By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023
Insider Advantage Poll: Haley Gaining — The Insider Advantage polling organization (Sept. 29-30; 850 likely US voters) finds former UN Ambassador and ex-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley getting a bounce from the second Republican primary debate. According to the IA ballot test, former President Donald Trump continues to dominate the field with 50 percent support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is second with 15 percent, just ahead of Haley’s 14 percent score.
Haley gained three percentage points since the firm’s late August poll, while Gov. DeSantis’ support fell by the same margin. No other candidate reached double digits. The candidate falling furthest from August, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, dropped from seven to three percent support.
HouseSpeaker Vote: Eight Rs Against McCarthy; Three Not Voting — The House Speaker saga continues with Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) being removed from the post on a 216-210 vote. McCarthy likely has at least two more votes from those Republicans not voting yesterday. Texas US Reps. John Carter (R-Round Rock) and Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) were loyal McCarthy supporters in the original 15 votes. The other non-voting Republican was Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), who typically votes with the Freedom Caucus.
With the two vacancies – the RI-1 and UT-2 special elections are scheduled for Nov. 7 and Nov. 21, respectively – the House stands at 433 members. Therefore, the winning speaker candidate must obtain 217 votes instead of the typical 218. Assuming at least two more votes from yesterday’s non-voters, McCarthy would need to convince five of the nine Republicans who either voted against him or did not vote (Luna).
The eight Republicans against are: Reps. Eli Crane (R-AZ-2), Andy Biggs (R-AZ-5), Ken Buck (R-CO-4), Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1), Matt Rosendale (R-MT-2), Nancy Mace (R-SC-1), Tim Burchett (R-TN-2), and Bob Good (R-VA-5). Six of these members consistently opposed McCarthy in January. Reps. Buck and Mace are the newcomers to this group.
Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-9), Lauren Boebert (R-CO-3), Dan Bishop (R-NC-8), Byron Donalds (R-FL-19), Victoria Spartz (R-IN-5), Andy Ogles (R-TN-5), and Chip Roy (R-TX-21), who had either opposed McCarthy in January or voted “present,” all supported him in this vote. Filling that now vacant seat is a fluid and ever-evolving situation.
NV-4: Ex-Mayor Announces — John Lee (R), the former North Las Vegas mayor and ex-state legislator, announced that he will enter the competitive 4th District congressional race next year. Assuming Lee wins the Republican primary, he will face four-term US Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas). Lee entered the 2022 gubernatorial race but did not fare well in the Republican primary. He placed fourth, only attracting eight percent of the vote.
In the congressional race, with his North Las Vegas base included within this district, he will be a formidable general election candidate in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+5. The Daily Kos Elections site ranking the district as the 34th most vulnerable seat in the 213-member Democratic Conference.
OH-9: Majewski Returns — J.R. Majewski, the 2022 Republican nominee who lost to veteran Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) on a substantial 57-43 percent vote largely due to his January 6 history, was originally in the 2024 race, then out, and has now injected himself back into the race. Majewski was able to win a contested primary in 2022 with just a base conservative vote of 36 percent, since the remaining votes were split among three others.
His main opponent in the 2024 primary election, former state Rep. Craig Riedel, was one of the multi-candidates in the last GOP nomination contest. It appears Riedel has more unified support this time around and will likely be favored over the returning Majewski.
With the FiveThirtyEight data organization rating OH-9 as R+6, and the Daily Kos Elections site ranking the district as the fifth most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference, expect this race to draw a great deal of national political attention from beginning to end.