Kathy Salvi, wife of former state representative and two-time statewide Republican nominee Al Salvi. The survey (July 17-19; 1,208 likely Illinois general election voters) arrived at a much closer result than one would have expected.

According to the VR data, Sen. Duckworth’s lead over Salvi is 43-34 percent. The result is surprising not so much in the margin between the two candidates, but that the senator is so far below the 50 percent mark. It is still likely that Sen. Duckworth wins re-election in the fall, but seeing such a poll after a June 28 primary that yielded a higher turnout for the Republican Senate primary than the Democratic side suggests the Salvi campaign might receive at least a slight boost.

The same polling sample showed Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) with only a 49-39 percent spread against new GOP gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey, a Louisville area state senator.

Wisconsin: County Exec Out, Endorses Lt. Gov. Barnes — Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D), whose campaign for US Senate never caught fire, has formally withdrawn his candidacy. In his exit statement, Nelson endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is in a tight race with state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks basketball club executive Alex Lasry for the Democratic nomination. The winner of the Aug. 9 Democratic primary will face Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the general election.

House

MI-13: Big Self-Funder Has Lead –– State Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) has spent more than $8 million of his own money to attempt to win the open Detroit-anchored 13th Congressional District race. It appears his expenditures are working. A Target Insyght survey (July 19-22; 500 likely MI-13 Democratic primary voters) finds Rep. Thanedar leading Michigan Civil Right Commission member Portia Roberson and state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), among six other contenders, including John Conyers, III, son of the late veteran congressman. Thanedar’s polling margin is 22-17-16-7 percent respectively over Roberson, Sen. Hollier, and Conyers.

Thanedar’s personal spending edge is 8:1 over his next closest financial rival, Sen. Hollier, but that does not count a seven-figure expenditure from the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee intended to promote the latter man.

The Michigan primary is Tuesday. The 13th District is open because Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) is retiring and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) chose to seek re-election in the new 12th District, thus departing from the new CD-13.

NY-10: A Free-For-All — A new Change Research poll for candidate Elizabeth Holtzman finds the Democratic primary for this open seat turning into a race that any one of six candidates could win. This is the first poll conducted and released since former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) exited the contest because of poor performance.

The CR poll (July 19-23; 437 likely NY-10 Democratic primary voters; online) finds former Trump impeachment counsel Daniel Goldman taking first position with 14 percent preference. Holtzman, who was last on a ballot in 1993, a losing re-election effort for NYC comptroller, places second at 12 percent support.

Tied with 10 percent are NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who led the last two published surveys, state Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) and Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn), and US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County). The new 10th, an open seat created when Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler were paired in a new 12th CD, encompasses Lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn. The Democratic primary winner on Aug. 23 will claim the seat in the general election.

Casten and Miller Win in Illinois; Colorado Statewide Races Set;
More Primary Results News

By Jim Ellis — June 29, 2022

Primary Results

Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove)

Illinois: Reps. Casten and Miller Win — The big news from last night’s primary election surrounded the two paired districts. In the Chicago suburbs, Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove), who unexpectedly lost his 17-year-old daughter just two weeks ago, scored a landslide win over fellow Rep. Marie Newman (D-La Grange) in the new 6th District that contained more of the latter member’s current turf.

Freshman Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland)

In the downstate Republican 15th CD, freshman Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland), armed with an endorsement and rally appearance from former President Donald Trump, recorded a decisive 57-43 percent over veteran Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville). Davis will now see his congressional career draw to a close after serving what will be ten years in the House.

The Democratic pairing occurred in order to create a new Chicago-anchored Hispanic district. State Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) easily won the Democratic nomination in this seat, and becomes the prohibitive favorite for the general election. State Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) won an outright majority with 57 percent of the vote opposite five opponents in the governor’s primary. He advances to the general election to oppose incumbent J. B. Pritzker (D). Conservative activist Kathy Salvi won the Republican Senate nomination, and now faces a likely insurmountable opponent in Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D).

Colorado: Statewide Races Set — As expected, University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl captured the Republican gubernatorial nomination with a 53 percent majority over GOP nominating convention winner Greg Lopez. In the Senate contest, as most predicted, construction company owner Joe O’Dea defeated state Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose) with just under 55 percent of the vote. Like Lopez, Rep. Hanks also won the Republican nominating convention endorsement.

The two will advance to the general election against Gov. Jared Polis (D) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D). Neither incumbent was opposed for re-nomination and both are now heavy favorites to win re-election in November.

MS-3 and 4: Guest Wins; Palazzo Loses — As predicted, despite a scare in the primary election, Mississippi 3rd District Rep. Michael Guest (R-Brandon) easily won re-nomination last night in the Mississippi congressional runoff election. He topped challenger Michael Cassidy with two-thirds of more than 70,000 votes that were cast in last night’s election. Rep. Guest will now have an easy run in the general election.

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Biloxi) was not so fortunate in his southern Mississippi 4th CD. He failed to overcome Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell and lost his seat in a 54-46 percent count. Palazzo becomes the eighth House incumbent to be denied re-nomination and the fourth who lost to a challenger that was not a fellow incumbent forced into a paired district. Sheriff Ezell is now the heavy favorite to win the seat in November.

NE-1: Flood Wins Special — Another special congressional election was held last night, and this result ended in a closer final tally than originally expected. Nebraska state Sen. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk), a media company owner, claimed the seat with a 53-47 percent victory over fellow state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks (D-Lincoln) in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+17.

Flood will be sworn into the House upon official election certification. He will replace convicted Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Lincoln). Rep-Elect Flood and Sen. Pansing Brooks will see each other again. Both are the party nominees for the regular general election in November.

New York: Hochul vs. Zeldin — The New York statewide contests also ended as expected. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who ascended from the lieutenant governor’s position when Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned, easily defeated NYC Public advocate Jumaane Williams and US Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), 68-19-13 percent. Williams was unopposed for the Working Families ballot line, so he will advance into the general election despite his loss last night.

The Republican battle was a bit closer. US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley; East Long Island) topped Andrew Giuliani, son of ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in a 44-23 percent split. Former Westchester County executive and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino and businessman Harry Wilson recorded 18 and 15 percent, respectively. Gov. Hochul begins the general election as the decided favorite.
Continue reading

Final Pre-Primary Poll, Two Pairings Decided Today in Illinois

By Jim Ellis — June 28, 2022

Senate

Kathy Salvi

Illinois: Final Pre-Primary Poll — The Illinois primary is today, and the Ogden & Fry research firm tested the GOP field (June 24; 518 likely Illinois Republican primary voters). The results find Kathy Salvi, whose husband, Al Salvi, was the 1996 US Senate nominee, and who at the time was a conservative radio talk show host. She leads the field of seven candidates but with only 20 percent preference. Tonight’s winner will face Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D) in the Autumn, and begins this race as one of the bigger Senate underdogs in the country.

House

IL-6 and 15: Two Pairings Decided Today — The Illinois primary also features two sets of incumbent House members battling for two seats. In the Chicago suburbs, Democratic Reps. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) and Marie Newman (D-La Grange) square off for the state’s new 6th District. Downstate, Republican members Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) and Mary Miller (R-Oakland) are vying for the new safely Republican 15th CD. The 6th is the more competitive of the two seats for the general election. Both primaries are viewed as tight contests.

NE-1: Special Election Today — Two state senators are competing for the seat, and regardless of what happens tonight both will advance to the regular general election for the succeeding term in November. Both Sens. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk) and Patty Pansing Brooks (D-Lincoln) were nominated by the party leaders for the special election and the voters for the fall campaign.

The seat is rated R+17 and is 89 percent intact when overlaid with the current district. Former President Trump carried the seat 56-41 percent in 2020. Therefore, the stats make Sen. Flood the favorite to win tonight and in November. The competition from Sen. Brooks, however, will likely make this race closer than in the recent past.

RI-2: Surprising Poll Results — Though Rhode Island’s open 2nd District is rated as heavily Democratic — D+17 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization — a new Suffolk University poll (June 19-22; 423 likely Rhode Island general election voters; live interview) finds former Cranston mayor and 2014 and 2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee Allen Fung (R) taking a 45-38 percent lead over state Treasurer Seth Magaziner who is the Democratic primary polling leader. If this trend continues, we will see a surprisingly competitive race come forth in the New England region.

Governor

Illinois: Governor’s Race Could Be More Competitive — The Ogden & Fry firm also tested the Republican governor’s field (see Illinois Senate above). The GOP contest looks to be a competitive battle among state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) and venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan and ex-Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) is the clear favorite for the November election, but this race appears to be a bit more competitive than the companion US Senate contest.

Rhode Island: Gov. McKee Wins Party Endorsement — Gov. Dan McKee won a solid 56 percent endorsement vote at the Rhode Island Democratic convention, and he will be the official party supported candidate for the Sept. 13 primary. The Ocean State’s Secretary of State, Nellie Gorbea, however, leads in a new Democratic poll (Suffolk University; 353 likely Rhode Island Democratic primary voters; live interview), 24-20 percent.