Tag Archives: Sen. J.D. Vance

McDaniel Reported Out at RNC; Trump Way Ahead in New Poll; Schiff Helps Garvey; Another Close Ohio Poll; Utah’s Tight Senate Race; House News

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024

President

Ronna McDaniel / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Republican National Committee: Trump Recommends New Chairman — As reports intensify that RNC chair Ronna McDaniel will be leaving the committee after the South Carolina primary, former President Donald Trump has made a replacement recommendation.

The news media is reporting that North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley is Trump’s choice largely because he was “so powerful on election fraud” in 2020, according to the ex-president’s statement. It is a virtual certainty that the committee members will adopt Trump’s recommendation, but the question to be asked is how strong a fundraiser is Whatley? While Trump may be most concerned with his election fraud narrative, the RNC is under-performing in the campaign resource battle and must quickly upgrade their efforts.

South Carolina: Trump Way Ahead in New Poll — A new Monmouth University poll for the Washington Post (Jan. 26-30; 815 registered South Carolina voters; live interview & online) sees former President Donald Trump posting a significant 58-32 percent lead over former Gov. Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina leading to the Feb. 24 Republican primary election.

Trump holds an advantage among both men and women in the statewide voter sample, and within all age groups. He trails Haley only among college-educated voters, but by only two points, and certain non-evangelical voter groups. Additionally, 90 percent of the respondents saying they would vote for Trump in the primary election would do so in the general election even if he is convicted of some of the many legal charges he faces.

Senate

California: Schiff Helps Garvey — Confident he will finish first in the March 5 open California US Senate primary, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is running ads “against” Republican baseball great Steve Garvey claiming he is too conservative for California in that he twice voted for Donald Trump. In reality, Schiff is attempting to help Garvey finish second in the top two jungle primary, thus eliminating Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), which would allow him to escape having to run a double-Democratic general election.

Having Garvey, or any Republican as an opponent, would virtually guarantee that Schiff would win the seat in November. The ads’ actual purpose is to move more Republicans to Garvey, and thus edge him into second place.

A new University of Southern California for the Center for Urban Politics and Policy at California State University at Long Beach (Jan. 21-29; 1,416 likely Califoria jungle primary voters) survey sees Rep. Schiff holding a 25-15-15-7 percent lead over Garvey and Rep. Porter (D-Irvine). Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) trailed the other major candidates in fourth position. Therefore, a small push from Schiff might just help Garvey succeed.

Ohio: Another Close Poll — The March 19 Ohio Republican primary will be a hugely important election. Among other races, it will decide which GOP candidate will challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the country’s most compelling statewide campaigns. The Emerson College poll (Jan. 23-25; 1,844 registered Ohio voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees all three Republican candidates coming to within one or two points of Sen. Brown with the incumbent failing to reach 40 percent support in all iterations.

In the Republican primary, the battle is equally close. Businessman Bernie Moreno, who former President Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance support, nips Secretary of State Frank LaRose, 22-21 percent, with state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) trailing with 15 percent. In 2022, Sen. Dolan came on strong at the end, failing to reach second place by one percentage point after lagging during the early part of the campaign. Therefore, the Republican nomination is still very much in doubt.

Ohio features a modified primary system that allows voters to change their registration on the day of the election in order to choose a selected primary.

Utah: Rep. Curtis Begins with Small Lead — Dan Jones & Associates, Utah’s top media polling firm, released a new US Senate Republican primary survey, the first since US Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) joined the field. The survey (Jan. 16-21; 428 registered Utah Republican voters) finds Rep. Curtis posting a tepid 18-14 percent lead over attorney Brent Orrin Hatch, the son of the late seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch (R). Following at eight percent is former state House Speaker Brad Wilson. With a majority of the Republican voters still undecided, this contest is wide open.

The state’s April Republican nominating convention will send two candidates to the primary ballot. The others will have to petition for a ballot line. The Utah primary is scheduled for June 25. Sen. Mitt Romney (R) is retiring after one term.
Continue reading

Trump’s Big Lead; Sen. Menendez’s Turmoil; A Plethora of Candidates in FL-9; Candidate Withdraws in OH-13

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023

President

Former President Donald Trump / Photo by Gage Skidmore

ABC/Washington Post Poll: Again Finds Trump with Big Lead — For the second consecutive time, the ABC/Washington Post (Sept. 15-20; 890 registered US voters; live interview) sees former President Donald Trump building a large lead over President Joe Biden. The latest numbers give Trump a 51-42 percent national advantage, and a larger 52-39 percent lead within the Independent segment. In May, the ABC/Washington Post survey found Trump leading by a similar 49-42 percent margin.

Once again, the ABC/WaPo poll gives Trump a bigger lead than other polls conducted during a similar time frame. Since Sept. 14, six national surveys have been conducted from six different pollsters, and these firms see Trump holding leads of four and one point, with four ties.

Senate

New Jersey: Sen. Menendez’s Indictment — Sen. Bob Menendez (D), who is in-cycle next year, was indicted on Friday along with his wife and three others. All five defendants were charged on two counts: bribery, and honest services fraud, as it relates to an Egyptian foreign affairs funding issue. Senator and Mrs. Menendez were also indicted on a conspiracy to commit extortion charge. How this affects the 2024 Senate election remains to be determined.

Sen. Menendez beat a different set of federal charges in 2015. In response to this latest indictment, he said, “For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave. To my supporters, friends and the community at large, I ask that you recall the other times the prosecutors got it wrong and that you reserve judgement.”

New Jersey is a strong Democratic state, so the June 2024 primary election may be the senator’s toughest obstacle. Credible candidates currently in the race are municipal planning director Kevin Cupples and real estate financing company executive Kyle Jasey. Former Gov. Chris Christie, still a presidential candidate, confirmed after the Menendez indictment announcement that he will not run for the Senate.

Some Democratic leaders, however, are calling upon Sen. Menendez to resign. Among them are Gov. Phil Murphy, Attorney General Matt Platkin, and Reps. Donald Norcross (D-Camden City), Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair). At this point, the lone House member making a public statement in Menendez’s favor, unsurprisingly, is the senator’s son, Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City).

House

FL-9: A Plethora of Candidates — In a seat that should be solid for Democrats, former Kissimmee City Commissioner and ex-congressional candidate Wanda Rentas surprisingly became the sixth Republican to enter the 2024 GOP primary. Though the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the district D+16 and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks FL-9 as the 85th safest Democratic seat in the House, local Republicans think the district can be won. In 2022, Rep. Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) won a fourth term with a lower than expected 54-46 percent victory margin.

Among the six GOP candidates we find former state representative and ex-Osceola County Commissioner John Quinones. It is likely that the race will winnow down to a contest between Quinones and Rentas, but both would still begin the general election as a clear underdog to Rep. Soto.

OH-13: Challenger Candidate Withdraws — Attorney Greg Wheeler (R), who had declared his candidacy for Congress months ago, on Friday announced that he would suspend his campaign. This leaves Hudson City Councilman Chris Banweg as the lone Republican candidate hoping to challenge freshman Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron).

Banweg then announced that Sen. J.D. Vance (R) is endorsing his candidacy, which may be a precursor to the party establishment soon following suit. For a time, it was believed that former Ohio Republican Party chair and 2022 US Senate candidate Jane Timken might enter the race, but she has since removed her name from consideration.

Rep. Sykes defeated Republican Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R) in last November’s election by a 53-47 percent margin. Originally, Gilbert, too, was planning to run in 2024, but last month withdrew to accept a spokesperson’s position with the Republican National Committee. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates OH-13 as D+2. The Daily Kos Elections site rank the district as the 13th most vulnerable seat within the Democratic conference.

Christie Making Moves; Davidson Declines to Run in Ohio; Manchin Behind in New WVa Poll; Utah’s Rep. Stewart to Resign

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, June 1, 2023

President

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)

Chris Christie: Ex-New Jersey Gov Making Moves to Enter Presidential Race — Published reports are indicating that allies of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) are forming a Super PAC to aid his budding presidential efforts. After the PAC is formed, it is believed Christie will enter the race within the next two weeks, thus bringing the Republican field to at least seven candidates with another four likely to step forward.

Polling suggests, however, that regardless of the number of entries, only two, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, consistently break into double digits. It is also clear, just as it was in 2016, that the large field helps Trump since he has the strongest base within the Republican primary voter universe.

Senate

Ohio: Rep. Davidson Won’t Run for Senate — Citing the closeness of the House Republican majority through the next election, Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Troy) announced that he will not join the US Senate race to oppose incumbent Sherrod Brown (D) but will seek re-election to his 8th District House seat. Davidson was first elected in a 2016 special election to replace former House Speaker John Boehner (R).

Though it appeared that Rep. Davidson was preparing to enter the race, he said his decision not to do so was based upon the amount of time that a statewide campaign would take away from his House duties. In the Senate race are state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), a 2022 Senate candidate who is a minority owner of the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball Club, and businessman Bernie Moreno, who Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance endorsed last week. Expected to join the campaign next month is GOP Secretary of State Frank LaRose. The Ohio Senate race promises to be one of the most competitive in the nation.

West Virginia: New Poll: Manchin Way Behind — East Carolina University released the results of their new West Virginia political poll (May 22-23; 957 registered West Virginia voters; live interview; interactive voice response system; online) and the ballot test results post Gov. Jim Justice to a major 54-32 percent lead over Sen. Joe Manchin (D). If Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) were to win the Republican nomination, he would fall into a toss-up battle with Sen. Manchin, leading 42-41 percent according to this survey.

If these polling results continue, Sen. Manchin may find that running for the office of president on the No Labels Party ticket may be his best political option.

House

UT-2: Rep. Chris Stewart Prepares to Resign — Six-term Utah US Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington), who at one time was thought to be interested in launching a gubernatorial or US Senate campaign, is reportedly preparing to resign from the House possibly by the end of this week. Stewart’s wife’s ongoing health situation is the reason he will be leaving his position.

Gov. Spencer Cox (R) will set the special primary and general election calendar within seven days of Rep. Stewart officially resigning. The 2nd District political parties will first meet in a special district convention to select a candidate. The individual candidate eventually receiving majority support from the voting delegates will advance into the primary.

Other candidates may petition onto the ballot. A general election will then follow. It is probable the special general will be held Nov. 7, 2023, concurrently with municipal elections in the state.

Millionaire Candidate in Florida; Moreno for Senate, Again; MD-6 News; Chicago, the Dem’s Kind of Town

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, April 13, 2023

Senate

Independent Florida businessman Keith Gross

Florida: Sen. Scott Draws Millionaire GOP Opponent — As has been expected for weeks, independent businessman Keith Gross announced his US Senate candidacy against Sen. Rick Scott (R). Gross, a multi-millionaire, will challenge Sen. Scott in the Republican primary. He is clearly running as a conservative, based upon the rhetoric in his announcement video, but it will not be easy getting to the right of Sen. Scott.

Though Gross is capable of self-financing his campaign, resources will not be an issue for Sen. Scott. Then, as Florida’s governor, Scott, not counting money raised, spent $64 million of his own money for the 2018 Senate campaign. The primary challenge could, however, spur a potentially stronger Democratic opponent to come forth, thinking the nomination battle might weaken the incumbent. Therefore, this August 2024 Republican primary will draw national attention.

Ohio: Bernie Moreno Again — In 2022, wealthy Ohio businessman Bernie Moreno (R) entered the open US Senate race but dropped out before the May primary when it became clear he could not win the race. With state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) as the only 2024 announced candidate to challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), and the lone returning 2022 contender, Moreno has again chosen to throw his hat into the ring.

Others are expected to join the race, which will more than likely mean another crowded multi-candidate field, just as we saw a year ago when author and now Sen. J.D. Vance (R) rose to claim the nomination in May and eventually the seat in November. The Ohio race is one of the Republicans’ top national conversion targets.

House

MD-6: Republican Returning for Another Try — US Air Force veteran Mariela Roca, who finished third in a six-way 2022 Republican congressional primary, announced that she will again run in her western Maryland district next year. The 6th District, which the court-drawn plan made more Republican by removing a huge section of Montgomery County, appeared headed for a close finish between Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) and state Delegate Neil Parrott (R-Frederick). After the late votes were recorded, however, Rep. Trone recorded a substantial 55-45 percent victory, a margin of almost 25,000 votes.

In an open seat situation, however, this could become a highly competitive district. Sen. Ben Cardin (D) — who will be 81 years old before the next election — says he will decide shortly if he will seek a fourth term. This, after serving 20 years in the US House and another 20 years in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Should Sen. Cardin opt to retire, Rep. Trone would be a prime prospect to jump into an open Senate race. If these events occur, then the 6th District is sure to feature competitive Democratic and Republican primaries, and a tight general election.

Cities

Democratic National Committee: Chooses Chicago — For the 12th time, the Democratic National Committee has selected Chicago to host its national convention. The 2024 gathering will be the 50th such national conclave. A total of 18 cities have held the 50 Democratic conventions, with Chicago doing so most often. Eight others have hosted more than one: Baltimore (9), New York (5), St. Louis (4), and Philadelphia (3), with two each for Cincinnati, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Late last year, the Republicans chose Milwaukee as the site of their 2024 national convention.