Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
Five states go to the polls this week. The following is an analysis of those primary races. In a previous entry, I neglected to include New York where the federal office primaries will be held on the 26th.
Oklahoma’s five House seats and Governor’s office is up for grabs as Mary Fallin is term-limited and will leave office with a dismal 25% approval rating. In that race, there are eight declared Republican candidates with Lt. Governor Todd Lamb the early favorite. However, if polling is any indication, this will not be a runaway victory for Lamb. Businessman Kevin Stitt has been up in the polls of late and other polls have strong showings from Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett. In a three-way race with a runoff system, we have a decent possibility of that scenario. On the Democratic side, there is no such drama as most pundits believe state attorney general Drew Edmondson will defeat his closest competition, Connie Johnson, who was a Senatorial candidate in 2014. In hypothetical general election polling, both Lamb and Cornett lead Edmondson, but the Democrat leads Stitt.
All of the House seats are held by the GOP. Four incumbents are seeking reelection with three facing primary opposition. Jim Bridenstine is leaving the First District creating an open race featuring five declared candidates on both sides. This is a safe GOP seat. In the Second, Markwayne Mullin has attracted three opponents. In fact, only Frank Lucas in the 3rd faces no primary opposition. These are safe Republican seats and a Democratic win in November would be a huge upset.
Utah has a complicated convention/primary system and this year they have four GOP House seats and a Senate seat up for grabs. Only in the Third District will John Curtiss face a primary for the GOP. Likewise, the Democrats will hold a primary only in the 1st District. We are talking very safe seats here come November.
In the Senate race, after winning in 2012, Orrin Hatch announced it would be his last term. He was true to his word and will leave with a so-so 46% approval rating. At the party convention, Mitt Romney failed to secure enough votes for the nomination and will face Mike Kennedy, a member of the Utah House, in a primary election. Although Kennedy was a surprise, it is likely that whoever emerges the winner on Tuesday will easily keep this seat in GOP hands come November against Democrat Jenny Wilson.
Seven House seats and an open gubernatorial election is on tap for Colorado. One of those House seats is an open seat. In the Second, Jared Polis is running for Governor. This is a relatively safe Democratic district. In January, 2018 the Colorado supreme court disqualified GOP incumbent Doug Lamborn from the primary ballot because workers hired to collect signatures for his campaign were not Colorado residents. However, a federal judge ruled otherwise and he is back. Regardless, he will face a tough primary against Darryl Glenn, an up-and-coming Republican star in Colorado politics.
The only other race of interest is in the 6th where Republican incumbent Mike Coffman seems to be a favorite target of the Democrats every two years while he prevails every two years. In 2016, he drew probably his toughest opponent and dispatched him in a close race. This is a designated swing district and how it goes in November is anyone’s guess again.
John Hicklenhooper, the Democratic Governor, leaves with a 52% approval rating which is a far cry above where he was three years ago. Four Republicans will face off on Tuesday with state treasurer Walker Stapleton the likely winner. On the Democratic side, the race is between Polis, former state treasurer Cary Kennedy, state senator Mike Johnston and Lt. Governor Donna Lynne. Hicklenhooper has not endorsed any candidate. Polis is leading in most polls with Kennedy a very close second. Things got testy when Teachers For Kennedy, a super PAC largely funded by EMILY’s List, ran ads attacking the education record of Polis and Johnston. Hicklenhooper expressed displeasure with the ad stating it was unnecessary since “Kennedy was going to win anyway.” One wonders what polling data he has seen. In any case, it should be interesting.
Democrats have seven of the state’s House seats. However, John Delaney is vacating the 6th to run for President in 2020. Republican chances of taking back this seat are slim after the 2010 Census redistricting that drew the lines much closer to the liberal DC suburbs. The lone Republican- Andy Harris in the 1st- should be returned along with all the other Democratic incumbents.
The Senate race features incumbent Ben Cardin getting a primary challenge from Bradley “Call Me Chelsea” Manning, the traitorous transgender, sex-change-gone-bad freak who, in an attempt to garner some sympathy votes, threatened suicide on social media. This is a farce and Cardin will win both the primary and the general election against whatever Republican wins their primary.
In the gubernatorial race, GOP incumbent Larry Hogan sports an impressive 68% approval rating in a very blue state that dislikes Trump (36% approval). In hypothetical polling, Hogan fares not so well against a generic Democrat. However, when a name is thrown in there, the task becomes much easier. As for the Democrats, Hogan’s good numbers have not stopped a clown car of nine candidates entering the fray.
The scenario got more complicated when Kevin Kamenetz died and Valerie Ervin, his running mate, was denied the request to take his place at the top of the ticket. Election officials said they will inform voters that a vote for Kamenetz will count as a vote for Ervin, a compromise that does not please her. Regardless, polling shows that among the nine candidates, it comes down to three- the deceased Kamenetz, but really Ervin, Rushern Baker and former NAACP head Ben Jealous. Whatever the result, it is likely Hogan will win another four-year term in November.
Besides California and Pennsylvania, the Democratic Party’s chances for winning back the House also runs through New York. The current delegation favors them 17-9. Three of those Republican seats are in danger of flipping and another two are targeted by the Democrats. The at-risk seats are held by Lee Zeldin in the 1st, John Faso in the 19th, and Joe Katko in the 24th. Like in other states, Democrats have crawled out of the woodwork vying to take on these vulnerable Republicans and also like other states, women dominate among the candidates. The other targeted districts are, ironically, held by Republican women- Elise Stefanik in the 21st and Claudia Tenney in the 22nd. It remains to be seen how far left the eventual Democratic candidate goes as that message plays less and less as one gets out of New York’s many metropolitan areas and other than Zeldin, who represents a section of Long Island, the other four candidates represent areas north of the Big Apple. Losing two seats out of New York in November would be a GOP victory.
And there is also the Senate race where Kirsten Gillibrand will win her primary, defeat the Republican in November, and then be touted as a potential Democratic nominee for the Presidency in 2020.
Special Note- Runoff Election
A runoff election will be held on Tuesday in Mississippi’s Third District on the Republican side between Whit Hughes and Michael Guest to see who will take on Democrat Michael Ted Evans in November to succeed retiring GOP incumbent Gregg Harper.
South Carolina also holds a runoff with one for the GOP for Governor. Two Democrats will face off in the 2nd District and the 7th District- two very strong GOP strongholds. In the 4th to succeed Trey Gowdy, there will be both a GOP and a Democratic runoff.
Other than some runoff elections in July, things are silent on the primary front until August when 13 states go to the polls. Thus far, primaries have been held in 32 states.