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Political Roundup — July 10, 2024

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National Polls: Biden, Better Than Others 

Yesterday Emerson College publicized the results of national ballot tests pitting former President Donald Trump against President Biden, as well as against other supposed potential replacement presidential nominees.

Paired head-to-head with Biden, Trump posts a 46-43% advantage. If Vice President Kamala Harris were the party nominee, Trump would lead by a much larger 49-43%.  Opposite California Governor Gavin Newsom, the Trump advantage is 48-40%, and it extends to 48-38% if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) were his opponent.


Once again, we see further evidence that despite the negative talk surrounding Biden since the initial presidential debate, the President still appears to be the Democrats' strongest option.

Rep. Mark Takano: Says Biden Losing in CA-39 

California Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) has asserted that President Biden is behind in the Golden State's 39th Congressional District.

Reportedly, Rep. Takano based his comments on a poll of CA-39 that apparently shows Biden losing among the Congressman's constituents. Assuming the poll is accurate, this would be a significant data point. Biden carried the district 62.0–35.8% in 2020, and Rep. Takano won re-election here in 2022 with 57.7% of the vote in the post-redistricting 39th District.  

CA-39 sits wholly within Riverside County and contains the city of Riverside. It is a largely minority district. The Voting Age Population figure for Hispanics is 58.5%, as compared to 22.4% for non-Hispanic Whites. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+23. Based upon vote history, the Dave's Redistricting App statisticians calculate a 61.6D–36.4R partisan lean for the district. The Daily Kos Elections statisticians rank CA-39 as the 111th safest seat in the country. Though national polling doesn't suggest that the President is in dire political straits, a poll such as this in a safely-Democratic congressional district may.


Wisconsin: Another Split Poll 

Again, we see a now-familiar survey pattern showing former President Trump leading in a state where the Democratic Senate candidate is also ahead. 

A Republican polling firm and a Democratic survey research operation combined efforts to conduct a Wisconsin poll for the AARP organization. They found former President Donald Trump leading President Biden by a 44-38% margin. When moving to the Senate race, however, it is the Democratic candidate — incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin — who leads by a similar margin, 50-45%.

The pattern of Trump running well ahead of the Republican Senate candidate is present in several other states. This could be due to voters being more familiar with the incumbent Democrat, or potentially the participants deliberately splitting their ticket so as not to give Mr. Trump too much power.


It will be interesting to watch what Republican strategists do to break this syndrome, and whether their approach will work. For the GOP to maximize their opportunities on a favorable national Senate map, they must secure multiple conversion seats in order to protect themselves against favorable Democratic maps in the 2026 and 2028 election cycles.



AZ-1: Dead Heat Dem Primary 

Arizona's 1st Congressional District will feature a very tight contest between Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) and whomever Democrats nominate from their crowded Aug. 6 primary election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 1st CD as R+7, but the Daily Kos Elections statisticians project the seat as the 18th most vulnerable in the Republican Conference. President Biden won here in 2020 by a narrow 50.1–48.6% margin.

A recent Noble Predictive Insights survey of 1st District likely Democratic primary voters shows almost all the candidates in a position to win the upcoming party primary. The eventual winner will move into a toss-up general election campaign against Rep. Schweikert, who won re-election two years ago with only a 50.4–49.6% margin against businessman Jevin Hodge. The latter man chose not to seek a rematch despite his strong showing in the 2022 campaign.

Former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherni and ex-state Representative and physician Amish Shah are tied for first place, with just 16% of the vote apiece, according to the Noble poll. Following closely with 14% is former news anchor Marlene Galan Woods, the widow of late Attorney General Grant Woods (D). Investment banker Conor O'Callaghan then trails with 8% support. A full 35% of respondents say they are undecided. Therefore, this primary will become a political shootout in the closing weeks.

Jim Ellis is a 35-year veteran of politics at the state and national levels. He has served ss executive director for two national political action committees, as well as a consultant to the three national Republican Party organizations in DC, the National Federation of Independent Business, and various national conservative groups.

Born and raised in Sacramento, California, he earned a B. A. in Political Science from the University of California at Davis in 1979. Jim raised his daughter, Jacqueline, alone after his wife died following a tragic car accident. He helped establish the Joan Ellis Victims Assistance Network in Rochester, NH. Jim also is a member of the Northern Virginia Football Officials Association, which officiates high school games throughout the region.

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