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Political Roundup — June 10, 2024

Updated: 5 days ago


STATE PRIMARIES


June 11: A Big Day of Voting in Four States and a District

Voters in four states (Maine, Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina) and one district (Ohio-6th) will choose their general election nominees tomorrow.

US HOUSE RACES


MAINE

In Maine, polling suggests that former President Trump has a double-digit lead, putting pressure on Democrats in the national race, as well as exerting pressure on three-term Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston). 


Tomorrow’s Republican primary is expected to yield a victory for state Representative and former NASCAR driver Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent), who will go on to challenge Golden. The Pine Tree State could have a significant role in the presidential campaign because each congressional districts carries its own electoral vote.

NEVADA

Nevada Republicans will be nominating three of their candidates to face off against a trio of Democratic incumbents in what is turning out to be somewhat competitive races in all three Las Vegas congressional districts.


NORTH DAKOTA

With Gov. Doug Burgum (R) choosing not to seek a third term, North Dakota voters will be selecting nominees for the open Governor and at-large US House offices. Three-term Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Bismarck) is leaving Congress in an attempt to succeed Gov. Burgum. As a former chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, Mr. Armstrong won the official party endorsement overwhelmingly and faces Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller in tomorrow’s GOP primary. In the open at-large House district, the eventual Republican nominee will be the prohibitive favorite in the general election. 


SOUTH CAROLINA

In the Palmetto State, two congressional incumbents, Reps. Nancy Mace (R- Charleston) and William Timmons IV (R-Greenville), face significant primary opposition. Mace was one of the GOP representatives who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. As a result, McCarthy has thrown his weight behind her opposition. Despite this, Mace still holds a double-digit lead.


OHIO

Ohio state Senator Michael Rulli (R-Salem) is the prohibitive favorite to replace resigned Rep. Bill Johnson (R) in the Buckeye State’s 6th Congressional District special election. If successful, Mr. Rulli will bring the House partisan division to 219R – 213D with three vacancies. 

We will also see one more special general election before November’s presidential election, in Colorado’s 4th District on June 25th.

 


US SENATE RACES

NEVADA

The Republican primary race to see which candidate will try and defeat the vulnerable Democratic incumbent senator Jackie Rosen is almost complete.


With the exception of one outlier poll, it appears that war veteran Sam Brown will coast to victory in tomorrow's statewide primary and square up against Rosen – whose seat in the US Senate was designated as a potential flip for Republicans.


The most recent polls – hypothetically matching Rosen against Brown – show a dead heat; more concerning data for Democrats as Election Day draws near.



ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN WAR IMPACT


Missouri: AIPAC Accelerates Attacks


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) pledged to spend big money to defeat their most ardent adversaries in the House of Representatives, and the organization’s leadership is keeping its word.

AIPAC has increased its spending against Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis), with at least $1 million dedicated to this particular race, so far. Since the Show Me State primary is not scheduled until August 6, we can likely expect considerably more of this kind of spending.

Former St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Ball and two others are opposing Rep. Bush in the Democratic primary. As of the March 31 campaign finance reporting period, Ms. Bush reports $1.6 million in funding as compared to Mr. Ball’s $1.7 million. No outside support has yet appeared to back Rep. Bush. 


The organization is also spending millions of dollars to help defeat New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) in the June 25 Democratic primary. 



COLORADO VOTING LAWS

Ranked Choice Voting

Gov. Jared Polis (D) has signed new bipartisan legislation that will make adopting Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) more difficult, even if voters approve a related ballot measure later this year.  Ranked Choice Voting, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is an electoral system wherein voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots.

The State contends that the RCV system tends to elect political minority candidates as opposed to those contenders “with the broadest support,” as RCV proponents maintain.


As a result, the legislature and Governor have just enacted strong restrictions regarding when it can be used.


Under the new Colorado law, Ranked Choice Voting is not allowed in federal or state races, and can take effect in any race only after “a dozen counties that meet certain demographic criteria” approve the system. 


As a result, even if voters support the Top 4 Ranked Choice Voting initiative that could be on the state’s general election ballot, it will be quite some time before we see the system being implemented.


Jim Ellis is a 35-year veteran of politics at the state and national levels. He has served ss executive director for two national political action committees, as well as a consultant to the three national Republican Party organizations in DC, the National Federation of Independent Business, and various national conservative groups.


Born and raised in Sacramento, California, he earned a B. A. in Political Science from the University of California at Davis in 1979. Jim raised his daughter, Jacqueline, alone after his wife died following a tragic car accident. He helped establish the Joan Ellis Victims Assistance Network in Rochester, NH. Jim also is a member of the Northern Virginia Football Officials Association, which officiates high school games throughout the region.


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