Tag Archives: Joe Simitian

Boebert Tops GOP Assembly Vote;
Two Qualify for CO-3 Primary;
Three-Way Outcome in CA-16; Morrisey Stretches Lead in WVA.

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, April 9, 2024

House

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

CO-4: Boebert Tops GOP Assembly Vote — Colorado Republicans met in a pair of local assemblies to potentially send candidates to the June 25 primary election. The big story surrounding the party assemblies comes from former Rep. Ken Buck’s (R) open 4th District where 3rd District Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) is attempting to win re-election in a new CD. Many believed she would not fare particularly well at the assembly, but a plurality of the 527 attending delegates proved them wrong.

Boebert finished first in the voting with 41 percent support, thus awarding her the first ballot position in the June 25 Republican primary. Former state Sen. Ted Harvey, who many believed to be the favorite, finished with 26 percent of the delegate vote. Therefore, he did not qualify for the ballot. Since he did not circulate petitions, Harvey is eliminated. Several others will qualify through petition, meaning we will see a contested primary election in this district.

CO-3: Two Qualify for Primary — Under Colorado election procedure, a candidate can qualify for the ballot either by receiving at least 30 percent of the delegate vote at district assembly or petitioning onto the ballot with 1,500 signatures for a congressional race. A candidate can both participate in the assembly and obtain signatures.

If a contender draws less than 10 percent of the assembly vote, he or she is disqualified from the primary.

In Rep. Boebert’s now open 3rd District, two individuals exceeded the 30 percent threshold, therefore securing primary ballot positions. Colorado Board of Education Member Stephen Varela and former state representative Ron Hanks have earned the first and second ballot positions.

Businessman Curtis McCrackin, who did not participate in the assembly, has qualified through petition signatures. Three more have submitted petitions and are awaiting certification from the secretary of state. An additional three candidates failed to reach the 10 percent threshold at the district assembly and are disqualified. Democrat Adam Frisch, the 2022 candidate, who lost to Boebert by only 546 votes, is a virtual lock to again be his party’s nominee.

CA-16: The Three-Way Outcome — Though official certification of the March 5th California primary will not occur until April 12, it appears that the second general election position in the state’s 16th Congressional District will end in a tie. With no votes remaining to be counted, San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) and Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) both have garnered 30,249 votes. In first position is former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) with 38,489 tallies.

Under the top-two California jungle primary law, in the case of a tie the deadlocked participants both advance to the general election. The state has no automatic recount law, but a candidate can request, and pay for, a recount of the ballots. It is highly unlikely that either Simitian or Low will call for a recount, however. At this point, both are in the general election and a recount would very likely change the outcome by a small number of votes. This means each would be rolling the dice that a new tally would favor them.

The interesting part of this scenario, however, is whether Liccardo, the first-place finisher, will call for a recount. He is determining if a three-way race is to his benefit or squaring off with one of the others. Since he already placed first in the crowded field of 11 candidates, he will probably conclude that his chances are best in the three-way field. Therefore, this is a rare situation when the top-two system actually produced three qualifiers. And, to make the outcome even rarer, all three are Democrats.

Governor

West Virginia: Morrisey Stretches Lead in New Poll — WPA Intelligence released a survey for the Black Bear Super PAC, which supports Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s (R) bid for governor. The poll, (March 12-13; 501 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters) sees the AG posting a 37-20-19-14 percent GOP primary advantage over former Delegate Moore Capito, businessman Chris Miller, and Secretary of State Mac Warner, respectively.

The numbers and candidate order has remained consistent through three WPAi polls beginning with their first study in November. The West Virginia primary is scheduled for May 14. Gov. Jim Justice (R), ineligible to seek a third term, is running for US Senate. The eventual Republican nominee will have the inside track toward winning the general election.

Nebraska Moves to Change Electoral Vote Apportionment; Curious GOP Targeting in Alaska House Race; A Tie in CA-16?; Braun’s Lead in Indiana

Click on above map to go to interactive version. | 270towin.com

By Jim Ellis — Friday, April 5, 2024

President

Nebraska: Move to Change Electoral Vote Apportionment — With the support of Gov. Jim Pillen (R), a bill in the Nebraska unicameral legislature would change Nebraska’s electoral vote apportionment system, which allows each of the state’s three congressional districts to carry their own electoral vote and change the system to the more common winner-take-all option.

Nebraska and Maine are the two states where presidential candidates win two electoral votes for clinching the statewide vote and one each for every carried congressional district.

The move would help former President Donald Trump in this year’s presidential race, because he is a lock to carry the statewide vote but is the underdog in the Omaha-anchored 2nd Congressional District.

Though Republicans have a large majority in the ostensibly non-partisan state Senate, there is no guarantee the votes will be present to change the system. Doing so, however, would likely deliver an important electoral vote to the Trump candidacy.

House

AK-AL: CLF’s Curious Targeting — The Congressional Leadership Fund, the Republicans’ top House Super PAC, unveiled their first 20 targets for the upcoming general election. Nineteen of the supported candidates are not particularly surprising, but their choice in Alaska’s at-large CD does raise eyebrows. The CLF is supporting Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom (R) in the top-four contest, even though published research finds that Republican attorney and former candidate Nick Begich fares better against incumbent Mary Peltola (D-Bethel).

In a recently released poll (Data for Progress; Feb. 29-March 2; 1,120 AK-AL likely voters), Lt. Gov. Dahlstrom trailed Begich by 25 points and was 34 points down to Rep. Peltola on the initial multi-candidate ballot test. Once the hypothetical Ranked Choice Voting rounds were simulated, Begich finished at parity with Pelota with each garnering an equal 50 percent share. Therefore, it is curious that the CLF is bypassing Begich to support a weaker candidate.

CA-16: An Apparent Tie — It appears that all votes have finally been counted in California’s open 16th Congressional District and the long anticipated result for the second general election qualifying position has apparently ended in a flat tie. Both San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) and Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) each have an unofficial 30,249-vote tally.

If this result becomes final both men will advance into the general election against former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) who long ago secured the first qualifying position. This would lead to a three-way general election among a trio of Democrats, a rarity in a top two jungle primary system. The eventual winner of this race succeeds retiring Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton).

Governor

Indiana: Sen. Braun Continues with Significant Lead — Crossroads Public Affairs, polling for the Indy Politics campaign blog, released a new survey for the upcoming open Hoosier State Republican gubernatorial primary scheduled for May 7. The survey (March 24-25; 500 likely Indiana Republican primary voters) sees US Sen. Mike Braun leading the primary field with a 33-11-11-10 percent margin over Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, businessman Eric Doden, and former Indiana Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers.

While still holding a strong lead, Sen. Braun’s advantage has decreased since the last published poll from Emerson College, which found him posting a 34-7-7-5 percent lead. Therefore, while the opponents have shown some collective gain in the past three weeks, the fact that the challengers are all so closely bunched will allow Sen. Braun to capture the gubernatorial nomination even if he only attains plurality support.

New Jersey First Lady Suspends Campaign; Gov. Justice Up in West Virginia Poll; Tight Voting Results in California; Michigan Senate Candidate Moves to House Race

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Senate

Tammy Murphy, New Jersey’s First Lady

New Jersey: First Lady Suspends Campaign — New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy (D), who had been fighting with Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) over county Democratic Party endorsements that yield favorable ballot placements, surprisingly has ended her campaign. Murphy said she didn’t want to spend money attacking another Democrat when the funds could be used to help defeat former President Donald Trump.

The more likely reason for her withdrawal decision is failing to see a viable victory path after falling behind Rep. Kim in early polling. Additionally, Kim’s lawsuit against the state for the county ballot placement system that awards a favorable line position might well be successful, thus derailing the advantage she gained by winning endorsements in several entities. The development makes Rep. Kim a prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination, which is tantamount to winning the general election.

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Way Up in GOP Primary Poll — Emerson College, polling for WOWK-13 television station in the Charleston-Huntington market (March 19-21; 735 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques), sees Gov. Jim Justice holding a commanding 54-17 percent lead over US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) with the West Virginia primary now seven weeks away on May 14. Without incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in the race, the eventual GOP nominee becomes a heavy favorite to convert the seat in the general election.

In the governor’s race, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) also enjoys a GOP primary advantage according to the same poll. Morrisey holds a 33-16-14-6 percent advantage over businessman Chris Miller, former state Delegate Moore Capito, and Secretary of State Mac Warner, respectively. Miller is the son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), while Capito is Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-WV) son. Here, too, the eventual Republican nominee will be a virtual lock to win the general election.

House

California: CA-45 Set, Down to One Vote in North — With still 17 days remaining in the California election certification process, another congressional finalist has clinched a general election ballot position. With virtually all of the votes finally tabulated, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen-Penaloza yesterday ended her fight for the second qualifying position, conceding the vote to attorney Derek Tran. The race came down to a spread of just 366 votes between the two candidates, or a percentage spread of 15.9 – 15.6.

US Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County), on the ballot for a third term, easily captured the first general election ballot position with a 54.9 percent showing. While Rep. Steel is in good position to begin the general election campaign, the 45th CD leans Democratic at D+5 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization. Therefore, plan for a highly contested congressional battle here in political prime time.

A few more votes were released in the nip-and-tuck open 16th Congressional District and San Mateo County Supervisor and ex-state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) saw his lead over Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) shrink from four votes to only one, 30,229 to 30,228. The eventual second-place qualifier faces former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) who locked down first place with 38,464 votes or 21.1 percent of the jungle primary total. Should Simitian and Low end in a flat tie, both would advance into the general election, thus leading to a three-way general election campaign.

MI-8: Senate Candidate Moves to House Race — State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder (R), who was the first person to declare for the open Senate race after incumbent Debbie Stabenow (D) announced that she would retire, never saw her campaign generate excitement or significant support. Therefore, Snyder announced that she is ending her Senate quest and will instead enter the Republican primary for the open 8th Congressional District.

There, Snyder will join two time congressional candidate and former news anchor Paul Junge in the GOP primary. Snyder is also not the first candidate to switch from the Senate race to this congressional contest. Earlier, State Board of Education president Pamela Pugh (D) made the change soon after six-term incumbent Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) announced that he would not seek re-election.

The 8th District will feature a hard-fought and tough election cycle. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the central Michigan 8th CD as R+1. President Joe Biden carried the district with a slight 50.3 – 48.2 percent margin.

Rep. Gallagher to Leave in April;
A Squeaker in CA-16; Party Chair Advances in Colorado;
Santos Leaves GOP

By Jim Ellis — Monday, March 25, 2024

House

Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay)

WI-8: Rep. Gallagher to Resign in April — In February, four-term US Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) announced that he would not seek a fifth term this year. On Friday, Gallagher reiterated his plan to leave Congress, and will do so earlier than expected. The congressman indicated he will resign from the House on April 19.

Leaving at that point in April does not allow the state to replace him with an early special election to fill the balance of the term instead of waiting until the November election. Therefore, Republicans will be another seat down until the regular general. Gallagher becomes the sixth House member to resign during this session of Congress in addition to Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who was expelled from the body.

CA-16: 1, 2, 3, & 4 — The battle to claim the second general election position in California’s open 16th Congressional District continues to drag on, and now the election officials are determining if provisional and late arriving ballots should be added to the aggregate count. An estimated 400-plus ballots are in this category.

The current standing finds San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) now leading Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) by a mere four votes — 30,222 to 30,218. This small number is an increase for Simitian from his previous one-vote edge. Previously, Low held two and three vote leads from a pair of released counts.

Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) has already clinched the first general election finalist position. The Secretary of State has until April 12 to certify all March 5 primary elections and it is likely determining the second place finisher here will consume the entire time allotment. Whoever is declared the loser once all ballots are tabulated will obviously call for a recount. Should the race for second place end in a tie, both contenders would advance into the general election against Liccardo. Incumbent Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) is retiring.

CO-5: State Chairman Advances to GOP Primary — Local Republican delegates in Colorado’s open 5th District met over the weekend in their nominating convention. With Rep. Douglas Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) retiring, the seat becomes open for the first time in 18 years. Counting his time in the state legislature, Lamborn will leave elective office at the beginning of next year after serving 30 consecutive years.

The delegates, with a 70.4 percent vote, propelled Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave Williams into the general election. A candidate must receive at least 30 percent of the vote to automatically advance. Falling below the lower threshold requires a candidate to access the ballot by submitting 1,500 valid petition signatures. Therefore, the only other announced GOP candidate for the seat, radio talk show host and former two time congressional candidate Jeff Crank, must circulate petitions in order to compete in the June 25 Republican primary.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CO-5 as R+18. Then-President Donald Trump carried the seat in 2020 with a 53.2 – 43.1 percent majority vote. Therefore, the eventual Republican nominee will become a definitive favorite for the general election. With the candidate filing deadline fast approaching on April 1, seven Democrats are announced contenders.

NY-1: Santos Leaves GOP — After declaring earlier this month that he would challenge freshman Republican Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Suffolk County) in the GOP primary, on Friday the expelled Congressman George Santos announced he would leave the Republican Party and campaign for the 1st District congressional seat as an Independent.

In a written statement, Santos said, “The Republican Party continues to lie and swindle its voter base. I, in good conscience, cannot affiliate myself with a party that stands for nothing and falls for everything.” It is unlikely that Santos will be a factor in the general election for the Independence Party, or any other ballot line. Any votes he does attract, however, would likely come from LaLolta’s base, thus allowing the eventual Democratic nominee, either 2020 congressional nominee Nancy Goroff or former CNN news anchor John Avlon, to potentially gain support from these disaffected Republicans.

Tightening Senate Race in Arizona; Hogan Building Lead in Maryland; Tight Margins in California Vote Tallies; Bost Wins Tight Primary

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, March 21, 2024

Senate

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) holds a narrow lead in Arizona polling.

Arizona: Emerson College Shows a Tightening Race — Emerson College released a new two-way poll of the Arizona Senate race, their first since Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) announced she would not seek re-election. The survey (March 12-15; 1,000 registered Arizona voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects the new Arizona Senate race dropping to within the polling margin of error between Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) and 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. The ballot test finds Gallego holding a 44-40 percent lead, which is approaching the toss-up realm.

Within the same polling sample, former President Donald Trump leads President Joe Biden, 48-44 percent, which is bad news obviously for Biden, but also for Lake. With the data showing Trump leading the Republican ticket in the Grand Canyon State, her standing trails him by a full eight percentage points.

While Emerson tested only Biden and Trump and did not include the independent or third party candidates, they did push the undecided respondents to make a choice. When doing so, Trump would lead the aggregate count 52-48 percent, suggesting the undecideds, which are good prospects to support one of the minor candidates, would break evenly between the two men.

Rep. Gallego has an edge among the youngest and the oldest respondents in the sample. He is also rather surprisingly favored, 43-38 percent, among those who said the economy is their top issue. Lake is favored by a whopping 77-12 percent margin among those who are most concerned about the southern border.

Maryland: Ex-Gov. Hogan Building Lead — The University of Maryland, partnering with the Washington Post, released a new survey of the Maryland Senate race (March 5-12; 1,004 registered Maryland voters; live interview & text) that shows former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan building a strong lead in this most Democratic of states. According to the ballot test, Hogan leads US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) 47-39 percent, while his lead would expand to 50-36 percent if Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) were his general election opponent.

Hogan also enjoys an extremely positive 64:23 percent favorability index, while Rep. Trone scores 33:21 percent favorable to unfavorable, and Alsobrooks records a 26:15 percent ratio. Despite Trone so far outspending Alsobrooks by a 12:1 ratio ($24 million to $2 million), he leads the Democratic primary ballot test only 34-27 percent according to this survey.

Considering the lopsided spending amount, the ballot test suggests that Rep. Trone is at least slightly underperforming as a statewide candidate.

House

California: Two-Vote Margin; Another Race in Doubt — While the California vote totals are still not complete from the March 5 Super Tuesday primary, the battle for second qualifying position in the open 16th Congressional District continues to get tighter and tighter. The latest vote iteration, with an estimated 400-plus votes remaining to count, is literally down to a two-vote margin.

State Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) now leads San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D), 30,211 to 30,209. It is obvious we will see a recount when all the votes are finally tabulated. The Secretary of State has 22 more days to certify the election, and it is likely the tabulation process for this race will consume every bit of the allowable time. Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) has already clinched the first general election position. Incumbent Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) is retiring.

Another race is also uncalled. Forty-fifth District Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) has easily clinched the first qualifying position with just under 55 percent of the aggregate jungle primary vote. Attorney Derek Tran (D) has run in second place during the entire counting period, but he now leads Garden Grove Councilwoman Kim Nguyen-Penaloza (D) by only a 327-vote margin and the end result is now in doubt. An estimated 2,500 ballots remain to be counted.

IL-12: Rep. Bost Wins Close Primary Battle — It took well into a second day of counting, but Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) successfully won renomination in his southern Illinois congressional district. His opponent, 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey, issued a statement conceding defeat but saying his campaign “made a statement.” The current unofficial tally shows Rep. Bost capturing 51.4 percent of the vote as compared to Bailey’s 48.6 percent, translating to a vote spread of 2,590 from a turnout of over 94,000 individuals. A smattering of ballots will soon be added to the final tally.

The district featured wide swings, as both candidates typically won their respective counties by landslide proportions. Both men won 17 of the district’s 34 counties.