By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024
HouseMO-1: New Dem Primary Poll Finds Rep. Bush Trailing — The Remington Research Group has released a surprising new poll (Feb. 7-9; 401 likely MO-1 Democratic primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) that projects two-term incumbent Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis), a member of the so-called House “Squad” or the most progressive left group in Congress, significantly trailing her Democratic primary opponent.
According to the Remington ballot test, former St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell, who was originally a candidate in the Senate race, enjoys a strong 50-28 percent lead over Bush. The congresswoman is also under an investigation from the House Ethics Committee over the potential misuse of campaign funds for personal gain.
Missouri’s 1st District is heavily Democratic, carrying a D+52 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, so the battle for re-election lies squarely in the nomination election. Bush, herself, came into office when defeating veteran Democratic Congressman Lacy Clay in the 2020 Democratic primary.
NY-3: Suozzi Wins — Former US Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) won a convincing 54-46 percent victory over Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip (R) last night even though five surveys from five different pollsters showed the race within a 1-4 point margin.
Rep-Elect Suozzi converts the seat back to the Democratic column, making the partisan division in the House an even closer 219R – 213D with three vacancies. It is probable that when all of the vacancies are filled after completing special elections in late April (NY-26), May (CA-20), and June (OH-6), the House will sit at 221R – 214D heading into the regular 2024 elections.
Once again, Democrats out-performing Republicans in early voting proved a reliable precursor as to which party had the electoral momentum, thus explaining how Suozzi exceeded the polling projections. Additionally, while poor weather was thought to keep the election day turnout low, it did not. A special election turnout of more than 174,000 voters is a strong display for any district. In comparison, just over 271,000 voted in the 2022 regular congressional election.
NJ-7: Ex-Rep. Malinowski Won’t Run — It appears that Democrats are staking their chances of upsetting Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield) upon the former New Jersey executive director of the Working Families Party. The three Democratic candidates who have abandoned their own campaigns turned and endorsed Sue Altman. Now, former US Rep. Tom Malinowski, who the Democratic leadership had hoped to recruit into the race, has also declined to run and he, too, just endorsed Altman.
New Jersey’s 7th District is a politically marginal swing seat that the Daily Kos Elections site ranks as the 16th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the district R+3, so these most recent developments, all of which help Rep. Kean, means the freshman congressman must be rated as a clear favorite for re-election.
NY-26: Governor Schedules Special Election — With New York Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) now officially resigned and his 26th District seat vacant, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced she is scheduling the replacement special election for April 30 to fill the remaining time left on the current term.
The district’s Democratic county chairmen have already chosen state Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) as their special election candidate. The Republican chairmen have yet to decide who will be their own standard bearer but regardless of the person selected, Kennedy will be favored to win the special. The seat is soundly Democratic. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates is as D+18. The Daily Kos Election site ranks NY-26 as the 78th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference.
Though Kennedy is the clear favorite to win the special election, his tougher challenge may be the June 25 Democratic primary for the regular term. Former Town Supervisor Nate McMurray (D), who twice ran close races in the former 27th District that was collapsed in the latest reapportionment, says he will challenge Kennedy for the Democratic nomination to advance into the November 2024 general election.