By Jim Ellis — Friday, June 23, 2023
SenateDelaware: Rep. Blunt Rochester Announces — As expected, Delaware at-large US Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington) officially declared her US Senate candidacy. The move became obvious when Sen. Tom Carper (D) announced his retirement in May, and as part of his address encouraged the congresswoman, a former aide and appointee when Carper was governor, to run for the seat.
Rep. Blunt Rochester, first elected in 2016, is expected to have little opposition both in the Democratic primary and general election. The Senate seat will remain in the Democratic column. There could be developing competition brewing for Blunt Rochester’s open House seat, however.
Montana: Rep. Rosendale Way Up in GOP Primary Poll — Public Policy Polling tested the Montana Republican Senate primary (June 19-20; 51 likely Montana Republican primary voters; live interview & text) and sees US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) as the big early leader. According to the ballot test, Rep. Rosendale posts ahead of retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, 64-10 percent. The congressman faced seven different Montana electorates in the past seven elections and won five times.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee leadership would prefer a different candidate since Rep. Rosendale is viewed as part of the far right flank of the Republican Conference and lost to Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the 2018 campaign, but the statewide GOP polling sample propelled him to a huge lead for a potential 2024 Senate race. Thus, whether the national Republican leadership likes it or not, Rep. Rosendale, when he announces for the Senate, must be viewed as the clear favorite to win the Republican nomination. He would then advance into the general election for a re-match with Sen. Tester, the lone Democratic statewide office holder in Montana. This is one of top three Republican conversion opportunities in the nation.
NV-1: Re-Match Possibility — In November, financial planner Mark Robertson (R) held Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) to a 52-46 percent re-election victory in a district that had been drastically changed through redistricting. Many, however, viewed the result as a Republican under-performance in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+4.
Whether Robertson gets another chance to oppose Rep. Titus remains a question. He has Republican primary opposition from business consultant Ron Quince and restaurant chain owner Flemming Larsen.
All three Las Vegas Democratic seats have competitive potential. With such a slim House majority and the Alabama racial gerrymandering ruling from the Supreme Court favoring the Democratic position, the Republicans will pursue as many offensive opportunities as possible. Therefore, expect Nevada to become another hotbed of political activity in 2024.
OR-5: Democratic Primary Forming — Two weeks ago, Oregon Metro President Lynn Peterson (D) announced her entry into the Congressional District 5 Democratic primary; Wednesday, state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) filed a committee with the Federal Election Commission to join her as the perceived two top candidates. The winner will advance to challenge freshman Rep. Lori Chavez DeRemer (R-Happy Valley).
The 5th District race will be hotly contested. Chavez-DeRemer defeated Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner by a 51-49 percent margin in November. McLeod-Skinner, a first-time candidate in Oregon but former local office holder in California, had already defeated incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary. She is also a potential 2024 candidate. The district carries a D+3 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization and is categorized as a swing district. This will be a top Democratic conversion opportunity seat and will attract national political attention.