It appears the Georgia Senate race is likely headed to a runoff, though front runner Jon Ossoff (D) came very close to securing majority support (49%). Apparently, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, after trailing most of the night, slipped past ex-Lt. Governor nominee Sarah Riggs Amico who out-performed expectations. The Georgia count has been delayed due to possible irregularities in the Atlanta area, which means second position may still be undecided. A runoff could be avoided if Ms. Tomlinson chooses to not contest the nomination any further.
In the competitive House races, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) will face former Rep. Karen Handel (R) in the Atlanta suburban 6th District. This race finished 50-49% in 2018.
In the 7th, 2018 nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux, who came within 420 votes of winning the seat in that election, place first but fell short of winning last night’s Democratic nomination outright. She will face state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero (D-Norcross) in the August 11th runoff. On the Republican side, retired Navy officer and physician Rich McCormick claimed his party’s nomination outright with over 55% of the vote, an impressive total in a field of seven candidates. In a distant second place was state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Gwinnett County). The general election will again be a toss-up contest in the Fall.
Runoffs are occurring in the safe Republican open 9th and 14th Districts. In Rep. Doug Collins’ (R-Gainesville) open 9th CD, state Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger) and retired Navy officer Andrew Clyde advance to the August 11th runoff. Rep. Collins is not seeking re-election in order to run in the special US Senate election.
In the 14th, CD from where veteran Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger/Rome) is retiring, conservative activist Margorie Greene and surgeon John Cowan advance to the second round. Both seats will be decided in the August runoff, as the Republican nominee in each of these northern Georgia districts will win in November.
Long voting lines in Nevada and the decision to allow mail ballots to be postmarked on Election Day mean the results of these primaries, most particularly in the 3rd and 4th Congressional District Republican races to face Reps. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) and Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas), respectively, likely won’t be known for several days.
Early vote returns from most of the district give former professional wrestler Dan Rodimer a ten-point lead over ex-state Treasurer and frequent candidate Dan Schwartz in the 3rd, while former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant has opened a small early lead over insurance agency owner Sam Peters in District 4.
In South Carolina, state Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Daniel Island), despite released polling that forecast a toss-up race, easily defeating Mt. Pleasant City Councilwoman Kathy Landing with over 57% of the vote. Ms. Mace will now challenge freshman Democrat Joe Cunningham (D-Charleston) in a district that should elect a Republican. Expect this to be a national campaign that is a must-win contest for the GOP.
No surprises in the North Dakota and West Virginia races. All incumbents in both states appear secure for re-election. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, in his first Republican primary since he was originally elected as a Democrat before switching parties, easily won nomination with more than 63% of the vote against two opponents.
Another five states will either nominate or begin the nomination process for their statewide ballots. Two of the five, Georgia and West Virginia, host presidential primaries that will assuredly put former Vice President Joe Biden over the top for the official first ballot delegate count when the Democratic National Convention meets in August. Additionally, two of the states will advance to runoff elections if the leading candidates fail to receive majority support in the various campaigns.
Senate nominations will get underway in Georgia, South Carolina, and West Virginia. All five states, the aforementioned along with Nevada and North Dakota, will nominate their US House candidates and those for state legislature along with some local offices. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) and North Dakota’s Doug Burgum (R) are the only gubernatorial incumbents on today’s ballot.
If candidates do not secure majority support in Georgia and South Carolina, the aforementioned runoff contests will occur on August 11th and June 23rd, respectively.
A Triton Polling and Research survey (5/18-26; 719 WV likely Republican primary voters) produces good news for West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, seeking re-election to a second term, but in his first run as a Republican. Mr. Justice was elected in 2016 as a Democrat but switched parties a year later.
The primary ballot test reports Gov. Justice pulling 53% support in anticipation of the June 9th primary as compared to ex-state Delegate Mike Folk at 15%, and former WV Commerce Department Secretary Woody Thrasher, who is running an active campaign and advertising on television, posting only 14% preference.
Despite one of the lowest confirmed COVID-19 totals in the country, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced yesterday that he is moving the May 12th state primary to June 2nd. At this point, in-person voting remains the procedural format.
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).
So far, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) has had the candidate field to herself as she moves into position to secure re-election to a second term later this year. After originally declaring in the presidential race, only to become the first to exit, former state Senator and ex-WV-3 District congressional candidate Richard Ojeda (D) announced that he will enter this year’s Senate race. The outlook is still extremely favorable for Sen. Capito, but it is now clear that she will have opposition.
A newly released WPA Intelligence poll for the Woody Thrasher campaign (12/16-18; 502 WV likely Republican primary voters) casts a much different light upon the West Virginia gubernatorial primary campaign.
Just before the holiday break, the Research America group released a survey (12/4-9; 500 WV likely Republican primary voters) that found Gov. Jim Justice leading former state Commerce Secretary Thrasher and ex-state Delegate Mike Folk, 56-21-11%. The new WPAi data finds a considerably different result, seeing Gov. Justice maintaining only a 38-30-6% edge over Thrasher and Folk.
Gov. Justice was first elected in 2016, but as a Democrat. He switched parties a year later, so this is his first election in a Republican nomination battle. The West Virginia primary is May 12th meaning we will likely see competing polling for quite some time.
The US Census Bureau officers released their latest population projections in order to measure national population growth for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. The results find the national rate of growth slowing to 0.5%, mostly as a result of decreased immigration. The peak period for the decade came during the July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015 period when the growth rate registered 0.73%.
With these numbers come the ability to project which states will gain and lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment. The national reapportionment will be calculated and announced after the 2020 census is completed. The states will receive their congressional seat quota a year from now, with a release typically coming during the period between Christmas and New Year’s.
If current projections prove correct, Texas looks to gain three seats, Florida two, with Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each slated to gain one. The losing states look to be Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
If these projections prove true, California will lose a seat for the first time in history. It’s also realistic that the actual totals could yield a two-seat loss for Illinois or New York, and possibly both. Right now, it appears ten congressional seats will change states, but that number could grow. Usually, the actual numbers tend to differ slightly from the early published projections.
A Research America survey for the local Metro News (12/4-9; 500 WV likely Republican primary voters) finds Gov. Jim Justice holding a strong lead over his GOP nomination challengers. The totals find Mr. Justice capturing 56% preference with former state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher well behind with 21% even after running several waves of television advertising. Former state Delegate Mike Folk touches double digits with 11% support.
Gov. Justice was elected as a Democrat in 2016 but switched parties less than a year later. Therefore, this is his first venture as a candidate in a Republican primary.
Now that Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has said he will not enter the 2020 Governor’s race, incumbent Jim Justice (R) is drawing new Democratic opponents. The latest, and perhaps most significant, is state Sen. Ron Stollings (D-Madison) who carried a district that President Trump won with a 59 percentage point margin. At this point, Sen. Stollings is the only Democrat in the field of four candidates with electoral experience. Gov. Justice has two Republican primary opponents, former state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and ex-state Delegate Mike Folk.
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