Tag Archives: Rep. Cori Bush

RFK Jr. Off Colorado Ballot;
Cruz’s Lead Dwindles in Texas; Baldwin Up in Wisconsin; Mondaire Jones Fails to Win Nomination

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 10, 2024

President

2024 Libertarian Party nominee, Chase Oliver.

Colorado: National Libertarians Rebuff State — The Colorado Libertarian Party’s plan to replace the Libertarian national nominee, Chase Oliver, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on their state ballot has been thwarted. The national office has already sent the official nomination papers to the Colorado Secretary of State designating Oliver as the party’s nominee. Colorado authorities have declared the form, signed by the national Libertarian Party Secretary, as legal and valid. Therefore, it will be Oliver, and not Kennedy, who will appear on the Colorado ballot in November.

Senate

Texas: Cruz’s Lead Dwindles in New Poll — The Manhattan Institute conducted a poll of likely Texas voters (June 25-27; 600 likely Texas general election voters; live interview & text) asking electoral questions and probing the respondents on their positions involving transgender issues.

While the respondents self-identified as conservative by a 44-21 percent division over liberal, Sen. Ted Cruz (R) could only muster a 46-43 percent lead over Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas). This, while former President Donald Trump was leading President Joe Biden within the same polling universe, 45-36 percent.

Most of the disparity came from Sen. Cruz’s upside-down favorability index, which found a nine-point deficit when comparing those who have a favorable opinion of the two-term senator to those who do not (42:51 percent). While Rep. Allred has a positive favorability index, 33:21 percent, almost half of the respondents (45 percent) stated they are unfamiliar with the congressman.

Wisconsin: Sen. Baldwin Expands Advantage — SoCal Research, polling for the On Point Politics blog (June 30-July 2; 490 registered Wisconsin voters) finds Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) expanding her previously smaller lead to a double digit margin, 50-38 percent, over businessman Eric Hovde (R).

The poll, however, seems flawed. First, only 490 registered voters were sampled, a small number for a state with eight congressional districts. Second, the survey’s respondent universe was comprised of 37 percent self-identified Republicans and only 32 percent who aligned themselves with the Democratic Party. A total of 30 percent consider themselves Independents. While Wisconsin does not register voters by political party, this split appears too favorably Republican when compared with the electorate’s voting history, one that consistently delivers razor thin general election margins.

Surprisingly, such a sample gives Democrat Baldwin her best numbers since mid-May. For a Republican-favorable sample, this ballot test appears inconsistent. Comparing to the presidential contest, which is consistent with other polling, former President Trump records a one-point, 44-43 percent, edge over President Biden.

House

NY-17: Jones Loses Working Families Ballot Line — After a recount of the New York Working Families Party 17th Congressional District primary, candidate Anthony Frascone, as formally announced Monday, has officially won the party nomination and will appear on the November ballot.

Former New York Democratic Congressman Mondaire Jones was expected to win the nomination but failed to do so. In New York, the minor parties can award their ballot line to a major party candidate.

The fact that Jones will not have votes coming from the Working Families Party line will likely benefit freshman Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River), who is fighting to win re-election in a Hudson Valley-anchored district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+7 and carries a 56.6D – 41.3R partisan lean according to the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians. In 2022, Lawler upset then-Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) with a slight 49.3 – 48.6 percent victory margin.

MO-1: Rep. Bush Gaining Dem Leader Support — Over the July 4th holiday, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones (D) endorsed Rep. Cori Bush’s (D-St. Louis) bid for renomination on Aug. 6. She faces a strong challenge from former St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell. Rep. Bush is viewed as highly vulnerable in the Democratic primary. Unlike when Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) was denied renomination on June 25, the House Democratic leadership is coming to Rep. Bush’s aide in united fashion. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA), and House Democratic Conference Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-CA), all signed a group endorsement statement for the congresswoman.

While Rep. Bowman’s defeat appeared evident for several weeks, the St. Louis Democratic battle looks to be a much tighter contest. Heavy outside spending is again present in this race, but not to the degree that we saw at a commensurate point against Rep. Bowman. This is still a battle to watch early next month. Rep. Bush, while vulnerable, is in a stronger political position than her fallen “Squad” colleague.

AIPAC’s Next Challenges

By Jim Ellis — Friday, June 28, 2024

Campaign Finance

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is getting most of the credit for Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s (D-NY) Democratic primary defeat earlier in the week, and deservedly so considering their associated entity’s huge expenditures, but will their next endeavors end in a similar manner?

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) at Saturday’s Rally in the Bronx.

Rep. Bowman went down to a crushing 58-42 percent defeat at the hands of Westchester County Executive George Latimer on Tuesday night with the aid of almost $20 million being spent for Latimer and against Bowman in the congressional primary. Most of this outside money came from The United Democracy Project, a Super PAC associated with AIPAC.

Yet, some key facets of this race will not be present in campaigns against a pair of the group’s other important targets. Earlier in the year, when the anti-Israel protests began in earnest the AIPAC leadership pledged to spend $100 million to defeat some of Israel’s strongest adversaries in Congress. With Rep. Bowman successfully unseated, two others, Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), appear to be next in line and though every political race is different, similarities to Bowman’s pre-primary position are relatively strong.

To begin, Rep. Bowman, considering some of his other antics and inflammatory statements uttered during his tenure in the House, made him vulnerable beyond his stance against Israel. Therefore, he was a potential incumbent political casualty even before AIPAC entered the scene. The same is true for Reps. Bush and Omar.

Conversely, Bowman’s opponent is an accomplished politician and much more established than either of the men that Bush and Omar are facing.

As Westchester County Executive, Latimer already represented 91 percent of the 16th District constituency. In the area that he and Bowman had in common, Latimer’s percentage rose to 63.4 percent. In the Bronx borough, where Latimer was not a familiar figure, Rep. Bowman led with 83.6 percent support. The latter domain, however, accounted for less than 10 percent of the overall vote. Prior to his service as Westchester County executive, Latimer was an elected member of the New York Senate and Assembly.

While Reps. Bush and Omar’s opponents are certainly credible, their political resumes are not as formidable as Latimer in New York.

Post-election reports are surfacing through social media that Rep. Bowman was already trailing by 17 points prior to The United Democracy Project even beginning its media blitz. The reports suggested that the ads did not begin until April 3, yet a Mellman Group poll of the NY-16 Democratic constituency conducted over the March 26-30 period already found Rep. Bowman trailing, 52-35 percent.

Another poll, however, from Upswing Research and executed during the March 5-10 period found the race locked in a dead heat, with Rep. Bowman actually leading by a percentage point, 43-42 percent. While the final results suggest the Mellman poll is the more accurate of these two, it may or may not be the case that the incumbent was already trailing badly when the bulk of the media blitz targeting him began.

Additionally, this race is fully contained within the exorbitantly expensive New York City media market, thus one explanation for the huge amount of money being spent. The dollar expenditure in the other districts is unlikely to be as large.

Finally, the United Democracy Project did not fully message the Israel issue. Rather, the bulk of the advertising attacked Rep. Bowman for not supporting President Joe Biden’s legislative initiatives such as his opposition to the infrastructure spending legislation that was passed into law, thus this contest was decided upon other points not directly related to his anti-Israel stance. It is likely that the outside ad campaign will adopt different themes against Bush and Omar.

For her part, Rep. Bush is already issuing statements condemning “AIPAC and their allies” for spending “waves of money” to unseat Bowman. She is clearly trying to create a negative image of the organization since her standing at the commensurate point is similar to where Rep. Bowman stood.

Rep. Bush is under an ethics investigation for misuse of government funds and already finds herself in a tight race with her chief primary opponent, former St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell. A Mellman Group poll taken recently (June 18-22; 400 likely MO-1 Democratic primary voters) found the Aug. 6 primary race locked in a dead heat. The ballot test projected Bell to be leading Rep. Bush by just a single point, 43-42 percent.

Since the AIPAC leadership was good to its word about coming in hard against major anti-Israel members of Congress in Bowman’s case, they will also come into St. Louis in an attempt to even the score with Rep. Bush. It is unlikely they will spend as much as they did in New York, but it is probable the organization will again be a major part of this particular primary campaign in its closing weeks.

The same can be said for Rep. Omar in Minneapolis. Two years ago, former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels held the congresswoman to a scant 50-48 percent victory. This time, Samuels has more credibility as a congressional challenger, scored recent endorsements from major labor unions, and now will likely see major help coming from the AIPAC sources as the candidates battle toward the Aug. 13 Minnesota primary.

There can be no denying that the AIPAC forces were a major component of the coalition that defeated Rep. Bowman. Whether they can help achieve the equivalent result against Reps. Bush and Omar in August remains to be seen.

Significant Lead for Alsobrooks in Maryland; Senate Race Tightens in Nevada; Cori Bush in Dead Heat; Another Dead Heat in WA-3

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, June 27, 2024

Senate

Angela Alsobrooks

Maryland: Alsobrooks Develops Significant Lead — A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) opening an advantage over ex-Gov. Larry Hogan (R) despite his favorable ratings.

The PPP survey (June 19-20; 635 Maryland voters) sees Alsobrooks leading Hogan and a series of independents and minor party candidates (cumulatively), 45-34-5 percent. In a head-to-head ballot test, she leads Hogan 48-40 percent. This, despite a positive Hogan favorability index of 50:33 percent. The biggest drag for Hogan is from the top of the Maryland ticket where President Joe Biden leads former President Donald Trump, 56-30 percent.

Nevada: Race Tightens — A new survey from a Democratic and Republican polling team finds a closer Senate race than the Emerson College poll conducted during the same period. The Fabrizio Ward (R)/Impact Research (D) survey, commissioned for AARP (June 12-18; 600 likely Nevada general election voters; live interview & text) sees Sen. Jacky Rosen (D), riding a media ad blitz, leading Republican Sam Brown, 47-42 percent, while former President Trump has a 44-37-10 percent advantage over President Biden and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I).

Conversely, Emerson College’s study (June 13-18; 1,000 registered Nevada voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Sen. Rosen with a much larger lead over Brown, 50-38 percent. While there is a clear advantage for Sen. Rosen in the most recent polling, this race will still be highly competitive come November.

House

MO-1: Rep. Bush in Dead Heat –– The Mellman Group, conducting a survey for the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC (June 18-22; 400 registered MO-1 Democratic voters; live interview & text), sees challenger Wesley Bell, a former St. Louis County prosecutor, pulling into a one point, 43-42 percent, lead over Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis), a member of the Socialist Democrat “Squad.” The Mellman analysis finds that Bell has closed the gap against the incumbent since January, seeing a net 17-point swing in his favor.

We can expect heavy outside spending coming into the district before the Aug. 6 primary. The pro-Israel organizations were successful in helping to defeat another Squad member, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), in Tuesday night’s Democratic primary. Rep. Bush is another of the most anti-Israel congressional members and a top target of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the DMFI PAC.

WA-3: Dead Heat Poll — A new Public Policy Polling survey, regularly conducted for the Northwest Progressive Institute (June 11-12; 649 registered WA-3 voters; live interview & text), sees Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Skamania County) trailing 2022 general election finalist Joe Kent (R), by a 46-45 percent dead heat margin.

Washington’s 3rd District, which lies in the far southwestern corner of the state and anchored in the city of Vancouver, is the second-most Republican district that a US House Democrat represents. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+11. In 2022, Perez defeated Kent by less than a percentage point in one of the biggest upsets of that election year. The 2024 rematch, which is likely to occur after the state’s Aug. 6 jungle primary, portends to be just as close.

AIPAC’s $100 Million

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Nov. 24, 2023

House

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis) again faces a serious primary challenge. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

The “Squad”: Fundraising to Defeat — Recently, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), in response to the self-identified congressional “Squad’s” ardently pro-Palestinian position and their refusal to condemn the Hamas attacks on Israel, has pledged a cumulative $100 million dollars in an effort to defeat those members at the polls.

The “Squad,” identified as Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Cori Bush (D-MO), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Summer Lee (D-PA), are the members who’ve drawn AIPAC’s ire. If split evenly, the $100 million commitment translates into more than $14 million per district — a substantial amount of money.

Each of these members represent safe Democratic seats, so if they are to be defeated it will be in their respective Democratic primaries. All of their districts, with the exception of Rep. Lee’s Pennsylvania seat, fall into the range of D+40 to D+73 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization. Rep. Lee’s Pittsburgh-anchored district is rated D+15. President Joe Biden carried the six most Democratic of these seats with percentages ranging from 71 thru 86. The president recorded a 59-39 percent victory margin in Rep. Lee’s CD.

Since AIPAC wants to spend this kind of money, they will have no choice but to operate through a Super PAC and operate independently with no coordination or communication between their organization and any candidate. In addition to running an attack campaign against their targets, they also could promote positive messages for Squad opponents so long as they don’t coordinate with the campaign.

The fundamental question, however, is whether any of these members are vulnerable to a primary challenge, even with opponents who will have substantial resource backing. It appears some could be on the precipice of losing.

Minnesota’s Rep. Omar is the most notable and seemingly the most vulnerable of the Squad members. In 2022, former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels held the congresswoman to only a 50.3 – 48.2 percent win. In that election, Rep. Omar outspent Samuels, $3.22 million to $1.38 million. In the coming 2024 August primary, considering AIPAC’s large investment, the resource balance will likely turn heavily against the incumbent.

Rep. Bush also has a credible opponent. In the past month, former St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell left the Senate race and declared himself a Democratic primary challenger to Bush. In 2022, Rep. Bush faced four Democratic opponents, including state Sen. Steve Roberts (D-St. Louis) but easily won renomination with 69.5 percent of the vote. Both she and Sen. Roberts spent just under $500,000 on their races. Here, such a large influx of campaign resources against Rep. Bush would significantly help Bell.

Rep. Bowman is the other Squad member who currently faces a serious primary challenge. Westchester County Executive George Latimer is indicating that he will enter the congressional primary. In his current position, Latimer represents almost 91 percent of the 16th Congressional District constituency. Prior to winning his countywide office, Latimer served in the New York Senate and Assembly. Therefore, he is no stranger to running for public office and winning his elections.

Bowman came to office in 2020, defeating veteran Congressman Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary. Now, particularly with serious resources coming into the district, Rep. Bowman could quickly find himself in a similar position as did then-Rep. Engel.

Rep. Lee also may be in trouble for renomination. She won her 2022 Democratic primary with only a 41.9 – 41.0 percent margin over attorney Steve Irwin. In the general election, she under-performed the district’s vote history in attaining only 56.2 percent of the vote. Some of that could be attributed to her Republican opponent’s name, Mike Doyle. The Democratic Mike Doyle had represented the congressional district for the previous 28 years.

Currently, Edgewood Borough Councilwoman Bhavini Patel is the only announced Democratic candidate against Rep. Lee. She entered the open race in 2022 but withdrew before candidate filing expired. Running next year with plentiful anti-Lee resources flowing into the district could make Patel a serious candidate. PA-12 is the only district of these seven that might be competitive in the general election, though a Republican winning here would still be a long shot. Republican Mike Doyle is a possibility to return.

At this time, Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, and Tlaib, have no declared Democratic opposition, but the AIPAC announcement could stir certain individuals in these districts toward action. The most difficult of these members to defeat would likely be Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. A prodigious fundraiser (Sept. 30 cash-on-hand disclosure: $5.4 million), she would likely be able to match the AIPAC dollar effort and whatever money an opponent could directly raise.

Considering the AIPAC effort, these seven members are guaranteed to face an onslaught of activity, which certainly adds more intrigue into this highly combative election cycle.

Trump Well Below 50 Percent in Iowa; Primary Pairing Develops in AL-1; Missouri Candidate Leaves Senate Race to Run for House; West Virginia Governor Candidate Emerges

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023

President

Former President Donald Trump speaks in Las Vegas Saturday. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Iowa: Trump Well Below 50 Percent, Again — According to the new Selzer & Company poll for the Des Moines Register newspaper (Oct. 22-26; 404 likely Iowa Republican Caucus attenders; live interview), former President Donald Trump is still enjoying a healthy lead over the Republican field, but his support level continues to become stagnant. According to this survey, he has 43 percent of the impending Iowa Caucus vote, scheduled for Jan. 15, 2024. This is a one-point increase from Selzer’s August survey. Tied for second place are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and ex-UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Both record 16 percent support.

The allegiance percentage is an increase of 10 points since the August survey for Haley but a three-point drop for Gov. DeSantis. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who has now moved his whole campaign focus to Iowa, draws a seven percent preference. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy are tied in this poll with four percent apiece.

House

AL-1: GOP Primary Pairing Develops — The recently completed court-driven Alabama congressional map creates a new majority minority district anchored in the capital city of Montgomery, but then stretches southwest to encompass downtown Mobile. Now we see that the draw results in a pairing of two Republican congressmen. Two-term Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) announced Monday that he will challenge Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), also serving his second term, in the state’s new 1st District. The seat now spans the entire width of southern Alabama from the Mississippi border all the way to Georgia.

This will be a short-term paired campaign in that the Alabama state primary is held concurrently with the Super Tuesday presidential vote on March 5. Should no one receive majority support, the top two finishers will advance to an April 2 runoff election.

This version of AL-1 favors Rep. Carl in that he already represents 59 percent of the new territory as compared to 41 percent for Rep. Moore. The former also leads in fundraising and cash-on-hand. According to the Sept. 30 Federal Election Commission disclosure filing. Rep. Carl reported raising $1.3 million for the campaign-to-date; $257,000 in the 3rd Quarter just completed and holds $869,000 in his account.

By contrast, Rep. Moore has raised just $309,000 during the cycle-to-date, $109,000 for the Q3 period, and shows $647,000 cash-on-hand. Rep. Moore, a member of the Freedom Caucus, may be viewed as the more conservative of the two, which often proves to be the defining factor in a safe district Republican primary.

MO-1: Democratic Prosecutor Exits Senate Race to Run for House — St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell (D) who was challenging for the Democratic US Senate nomination, announced Monday that he is ending his statewide bid and will instead run a primary challenge against Democratic Socialist Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-St. Louis).

Four Democrats opposed Rep. Bush in the 2022 election, two years after she upset veteran Rep. Lacy Clay (D), but she was easily renominated with 69.5 percent of the primary vote.

Bell will be a credible challenger, but Rep. Bush must be viewed as the favorite for renomination and then an easy re-election in a 1st District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+52.

Governor

West Virginia: First Credible Dem Candidate Announces — Though Democrats are viewed as a clear underdog to convert the open West Virginia governor’s mansion next year, the party now has a candidate capable of running a credible general election campaign. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) announced his candidacy late last week. He is a former state Delegate and ex-Huntington City Manager.

Republicans are headed for a competitive gubernatorial primary among Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, state Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston), Secretary of State Mac Warner, and businessman Chris Miller. Capito is the son of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Mr. Miller is US Rep. Carol Miller’s (R-Huntington) son.

Lipinski Can’t Run in Illinois; Cori Bush Struggling in Missouri; Arizona Race Tightening

By Jim Ellis — July 14, 2022

House

Former Congressman Dan Lipinski (D)

IL-6: Lipinski Can’t Run — Former Congressman Dan Lipinski (D) who was looking to potentially enter the 6th District general election as a “Centrist Independent” is unable to do so. Because Lipinski voted in the June 28 Democratic primary, he is ineligible to run as an Independent in the associated general election. The former congressman indicated that he would instead turn his attention toward helping form a centrist organization to promote independent candidates.

The development certainly helps Democratic Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) who just defeated Rep. Marie Newman (D-La Grange) in the district’s intra-party paired incumbents’ contest. Having Lipinski on the ballot could have resulted in enough Democratic votes straying to Lipinski, the former area incumbent who Newman defeated in the 2020 Democratic primary, to throw the general election to Republican Keith Pekau in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates only a D+6.

MO-1: Some Weakness Detected — The Remington Research Group, surveying for the Missouri Scout political blog (July 6-7; 460 MO-1 likely Democratic primary voters; interactive response system), released their new polling results that post freshman Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis) to a tepid 40-20 percent lead over state Sen. Steve Roberts (D-St. Louis) with a whopping 32 percent undecided just weeks before the Aug. 2 primary election. In 2020, Bush, commonly referred to as a “Squad Member” in the House, defeated veteran Rep. Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary. This is a primary contest to watch in the election’s closing days.

Governor

Arizona: GOP Race Continues to Close — As the Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary continues to evolve into a two-way race, the margin between the pair of candidates is growing slimmer. A new High Ground Public Affairs survey (July 2-7; 400 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview) sees former news anchor Kari Lake leading Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson by just a 39-35 percent margin.

Former President Trump, who supports Lake, has now scheduled an Arizona rally to build support for his candidate just prior to the Aug. 2 state primary. Last week, term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced his endorsement of Robson, which helped begin the latter candidate’s late momentum charge. The eventual GOP nominee will likely face Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who is well ahead in polling on the Democratic side.

Michigan: Republicans’ New Leader — After the petition signature debacle that caused Republicans to see their early gubernatorial campaign leader, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, disqualified, a new Mitchell Research poll finds the GOP electorate coalescing around a new candidate. After flirting with businessman Kevin Rinke right after Craig’s exit, online radio host Tudor Dixon, who many believe would be the strongest contender from this present GOP field, has taken the primary lead as we approach the Aug. 2 election day.

The Mitchell poll (July 7-8; 683 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) finds Dixon posting 26 percent support, followed by real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley (15 percent), with Rinke and chiropractor Garrett Soldano close behind (13 percent). The eventual Republican nominee then challenges Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election. What was thought to be a competitive November contest, may yet become such.