Tag Archives: Nevada

Hill Harper Announces for Senate; Nevada’s Brown Will Run for Senate; Sen. Ted Cruz Picks Up Challenger; Jockeying in Alaska for House Seat

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, July 13, 2023

Senate

Frank Eugene “Hill” Harper (D), one of the stars of the “CSI: NY” and “The Good Doctor” programs

Michigan: Actor Announces for Senate — As expected, actor Frank Eugene “Hill” Harper (D), one of the stars of the “CSI: NY” and “The Good Doctor” programs, announced that he will compete in the open Michigan US Senate primary. He becomes the fourth major candidate, and third African American, in the Democratic primary. He joins US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing), Michigan State Board of Education president Pamela Pugh, and former state Rep. Leslie Love.

The crowded field likely plays well for the perceived leader, Rep. Slotkin. This primary will take a long while to unfold, however. The Michigan primary won’t occur until Aug. 6, 2024, and its competitiveness could tamp down the Democrats’ advantage in the general election. Though the party primary may well be more eventful considering Harper’s entry, Rep. Slotkin must still be rated as the favorite for the party nomination and to win the seat in the November election. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is retiring after serving what will be four full terms.

Nevada: Republicans Score Candidate Prospect — In another move that has been expected for several months, disabled Afghan War veteran and 2022 Senate candidate Sam Brown (R) announced he will return to again compete in a Nevada US Senate race. This time, he hopes to capture the Republican nomination and challenge first-term Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen.

In ’22, Brown lost the party primary to former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, 56-34 percent, but raised an impressive $4 million-plus for his effort. Laxalt would then lose the general election to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by fewer than 18,000 votes from more than 1 million ballots cast. Now, it appears that Brown has the inside track for the party nomination and would be an interesting candidate in the general election. A strong Brown candidacy could elevate Nevada into top-tier campaign status.

Texas: State Senator Enters Battle to Challenge Sen. Cruz — San Antonio area state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D) announced Tuesday that he will enter the Texas Democratic primary, which will likely ignite a difficult nomination battle against US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) who announced his candidacy in early May. The eventual party nominee will then challenge two-term Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the general election.

Sen. Gutierrez, who represents a legislative domain similar to that of US Rep. Tony Gonzales’ (R-San Antonio) congressional district in that it begins in the metro area and then stretches through most of west Texas toward El Paso, is a strong gun control advocate. Prior to defeating a Republican incumbent to win a Senate seat in 2020, Gutierrez had served six terms in the state House of Representatives.

Rep. Allred is reporting raising more than $6.2 million for his Senate effort after announcing his candidacy, but now will have to spend heavily just to win the party nomination in March. It is likely the beneficiary of what will be a hotly contested race between Allred and Gutierrez is Sen. Cruz. The Texas primary is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

House

AK-AL: Nick Begich (R) Considering Another House Bid — Businessman Nick Begich III, whose grandfather was a Democratic congressman and uncle, Mark Begich, served as a Democratic US senator before losing to current Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, is again reportedly contemplating a run for the state’s at-large US House seat. He participated in the 2022 special and regular elections as a Republican, qualifying for the secondary election both times, but failing in Ranked Choice Voting.

Many observers believed he would be the strongest candidate against Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Bethel) who won both of those elections by outdueling Sarah Palin in the Ranked Choice rounds. Should Begich run in 2024, it is probable he would have a strong chance to end in the final round with Rep. Peltola. The at-large Alaska seat is now the most Republican congressional district in the country to send a Democrat to the US House.

New California Senate Entry; Montana’s Sheehy Gets Major Endorsement; Former Nevada Senate Candidate Ready to Announce; Louisiana & North Carolina Governor News

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Senate

Former Google executive Lexi Reese

California: New Senate Entry — Wealthy former Google executive Lexi Reese (D), who says she will spend some of her own fortune on the open statewide US Senate race, announced that she will enter the California March 5 all-party primary for the right to succeed retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D).

While her path to claim one of the two qualifying positions necessary for advancing into the general election is narrow since she faces sitting US Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Katie Porter (D-Irvine), and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), the chances of her taking enough Democratic votes to potentially allow a Republican to sneak past the Democratic field and clinch a general election ballot slot becomes more plausible. The California Senate race will be one of the main attractions on Super Tuesday.

Montana: Another Major Endorsement for Sheehy — On the heels of retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy announcing his senatorial campaign and receiving the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsement, another has come his way. Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) also announced his public support for Sheehy.

It is clear the Republican political establishment is getting solidly behind Sheehy in an attempt to deny Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), who soon will announce his own Senate candidacy, the nomination. Rep. Rosendale begins with a large polling lead, so it will be worth watching to see if the Montana Republican establishment has enough pull to thwart a strong Rosendale bid. The eventual party nominee then challenges three-term Sen. Jon Tester (D) in what should be considered a must-win contest for the GOP.

Nevada: Former Candidate Ready to Announce — Disabled Afghan War veteran Sam Brown lost the 2022 Senate Republican primary to former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, but raised more than $4.4 million for his race, which caught the attention of the Nevada Republican leaders. Reports are surfacing that suggest Brown will return for the 2024 campaign and will announce his intentions this month. Should he enter the Republican primary, he will face former state assemblyman and ex-Secretary of State nominee Jim Marchant.

The eventual Republican nominee will then challenge first-term Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) in what has the potential of becoming a top-tier 2024 Senate race.

Governor

Louisiana: Dueling Polls — Two all-party jungle gubernatorial primary polls have been released brandishing very different conclusions. The Remington Research Group (June 22-25; 896 likely Louisiana voters) released a survey this week that projected a close open contest. They found the lone Democratic candidate, former Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, who is now the officially endorsed party candidate, usurping all Republicans to capture the lead with 27 percent, two points ahead of Attorney General Jeff Landry. Former Louisiana Chamber of Commerce CEO and ex-gubernatorial chief of staff Stephen Waguespack placed a relatively close third with 16 percent.

WPA Intelligence released their earlier poll to counter the Remington data. In their survey (June 15-17; 500 registered Louisiana voters; live interview & text) WPAi sees Landry (R) leading the candidate field with a 35 percent preference figure. Former Secretary Wilson secures the second general election runoff slot with 17 percent. In this poll, Waguespack (R) is a distant third with six percent support.

The Louisiana open governor’s primary is scheduled for Oct. 14. Since it is likely that no candidate will receive majority support, the top two finishers, regardless of political party affiliation, will advance into the general election runoff, which is on the calendar for Nov. 18. Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who has already endorsed Wilson, is ineligible to seek a third term.

North Carolina: Budding Dem Primary on the Horizon — It has been presumed that Attorney General Josh Stein (D) would see little in the way of Democratic primary opposition in his bid to succeed term-limited Gov. Roy Cooper (D), but such may not ultimately be the case. Democratic state Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan made a public comment late last week that clearly suggests he is seriously considering becoming a gubernatorial candidate.

Understanding that Stein was only re-elected attorney general with just 50.1 percent of the vote in 2020, many in the Democratic Party may believe the party would fare better with a fresh face come the 2024 general election. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and former Congressman Mark Walker are the leading Republican candidates. This is a developing story.

Hispanics: A New Political Wild Card

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, June 29, 2023

Electorate

Mayra Flores

Hispanics: Swing Demographic — A new nationwide poll suggests the Hispanic community is now becoming much more of a swing demographic than its previous status as a homogenic Democratic voting bloc. While the Democrats still maintain majority support within Latino communities throughout the country, their margins are beginning to wane.

The Ipsos polling firm partnering with the Axios news service and Noticias Telemundo conducted an online nationwide poll of 1,116 Latino adults and registered voters over the June 2-9 period. Possibly the most surprising response is that a respondent plurality of 32 percent believes that neither party cares about them. A total of 30 percent say the Democrats care more about them, 11 percent believe Republicans do, another 11 percent say both do, and 15 percent did not respond for various reasons.

The Ipsos/Telemundo polling analysis further says that the Hispanic numbers are down considerably for Democrats when compared to historical trends. The study compares the 60 percent of the vote Latinos delivered for Democrats in 2022 to Presidents John F. Kennedy receiving 90 percent of the Latino vote in 1960, and Jimmy Carter attracting 82 percent Hispanic support in 1976. In 2022, Republicans garnered 39 percent of the Hispanic vote, which is a significant increase. Any time the Republicans reach 36 percent in this demographic category they are exceeding their national vote goal.

The analysis also points out that non-partisan Hispanic voters are outpacing those who choose a political party affiliation in Arizona, Florida, and Nevada. They are not alone, however, as the population at-large appears to be moving more toward Independent or non-affiliated political party status in most places but particularly the aforementioned.

The analysis also illustrates the fact that Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in the country, making them even more valuable as a voting center. The analysts quote US Census figures indicating that the entire US Latino population now exceeds 62 million, which is a whopping 23 percent growth factor in the decade ending in April of 2020.

The analysis also says that while Hispanics are gravitating more toward Republicans in Florida, they are still strongly Democratic in California and holding their own for Democrats in Texas. The analysts suggest, however, that Republicans under-performed among Hispanics in Texas, saying Democrats were able to hold “statewide and district” victories in critical places because of Hispanic loyalty.

The Texas analysis is flawed, however. There were 12 statewide races in the Lone Star on the 2022 ballot, including contests for state Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals. Republicans won all 12 with a very consistent voting pattern. GOP victories in the statewide contests ranged from just beyond 53 percent to just over 57 percent, while the Democrats consistently fell between 41 and 44 percent. These are typical Texas electoral results.

The one race they claim flipped to the Democrats in Hispanic South Texas was GOP Rep. Mayra Flores’ loss. The analysts did not complete their research. The contest Flores won in a 2022 special election was in a different district than her regular 2022 election campaign because of redistricting.

In the original 34th District, the FiveThirtyEight data organization found a partisan swing of D+5. In the new 34th, where she was paired with Democratic incumbent Vicente Gonzalez of McAllen, the Democrats gained 12 points on the same partisan lean scale to arrive at a D+17 figure. The final vote tally in favor of Rep. Gonzalez was 53-44 percent, which is in line with the traditional partisan voting pattern for such a district.

The Hispanic Republican swing in South Texas, however, is quite real. Of the five congressional districts that touch the Mexican border, Republicans now control two, and the third Democratic seat, the 28th District, is Rep. Henry Cuellar’s (D-Laredo) domain. He is generally regarded as the most conservative Democrat remaining in the House.

The overall premise of the Ipsos/Telemundo poll is that a much larger portion of the Hispanic vote is now more open to both parties. This development is an opportunity for Republicans, but it remains to be seen if the party can craft a series of messages that will convince a larger number of Hispanics to vote their way.

Together with the Asian population, Hispanics represent a Republican opportunity group that the party needs to offset its poor standing among suburban women and college educated voters, a latter trend that only seems to widen. If the GOP is successful in attracting more Latinos and Asians, 2024 could prove to be a watershed political realignment year.

Blunt Rochester Announces in Delaware; Montana’s Rosendale Way Up; An NV-1 Rematch Shaping Up;
OR-5 Democratic Primary Forming

By Jim Ellis — Friday, June 23, 2023

Senate

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington)

Delaware: Rep. Blunt Rochester Announces — As expected, Delaware at-large US Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington) officially declared her US Senate candidacy. The move became obvious when Sen. Tom Carper (D) announced his retirement in May, and as part of his address encouraged the congresswoman, a former aide and appointee when Carper was governor, to run for the seat.

Rep. Blunt Rochester, first elected in 2016, is expected to have little opposition both in the Democratic primary and general election. The Senate seat will remain in the Democratic column. There could be developing competition brewing for Blunt Rochester’s open House seat, however.

Montana: Rep. Rosendale Way Up in GOP Primary Poll — Public Policy Polling tested the Montana Republican Senate primary (June 19-20; 51 likely Montana Republican primary voters; live interview & text) and sees US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) as the big early leader. According to the ballot test, Rep. Rosendale posts ahead of retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, 64-10 percent. The congressman faced seven different Montana electorates in the past seven elections and won five times.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee leadership would prefer a different candidate since Rep. Rosendale is viewed as part of the far right flank of the Republican Conference and lost to Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the 2018 campaign, but the statewide GOP polling sample propelled him to a huge lead for a potential 2024 Senate race. Thus, whether the national Republican leadership likes it or not, Rep. Rosendale, when he announces for the Senate, must be viewed as the clear favorite to win the Republican nomination. He would then advance into the general election for a re-match with Sen. Tester, the lone Democratic statewide office holder in Montana. This is one of top three Republican conversion opportunities in the nation.

House

NV-1: Re-Match Possibility — In November, financial planner Mark Robertson (R) held Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) to a 52-46 percent re-election victory in a district that had been drastically changed through redistricting. Many, however, viewed the result as a Republican under-performance in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+4.

Whether Robertson gets another chance to oppose Rep. Titus remains a question. He has Republican primary opposition from business consultant Ron Quince and restaurant chain owner Flemming Larsen.

All three Las Vegas Democratic seats have competitive potential. With such a slim House majority and the Alabama racial gerrymandering ruling from the Supreme Court favoring the Democratic position, the Republicans will pursue as many offensive opportunities as possible. Therefore, expect Nevada to become another hotbed of political activity in 2024.

OR-5: Democratic Primary Forming — Two weeks ago, Oregon Metro President Lynn Peterson (D) announced her entry into the Congressional District 5 Democratic primary; Wednesday, state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) filed a committee with the Federal Election Commission to join her as the perceived two top candidates. The winner will advance to challenge freshman Rep. Lori Chavez DeRemer (R-Happy Valley).

The 5th District race will be hotly contested. Chavez-DeRemer defeated Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner by a 51-49 percent margin in November. McLeod-Skinner, a first-time candidate in Oregon but former local office holder in California, had already defeated incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary. She is also a potential 2024 candidate. The district carries a D+3 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization and is categorized as a swing district. This will be a top Democratic conversion opportunity seat and will attract national political attention.

Sununu Gaining Ground in NH; Becker Passes in Nevada; A Utah Mayor to Challenge Romney; Poll Shows tight North Carolina Governor’s Race

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, May 25, 2023

President

Gov. Chris Sununu (R)

New Hampshire: Movement for Sununu — The National Research, Inc. polling firm, surveying for the American Greatness organization, tested the New Hampshire Republican electorate and found Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who will likely soon enter the presidential contest, gaining ground. He will obviously need to score well before his home electorate if he is to become a viable national contender.

According to the NR data (May 15-17; 500 likely New Hampshire Republican presidential primary voters), former President Donald Trump continues to lead the group of candidates with 39 percent support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is second with 18%, with Gov. Sununu now close behind at 17 percent. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy surprisingly rose to the top of the second tier with six percent. No other candidate or potential contender even broke the three percent threshold.

Senate

Nevada: Another Takes Pass — April Becker, the Republican congressional nominee who held Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) to a 52-48 percent re-election victory last November and was reported to be considering entering the 2024 US Senate race, has made a decision about her political future. Instead of running for the Senate next year, she will launch a campaign for the Clark County Commission. At this point, it appears that disabled American veteran Sam Brown could become the leading GOP Senate candidate.

Utah: Local GOP Mayor to Challenge Sen. Romney — Riverton Mayor Trent Skaggs (R) announced through a video presentation that he will challenge Sen. Mitt Romney in the impending GOP primary. It is likely that Skaggs will qualify through the convention process, while Sen. Romney will be forced into the signature petition qualification route. Earlier, state House Speaker Brad Wilson had filed a US Senate exploratory committee. Former US representative and Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz is also said to be weighing his potential opportunities in a race against Sen. Romney.

In any event, having to fight a primary opponent is a likelihood for the incumbent Sen. Romney.

Governor

Kentucky: Poll Shows Tight Race — Just after last week’s Kentucky Republican primary nominated Attorney General Daniel Cameron to challenge Gov. Andy Beshear (D), the co/efficient GOP polling firm, for the Cameron campaign, went into the field. The survey (May 18-19; 987 likely 2023 Kentucky general election voters) sees Gov. Beshear holding only a two-point, 45-43 percent, edge over AG Cameron.

The closeness of this ballot test result is surprising considering Gov. Beshear’s job approval rating index is very favorable. Expect this race to be in competitive mode all the way through the November election.

Battleground Polling

By Jim Ellis — Monday, May 1, 2023

President

Battleground States: A Look Inside the Numbers — The key 2024 presidential campaign battleground states are already known, and a national polling firm just completed a study covering five of these critical domains.

Public Opinion Strategies (POS) conducted a series of 500-sample general election polls in the important battleground states during the April 11-20 period, and all of the surveys produced very close results while highlighting a familiar pattern. This research gives us an early indication that we will again see a tight general election campaign.

POS tested both former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis individually against President Joe Biden in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In every instance, we see DeSantis running better when paired against Biden than does Trump.

First, in Arizona, President Biden would lead Trump by a single point, 45-44 percent, while DeSantis would record a six-point advantage over the Democratic incumbent, 48-42 percent.

For Republicans, Arizona is one of the most critical states on the board. Unless the eventual GOP nominee can capture Arizona and Georgia — the Peach State was not included in the POS battleground state study – the chances of attaining national victory are almost nil. Together, these two states account for 27 of the 35 conversion electoral votes a Republican candidate will need to win the White House.

Michigan, based upon the 2022 election results, is now viewed as leaning decidedly toward the Democrats, so the Wolverine State will likely not be as heavily emphasized on the Republican target list as some of the others covered in the POS multi-state study. Still, the current polling results put the Republicans within early victory range.

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Arizona Sheriff May Announce for Senate; Senate Candidates Poised in Nevada; CA-27 Candidates Emerging

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Senate

Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (R)

Arizona: Republicans May Soon Have a Candidate — Political reports in Arizona suggest that Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (R) may announce his US Senate candidacy as early as this week. Most of the attention so far has been upon whether 2022 gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake would enter the race. She has yet to say whether another campaign is in her immediate plans.

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) is an announced candidate, and has been leading in the most recent polling. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) appears to be preparing to seek a second term, but has not yet said whether she will run on the No Labels Party ticket after leaving the Democrats. Count upon the Arizona Senate race again becoming one of the top races in the country next year.

Nevada: Rosen Raising; Republicans Deciding — Nevada political sources indicate that both former GOP US Senate candidate Sam Brown and defeated 2022 congressional nominee April Becker may both soon announce 2024 US Senate campaigns.

Brown became more of a factor in the 2022 Senate primary than originally expected due to impressive fundraising, but still lost to former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt who would then lose a close general election contest to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D). Becker lost a 52-48 percent decision to Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) in the 3rd Congressional District battle.

Meanwhile, incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) has been hard at work on the fundraising trail. Her campaign indicates the senator will report $2.4 million raised for the quarter ending March 31, with more than $6 million cash-on-hand. Expect another close race here, but Sen. Rosen must be considered the favorite to win a second term.

House

CA-27: Two Democrats Making Moves — Southern California US Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) won his most impressive victory in 2022, a 53-47 percent victory over former state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D) in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+8, and Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the district partisan lean at 53.7D – 44.3R. With Smith now losing three times, Democrats are looking toward other options. We can again expect this to become a national congressional campaign.

Former Virgin Galactic CEO and ex-NASA chief of staff George Whitesides (D), who was the first to announce his candidacy earlier this year, is reportedly going to disclose more than $500,000 raised for the 2024 race in the March 31 Federal Election Commission quarterly disclosure report and another $500,000 self-contributed.

Franky Carrillo (D), who was wrongly imprisoned for 22 years for a murder later proved that he did not commit, and was then awarded a $19 million settlement from the state of California, is expected to formally launch his campaign later this month.