Tag Archives: Steve Garvey

California Democrat Candidates Boost Republicans in Senate Race

Click on above image to watch ad.

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Senate

Senate Ad Campaign: Schiff, Porter Promote GOP Opponents — The California US Senate primary campaign may become regarded as the most unique in American history. Due to the top-two jungle system that the state’s voters adopted in the 2010 ballot proposition, we now see the unusual situation of two Democratic US Senate candidates using their own campaign funds to help boost specific Republican opponents.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) from the beginning has led the open race in all jungle primary polling. In the past couple of weeks, he began airing ads to, in a backhanded way, help Republican baseball great Steve Garvey finish second behind him, thus setting up a traditional Democrat/Republican general election, a contest Schiff is virtually assured of winning.

Schiff began financing ads supposedly against Garvey, saying in effect that he is too conservative for California. The ad message is actually targeted for Republican voters. If they coalesce around Garvey to the point that he is elevated into second place ahead of fellow Democratic candidate Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), and Porter is eliminated, Schiff’s road to the Senate after the March primary becomes much easier.

Porter herself is now adopting a similar strategy in hoping to elevate herself over Garvey, thus creating a highly competitive Democrat vs. Democrat general election. The most recent polls, however, suggest the Schiff strategy is working.

With the March 5 primary fast approaching, Emerson College surveyed the California electorate in a partnership with The Hill newspaper and the Inside California Politics blog (Feb. 16-18; 1,000 registered California voters; 935 likely jungle primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) and again found Rep. Schiff leading the open US Senate field, this time with 28 percent of the vote. In second place, and for the first time with a sizable advantage over the third-place finisher, is Garvey, with 22 percent. Following are Reps. Porter and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) with 16 and nine percent, respectively.

Garvey raised only $610,000 through the end of 2023, which meant there was little way he could finance a major statewide media and digital buy. Therefore, Schiff is taking it upon himself to help Garvey by “attacking” him with the idea that Republican voters will respond and unite behind him.

Now Porter is getting into the act, seeing that the Schiff strategy is helping to move Garvey’s numbers. She launched short 15-second ads “attacking” Republican Eric Early, who has even less in the way of campaign resources than his partisan opponent. The ad script claims Early is “too MAGA for California,” and criticizes Garvey for not saying who he would support for president.

Porter’s target is the hardcore Trump voter who she hopes to peel away from Garvey in enough volume to allow her to slip into second place with her share of the state’s much larger left-of-center/Democratic base.

With President Joe Biden having virtually no opposition and his approval numbers, though in positive territory, still rather weak, it is possible we could see a lower Democratic primary turnout, and such an occurrence could also boost Garvey’s chances for second place.

In the 2022 election, just over 7 million people voted in the California jungle primary, and in the 2020 presidential primary election, the total turnout exceeded 8.3 million voters. Most believe the 2024 turnout will be under the state’s last presidential election primary turnout, the aforementioned 2020 statistics.

In the national presidential election, due to delegate selection, states must hold partisan primaries or caucuses. Therefore, the top two system is not in effect for nominating a presidential candidate. In 2020, 68 percent of the voters participated in the Democratic primary and 29 percent cast a Republican ballot.

If the Democratic participation rate becomes lower than 2020, and the Republican number slightly improves, then Garvey may well have a chance to finish second. With the larger number of Democratic candidates potentially further splitting perhaps a lower turnout base, then Republican hopes of qualifying a general election candidate grow.

Reps. Schiff and Porter are demonstrating a different way of campaigning in what is a rare primary structure, and thus possibly exposing one of the system’s flaws. Regardless of whether the Schiff and Porter campaign tactic is something the voters intended when they adopted the voting structure, at least one of the Democrats’ strategies may prove effective.

The outcome of this race is just one more point of interest to watch in what will be a very busy Super Tuesday primary night throughout the nation.

Trump Projected to Win Electoral College; California Primary Poll Jockeying; Texas Senate Race Numbers; NJ-8 Dueling Dem Polls

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump

Decision Desk HQ: Projects Trump at 312 EVs — The Decision Desk HQ, in association with The Hill newspaper, has forecast a new 50-state electoral vote projection. All swing states are averaged based upon data from at least five recent polls. The new estimates give former President Donald Trump his largest-ever Electoral College vote lead, 312-226.

The key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are all landing in the Trump camp according to DDHQ. To win the 2024 election, Trump needs to convert states that equal 35 electoral votes. According to this projection, Trump is improving his stance by 80 electoral votes when compared with his 2020 performance.

Senate

California: Primary Battle Over Second Place — Emerson College surveyed the California electorate in a partnership with The Hill newspaper and the Inside California Politics blog (Feb. 16-18; 1,000 registered California voters; 935 likely jungle primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) again found US Rep. Adam Schiff (D) leading the open US Senate field, this time with 28 percent of the vote. In second place, and for the first time with a sizable advantage over the third-place finisher, is former baseball great Steve Garvey (R) with 22 percent. Following are Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) with 16 percent and nine percent, respectively.

The poll has a number of positive points for Garvey. Aside from the Emerson/Hill data suggesting he secures a general election slot, he does well with older voters. He registers a 33 percent preference total from those over 70 years of age, which is typically the highest turnout sector, and scores in second position with who voters believe would best handle the crime, homelessness, war in Israel, and immigration issues, while rating only three points below who would best handle abortion.

Additionally, the third-place finisher, Rep. Porter, does best with the youth vote, but this segment has the poorest participation history.

The California jungle primary is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5. The top two finishers regardless of political party affiliation or percentage attained will advance to the general election. Sen. Laphonza Butler (D), who Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appointed to replace the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), is not running for a full term.

Texas: Rep. Allred Establishes Strong Primary Lead, Cruz Likewise in General — YouGov, polling for the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin (Feb. 2-12; 1,313 registered Texas voters; 1,200 likely Texas primary voters; online), tested the Lone Star State electorate for the coming March 5 primary election, and found US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas), who has been using his resource advantage to advertise heavily, exceeding the 50 percent threshold within the Democratic primary segment. According to the YouGov results, Allred records a 52 percent preference figure as compared to state Sen. Roland Gutierrez’s (D-San Antonio) 14 percent.

Former Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez and state Rep. Carl Sherman (D-Dallas) register support figures of only five and two percent.

Within the general election sample, however, the tables turn. Here, Sen. Ted Cruz (R) records his best polling stance of the current campaign, with a 46-32 percent margin over Rep. Allred. The Daily Kos Elections site analysts criticized the poll because the questionnaire did not assign a party label with each candidate. They reason that Allred would have received better support had such been the case.

Two points of disagreement: first, the primary question was asked before the general election question, thus the voters were already told that Allred was a Democrat. Second, it is more likely that Sen. Cruz, who has not been overly popular in the state, would have actually benefited more with party labels since Texas has been a solid state for the GOP since the early 1990s.

House

NJ-8: Dueling Internal Dem Primary Polls — Last week, Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) released the results of his internal TargetSmart survey that posted him to a relatively strong 46-22 percent advantage over Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla in their quest for the Democratic nomination. On Wednesday, the Bhalla campaign countered with their own poll, this one from GQR Research another highly rated polling firm. This data (released Feb. 20; 403 likely NJ-8 Democratic primary voters) finds a much different ballot test, with the incumbent leading only 44-41 percent.

These polls, seemingly both well conducted, are far apart in how they view the race. This will be another of the most interesting primary contests to watch during our current election cycle.

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.
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First Post-New Hampshire GOP Poll Released; Battle For California Senate Seat; Ruppersberger to Retire; Field in NJ-7 Now Down to Two

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024

President

Former South Carolina governor and current Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley lags 27 points behind former President Trump in her home state. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

South Carolina: First Post-NH GOP Poll Released — The first post-New Hampshire primary survey is out, and we see former President Donald Trump performing well in former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s home state. The Tyson Group tested the Palmetto State Republican electorate immediately after the New Hampshire vote (Jan. 24-26; 543 likely South Carolina Republican primary voters; online) and found Trump holding a large 58-31 percent advantage over Haley.

The poll sample, including Independents who say they will vote in the Republican primary, hold both presidential candidates in high regard. Trump’s approval index is 68:27 percent favorable to unfavorable, while Haley’s is slightly worse at 56:33 percent. In comparison, Sen. Tim Scott’s (R) rating is 57:20 percent.

The South Carolina Republican primary is scheduled for Feb. 24 while the Democrats vote on Feb. 3, so the state’s residents can expect a great deal of political action coming their way in the next few weeks.

Senate

California: Second-Place Flipping — As the March 5 Super Tuesday vote approaches, polling in the California Senate jungle primary consistently shows Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) nailing down first place, but second place as undecided. The latest released survey, from Emerson College (Jan. 11-14; 1,087 registered California voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Rep. Schiff holding a 25-18-13-8 percent lead over Republican baseball great Steve Garvey (R), while US Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) trail with their respective support percentages.

A similar poll from The LA Times (UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies; Jan. 4-8; 8,199 registered California voters; 4,470 likely March 5 primary voters; online) released 10 days earlier than the Emerson data found Rep. Schiff leading Rep. Porter, Garvey, and Rep. Lee in a 21-17-13-9 percent spread.

Comparing the current Emerson poll with their November California survey, Garvey gained eight percentage points, while Rep. Porter remained stagnant. Under the California system, all primary contenders compete on the same ballot, with the top two — regardless of percentage attained and party affiliation — advancing to the Nov. 5 general election.

House

MD-2: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) to Retire — Maryland US Rep. Charles A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville) announced on Friday that he will not seek a 12th term in the House, thus completing what will be 30 consecutive years in elective office counting his time in Congress and as Baltimore County Executive. He leaves a northern Maryland congressional district that could be on the cusp of competitiveness, but Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski (D) appears primed as Rep. Ruppersberger’s heir apparent.

The 2nd District covers the area just north of Baltimore city and extends all the way to the Pennsylvania border. It includes about two-thirds of Baltimore County, 90 percent of Carroll County, and about 30,000 residents in Baltimore City. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+11. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 52.5D – 41.4R partisan lean, and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks MD-2 as the 62nd most vulnerable seat in the House Democratic Conference.

NJ-7: Dem Field Winnows to Two — Democrats want to make a strong run against freshman New Jersey US Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield), but one of their candidates just decided to end his congressional bid. Summit Township Councilman Greg Vartan announced on Friday that he will suspend his campaign, leaving former State Department official Jason Blazakis and ex-Working Families Party state director Sue Altman as the two competing Democrats.

Former Congressman Tom Malinowski (D), the man Rep. Kean unseated in 2022, just announced he would not enter the Senate race. Speculation has surrounded him about seeking a congressional rematch, but there is no tangible evidence that the former representative is planning to make a 2024 comeback.

Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus Winners, Losers & Runners-Up; California Senate Polling Update; NY-26 Special Election Nominee

Gov. Ron DeSantis celebrates with supporters at a caucus night watch party at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel in Iowa. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024

President

Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus: Winners, Losers & Runners-Up — The first votes of the presidential campaign have been cast, and former President Donald Trump met expectations last night in the Iowa Caucuses as he became the first non-incumbent candidate to secure a majority of the vote in the state’s history. The Democrats first voted in Iowa back in 1972, with Republicans following in 1976.

It appears he will place first in 98 of the state’s 99 counties, losing apparently by just one vote in Johnson County, home to the University of Iowa. He also won closely, and below 50 percent in Story County, the home of Iowa State University, and in the state’s most populous county, Polk, the home to the capital city of Des Moines. He recorded plurality victories in eight other counties.

At this writing, and mostly in the rural regions, Trump exceeded 60 percent of the vote in 41 counties, and topped 70 percent in eight. His best showing appears to be in Keokuk County, where he recorded 74 percent. There is likely to be some change in these numbers once all of the votes are counted and canvassed.

The battle for second in Iowa is close, as predicted, though it appears that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and not the candidate the media proclaimed had the most momentum, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, finishes second. DeSantis was hovering around the 21 percent mark, some 30 points behind Trump. Haley was further back approaching 19 percent of the caucus votes. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, as polling also predicted, was well back with just under eight percent support. After considering his fourth-place finish, Ramaswamy announced that he was dropping out of the presidential race.

“There is no path for me to be the next president, absent things that we don’t want to see happen in this country,” he said at his Iowa watch party at the Surety Hotel in downtown Des Moines.

“I am so proud of every one of you who have lifted us up,” he said to the crowd. He then announced that he would give his “full endorsement” to Trump. Ramaswamy said he had called Trump to tell him that he was suspending his campaign and would endorse the former president.

Senate

California: Schiff and Porter Lead New Poll — The University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for Government Studies, a regular California political pollster, released their latest US Senate survey result. This poll, for the Los Angeles Times (Jan. 4-8; 8,199 registered California voters; 4,470 weighted sub-sample; online), again finds Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) leading the crowded field, but with a smaller margin than found in other recent polls.

Baseball great Steve Garvey (R), who had placed second in two December polls, is third here, but still gained support when compared to the previous Berkeley IGS survey (10 percent in October poll; 13 percent in current edition). Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), second in their previous polls, is also second now, but remains stagnant at 17 percent support when compared to the two previous Berkeley IGS studies. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) remains languishing with single digit support with nine percent preference.

The California jungle primary is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5. The top two finishers regardless of percentage attained or political party affiliation will advance into the November general election.

House

NY-26: Democrats Choose Special Election Nominee — The local Erie and Niagara County Democratic Party chairmen announced that they have chosen state Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) as their special election congressional nominee once Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) resigns in early February. Once the seat officially becomes vacant, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will call a special election to fill the seat for the balance of the current term. The Republican chairmen will announce their pick at a later date.

Under New York election procedure, a district’s county chairmen have the power to nominate a special election candidate in lieu of holding a party primary or special district convention.

Nate McMurray, a former western New York local official who ran two close campaigns in the former 27th District that was collapsed in 2021 reapportionment, declared after the announcement naming Sen. Kennedy as the special election Democratic nominee that he will launch a regular Democratic primary challenge against him for the full term.

Pre-Christmas Poll Favors Schiff & Garvey; Potential New Utah Senate Candidate; Fong Reinstated in California Race

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024

Senate

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) / Former baseball great Steve Garvey (R)

California: Pre-Christmas Poll Favors Schiff & Garvey — A new survey, this one from Politico/Morning Consult (Dec. 15-19; 858 likely California jungle primary voters; online with leaners), finds US Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) posting his largest polling lead over the large multi-party candidate field and is the second to show retired baseball great Steve Garvey (R) claiming second position.

The Morning Consult data records Rep. Schiff at 28 percent and Garvey following with 19 percent. If this trend were to continue, Schiff and Garvey would advance into the post-March 5 general election. US Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) trail with 17 and 14 percent, respectively. If this poll were the final vote, both Reps. Porter and Lee would be eliminated from further competition.

Utah: Rep. Curtis Poised to Enter Senate Race — Utah political reports are suggesting that four-term US Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) will imminently join the open US Senate race with the hope of succeeding retiring Sen. Mitt Romney (R). Originally saying he would not run for the Senate, the congressman is apparently on the brink of changing his mind as he sees the candidate field develop.

With several key Republicans such as Gov. Spencer Cox declining to run for the federal post, and no other GOP House member entering to date, Curtis now believes he would have a strong chance of winning the party primary. Looking at the field, the strongest contender appears to be former state House Speaker Brad Wilson. Utah’s candidate filing period expires on Jan. 8, so decisions will now be made quickly.

Should Rep. Curtis run for the Senate, he will likely petition onto the ballot. When he won his special congressional election in 2017, he was not the choice of the local Republican nominating convention but did win the special primary election. Prior to serving in Congress, Rep. Curtis was twice elected as Provo’s mayor.

House

CA-20: Fong Reinstated to Cong Ballot — Reversing the California Secretary of State’s ruling, a California Superior Court judge ruled that state Assemblyman Vincent Fong (R-Bakersfield) can run for the open 20th Congressional District seat that Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) has vacated. Because Fong had filed and been qualified as a candidate for re-election to the assembly, the secretary of state ruled that he could not enter the regular congressional election campaign after McCarthy announced his intention to retire. Fong challenged the administrative ruling and will now become a congressional candidate.

Also in the regular jungle primary are Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux, five other Republicans, two Democrats, and two Independents. CA-20, carrying a R+31 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, is the safest Republican seat in California. A special election to fill the balance of the current term should be called now that McCarthy has officially left office.

Garvey Moves Into Second in Calif.; LaRose Widening Lead in Ohio; Decision Looming for Arizona Sheriff; No Rematch in RI-2

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023

Senate

Steve Garvey, former LA Dodgers great

California: Garvey Moves Into Second in New Poll — Survey USA went into the field to test the California electorate in anticipation of the state’s open US Senate primary on Super Tuesday, March 5. As you may remember, California uses an all-party top two primary system that serves as a qualifying election for the November vote. The top two finishers on March 5, regardless of political party affiliation or percentage attained, will advance to the general election. All other candidates will be eliminated from further competition.

This means that at least one Democratic US House member will not advance. The huge field of 53 individuals who filed with California’s secretary of state will be winnowed down (the California SoS is targeting Dec. 28 as the date to have an official list of qualified candidates in all elections) but will still feature a very large ballot.

Three of the contenders who are sure to qualify as Senate candidates are US Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Katie Porter (D-Irvine), and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank). Each is attempting to qualify for the general election but at least one will fail. Because the bulk of votes will likely split among these three — relatively evenly, as polling suggests — it is conceivable that a well-known Republican such as baseball great Steve Garvey (R), could capture the second qualifying position in coalescing the minority Republican vote, thus eliminating two of the three House members.

The Survey USA poll (Dec. 7-10; 676 registered California voters; 590 likely voters; online) sees Rep. Schiff leading the large ballot, as he has in most other polls, with 22 percent. S-USA detects the scenario described above in that Garvey is second with 15 percent. Reps. Porter and Lee follow with 12 percent apiece. Democrats will be heavy favorites to hold the open seat that appointed Sen. Laphonza Butler (D) is leaving after replacing the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), but Garvey sneaking into second place from the jungle primary now appears as a distinct possibility.

Ohio: New Survey Finds LaRose Opening GOP Lead — Survey USA released their latest Ohio US Senate poll (released Dec. 18; no methodology available) and finds a much different result than other recent polls. The last two studies released earlier in the month, from McLaughlin & Associates and Fabrizio Lee & Associates, found businessman Bernie Moreno posting very small (one to two points) Republican primary leads over Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls).

The S-USA data sees a wholly different result. Here, Secretary LaRose maintains a large 33-18-12 percent advantage over Sen. Dolan and Moreno. We will need more data to gain a better picture of this primary race as the candidates move through January and February to the nomination election on March 19. The Ohio primary is plurality based, meaning the candidate with the most votes, regardless of percentage attained, will win the nomination in this one election. The eventual nominee will then challenge three-term Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the most important Senate general elections in the 2024 voting cycle.

House

AZ-2: Recruiting Primary Opponent for Rep. Crane — Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (R) confirms that he is being recruited by unnamed sources to leave the Senate race and turn his political effort toward challenging 2nd District US Rep. Eli Crane (R-Oro Valley/ Flagstaff) in next year’s GOP primary. Crane was one of the eight Republican members who voted to oust then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

While Sheriff Lamb may be rejecting such overtures now, candidate filing for the Aug. 6 primary does not end until April 8, so much time remains for him to reverse course. It is probable that Lamb will continue to see the Senate nomination rapidly slipping away. If so, challenging Rep. Crane may eventually prove to be the sheriff’s better political move.

RI-2: No Re-Match — As reported in the Cook Political Report and by the Daily Kos Elections site and as noted in our post yesterday, former Cranston mayor and ex-gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung (R), who held freshman Rhode Island Rep. Ira Magaziner (D-Cranston) to a 50-46 percent win in a 2nd District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+17, will not return to run again in 2024.

Fung is clearly the Republicans’ best possible candidate, so this seat will not be considered a GOP conversion target in 2024 despite the closeness of the most recent campaign. Polling had indicated Fung was in position to score a major upset in 2022 but fell short when the votes were actually counted.