Former Trump ambassadorial appointee Leora Levy, though she failed to win Senate confirmation, easily won the Republican Senate nomination in Connecticut. Ms. Levy defeated former state House Minority Leader Themis Klarides by a significant 51-40% share of the statewide vote. She now advances to challenge Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) who is seeking a third term.
Last night, Minnesota former state Rep. Brad Finstad (R) appears to have won the open 1st District special congressional election left vacant when Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) passed away in mid-February. At this writing, Mr. Finstad leads former Hormel corporation CEO Jeffrey Ettinger (D) 51-47% with all counties reporting and 99% of the expected vote tabulated.
Mr. Finstad holds a 4,920-vote lead over Mr. Ettinger, which should be more than enough to account for any mailed absentee ballot not included in the overall count. The currently recorded turnout of 118,018 votes is high for a special election. Mr. Finstad carried 16 of the district’s 21 southern Minnesota counties.
Mr. Finstad also easily won the regular Republican primary in the 1st District after state Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Crystal Lake) made a run at the nomination despite losing the special election primary back in late May. Following suit on the Democratic side, Mr. Ettinger was an easy winner in last night’s regular primary, so the two will again do battle in the regular term for a House seat that has been trending more Republican in recent years.
In the 5th District, suggestions that former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels could give two-term controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis) a highly competitive battle proved true. Rep. Omar was renominated in a 50-48% squeaker over Mr. Samuels, thus guaranteeing her another term in the November election.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott was a 69% winner in his state’s Republican primary. As expected, the Vermont Democratic open Senate primary resulted in a landslide 87%+ victory for at-large Congressman Peter Welch (D-Norwich). He automatically becomes a prohibitive favorite against the new Republican nominee Gerald Malloy, a retired Army officer.
With Rep. Welch running for the state’s open Senate seat, now in strong position to succeed the retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), the open al-large House seat will go to the Democratic primary winner, state Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint (D-Burlington). Her 60%+ primary win puts her in position to score a landslide general election victory in November.
Wisconsin Democratic voters confirmed that Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will be their candidate to oppose Sen. Ron Johnson (R). With his three major opponents dropping out of the race within the past two weeks and all endorsing Mr. Barnes as a show of party unity, the Lt. Governor captured 77%+ of the Democratic primary vote. Sen. Johnson topped 83% in the Republican primary.
Finally, the lone competitive Wisconsin House primary also resulted as expected. State Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-La Crosse) recorded a 39% plurality victory over three opponents to win his party’s nomination for the open 3rd District House seat of retiring Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse). Sen. Pfaff earned Rep. Kind’s endorsement as his successor.
Republican Derrick Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL who held Rep. Kind to a tight 51-49% re-election win in 2020, returns in another attempt to capture the seat. Mr. Van Orden was unopposed in last night’s election. Winning this seat in November becomes a must for Republican House majority prospects in the Autumn.
The final phase of primary season continues today with nomination elections occurring in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin. The most competitive statewide races include choosing Senate candidates in Connecticut and Governor’s contests in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
A total of 22 House races are on the cumulative political card tonight, including three open seats, one each in Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin, and a special election to replace the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) in southern Minnesota. With a victory tonight, either former state Rep. Brad Finstad (R) or ex-Hormel corporation CEO Jeffrey Ettinger (D) will take the seat immediately upon election certification and serve the balance of Mr. Hagedorn’s final term.
Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando) is brandishing a new poll that finds she and Sen. Marco Rubio (R) tied at 45% apiece. This is only the second poll of the ten released this year that does not project the Senator as the race leader. The Clarity Campaigns survey (7/26-31) conducted an online survey of 2,244 registered voters from a pre-selected panel. Since 2016, pollsters have typically underestimated Republican strength in Florida, so it is reasonable to add a couple of percentage points for the Republican candidate in a typical Sunshine State poll.
Riding a major campaign spending wave, thus taking advantage of his abundant campaign war chest, US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) again sees a developing lead in his race against Republican nominee and author J.D. Vance. The just released Impact Research survey (7/21-28; 800 OH likely general election voters) projects Mr. Ryan as holding a 48-45% edge in the race for the open Ohio Senate seat. Last month, the same firm also found Mr. Ryan holding an almost identical lead at 48-45%.
The Ryan campaign has spent over $6.5 million on the airwaves since the end of May according to the Politico news publication, with virtually no counter media push from the Vance forces. Though Rep. Ryan has had the field virtually to himself in the early going, he still does not expand beyond the polling margin of error. When Vance does counter, we are likely to see a Republican rebound here.
New results from the laborious Washington ballot counting process have put Trump-endorsed former retired Army officer Joe Kent (R) ahead of six-term incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground/ Vancouver) by 960 votes with still several thousand ballots left to count. Officials report that it may be as long as August 16th before the totals are finalized.
Since the bulk of the outstanding ballots are from Thurston County, an entity where Mr. Kent placed first, some analysts are declaring that Rep. Herrera Beutler will not be able to rebound. At this point, Democrat Marie Glusenkamp Perez places first and will advance to the general election presumably to face Mr. Kent.
If this trend holds and Ms. Herrera Beutler is defeated, it will mean that eleven House incumbents will have already lost their seats in the 2022 election cycle, and 68 seats will be open in the general election. Republican prospects to hold the 3rd District are strong despite the incumbent losing and a Democrat placing first in the jungle primary, however. A total of 64.8% of the more than 208,000 primary voters at this point voted for a Republican candidate.
The Democratic online polling firm Change Research released their latest Oklahoma Governor’s survey (7/22-26; 2,079 OK likely general election voters; online) and sees Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) in a tighter battle than expected against OK Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D). The ballot test projects the Governor to be holding only a 42-34% advantage.
The main reason for Stitt’s downturn apparently relates to his falling job approval rating. According to the Change numbers, the Governor’s favorability index has slid to 42:56% favorable to unfavorable. It is probable, however, that the Governor will be able to rebound and score a convincing win in November. It is difficult to predict a deep red state like Oklahoma going Democratic in what appears to be at least a relatively strong Republican election year.
In states that feature large numbers of mail ballots and allow such votes to count even when arriving after election day, the better part of two weeks is needed to finalize the election totals. From Arizona’s August 2nd primary, the winners of all races are now statistically projected as the last remaining votes are being tabulated. The latest published figures show 98% of the Republican ballots and 92% of the Democratic votes recorded. Republican turnout looks to top 815,000, while Democrats are likely to exceed 625,000.
In the general election, Sen. Mark Kelly (D) faces venture capitalist Blake Masters (R), while Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and former news anchor Kari Lake (R) square off in the open Governor’s race.
The key House races feature Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) against businessman Jevin Hodge (D); retired Navy SEAL Eli Crane (R) challenging Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Sedona); Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) in a competitive contest against business owner Kelly Cooper, who upset favored Tanya Wheeless in the 4th District Republican primary; and former state Senator Kirsten Engel (D) and ex-Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive Juan Ciscomani (R) doing battle in the Tucson anchored open new 6th District.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.