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Political Roundup — June 12, 2024


Primary Results


Recap: Incumbents Prevail Again 


US HOUSE


SOUTH CAROLINA

The most competitive races in last night's primaries came from South Carolina but, again, as has been the case all year, the incumbents were projected as winners. Both Reps. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) and William Timmons (R-Greenville) were victorious in their renomination campaigns, defeating former Haley Administration cabinet secretary Catherine Templeton and state Rep. Adam Morgan (R-Greenville), respectively. In the open 3rd Congressional District, pastor Mark Burns and National Guard Lt. Colonel Sheri Biggs advance to a runoff election scheduled for June 25. The winner of that race will claim the safely Republican 3rd CD in the general election.


NEVADA

As expected, Afghan War veteran Sam Brown was a big winner in the Republican primary and now advances to challenge Sen. Jacky Rosen (D). The three Las Vegas Democratic congressional seats will likely become competitive upon moving into the general election cycle. More will be known about the general election campaign once the Republicans nominees are officially projected as nomination winners.


NORTH DAKOTA

The North Dakota open races also unfolded as expected. Three-term US Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Bismarck) was an easy Republican gubernatorial primary winner over Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller. Armstrong now becomes a prohibitive favorite to replace retiring Gov. Doug Burgum (R).


Rep. Armstrong's open House seat Republican successor is Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, who had the benefit of endorsements from both former President Trump and Gov. Burgum. Fedorchak will now have an easy run in the general election and should easily claim the seat in November.


OHIO

Ohio state Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) captured the 6th District special election with a 55-45% victory over Democrat Michael Kripchak, though the margin was a bit closer than expected. While Rep-elect Rulli will take the seat upon certification and serve the balance of the term, the two will again meet in the November general election. In a regular turnout election, the Republican percentage for Rulli should be greater.


MAINE

Finally, in Maine, retired NASCAR driver and state Representative Austin Theriault (R-Ft. Kent) easily defeated fellow state Rep. and actor Michael Soboleski to advance into the 2nd Congressional District general election. There, he will face Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) in what should become a competitive race in a CD that former President Trump is expected to handily carry in November.


CALIFORNIA


CA-49: Rep. Levin Up 10 Points  


A new Survey USA poll finds three-term California Rep. Mike Levin (R-San Juan Capistrano) leading auto dealer Matt Gunderson (R) by a 50-40% count. In the jungle primary, Rep. Levin only posted 51% support.  


While this number suggests the race is on the cusp of competitiveness, the fact that President Biden leads his race with only a 47-42% spread (down from his 55-43% CA-49 victory in 2020) gives the GOP challenger some further hope of making this Southern California contest a true race to the finish. At this point, Rep. Levin is still favored to win re-election, but this race could become one to watch as the campaign cycle matures.


US SENATE


Ohio: Sen. Brown Maintains Lead 


Marist College recently surveyed the Ohio electorate and reports a pattern seen in other states with key Senate races. While former President Trump leads President Biden and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., 48-41-5%, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown tops Republican challenger Bernie Moreno, 50-45%.

  

This tells us two things. First, that Sen. Brown's campaign message localizing the race to Ohio needs — especially on manufacturing issues — is working; and second, that the Republican message tying Brown to Biden is so far insufficient.  


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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