The Ohio legislature is sending Gov. Mike DeWine (R) a bill that will curtail his legal authority over elections. The bill, passed on party line votes, would require legislative approval to change election procedures. It is a unique situation to see a Governor’s party lining up wholly against him on an issue, while the opposition party is wholly in support of the state chief executive regarding his election authority.
In March, Gov. DeWine unilaterally canceled the state primary, moving it three months in the future as a COVID-19 response. The pending legislation, if law at that time, would have required the Governor to obtain legislative approval for making such a move. It is probable the Republicans will have enough strength to override a veto if Mr. DeWine ultimately rejects the proposal.
Democratic nominee Kate Schroder just released her internal campaign poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (6/29-7/2; 605 OH-1 likely general election voters) that finds another competitive contest developing for Cincinnati Congressman Steve Chabot (R). The ballot test finds the Congressman leading, 50-48%. In 2018, he defeated Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, 51-47%. Mr. Chabot was first elected in 1994 but lost the seat in 2008. He regained it in 2010, and subsequently won four more elections. He remains the favorite for 2020, but we will again see an aggressive campaign in this part of southwest Ohio.
Three polls from key 2020 presidential states were released yesterday and yielded rather predictable results. In Wisconsin, Marquette Law School released their quarterly statewide survey (5/3-7; 811 WI registered voters) and found former Vice President Joe Biden edging President Trump, 46-43%. In Ohio, Emerson College (5/8-10; 725 OH registered voters) sees the President topping Mr. Biden, 51-49%, in a poll where all respondents were pushed to make a choice. In the Lone Star State of Texas, Emerson (5/8-10; 800 TX registered voters) gives the President a 52-48% advantage.
Healthcare company executive Kate Schroder defeated engineer and Air Force Reserve officer Nikki Foster, 68-32%, in the Cincinnati anchored 1st Congressional District primary election last night. Ms. Schroder now advances into the general against veteran Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) who was first elected in 1994 but lost the seat in 2008. He came back in the 2010 election and again looks to face a competitive challenge this year. In 2018, Mr. Chabot defeated Hamilton Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, 51-47%.
Four-term Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) easily defeated former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official Morgan Harper in last night’s Democratic primary. Mr. Harper raised more than $800,000 for his campaign and was clearly a serious candidate. But, Ms. Beatty, who was first elected to the House in 2012, was able to win with a substantial 68-32% victory margin. She will have little trouble in the general election and is a lock to win another term in November now that her re-nomination is secured.
The originally scheduled March 17th Ohio primary concludes today, and mostly through the mail. All ballots are due into the government offices by close of business today, meaning we will see nominees chosen for all 16 of the state’s congressional districts.
Each of the 16 House incumbents are running for re-election, but only one has a significant primary challenge: Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus). She faces former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official Morgan Harper who had raised more than $771,000 for his challenge campaign at the end of March. Rep. Beatty, however, attracted over $1.8 million.
Primary battles are occurring in most districts for the right to challenge an incumbent in the general election. The most interesting may be in the southwestern Ohio 1st District where two well-funded Democratic candidates, healthcare company executive Kate Schroder and engineer Nikki Foster, oppose each other for the opportunity of challenging veteran Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) in the Fall campaign.
More Governors and election officials are keeping their primary calendars intact but are changing their voting systems. As a precaution for COVID-19, a significant number of states are now implementing procedural changes from in-person voting to casting their votes by mail.
At the end of last week, political leaders in the following entities are the latest to take such action in relation to their upcoming primaries: Massachusetts (May 30 local elections), Minnesota (Aug 11 statewide primary), Nebraska (May 12), New Jersey (June 2), North Dakota (June 9), Ohio (ballots must be post-marked on or before April 27), and West Virginia (May 12).
Governors and election officials in several more states are making changes in their election calendars due to COVID-19 virus precautions.
The Alaska presidential primary will now be an all-mail operation. Therefore, the deadline for sending in ballots has been moved from April 4th to April 10th. The state primary remains scheduled for August 18th.
Hawaii officials have cancelled the in-person option for the April 4th presidential primary. Instead, the election will be conducted solely through the mail. The state primary remains on August 8th.
The New York Attorney General has recommended to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) that the state’s presidential primary remain on April 28th but be conducted through the mail. No action has yet occurred regarding changing the June 23rd state primary election date.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who postponed the March 17th presidential and state primary and potentially moved it to June 2nd, is considering changing to an all-mail system. This is largely because thousands have votes were already cast through the mail in anticipation of the originally scheduled primary.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has reached an agreement with Republican legislative leaders to move the April 28th presidential and state primary to June 2nd. An announcement of such is imminent.
The Puerto Rico presidential primary has been transferred from March 29th to April 26th.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) also signed an executive order moving the state’s presidential primary from April 28th to June 2nd. The state primary will remain set for September 1st.
The electorates in four states are scheduled to vote, but one state is not moving forward. Arizona, Florida, and Illinois will be voting, but Ohio remains in abeyance. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) filed a lawsuit to stop the primary, but a judge refused to go along so the state Health Department authority closed the polling places as a result of the declared emergency surrounding the COVID-19 virus. It is unclear as to when and how the primary will be held. Gov. DeWine is suggesting that mail and absentee voting be expanded.
Current polling from three of the four states holding primaries tomorrow find former Vice President Joe Biden poised to effectively and easily clinch the Democratic presidential nomination. In Arizona, Latino Decisions (3/6-11; 541 AZ likely Democratic primary voters) gives Biden a 57-38% lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Even better Biden results come from the Gravis Marketing surveys conducted in Illinois and Florida. The Land of Lincoln result (3/10-12; 549 IL likely Democratic primary voters) posts a 63-25% Biden advantage, while the organization’s Sunshine State survey (3/10-12; 516 FL likely Democratic primary voters) sees a 66-25% split. Should these numbers hold in the three states, Biden’s delegate take would be approximately 310 of the available 441 bound first ballot delegates from the three places. Ohio, the other March 17th primary state, is not reporting recent polling data.
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