By Jim Ellis, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023
Bloomberg/Morning Consult Polls: Trump Sweeping Biden in Swing States — Bloomberg News and Morning Consult partnered for a swing state polling series in the domains that will likely decide the 2024 presidential election: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Individual surveys were conducted in each state during the Nov. 27 through Dec. 6 period. Sample sizes ranged from 451 registered voters to 801 such individuals depending upon the state’s population size. All included Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the questionnaire along with Independent Cornel West and likely Green Party nominee Jill Stein.
Trump led in all seven polls both when the ballot test included the minor candidates and when he and President Joe Biden were isolated. Trump’s margins (with the minor party candidates) were: Arizona (+4), Georgia (+7), Michigan (+4), Nevada (+5), North Carolina (+9), Pennsylvania (+1), and Wisconsin (+6).
To win the election, Trump would need to hold North Carolina, and carry Georgia plus one or two of the other aforementioned states. Trump’s smallest configuration to yield a victory of 270 electoral votes — and this assumes he holds all the other states he won in 2020 — would include Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
New Jersey: Ex-Rep. Malinowski Interviews for Party Senate Endorsements — Former US Rep. Tom Malinowski (D), who served two terms in the House before his re-election defeat in 2022 and who is now an unannounced US Senate candidate, conducted interviews with the Union County municipal Democratic Party chairmen seeking their endorsement for his potential statewide bid. Malinowski represented most of Union County in the US House. New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) already are in the primary race, challenging indicted Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.
Malinowski would have to overcome long odds in order to win the party nomination, and it is no foregone conclusion that he will actually enter the race. Despite calls for his resignation, Menendez is not leaving the Senate, nor has he ruled out running for re-election. Polls, however, suggest he would badly lose the Democratic primary.
NY-3: Local Republicans Nominate Mazi Melesa Pilip — The Nassau and Queens County Republican Party chairmen have nominated Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip, an Ethiopian-born former member of the Israeli military, as their special election congressional nominee. She will oppose the Democratic nominee, former Congressman Tom Suozzi in the Feb. 13 special election to serve the balance of expelled Rep. George Santos’ (R) term.
Interestingly, Pilip is reportedly still a registered Democrat even though she is an elected Republican and will now be the GOP congressional nominee. She is an interesting choice that will likely draw more attention to what is likely to become a competitive special election.
NC-13: Rep. Wiley Nickel Won’t Seek Re-Election, Will Return in 2026 — In an admission that he would not be successful running for re-election in North Carolina’s newly configured 13th Congressional District, Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary) announced late last week that he would end his career in the US House after one term. Rather, he will return to elective politics in 2026 and challenge Sen. Thom Tillis (R). In that year, Sen. Tillis, assuming he seeks re-election, will be on the ballot for a third term.
The new 13th District begins in the Dunn area south of Raleigh in Harnett County. The seat then moves northward around Raleigh on the east side of Wake County and stretches to the Virginia border. The 2022 state Supreme Court drew a 13th District that shared part of Wake County, annexing the city of Cary, and then moved south of the capital city to include Johnston County and parts of Hartnett and Wayne Counties.
The partisan lean for new Congressional District 13, according to the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians, is 56.6R – 41.2D. Under the map to which Rep. Nickel was elected, the 13th CD held a much different 49.5D – 48.1R partisan lean.
Also leaving the North Carolina congressional delegation are Reps. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) and Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte), who like Rep. Nickel face difficult re-election odds on the new Tar Heel State congressional map. Jackson is running for the open state attorney general’s position and will probably face his colleague in the adjoining congressional district, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte), in the statewide race.
New Jersey: Defeated State Senate President Launches ’25 Gov Campaign — Former New Jersey state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D), who served in the legislature for 20 years before his shocking upset defeat in the 2021 election, announced that he will enter the open 2025 gubernatorial campaign. Sweeney presided over the state Senate as its president for a 14-year period.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is ineligible to seek a third term and as in Virginia, where another odd-numbered gubernatorial position will be open, candidates are already announcing for their respective offices long before even the 2024 election transpires.
Announcing for the 2025 gubernatorial race before Sweeney was Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Both US Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wycoff) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) are reported to be testing the waters to also run for governor. For the Republicans, former state legislator Jack Ciattarelli — immediately after his close 2021 loss to Gov. Murphy — already announced that he would return for another gubernatorial bid in 2025.