Tag Archives: Dom Jones

Republicans Court Sen. Sinema; Another CA-47 Candidate Joins Race; Lightfoot Rebounds in New Poll

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

Senate

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ)

Arizona: Republicans Court Sen. Sinema — Reports suggest that Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is leading the group of GOP senators who are attempting to convince newly Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to join the GOP caucus. If successful, the Republicans would then draw even with the Democrats in that both parties would have 50 senators. The main benefit for the GOP would be neutralizing the Democratic advantage on all committees since the Sinema move would force committee membership parity, just as was the case in the last Congress.

It is unlikely that Sen. Sinema will coalesce with the Republicans, however. From a re-election standpoint, her best position would be running as an Independent in a three-way general election. An inability to clinch renomination in the Democratic Party primary was one reason she bolted, but winning a GOP nomination would likely be just as difficult. Therefore, cobbling together an Independent coalition that can reach a plurality figure of 35 percent with a Democratic and Republican nominee almost splitting evenly the remaining votes is her best victory scenario. Count on the Arizona Senate race again becoming a major national campaign in 2024.

House

Dom Jones (D)

CA-47: Sixth Candidate Joins Early Forming Field — Over the weekend, we saw an announcement from locally well-known community activist and fitness business owner Dom Jones (D) that she would be the fifth entry into what will be an open Orange County 2024 congressional race after California Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-Irvine) very early Senate announcement initiated a plethora of early political action.

Yet another person stepped forward to declare her candidacy in what is quickly becoming a crowded race. Hollywood television writer and producer Lori Kirkland Baker (D) joined the 47th District political fray and will compete against former US Rep. Harley Rouda (D), state Sen. David Min (D-Irvine), ex-state assemblyman and 2022 congressional candidate Scott Baugh (R), IT consultant Brian Burley, and Jones. All will share the ballot in a March 2024 jungle primary that will yield two of the contenders advancing into the general election.

Baker is a significant figure in television, working on such shows as Frasier, Wings, and Desperate Housewives, among others. We can expect a very competitive open primary and general election campaign to shortly ensue.

Cities

Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot Rebounds in New Poll — For the first time in this election cycle, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had been trailing in every released poll since early December, has moved into the lead according to a just released GBAO survey, as the nine candidates move toward a Feb. 28 non-partisan primary election. If no contender receives majority support in that election, the top two finishers will advance to an April 4 runoff.

The GBAO poll conducted for the Lightfoot campaign (Jan. 18-22; 800 likely Chicago municipal election voters; live interview & text) projects the mayor to a 25-22-18-11-9 percent leading edge over former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago), businessman Willie Wilson, and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, respectively. No other individual breaks the two percent support mark.

This is the first poll that fails to project Rep. Garcia as the leader, but he is just now beginning his advertising campaign. It appears a virtual certainty that no candidate will reach majority support in the first election, thus triggering the runoff. Should Rep. Garcia ultimately win the election, a special vote would then be scheduled to replace him in the US House.

House of Reps Makeup Assessed; Crowded Candidate Field Already in Porter’s CA-47; GOP Leads in Nationwide Party ID in Gallup Poll

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

Elections

Reassessing Republican Performance — It is a common analysis that the Republicans under-performed in the 2022 election, but a closer inspection of the final US House results suggests such a conclusion may be somewhat unwarranted.

It is certainly clear that the Republicans fell below the congressional leadership and conservative media’s expectations, but the flaw may have been unrealistic predictions instead of candidates falling woefully short at the ballot box.

Several points lead to this new conclusion. 

First, the Daily Kos Elections blog conducted an analysis of all 435 districts once the 50 post-redistricting state maps were in place. The DK researchers calculated the 2020 Biden-Trump presidential results for all 435 congressional districts and found that the national Democratic nominee carried 226 seats from the grand total, therefore suggesting that the final redistricting maps actually favored the Democrats and not the Republicans.

Therefore, seeing 222 seats in a new Republican majority when the opposing party had the advantage in 226 seats possibly puts the final result in a different light. 

Secondly, the national congressional vote favored the Republicans by a 50.6 – 47.8 percent margin, a spread of some 3.04 million votes. Directly extrapolating this national congressional popular vote number with an overlay of the 435 seats would directly yield the majority party 221 seats. 

These latter figures tell us that the new redistricting maps accurately reflect the national vote count, at least in relation to the 2022 election. This, too, shows that the Republicans gaining 222 seats when their national vote would project to 221 was not the poor performance that many believe occurred.

Another common statement surrounding Republican 2022 performance in House races is the party left too many close contests “on the table.” The numbers pertaining to this observation also tell a different story.

In the 25 closest House races, Republicans won 15, including the five overall closest results. Looking at the 10 Democratic wins in this category, there is an argument to be made that the outcome could have realistically changed in only four of these hotly contested campaigns. Thus, if the Republicans won the reasonable “races on the table” their majority would have grown to only 226.

The six tightest races that statistics suggest should have gone to the Democrats are:

• NM-2: Las Cruces City Councilman Gabe Vasquez (D) defeated Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) due mainly to redistricting. The Democratic map drawers changed the 2nd CD from a seat that favored Republicans by 14 points to a new domain giving the Democrats a four point statistical advantage. These numbers are from the FiveThirtyEight data organization calculations. Therefore, the Democratic candidate scoring a 50.3 percent victory is actually a bit below what was expected.

• CT-5: Connecticut Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Wolcott) won a third term, but in a closer-than-expected finish, taking just 50.4 percent of the vote in a seat rated D+3. Again, statistics suggest that this is a Democratic district, and especially so with an incumbent on the ballot.

• NY-18: Another district where the Democrats were favored (D+3) went to 19th District special election winner Pat Ryan (D-Gardiner). He defeated a strong Republican effort from then-state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt with only 50.6 percent of the vote.

• OR-6: The surprise of this race is how close Republican Mike Erickson came to scoring an upset victory in a district rated D+7. State Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Tigard) won the election, but her 50.0 – 47.5 percent margin should have been greater.

• RI-2: Republicans had high hopes that former gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung could upset then-state Treasurer Seth Magaziner (D-Cranston) in a seat rated D+17. Such expectations proved unrealistic, but Fung did hold the new Congressman to only a 50.4 winning percentage.

• CA-47: Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) was always favored to defeat former state Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R), and did so by a 51.7 – 48.3 percent vote spread. She outspent Baugh by a $25.7 million to $3.1 million ratio, thus overwhelming her opponent with resources.

The four races Republicans might have turned around were:
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