Tag Archives: MI-7

Challenger May Be DQ’d in Indiana; California Rep. Napolitano to Retire; Barrett Returns in Michigan;
Top-Four vs. RCV in Idaho

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Senate

Indiana: Banks’ GOP Challenger May Be Out — Last week, egg farmer John Rust announced a challenge to Indiana Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) for the open GOP Senate nomination, but his quest might end before it even begins. This week, as the Daily Kos Elections site reports, we find that Rust may not qualify for the ballot because he is not in good standing as a Republican according to Hoosier State election procedure. Because Indiana is a non-party registration state, the GOP candidate qualification requirements include voting in the two most recent Republican primaries, or the approval of the individual’s local GOP county chair.

Rust last voted in the 2016 Republican primary but also participated in the 2012 Democratic primary. Jackson County Republican chair Amanda Lowery is quoted as saying she wants to speak with Rust before making a final determination regarding his qualification status. For his part, Rep. Banks is saying Rust is “a liberal Democrat trying to run in the GOP primary,” and therefore should not be awarded a ballot line.

House

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk)

CA-31: Rep. Grace Napolitano to Retire — Veteran Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk), who first won her seat in the 1998 election, announced Monday that she will not seek re-election to a 14th term next November. Napolitano, now 86 years old, is the oldest member of the House. She becomes the 14th House member and 10th Democrat to not seek re-election next year, but only the second to outright retire. The remainder are all running for a different office. Napolitano’s retirement decision also creates the fourth open House seat in the California delegation.

In her statement announcing her retirement, the congresswoman endorsed state Sen. Bob Archuleta (D-Norwalk) as her successor. Ironically, Sen. Archuleta, if elected to the House in 2024, would be, at the age of 79, the second-oldest freshman in American history. At a D+29 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, the seat will not be competitive for a Republican candidate. Chances are high, however, that we would see another double-Democratic general election under California’s all-party top-two jungle primary system. The California qualifying election is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

MI-7: Ex-Sen. Tom Barrett (R) to Return — Former Michigan state Sen. Tom Barrett (R), who was considered at least a slight under-performer in the 2022 election against US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) when losing 52-46 percent, announced he will return next year for another try. Since Rep. Slotkin is running for the state’s open Senate seat, the politically marginal 7th District will also be open. Last week, former state Sen. Curtis Heftel (D) announced his candidacy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) support. Heftel left the legislature to join Gov. Whitmer’s administration.

Neither man is expected to face much intra-party opposition, but the general election will be hotly contested. MI-7 is one of 20 US House districts where the FiveThirtyEight and Dave’s Redistricting App data organizations disagree over which party has the partisan edge. In this instance, 538 projects the 7th District as having a R+4 rating, while Dave’s App calculates a 49.3D – 47.9R partisan lean.

States

Idaho: Top-Four Primary Initiative Cleared for Signature Gathering — An organized group called Idahoans for Open Primaries has launched an initiative to transform the current Idaho partisan primary system into Alaska’s unique Top Four Primary, which includes a Ranked Choice Voting component for the general election. In the legislative session just concluded, a law was enacted banning Ranked Choice Voting in any Idaho election.

The initiative, if qualified and passed, would repeal the new RCV ban law and institute an all-party open primary where all candidates running for a particular office will compete to finish in the first four positions. All four would then advance into the general election. If no candidate receives majority support, Ranked Choice Voting would be implemented. In Alaska, the system has led to a Democrat winning the at-large congressional seat even though 60 percent of voters chose a Republican candidate in the open all-party primary.

Organizers are now cleared to begin gathering petition signatures. They must secure 63,000 valid Idaho registered voter signatures on or before May 1, 2024. Included in this number must be signatures from at least six percent of residents in 18 of the state’s 35 legislative districts.

A Challenger in NJ Switches Races; Arizona Dem Ends Campaign;
New Candidate in MI-7;
Mondaire Jones Returns

By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 7, 2023

Senate

Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello

New Jersey: Menendez Dem Primary Challenger Switches Races — Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello ended his long-shot Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Bob Menendez, and instead says he will enter the 7th District congressional race against GOP Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield). This, despite his city of Roselle Park lying wholly in Rep. Donald Payne’s (D-Newark) 10th District. Already in the 7th District Democratic primary is Working Families Party state director Sue Altman.

Rep. Kean unseated then-Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) 51-49 percent last November. The NJ-7 race is expected to be a major Democratic challenge opportunity race. Malinowski, who recently joined the McCain Institute for International Leadership, is unlikely to seek a re-match. State Senate President Nick Scutari is a potential Democratic candidate in this district.

House

AZ-6: Democrat Ends Campaign — Last month, businessman Jack O’Donnell declared his congressional candidacy in the Democratic primary hoping to challenge freshman Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Tucson). Now, O’Donnell has already ended his fledgling campaign. He was an underdog even in the primary with former state senator and 2022 congressional nominee Kirsten Engel already in the race. Rep. Ciscomani defeated Engel by 5,505 votes last November, and we can expect another close race in this politically marginal southeast Arizona district.

MI-7: First Candidate Comes Forward — Former state senator and ex-Ingham County Commissioner Curtis Hertel (D), who just left his position as legislative affairs director to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission. He was expected to enter the race and does so with Gov. Whitmer’s endorsement.

Hertel is the first official candidate for what will be a hotly contested open seat both in the Democratic primary and general election. Three-term incumbent Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) is running for the Senate. Former state senator and 2022 Republican congressional nominee Tom Barrett is expected to again run for the seat. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates MI-7 as R+4, but Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean in the Democrats’ favor, 49.30D – 47.88R.

NY-17: Ex-Rep. Mondaire Jones Returns — One of the strangest situations that occurred in the 2022 election cycle was first-term Westchester County Rep. Mondaire Jones (D) leaving his upstate seat to seek re-election in an open New York City district. In a way, he was pushed out when then-Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Sean Patrick Maloney decided to seek re-election in Jones’ 17th District. The move was controversial and certainly contributed to Maloney losing a close general election to Republican Mike Lawler.

Jones announced Wednesday that he will return to the 17th District and attempt to regain the seat he initially won in 2020. This will be a top national congressional campaign. Though Rep. Lawler is the incumbent, the general election will be challenging for him in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+7, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 56.4D – 41.3R.

Michigan State School Board President Considers Senate Run; Washington Sen. Cantwell Cruising; Ex-Gov. Walker Says No;
House Candidate Announcements

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, March 23, 2023

Senate

Michigan School Board President Pamela Pugh (D)

Michigan: State School Board President Considers Senate — Michigan School Board President Pamela Pugh (D), who has won two statewide elections to the state school board, a post that features eight-year terms, says she is considering entering the Democratic primary for US Senate.

At this point, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) is unopposed for the party nomination, but Pugh says she is concerned with the lack of African American representation throughout the state. Even the congressional delegation has no black Democrats despite the two Detroit-anchored congressional seats featuring plurality African American populations. The only black in the congressional delegation, freshman Rep. John James, is a Republican.

Washington: Sen. Cantwell (D) Cruising in New Poll — Public Policy Polling, the regular survey research firm for the Northwest Progressive Institute, released their latest Washington statewide study (March 7-8; 874 registered Washington voters; live interview & text) and tested the 2024 Senate race featuring four-term incumbent Maria Cantwell (D). Paired with former Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R), who is reportedly considering the challenge, PPP finds Sen. Cantwell holding a comfortable 50-35 percent advantage.

The 2022 Washington Senate race was billed as a competitive contest between Sen. Patty Murray (D) and Republican Tiffany Smiley, but ended in a 57-43 percent result. Since Republicans have a target-rich Senate cycle in 2024, it is doubtful the party will invest any serious resources toward a Cantwell challenge.

Wisconsin: Ex-Gov. Walker Says No — While Republicans are searching for a candidate to challenge two-term Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) in a race that could become competitive, one prominent Republican closed the door on a candidacy. Former two-term Gov. Scott Walker (R), who twice was elected governor but was defeated for a third term after not faring well in the 2016 presidential race, says he will not run for the Senate next year. The two potential GOP candidates most talked about are Walker’s former lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, and businessman Scott Mayer.

House

MI-7: Mayor Won’t Run — Recently, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor (D) launched a congressional exploratory committee since Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) will vacate the 7th Congressional District seat in order to run for the state’s open Senate seat. Typically, filing such a committee is the first step to announcing a candidacy, but in this case the opposite has occurred. Clearly, Mayor Schor did not find the results for which he had hoped, and announced Monday that he would not be a candidate for the 2024 open seat.

No one has yet announced for the 7th District. It is presumed that 2022 Republican candidate Tom Barrett, now a former state senator, will again make a run for the seat. He lost 51-46 percent to Rep. Slotkin last November.

RI-1: Second Special Election Candidate Announces — Though Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) will not resign from the House until June 1 to accept a position running a large Rhode Island non-profit organization, two Democratic candidates wanting to succeed him in Congress have now announced for the impending special election. Last week, Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos (D) declared her candidacy, and now state Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket) has followed suit.

Once Rep. Cicilline officially resigns, Gov. Dan McKee (D) will then schedule a special election to fill the seat for the balance of the current term. The special election will be decided in the Democratic primary in a safe seat that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+32.

Surprising VA Presidential Poll Numbers; Race for Slotkin’s Open Seat; NC Political Gerrymandering Case

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 7, 2023

President

Virginia Glenn Youngkin (R) tops Biden in VA poll.

Roanoke College Poll: Surprising VA Numbers — Roanoke College just released their new Virginia general electorate poll that tested three GOP candidates or potential candidates against President Biden. The survey (Feb. 12-25; 585 Virginia registered voters; live interview) finds the Commonwealth’s own governor, Glenn Youngkin (R), as enjoying the best standing against the president, and in major fashion.

According to this sampling universe, which the pollsters say has a D+5 partisan complexion, Gov. Youngkin would swamp the president, 55-39 percent, in what has become a reliable Democratic state. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would also top President Biden. His margin is 48-43 percent. Former President Donald Trump, however, would still trail President Biden, but by only a single point, 47-46 percent.

GOP strategists would have to see these types of results repeating themselves for Virginia to become a top tier target state. In 2020, President Biden carried the state, 54-44 percent. In 2016, Hillary Clinton topped Trump, 49.7 – 44.4 percent. Roanoke College is rated as a B/C pollster according to the FiveThirtyEight independent pollster ratings.

House

MI-7: Potentially Yes, and No — With three-term Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) now officially in the Senate race, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor (D) announced that he has launched a congressional exploratory committee to assess his chances of winning what will be a competitive open seat contest. Conversely, former Congressman Mike Bishop (R), who Rep. Slotkin unseated in 2018, said he will not run. Saying he doesn’t live in the new 7th District, Bishop said, “I know it’s the trend lately to run in districts where you don’t live, but I have no interest in that.”

The 7th District, which includes territory in and around the state’s capital city of Lansing, is politically marginal and one of only 20 districts where the FiveThirtyEight and Dave’s Redistricting App data organizations disagree as to how the partisan lean breaks. The 538 group rates MI-7 as R+4, while Dave’s App finds the partisan spread to be 49.2D – 47.7R.

States

SCOTUS: NC Political Gerrymandering Case Could be Dropped — Speculation is mounting that the US Supreme Court will drop the North Carolina political gerrymandering and judicial authority case, even though the justices have already conducted oral arguments. After the SCOTUS hearing, the new North Carolina Supreme Court, now with a 5R-2D majority, scheduled reconsideration hearings on two election cases that the former state Supreme Court, just before leaving office, had ruled upon. The 4D-3R court declared both the NC Senate district lines and the state’s voter ID law unconstitutional in separate rulings.

Since the state Supreme Court is now actively considering cases that generally come under the purview of what SCOTUS is considering, the national court may defer to the state court, which would make the case before them moot.

Regardless of what happens pertaining to these federal and state election law cases, it is clear the state legislature plans to replace the interim court maps for the US House, state House, and state Senate. Expect a great deal of action coming from North Carolina in the coming months. It is possible that we could see a three-seat Republican gain in the 7D-7R current delegation map.

Kelly & Masters in Dead Heat in Ariz, Lake Leads; Walker Leads in Most Georgia Polls, Gov. Kemp Pulls Away

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 7, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) | Sen. Mark Kelly (D)

Arizona: Sen. Kelly (D) and Republican Masters in Dead Heat — Already, in the closing days of the 2022 election cycle, the Arizona Senate race has been one of the most heavily polled contests. According to the four latest surveys, the closeness of this contest could send the counting process into political overtime.

The four pollsters, Insider Advantage, Remington Research Group, Highmark, and Civiqs, all surveying within the Oct. 29-Nov. 2 period and questioning from 500 to 1,071 likely general election voters through various sampling techniques each independently found almost identical results. That is, Sen. Mark Kelly (D) and venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) are either tied or separated only by just one percentage point. This is a clear indication the race is a pure toss-up heading into Tuesday night.

Georgia: Herschel Walker Now Leading in Most Polls — At the end of this week, we see four pollsters releasing surveys, and three of the four show a break toward Walker. The Remington Research Group (Nov. 1-2; 1,150 likely Georgia general election voters) posts Walker to a 49-45 percent edge over Sen. Raphael Warnock (D). Echelon Insights (Oct. 31-Nov. 2; 500 likely Georgia voters; live interview & text) arrives at exactly the same ballot test result as RRG. The Moore Information Group, polling for the Walker campaign, also came to virtually the same conclusion, 49-44 percent.

But, Survey USA (Oct. 29-Nov. 2; 1,171 GA likely voters; online) and Marist College (Oct. 31-Nov. 2; 1,009 likely Georgia voters; multiple sampling techniques) saw the race differently. S-USA found Sen. Warnock holding a 49-43 percent advantage while Marist found a 48-48 percent tie.

House

MI-7: State Sen. Tom Barrett (R) at Parity with Rep. Slotkin (D) — Mitchell Research, polling as they often do for the MIRS news service (Nov. 2; 402 likely MI-7 general election voters; interactive voice response system) sees the contest between Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Lansing) falling into a statistical 48-48 percent tie, with the state legislator leading on the actual count by less than a percentage point. Should Barrett win, it would virtually guarantee that the Democrats will take the loss over Michigan dropping a congressional seat in national reapportionment.

Governor

Arizona: Kelly-Masters Dead Heat Yields Kari Lake (R) Gubernatorial Edge — The aforementioned quartet of pollsters (see Arizona Senate above), Insider Advantage, Remington Research Group, Highmark, and Civiqs, also see Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake leading Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Lake’s margin ranges from one to three points. Though her leads are small, they are consistent through 17 recent studies that project her as the leader. Only two pollsters since Oct. 11 find Hobbs holding the ballot test edge, and then only by one percentage point in both instances. Therefore, it is fair to give Lake the edge heading into election day.

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Pulling Away in New Polls — The aforementioned University of Georgia poll for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (see Georgia Senate above) also tested the state’s competitive governor’s race. Here, incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has led former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) in polling throughout the election cycle. The UGA poll is consistent with this common finding. Again, running far ahead of Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker, Gov. Kemp posts a 51-44 percent advantage, well beyond the polling margin of error for such a statewide poll.

Three of the four pollsters that tested the Senate race in the last few days also asked a question about the governor’s campaign. Remington Research, Echelon Insights, and Survey USA all find Kemp leading Abrams by 14, 7, and 7 points, respectively. It also appears clear that Gov. Kemp is headed toward a clear victory once ballot counting officially begins.

Redistricting After-Effects

Click the map above or this link to go to an interactive version: Dave’s Redistricting App

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 24, 2022 — As more states complete their redistricting process and additional data becomes available, we are beginning to catch a glimpse of each party’s path to either keeping or re-claiming the House majority in the coming midterm election.

The FiveThirtyEight statistical organization along with the Dave’s Redistricting App operation are the two data groups that are charting each district as the states complete their decennial task of drawing new congressional district boundaries.

At this point, we have usable projection data from the two organizations in 350 of the nation’s 435 congressional districts, meaning newly completed maps in all but eight states. (FiveThirtyEight has not yet analyzed the new North Carolina map because the court has not yet given final approval, but Dave’s App has calculated based upon the version now before the judicial panel.) As an aside, several of the outstanding states are large, including Florida (28 congressional districts), Ohio (15 CDs: map was complete but rejected before the state Supreme Court), and Pennsylvania (17 CDs).

At this point we can see, after analyzing each of the 350 completed districts, that redistricting in and of itself will return only a narrow advantage to one party or the other. Considering the still incomplete outstanding states, it is unclear which political entity may earn a slight advantage once the entire process is finalized. Currently, newly created maps are complete (or pending court approval) in 42 states, including five of the six at-large domains whose single-state districts are included in the aforementioned aggregate number.

The FiveThirtyEight projections and Dave’s Redistricting App agree on party advantage in 344 of the completed districts even though they used different mathematical formulas and election complexion to arrive at their conclusions. Therefore, the assigned D or R-plus ratings from FiveThirtyEight consistently align with Dave’s numerical projections for Democratic and Republican strength in each of the 344 CDs.

Of the six districts where the two organizations disagree over party advantage, in each of the half-dozen CDs, the FiveThirtyEight data has projected a stronger Republican number. Three of the six lie in the state of Michigan.

The conflicting districts are:

STATE-DIST MEMBER FiveThirtyEight DAVE R DAVE D
CO-8 NEW SEAT            R+3 46.91% 48.24%
MI-7 SLOTKIN, ELISSA            R+4 47.75% 49.18%
MI-8 KILDEE, DAN            R+1 46.05% 50.84%
MI-10 CREATED SEAT            R+6 47.82% 49.44%
TX-15 CREATED SEAT            EVEN 46.73% 51.02%
VA-2 LURIA, ELAINE            R+6 48.35% 49.58%

(Note: a “New Seat” is one drawn in a state that was awarded an extra seat, or two in the case of Texas, through national reapportionment. A “created seat” is a new open district that came as a result of the redistricting process.)

Totaling the 344 districts where FiveThirtyEight and the Dave’s App are in agreement as to party advantage, the Democrats would gain 12 Republican, new, or created districts; while the GOP would gain 10 Democratic, new, or created seats.

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