The Kansas Republican Senate primary went the way of the national GOP leadership as US Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) defeated former Secretary of State and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach and businessman Bob Hamilton, among others, last night to claim the party nomination and advance into the general election.
This was perhaps the strangest campaign in the country as Democratic outside organizations were coming into the primary to actually help Kobach win the Republican primary by claiming he is too conservative for Kansas. Their plan failed in that Rep. Marshall won the nomination in a 40-26-19% split over Messrs. Kobach and Hamilton. Rep. Marshall will now face state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills) in the general election.
In the 2nd Congressional District, freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka), who was indicted within the past two weeks for voter fraud in an election not his own, fell to state Treasurer Jake LaTurner in last night’s primary battle. Mr. LaTurner ousted Rep. Watkins, 49-34%, thus advancing him into the general election where his opponent will be Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla who was an easy winner on the Democratic side. Mr. LaTurner will be favored to hold the seat.
The open 1st District went to former Lt. Governor Tracey Mann, who will replace Rep. Marshall in the House seat. Mr. Mann becomes a prohibitive favorite in the November election. Former Kansas Republican Party chair Amanda Adkins defeated four intra-party opponents to win the 3rd District party nod. She will now challenge freshman Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Roeland Park/Kansas City) in the Fall.
Later in the evening after Rep. Watkins was defeated, ten-term Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) met the same fate in the adjoining state. Cori Bush, a pastor and 2018 congressional candidate, returned for a re-match and with the help of the Justice Democrats PAC upset the veteran House member, by 4,600 votes or just over three percentage points.
Ms. Bush now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the general election and is expected to join the group of young minority House members on the Democratic Party’s far left spectrum. Messrs. Watkins and Clay now becomes the sixth and seventh House members, respectively, to be denied re-nomination in the 2020 election cycle.
Michigan’s 6th District delivered two surprises last night. First, 17-term Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) was re-nominated, but with only a 62% victory against realtor Elena Oelke who spent virtually no money on her campaign. But, the Democratic side of this race was even more surprising as teacher Jen Richardson, who raised just $75,000 for her campaign almost slipped past state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) despite the latter man pulling in almost $1.4 million. The general election will be competitive.
In the 3rd District, Peter Meijer, whose family owns the Meijer grocery stores with 253 locations throughout the Midwest, easily won the open 3rd District Republican primary. Mr. Meijer now becomes the general election favorite against attorney Hillary Scholten who was the unopposed Democratic candidate. The November winner replaces retiring Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash (L-Cascade Township/Grand Rapids).
In her primary campaign, freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) easily defeated Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, and the open Republican 10th District is still too close to officially call but is appears that financial executive Lisa McClain in poised for victory.
Voters in five states will cast their ballots today, including the controversial Kansas Senate Republican primary. The state also features three important congressional primaries and one, in the 2nd District, that could deny freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) re-nomination. Electorates are also voting in Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Arizona and Michigan feature Senate races, but the general elections in both states are set. Governors’ races are occurring in Missouri and Washington.
We have reported that Sen. Ed Markey has been on the upswing of late with support coming from environmental groups, Massachusetts’ top teachers’ union, and an endorsement from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Now, supporters of Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Newton) are responding with an independent expenditure PAC that promises to run $1.6 million in ads for the challenger. Most of the reported funding is coming from unions and the Kennedy family. The Massachusetts primary is September 1st.
The Emerson College Polling Institute released their new Montana poll (7/31-8/2; 584 MT likely voters via live interview) and while the results find President Trump outpolling former Vice President Joe Biden, 53-42%, the more important story is Sen. Steve Daines (R) reaching beyond the polling margin of error for the first time in this cycle in his race against Gov. Steve Bullock, the Democratic US Senate nominee. Emerson finds Sen. Daines leading Gov. Bullock, 50-44%.
Once again, we see wild splits in how people intend to cast their ballot. Among people who say they will vote in person, President Trump wins their support by a whopping 87-11% margin. Looking to those who plan to mail their ballots, Mr. Biden sees a huge 63-33% spread breaking in his favor. County Clerks reportedly are asking Gov. Bullock to allow them to decide, as he did in the primary, whether they can individually convert to all-mail voting. They are asking for a decision by August 10th.
In a surprising result, the Congressional Leadership Fund has released a poll of Iowa’s open 2nd District that sees former state Senator and 2018 Lt. Governor nominee Rita Hart (D) tied with Republican state Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa), who is in fourth congressional campaign. The Harper Polling survey (7/26-28; 406 IA-2 likely general election voters) finds the two candidates tied with 41% support apiece.
Rep. David Loebsack (D-Iowa City) is retiring after seven terms and he averaged 54.1% of the vote in his six re-election contests. President Trump, however, carried the 2nd District, 49-45%, in 2016. Though we see a close race brewing, Ms. Hart has a huge cash-on-hand financial lead, $1.385 million to $506,000.
Retired Navy non-commissioned officer Tony Gonzales scored an apparent seven-vote victory on election night in the July 14th Republican runoff contest. With the official canvass now complete, Mr. Gonzales’ official margin increased to 45 votes. His opponent, homebuilder and retired Air Force officer Raul Reyes, is seeking a re-count. Eventually, one of these two men will face Democratic nominee Gina Ortiz Jones who has become the clear favorite to convert this seat to her party’s column. Republican Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) is retiring.
With the Democratic US Senate primary moving into high gear as we approach the September 1st Massachusetts primary, things seem to be turning Sen. Ed Markey’s way in his battle with Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Newton). Not only has the Senator gained key endorsements in the past couple of weeks from environmental groups, the state’s major teachers’ union, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who will reportedly be featured narrating some of the Markey campaign’s closing ads, a new JMC Analytics poll now shows him moving ahead of Rep. Kennedy. This, despite Kennedy advertising his candidacy since May and Sen. Markey just beginning to hit the airwaves.
The JMC poll (7/29-30; 500 MA likely Democratic primary voters) finds Sen. Markey outpolling Rep. Kennedy, 40-36% with 24% of the respondents saying they are undecided. When those in the latter group are pushed, they break 44-41% in Mr. Markey’s favor.
Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence organization (7/22-23; 1,218 MN voters via interactive voice response device), ran one of their push polls for the impending Senate race between Sen. Tina Smith (D) and her likely GOP opponent, former US Rep. Jason Lewis (R).
The poll asked leading questions on the gun issue ostensibly after they queried the Senate race ballot test. According to the results, Sen. Smith holds a 48-39% lead over Mr. Lewis, which suggests this could become a viable Republican challenge race if the latter man can increase his fundraising and statewide presence.
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