Undefeated, But for How Long?

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, June 13, 2024


Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Good (R-Lynchburg)

With the Tuesday victories of South Carolina Reps. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) and William Timmons (R-Greenville), US House incumbents facing credible primary challengers have stacked up an 11-0 win record this cycle, but several of the most serious contests have yet to come.

In the next 12 days, three races will occur where the outcome is unclear. On Tuesday, Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Good (R-Lynchburg) faces state Sen. John McGuire (R-Manakin Sabot) in a contest that could result in the cycle’s first non-redistricting related incumbent loss. A week later, Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) find themselves in the most volatile races.

Rep. Good, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and one of the leaders of the GOP movement to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy, faces a primary electorate for the first time. In his two previous victories, Good was nominated through district conventions.

The congressman’s endorsement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis against former President Donald Trump in this year’s early primaries raised Trump’s ire to the point of him publicly supporting Sen. McGuire. McCarthy is also involved in the race, helping to raise and direct money toward toppling the incumbent in order to avenge his own loss.

According to the latest publicly released survey, the mounting opposition to Good may produce results. The WPA Intelligence organization released a poll at the end of last week (June 2-4; 300 likely VA-5 Republican primary voters; live interview) finding Sen. McGuire holding a 41-31 percent lead over Rep. Good.

Looking at the resource charts, the pre-primary reporting period (through May 29) showed Sen. McGuire raising $1.24 million as compared to Rep. Good’s $1.15 million. McGuire also had a $400,000 cash-on-hand advantage. The outside money likewise favored McGuire. According to the Open Secrets organization, funds spent for McGuire and against Good totaled approximately $4.1 million. The aggregate spending for Good and against McGuire is a much smaller $2.04 million.

Turning to the June 25 primary, a just-released Emerson College poll (June 6-8; 425 likely NY-16 Democratic primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Westchester County Executive George Latimer continuing to lead two-term New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers) by a rather wide margin, 48-31 percent.

Latimer also has the advantage in campaign fundraising. In the early reports, he held more than a $1 million advantage in campaign receipts. In terms of outside spending, Latimer’s margin is even more favorable. Just under $10 million has been spent for Latimer and against Bowman, while the congressman sees only $1.6 million in Super PAC expenditures either for him or against Latimer. Most of the anti-Bowman money has come from an organization associated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

The bad news for Rep. Bowman continues. Former US Secretary of State and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) yesterday announced her formal endorsement of Latimer.

The electoral resume also favors the Westchester County Executive. Latimer represents 91 percent of the 16th Congressional District in his current position, and he was previously elected to the New York state Senate and Assembly.

The Centennial State primary is also scheduled for June 25, and while Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) today looks like she will score a victory in the 4th District Republican primary, she took a major gamble when she left the western slope district to move into the rural eastern Colorado open seat. It appears, however, the roll of the dice is paying dividends.

The latest 4th District poll finds Rep. Boebert holding a big lead, but arguably her strongest opponent, Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonneberg, was not included on the candidates’ ballot test question. Therefore, the poll results are questionable. Regardless, the congresswoman appears headed to a nomination victory in less than two weeks.

The troubling part for Boebert may be in the post-primary general election, a surprise in what has proven to be Colorado’s most Republican seat. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CO-4 as R+26, and former President Trump scored a 58-39 percent victory there over President Joe Biden in 2020.

A late May Gravis Marketing survey (May 22-24; 423 likely CO-4 general election voters), however, found Rep. Boebert trailing badly. In this hypothetical race, Marine Corps officer and two-time Democratic congressional nominee Ike McCorkle posted a 41-27 percent advantage.

While the incumbents have posted a perfect record so far this election cycle, such a trend may soon change.

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