By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023
PresidentCNN Poll: Five Republicans Lead Biden — The new CNN national poll (conducted by the SSRS research company, CNN’s regular polling firm; Aug. 25-31; 1,503 US adults; live interview & text) found no fewer than five of the announced Republican presidential candidates holding small leads over President Joe Biden in general election ballot tests.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley fared best, scoring a six-point advantage over the president. Two-point leaders included former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Former President Donald Trump held a one-point edge, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tied Biden. The only Republican contender to fall behind Biden, and by only one point, is businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
This poll, consistent with many other findings, again sees the Republicans doing better in a sample comprised of adults as opposed to registered or likely voters. This suggests the GOP is doing better than Democrats with non-voters, meaning the party will have to find a way to identify, register, and turn these habitual non-voters into participants.
CA-11: Rep. Pelosi to Return — Though many expected 83-year-old former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) to retire, she instead announced a re-election bid for a 20th term in Congress late last week. In her statement, Rep. Pelosi said, “our country needs America to show the world that our flag is still there, with liberty and justice for ALL. That is why I am running for reelection — and respectfully ask for your vote.” She will easily be renominated and re-elected next year.
MI-3: Ex-Judicial Candidate Announces for Congress — Attorney and Michigan Supreme Court judicial candidate Paul Hudson (R), who finished fourth in a field of five 2022 candidates, announced for Congress at the end of last week. He hopes to oppose freshman Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-Grand Rapids) in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+3.
Last November, Scholten defeated Republican John Gibbs, 55-42 percent, after he upset one-term Rep. Peter Meijer (R) in the GOP primary. The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission transformed what was a safe Republican 3rd District that originally elected Meijer to one that favors the Democrats.
Hudson is the third announced Republican candidate but is clearly the most credible. Should he prevail in the Aug. 6, 2024, GOP primary, assessments will be made as to whether he will become a top-tier challenger candidate. MI-3, however, is the type of politically marginal district that the GOP must win in 2024 in order to protect and enhance the party’s slim majority.
Utah: Gov. Cox Draws GOP Challenge — State Rep. Phil Lyman (R-Blanding), who hails from San Juan County in the far southeastern corner of the Beehive State, which includes the “Four Corners” where Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico meet, announced he will challenge Republican Gov. Spencer Cox in next year’s Republican convention and potentially the state primary.
Lyman, a land rights radical, received a pardon from former President Trump after the government arrested him for his protest activities. Gov. Cox may not be particularly popular with the Republican base, so Lyman may have a chance to assemble a significant support coalition at the state convention.