Aug. 3, 2015 — Three House members who had been very public about considering US Senate bids in their respective states, yesterday announced their decisions not to pursue a statewide campaign.
In what is becoming the most unpredictable of all Senate races, another surprise occurred in Florida. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Pensacola), who had been hiring staff, beginning to raise money, and even assembling an initial campaign schedule suddenly reversed course and will not join the growing field of Republican candidates.
Gainesville Rep. Ted Yoho (R), potentially a victim of the mid-decade, court-ordered congressional redistricting process, also reached the same conclusion about his own prospective Senate campaign. So did California Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles).
May 18, 2015 — The on-again-off-again Loretta Sanchez for Senate campaign finally became official. Earlier in the cycle, Rep. Sanchez (D-CA-46) told supporters she would announce for the Senate, only to put her statewide plans on hold.
Earlier last week a statement came from her political headquarters saying that a special announcement would be made Thursday. Immediately, that comment was withdrawn, with Sanchez saying she was only considering the race. She then reversed direction yet again, and this time did formally declare for the Senate.
With the campaign beginning in bungling fashion, Sanchez finds herself in the role of major underdog to a fellow Democrat, Attorney General Kamala Harris. But, coming from far behind in a race few thought she could win is exactly how she began her political career back in 1996. That is when she upset then-Rep. Bob Dornan (R) by a mere 984 votes, and has not been seriously challenged since. Now at 55, Rep. Sanchez will risk what will be a 20-year House career to venture toward a statewide contest. Continue reading >
May 15, 2015 — One place where the early campaign has gone poorly for Senate Democrats is Pennsylvania. With state and national party leaders in an open feud with former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA-7), the 2010 Senate nominee who held Republican Pat Toomey to a 51-49 percent victory, the race has the potential to spin out of control.
Pennsylvania Democratic Party leaders and those from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in Washington are attempting to recruit Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro to oppose Sestak. In addition, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) has announced his candidacy. Pawlowski entered the 2014 gubernatorial race but didn’t fare well, and dropped his bid even before the candidate filing deadline expired.
A new Harper Polling survey (May 6-7; 503 registered Pennsylvania voters) adds to the Democrats’ problems, as Sen. Toomey appears to be in strong shape at the beginning of the race. Harper finds his personal favorability index to be a strong 54:32 percent positive to negative. Continue reading >
FEB. 5, 2015 — After an immediate flurry of electoral activity dominated California politics once Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) announced her retirement, the open Senate race has slow-tracked, but its current, more passive status will soon change.
The California Latino Legislative Caucus is an organization comprised of Latino state legislators. This past week, they took the unusual step of sponsoring a political poll to test the viability of a single Latino candidate in the open Senate field. Currently, Attorney General Kamala Harris, an African American, has announced her candidacy and is quickly putting together a united northern California coalition. But, Hispanics want their own candidate and their leaders believe uniting behind one individual could carry that person to victory in November of 2016.
This week, the organization’s leadership released the results of their Garin Hart Yang Research poll (Jan. 27-29; 600 CA registered voters). Conclusion: Harris begins the campaign as the top Democrat, but she’s nowhere near a cinch to win the seat. Continue reading >
The open California Senate race has dominated recent political news coverage, and yesterday a rather strange event unfolded. It has now come to light that Public Policy Polling surveyed the California electorate at the end of the year (Dec. 29-30, 869 registered California voters) testing what appeared to be a potentially open Senate race, but is just now releasing the data as reported in The Hill newspaper.
Though it is interesting to see how the candidates stack up in the early going, the tested field isn’t particularly representative of the individuals who now appear ready to jump into the race. Hence, eyebrows are raised as to why PPP would come forth with data now when several key components are obsolete.
Already, Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) has announced her Senate candidacy and she is included in the survey, but former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who appeared to be moving toward a run, is not. The latter exclusion is not particularly surprising because, at the time this poll was conducted, Villaraigosa was talking about running for governor in 2018 and not for the Senate in two years.
Additionally, the current Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti (D), is tested but he formally pulled himself away from further consideration for the statewide office. In the second questionnaire, Garcetti is then Continue reading >
It’s already been a busy political new year. Two days ago we witnessed several potential candidates for various offices around the country quickly quelling speculation about their specific individual political plans. Yesterday, we see the opposite as several potential candidates confirmed they will seek different positions.
The daily open Golden State Senate report includes an announcement from Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) that she will run for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D) office. The development was expected after Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom made public his intention to remain in his current job, and then attempt to succeed incumbent Jerry Brown (D) when the latter is ineligible to seek another term in 2018.
But, the Harris decision to enter the Senate race is apparently not dissuading other contenders. Both former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA-46) immediately issued separate statements reaffirming that they are both individually “seriously considering” becoming Senatorial candidates. Twenty-two Democrats and twelve Republicans confirm publicly that they have not yet ruled out running for the California Senate seat, the first such open contest in 24 years. Continue reading >
Several prospective candidates for various offices made official yesterday their plans not to seek another position.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, confirmed that he will not run for president in 2016. Always mentioned as a potential candidate, Ryan was not making the preliminary campaign moves one who is serious about running for president would typically execute. He showed no overt signs of building a national political and financial operation necessary to becoming a major political party’s presidential nominee.
Now ensconced as chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, Rep. Ryan says he will devote his attention and political acumen toward that particular job.
In another report, speculation is changing around Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) presidential plans. Now a train of thought suggests that Sen. Rubio will run for re-election instead of the presidency, and then possibly take a shot at the open governor’s office in 2018. Then, as a sitting public chief executive from arguably the most important state on the Republican map, Rubio would have the option of running for President in 2020 or 2024, depending upon whether a Democrat or Republican wins in 2016. Continue reading >