By Jim Ellis — Monday, May 15, 2023
PresidentFlorida: DeSantis Trails in New Poll — A National Research, Inc. survey of Florida Republican voters (May 8-9; 500 likely Florida Republican primary voters; live interview & text) for the first time found Gov. Ron DeSantis trailing in his home state. According to these results, which the DeSantis Super PACs will undoubtedly soon counter, former President Donald Trump has taken a 42-34 percent lead over Gov. DeSantis, with no other candidate even reaching three percent. A total of 16 percent claim to be undecided in the early part of the presidential race.
This poll again underscores Trump’s current strength in the party primaries. The trend could change, however, when Gov. DeSantis officially begins his national campaign.
Pennsylvania: Sen. Casey Expands Lead — Susquehanna Polling & Research returned a new Keystone State survey (May 2-8; 700 likely Pennsylvania voters) testing the upcoming US Senate race. Though former hedge fund CEO and 2022 Senate candidate David McCormick (R) is not yet an announced candidate, he was the only person tested against Sen. Bob Casey. The ballot test yielded the incumbent a stronger twelve-point lead, 53-41 percent. The previous published poll, from Franklin & Marshall College in early April, projected a 42-35 percent Casey edge.
CA-41: Party Switcher Enters Race Against Rep. Calvert — Pastor and San Jacinto City Councilman Brian Hawkins is looking to make a second run for Congress, but it will be in a different district and under a different party banner. Rev. Hawkins was the Republican nominee against Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Indio) in the new 25th District last November. He drew 42.6 percent of the vote. Now, however, he has popped up in District 41, wanting to run as a Democrat in hope of challenging veteran Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) in next year’s general election.
Already declared under the Democratic label is Lake Elsinore City Councilman Tim Sheridan, but the potential candidate the area politicos are watching is 2022 nominee Will Rollins (D) who held Rep. Calvert to a 52-48 percent victory. Most believe Rollins will return and be favored to advance into the general election with the congressman. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 41st District as R+7. Former President Donald Trump carried the seat with a bare 50-49 percent margin over current President Biden.
MD-6: Defeated Gov Candidate Showing Interest in Open House Race — Former state Delegate Dan Cox (R), who was not much of a factor in the 2022 Maryland governor’s race in losing to author Wes Moore (D) by a 65-32 percent margin, said this week that he may have interest in entering the open 6th District congressional race that includes his home city of Frederick. Former state Delegate Neil Parrott, also from Frederick and who lost the last two congressional races against incumbent Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac), is also looking at a third run.
Both men come from the right wing of the Republican Party. This means they could split the primary vote, thus allowing a more moderate candidate who would likely fare better in the general election to claim the party nomination. With Rep. Trone vacating the seat to run for the Senate, this open seat will attract national attention in what promises to be a hotly contested battle for the House majority.
Washington: Second Candidate Announces — State Land Commissioner Hilary Franz (D) became the second announced gubernatorial candidate after three-term incumbent Jay Inslee (D) made public his intention not to seek re-election next year. Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) was first to take such action, indicating that he filed an “exploratory committee.” Since Washington election law does not recognize exploratory committees, he is officially considered a candidate.
The Washington all-party jungle primary is scheduled for Aug. 6, 2024. The top two finishers, possibly a pair of Democrats, will advance into the general election.