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Political Roundup — June 3, 2024


North Carolina: Trump Outperforming All Republicans 

In late April, Meeting Street Insights again conducted a regular statewide North Carolina political survey for the Carolina Leadership Coalition and the Carolina Partnership for Reform organizations, and the results are now in.

The data shows mixed conclusions for both parties.

In the presidential race, former President Donald Trump, while posting the same upside-down favorability index as President Biden — 39:59% positive to negative — leads the incumbent 40-35%. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., meanwhile, draws 11% support on the Independent ballot line, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein attracts 2 percent. 

This is likely a better result for Trump than the numbers indicate. In every other tested statewide race — governor, attorney general, state Supreme Court, and superintendent of public instruction — the Democratic candidate holds a lead between two and seven points. 

The fact that a polling sample which largely favors Democrats puts Trump ahead — and beyond the polling margin of error — suggests that the at-large electorate would probably lean to Trump by a somewhat larger margin.


West Virginia: Sen. Manchin Leaves Democrats 

West Virginia no longer has a Democratic senator. Incumbent Joe Manchin, who is serving his final year in the Senate, announced he is leaving the Democratic Party to become an Independent. The senator says he can work better outside the political party structure to help bring the country closer together.

Though Sen. Manchin has already stated that he would not enter the governor's race because of his support for the Democratic Party nominee, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, speculation that he will make a ballot appearance before the August 1 Independent and minor party candidate filing deadline continues. It's likely that we will also hear about a prospective Manchin political move, either in the gubernatorial or Senate race as the September 17 write-in deadline approaches. 

At the end of the day, the chances of Sen. Manchin running for any office this year are slim. Additionally, attempting to get in at such a late date would likely leave him in an underdog position in a three-way gubernatorial race, or against Gov. Jim Justice (R) for the Senate.

In any event, Sen. Manchin leaving the Democratic Party will change the Senate party division to 47D-49R-4I, with Sens. Angus King (I-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Manchin continuing to caucus with the Democrats. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) remains a true Independent, but keeps her committee assignments through the Democratic Caucus.


AZ-8: Masters Well Up in New Poll 

Fabrizio Lee & Associates, polling for the Blake Masters campaign, finds their client leading attorney Abe Hamadeh and former US Rep. Trent Franks by a 28-16-14% margin in the Republican primary battle to succeed US Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), who is running for Maricopa County Supervisor. 

The poll suggests that the latest Masters negative ad attacking Hamadeh as a son of illegal immigrants, a supporter of abortion, and one who claimed that Israel was behind the 9-11 attacks, is having an effect. A late January poll found the two tied at 24% support.

Masters, the 2022 US Senate nominee who lost 51-47% to Sen. Mark Kelly (D), has improved his favorability image according to the Fabrizio Lee response data. They show a 56:24% positive-to-negative Masters ratio. In 2022, Hamadeh ran a close race for attorney general, losing by a razor-thin 280 votes in the statewide contest. The July 30 Republican primary winner will easily take the 8th District seat in November.

CO-4: Rep. Boebert Not Home Free in General 

A new Gravis Marketing poll of Colorado's 4th District finds retired Marine Corps officer Ike McCorkle (D) leading Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), 41-27%, in a hypothetical general election poll. This result is surprising in an eastern Colorado 4th District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+26, which is the safest Republican seat in the Centennial State. 

Representative Boebert's move to the 4th District from the Western Slope 3rd CD that she currently represents appears to be working — she won the party convention and has a huge resource lead on all of her GOP opponents. However, it appears she will have more work to do to convince a majority of the new district voters to support her in November. 

Of course, McCorkle, who has twice run for the seat, is no lock in the Democratic primary. He faces his own field of three other Democratic candidates. 

The Colorado primary is June 25. A special election will also occur that day to fill the balance of Rep. Ken Buck's (R) final term. The Republican special election nominee is former local mayor Greg Lopez, who is not running for the regular term. The Democratic nominee, speechwriter Trish Calvarese, is a candidate in both the special and regular elections.

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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