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Political Roundup for December 5th, 2017

Check back at noon today for our preview and open thread for today’s mayoral election in Atlanta. We will start our liveblog at 7pm eastern.


ME-Gov: Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) is considering a run for governor in 2018. Pingree has said she will decide by the end of the month whether to enter the race to succeed term limited Gov. Paul LePage (R).

MD-Gov, MD-LG: Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (D) has picked former Maryland Democrat chair Susan Turnbull as his running mate. Jealous is facing Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), and others in the primary to take on popular Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

OH-Gov: Richard Cordray (D) will announce his candidacy for Governor today in his hometown of Grove City, OH. This comes as a complete shock to us because based on his blatant politicization of the CFPB we had assumed Cordray had been running for governor for some time. Luckily for Cordray the Governor of Ohio doesn’t get to handpick his successor on his last day in office. That is a power Cordray believes should only be saved for unelected directors of powerful and unaccountable bureaucratic federal agencies.

SC-Gov, SC-LG: Businessman John Warren (R) is considering a run for governor. If he runs Warren would be the fifth Republican in the race joining incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill , Catherine Templeton and Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant. Meanwhile, McMaster has chosen upstate Some Dudette businesswoman Pamela Evette (R) as his running mate; the state is switching from separate election to Team Primaries for LG this cycle.

TX-Gov: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) says she’s still considering a run for governor, but that reports that she has resigned to run for governor are false. With incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) sitting on over $41 million in cash and sporting sky high approval ratings Valdez may want to keep her day job and let Mr. Leather International be the sacrificial lamb instead.


AL-Sen: With the Flight 93 election taken to its logical conclusion Roy Moore (R) leads Doug Jones by a 49% to 46% margin with write-in candidate Lee Busby at 5% in the latest Emerson College poll. President Donald J. Trump has gone all in in his support of alleged child molester Roy Moore because in 2017 we are long past the point in which anything matters anymore.

AL-Sen: Debbie Wesson Gibson has shared more evidence of the relationship she had with Roy Moore (R) when she was a 17 year old high school student and he was a 34 year old man. Gibson released a handwritten graduation card from Moore to her and recounted her experiences dating Moore in the early 1980s. After telling Sean Hannity that he remembered Gibson as a “good girl” Moore has backtracked and begun publicly claiming he did “not know any of these women”. It was this lie that prompted Gibson to come forward with more evidence of their relationship. In response to the latest evidence that Roy Moore dated underage girls the Republican National Committee has resumed their support of Moore because nothing matters anymore.

ND-Sen: State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) has decided not to run for Senate. Schmidt was heavily recruited to run by the Club for Growth. They even released poll in September that showed Schmidt leading incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) by a 4 point 48% to 44% margin. Last week Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller (R) also declined to run for Senate. So far state Sen. Tom Campbell is the only Republican in the race but Rep. Kevin Cramer could also switch the the senate race. Former Rep. Rick Berg, who narrowly lost to Heitkamp in 2012, is also considering a run.

NJ-Sen: Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Michael Starr Hopkins is exploring a primary challenge to defendant sitting Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez. Menendez recently escaped justice with a hung jury in his first federal corruption trial. Federal prosecutors plan to re-try him in 2018.

UT-Sen: Donald Trump is reportedly going all out to convince Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) to seek re-election in 2018. Apparently Trumpworld thinks an 83 year old Orrin Hatch would be easier to control than a principled Sen. Mitt Romney (R) unafraid to speak his mind as he does here.


CO-3: Attorney and Glenwood Springs City official Karl Hanlon (D) is in and will take on State Rep. Diane Mitch-Busch (D) in the primary for the right to face Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in this R+6 seat.

HI-1: Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin (D) has entered the race for the open D+17 seat Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is vacating to run for governor. Martin will join state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim and state Rep. Kaniela Ing in seeking the Democrat nomination.

MA-3: Banker and former Cambodian refugee Bopha Malone (D) is in and now we have 12 Democrats running to replace Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) in this D+9 seat! Luckily for the Democrats Massachusetts doesn’t have California top two style jungle primary so the clown car is unlikely to hurt them all that much.

NC-2: Distillery owner Sam Searcy is dropping out of the Democratic primary for this R+7 seat held by Rep. George Holding (R) and will run for the state Senate instead. The wealthy Searcy has been self funding his campaign. Tech executive Ken Romley and former state Rep. Linda Coleman are both still seeking the Democrat nomination.

TX-6: Tarrant County Assessor Ron Wright (R) has filed to run for the R+9 seat photogenic Rep. Joe Barton (R) is retiring from. Wright once served as Barton’s chief of staff.

TX-21: Bexar GOP chair Robert Stovall has announced he is running to replace retiring Rep. Lamar Smith (R) in this R+10 seat. State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) is so far the only other prominent candidate for the seat.

TX-29: Riceland Health Care CEO Tahir Javed (D) filed papers to run for the D+19 seat of retiring Rep. Gene Green (D). Javed joins state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Dominique Michelle Garcia, teacher Hector Morales, and attorney Roel Garcia in seeking the Democrat nomination.

PPP-Polling: A new poll from PPP shows Gene Ric (D) leading Republican incumbents in CA-25, IA-1, CO-6, VA-10, ME-2 and NY-24. Now all Democrats need to do is find one person named “Gene Ric” who lives in each of these six districts and convince them to run for Congress.

WATN: Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) has been sentenced to five years in prison for funneling money into a sham charity she looted.

RIP: Former Rep. John Anderson has passed away at age 95. Anderson was a Rockefeller Republican from Illinois who served 20 years in the House and ran an Independent campaign for President in 1980 and won just under 7% of the vote.

State, Local & Other:

CT-AG: State Rep. William Tong (D) is exploring a bid for the open Attorney General spot and ex-State Rep. John Shaban (R) is in. Meanwhile, there’s some chatter about changing the 10-year practicing law requirement, which makes it one of the strictest offices in the nation to qualify for.

MN-AG: St. Paul City attorney Samuel Clark (D), a former Klobuchar aide, is considering a run for Attorney General. He would join Dayton admin official Mike Rothman (D), State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D).

NM-Auditor: Gov. Susana Martinez (R) has picked Bernalillo County commissioner and unsuccessful 2017 Albuquerque Mayoral candidate Wayne Johnson (R) to fill the Auditor’s seat for the rest of the term. Tim Keller (D) resigned as Auditor last Thursday after he was elected to become the new Mayor of Albuquerque; State Rep. Bill McCamley (D) is in the race for Dems.

NM-LG: Former independent Albuquerque mayoral candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes has changed her voter registration to Republican and will seek the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor next year. Holmes’ announcement comes after former state Indian Affairs Secretary Kelly Zunie withdrew from the race, leaving the Republican Party without a potential candidate. Zunie had tax and residency problems. Rep. Steve Pearce is the only Republican currently running for governor in the shotgun-wedding primary.

ND-SoS: GOP official Will Gardner (R) is primarying longtime incumbent Alvin Jaeger (R), who has announced he will seek an eighth term.

NV-Treas: Ex-State Rep. Andrew Martin (D), who lost a race for Comptroller in the 2014 wave, is running for the open Treasurer seat; incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is running for Governor.

OH-Treas: 2006 nominee and ex-Ashtabula County Auditor Sandy O’Brien (R) is running again for Treasure. O’Brien probably doesn’t have much chance against State Rep. Robert Sprague (R) in the primary, as she has lost multiple primaries and only won in ’06 against an incumbent closely tied to the toxic Gov. Taft. Former Cincinnati Mayoral candidate Rob Richardson (D) is the likely D nominee.

MA-State Senate President: Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) is temporarily stepping down from his position after bombshell sexual misconduct allegations against his husband Bryon Hefner have come to light.

CA-AD 45: Yuck! Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D) is allegedly one sick SOB!

Atlanta-Mayor: Ahead of today’s mayoral runoff election a new Channel 2 Action News/Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows City Councilwoman has Mary Norwood (I) at 51.3 percent and Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) at 45.1 percent.

Political Roundup for September 26, 2017

Today starting at 8ET we will have a liveblog of the Alabama Senate runoff. See our preview HERE for full details. The thread will open at 7ET for discussion of legislative specials in Florida and the mayoral race in Boston.


MI-Sen: Rep. Fred Upton (R) attended the Mackinac Island GOP summit last week, and he appears to be moving closer to a run for the seat of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D). Two other Republicans are in the race, former supreme court justice Bob Young (R) and businessman John James (R).  At Mackinac, the betting among GOP insiders is that the big name hanging over this race, rock star Robert “Kid Rock” Ritchie (R), will not ultimately enter the race. Additionally, a MRG poll has Stabenow up over Ritchie 52-34.

NJ-Sen: This is a worthwhile read on possible gaming out the possible Phil Murphy (D) appointees to the seat of Sen. Bob Menendez (D) should Menendez be convicted on the corruption charges for which he’s currently standing trial. The article seems to think that Reps. Donald Norcross (D) and Frank Pallone (D) are the most likely appointees, with ethically-questionable ex-Sen. Bob Torricelli (D) a possible wild-card. This article at least seems to think that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop (D) is no longer interested in the seat, but that topic is still one under heated discussion. General betting seems to be that Menendez will be able to drag things out until after Gov. Chris Christie (R) leaves office at the end of the year.


AL-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and 2010 LG nominee James Fields (D) is surprisingly running for Governor, after spending the summer exploring a run for LG. Fields looks like something of a long-shot in the primary, as he could face two better-known candidates. Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) is in the race and Tuscaloosa Mayor Scott Maddox (D) is considering and will make a decision by the end of the year.

HI-Gov: Kauai CE Ernest Carvalho (D) quietly announced a bid for Governor last week. Carvalho leads one of the state’s four populated counties, but Kauai contains just around 4% of the state’s population, making him likely to be a third wheel in this race. Incumbent David Ige (D) and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) seem set for a titanic primary collision, and it seems unlikely Carvalho will be a major factor (except for perhaps siphoning off votes from Kauai).

KS-Gov: Ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R) has become the latest candidate into this crowded primary, joining SoS Kris Kobach (R), LG and Gov-designate Jeff Colyer (R), Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R), ex-State Sen. Jim Barnett (R), and businessman Wink Hartman (R) in the primary. Hutton seems likely to run more to the moderate side of the moderate/conservative chasm in the state party, along with Barnett and Selzer; Kobach, Colyer, and Hartman are considered conservatives. One more moderate, ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R), is also considering.

MD-Gov: Ex-AG Doug Gansler (D) will not enter the race to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (R), preferring to stay in the private sector. A recent poll from Goucher College showing Hogan with a 62/16 approval rating and up 52/41 against a generic challenger (not even a generic Democrat) may have played a part in his decision. Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), and ex-NAACP chair Benjamin Todd Jealous (D) so far look like the major candidates in this race, though others are in this race.

RI-Gov: Ex-Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) is considering a comeback bid. The liberal popular Republican Senator turned unpopular Indie Governor turned asterisk-level 2016 Dem presidential candidate has made it clear he will run in the D primary, challenging Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) from the left, instead of as an Indie. Chafee, whose term as Governor was generally regarded as plagued by mismanagement, would likely be a far more preferable opponent for any Republican than the moderate Raimondo.

WI-Gov: State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) officially entered the race to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R) yesterday. Vinehout’s previous run in the 2012 recall didn’t amount to much, but she is still a credible candidate. Vinehout joins State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D), and businessman Andy Gronik (D) in the race; so far, CW has Evers as the front-runner.


MA-3: Cambridge councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) is exploring a run for the open 3rd district seat, a Merrimack Valley area seat that comes nowhere near Cambridge. However, Mazen, who grew up in the district, does have name recognition as a rare Muslim elected official. Should he enter he will join State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Dan Koh (D) in the race, with several others considering.

NC-2: 2012/2016 LG nominee Linda Coleman (D), a former Gov. Perdue administration official who ran two credible statewide races against incumbent Dan Forest (R), is tackling another contest, the NC-2 seat of Rep. George Holding (R). The seat is based in the strongly-blue trending Raleigh suburbs, but includes enough rural territory to the east to make it a fairly strongly Republican seat. However, Coleman is a credible nominee and the seat is not bulletproof, so she may have a chance at the upset.

PA-15: Nonprofit exec Alan Jennings (D) is considering a run for this light-red Lehigh Valley open seat, joining Northampton DA John Morganelli (D) in considering this race. Two lesser-known Dems are in the race but seem unlikely to emerge with establishment support. Republicans have an increasingly bitter primary between State Reps. Ryan Mackenzie (R) and Justin Simmons (R).

WA-8: State Sen. Dino Rossi (R) will mount a bid for this open seat, based in the southeast Seattle suburbs. Local Republicans seem to be pegging Rossi, who lost three statewide runs by narrow margins in 2004, 2008, and 2010, as their top candidate. Rossi’s name recognition and cred with most of the area’s GOP establishment may to get him a free pass on the GOP side of the ledger in the top-two primary. However, this looks likely to be a very hard-fought general, as this seat is PVI-EVEN and has been trending left.

WV-1: Democrats may have a contested primary in this deep-red northern WV seat, as law professor and law school administrator Kendra Fershee (D) announced her run. Fershee will face San Francisco attorney Ralph Baxter (D) in the primary; either will face a very tough race for this deep-red and ultra-Trumpist seat against incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R).

State & Local:

AL-LG: Elected state school board member Mary Scott Hunter (R) will drop out of the LG race to run for State Senate in the Huntsville area. Hunter, an antiestablishment conservative, has been embroiled in a dispute with her fellow board members over a prior state superintendent that has not left her looking good; she was considered an underdog in the primary. PSC chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), State Sen. Rusty Glover (R), and State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R) are in the race.

GA-SoS: Ex-Rep. John Barrow (D) is making a comeback attempt, though very much not in a race most were expecting. Barrow, who represented a conservative east-central Georgia seat until being swept out in the 2014 wave, will run for the open SoS seat. The decision is somewhat surprising as he likely could have had the gubernatorial nomination for the asking. Republicans have a crowded primary field for the seat; incumbent Brian Kemp (R) is running for Governor.

IL-AG, IL-SoS: The pieces are slowly moving into place for this race after incumbent Lisa Madigan (D) announced her intent not to run for re-election. Republicans seem to be circling the wagons around former congressional candidate and former Miss America Erika Harold (R). For Dems, State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) and State Rep. Scott Drury (D) are in the race, along with the inspector/auditor of the Chicago Police, Sharon Fairley (D). Several other Dems are considering. One other candidate, State Sen. Mike Hastings (D), has announced he is considering runs for both AG and the SoS seat. Incumbent SoS Jesse White (D) is said to be running again, but Hastings is hedging his bets that White may pull a late retirement.

MA-LG: Comedian Jimmy Tingle (D) has entered the shotgun-wedding primary for Lt. Governor, becoming the first major candidate to enter the race to join the D primary winner in an uphill run against popular Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and LG Karyn Polito (R).

MI-AG: Ex-US Attorney Pat Miles (D) has filed for this convention race. Miles seems a credible candidate and so far looks like the front-runner for the Dem nod. State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) is in the race on the GOP side, but others are considering.

MI-SoS: One Republican is in and one Republican is out of this convention race. State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) withdrew from the race, most likely to run for MI-11; in his stead, university regent Mary Treder-Lang (R) has entered. Treder-Lang joins township clerk Stan Grot (R) and Trump campaign operative Joseph Guzman (R) in the race. 2010 nominee and law professor Jocelyn Benson (D) is considered likely to make another run for Dems.

NV-SoS: State Rep. Nelson Arujo (D) has announced his run for SoS. Arujo seems likely to be the Dem establishment choice to take on incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R), who has said she will seek a second term.

OH-Treas: University regent and former Cincinnati Mayoral candidate Rob Richardson (D) has announced his campaign for Treasurer, filling out Dems’ statewide Row Officer bingo card with a slate of four credible candidates. Richardson joins ex-US Attorney Steve Dettelbach (D) for AG, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D) for SoS, and ex-US Rep. Zack Space (D) for Auditor; none are expected to face serious primaries. The GOP has a primary for this open seat between State Rep. Robert Sprague (R) and Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo (R).

RI-AG: Ex-US Attorney Peter Neronha (D) will run for AG. Neronha looks like the front-runner to succeed termed-out AG Peter Killmartin (D), though State Rep. Robert Craven (D) is also considering.

SD-AG: State Sen. Lance Russell (R) has become the fourth Republican into this convention race, joining deputy AG Charles McGuigan (R), Lawrence County DA John Fitzgerald (R), and 2014 Senate candidate Jason Ravnsborg (R).

Baltimore, MD-CE: A pair of Republicans have entered this open seat race. Antiestablishment State Rep. Pat McDonough (R), a Trumpulist, and establishement-friendly Hogan Admin official Al Redmer (R) have entered the race. McDonough starts with higher name recognition, but Redmer has Hogan’s endorsement and would likely be a stronger candidate in the large suburban county that went by large margins for Hogan in 2014 and Clinton in 2016.

Political Roundup for June 8, 2016

Election Results – Downballot Super Tuesday

President – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (DLC) beat back the Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist) decisively in California, New Jersey, and New Mexico while winning a squeaker in South Dakota.  Sanders won North Dakota and Montana.  Sanders threatens to fight on until DC votes, where he will be crushed.

Iowa: For US Senate, Former Lt. Governor Patty Judge (D) won the Democratic primary and will face Senator Chuck Grassley (R) in November.  In IA-1, 2014 Lt. Governor nominee Monica Vernon won the Democratic nomination and will face Representative Rodd Blum (R) in November while in IA-3, 2014 IA-4 Democratic nominee Jim Mowrer (D) will face Representative David Young (R).

New Jersey:  Nothing unexpected in New Jersey happened as Norcross (NJ-1 (D)), Garret (NJ-5(R), and Lance (NJ-7(R) won their respective primaries.  LaVergne won the Democratic nomination in NJ-3, which might move this race to Safe Republican.

North Carolina:  The biggest Congressional event occurred in North Carolina with the special primary in response to the Congressional map being tossed:

NC-2(R) – NC-13 Representative George Holding won the Republican nomination while Representative Renee Ellmers came in third behind Greg Brannon who finished second.  This makes Ellmers the first incumbent Republican to lose reelection this year.

NC-3(R) – Walter Jones (RINO) held on to win the Republican nomination.

NC-9(R) – Representative Robert Pittenger (R) is up by approximately 200 votes over Mark Harris (R).

NC-12(D) – Representative Alma Adams (D) held onto the Democratic nomination in this Charlotte area seat.

NC-13 – This seat is a disaster as the Democrats remain too close to call, and Budd won the Republican nomination with 20% of the vote.

Ohio-8 – Warren Davidson (R) crushed his opposition to hold onto former Speaker John Boehner’s southwest Ohio seat.

California – As results continue to trickle in this will be updated, but as of this morning, we have the following:

Senate – Attorney General Kamela Harris (D) and Representative Loretta Sanchez (D) won the top two spots for November as many expected.

CA-17 – Ro Khanna and Representative Mike Honda made the top two with a strong performance by Khanna for this 2014 rematch.

Now for some other news…

Trump:  Donald Trump (Himself) has threatened to discuss all of the Clinton’s dirt in the general election during a teleprompter driven speech he gave last night.  His threat to be over the top is not noteworthy as much as him using a teleprompter.

Senate:  The Hill looks at the 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in November as the general election unofficially starts.


June 7 Primary Preview: IA, NJ, MT, NM, SD, NC House, & OH-8

Last week we had our preview of California’s downballot races, but there is a lot more going on tomorrow, our busiest downballot primary day of the year. Five more states, Iowa, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota, have regular downballot primaries, plus the US House primaries in North Carolina that were delayed by re-redistricting and a special general in OH-8. North Dakota also has its Democratic presidential primary. Poll closing times are as follows (ET): 7:30 North Carolina & Ohio || 8 – New Jersey & South Dakota (Eastern) || 9 – New Mexico, North Dakota (Eastern), & South Dakota (Western) || 10 – Iowa, Montana, & North Dakota (Western) || 11 – California. Our liveblog starts tomorrow at 7:30ET. Click here for Legislative Primary Previews!


IA-Sen (D): Incumbent Chuck Grassley (R) has never dipped below 60% of the vote in his five re-election races, owing to his profile as an affable and hardworking mainstream conservative, but his fight for a seventh term this year will likely be his toughest election since his first run for the Senate in 1980. As Judiciary chair, Grassley has been at the forefront of the GOP’s initiative to refrain from holding hearings on the Merrick Garland nomination, which has earned him the ire of liberals and eroded some of the crossover support he has long-enjoyed in the deep-purple state. National Democrats recruited a last-minute entry into this race by ex-LG Patty Judge (D). Judge, who was elected statewide in her own right as Agriculture Commissioner before serving as LG under Chet Culver (D) from 2006 to 2010, has fundrasied well and has national establishment support. However, she was not the first candidate to enter this race; State Sen. Rob Hogg (D) had been running as a sacrificial lamb before Grassley came into national Dems’ focus. Hogg has deep connections in the legislature and has retained his local establishment and labor support even after Judge entered the race. Hogg has also had a credible if mediocre level of fundraising. As a result, this primary is competitive, but Judge does look like a moderate favorite (Selzer had her up 42-25). Two other candidates, 70s-era ex-State Rep. Bob Krause (D) and 90s-era ex-State Sen. Tom Fiegen (D), aren’t running serious campaigns. The issue differences between Hogg and Judge are slight; both are mainstream liberals, and it’s unclear if either will be a stronger general election candidate. Both will face an uphill election against Grassley’s longtime incumbency and proven crossover appeal. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Likely R.

IA-1 (D): First-term incumbent Rod Blum (R) was one of the most unlikely candidates to be swept in on the 2014 GOP wave. As an unheralded businessman, Blum picked up this D+5 district covering the northeast quarter of the state, including the Cedar Rapids and Waterloo areas. Blum had something of a rocky start in Congress, most notably in a prolonged feud with then-Speaker John Boehner (R) that led to Blum being left out of the NRCC’s incumbent-protection efforts. However, since Paul Ryan assumed the Speakership, the national Republican establishment has gotten to be on better terms with Blum. That said, the lean of the district means that Blum is still clearly one of the most vulnerable GOP House incumbents. Two Democrats are running, both retreads from 2014. Ex-State House Speaker Pat Murphy (D) is attempting to win the right to take on Blum again, and has significant name recognition. However, national Democrats are not eager to give Murphy another chance after his surprise 2014 disappointment, and have lined up in dramatic fashion behind Cedar Rapids councilwoman and 2014 LG nominee Monica Vernon (D). Vernon has dramatically outraised Murphy and garnered strong national Dem establishment support; however, she switched parties from the GOP in 2009, which has opened her up to attacks from Murphy on that front. Vernon looks like a slight favorite, but it’s possible that Murphy’s name recognition and local establishment support could allow him to pull the upset. Regardless, both Vernon and Blum are mainstream liberals. The D primary winner will probably start as the slight favorite in the general election thanks to the lean of the seat and Blum’s lack of obvious strength. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Lean D.

IA-3 (D): First-term incumbent David Young (R) won this EVEN district covering Des Moines and the southwest quarter of the state two years ago in unlikely fashion. Young won the nomination after coming in fifth in the primary: the race went to a convention because no one crossed 35% in the primary, and Young was chosen as the least objectionable candidate from a flawed field. Owing to the wave and a flawed D nominee, Young notched a relatively easy general election win. Three Democrats are vying to take him on this year. Polls suggest that the slight front-runner is businessman Mike Sherzan (D), who has self-funded a large amount and run TV ads touting his company’s social responsibility initiatives. Sherzan’s main rival, 2014 IA-4 nominee Jim Mowrer (D), is an Iraq veteran who attracted national support and cash in his first run, but fell totally flat amid the wave. However, he has fundraised well again this year for the bluer seat and received some national establishment support, so he might be able to pull the primary upset. A third candidate, businessman and former legislative candidate Desmund Adams (D) is running to the left of Mowrer and Sherzan as a bold progressive, but has been poorly funded and is likely to finish well behind the two front-runners. Both Mowrer and Sherzan are moderate liberals and neither seems to be clearly stronger in November. This general will be competitive, but Young does have real strengths as an inoffensive mainstream conservative who is closely tied to the popular Sen. Grassley, for whom he served as CoS. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Lean R.

IA-4 (R): Incumbent Steve King (R) is seeking his eighth term representing this R+4 district covering the northwest quarter of the state. King has been a staunch ideological conservative in his seven terms, and has had a history of some controversial statements. As a result, King has been a polarizing figure, but he has also proven a strong campaigner and won a tough 2012 general election surprisingly easily. King is facing a contested primary, but not because of controversial comments or initiatives. Instead, this is blowback for his vocal support of Ted Cruz, whom the Iowa GOP establishment hated for taking on the Ethanol industry. The local establishment backed a late entry into this primary by State Sen. Rick Bertrand (R), who has held down a Dem-leaning district as a mainstream conservative. Bertrand was on paper a credible candidate, but his bid for this seat never really got off the ground in fundraising or attention and he seems to have given up trying to run a serious campaign. Thus, King looks like the prohibitive favorite. Democrats have had illusions about targeting King before, and the PVI of the district keeps it in play, but this seat seems to be a lower priority this year after King turned back strong challengers in 2012 and 2014. This year Dems are running local D official Kim Weaver (D), who probably only has a shot in a Trumpocalypse. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Likely R.

New Jersey:

NJ-1 (D) & NJ-3 (D): I’ve combined these two blurbs to show the races’ similarity: neither race’s ultimate outcome is in any real doubt, but both prove the power of Generalissimo George Norcross, America’s most powerful machine boss and de facto dictator of South Jersey. NJ-1 is a D+13 seat covering Camden and most of South Jersey’s Philadelphia suburbs. It is the domain of first-term incumbent Donald Norcross (D), George’s brother, who will not be losing to consultant Alex Law (D). Law has attracted some media attention running on a moonbat progressive platform, but his attempts to take on La Cosa Norcross are more likely to net him a horse’s head in his bed than a seat in Congress. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe D. Next door in NJ-3, an R+1 stripe across the state from the Philly suburbs of Burlington County to the Ocean County Shore, incumbent Tom MacArthur (R) seems to be on good terms with Norcross. Norcross’s Burlington machine has spurned MacArthur’s serious (if “C” list) challenger, ex-Asbury Park councilman Jim Keady (D). Keady, who is mostly notable for being told to “sit down and shut up” by Christie in one of his trademark town hall moments, lost the Burlington machine endorsement to a fringey Some Dude, who may well win as Keady has raised almost nothing for himself. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Likely R, but that rating will likely require a re-evaluation.

NJ-7 (R): The Garden State’s only competitive GOP primary is for this R+6 seat covering New York’s southwest exurbs in the west-central part of the state along with some upper-middle-class suburbs in Union County. Four-term incumbent Leonard Lance (R) won his first two terms in a much swingier district before the 2012 redistricting made his seat Safe. Lance was known in his first terms as one of the House’s most moderate Republicans, notably being one of just 8 Republicans to support “Cap and Trade” in 2009. Lance has drifted to the right since 2010, but is still known as a relative moderate, and thus has never been able to count on strong support from GOP primary voters in his district. Businessman David Larsen (R) is now challenging Lance for the fourth time after coming up short in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Larsen has self-funded his runs and promises to be a more consistent conservative than Lance. He has improved his vote share each time, taking 46% in 2014. Larsen’s campaign is considered credible once again and this could be the year he gets over the top; however, Lance has been taking this primary seriously and his incumbency advantages have only grown with time. There doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite this year. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

Only one other Garden State race is worth a mention (the legislature isn’t up this year), NJ-5. This R+4 seat will have a competitive general between incumbent Scott Garrett (R), who is somewhat polarizing and more conservative than most northeastern Republicans, and Bill Clinton speechwriter Josh Gottheimer (D), who has fundraised well but still faces an uphill fight in the historically-Republican district. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Lean R.


Big Sky Country will have a lot of competitive general elections this year, but the matchups for the six statewide races are already set and there are no competitive primaries. For MT-Gov, incumbent Steve Bullock (D) and billionaire tech exec Greg Gianforte (R) face only token opposition. Their MT-LG running mates are LG Mike Cooney (D) and Phillips County commissioner Lesley Robinson (R) respectively. This race has been severely under-polled, but the general consensus is that Bullock is moderately popular despite being to the left of his state; RRH Elections currently rates the Governor election as Lean D. MT-AL will be between incumbent Ryan Zinke (R) and State Superintendent Denise Juneau (D); RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Likely R. MT-SoS is between State Auditor Monica Lindeen (R) and ex-State Sen. Corey Stapleton (R); I would personally rate this general election as a Tossup, though thanks to Lindeen’s name rec, this is probably Dems’ strongest shot to keep a Row Office. MT-AG is between incumbent Tim Fox (R) and ex-State Sen. Larry Jent (D); I would personally rate this general election as Likely R. MT-Aud, a stupidly-named office which is really the state’s Insurance Commissioner, will see State Sen. Matt Rosendale (R) take on 2012 AG candidate Jesse Laslovich (D); I would personally rate this general election as a Tossup. Finally, MT-Supt will be between State Sen. Elsie Armtzen (R) and teacher Melissa Romano (D); I would personally rate this general election as a Tossup.

MT-PSC: Three seats on the state’s 5-member Public Service Commission are up this year for 4-year terms. Republicans currently hold all five seats. However, that doesn’t mean the board has been conflict-free; personality differences have led the board to break down 3-2 into two warring factions that hate each other even though there aren’t huge ideological distinctions. MT-PSC-2 (R) is in the southeast around Billings. Incumbent Kirk Bushman (R), who leads the minority faction, is being challenged by Tony O’Donnell (R), who lost a State House race two years ago by 12 votes and is supported by the majority faction. Bushman looks like a mild favorite due to incumbency; there is no Democrat in the race. MT-PSC-4 (D) around Missoula is the most Dem-friendly of the districts, though still light-red; three Dems are vying to take on incumbent Bob Lake (R), who is Bushman’s ally. Ex-commissioner Gail Gutsche (D), whom Lake narrowly defeated in 2012, is facing ex-Deer Lodge County commissioner Mark Sweeney (D), who narrowly lost a primary for a different PSC seat in 2012. Businessman Lee Tavenner (D) seems less serious. There aren’t obvious differences between the three, so I’d guess Gutsche is the favorite due to name rec. This general will be very competitive. The last district, MT-PSC-3, in the south-central part of the state around Butte and Bozeman, will also have a competitive general election; incumbent Roger Koopman (R), part of the majority faction with the two commissioners not up this year, will face State Rep. Pat Noonan (D).

New Mexico:

New Mexico isn’t a big electoral focus this year as the state’s three House members all face only token opposition for re-election. One statewide race is up for grabs, the special election for NM-SoS, and it has no primaries. Bernalillo County Clerk and 2014 nominee Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) and State Rep. Nora Espinoza (R) will square off. Owing to the lean of the state and Toulouse Oliver’s strong 2014 run, I would personally rate this general election as Lean D.

NM-PSC: Two seats on the state’s five-member Public Service Commission are up this year for 4-year terms. Democrats hold a 4-1 majority on the board and that will not be changing this year as Republicans aren’t contesting either of the seats that are up. NM-PSC-1 (D) covers most of Albuquerque. Incumbent Karen Montoya (D) is facing a rematch with 2012 candidate Cynthia Hall (D), whom she beat by 3% in the open-seat 2012 primary. Hall is running to Montoya’s left on environmental issues, accusing the incumbent of being too friendly with coal and nuclear companies. With incumbency and high presidential turnout Montoya should be at least the slight favorite, but environmental groups are spending on Hall’s behalf so an upset is possible. NM-PSC-3 covers the north-central part of the state around Santa Fe; incumbent Valerie Espinoza (D) is unopposed.

South Dakota:

South Dakota is one of the less interesting states this year, and there aren’t any primaries worth watching above the legislative level. But there are three races worth at least a mention. SD-Sen incumbent John Thune (R) will face local D official Jay Williams (D); RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R. SD-AL will be between incumbent Kristi Noem (R) and State Rep. Paula Hawks (D); RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R. Finally, SD-PSC incumbent Chris Nelson (R) will face a Dem opponent that will be nominated at a convention later this month; he is not expected to face significant opposition for a second six-year term.

North Carolina House:

Thanks to re-redistricting, NC’s House primaries have been delayed and are on the ballot with a judicial election this week. So these effectively function as Special Elections and are likely to be very low-turnout. Unlike in other years, these are also winner-take-all contests with no runoff, even if the winner is below 40%.

NC-2 (R): This ~R+8 seat makes a backwards “C” around Raleigh, covering essentially all its outer suburbs and exurbs. Due to re-redistricting, there are two incumbents in this seat facing off. The district kept the number and hometown of Rep. Renee Ellmers (R), a third-term Republican who came in as a 2010 wave baby and was protected by redistricting. Ellmers started out as an antiestablishment conservative, but has since drifted to the center, most notably playing a major role in scuttling a pro-life bill. Ellmers’s political skills have also proven questionable, as she seems to have alienated not only the grassroots but the establishment as well. As a result, when it came time for re-redistricting, the legislature effectively threw her under the bus, leaving only a sliver of her old seat in the new NC-2. The vast majority of this new seat is made up of the old NC-13, represented by two-term Rep. George Holding (R). Holding’s own home was drawn the NC-4 D vote sink, but given Ellmers’s vulnerabilities it was an easy decision for him to run here. Holding has been a backbench establishment conservative, but that has been good enough for both the establishment and antiestablishment wings of the party; outside groups from both factions have teamed up to blast Ellmers and implicitly help Holding. Coupled with his territory advantage, that means Holding is the clear favorite here. There is a third wheel in this race in the form of 2014 and 2016 NC-Sen candidate Greg Brannon (R), a physician and libertarian-leaning antiestablishment conservative. Brannon got some antiestablishment backing in 2014, but is also known as a bit of a loose cannon and recently had to pay $250K in a business fraud suit, which led to his second run at the Senate falling flat. This House campaign seems unlikely to fare much better for him. Though he may peel off enough antiestablishment conservatives to hold down Holding’s margin, it seems unlikely that he could win or even play spoiler here. Holding is definitely in the driver’s seat but, Ellmers does have one major supporter in Trump, whom she endorsed early and who has returned the favor with a late robocall this past weekend. But that seems likely to be too little, too late to save Ellmers against Holding’s major structural advantages in an electorate that probably won’t include many low-info Trump enthusiasts. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

NC-3 (R): This ~R+11 seat covers most of the rural white-majority areas of eastern NC from Greenville east, and didn’t change much in the re-redistricting. Incumbent Walter Jones (R) has been a chronic pain in the side of leadership for many years, as he has never fully shed his Conservadem heritage. Despite being in a Safe seat, Jones has frequently been the first Republican defector on many policy initiatives, most recently backing Obama’s Iran deal. As a result, Jones has drawn a primary rematch with 2014 candidate and former Bush 43 staffer Taylor Griffin (R). Griffin is running as a more traditional establishment conservative, and came up just six points short to Jones in his first run two years ago. However, Griffin’s run this year has strangely not gotten the kind of national attention his 2014 bid did, and his fundraising, while enough to marginally outspend Jones, has been mediocre overall. Griffin also needs to contend with a spoiler candidate, veteran Phil Law (R), who may have raised enough to be a factor. But Griffin has a major force on his side in the later primary date, which is likely to lead to a much smaller, more conservative, and better-informed electorate. CW seems to be betting on Jones, but an upset here seems like a very real possibility. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

NC-9 (R): This ~R+8 seat is based on the wealthy southeast side of Charlotte and its eastern suburbs and stretches east to the rural, heavily minority Sandhills south of Fayetteville. Two-term incumbent Robert Pittenger (R), an establishment conservative, has seen some bad headlines with an ongoing investigation into his ties to his former real estate firm. That vulnerability has drawn Pittenger two primary challengers in his significantly revamped district, which was previously a compact suburban seat around Charlotte. Pittenger’s better-known rival is megachurch pastor and 2014 Senate candidate Mark Harris (R), who is running as a staunch social conservative. Harris might be able to count on support in the rural Sandhills region, which probably knows Harris better from his 2014 Senate campaign than a congressman from across the state. However, Harris’s bid to oust Pittenger has been complicated by Union County commissioner Todd Johnson (R), who is running as an antiestablishment conservative. Johnson has raised little, but has a base in his suburban home county, which represents about a quarter of the seat. Johnson is unlikely to come out on top, but he could peel off a significant number of anti-Pittenger conservatives from Harris. For now Pittenger, who has been able to self-fund and is the incumbent for most of the district’s Republicans, looks like a moderate favorite, but if the issues surrounding the investigation are salient enough, Harris might be able to pull the upset. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

NC-12 (D): This ~D+14 seat covers most of Mecklenburg County except the wealthy and heavily Republican southeastern part of Charlotte. Rep. Alma Adams (D) is in her first term representing the old incarnation of this district, a long string connecting black-majority areas of Charlotte and the Piedmont Triad. Inconveniently, Adams lived and built her career at the Greensboro end of the district, winning the primary last cycle largely on Triad support. Adams has carpetbagged to Charlotte and is seeking her revamped district, but she faces five opponents, three of them serious. State Sen. Malcolm Graham (D) looks like Adams’s most serious opponent; he actually carried Mecklenburg County in the primary two years ago and has been in the headlines recently after his sister was killed in last year’s Charleston church murders. However, Graham has been outspent by State Rep. Tricia Cotham (D). Cotham, the only serious white candidate in the race, is considered a rising star in NC Dem circles, and could have some support among non-black voters in her home of East Charlotte. A fourth candidate, State Rep. Carla Cunningham (D), has raised little, but may draw some votes in her home district. Two other Some Dudes are non-serious. Adams has lapped the field in spending, and it looks like incumbency and vote-splitting between the three native Charlotte candidates are probably going to be enough to give her a clear win. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe D.

NC-13 (R, D): This open ~R+5 seat is based around High Point and part of Greensboro and stretches southwest to Statesville. The oddly-timed primary means that elected officials didn’t need to give up their seats to run, and that has created a ridiculous free-for-all for this open seat. 17(!) Republicans are mounting bids and none have had time to raise much. Gun range owner Ted Budd (R) has vaulted into the top tier with extensive outside support from the antiestablishment fiscal conservative Club for Growth. Due to all the candidates’ low fundraising hauls, the Club’s outside support for Budd has dominated the spending in this race. Budd’s antiestablishment conservatism seems a good fit for the small and motivated electorate, and that probably makes him the front-runner. State Rep. Julia Howard (R) is probably Budd’s main rival and the best-positioned establishment conservative, thanks to outside support from the National Association of Realtors. She is also a 28-year legislative veteran, which has given her institutional connections and name recognition. Budd and Howard look like the top contenders, but in a field this crowded, one of the other candidates could surprise, given that 20% is probably going to be enough to win. There seem to be three other candidates with a real shot. State Sen. Andrew Brock (R) was considered the front-runner before outside groups came in for Budd and Howard, and has a profile as a staunch social conservative and a geographic base in the center of the district. Davie County commissioner Dan Barrett (R), who ran for Governor in 2004 and is a mainstream conservative, has the most campaign cash of his own thanks to some self-funding. Ex-Winston-Salem councilman and perennial candidate Vernon Robinson (R) is probably the best-known candidate. Robinson, who proudly has called himself “the black Jesse Helms”, has a penchant for controversial statements. Though his shtick seems to have worn thin with most Republicans, Robinson’s name rec could be a big asset in a crowded race. I’d be very surprised if anyone outside of those five actually came out on top, but I’d peg seven other candidates as likely to get more than asterisk-level support. Consultant Kay Daly (R) is another candidate in the Robinson mold, who brags about being “less PC than Trump”. Retired CIA Agent George Rouco (R) attracted some establishment support for his run in the old NC-9 against Pittenger before the districts were redrawn this year. Guilford County commissioner Hank Henning (R) has a base in the district’s largest population center and Iredell County Register of Deeds Matt McCall (R) has a base in his midsized, deeply Republican county. Attorney Jason Walser (R) is running as a moderate and could carve out that ideological niche. Finally, State Reps. John Blust (R) and Harry Warren (R) have bases in their districts but have raised little. Five other Some Dude Rs are totally non-serious, but could affect the outcome in a field this crowded. Across the aisle, Five Democrats are running; developer Bob Isner (D) looks like the only truly serious candidate, but ex-Guilford County commissioner Bruce Davis (D), who lost a NC-6 primary run last cycle, could have a chance to win on name recognition. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R, but that may require a re-evaluation after the primary.

Special Elections: There are two Special Elections going on this week as well, one congressional and one legislative. OH-8 is holding a special election to replace former Speaker John Boehner (R) in this R+14 seat based in the Cincinnati suburbs of Butler County and also wrapping around Dayton’s suburbs to Springfield and some farm territory in the west-central part of the state. Veteran Warren Davidson (R) is the prohibitive favorite over a Some Dude Democrat. One legislative seat is up for grabs: MS-LD-29 is a heavily Dem seat in the Delta around Cleveland. Six candidates are running in a nonpartisan Louisiana-Rules Top Two format. There is basically no information on this race, but from what I can tell the most serious candidates are professor Abe Hudson and Mound Bayou Mayor Darryl Johnson; I believe both are Dems. Click Here for Legislative Primary Previews from Iowa, New Mexico, Montana, and South Dakota and don’t forget to look at our California Preview from last week if you haven’t seen it!

Political Roundup for June 1st, 2016


French: Bill Kristol’s independent candidate teased during Memorial Day weekend may now be revealed, with sources indicating National Review editor David French is considering an independent bid. Of course, French is relatively anonymous for a presidential candidate, and past columns may give ammunition against a bid before it ever starts. Plus, he recently had nice things to say about Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. However, for social conservatives and hawks who can’t stomach Trump or a Libertarian, French may be an effective place to park protest votes- assuming he can raise the money, secure petitions in most states, and win a few lawsuits to make it onto the ballot. Still, even Mitt Romney has already had nice words for the potential presidential candidate (though no endorsement), so with the right amount of buzz, who knows?

Johnson: Gary Johnson is getting some of his first support from major donors. Past prolific fundraiser and now vice presidential candidate Bill Weld is aiming to raise at least $30 million. However, so far most of the lowest-hanging fruit is coming from recent donors to Rand Paul. A Cato Institute-affiliated super PAC, Purple PAC, that supported Rand Paul is now supporting Johnson and restarting operations (although it was a pretty lackluster effort the first go-round). Other major Rand donors and players interested in helping Johnson include Paul and Laura Jost ($500k to a Rand super PAC), Jean Claude Gruffat (bundled $50k for Rand), and Matt Kibbe (who ran a super PAC focused on field for Rand that raised $5.5 million).

Koch network members are also backing Johnson, including Chris Rufer who has pledged $1 million to Johnson, and James von Ehr, who will probably give much less. Discussion of “back channel” talks with the Koch brothers also abound, but that kind of discussion is way too much cart way before the horse.

Trump: Meanwhile, Trump is getting a (much bigger) super PAC assist with Sheldon Adelson looking at setting up his own independent effort (a la the Cruz Free the Promise network in the primaries?) for the Republican nominee. Consultants associated with the effort include Nick Ayers and Phil Cox of past RGA efforts, Chip Englander of the Rand campaign, and former McConnell CoS Josh Holmes.

CA-Pres: In case you needed confirmation that, unlike Donald Trump’s supposed targeting, California is safe Democratic, a YouGuv poll found Clinton leading Trump and Johnson 45%-33%-4%.

MI-Pres: A poll from the Glengariff Group finds Clinton leading Trump 43%-39%. With Johnson in the mix, Clinton led Trump 37%-33%-12%. However, I wonder with polls with two separate horserace questions how much the offering a new option changes the results. Similar to the kids’ science experiment where you stick your finger in warm water then normal water but it feels colder than it should on the normal, does simply adding another option after the first make voters consider a third party candidate more seriously than they otherwise would (like in the voting booth). These are the things that make me go, “Hmmmm.”

NJ-Pres: A Monmouth poll finds Clinton leading Trump 38%-34%, with 11% saying they will vote for a third party or independent candidate without even being given the option.

NY-Pres: Just like with California, a Siena poll has Clinton crushing Trump in the Empire State, 52%-31%.


NY-Gov-18: The same Siena poll has 42% of voters wanting Gov. Cuomo (D) to run again, with 49% opposed. Of course, these types of questions mean less without a horserace and an actual candidate to run against.

CA-Gov: In the same YouGuv poll above, the two leading Democrats remain atop the field in the Senate race. Attorney General Kamala Harris leads Rep. Loretta Sanchez 26%13%, with former GOP chairmen Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim as well as Ron Unz (R) all back at 6% each. Of course, there are even more Republicans running, making it more and more of a distant possibility that any Republican will reach the general in this race.


AZ-Sen: Going negative, Sen. John McCain has launched an online ad (read, free publicity without having to spend much money on a real buy) calling his Republican primary opponent “chemtrail Kelli.” In 2014, State Sen. Kelli Ward hosted a taxpayer-funded town hall on the issue conspiracy theory of chem trails dropped by government planes. While Ward says she just hosted the event to correct incorrect information, the ad plays video from noted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones praising the state senator for her actions.

FL-Sen: Last weekend it was his super PAC, but now Sen. Mitch McConnell himself is encouraging Rubio to reverse his decision and run for reelection to the US Senate.

More FL-Sen: An internal from self-funder Carlos Beruff’s camp continues to find a striking number of undecided voters, but puts him atop the field with Rep. David Jolly 17%-16% with Rep. Ron DeSantis at 9%, Todd Wilcox at 5%, and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera back at 3%. I wonder if Beruff considered these numbers may push Lopez Cantera to consider dropping from the race, which would eliminate the biggest reason Rubio (a much more formidable opponent) would hesitate to jump in himself.

Last FL-Sen: An interesting profile of attorney and veteran Pam Keith, the other person running for the Democratic nod against Reps. Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy. She has a decent resume for lower office at least.

NV-Sen: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on Mark Levin? The radio host has gone ahead and endorsed Sharron Angle again after she made a seemingly impromptu call on his show. For those of you just tuning in, this is Harry Reid’s open Senate seat, and Republicans have a preferred nominee in Rep. Joe Heck. In other news, Angle also has an ad (NWOTSOTB) that talks about DC bunnies, tigers, and Donald Trump. The June 14th primary cannot come soon enough.


CA-1: A look at the 1st district’s open primary, where Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R) faces Joe Monrtes (R). LaMalfa’s campaign is attacking Montes on residency issues, having moved to the district in 2013. If a Democrat, like 2012 nominee Jim Reed, makes it into the general instead, this one will be Safe Republican.

FL-9: Rep. Alan Grayson (D) and Dena Minning (D), a congressional candidate for her husband’s seat, wed this Memorial Day weekend. Minning reportedly took Grayson’s name and has changed it as such on her campaign accounts.

IN-9: An internal (salt!) for Shelli Yoder (D) finds the race between her and self-funding carpetbagger Trey Hollingsworth (R) tied at 41%.

NC-2: AFP has joined in the pile-on of conservative groups looking for a scalp this cycle by targeting Rep. Renee Ellmers. In this organization’s case, they have sent “dozens of field workers” to the district to campaign against Ellmers, on top of a previous limited digital and direct mail campaign.

NH-2: Former State Rep. Jim Lawrence (R) is officially running for Congress against Rep. Ann Kuster (D). While being a New Hampshire state representative isn’t the best platform to run from (see the story under state and local), Lawrence is a veteran who ran in 2014. However, more noteworthy perhaps is the big name he just brought onto the campaign: Mike Biundo, Rick Santorum’s campaign manager in 2012 who worked on the Paul and Kasich campaigns this cycle. Former House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R) is also running. While this is a traditionally swingy seat, it is rated Likely D after a highly-touted candidate, State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, was defeated here last cycle.

State and Local

MN-Leg: No major surprises as candidate filling closed yesterday evening. However, Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) did receive a primary challenge from former Isanti County Commissioner Alan Duff.

NH-Leg: Another indicted New Hampshire Representative from that oversized chamber. This time it is State Rep. Don Leeman of Rochester, who recently resigned after being accused of living outside of his own district and voting in the wrong place. Leeman has now been charged with felony witness tampering and bribery charges, allegedly trying to “induce” a city official to vouch for his residence in an official letter.

Political Roundup for May 16, 2016

Results from Weekend

State Senator Thomas Garrett (R) won the Republican nomination for VA-5 on Saturday.

The Dominican Republican went to the polls yesterday, but no results are in yet.


Trump – Upper Class Support:  Here is a look at whether Donald Trump (Himself) has gained a lot of upper class support in the Republican primary.  Nate Silver has made this argument, but Michael Brennan Dougherty examines how the statistical look provided by Silver misses a few characteristics including the impact of multi-income households.

Palin:  Ben Carson, whose heavily involved in the Trump VP nominee search process, says former Vice Presidential hopeful and Wasilla, AK’s former village idiot, Sarah Palin (R) is being seriously considered.  If Trump is going for an impeachment proof presidency, this might be a good move.

Adelson – Trump:  Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson plans to light $100 million on fire by providing it to support Trump.

Clinton – Sanders War / Nevada:  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) won 7 of the 12 national convention delegates at stake on Saturday at Nevada’s Democratic state convention.  Clinton’s strong showing upset many supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist), which caused officials to end the convention early.

Clinton – Sanders Warfare / Atlanta: Actor Wendell Pierce attacked a Sanders supporter at a Atlanta hotel bar on Saturday morning.  Apparently Pierce started a political discussion and learned the woman in question was a Sanders supporter.  This led him to grab the woman by the hair and smack her.  Obviously Pierce was arrested for simple battery.


MI-8:  Republicans are having a good ole time attacking Democratic candidate Melissa Gilbert for her unwillingness to show up at standard community events for a candidate seeking office.  Gilbert is facing Representative Mike Bishop (R).

NC-2:  With North Carolina having a new map, the first Republican member of Congress to lose a primary will likely to be in North Carolina.  Representatives George Holdings and Renee Elmers are facing off in NC-2 in June.

OH-8:  The Columbus Dispatch looks at the three candidates vying to replace former Speaker John Boehner in the House of Representatives.  Warren Davidson (R) is the strong favorite to hold onto this heavily Republican seat.  He is facing Corey Foister (D) and James Condit (G).

TX-15: Sonny Palacios Jr. and Vicente Gonzalez are battling it out in the runoff for the Democratic nomination (and likely seat in Congress) in this Rio Grande Valley district.


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