Tag Archives: Wisconsin

AZ Polls Show Trump Over Desantis, But Desantis Over Biden; Ex-House Member Considers PA Senate Bid; Tiffany Readying for Senate Run in Wisc.; Kentucky Governor Poll

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, April 19, 2023

President

Former President Donald Trump; Florida Gov. Ron Desantis (R)

Arizona: Trump Up in AZ GOP Primary Poll; DeSantis Leads in General — Two presidential polls were released in critically important Arizona, one for the Republican primary and the other isolating the candidates against President Biden. It is abundantly clear that Republicans must bring the Grand Canyon State back into their Electoral College coalition if they are to have any chance of winning the 2024 national election.

The Republican primary survey posts former President Donald Trump to a substantial advantage over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Desantis, however, would lead President Biden in a general election poll, while Trump would not.

JL Partners (April 10-12; 550 registered Arizona Republican and Undeclared voters) finds Trump holding a 47-24-4-4-3-2 percent advantage over Gov. DeSantis, ex-Vice President Mike Pence, former US Rep. Liz Cheney, ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, respectively, in the GOP primary study. Public Opinion Strategies surveyed the state’s general electorate (April 11-13; 500 likely Arizona voters; live interview) and forecasts Gov. DeSantis leading President Biden, 48-42 percent, while Trump trails 45-44 percent.

Senate

Pennsylvania: Ex-Rep. Rothfus Considering Senate — Republican Keith Rothfus served three terms in the US House from 2013 to 2019. He was defeated for re-election in 2018 when the state Supreme Court map collapsed Rep. Rothfus’ Pittsburgh area seat with that of fellow Rep. Conner Lamb (D). In that Democratic wave election year, Rep. Lamb defeated Rothfus with a 56-44 percent margin. The victorious congressman would then lose the 2022 US Senate Democratic primary to current incumbent John Fetterman, however.

Though the national and state Republican leadership are making it clear they would like to see 2022 Senate candidate David McCormick return to challenge Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D), Rothfus is indicating that he would have the ability to become a consensus candidate. There is yet no word from McCormick himself if he will again become a Senate contender. The Republican leadership certainly wants to put this seat in play but defeating Sen. Casey will be a tall order regardless of who becomes the GOP nominee.

Wisconsin: Rep. Tiffany Okays Senate Website — Reports are surfacing that Wisconsin US Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) has approved the purchase of US Senate campaign domain names. The Congressman indicated, however, that this act does not necessarily mean he will actually become a statewide candidate.

Tiffany won a special election to the 7th Congressional District in 2020 with 57 percent of the vote, and then a full term with 61 percent later that year. He was re-elected in 2022 with a 62 percent vote margin. Should he run for the Senate and win the Republican primary, Rep. Tiffany would then face Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) who recently announced that she will compete for a third term.

Governor

Kentucky: AG Cameron Securing First Place in New Poll — Now less than one month before the 2023 Kentucky statewide primary election, a new Emerson College poll (April 10-11; 900 likely Kentucky Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) sees Attorney General Daniel Cameron continuing to lead the GOP gubernatorial primary despite being under intense attack from his main opponent.

The poll results find AG Cameron leading former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft 30-24 percent. Trailing are Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (15 percent), disbarred attorney Eric Deters (6 percent), and state Auditor Mike Harmon (2 percent). The winner of the May 16 primary battle will then challenge Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in the November general election.

Sen. Scott Forms Exploratory Committee; Sen. Baldwin to Seek Third Term; Re-Match Brewing in AZ, NY; Ex-Rep. Rouda Injured in Fall

By Jim Ellis — Friday, April 14, 2023

President

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R)

Sen. Tim Scott: Exploratory Committee Formed — South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R) announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, which is likely his first official step toward becoming a national candidate. It’s hard to see a Republican nomination victory path for the senator, however. South Carolina is obviously the heart of his support base, but with the state’s former governor, Nikki Haley, already in the race, even that is diminished.

Should Sen. Scott advance into official candidacy, it is likely that former President Donald Trump will be the chief beneficiary. The more crowded the candidate field, the more favorable to Trump.

Senate

Wisconsin: Sen. Tammy Baldwin to Seek Third Term — As expected, Badger State Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) announced this week that she will seek a third term next year. Baldwin was first elected to the Senate in 2012 but has been in elected public office consecutively since 1985. Prior to winning her current position, Baldwin served in the US House, the Wisconsin state assembly, the Dane County Board of Supervisors, and the Madison Common Council.

No Republican has formally come forward, but several individuals are considering the race. Unless the congressional map is redrawn, it is doubtful any member of the US House delegation will run. Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is a potential candidate as is businessman Scott Mayer. While Sen. Baldwin will be favored for re-election, the 2024 Senate race could well become highly competitive.

House

AZ-6: Re-Match Brewing — We are seeing several re-matches take place in 2024 US House races, and one in Arizona became official yesterday. Last November, Republican Juan Ciscomani (R-Tucson) defeated then-state Sen. Kirsten Engel (D) by a 50.7 – 49.2 percent count, a margin of 5,232 votes. Now, Engel returns for a second chance.

Arizona’s 6th District sits in the southeast corner of the state and contains approximately half of the city of Tucson. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates it as R+7, but Dave’s Redistricting App sees a closer 50.9R – 47.1D partisan lean. Count on another close finish in this desert congressional district.

CA-47: Ex-Rep. Harley Rouda Forced Out — Former Rep. Harley Rouda (D), who held the former 48th Congressional District for one term, had announced a comeback attempt for next year’s political contest in new District 47. Unfortunately, Rouda was involved in a falling accident in which he sustained head injuries. On the advice of his physicians, Rouda says that he will now not pursue his 2024 candidacy and instead concentrate on returning to full health status.

This development means we will now almost assuredly see an open-seat contest between state Sen. David Min (D-Irvine) and 2022 congressional nominee and ex-state Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R). In the previous election, Baugh lost to incumbent Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) by a 51.7 – 48.3 percent split. Rep. Porter is leaving the House to run for the US Senate.

NY-19: Another Re-Match Brewing — Continuing with re-matches, attorney Josh Riley (D), who lost 49.9 – 48.4 percent to now-freshman Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-Red Hook), announced that he, too, will return for another campaign in 2024.

The Upstate 19th District, anchored in Ulster and Dutchess Counties, is rated as R+1 from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, while Dave’s Redistricting App sees the partisan lean as a much different 52.0D – 44.6R. Democrats are already committed to targeting the Hudson Valley seats, so expect this race to transform into a national congressional campaign.

No 2024 Re-Match in Ariz.;
MI-4 Re-Match on the Horizon; Killdeer Announces Cancer Diagnosis; Re-Election Run in WI-1

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, April 5, 2023

House

Arizona businessman Jevin Hodge (D)

AZ-1: No 2024 Re-Match — Arizona businessman Jevin Hodge (D), who held veteran Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) to a scant 50.4 – 49.6 percent re-election victory last November, a margin of 3,195 votes that proved the 12th-closest vote spread of all US House races, said Friday that he will not return to seek a re-match in 2024.

Even without Hodge as the party nominee, the Democrats are expected to make this race a key 2024 conversion target. Rep. Schweikert, still dealing with the after-effects from the penalties for 11 House ethics violations and an official reprimand in 2020, only recorded 43 percent in a three-way 2022 Republican primary. Therefore, it is probable that the congressman will again have strong Republican and Democratic challengers next year. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 1st District as R+7. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 50.9R – 47.5D.

MI-4: Re-Match on the Horizon — After Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) was the victim of his state losing a congressional seat in 2020 national reapportionment, he found himself paired with veteran Rep. Fred Upton (R). Upon Upton then deciding to retire after serving 18 terms, Rep. Huizenga was viewed as a lock for re-election. Surprisingly, however, his victory margin was only 54-42 percent against Marine Corps veteran Joseph Alonso (D) who spent just $36,159 on his campaign.

Last Friday, Alonso announced he will return for a re-match in 2024, and we can expect the Democrats to take a more serious look at his candidacy and the new 4th District. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+9, and the newly adjusted Dave’s Redistricting App calculations casts a 51.8R – 45.1D partisan lean. Rep. Huizenga is reportedly considering a run for the state’s open Senate seat but is ultimately expected to seek re-election next year.

MI-8: Rep. Killdeer Announces Cancer Diagnosis — Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) made public last week his cancer diagnosis, but the prognosis for full recovery post-treatment is strong. At this point, the congressman is expected to seek re-election next year. In 2024, he turned back a competitive challenge from former news anchorman Paul Junge (R) with a 53-43 percent margin.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates MI-8 as R+1, but Dave’s Redistricting App, in their adjusted post 2022 election ratings, calculates the partisan lean at 51.0D – 46.2R.

WI-1: Rep. Steil “Plans” to Seek Re-Election — During an interview last Friday, House Administration Committee chairman Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) says he is “planning” to seek re-election to his southern Wisconsin US House district and not challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) next year. The senator is expected to formally announce her re-election campaign later this month.

The statewide odd-year election could potentially change Rep. Steil’s mind, however. Should Democrat Janet Protasiewicz win the state Supreme Court election and flip the judicial panel to a Democratic majority, it is likely that immediate lawsuits will be filed to overturn the state’s congressional map. Protasiewicz has already said that she thinks the current 6R-2D federal plan is “unfair,” so it is likely that she, and the other Democratic justices, would vote to overturn the map.

If all of this happens, both Reps. Steil and freshman Derrick Van Orden (R-Prairie du Chien/La Crosse) could find their congressional districts on the partisan chopping block. At that point, talk of Rep. Steil running for the Senate could re-emerge.

Familiar Challenger in CA-41;
Special Election RI-1 Candidates Grow, Skepticism in WI-3 Race;
New Orleans Recall Effort Fails

By Jim Ellis — Friday, March 24, 2023

House

California Lake Elsinore City Councilman Tim Sheridan (D)

CA-41: Rep. Calvert Draws Familiar Challenger — Lake Elsinore City Councilman Tim Sheridan (D), who challenged Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) twice in the pre-redistricting and much more Republican 42nd District, announced this week that he will return to again run for the House in 2024.

In November, Rep. Calvert survived his second closest re-election effort, a 52-48 percent win over former federal prosecutor Will Rollins (D) in the new 41st District that is fully contained within Riverside County. We could see action in the all-party jungle primary because Rollins is also considering waging a return re-match with the 16-term incumbent.

RI-1: Special Election Candidate Count Expands to Six — As we reported yesterday, the RI-1 special election will be scheduled when Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) resigns from the House on June 1. This week, another four individuals announced their special Democratic primary candidacies already bringing the field’s total number to six.

Those previously declaring are Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos (D) and state Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket). The latest to enter are state Rep. Nathan Biah (D-Providence), corporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) consultant Nick Autiello, financial consultant Allen Waters, and bus driver Mickeda Barnes. Also as mentioned yesterday, the special election will effectively be decided in the Democratic primary from a seat that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+32.

WI-3: Potential Challenger Candidates Skeptical — The 3rd District of Wisconsin occupies the state’s southwestern region and while often voting Republican for president, the electorate returned Democratic Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) to office 13 consecutive times. Kind retired in 2022, and the Democratic leadership basically conceded the seat to Republican Derrick Van Orden in that the national party spent no money to protect a seat their member held for 26 consecutive years. In the end, Van Orden did win, but his victory margin fell far below predictions in defeating state Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-La Crosse) 52-48 percent.

It appears that Pfaff and two other former congressional candidates, La Crosse City Councilman Mark Neumann and small business owner Rebecca Cooke, are considering entering the 2024 congressional race. All, however, are saying they won’t run unless they are assured of national outside party support.

Mayor

New Orleans: Recall Effort Fails — The move to force a recall vote against Crescent City Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) came to an abrupt end at the petition signature deadline. The recall organization fell woefully short of recruiting the 45,000 registered voter signatures necessary to force a confirmation election. The Cantrell opposition group was only able to qualify approximately 27,000 signatures, or just 60 percent of the required number. The next regular mayoral election is scheduled for 2025.

Michigan State School Board President Considers Senate Run; Washington Sen. Cantwell Cruising; Ex-Gov. Walker Says No;
House Candidate Announcements

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, March 23, 2023

Senate

Michigan School Board President Pamela Pugh (D)

Michigan: State School Board President Considers Senate — Michigan School Board President Pamela Pugh (D), who has won two statewide elections to the state school board, a post that features eight-year terms, says she is considering entering the Democratic primary for US Senate.

At this point, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) is unopposed for the party nomination, but Pugh says she is concerned with the lack of African American representation throughout the state. Even the congressional delegation has no black Democrats despite the two Detroit-anchored congressional seats featuring plurality African American populations. The only black in the congressional delegation, freshman Rep. John James, is a Republican.

Washington: Sen. Cantwell (D) Cruising in New Poll — Public Policy Polling, the regular survey research firm for the Northwest Progressive Institute, released their latest Washington statewide study (March 7-8; 874 registered Washington voters; live interview & text) and tested the 2024 Senate race featuring four-term incumbent Maria Cantwell (D). Paired with former Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R), who is reportedly considering the challenge, PPP finds Sen. Cantwell holding a comfortable 50-35 percent advantage.

The 2022 Washington Senate race was billed as a competitive contest between Sen. Patty Murray (D) and Republican Tiffany Smiley, but ended in a 57-43 percent result. Since Republicans have a target-rich Senate cycle in 2024, it is doubtful the party will invest any serious resources toward a Cantwell challenge.

Wisconsin: Ex-Gov. Walker Says No — While Republicans are searching for a candidate to challenge two-term Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) in a race that could become competitive, one prominent Republican closed the door on a candidacy. Former two-term Gov. Scott Walker (R), who twice was elected governor but was defeated for a third term after not faring well in the 2016 presidential race, says he will not run for the Senate next year. The two potential GOP candidates most talked about are Walker’s former lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, and businessman Scott Mayer.

House

MI-7: Mayor Won’t Run — Recently, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor (D) launched a congressional exploratory committee since Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) will vacate the 7th Congressional District seat in order to run for the state’s open Senate seat. Typically, filing such a committee is the first step to announcing a candidacy, but in this case the opposite has occurred. Clearly, Mayor Schor did not find the results for which he had hoped, and announced Monday that he would not be a candidate for the 2024 open seat.

No one has yet announced for the 7th District. It is presumed that 2022 Republican candidate Tom Barrett, now a former state senator, will again make a run for the seat. He lost 51-46 percent to Rep. Slotkin last November.

RI-1: Second Special Election Candidate Announces — Though Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) will not resign from the House until June 1 to accept a position running a large Rhode Island non-profit organization, two Democratic candidates wanting to succeed him in Congress have now announced for the impending special election. Last week, Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos (D) declared her candidacy, and now state Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket) has followed suit.

Once Rep. Cicilline officially resigns, Gov. Dan McKee (D) will then schedule a special election to fill the seat for the balance of the current term. The special election will be decided in the Democratic primary in a safe seat that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+32.

Lt. Gov. a Potential Senate Candidate in Wisc.; Mayor Sheila Jackson Lee?; Reeves Rebounds in Mississippi; West Virginia Candidate Decisions

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Senate

Wisconsin’s former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R)

Wisconsin: Former Lieutenant Governor Potential Senate Candidate — We reported late last week that business owner Scott Mayer is considering competing for the Wisconsin US Senate nomination in a race that has not yet begun. Now we see reports surfacing that former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) is “leaving the door open” to considering a bid against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D).

Kleefisch, who served as lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) from 2011 to 2019, but who lost the 2022 GOP nomination for governor to businessman Tim Michels — who would then lose the general election to Gov. Tony Evers (D) — is currently leading the 1848 Project organization, a Wisconsin-based conservative action group.

House

TX-18: Mayor’s Option Still Open — Texas US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) is not commenting about further reports suggesting she will enter the open mayor’s race later this year. At the same time, she is not denying interest in doing so, and reports suggest that the congresswoman is telling close supporters that she is actively considering the race. The candidate filing period does not conclude until August, so quite a bit of time remains for her to enter the citywide campaign. Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to seek a third term, and is reportedly considering challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) next year.

Governor

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D)

Mississippi: Reeves Rebounds — Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy conducted a new Mississippi governor’s poll for the Magnolia Tribune (March 6-9; 625 registered Mississippi voters; live interview) and sees Gov. Tate Reeves (R) rebounding from a January Tulchin Research survey. The Mason-Dixon ballot test posts Gov. Reeves to a seven-point lead over Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D), 46-39 percent. The Tulchin poll staked Presley to an early 47-43 percent advantage.

In the M-D poll, the governor has leads throughout the state with the exception of the state’s 2nd Congressional District (Rep. Bennie Thompson-D), that occupies most of the Mississippi Delta area. In that region, Presley pulls a 15-percentage point lead. Gov. Reeves is strongest — a pair of 15-point spreads — in the Tennessee border region and on the Gulf Coast. With party nominations secure for both Gov. Reeves and Presley, the two are already waging a general election battle that will be settled on Nov. 7.

West Virginia: AG Morrisey Leads in New Poll — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), who lost to Sen. Joe Manchin in a close 49-46 percent result in 2018, claims to be deciding among seeking a re-match in the Senate race, or running for the open governor or 2nd Congressional District positions, or simply seeking re-election.

A newly released National Research poll that was conducted in late February for the Black Bear PAC (Feb. 23-28; 600 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters) projects Morrisey to be holding a 28-15-11-6 percent advantage in an open governor’s primary against state Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston), the son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R); Secretary of State Mac Warner (R); and businessman Chris Miller, son of Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington).

Though Morrisey has yet to commit to a race, this poll suggests his gubernatorial prospects are positive. Incumbent Gov. Jim Justice (R) is ineligible to seek a third term, and is likely to challenge Sen. Manchin.

Desantis-Trump Conflicting Results; 2022 PA Candidate Won’t Run Again; Decision Time in Wisconsin, Texas

By Jim Ellis — Friday, March 17, 2023

President

Former President Donald Trump; Florida Gov. Ron Desantis (R)

National Polls: Conflicting Results — While national polls don’t mean much in terms of projecting who will win a presidential nomination because the ultimate winner is decided through accumulating delegate votes through the states, we now see a released pair of interesting Republican nomination surveys conducted during the same period.

The CNN national survey (conducted by SSRS; March 8-12; 1,040 registered US voters; live interview & online) showed that the ballot test favored Gov. Ron DeSantis, who led former President Donald Trump 39-37 percent. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and ex-Vice President Mike Pence were a distant third and fourth with 7 and 6 percent, respectively.

Conversely, Quinnipiac University, in the field with their national poll (March 9-13; 677 Republican and Republican-leaning voters; live interview) projects a completely different ballot test result. The Q-Poll sees Trump holding a strong 46-32 percent lead over Gov. DeSantis, with Haley and Pence following at 5 and 3 percent, respectively.

Because the sample sizes are typically small for national polls, and therefore possess high error factors, we can expect to see continued diverse survey results as the campaign continues to take shape.

Senate

Pennsylvania: 2022 Senate Candidate Won’t Try Again — Businesswoman and political activist Kathy Barnette, who placed a credible third place with 25 percent of the vote behind both Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick in the 2022 Pennsylvania Republican US Senate primary, says she will not return to run again next year. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the major outside GOP support organizations are attempting to recruit McCormick into next year’s challenge race against Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D).

Doug Mastriano, the ‘22 Republican gubernatorial nominee and a state senator from Chambersburg, says he is considering a comeback. Republican leaders are working to ensure a Mastriano repeat does not happen since he was defeated 56-42 percent in the general election and failed to run a competitive campaign. In any event, Sen. Casey will be favored for re-election.

Wisconsin: Businessman Considering Challenge to Sen. Baldwin — Business owner Scott Mayer (R) confirms he is considering competing for the Wisconsin US Senate nomination in a race that has not yet seen much activity. Mayer is capable of self-funding his race, though he says it’s “not something he is comfortable with.” He has been told he might have to fund as much as $20 million to run a competitive race.

At this point, no notable Republican has come forward to declare their Senate candidacy. Since Wisconsin always features close races, it is probable that this contest has the eventual potential of becoming a top-tier targeted campaign.

House

TX-34: Ex-Rep Leaning Against Re-Match — Republican Mayra Flores made national news in 2022 when she scored an upset special election win in the Texas Rio Grande Valley 34th District that is anchored in the city of Brownsville. In the regular election, however, she fell 51-43 percent to fellow Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) who decided to run in the 34th instead of his previous 15th CD.

The principal reason for Flores losing was redistricting. The 34th went from a D+5 to a D+17 under the FiveThirtyEight data organization statistical calculation making the seat difficult for any Republican to attain.

Seeing the political reality, Flores is indicating that she is unlikely to run again in 2024. In order to make the adjacent 15th CD more winnable for a Republican, which happened with the election of Rep. Monica de la Cruz (R-McAllen) in November, the 34th became more Democratic. The redistricting map was drawn long before Flores won the special election, hence the lopsided partisan lean for a district the GOP was able to convert.