Tag Archives: Sen. Ben Sasse

Ricketts Already Draws Challenge; West Virginia Gov. Eyes Senate Bid; More Challenges re: Rep. Schweikert; Another One Jumps the Gun in CA-30

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023

Senate

Nebraska Rancher Chuck Herbster (R)

Nebraska: Senator-Designate Ricketts Already Draws a Potential Challenge — Not yet even sworn into office, Nebraska Senate-Designate Pete Ricketts (R), who new Gov. Jim Pillen (R) last week chose to fill the vacancy that former Sen. Ben Sasse’s (R) resignation created, may already be drawing a 2024 Republican challenger.

Rancher Chuck Herbster, the 2022 gubernatorial candidate who former President Trump endorsed and would lose to Pillen with then-Gov. Ricketts’ strong support, confirmed that he is considering launching a nomination challenge when the latter man first faces the voters in the May 2024 Republican primary. One reason Herbster lost the ’22 primary, however, was because several women went public with sexual harassment accusations, a controversy sure to arise again if he makes another attempt to seek public office.

Regardless of Herbster’s plans, it is probable that Ricketts will face a contested primary next year. His appointment was not unanimously well received within all quarters of the Nebraska Republican Party, but he has a full year in which to build an expanded intra-party winning coalition.

West Virginia: Governor Contemplates Senate Campaign — In a media interview at the end of last week, term-limited West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) confirmed that he is “seriously considering” making a US Senate run next year. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has not committed to seeking re-election. He could retire, or enter the open governor’s race, since Gov. Justice is ineligible to run for a third term. Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) already has announced his intention to challenge Sen. Manchin. At this point, West Virginia appears as the Republicans’ top national conversion target.

House

AZ-1: More Challenges Brewing Against Rep. Schweikert — Arizona Rep. David Schweikert’s (R-Fountain Hills) 3,195-vote victory over media consultant Jevin Hodge — a percentage margin of just 50.4 – 49.6 percent — proved to be the 12th-closest US House result in the 2022 election cycle. Predictably, Schweikert — who has been plagued with an ethics controversy surrounding his handling of campaign and federal monies and who significantly under-performed in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+7 — will draw another serious challenge in 2024.

Already, three individuals are publicly taking action or mulling challenges. Dr. Andrew Horne, a local orthodontist, has officially announced his candidacy. Hodge, the 2022 nominee, confirms that he is considering another run. Former local news anchor Marlene Galan-Woods (D), widow of the late Republican-turned-Democrat Attorney General Grant Woods, also acknowledges her potential interest in making a congressional run in the state’s new 1st CD. Count on this race developing into another major national target campaign next year.

CA-30: Another One Jumps the Gun — We continue to see a chain reaction of political moves in California since Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) announced her intention last week to run for the Senate. In anticipation of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) entering the Senate contest (though he has yet to say so), we now have two credible Democratic candidates announcing for what they think will be the congressman’s open seat.

As we previously reported, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Vice Chairman Nick Melvoin (D) declared for the House seat, and immediately afterward state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) announced that she, too, will compete for Rep. Schiff’s federal position. Through all of this, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) has yet to announce her own 2024 plans, though all of these moves are based upon her expected retirement.

Ricketts Selected to Replace Sen. Sasse; CA-30 Race Already Rolling; Elvis’s Cousin Announces for Gov.

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Jan. 13, 2023

Senate

Former Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts selected to replace Sen. Ben Sasse.

Nebraska: Gov. Pillen Tabs ex-Gov. Pete Ricketts for Vacant Senate Seat — Sen. Ben Sasse (R) has officially resigned his seat in order to assume his new duties as president of the University of Florida, and new Gov. Jim Pillen (R), as expected, chose former Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) as the interim replacement. Ricketts will serve until the next general election in 2024. The seat is next in-cycle for a six-year term in 2026.

Gov. Pillen wanted to pick a senator who would commit to serving a long while in order to build seniority for the state to compliment two-term Sen. Deb Fischer (R) who is seeking re-election in 2024. Therefore, Ricketts committed to running both in 2024 and 2026. Senate-Designate Ricketts will be sworn into office when the Senate next convenes on Jan. 23.

House

CA-30: House Race Already Rolling — California Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-Irvine) move to declare for the Senate even before incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) announces her retirement has already set off a chain of reaction. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) says she will announce once Sen. Feinstein makes her retirement public. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) looks to be doing the same. In anticipation of the latter jumping into the Senate race, Los Angeles School Board member Nick Melvoin (D) announced yesterday that he will run for Schiff’s House seat.

Governor

Louisiana: Rep. Graves Considering Gov Race — Saying, “I think that the sentiment out there in the public for another candidate in this race is absolutely extraordinary,” Louisiana US Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) confirmed that he is still considering whether to run for governor later this year, and promises a decision in the next few days. The open gubernatorial field has changed drastically with both Sen. John Kennedy (R) and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R) declining to become candidates.

Graves was first elected to the House in 2018 and easily re-elected in 2020 and 2022 with 71 and 80 percent of the vote, respectively. He would not have to risk his congressional seat to run for governor in this odd-numbered year election. Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), state Treasurer John Schroder (R), and Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) presently appear to be the leading contenders.

The candidate filing deadline is not until Aug. 10. The jungle primary is scheduled for Oct. 14. If no one receives majority support in the initial vote, the top two finishers will advance to a Nov. 18 runoff election. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

Mississippi: Elvis’s Cousin Announces for Governor — Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D), a second cousin to the late music legend Elvis Presley, announced that he will compete for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in a quest to challenge Gov. Tate Reeves (R) later this year. Presley was elected to the Public Service Commission in 2007 after serving seven years as mayor of Nettleton, a town of approximately 2,000 residents. He is the first person to become an official 2023 opponent to Gov. Reeves. Secretary of State Michael Watson is a potential Republican primary challenger.

Candidate filing closes Feb. 1. The statewide primary is set for Aug. 8 with a runoff date on Aug. 29 for those races where no candidate achieves majority support in the initial vote. The general election is Nov. 7.

Two Announce in Michigan; Gov. Vacancy in Nebraska; House Announces Committee Chairs; Turmoil in Louisiana

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023

Senate

Michigan: First Two Announce — The first two candidates came forward to announce their intention to run for what will now be an open Michigan US Senate seat in 2024. Former state Rep. Leslie Love (D) and attorney Jacquise Purifoy (D) both declared their candidacy yesterday. These are the first in what is expected to be a long list of contenders for both parties. Last week, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) announced that she will not seek a fifth term in 2024.

One person who will not likely be in the field is Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), who indicated yesterday that she will continue to serve in her current position.

Former Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, likely replacement for Sen. Ben Sasse.

Nebraska: Officially Vacant — Sen. Ben Sasse (R) has officially resigned his seat in order to assume his new duties as president of the University of Florida. This means new Gov. Jim Pillen (R) will now be able to name a replacement. Odds are strong that he will choose former Gov. Pete Ricketts (R). The announcement could come as early as today.

Once a replacement is chosen, the individual will then come before the voters in a special 2024 election, run concurrently with the general cycle, to fill the balance of the unexpired term. The seat next comes in-cycle for a full six-year term in 2026.

House

AZ-1: Rep. Schweikert Already Draws First Opponent — Veteran Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) had another close call in the 2022 election, winning a seventh term with just 50.4 percent of the vote in a newly configured district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+7. His opponent was first-time candidate Devin Hodge (D), a communication consultant who may well run again.

Yesterday, however, orthodontist Andrew Horne (D) became Rep. Schweikert’s first 2024 challenger with his announcement of candidacy. We can again expect this race to be competitive in two years. A crowded Democratic field is expected to form.

Committee Chairs: Steering Committee Elects Three Newcomers — With the Speaker’s election now complete, the Republican Steering Committee met yesterday to finalize the remaining committee chairman posts. In a bit of a surprise, the committee, with Speaker Kevin McCarthy holding four votes and Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) having two, elected Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee defeating favored Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) in a contest that went to a second ballot.

In other contests, Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), a former military doctor, defeated Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) for the Homeland Security Committee post. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), as expected, was elected chair of the Education and the Workforce panel, and Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Lubbock) will be the new Budget Committee chairman. He defeated Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA).

Governor

Louisiana: Lt. Gov. Shakes Up Field — In a surprising move, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R) changed his mind about running for governor and instead yesterday announced his intention to seek re-election later this year. Before, Nungesser said he would run for governor if Sen. John Kennedy (R) didn’t. After Sen. Kennedy declined to enter the race, it was assumed that Nungesser would immediately jump and become one of the leading contenders. Several others were declaring for the lieutenant governor role with the understanding that the seat would be open.

With Nungesser’s decision to stay put, it appears that attorney general and former Congressman Jeff Landry (R), someone Nungesser described as “not a good person” when previous discussion arose about his intentions regarding the governor’s election, becomes the front runner to replace term-limited incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D).

As a result of the Nungesser decision, state Treasurer John Schroder (R) then entered the governor’s race. The leading Democrat to date is Transportation Department Secretary Shawn Wilson. Candidate filing does not end until Aug. 10 for the Oct. 14 jungle primary, so the fluid contender field can still greatly change. If no candidate receives majority support in this first election, the top two finishers will runoff on Nov. 18.

Nebraska Appointment Coming Soon; A Look at Indiana Campaign Chests; Kennedy Declines to Run;
Chicago Mayoral Race Heats Up

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Jan. 6, 2023

Senate

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse (R)

Nebraska: Appointment Coming Soon — Sen. Ben Sasse (R) has already delivered his farewell speech to the Senate, and scheduled Sunday, Jan. 8 as his official resignation day. He is leaving the Senate to become president of the University of Florida. With Gov. Jim Pillen (R) being sworn into office yesterday, he will soon announce his appointed choice to replace Sen. Sasse.

The odds clearly favor outgoing Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) as Pillen’s selection, but such a move is reportedly not being completely well received within Nebraska GOP circles. Charges of an inside deal surround the potential pick since Gov. Ricketts was instrumental in helping Pillen win a crowded Republican primary back in May. Whoever is chosen must stand for election in 2024 to fill the remaining two years of the present term. The seat is next in-cycle in 2026.

Governor

Indiana: Equivalent Resources — 2024 Indiana gubernatorial candidates are already releasing their financial figures in anticipation of the state’s impending disclosure deadline. At this point, the three announced Republican candidates, US. Sen. Mike Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, and businessman Eric Doden are all indicating they have in the neighborhood of $3 million in their individual campaign accounts. The combined funds comes from contributions, transfers from previous campaign committees, and self-funding loans or donations. Sen. Braun is the clear favorite to win both the Republican primary and general election, but it is also clear that he will have competitive party nomination opponents.

Louisiana: Without Kennedy, Tight Gov Campaign — Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) announced yesterday that he will not enter the 2023 Louisiana governor’s race, thereby creating a wide-open race to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R) said he will run if Sen. Kennedy does not, and his now released internal poll from last month testing his standing against potential opponents has great relevancy.

The BDPC local Louisiana consulting firm poll conducted in mid-December (Dec. 7-13; 603 likely Louisiana jungle primary voters; live interview) sees Lt. Gov. Nungesser and Democratic Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson tied at 23 percent apiece. Closely following is Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) with 22 percent, which means a virtual three-way tie.

The Louisiana jungle primary is scheduled for later this year, on Oct. 14. If no one receives majority support, which is likely, the top two finishers will advance to a Nov. 18 runoff election.

Cities

Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot Unloads on Rep. Garcia — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), in a fight for her political life as the nine candidates move toward the Feb. 28 Windy City municipal election, has released a major negative attack against who polling shows to be her chief opponent, US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago).

Her new media ad attacks Rep. Garcia as being corrupt for his association with, and receiving financial favors from, indicted crypto currency fund owner Sam Bankman-Fried, along with his relationship with indicted former Speaker of the House Mike Madigan (D), and for what she claims is his delivering the deciding vote for a red light camera company contract just hours after receiving a contribution from the manufacturing company. The gloves have already come off in this major mayoral battle, and it is certainly a campaign to watch.

Sen. Warnock Wins Re-Election; Florida Sen. Scott to Seek Re-Election; Nebraska Gov. Ricketts to Apply for Senate Appointment; SCOTUS Hears Redistricting Case Today

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) wins re-election. | Facebook photo

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022

Senate

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Wins Re-Election — As predicted, Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) defeated GOP former professional football player Herschel Walker (R) last night in the Senate runoff, but the approximate 51-49 percent contest split was much closer than many prognosticators expected. The Warnock win gives the Democrats a 51-49 majority in the Senate, a net gain of one seat from the present 50-50 makeup. The outright majority will give the party at least one more vote than the Republicans on every Senate committee, and make it easier for the leadership to confirm administration appointments, including federal judges.

Turnout is one of the bigger stories, as the projected 3.6 million people voting in the runoff election is actually 200,000-plus individuals greater than those voting in the regular Senate contest back on Nov. 8. It is unprecedented for a runoff to draw more voters than a regular election, but such has apparently happened in this Peach State election.

Yesterday’s secondary election was necessitated under Georgia election law because neither Warnock nor Walker received majority support in November. Unlike in most states, an absolute majority is required to win a Georgia general election.

Sen. Warnock has now secured a full six-years in the Senate after winning the 2020 special election to fill the balance of then-Sen. Johnny Isakson’s (R) final term. Sen. Isakson resigned at the end of 2019 due to health reasons and then later passed away. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) then appointed businesswoman Kelly Loeffler (R) to fill the post until the 2020 special election of which Rev. Warnock won in that cycle’s subsequent runoff.

Florida: Sen. Rick Scott (R) to Seek Re-Election — Quelling political speculation that he would run for president in 2024, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) early this week made clear his intentions for the next election. Saying in a response to a question from radio host and national commentator Hugh Hewitt, Sen. Scott said, “I have no plans to run for president and I have a 100 percent plan to run for the US Senate [in 2024]. I’m running for re-election for senator from the great state of Florida.”

Speculation is also surfacing that outgoing US Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Winter Park) may challenge Sen. Scott. In a response to a reporter’s inquiry, Rep. Murphy didn’t close the door on such an option and pointed out that Florida is still not as “red” as the electorate voted in the 2022 election. Of the 11 Republican in-cycle seats for 2024, the Florida campaign could be the most competitive, but even here Sen. Scott must be rated a heavy early favorite for re-election.

Nebraska: Gov. Ricketts Will Apply for Senate Appointment — Nebraska junior Sen. Ben Sasse (R) has now set Jan. 8, 2023, as the date he will officially resign his elected position in order to become president of the University of Florida. Governor-elect Jim Pillen (R), who will appoint a replacement for Sen. Sasse, has asked individuals who want to be considered for the Senate appointment to apply before Dec. 23. One person who confirmed he will apply is outgoing Gov. Pete Ricketts (R).

In the open Republican gubernatorial primary back in May, Gov. Ricketts became actively involved and endorsed Pillen, a University of Nebraska Regent, over eight other Republican candidates including Trump endorsed businessman and rancher Charles Herbster. Pillen would win the Republican primary with four percentage-point margin and claimed the general election with just under 60 percent of the vote.

Though others will apply for the soon-to-be vacant Senate position, Gov. Ricketts is viewed as the clear favorite for the early January appointment. The new senator then will stand for election in 2024 to fill the unexpired portion of Sen. Sasse’s final term. The seat is next in-cycle for a full six-year term in 2026.

States

North Carolina: SCOTUS Hears Redistricting Case Today — The North Carolina partisan gerrymandering case that contains challenges to judicial authority over the redistricting process is before the US Supreme Court later today. North Carolina is challenging, among other points in the lawsuit, whether judges have the power to invalidate redistricting maps, since the US Constitution specifically gives re-mapping power to the state legislatures. While it is doubtful that the judicial panel will rule against judicial power, the legitimacy of the redistricting commissions that several states have adopted could be in question.

Along with the previously heard Alabama racial gerrymandering case, the Supreme Court is apparently prepared to issue landmark rulings on Voting Rights Act interpretation for the first time in decades. The rulings should end the inconsistent interpretations we have seen coming from various state judicial systems. Rulings on both the Alabama and North Carolina cases will be issued before the end of next June.

Nebraska’s Gov. Ricketts to Become Sen. Ricketts? Dead Heats in CA-21 & FL-27; Oklahoma Shock Poll

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022

Senate

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R)

Nebraska: Gov. Ricketts Makes Succession Statement — Sen. Ben Sasse’s (R) resignation, to occur once he is confirmed as the University of Florida’s new president, has spurred discussion as to who will be appointed as Nebraska’s replacement junior senator. Term-limited Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), who refused to comment about his interest in assuming the position when Sen. Sasse announced his future plans, uttered a clarifying comment over the weekend.

Under Nebraska state law, a governor has 45 days to replace a resigning senator after the seat becomes officially vacant. Sen. Sasse indicated he will resign before the end of the year. Therefore, it is possible that Gov. Ricketts could make the appointment as one of his last official acts, or the likely incoming chief executive, University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen (R), would do so as one of his first duties.

Ricketts now indicates if he develops an interest in receiving the appointment, he will let the new governor choose the new senator and not appoint himself. In a crowded 2022 Republican gubernatorial primary, Gov. Ricketts endorsement of Pillen helped him win the nomination, so the early tea leaves are suggesting that the outgoing governor could be headed to the Senate.

New Hampshire: Dollars Changing Direction — Earlier, we speculated upon the National Republican Senatorial Committee eventually making the move to pull their media reservation dollars from New Hampshire and begin moving the money to places where the GOP candidate looks to be in better victory position — namely Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. With the NRSC’s canceling its $2.6 million budget for the Boston market, as reported by the Adminpact and Daily Kos Elections organizations, the move has been made.

This, however, does not mean the Republican sector is abandoning New Hampshire, especially since polling still shows nominee Don Bolduc within high single-digits of Sen. Maggie Hassan (D). The Senate Leadership Fund and other outside right-of-center allies have reserved another $23 million in media time, so they are clearly not giving up on the NH Senate race even though the state and national party leadership overtly attempted to deny Bolduc his nomination.

House

CA-21: Rep. Costa in Dead Heat — The Trafalgar Group released the first post-primary survey of California’s new 21st Congressional District and the results reveal a surprising dead heat between Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and businessman and former FBI agent Michael Maher (R). The poll (Sept. 30/Oct. 3; 515 likely CA-21 general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) finds the two candidates tied at 44 percent.

While the Central Valley region is showing signs of voting more conservatively than the rest of the Golden State electorate, the Republicans taking this district would be quite a stretch. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the new 21st, which includes downtown Fresno, as D+16 while the Dave’s Redistricting App crew calculates a 58.2D – 39.7R partisan lean. In the jungle primary, Rep. Costa unexpectedly received just 47.0 percent of the vote, but the Democratic aggregate total was 57.0 percent.

FL-27: Tight Race Prediction Coming True — In 2020, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Miami) upset then-Rep. Donna Shalala (D) from a South Florida district that votes Republican to a greater degree than the voter registration figures might suggest. The GOP redistricting map drawers made the seat more favorable for Rep. Salazar, but it still rates as a D+1 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization and 52.4D – 46.5R on the Dave’s Redistricting App partisan scale.

Therefore, it is not surprising to see a SEA Polling & Strategic Design survey (Oct. 3-5; 400 likely FL-27 general election voters; live interview) finding state Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) and Rep. Salazar in a virtual dead heat (Taddeo, 47-46 percent). The poll also found Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) leading former governor and congressman, Charlie Crist (D), 50-44 percent within the 27th District, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R) held a 48-47 percent edge over Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando).

Governor

Oklahoma: Shock Poll — Largely due to fallout from his Administration’s handling of some of the Covid 19 relief expenditures and attacks over his former business dealings, polling has suggested weakness for Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) re-election bid. Now we see a new survey that, for the first time, projects the governor falling behind his Democratic opponent, Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D).
The Sooner Poll, which surveys the Oklahoma electorate for various media outlets, released their new data (Oct. 3-6; 301 likely Oklahoma general election voters) and sees Hofmeister holding a surprising 47-44 percent lead. Though the Sooner Poll contains a very small sample and therefore a high error factor, it is becoming clear that this race will now draw further national attention.

Polls Confirm AZ Senate Race Tightening; Grassley Expands Lead in Iowa; Sen. Sasse to Resign;
Dems Up in NH

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Oct. 10, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) | Sen. Mark Kelly (D)

Arizona: Confirming Data — CBS News/YouGov released a survey of the Arizona Senate race last week (Sept. 30-Oct. 4; 1,164 registered Arizona voters; online) found GOP challenger Blake Masters pulling to within a 51-48 percent margin of Sen. Mark Kelly (D). CNN also publicized their Arizona survey (conducted by SSRS; Sept. 26-Oct. 2; 795 likely Arizona voters; live interview & text) that largely confirms the aforementioned results. In the CNN/SSRS poll, Sen. Kelly holds a 51-45 percent advantage.

Iowa: Grassley Expands Lead — In a national race that has not drawn much attention from pollsters, the Cygnal polling organization (Oct. 2-4; 600 likely Iowa voters) did test the Hawkeye State electorate and finds Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), running for an eighth term since originally being elected in 1980, leading retired Adm. Mike Franken (D) by a 54-40 percent count.

Though Sen. Grassley’s favorability rating has dropped to 50:44 percent favorable to unfavorable, the ballot test suggests he is still in strong position to win re-election in November. Adm. Franken’s favorability index is a similar, but lower at 33:28 percent. Cygnal reports the Republicans have a plus-13 on the generic ballot question, which should help the party’s candidates throughout the entire ballot.

Nebraska: Sen. Ben Sasse to Resign — Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse (R), who was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2020, announced late last week that, pending approval from the University of Florida Board of Trustees, he will resign his seat before the end of the year to become the University of Florida’s new president.

His leaving the Senate will mean that either outgoing Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) or the presumed incoming governor, Jim Pillen (R) — the University of Nebraska Regent who is heavily favored to win the gubernatorial election — will appoint a replacement. Since the current term for this seat does not expire until the beginning of 2027, the seat will go to special election in 2024 to fill the balance of the term. This particular Class II Senate seat next comes in-cycle in 2026.

House

NH-1 & 2: Dems Up in Both CDs — The St. Anselm College Survey Center conducted another of their regular New Hampshire electorate polls (Sept. 27-28; 901 registered New Hampshire voters; 450 NH-1 registered voters; 451 NH-2 registered voters; online) and while the electorate overwhelmingly believes the country is on the wrong track (20:69 percent), the state’s two Democratic US House incumbents appear in strong shape for re-election.

In the eastern 1st District, two-term Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) holds a 49-41 percent lead over former Trump White House aide Karoline Leavitt (R). In western District 2, five-term Rep. Annie Kuster (D-Hopkinton/Concord) holds a stronger 49-35 percent advantage over former Hillsborough County Treasurer Robert Burns (R).

RI-2: Republican Fung with Lead — Fleming Associates just completed a research survey for Rhode Island’s Roger Williams University (Sept. 29-Oct. 2; 254 likely RI-2 voters). The poll has less than the 300 minimum respondents one likes to see in a congressional study, but the results of this flash poll find Republican Allan Fung, the former Cranston mayor and two-time GOP gubernatorial nominee, holding a 46-40 percent lead over state Treasurer Seth Magaziner (D).

Though RI-2 is a heavily Democratic seat (D+17, according to the 538 data organization) Republicans have been targeting this open seat race for months because several polls have produced what they believe is promising data. The seat is open because Rep. Jim Langevin (D-Warwick) is retiring after serving what will be 11 full terms.