The EllisInsight will take a break to enjoy the holiday Thursday and will resume regular publishing Friday. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023
SenateMichigan: Toss-Up New Poll — Regular Michigan pollster EPIC-MRA, conducting another survey for the Detroit Free Press newspaper (Nov. 10-16; 600 likely Michigan general election voters) again sees a close US Senate general election. The eventual winner will succeed Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) who is retiring after four terms.
While the presidential ballot test finds former President Donald Trump leading President Joe Biden 46-41 percent, and with former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley posting an 11-point advantage against the incumbent president, US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) still maintains a small margin over both of her leading Republicans — former Congressman Mike Rogers and retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig. Against each, Slotkin holds a two-point edge, meaning the open Michigan Senate race could soon be rated as a top-tier 2024 campaign.
CA-29: Rep. Tony Cardenas to Retire — Six-term California Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Pacoima/Los Angeles) announced Monday that he will not seek re-election next year. Cardenas becomes the fifth California House member, and third from Los Angeles County, to voluntarily leave the House at the end of the current Congress.
Democrats will have little trouble holding this heavily Hispanic district (Hispanic population: 61.1 percent). The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-29 as D+51, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a whopping 77.6D – 20.4R partisan lean. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the district as the 28th safest seat in the Democratic Conference. Immediately upon Rep. Cardenas making his announcement, state Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) announced that she will run for the newly open seat.
CA-47: Dead Heat General Election Polling — The Global Strategy Group just released the results of a late October internal poll conducted for Democrat Joanna Weiss in California’s open 47th Congressional District. The survey (Oct. 24-30; 500 likely CA-47 general election voters) finds both Weiss, an Orange County attorney, and state Sen. David Min (D-Irvine) embroiled in dead heats with former state Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R). Weiss would nip Baugh, 43-42 percent, while the Republican would hold the same edge over Min.
The pollsters tested the respondent’s reaction to Sen. Min being charged with a DWI violation where he registered a blood alcohol level twice the legal amount. A video of the arrest has also been released. The poll finds that 66 percent of the residents are “deeply concerned” about Sen. Min’s legal situation. His action, however, did not stop the California Democratic Party, at their state convention over the past weekend, from officially endorsing Sen. Min in the congressional race.
Baugh was a general election finalist in the 2022 election, losing to incumbent Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) by a 51.7 – 48.3 percent count. With Rep. Porter now running for Senate, this open-seat race will be one of the most important in the country toward determining the next House majority.
UT-2: Special Election — The contest to choose a successor to resigned Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington) concluded yesterday. Republican Celeste Maloy, Rep. Stewart’s formal legal counsel, and Democratic state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights) were the two main contenders for the seat. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the district as R+23 and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks UT-2 as the 81st most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. Maloy prevailed, securing 58 percent of the vote to Riebe’s 34 percent. There were a handful of other candidates, all of whom registered in the very low single digits. (See results here: The Salt Lake Tribune)
This is a race the Republicans were predicted to win comfortably with a victory percentage in the high 50s. A lesser performance would suggest that translating positive polling into actual votes would continue to be somewhat elusive. That did not happen.