By Jim Ellis — Friday, March 17, 2023
PresidentNational Polls: Conflicting Results — While national polls don’t mean much in terms of projecting who will win a presidential nomination because the ultimate winner is decided through accumulating delegate votes through the states, we now see a released pair of interesting Republican nomination surveys conducted during the same period.
The CNN national survey (conducted by SSRS; March 8-12; 1,040 registered US voters; live interview & online) showed that the ballot test favored Gov. Ron DeSantis, who led former President Donald Trump 39-37 percent. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and ex-Vice President Mike Pence were a distant third and fourth with 7 and 6 percent, respectively.
Conversely, Quinnipiac University, in the field with their national poll (March 9-13; 677 Republican and Republican-leaning voters; live interview) projects a completely different ballot test result. The Q-Poll sees Trump holding a strong 46-32 percent lead over Gov. DeSantis, with Haley and Pence following at 5 and 3 percent, respectively.
Because the sample sizes are typically small for national polls, and therefore possess high error factors, we can expect to see continued diverse survey results as the campaign continues to take shape.
Pennsylvania: 2022 Senate Candidate Won’t Try Again — Businesswoman and political activist Kathy Barnette, who placed a credible third place with 25 percent of the vote behind both Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick in the 2022 Pennsylvania Republican US Senate primary, says she will not return to run again next year. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the major outside GOP support organizations are attempting to recruit McCormick into next year’s challenge race against Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D).
Doug Mastriano, the ‘22 Republican gubernatorial nominee and a state senator from Chambersburg, says he is considering a comeback. Republican leaders are working to ensure a Mastriano repeat does not happen since he was defeated 56-42 percent in the general election and failed to run a competitive campaign. In any event, Sen. Casey will be favored for re-election.
Wisconsin: Businessman Considering Challenge to Sen. Baldwin — Business owner Scott Mayer (R) confirms he is considering competing for the Wisconsin US Senate nomination in a race that has not yet seen much activity. Mayer is capable of self-funding his race, though he says it’s “not something he is comfortable with.” He has been told he might have to fund as much as $20 million to run a competitive race.
At this point, no notable Republican has come forward to declare their Senate candidacy. Since Wisconsin always features close races, it is probable that this contest has the eventual potential of becoming a top-tier targeted campaign.
TX-34: Ex-Rep Leaning Against Re-Match — Republican Mayra Flores made national news in 2022 when she scored an upset special election win in the Texas Rio Grande Valley 34th District that is anchored in the city of Brownsville. In the regular election, however, she fell 51-43 percent to fellow Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) who decided to run in the 34th instead of his previous 15th CD.
The principal reason for Flores losing was redistricting. The 34th went from a D+5 to a D+17 under the FiveThirtyEight data organization statistical calculation making the seat difficult for any Republican to attain.
Seeing the political reality, Flores is indicating that she is unlikely to run again in 2024. In order to make the adjacent 15th CD more winnable for a Republican, which happened with the election of Rep. Monica de la Cruz (R-McAllen) in November, the 34th became more Democratic. The redistricting map was drawn long before Flores won the special election, hence the lopsided partisan lean for a district the GOP was able to convert.