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Political Roundup — June 14, 2024


President


Maine: Trump Up, Then Down 


A new Critical Insights poll of the Maine electorate suggests this state — which hasn't seen a Republican presidential candidate win the statewide vote since George H.W. Bush did so in 1988 — may come into play this November. The CI survey finds former President Trump posting 41% support versus 40% for President Biden.  


When the state's Ranked Choice Voting system is employed through several mock rounds, Biden ultimately exceeds 50% when the second choice votes are added to the aggregate through the complicated system. 


Mr. Trump is in play for the statewide vote because he has a larger lead in the 2nd Congressional District than Mr. Biden has in the 1st District. This assumes, however, that the turnout numbers will be similar in the two districts. They were not in 2020, when 447,981 total votes were cast in District 1, and 380,324 total votes were cast in District 2. Redistricting, however, has added population to District 2, meaning that in 2024, the two districts should be closer to turnout parity.


House


AZ-8: Polling Disconnect 


At the end of May, GOP candidate Blake Masters released an internal Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey showing him with a 28-16-14-8% Republican primary lead over 2022 Attorney General nominee Abe Hamadeh, ex-Congressman Trent Franks, and state House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria).  


Yesterday, Mr. Hamadeh countered that poll, as well as two others that showed Masters with a strong lead. The Hamadeh data, coming from The Strategy Group Company, completely turns the race around. These results show Mr. Hamadeh in the lead, with 30% of respondents backing him, as compared to 19% for Masters, 12% for Franks, and 10% for Toma.


This contest has turned nasty, with highly-negative ads aimed largely at Hamadeh. This indicates that the Strategy Group poll may be an outlier, as the survey suggests a major shift in voter preference, while underlying trends that would lend credence to such a reversal are lacking.


This campaign will be hard-fought and difficult as the candidates make their way toward the July 30 Republican primary. After the divisive GOP contest is decided, however, the primary winner will have the inside track toward succeeding Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), who is running for Maricopa County Supervisor in the general election this fall.


NV-4: Winner Declared 


Tuesday's Nevada Republican primary battle has been officially decided, at last. 


Former North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, an ex-Democrat who served in both the Nevada Senate and Assembly, has defeated David Flippo, a largely self-funded candidate who spent roughly $1 million on his campaign. 


In the end, Mr. Lee clinched the primary by a 48-45% margin, which translates into just over 1,100 votes. He now advances to the general election, where he will challenge incumbent US Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas), who has served four non-consecutive terms.  


The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 4th District as D+5. President Biden carried the domain by a 53-45% count in 2020. The seat was changed during 2021 redistricting to give Rep. Horsford a more Democratic constituency after he barely exceeded 50% in two consecutive elections at the end of the decade. Originally elected in 2012, Horsford was defeated for re-election in 2014; he then returned to the House in 2018.


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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