Super Tuesday Preview – Part II

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Today is Super Tuesday, and while presidential nomination races are occurring in 16 states and one territory we continue our look into the five states holding their full ballot 2024 nomination elections. Yesterday, we analyzed Alabama, Arkansas, and California. Today, North Carolina and Texas.

North Carolina

(Click on map to see full size.)

Aside from the presidential primary, the open governor’s race leads the Tar Heel State ballot today. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term, so each party hosts a primary to nominate a successor.

In what will probably prove to be the most competitive of the 2024 governors’ races, the North Carolina electorate will nominate candidates tonight. Very likely, we will see the respective Democratic and Republican primaries turn to Attorney General Josh Stein (D) and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R). North Carolina, which always hosts very close statewide campaigns, will again do so in this open governor’s battle.

The new North Carolina congressional map is the Republicans’ saving grace for the 2024 US House picture. The party is projected to gain at least three seats in the Tar Heel delegation and most of the districts will see nominees emerge tonight. The state does have a runoff rule, but with only a 30 percent threshold it typically does not come into play.

The new map makes freshman Rep. Don Davis’ (D-Snow Hill) 1st District more competitive, and Republicans have a two-way primary between two-time congressional nominee Sandy Smith and businesswoman and retired Army Col. Laurie Buckhout. Rep. Davis will be favored in the general election, but we can expect a much more competitive political environment to develop in this Virginia border seat under the new district confines.

Incumbents Deborah Ross (D-Raleigh), Greg Murphy (R-Greenville), Valerie Foushee (D-Hillsborough), Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk), David Rouzer (R-Wilmington), Richard Hudson (R-Southern Pines), and Alma Adams (D-Charlotte) will have little trouble winning tonight and in November.

Freshman incumbent Chuck Edwards (R-Flat Rock), who unseated then-Rep. Madison Cawthorn in the 2022 Republican primary, faces primary competition from mortgage broker Christian Reagan. In the general election, state Rep. Caleb Rudow (D-Asheville), unopposed in tonight’s Democratic primary, will challenge Edwards. We can expect to see some competition in this race, but the first-term incumbent is the clear favorite to win a second term.

Redistricting has created four open seats, two of which because the incumbents are opposing each other for state attorney general. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) leaves open a safely Republican seat that will largely be decided tonight. Six Republicans are on the ballot with the leading candidates appearing as state Rep. John Bradford (R-Mecklenburg County), former Union County Commissioner Allan Baucom, and Baptist pastor Mark Harris who ran in 2018 and ostensibly won the general election but was barred from taking office due to vote fraud charges.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-Lake Norman) is retiring after serving what will be 10 full terms and leaves basically a two-way contest in his wake for the safely Republican 10th District. State Rep. Grey Mills (R-Mooresville) and firearms manufacturer Pat Harrigan, previously a candidate in the Charlotte-anchored District 14, are battling for the party nomination tonight. The winner will succeed McHenry in the next Congress.

The most crowded open seats lie in the Greensboro area’s 6th District where Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) is retiring because the new 6th is unwinnable for a Democrat. In fact, the party is not even fielding a candidate. Therefore, the winner among the six contenders vying for the party nomination, including former Congressman Mark Walker, will have an unopposed run in November.

The open 13th District, where Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary) is bypassing a difficult re-election run to instead challenge Sen. Thom Tillis (R) in 2026, features 13 Republican candidates. This is the most likely primary that evolves into a runoff election because there is no clear leader. The eventual GOP nominee wins in November, but it is probable we will not see a nominee emerge tonight.

The most likely open seat nominee is state House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland County) who is the prohibitive favorite to win the Republican nomination in the new Charlotte anchored 14th CD. He should have little trouble capturing the district in the general election.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R) stands for a third term and will easily win renomination tonight. For the Democrats, the party faithful could send the top two finishers, likely US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), into a secondary runoff election.

To win the Texas Senate nomination outright, a candidate would have to receive majority support. With a dozen candidates on the ballot, it will be tough for anyone to break the 50 percent threshold. If a runoff proves necessary, the election will be held on May 28. Though the Democrats will field a credible opponent to Sen. Cruz — most likely Rep. Allred — it will be a tall order to win a Texas statewide election in a presidential year especially with Republicans pulling stronger support among Hispanics.

The congressional delegation features three open seats, all in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth) is retiring after serving what will be 28 years in the House. The heir-apparent for the seat appears to be Tarrant County state Rep. Craig Goldman who could win the Republican primary outright tonight.

In the neighboring 26th District, veteran Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Pilot Point) is retiring after what will be 11 terms in office. A major primary battle is occurring here that will likely head to a runoff election. Businessman Brandon Gill has former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, but that will not likely be enough to propel him over the 50 percent mark. Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s son, Scott Armey a former Denton County Judge (Executive), is in the race, making a return to elective politics after last being on the ballot in 2002.

Rep. Allred leaves his Dallas-anchored seat to a very crowded 10-person Democratic primary. A runoff here is likely, too, with state Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) and former Dallas City Councilman Kevin Felder possibly being the top two Democratic contenders. A runoff here is almost a certainty with the eventual Democratic nominee having the inside track in the general election.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston), who lost badly in the Houston mayoral runoff in December, faces a tough primary challenge from former Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards; this is a race worth paying attention to. We will also see a general election rematch develop in District 34 between two veterans of the House, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) and former US Rep. Mayra Flores (R).

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