By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 3, 2023
Michigan: State House Passes Bill to Move Primary — The Michigan House of Representatives approved a measure to move the state’s primary to the fourth Tuesday in February, just ahead of the Super Tuesday voting primaries. Michigan was one of the states that President Biden outlined in his suggested primary schedule changes. Dropping Iowa and adding Georgia along with the Wolverine State and keeping South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada as the five states with permission to vote before Super Tuesday recaps the president’s recommendations.
The Michigan Senate has already approved the primary election measure, which means the bill will head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) for her signature. Republicans opposed the legislation because moving the primary would cause them to violate the GOP party rules that only allow Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to vote early. Such penalties could mean the forfeiting of 90 percent of a state’s delegate votes.
Expect the parties and states to come to a scheduling agreement in the near future. The first votes are scheduled for this time next year.
Arizona: New Three-Way Polling — The Normington Petts survey research firm conducted a poll (Jan. 18-23; 80 registered Arizona voters) for three progressive left Arizona organizations testing Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) opposite Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and both 2022 Arizona gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake (R), who has not closed the door on running for the Senate, and former Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who says a Senate race is not under his consideration.
While the poll sponsors were highlighting Gallego’s performance, it is Sinema’s standing that has greatly improved since previous polls were made public. In the configuration with Gallego and Lake, Sen. Sinema, while still running in third place, improves her standing to 24 percent as opposed to 14 and 13 percent respectively in December and early January polls from Public Policy Polling and Blueprint Polling. Rep. Gallego and Lake were tied at 36 percent apiece.
When Normington Petts tested Sen. Sinema with Rep. Gallego and former Gov. Ducey, the congressman held a 37-31-27 percent advantage over the GOP ex-state chief executive and Sen. Sinema, respectively. The progression suggests that Sen. Sinema is coming into a competitive position as the prospective candidates begin to prepare for a three-way race.
Michigan: Ex-Congressman Contemplates Senate Race — Former US Rep. Mike Rogers (R), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during part of his seven-term congressional career, confirms that he is considering making a return to elective politics with a potential US Senate run. The move would give the Republicans a strong contender in a state that routinely produces close statewide elections. Before his election to the US House, Rogers served six years in the Michigan state Senate. He has been in the private sector and the media since his retirement from Congress.
North Carolina: Sen. Tillis Out of Gov Race — Despite his name being added to ballot test questions from some pollsters surveying the impending open North Carolina governor’s race, Sen. Thom Tillis (R) made the definitive statement yesterday that he will not be a candidate for the state’s chief executive post. Sen. Tillis did say, however, that he expects a contested GOP primary to evolve. At this point, the leading Republican candidate appears to be Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein is the lone major announced contender in his party.