By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023
PresidentIowa Poll: Margin Tightening — Public Opinion Strategies tested the Iowa electorate just after the Republican presidential debate (POS for Citizen Awareness Project; Aug. 24; 400 likely Iowa Republican Caucus attenders; live interview) and their flash poll numbers show some movement within the Hawkeye State voting pool. The ballot test projects former President Donald Trump to hold a 41-21-11-7-7 percent lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
The numbers represent a seven-point gain for Gov. DeSantis, who most believe delivered the strongest debate performance. Haley also gained eight points while Sen. Scott and Ramaswamy lost one and three points, respectively, when compared with the pre-debate POS survey.
Nebraska: Ricketts May Avoid Challenge — Rancher and former gubernatorial candidate Chuck Herbster (R), who lost the 2022 open Republican nomination for governor despite receiving former President Trump’s endorsement, indicates he is still “considering” challenging appointed senator and former Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) next year, but clearly doesn’t have running on his front burner. He said, while still thinking about the race, his top objective is working to see that Trump returns to the White House.
The response suggests that Herbster is unlikely to challenge Sen. Ricketts. If not, it is probable that the new senator will have an easy run for the Republican nomination and in the general election. Sen. Ricketts, appointed when former Sen. Ben Sasse (R) resigned to become the University of Florida’s president, must stand for election in 2024 to fill the balance of the unexpired term. Assuming he wins next year, he will then seek a full six-year term in 2026.
IN-1: New GOP Candidate Emerging Against Rep. Mrvan — In 2022, then-freshman Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-Highland/Gary) fought back a tough challenge from Republican Jennifer-Ruth Green and recorded a 53-47 percent victory in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+7 and Dave’s Redistricting App sees the partisan lean dividing 56.5D – 41.0R. Though Rep. Mrvan, an upset winner in the 2020 Democratic primary after veteran Rep. Peter Visclosky (D) retired, was re-elected his victory percentage should be viewed as an under-performance. Thus, he is somewhat vulnerable in 2024.
While Green may still be thinking about launching a re-match campaign, Lake County councilman, business owner, and local Republican Party chairman Randy Niemeyer is making plans to enter the race. Though the district is definitively Democratic, and the African American population reaches just under 20 percent to form a solid base for any Democratic standard bearer, the seat appears to becoming more competitive. Whether the eventual Republican nominee is Green or Niemeyer, the IN-1 race is 2024 will merit political attention.
NY-18: Former Lieutenant Governor Nominee Readies Congressional Campaign — Lieutenant governor nominee from 2022, Alison Esposito (R), is reportedly stepping up her efforts to soon declare her congressional candidacy hoping clinch the GOP nomination in order to challenge freshman Rep. Pat Ryan (D-Gardiner). Ryan won the regular 2022 general election, defeating then-Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R) by a tight 49.6 – 48.3 percent margin. Rep. Ryan was first elected to the House in a special election a few months earlier in the neighboring 19th District. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-18 as D+3, meaning this seat Orange County-anchored CD will again become a political battleground in 2024.