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Political Roundup — May 21, 2024


SENATE


Arizona: Conflicting Polls


A new CBS News/YouGov poll sees US Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) developing a stronger lead against Republican former news anchor Kari Lake than a recent New York Times/Siena College survey projected. The May 10-16 CBS/YouGov poll finds Rep. Gallego holding a 49-36% advantage, whereas the April 28-May 9 New York Times/Siena poll pinpointed only a 39-36% Gallego edge.


The race has changed significantly since Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) announced that she would not seek re-election, in that Gallego's position has proved stronger in most released surveys.


Florida: Sen. Scott Well Ahead  


Senator Rick Scott (R) continues to post strong polling numbers, again recording a significant lead, according to the May 10-16 CBS News/YouGov recent survey. The new data finds Sen. Scott with a 45-37% advantage over former US Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D).


The same polling sample finds former President Donald Trump leading President Biden, 54-45%, but 49-36-3% when the independent and minor party candidates are added to the questionnaire.


Green Party nominee Jill Stein was the only name included other than Trump and Biden; because he has not yet officially qualified for the Florida ballot, Independent Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was not included as a response option. A 5% total, however, said they would vote for "someone else."


HOUSE


CA-20: Special Election Today  


Voters will again go to the polls in California's 20th District, this time to elect a replacement for resigned US Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R). With two Republicans in the runoff, the party is certain to hold the seat. The winner will assume the office upon being certified as the official victor.


State Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), after scoring victories against legal challenges preventing him from simultaneously running for Congress and state Assembly, is the favorite to defeat Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.


Assemblyman Fong placed first in the special primary on March 19, and in the regular all-party jungle primary held on March 5. Should Fong be successful tonight, he would then resign from the Assembly. At that point, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) would call another special election to fill that seat.


Once CA-20 is filled tonight, three more special elections will be forthcoming: OH-6 (Rep. Bill Johnson-R) on June 11; CO-4 (Rep. Ken Buck-R) on June 25; and NJ-10 (Rep. Donald Payne-D) on July 16 (primary) and September 18 (general.)


GOVERNOR


Vermont: Howard Dean Won't Run  


Despite rampant speculation that former six-term governor, 2004 presidential candidate, and former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean would challenge Gov. Phil Scott (R), the former office-holder yesterday announced that he will not run. Dean said running against Scott would require conducting a "scorched earth negative campaign," and that he is unwilling to wage such an effort "because it would be bad for the state."


Governor Scott is running for a fifth two-year term and is the clear favorite for re-election, regardless of who he eventually faces in the general election.


West Virginia: Manchin's Name Again Surfaces  


Reports are circulating that certain establishment Republican donors are urging Sen. Joe Manchin (D) to enter the gubernatorial race because they believe new nominee Patrick Morrisey (R), the state's three-term attorney general, is too conservative. The move would necessitate the official Democratic nominee, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, who won the May 14 statewide Democratic primary, to step down.


At this point, Sen. Manchin is non-committal about backing such a move. It is highly unlikely that Mayor Williams would step down after officially winning the party nomination, however.


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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