Author Archives: Jim Ellis

Senate Democrats’ Big Money

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Fundraising

The Daily Kos Elections site has released their quarterly fundraising recap depicting the amount that every candidate raised during the first quarter of 2024. The Democrats’ aggregate campaign dollar advantage appears overwhelming.

Today, we look at the US Senate financial picture. For the quarter, the 36 Democratic US Senate candidates raised an aggregate total of $92.18 million, or an average of $2.56 million per candidate. This compares with the $47.89 million cumulatively raised for the 43 Republican candidates. The latter figure calculates to a mean average of $1.11 million per GOP contender.

The top fundraiser for Q1 is Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) who accumulated a whopping $11.68 million. This compares to his Republican general election opponent, businessman Bernie Moreno, who reported $2.14 million in receipts.

For the entire election cycle, however, the candidate raising the most money is Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who records just under a $51.2 million income figure. His cash-on-hand total on March 31, at the end of the first quarter, was $9.4 million. Sen. Cruz’s general election opponent, US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas), was the quarter’s fourth-largest Democratic fundraiser at $9.3 million raised. His aggregate campaign to date total is $27.91 million with $10.5 million cash-on-hand.

To get a better picture of how well the candidates are doing on the fundraising front, it is valuable to divide the cumulative fundraising totals by the number of congressional districts in the particular contender’s state, thus putting the candidates on an even footing. Per district, the top fundraiser in a competitive contest is Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D), who has obtained over $32 million for his campaign (cycle-to-date total), which would be equivalent to having $16.26 million per each of the state’s two congressional districts.

Sen. Tester’s opponent, retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) would have much less at $3.2 million per CD, which is still a respectable figure.

While using the congressional district division factor, the Texas numbers do not appear as daunting. While Sen. Cruz has already broken the $50 million threshold in cycle-to-date income, the large amount only translates into $1.3 million per the state’s 38 congressional districts. This means Rep. Allred’s $27 million raised translates into an even lesser $719,000 per Lone Star State CD.

While Rep. Allred is the highest Democratic challenger on the fundraising charts, the top Republican is Pennsylvanian David McCormick. He has raised over $11 million cycle-to-date ($647,000 per 17 CDs), but that number includes almost $2 million via a candidate loan. McCormick reports $4.7 million cash-on-hand. His opponent, three-term Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA), has a cycle-to-date income figure of $23.3 million ($1.37 million per CD) with over $11.9 million remaining in his campaign account.

The situation is a little different when looking at the two major party campaign entities, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The latter organization has raised just over $120 million cycle-to-date, while the DSCC total tops $107 million. The Democrats, however, have a cash-on-hand advantage, $41 million to $36.5 million. For the first quarter, the Republican committee outraised their Democratic counterpart, $42 million to $33 million.

In terms of the main outside Super PACs that help the respective party candidates, the Democrats’ entity reports almost a 2:1 gap over the GOP’s main committee. The Senate Majority PAC has raised $122 million for the election cycle compared to the Republicans’ $63.9 million.

While the Democrats hold a major overall advantage in resources, their candidates are forced to play defense. With the party having only a 51-49 majority margin, they must protect 23 of the 34 in-cycle Senate states, while Republicans have little to defend. Therefore, despite likely being outspent across the board in the 2024 campaign cycle, the GOP is still in strong position to capture at least a small majority in the upcoming elections.

RFK Jr. Qualifies in Michigan;
More Candidates in KS-2;
Wisconsin Rep. Gallagher Resigns; Pennsylvania Primary Today

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, April 23, 2024

President

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

RFK Jr: Qualifies for Ballot in Michigan — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has obtained ballot position in the critical swing state of Michigan on the Natural Law Party line. The Independent national candidate is also on the ballot in Utah, and his campaign says he will file the requisite number of signatures plus significantly more in Idaho, Iowa, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. His chances of obtaining 4,000 valid signatures in Maine are also strong.

Currently, Kennedy will compete in some critical swing states and could determine the outcome for one of the major party candidates if his vote coalition takes decidedly more votes from President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump. Therefore, we see that his candidacy could tip the electoral vote count in Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and the 2nd District of Nebraska. All are expected to produce very close final tallies for the two major party presidential candidates.

House

KS-2: More Individuals in the Candidate Mix — Potential Kansas congressional candidates continue to contemplate their political moves in response to last week’s surprise retirement announcement from two-term Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Topeka).

Republicans already expressing interest in announcing their candidacies are state House Majority Leader Chris Croft, Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson, and state Sen. Caryn Tyson (R-Parker). Former state attorney general and 2022 gubernatorial nominee Derek Schmidt acknowledges that his name is in the mix for the 2nd District but has not yet made a statement regarding intent. State Insurance Commissioner Vicky Schmidt is a possible candidate. Topeka Mayor Michelle de la Isla is mentioned as a potential Democratic contender.

The Kansas candidate filing deadline is June 1. The real action is in the Republican primary as the seat will almost assuredly remain in the GOP column. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+21, and Trump carried the district 57-41 percent in the 2020 presidential campaign.

WI-8: Rep. Gallagher (R) Resigns — After staying to vote on the foreign aid bills, Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) officially resigned his seat. His action reduces the total House count to 430, and the Republican majority to 217-213. Gallagher joins former Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Ken Buck (R-CO) who also left the House prior to finishing the current term.

Special elections to fill the balance of the terms will be held in all but Wisconsin. The New York district will be filled April 30, CA-20 on May 21, the OH-6 seat on June 11, and Rep. Buck’s Colorado CD on June 25. Each party is expected to hold the seats of their departing members. If so, when the special election cycles conclude, the Republicans will have 220 seats and the Democrats’ 214.

States

Pennsylvania: Primary Today — The nation’s only April primary is scheduled for today, and electorates in several key House races will choose nominees. Presidential turnout, as a gauge for voting enthusiasm, will be monitored, while both major party US Senate candidates — Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D) and businessman David McCormick (R) — are unopposed in their respective nomination campaigns.

We have several major primaries occurring, one that will seal a seat for the Democratic nominee in the Pittsburgh anchored 12th District, and two more in swing districts that will lead to highly competitive general election races.

Freshman Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pittsburgh) defends against local official Bhavini Patel in District 12. Republicans feature a competitive primary to challenge vulnerable Reps. Susan Wild (D-Allentown), as do Democrats opposite six-term Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/ Harrisburg).

Republicans also look to mount strong challenges against Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic/Scranton) and Chris Deluzio (D-Aspinwall). Tomorrow, however, their candidates, businessman Rob Bresnahan and state Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Pine Richland), face no intraparty opposition.

Swing State Polling Favors Trump; Sen. Scott’s Strong Lead in Florida; House Open Seat No. 50; A Challenger in Wisconsin’s 1st District

By Jim Ellis — Monday, April 22, 2024

President

Swing state poll graphic: NJ.com/Politics

Fox News Polls: Trump Faring Well in Swing State Polling — Fox News just went into the field to test the key swing states for the presidential campaign — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. To win the presidency, former President Donald Trump must convert Georgia and one of the Great Lakes States at a minimum. Should Trump prevail in Georgia and Pennsylvania, for example, he would have enough Electoral College votes to defeat President Joe Biden so long as he held all 25 states that previously twice voted for him.

All of the polls were conducted from April 11-16 and housed sampling universes comprised of 1,126 to 1,198 registered voters from the aforementioned states. In these polls, Trump would lead President Biden 51-45 percent in Georgia, and 49-46 percent in Michigan, while fighting to a draw at 48-48 percent in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the minor party candidates are added to the questionnaire, the ballot tests change. While Trump continues to top Biden in Georgia and Michigan under this new configuration, he takes a 44-42-8 percent lead in Pennsylvania. Biden, however, forges ahead in Wisconsin, 43-41-9 percent.

Senate

Florida: Sen. Scott’s Stronger Lead — Mainstreet Research, polling for Florida Atlantic University (April 15-17; 815 likely Florida general election voters; text & interactive voice response system) finds Sen. Rick Scott (R) in much stronger shape against presumed Democratic nominee and former Congresswoman Debbie Mursell-Powell. According to the FAU numbers, Sen. Scott scores a 53-36 percent advantage.

Earlier in April, Ipsos Research, for USA Today (April 5-7; 1,014 Florida adults; online) found the senator’s lead at 36-26 percent, though this poll did not isolate registered voters. Emerson College (April 3-7; 608 likely Florida general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) reported a 45-38 percent ballot test, also in Sen. Scott’s favor.

House

KS-2: Open Seat #50 — Two-term Jayhawk State US Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Topeka) surprisingly announced late last week that he will not seek re-election later this year, and further stated that he would not enter any of the Kansas statewide contests in 2026. Gov. Laura Kelly (D) will be ineligible to seek a third term at that time, and speculation was already surrounding Rep. LaTurner as a possible gubernatorial candidate.

The congressman, at the age of 36, is the youngest Republican House member. Prior to winning the congressional office in 2020, LaTurner had served as Kansas’s State Treasurer and was twice elected to the state Senate.

The LaTurner decision means there are 50 US House seats that will be open for the next election, 25 from the Democratic Conference, 24 from the Republicans, and one newly created district in Alabama. The GOP nominee will be the favorite to hold the seat in November. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+21. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks KS-2 as the 83rd most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference.

WI-1: Ex-Congressman to Challenge Rep. Steil — Former Wisconsin Congressman Peter Barca (D), who represented the 1st Congressional District for one term (1993-1995) before losing his seat to Republican Mark Neumann, announced that he will challenge House Administration Committee chairman Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) later this year.

After his congressional defeat, Barca returned to the state Assembly, the body from which he first came to Congress, winning a seat in 2008. He would serve another 10 years before Gov. Tony Evers (D) appointed him Secretary of the Department of Revenue.

The southern Wisconsin 1st District is competitive. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+6, but the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians calculate only a 49.4R – 48.3D partisan lean. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks WI-1 as the 21st most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference.

Still, Barca will have a difficult time unseating Rep. Steil. From the Federal Election Commission financial disclosure reports just released for the period ending March 31, Rep. Steil holds just over $4 million in his campaign account.

Trump Leads Among Texas Hispanics; Trone Rebounds in Maryland; Figures Wins Runoff in Alabama; Indiana Sen. Braun Criticized for Supporting BLM

By Jim Ellis — Friday, April 19, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Texas: Trump Leads Among Texas Hispanics — The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation conducted a recent poll of the Lone Star State electorate (April 5-10; 1,600 likely Texas voters) and finds former President Donald Trump posting a 12-point lead over President Joe Biden in a five-way race that includes the two major party candidates, Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and potential Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver. The preference split was 46-34-9-2-1 percent in the above candidate order. Texas, the second-largest state in population, has 40 electoral votes to award to its presidential winner.

The most interesting part of the poll, however, was the vote division among Hispanics. Within this segment, Trump actually leads President Biden 41-37 percent, which is another indication that Trump has upward mobility among Hispanics while Biden exhibits clear weakness within the community. Trump also does well with Texas women, leading the president 44-34 percent, a trend not seen in many other places. His spread among Lone Star men is 50-34 percent.

Senate

Maryland: Trone Rebounds from Close Poll — We earlier reported on a poll from Maryland Democratic Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks (Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group; April 8-10; 600 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters; live interview) that found her trailing US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) by just three percentage points, 43-40 percent.

Already, we see a counter poll, this one coming from the Baltimore Sun newspaper. According to their new survey (OpinionWorks; April 7-10; 1,292 likely Maryland general election voters; 600 Democratic primary voters), Rep. Trone holds a commanding advantage over Alsobrooks, topping her 48-29 percent. With such an obvious difference between the two professional polls conducted in the same time frame with identical sample sizes, it is clear we will need further data to better understand where this race resides. Expect heavy campaigning to occur as we move closer to the May 14 Maryland primary.

House

AL-2: Shomari Figures Wins Dem Runoff — As expected, Obama Justice Department official Shomari Figures, who placed first in the original Democratic primary back on March 5, easily defeated state House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels by a 61-39 percent count. Figures, the son of parents who both served in the Alabama Senate, now advances to the general election where he will be favored to win a newly created district that President Biden would have carried 56-43 percent.

The Republican runoff ended with a surprise, as attorney Caroleen Dobson upset former state Sen. Dick Brewbaker with a 58-42 percent victory. In the March 5 primary, Brewbaker led a field of eight candidates. Dobson trailed Brewbaker by more than 12 percentage points and only qualified for the second runoff position by 632 votes over the third-place finisher. Like Figures, Dobson will now advance into the Nov. 5 general election.

Governor

Indiana: Braun Attacked for Supporting BLM — While Sen. Mike Braun (R) has shown Republican primary polling strength against Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, former state Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers, and venture capitalist Eric Doden in their battle for the open governor’s position, he is now under attack for statement indicating his support for the Black Lives Matter organization.

The American Advancement organization is running ads featuring Braun saying, “I support that movement because it’s addressing an inequity that has not been solved.” The ad further has him saying he would, “if asked,” join a BLM protest as the narrator continually calls him a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only). It remains to be seen if the Super Pac buys enough airtime to make their negative attack on Sen. Braun stick.

Brown Posts Big Primary Lead in Nevada; Justice Holds Commanding Lead in West Virginia; Fong Leading in CA-20 Special Election Poll; Menendez Trailing in NJ-8 Primary

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, April 18, 2024

Senate

Army veteran Sam Brown

Nevada: Brown Posts Big Primary Lead — A new Tarrance Group poll for the National Republican Senatorial Committee produces good news for endorsed candidate Sam Brown, the businessman and Afghan War disabled veteran. The survey (April 7-10; 500 likely Nevada Republican primary voters; live interview) finds Brown posting 58 percent support. His closest opponent, former state assemblyman and past secretary of state and congressional nominee Jim Marchant, records only a six percent preference factor. Former US Ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter, who has pledged to spend $3 million of his own money to fund his candidacy, and former lieutenant governor candidate Tony Grady each have only three percent support.

Aside from yielding Brown’s highly positive reviews, the survey data returns bad news for Gunter. When the respondents were asked for their second choice in the race, Marchant posted 30 percent as opposed to Gunter’s four percent. The winner of the June 11 primary then challenges Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) in what will be a premier general election campaign.

West Virginia: Justice Continues Holding Commanding Lead — Research America published the results of their early April survey (April 3-9; 400 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters; live interview & online) that again sees Gov. Jim Justice (R) holding a huge lead over Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) as the two compete to succeed retiring Sen. Joe Manchin (D). As has been found in many other surveys, Research America pegs the Justice lead at 66-24 percent as the two enter the final month of campaigning. The West Virginia primary is scheduled for May 14.

Winning the West Virginia race in November is critical to Republican hopes of capturing the Senate, and the eventual Republican nominee should have little trouble converting the seat in the general election. Doing so would even the Senate’s partisan division at 50D-50R.

House

CA-20: Fong tops Bourdeaux in Special Election Poll — Now that Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) has successfully defended the secretary of state’s lawsuit attempting to prevent him from running in the regular term and simultaneously for state Assembly with last week’s appellate court ruling, we now see favorable Fong survey data.

The assemblyman placed first in the March 19 special election primary with 42.3 percent of the vote in a field of nine jungle primary candidates. Also advancing into the May 21 special general election is Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux (R) who posted a 25.8 percent support figure. The special election winner will immediately be sworn into Congress and finish the term from which former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) resigned.

WPA Intelligence surveyed the 20th District (April 1-3; 400 likely CA-20 special election voters; live interview) and finds Fong leading Sheriff Bourdeaux by a 46-30 percent margin. He also has the advantage in three of the district’s four counties, Fresno, Kern, and Kings, while Bourdeaux leads in his home of Tulare County.

NJ-8: Rep. Menendez Trailing in Primary — A just released Global Strategy Group survey (April 1-4; 400 likely NJ-8 Democratic primary voters; live interview) finds freshman Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City), suffering the fallout from his father’s upcoming corruption trial, trailing Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla (D) by a 33-28 percent margin with businessman Kyle Jasey (D) attracting seven percent of the vote.

With Sen. Bob Menendez (D) facing a jury trial in early May, even more attention will be paid to the Menendez family, though Congressman Menendez is not accused of any wrongdoing. The senator’s favorability index in the 8th District, however, has dropped to 22:69 percent favorable to unfavorable according to the GSG poll. Rep. Menendez is in much better position but barely in positive territory at 38:34 percent. Mayor Bhalla, not as well known, ties the congressman on the favorable point at 38 percent positive, but his negative number is only eight percent. This June 4 primary challenge continues to be rated as a highly competitive contest.

Abortion Not Moving Arizona Voters

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, April 17, 2024

President

Will the abortion issue be a major vote driver in 2024? (Human fetus shown at week 9 / Source: Fetal development gallery)[/caption]Abortion was a major vote driver in 2022, but the question currently being asked is will it also be one in 2024? A new Arizona survey suggests the Biden campaign will not be happy with the findings.

With the Arizona state Supreme Court recently upholding a more than century-old abortion law in response to the US Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade decision in 2022, Fabrizio Lee & Associates tested the Arizona electorate for ex-President Donald Trump’s campaign (April 7-11; 400 likely Arizona general election voters; live interview & text).

According to the poll analysis, the abortion issue’s heavy coverage in the state has not yet swayed the swing voters. While Democrats are the group who largely mention abortion as the most important recent issue, independents, and a category that Fabrizio Lee terms as “Persuadables” do not.

The pollsters wanted to capture just how much of the attention being paid to the Arizona abortion ruling is affecting the state’s electorate. They asked: “Over the past couple of days, what ONE story about politics or world affairs has captured your attention enough that you are following that story? If there hasn’t been one, just say so.”

The responses showed that only 11 percent of the respondents named the abortion decision as the subject matter being most followed. The top response was the Gaza/Israel issue, (16 percent) and border/illegal immigration (13 percent) was next. Delving into the choices from the current Arizona sample, 24 percent of Democrats named abortion as the ONE story as compared to seven percent of persuadables, six percent of independents, and five percent of Republicans.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the poll pertained to which presidential candidate’s abortion position the respondents more closely identified with.

The candidates’ positions were stated as follows:

  • “Donald Trump believes that the decision on abortion laws should be left up to the states so that voters in each state can decide. However, Trump is opposed to late-term abortion and would end federal taxpayer funding of abortions.”
  • “Joe Biden supports unrestricted access to universal abortion – including abortion up through the 9th month of pregnancy and he supports taxpayer funds to pay for abortions for any reason.”

By a 51-40 percent split, Trump’s position was cited as being more favorable. Therefore, responses such as this suggest that Republican strategists pushing for a more aggressive response on the abortion issue to counter the Democrats’ advantage may have something upon which to build.

Dividing the responses into voter groups, persuadables favored Trump’s position by 45-41 percent; Independents move 50-39 percent in alignment with Trump’s position, and predictably, so do 83 percent of Republicans and 13 percent of Democrats.

Therefore, President Biden appears not to be gaining new Arizona votes from the abortion controversy according to this survey sample at least in the short term. Thus, the ballot test, including Trump, Biden, Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and probable Libertarian Party nominee Lars Mapstead, finds Trump leading the field with a 42-37-10-2-1 percent margin, respectively.

It is quite likely that an abortion initiative will be on the Arizona ballot this November. The Arizona for Abortion Access campaign is attempting to qualify and pass language into the state Constitution that would guarantee access to abortion procedures before fetal viability.

Under Arizona initiative law, proponents must gather 383,923 valid Arizona registered voter signatures before July 3, 2024, the deadline for it to be able to appear on the November ballot. The signature qualification number represents five percent of the votes cast for governor in the most recent election (2022). At this point, the AFAA campaign contends they already have over 500,000 signatures on petitions and will continue to gather them through the deadline.

Arizona is one of the seven critical swing states that will determine the presidential election’s outcome. Democrats will use this initiative to increase their coalition turnout both through early voting and on Election Day.

April-May Primary Outlook – Part II

Primaries

Today, we conclude our early primary outlook with a recap of the May 14 primaries in Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia, and the May 21 contests in Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon.

Maryland

May 14 will host a very active day in Maryland politics. Voters will choose nominees for an open US Senate race and three open House seats which, in most cases, will determine who will also win the general election.

The big statewide race features US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks vying for the open US Senate Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D). Cardin spent more than $24 million on his campaign before the end of 2023, but still has not fully pulled away from Alsobrooks in the polling. The winner will face former two-term Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in what is now a competitive general election even in this most Democratic of states.

Eleven-term Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville) is retiring and leaves a six-way Democratic primary in his wake. The odds-on favorite to capture the party nomination and the seat in the general is Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski (D), who already represents more people than the number who reside in a congressional district. State Delegate Harry Bhandari (D-Parkville) is one of the top contenders, but the race is Olszewski’s to lose.

With Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Baltimore) retiring, perhaps the largest congressional field in the country has assembled. A total of 22 Democrats have filed for the primary in a district where the party nominee will easily win the seat in November. Among the almost two dozen candidates are two state senators and three state delegates. With so many competing candidates, the party nomination is completely up for grabs.

Rep. Trone’s open 6th CD features crowded primaries for both parties in what should lead to a competitive general election. Democrats have fielded 14 candidates including April McClain Delaney, a former Commerce Department official who is married to former US Rep. John Delaney, and a pair of state delegates.

Republicans see seven contenders, two of whom have won major primaries but gone down to defeat in the general elections because they are too conservative for the region. Dan Cox, the 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee and two-time congressional nominee and ex-state Delegate Neil Parrott, are the two most well-known Republicans competing for the nomination. Should one of them top the GOP field, the edge goes to the eventual Democratic nominee in a district that should be considered a toss-up.

Reps. Andy Harris (R-Cambridge), Glenn Ivey (D-Cheverly), Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville), Kweisi Mfume (D-Baltimore) and Jamie Raskin (D-Takoma Park) all face minor primary opposition.

Nebraska

The Cornhusker State features both US Senate seats up for election in 2024. The second due to a previous resignation, but neither Sen. Deb Fischer (R) and appointed Sen. Pete Ricketts (R) face major competition in the Republican primary nor general election.

While Rep. Don Bacon (R-Papillion) will be embroiled in another tough general election battle in the Omaha anchored 2nd District, neither he nor state senator and 2022 congressional nominee Tony Vargas (D) have serious primary opposition.

Reps. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk) and Adrian Smith (R-Gering), whose district encompasses all or parts of 80 of Nebraska’s 93 counties in a seat that stretches from Wyoming to Iowa, face only minor primary opposition.

West Virginia

The Mountain State features open Senate and gubernatorial races; Republicans are favored in both contests. Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D) retirement makes the GOP eventual nominee, likely Gov. Jim Justice who is expected to defeat Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town), the prohibitive favorite. Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott is favored to win the Democratic primary.

The open Republican gubernatorial primary is a spirited contest featuring Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), who leads in all polls, and two sons of current West Virginia office holders. Former state Delegate Moore Capito and businessman Chris Miller, sons of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) and Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), are battling for the nomination as is Secretary of State Mac Warner. The primary winner will become a strong favorite against the presumptive Democratic nominee, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams.

Rep. Mooney’s open 2nd District yields a Republican primary of five candidates, including state Treasurer Riley Moore, a nephew to Sen. Capito. Moore is a clear favorite to win the party nomination and defeat presumptive Democratic nominee Steven Wendelin in the general election.

Georgia

While the Peach State is arguably the most pivotal domain in the presidential election, 2024 is a rather quiet year for in-state Georgia politics. There is very little competition in the general election, but we do see three primaries of note.

In GOP Rep. Drew Ferguson’s open 3rd District, six Republicans compete for the party nomination including state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton), two ex-legislators, and a former Trump White House aide. The two top finishers being forced into a June 18 runoff election is the likely primary outcome. In a district that 538 rates R+38, the eventual Republican nominee is a lock to win the general election.

Two Democratic members face primary opposition. Because of the latest court-ordered redistricting directive, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) must run in a much different district than the current domain she represents. As a result, she is drawing primary opposition from state Rep. Mandisha Thomas (D-Atlanta) and Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson. Rep. McBath is favored, but the two opponents forcing a runoff is not beyond the realm of possibility. The eventual Democratic nominee will have an easy run in November.

Veteran Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta), no stranger to facing primary opposition, now has six Democratic opponents including Marcus Flowers, who challenged Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in 2022. East Point City Councilwoman Karen Rene is the only candidate within the group who has any current political constituency. Rep. Scott is again favored for renomination. GA-13 is safely Democratic in the general election.

Idaho

With no Senate or governor’s race on the ballot, the Idaho election cycle will be uneventful. In the primary, Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian) faces no primary opposition, while veteran Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho Falls) drew two minor Republican challengers. No change is expected in the Gem State delegation.

Kentucky

The Blue Grass State is another place with little political activity this year. All incumbents are expected to easily retain their congressional seats.

Reps. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville), Thomas Massie (R-Garrison), and Hal Rogers (R-Somerset) each face minor opposition in their respective Democratic and Republican primaries.

Oregon

The Beaver State also has no governor or Senate race on the ballot this year, but there are three contested primaries scheduled for May 21.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), retiring after serving what will be 28 years in the House at the end of the current term, leaves a safe Democratic seat (D+43) for which seven party members will compete. State Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland), a physician, is one of the leading candidates. Former Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal, sister to Washington US Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle), and Gresham City Councilor Eddy Morales also appear to be viable contenders. The winner of this plurality primary will take the seat in November.

In the 5th District, Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Happy Valley) seeks a second term. She defeated Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner two years ago but may see a different opponent this year. While McLeod-Skinner is running again, the Democratic establishment, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), is instead lining up behind state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas), which likely gives her the inside track toward the nomination. In a seat rated R+3, this will become a national congressional race in the general election.

The 6th District is the new seat that Oregon earned in the 2020 national reapportionment. Drawn as a D+7 district according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, the first ever congressional race within the new domain finished in a closer manner. Then-state Rep. Andrea Salinas (D) captured the seat with a 50-48 percent victory margin over Republican businessman Mike Erickson.

While Rep. Salinas faces only minor primary competition, the Republican field is more crowded. Erickson returns but will face 2022 gubernatorial candidate David Burch and Dundee Mayor David Russ in the battle for the party nomination. In a presidential year with President Joe Biden expected to post a strong double-digit Oregon victory, Rep. Salinas has a much better chance of posting a wider margin in the ’24 congressional race.