By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 21, 2023
PresidentNew Hampshire: UNH Poll Shows GOP Race Tightening — A University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll was released during the week (July 13-17; 2,208 registered New Hampshire voters; 898 likely Republican primary voters; 743 likely Democratic primary voters; online), and it shows a tightening of the Republican presidential contest. According to this data, former President Donald Trump’s lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has dropped to 37-23 percent. The second tier has also moved up. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley all posted between eight and five percent support.
On the Democratic side, 65 percent of President Joe Biden’s voters say they will vote for him as a write-in if he doesn’t participate in the New Hampshire primary. This would likely be enough for him to beat Robert F. Kennedy Jr, even without the president’s name on the ballot. New Hampshire is not likely to agree with the new Democratic National Committee primary schedule, so Biden may not participate.
Ohio: New Poll Continues to Show Toss-Up Race — Suffolk University, polling for USA Today (July 9-12; 500 Ohio mostly likely voters; live interview), finds Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in a dead heat match with newly announced US Senate candidate Frank LaRose (R), Ohio’s Secretary of State. According to the results, the two candidates would each attract 45 percent of the vote. If state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) were the Republican nominee, Sen. Brown would lead 46-43 percent. Should businessman Bernie Moreno win the GOP primary, Sen. Brown’s margin against him in a general election pairing would be 48-41 percent.
The poll tested the Republican primary, but the sample cell is too low (190) to make a definitive judgment. The basic results give LaRose just a 19-14-9 percent edge over Sen. Dolan and Moreno, respectively. A majority of 56 percent, however, said they were undecided. Ohio will be one of the top Senate races in the 2024 general election.
NY-17: Ex-Rep Opens with Big Dem Primary Lead — Former US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D), in a comeback attempt in his former Rockland/Westchester County district after losing re-election last year in New York City, released a survey of Democratic voters. The results of the Public Policy Polling study (July 14-15; 570 likely NY-17 Democratic primary voters) gives Jones a strong 43-8 percent ballot test advantage over local school board member Liz Gereghty, who is also the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). The Democratic primary winner will face freshman Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River) in what promises to be a tight general election.
New Hampshire: Gov. Sununu Won’t Run Again — As expected, four-term Granite State Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced Wednesday that he will retire when his term ends at the end of next year. Gov. Sununu is only the second chief executive in state history to serve four two-year terms. The other was Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who was in office from 2005 to the beginning of 2013.
Gov. Sununu was first elected in a close 2016 election, but then recorded three successive victories with substantial margins. He briefly considered entering the 2024 presidential campaign before deciding against launching a national effort.
Immediately, former state Senate President Chuck Morse (R), who actually served two days as governor when then-Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) resigned early to be sworn into the Senate, confirmed that he will run. Morse last ran for the Senate in 2022 but suffered a one-point loss in the Republican primary. Ex-US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is also a potential gubernatorial candidate. Previously announced Democratic gubernatorial candidates are Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington. Expect this open governor’s race to yield a hard fought toss-up campaign.