Category Archives: Presidential campaign

Trump Conviction Not Hurting Poll Standing; Top Nevada GOP Candidate Struggles; GA-3 Candidate Gaining Strength; Junge Takes Lead in MI-8

By Jim Ellis — Friday, June 7, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump

Polling: Trump Conviction Not Hurting Poll Standing — In the first released polls since former President Donald Trump’s conviction was announced on Thursday night, a pair of pollsters still project him locked in a virtual national tie with President Joe Biden. YouGov, polling for The Economist publication and Morning Consult released their frequent tracks.

In the YouGov survey (June 2-4; 1,566 registered US voters; online), the ballot test finds Trump and Biden tied at 42 percent apiece. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) records three percent support, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Independent Cornel West each secure one percent preference. Morning Consult (May 31-June 2; 10,404 registered US voters; online) sees Trump holding a slight 44-43 percent edge in a head-to-head test. Therefore, with the respondents knowing of the Trump conviction, the voting populace seems unfazed.

Senate

Nevada: Shock GOP Primary Poll — While Afghan War veteran and official Republican Party backed Senate candidate Sam Brown was expected to breeze through the GOP primary, a new poll suggests otherwise. A Kaplan Strategies study conducted for the Jeff Gunter (R) campaign (May 30; 802 likely Nevada Republican primary voters; online) sees the former Ambassador to Iceland and physician moving ahead of Brown by a 31-30 percent count.

In further bad news for Brown, the Tyson Group (May 22-25; 601 likely Nevada general election voters; online) shows Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leading the general election ballot test with a large 47-33 percent advantage. In both the Gunter and Rosen cases, the candidates had launched large media blitzes prior to the polling, which could explain the swing away from Brown. Gunter may be hitting his peak at the right time, however, as the Nevada primary is fast approaching on June 11.

House

GA-3: Jack Continues to Gain Runoff Support — Former Trump White House aide Brian Jack (R) came close to winning the open GA-3 primary on May 21 when he captured 47 percent of the initial vote against five GOP opponents. Still short of the majority threshold, Jack was forced into a runoff with state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) who received 25 percent support.

The third and fourth place finishers — former state Sen. Mike Crane and ex-state Rep. Philip Singleton — both have endorsed Jack. Coming close to the majority marker and getting former opponents’ support places Jack in a strong position for the upcoming June 18 runoff election. With an R+38 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, winning the GOP runoff is tantamount to claiming the seat. Four-term Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-The Rock) is retiring.

MI-8: Junge Takes Lead in Primary & General — Michigan’s open 8th Congressional District is one of the key toss-up races in the country. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+1, but the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians calculate a 51.0D – 46.2R partisan lean. President Biden scored a tight 50.3 – 48.2 percent win here in 2020, and the Daily Kos Elections site ranks MI-8 as the 11th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference. Therefore, it is safe to predict that either eventual major party nominee will have a legitimate chance to win the general election.

A poll from the UpOne Insights group (June 1-4; 400 registered MI-8 voters; 341 likely GOP primary voters; live interview) projects former news anchor and two-time Republican nominee Paul Junge leading both the Republican primary and the general election. According to the UpOne results, Junge commands a large 53-11 percent advantage over his three Republican opponents combined, including Board of Education member Nikki Snyder who was disqualified for failing to submit the required number of nominating petition signatures.

For the general election, Junge leads the leading Democratic candidate, state Sen. Kristen McDonald-Rivet (D-Bay City), by a 42-39 percent clip. The Michigan primary is scheduled for Aug. 6. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) is retiring after serving what will be six full terms at the end of this Congress.

Listen in to Our Wide-Ranging Discussion on the Podcast,
“Light Beer, Dark Money”

Please click on the above image to go to the podcast, or click here: Light Beer, Dark Money

By Jim Ellis — Saturday, June 1, 2024

I joined Chris Clements and Sean Noble again, hosts of the podcast “Light Beer, Dark Money,” to talk about the recently agreed to debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, currently set for June 27. We discuss the internal thinking the Biden and Trump camps, and what we might expect from the debate, and what might happen as a result. I also give insights on the recent Maryland U.S. Senate Democratic primary and how that impacts former Gov. Larry Hogan’s chances in the general. We then walks through the remaining Senate races to watch in 2024.

Listen in. As a follower of EllisInsight.com, I think you’ll enjoy the discussion.

Libertarian Party Chooses Nominee; Expect an Early Nomination for Biden-Harris; Menendez to Enter Senate Campaign as an Independent; Texas House Election Roundup

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, May 29, 2024

President

2024 Libertarian Party nominee, Chase Oliver.

Libertarian Party: Chooses Presidential Candidate — Catching up on political news from over Memorial Day Weekend, after booing former President Donald Trump spoke to the Libertarian Party Convention, delegates on the fourth ballot nominated former Georgia Senate and congressional candidate Chase Oliver as the party’s presidential nominee. Not Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was being considered for party nomination. The Libertarian Party is the only one of the minor entities that will have 50-state, or near 50-state, ballot presence. The party’s presence is more likely to take votes away from former President Donald Trump than President Joe Biden.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. received only two percent of the delegate vote on the first ballot and was eliminated. Chase then advanced to a third ballot against college professor Michael Rectenwald. Chase received 49.5 percent of the vote, just short of the majority threshold. He then advanced to win 60 percent alone against a none of the above option.

Democratic National Committee: Will Nominate Biden-Harris Virtually — It appears that the Democrats will, for the first time, nominate their presidential ticket before the delegates even gather for their national convention in late August. Responding to the Ohio election law that requires the political parties to provide official communication of their nominees prior to Aug. 7, Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison announced yesterday that the party delegates will vote in a virtual roll call prior to the Aug. 19-22 party gathering to ensure that President Biden is placed on the Buckeye State ballot.

Ohio Republicans have said they would pass a new law changing the aforementioned deadline, yet Harrison said the Democrats would not wait for their counterparts to act, but rather would “land this plane themselves.” Conducting the vote early will make it even more difficult for insurgent Democrats to make any move to convince the president to step down from receiving the party nomination. Therefore, we can expect President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to be renominated well before Aug. 7 and weeks prior to the Democratic delegates gathering in Chicago for their national convention.

Senate

New Jersey: Sen. Menendez Circulating Petitions — While Sen. Bob Menendez (D) is standing trial for bribery, reports are surfacing from New Jersey that he is also having petitions circulated to enter the 2024 Senate race as an Independent. Earlier, Sen. Menendez announced that he would not compete in the Democratic primary.

It is likely that the senator will file as an Independent not because he believes he can win from that ballot line, but his status as a candidate would allow him to use his substantial campaign funds (his cash-on-hand figure was just under $3.6 million on March 31) to pay his legal expenses.

Michigan: Petition Signatures Confirmed — Despite stories surfacing last week that Republican candidates — Mike Rogers, a former House member and ex-Intelligence Committee chairman; ex-Rep. Justin Amash; and businessman Sandy Pensler — were in danger of not submitting 15,000 valid petition signatures to qualify for the US Senate ballot, the State Bureau of Elections staff report indicates that the only Senate contender not qualifying from either major political party is Democrat Nasser Beydoun.

In Michigan, the staff sends their signature qualification report to the secretary of state prior to the principal making a final decision. At this point, it appears that all three key Republican candidates will be on the ballot. For the Democrats, the battle will apparently be between US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) and actor Hill Harper.

House

TX-23: Rep. Gonzales Barely Renominated — Two-term Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-San Antonio) escaped with a close win last night against firearm manufacturer Brandon Herrera in the Texas Republican runoff election after a nasty campaign. Rep. Gonzales won with 50.7 percent of the vote, a margin of just 407 votes of the 29,639 ballots cast. In the March 5 Republican primary, the congressman placed first in the original election with 45.1 percent of the vote as compared to Herrera’s 24.6 percent.

An incumbent being forced into a runoff generally plays poorly for the office holder in the secondary election, thus the closeness of this contest was not particularly surprising. Furthermore, last night’s result is not the first close call Gonzales has experienced in the Texas runoff system.

In his first election back in 2020, Gonzales won that year’s runoff election with just 45 votes to spare, and then went onto score an upset 51-47 percent victory over Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones. The congressman will now be favored to defeat Democratic nominee Santos Limon in the general election.

TX-28: Republicans Nominate Furman — A second important Republican runoff election occurred in the South Texas 28th District, a seat that stretches from San Antonio all the way to the Mexican border. Retired Navy officer Jay Furman was an easy 65-35 percent winner over rancher Lazaro Garza Jr. in a runoff election that saw only 12,683 voters cast ballots.

Furman will advance to the general election to challenge embattled Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), who now faces a federal bribery indictment. Prior to his legal situation becoming public, the general election did not appear competitive, but the new developments suggest that the Republican nomination is worth having. Now the attention turns to the GOP apparatus to determine if they will target the district and spend the resources to help Furman score what they hope will be an upset victory on Nov. 5.

TX-12: State Rep. Goldman Wins GOP Runoff — State Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth), as expected, easily defeated real estate developer John O’Shea by a 63-37 percent margin from a low turnout of 26,670 votes. Goldman now becomes the prohibitive favorite in the general election to succeed retiring Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth) who is departing after serving what will be 14 terms in the House.

The result was not a surprise after Goldman placed first in the March 5 primary coming within 5.6 percentage points of winning the Republican nomination outright. Goldman was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2012 and rose to a position of Republican Party leadership in the current legislative chamber.

Split Tickets in AZ, NV? SCOTUS Rules in SC; Dead Heat in CA-41; Mace Leads in Two South Carolina Polls

By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 24, 2024

Senate

Former President Donald Trump

Polling: Potential Split Tickets in AZ, NV — Two new surveys find Democratic Senate candidates pulling away from their presumed Republican opponents in two southwestern swing states while former President Donald Trump continues to lead within the same polling samples.

Phoenix-based Noble Predictive Insights (May 7-14; 1,003 registered Arizona voters; online) finds Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) maintaining a double-digit lead, 46-36 percent, over Republican former news anchor and 2022 gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. Yet, on the presidential ballot test, former President Trump holds a 43-36-8-2-1 percent advantage over President Joe Biden, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I), Jill Stein (Green), and Dr. Cornel West (I).

In Nevada, we see a similar pattern. Mainstreet Research, polling for Florida Atlantic University (May 19-21; 522 registered Nevada voters; interactive voice response system & online), finds Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leading Republican Sam Brown, 48-37 percent. When turning to the presidential contest, however, the results flip. According to this data, Trump would hold a 44-40-9 percent advantage over Biden and Kennedy. Both the most recent Arizona and Nevada polling results suggest that each electorate could engage in ticket splitting for the top two offices on their respective ballots.

House

SCOTUS: Overturns South Carolina Lower Court’s Redistricting Ruling — On a 6-3 vote, the United States Supreme Court overturned the lower court ruling that declared South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District (Rep. Nancy Mace — R-Charleston) as a racial gerrymander. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito stated that the lower court’s ruling saying race had been the predominate factor in drawing the 1st District was “clearly erroneous,” according to the Daily Kos Elections site analysts. Therefore, the current South Carolina map will stand.

The state had already proceeded under the current lines since the high court’s decision came after the candidate filing deadline. Therefore, the current campaigns will continue along their present path.

This decision could well affect the Louisiana case, which the high court stayed. The lower court had overturned the Louisiana legislature’s original map as a racial gerrymander. The appellate court then reversed the ruling, but the Supreme Court stayed that decision. It is possible the stay was ordered because the court was making an important ruling on the South Carolina case, and that decision could again change the Louisiana situation.

CA-41: Rep. Calvert in Dead Heat — Veteran Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) is again in a highly competitive race with his 2022 opponent, former federal prosecutor Will Rollins (D). The Rollins campaign just released the results of their latest internal poll from David Binder Research (May 1-6; 600 likely CA-41 general election voters; live interview & text). According to the ballot test, Rollins would hold a slight one-point lead, 45-44 percent, over Rep. Calvert. Both candidates see 31 percent of their support being recorded as definite, while 14 percent of Rollins’ voters say they could change their vote, as do 13 percent of Calvert voters.

While the polling is virtually even, the all-party jungle primary results gave Rep. Calvert a 53-38 percent advantage from 162,066 individuals who voted. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-41 as R+7.

SC-1: Rep. Mace Leads in Two Polls — While the US Supreme Court was ruling on the legality of the state’s 1st Congressional District, a new Republican primary poll was simultaneously released. Emerson College (May 19-21; 400 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) publicized their new data results that post incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) to a 47-22 percent advantage over her principal challenger, former Haley Administration official and previous gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton. A third candidate, non-profit executive Bill Young, attracted seven percent of the vote.

The results are similar to a recent Kaplan Strategies survey (May 6-7; 343 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; online & text) that produced a Mace lead of 43-21-3 percent.
The South Carolina primary is June 11. If no one reaches majority support, and neither poll shows Rep. Mace winning outright, the top two finishers will advance to a June 25 runoff election.

Trump’s Non-Voters

By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 17, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Trump: Expanding Voter Universe — We’ve seen considerable recent evidence of a changing American electorate, such as more minority voters being open to supporting Republicans and higher educated individuals almost exclusively heading to the Democratic camp, but a series of Public Opinion Strategies surveys for NBC News is confirming another surprise data point.

In presidential polls throughout the election cycle, it is former President Donald Trump and not President Joe Biden who consistently fares better when a pollster expands the surveyed universe. This means Trump’s numbers have been consistently better in this election cycle when the sample consists of “adults” as opposed only to registered or likely voters. This is highly unusual since it is typically the Democrats who do better when the respondent universe expands.

Public Opinion Strategies pollster George Nassar released an analysis of a series of polls that his organization conducted exploring the responses of the high propensity voter versus those who are either only casual or habitual non-voters. The results are again consistent with other research conducted in the current election cycle, namely that we again see Trump and the Republicans doing better when the universe expands.

According to the Nassar analysis, when looking only at the highest propensity voters from both the 2022 and 2020 elections, President Biden posts a 49-44 percent lead over Trump. This group would also “prefer a Democratic Congress,” by three percentage points, 49-46 percent, and Democrats have a five percentage point advantage in party identification within the group.

When looking at the segment who voted in 2020, but not 2022, i.e., the presidential election only voters, we see a starkly different response, and one that defies American voting history.

Within this lower propensity segment, the respondents favor Trump over Biden by 12 percentage points, 50-38 percent. The unit would prefer a Republican Congress by a 50-41 percent margin, and Republicans would enjoy the five-point identification advantage.

As we have seen in other survey research, the working class voter is becoming much more favorable to the GOP. Within this presidential election only segment, 47 percent would identify themselves as working class, and 32 percent are voters of color. Looking at the higher propensity contrasting segment, 31 percent are working class, and 24 percent voters of color.

Then Nassar isolated the non-voter segment, meaning those who voted in neither the 2020 nor 2022 election. This group shockingly would favor Trump over Biden by a whopping 20 percentage point margin, 54-34 percent; and, by a 49-40 percent spread, they would prefer a Republican Congress, and the GOP identification factor is R+10. Just over one-third (35 percent) are people of color, and 49 percent consider themselves working class.

Again, these are numbers never before seen, and help confirm the analysis that the overall electorate is in a state of flux.

Furthermore, as Nassar highlights in his memo, “the lower propensity voters are much less favorable to Biden and more likely to be younger, downscale, and less white. The higher the turnout, the better for the GOP.” He further states that, “this could have consequences when pollsters start deploying their likely voter models and perhaps overstating Biden’s vote.”

The question remains as to whether the Trump campaign and the Republican political apparatus can find ways to identify individuals who comprise the low propensity/non-voter segment, get a large percentage registered, and motivate them to vote in the 2024 election.

There is no question that a difficult implementation operation lies ahead, but numbers such as uncovered in the POS research could provide a heretofore untapped voting resource that could well provide Republicans the opportunity of converting a close loss into a game-changing tight win.

Why Trone Lost in Maryland; North Dakota House Primary Tightening, Armstrong Up in Two Polls; Virginia Gambling Initiative Opposed

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, May 16, 2024

Senate

Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac)

Maryland: Why Trone Lost — There are specific reasons as to why Maryland Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) lost to Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) by a large margin even with his huge financial advantage. First, as we had been stating in these posts all along, Trone’s exorbitant spending, estimated to be a self-contributed $62 million, which is an all-time record candidate investment for a Senate primary, was placing him ahead in polling but not to the point where he was substantially pulling away from Alsobrooks.

In contrast, she had strong grassroots support within the African-American communities in PG County and Baltimore, which is very important in a Maryland Democratic primary and could partially compensate for being outspent. She was also smart about how to spend the money she did have, working the ground early and spending her funds late in the campaign, knowing that she could not equal Trone’s largess.

Additionally, Trone likely became over-saturated to the point people were tuning him out because of over-exposure. His last ads, attacking former Gov. Larry Hogan, also reverberated negatively toward Trone. Though Hogan is a Republican, he generally possesses a positive image among most Democrats.

Furthermore, the Trone campaign strategy appeared misapplied. He attempted to secure the left flank of the party while Alsobrooks was firmly entrenched within the faction. Therefore, he left more centrist Democrats in places like Baltimore County and the Annapolis area with no place to go. The fact that the entire Democratic congressional delegation, with the exception of retiring Sen. Ben Cardin who stayed neutral, and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville) who supported Trone, along with Gov. Wes Moore, all not backing the congressman also proved damaging to his credibility.

For Trone to win the nomination, he would have needed to carry five of the state’s eight congressional domains, including Districts 1 (Rep. Andy Harris-R), which he did, 2 (Rep. Ruppersberger), which he did not, 3 (retiring Rep. John Sarbanes-D), which he did not, and 8 (Rep. Jamie Raskin-D), which he did not. In the end, he topped Alsobrooks only in the lone Eastern Shore Republican district and his own western Maryland 6th District. Adding the sum of these factors, in addition to making three verbal and strategic gaffes at the end, culminated in what appears to be a 12-point loss even with his approximate 10:1 spending advantage.

House

ND-AL: Tight Primary Unfolding — As part of their statewide polling project, DFM Research (May 6-8; 550 likely North Dakota Republican primary voters; live interview & text) tested the open Republican primary for the state’s at-large US House seat. Three-term incumbent Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Bismarck) is running for governor, thus leaving a competitive GOP congressional primary in his wake.

The contest, heading for a June 11 primary election, appears too close to call. The DFM results find former state Rep. Rich Becker leading Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak by a 29-26 percent margin with former Miss America Cara Mund trailing at 14 percent. Thus, between Becker and Fedorchak, the race appears as a toss-up. The plurality primary winner will have the inside track toward winning the seat in November.

Governor

North Dakota: Rep. Armstrong Up in Two Polls — DFM Research and Guidant Polling & Strategy returned Republican primary survey data on the impending North Dakota open governor’s race, which is headed for a June 11 nomination election. Both find Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Bismarck) posting major, and almost identical, leads over Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller.

DFM Research (May 6-8; 550 likely North Dakota Republican primary voters; live interview & text) posts Rep. Armstrong to a 56-18 percent advantage. Guidant (May 4-8; 500 likely North Dakota Republican primary voters; live interview & text) sees virtually the same result favoring Armstrong, 60-19 percent. The eventual Republican nominee will be a heavy favorite in the general election to replace retiring Gov. Doug Burgum (R).

States

Virginia: Statewide Gambling & Candidate Polling Results — An organization attempting to defeat a proposed Virginia gambling ballot proposition, Virginians Against Neighborhood Slot Machines, commissioned a joint statewide poll from two major polling organizations, Fabrizio Ward & Associates, a Republican firm, and the Democratic polling group, Impact Research. The pollsters (released May 10; surveyed April 26-28; 500 registered Virginia voters; live interview & text) found wide opposition to the gambling measure (opponents outnumbering supporters by a 20 point margin), and then tested the key statewide contests.

On the candidate front, surprisingly President Joe Biden held only a one-point ballot test lead over former President Donald Trump, 43-32 percent, while Sen. Tim Kaine (D) outpaced retired US Navy captain and 2022 congressional candidate Hung Cao (R) by 12 percentage points, 48-36 percent. If additional research suggests a tightening at the presidential level, Virginia could move into a more competitive political realm in the coming months.

Indiana Primary Results

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Indiana Primary Results

Screenshot

President: Biden and Trump Easily Win — Since the presidential contest is effectively over, it was with little surprise that President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump easily won their respective primaries. Turnout heavily favored Republicans, as the GOP participation total outpaced the Democrats by almost 400,000 voters. Of the 35 states holding primaries or definable caucus votes, Republicans have seen more voters cast ballots than Democrats in 26 domains. Of those voting in the Hoosier State, 76.6 percent of the individuals chose the Republican primary.

Senate: Psychologist Valerie McCray to Oppose Jim Banks — Psychologist Valerie McCray easily won the Democratic Senate primary with a 67-33 percent victory over former state Rep. Marc Carmichael. McCray will now challenge US Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) who was unopposed for the open Republican nomination. Rep. Banks begins this race as the prohibitive favorite to hold the open Senate seat for the GOP. Unopposed for the Democratic nomination was Jennifer McCormick, the former state Superintendent of Public Instruction and an ex-Republican.

IN-3: Ex-Rep. Marlin Stutzman to Return — While 3rd District incumbent Jim Banks has an easy run for the Senate, the Republican primary to replace him in the House evolved into a highly competitive political battle. The winner is still not formally declared, but it appears that former Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R) will claim the nomination with just 24 percent of the vote. At this writing, 82 percent of the ballots have been counted and it is doubtful that the finishing order will change. Following Stutzman are businessman Tim Smith with 22.2 percent support; former circuit judge Wendy Davis at 19.3 percent; and state Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington), who posts a close 16.9 percent preference factor.

With the FiveThirtyEight data organization rating IN-3 as R+34, there is little doubt that Stutzman will win the general election and return to the House after leaving Congress at the beginning of 2017. In 2016, Stutzman ran for the Senate but failed to overcome then-US Rep. Todd Young in the Republican primary who would then go onto win the open seat in 2016 and re-election in 2022.

IN-5: Rep. Victoria Spartz Wins a Plurality Renomination — The Indiana House incumbent facing the most competitive challenge was Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) who originally announced her retirement only to change her mind before filing time. Despite attracting just 39 percent of the vote, she wins the plurality primary, which should be enough political insurance to easily carry the general election in this central Indiana district at the beginning of November.

The congresswoman’s closest finisher is state Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville) whose 33 percent support figure was unsurprisingly not strong enough to topple the incumbent. None of the other seven GOP candidates even reached the 10 percent mark. The new Democratic nominee is educator Deborah Pickett who won her party’s nomination with 59 percent of the vote. With a FiveThirtyEight data organization of R+22, Rep. Spartz will have little trouble winning a third term later this year.

IN-6: Ex-City Councilman Jefferson Shreve Takes GOP Primary — Three-term Rep. Greg Pence (R-Columbus) is retiring, and the Republican nomination battle in this district became fierce. The winner is former Indianapolis City Councilman Jefferson Shreve, who was both the campaign’s biggest fundraiser, and the subject of the most negative attacks.

Shreve self-financed $4.5 million of his campaign effort, which was enough to secure a 29-22-21 percent victory over state Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) and businessman Jamison Carrier. IN-6 is the safest Republican seat in the state, so Shreve will have little trouble holding the district in the GOP column come the November election.

IN-8: Hostettler Comeback Thwarted — Seven-term Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Evansville) is the third member of the Hoosier State US House delegation to not seek re-election. As in the 3rd District, a former congressman, John Hostettler, who represented the seat from 1995-2007, was attempting a political comeback. The result did not turn out as well for Hostettler as for Stutzman.

The winner of the 8th District Republican primary is state Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper), who appeared to be the leading candidate from the outset. He topped Hostettler with a 39-19 percent victory margin. None of the other six candidates reached the 16 percent mark. Sen. Messmer now becomes the prohibitive favorite to succeed Rep. Bucshon in the November election.