Tag Archives: Todd Rokita

Arizona’s Ducey Not Considering Running; Ex-Gov Daniels Tops GOP Field; Former Incumbent, Challenger to Return to House Races

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023

Senate

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R)

Arizona: Ex-Gov Out; Gubernatorial Candidate Considering — Upon exiting office at the end of his two full terms, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) name continues to be mentioned prominently as a potential US Senate candidate. The now-former governor again confirmed, however, that he is not even considering running for the federal post in 2024. Another potential Senate candidate who is considering making a run is 2022 gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson (R), who lost to former news anchorwoman Kari Lake, 48-43 percent, in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) has not yet announced her re-election intentions but appears to be preparing her Independent run in a three-way race. Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) and Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) are actively assessing their individual chances in what could become a seriously contested Democratic primary. Again, the Arizona Senate race will be one of the focal points of the 2024 election cycle, but this time will feature a unique procedural contest.

Indiana: Ex-Gov Daniels Tops GOP Field — A Bellwether Research survey (Dec. 11-17; 1,000 registered Indiana Republican voters; 457 likely Republican primary voters; online & text) was fielded just before Christmas and found former governor, and most recently Purdue University President Mitch Daniels leading a prospective open Indiana Republican US Senate primary. If he were to run, Daniels would top Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) 32-10 percent with former Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, current US Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville), and attorney general and former Congressman Todd Rokita trailing with 9-7-7 percent support levels, respectively.

Sen. Mike Braun (R) is running for governor. None of the aforementioned has officially declared their intention to run for the Senate, but all admit to at least be considering the possibility of launching a campaign.

House

NY-17: Former Incumbent May Return — Democrat Mondaire Jones, who won the 17th Congressional District in 2020 only to depart for a post-redistricting New York City seat in 2022, says he is considering returning to Westchester County to challenge Rep-Elect Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River) in 2024. Jones did not want to oppose then-Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in the Democratic primary after the latter man declared his candidacy, so he instead moved to a new Manhattan-Brooklyn 10th District that Rep-Elect Dan Goldman (D-New York City), an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, eventually won.

In the 17th, Lawler, then a state assemblyman, unseated Rep. Maloney with a 51-49 percent general election victory margin. This, in a new district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+7. There is no question that NY-17 will be a top target in 2024.

WA-3: Defeated Favorite to Return — Joe Kent, the Republican who denied then-Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler advancement into the general election but then lost in November to Rep-Elect Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Skamania County) in one of the nation’s biggest 2022 upsets, says he will return for a 2024 re-match. Because Kent was widely favored to win the seat but failed to convert, we can expect intense competition in what will be an August Washington jungle primary. FiveThirtyEight rates WA-3 as R+11.

Governor

Indiana: Braun Tops Field — The aforementioned Bellwether Research poll (see Indiana Senate above) projects Sen. Mike Braun to a large lead in the impending open 2024 GOP gubernatorial contest.

Braun holds a 25-9-7-6-3 percent Republican primary advantage over Attorney General Todd Rokita, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, ex-Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, and businessman Eric Doden, respectively. At this point, Crouch and Doden have announced their candidacies, as has Sen. Braun. Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.

Senate ’18 Updates – Part I

By Jim Ellis

March 17, 2017 — As we approach the end of first quarter 2017, we see political maneuvering beginning to occur in many in-cycle US Senate states. Despite what columnists and news reporters are already saying about the Republicans potentially sustaining big mid-term losses in 2018, the Democrats have only one legitimate Senate target: Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV).

Unfortunately for them, Democrats must defend 25 of the 34 in-cycle seats (the latter number includes the Alabama special election), and this political fundamental is likely the key reason Republicans will hold the majority irrespective of what the political climate may be like at election time. Arguably, seven of the nine in-cycle GOP seats are located in some of the strongest Republican states in the nation. Today we take a look at the states alphabetically from Alabama through Maryland.

• Alabama: Appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) has over a year to solidify himself politically before standing for election. He may well receive a Republican primary challenge because of the circumstances under which he was appointed to succeed Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sen. Strange, while the Alabama attorney general, was conducting an investigation into Gov. Robert Bentley (R), which was obviously stalled when the appointment was made. So far, no one has announced against Sen. Strange, but state Senate President Del Marsh (R) is a possible candidate.

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Our Indiana Primary Preview

Tuesday features two congressional primary elections: Indiana and North Carolina. Today, we preview the Indiana races; on Monday, North Carolina.

Governor: Incumbent Mitch Daniels (R) is term-limited, so an open-seat contest will occur in the fall. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN-6) and former state House Speaker John Gregg (D) will be the general election combatants, with Pence beginning the race as a heavy favorite.

Senate: We all know that six-term Sen. Richard Lugar (R), who ran unopposed just six years ago, is in the fight for his political life against fellow Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. The race has been hard-fought, with each man and their outside group supporters running a spate of negative ads. The focal points have been Lugar straying too far from his conservative base, the fact that he does not have a residence in Indiana, and that he has lost touch with his Hoosier State roots. Lugar counters with criticism of the way Mourdock has managed both the taxpayers’ public funds and his office.

The key to determining a victor in this contest, as is most often the case, is turnout. Indiana has an open primary law, meaning any registered voter, regardless of previous primary voting history, may participate in the party primary of his or her choice. Therefore, with little in the way of contested campaigns in the Democratic primary, it is likely the preponderance of voters will choose to cast their ballot on the Republican side. This could affect the Senate race in two ways: first, Democrats and Independents supportive of Lugar can vote for him and potentially provide enough of a margin to overcome Mourdock’s strong support among conservatives; second, activist Democrats, believing that Mourdock would be the weaker candidate in the general election against consensus Dem candidate Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN-2), could vote for the challenger and potentially weaken the non-Republican support that Lugar might attract.

Tuesday will host a close race with several uncontrollable factors positioned to decide the final outcome. It’s too close to call.

  • IN-1: Rep. Peter Visclosky (D) is unopposed in the Democratic primary.
  • IN-2: This is an open seat, with Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) running for Senate. The open seat battle will be hot and heavy in November, but Tuesday’s vote looks secure for Republican former state Rep. Jackie Walorski and Democratic businessman Brendan Mullen.
  • IN-3: Freshman Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R) is unopposed in Tuesday’s Republican primary and will find out which of six Democrats will win the right to oppose him in November. This should be a relatively easy re-election run for Stutzman.
  • IN-4: Freshman Rep. Todd Rokita (R), Indiana’s former Secretary of State, gains 35 percent new territory but the Obama number is only 45 percent. He is safe in November.
  • IN-5: Rep. Dan Burton (R) is retiring, making this an open seat. With 30-year veteran Rep. Burton not seeking a 16th term, eight Republicans, including former congressman and 2000 gubernatorial nominee David McIntosh (R-IN-2), vie for the new 5th District. McIntosh is the clear favorite to win the nomination. Democratic state Rep. Scott Reske is favored for his party’s nomination.
  • IN-6: Rep. Mike Pence (R) is running for governor, making this an open seat. Seven Republicans and five Democrats are running for the right to succeed Pence, with Tuesday’s GOP nominee becoming the prohibitive favorite in a district that gave 55 percent of its votes to John McCain in 2008. Former state representative and Republican Party executive director Luke Messer is the leading candidate for the nomination.
  • IN-7: Three Democrats, seven Republicans, and two Independents are opposing Rep. Andre Carson (D), but that’s rather irrelevant. The congressman will win again in November.
  • IN-8: First-term southwestern district congressman, Rep. Larry Bucshon (R), faces a Republican primary opponent, Kristi Risk, who held Bucshon to only a 33-29 percent victory margin two years ago. But Bucshon is the favorite in a district that contains 88 percent of his previous constituency. Democrats will nominate former state representative and broadcaster Dave Crooks.
  • IN-9: Five Democrats, none of whom had even raised $100,000 prior to the two-week financial reporting deadline, are fighting for the right to take on yet another Indiana freshman congressman, southeastern district Rep. Todd Young (R). This shouldn’t be much of a contest in the fall, as Rep. Young is cruising toward a second term.

Redistricting in Iowa, Indiana, Arkansas & Maryland

The Census Bureau is sending four more states their block data this week and soon Iowa, Indiana, Arkansas, and Maryland will begin their redistricting processes.

Iowa: The Hawkeye State — which draws its lines through a special legislative committee and does not add the incumbents’ home addresses to their data pull, thereby ensuring that districts are built only around population figures and not politics — will be the most interesting of this bunch. Iowa will lose a seat, and it’s still unclear which two members will be paired. Prior to the actual census data being released, it was estimated that Iowa had two of the 20 lowest populated districts. The current delegation stands at three Democrats and two Republicans, so statistically the Democrats have a greater chance of having at least one of their districts in a pairing. On the Republican side, Rep. Tom Latham’s 4th district, the more interior seat, has a greater chance of being paired than the western-most 5th district of Rep. Steve King. The final four-seat plan could assume one of many diverse variations, but it’s simply too soon to tell what may happen here. We do know for sure, however, that at least one current sitting incumbent will not return in the next Congress.

Indiana: The new Indiana Republican delegation approaches redistricting in strong position. The delegation is divided 6R-3D, after the GOP gained two seats in the 2010 election. All six Republicans can expect to gain safe seats from the GOP-controlled state legislature and Gov. Mitch Daniels (R). Expect the southern Indiana seats, districts 8 and 9, to be strengthened with more Republicans, thus reconfiguring to some extent the safe 4th (Rep. Todd Rokita) and 6th districts (Rep. Mike Pence; likely an open seat). The aforementioned central state seats will all remain heavily Republican, including the 5th district of Rep. Dan Burton, but they will likely contain some different territory. The big Indiana question is whether the Republicans will try to weaken Rep. Joe Donnelly’s (D) 2nd district. He barely secured a third term last November with a very tight 48-47% victory over state Rep. Jackie Walorski (R).

Arkansas: The Republicans gained two seats in the Arkansas delegation, flipping the 3D-1R advantage into a 3:1 split in the GOP’s favor. With Democrats in control of the redistricting pen, will they draw a map that protects all incumbents to the detriment of their own party? Today, that’s difficult to say. The wild card in the picture is Rep. Mike Ross’ (D-AR-4) open desire to run for governor in 2014, since Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe will be term-limited. Ross wants to ensure the safest congressional seat possible for himself to build a strong base for the statewide contest. The more Democratic Ross’ district becomes, the greater the chance all three Republicans survive.

Maryland: This is a state where the Democrats must be concerned about over-reaching. Currently ensconced with a solid 6D-2R delegation split, some Ds want to see the Eastern Shore seat strengthened to give a legitimate shot a unseating freshman Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD-1). Geography favors Harris, as the Eastern Shore is unlikely to be split. If the region has grown, this will help Harris, too. The Congressman hails from the mainland of the state, and his strength on the Eastern Shore may be weaker than most incumbents, but he has a full term in which to personalize his seat. The only Maryland question to resolve is how far will the Democrats go? Will they secure a strong 6D-2R map, or stretch to 7D-1R?
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