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Political Roundup — June 19, 2024

Updated: 2 hours ago

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In the Peach State congressional runoffs, former Trump White House aide Brian Jack, as expected, cruised to a secondary election victory over state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton). Mr. Jack recorded just under 63% of the vote in the preliminary count, thus virtually assuring him of winning the general election in November. He will replace retiring Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-The Rock/Carrollton) in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+38. 

In the 2nd District, businessman and former congressional and Senatorial candidate Wayne Johnson easily defeated his Republican opponent and will now advance to the general election against 16-term veteran Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany).

In District 14, the Democrats now have a nominee to face off against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome). Retired Army General Shawn Harris easily won his runoff election, capturing 69% of the vote to claim the party nomination.


In the Sooner State's southern 4th Congressional District, veteran Rep. Tom Cole (R-Moore/Norman) fought off a challenge by his Republican primary opponent, businessman Paul Bondar.

Though Bondar spent more than $5 million of his own money on the race, it was not enough to put him over the top. Cole, who currently serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, easily won the night, capturing just under 65% of the vote.


The top race of the evening came in Virginia's 5th Congressional District, where state Sen. John McGuire (R-Manakin Sabot) may have defeated Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg) with a razor-thin vote margin. 

It will likely be several days before we see final totals here, because the post-election ballots — i.e., those coming in from overseas — could make a difference in the outcome.

As of this writing, McGuire holds a 315-vote lead over Good, with approximately 96% of the vote recorded. 

There could be as many as 1,800 votes outstanding in addition to the 62,425 votes that the Secretary of State reports as being counted. Both men carried 12 of the district's 24 counties; one, Appomattox County, appears to have been decided in Rep. Good's favor by just three votes. 

Elsewhere in the Old Dominion, retired Navy Captain and former congressional candidate Hung Cao was an easy Republican primary winner, recording 62% of the vote against four Republican opponents. Mr. Cao now advances to the general election, where he will face an extremely uphill battle against veteran Senator and former Vice Presidential nominee, Tim Kaine (D).


In House District 2, businesswoman and Navy veteran Missy Cotter Smasal scored a landslide victory in the Democratic primary. Ms. Smasal will now face freshman Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) in a district that only slightly favors the Republicans. 

In the competitive open District 7, voters in both parties confirmed their expected nominees: retired Army Lt. Col. Eugene Vindman for the Democrats, and attorney and Iraq and Afghan War veteran Derrick Anderson on the GOP side. 

District 10 also featured a crowded, competitive Democratic primary, with the winner having the inside track to replace Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg), who is leaving Congress due to a serious health issue. Her endorsed candidate, state Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (D-Loudoun County), scored a 30-27% victory over state Delegate Dan Helmer (D-Fairfax) and 10 others to capture the party nomination.


Biden Upside-Down in All But Five States 

The Morning Consult organization tested President Biden's job approval rating in all 50 states and found just five with more positive reviews than negative. 

California is Biden's best state, where his job approval is +8. In the remaining four, his standing is less secure.

Biden's positive ratings exceed his negative ratings by just four percentage points in Maryland; by two percentage points in New York; and by one percentage point in both Massachusetts and Washington.

In the other 45 states, Biden's job performance is underwater. His worst ratings — -63, -50 and -47 — come in Wyoming, West Virginia and North Dakota, respectively.


NY-4: Surprising Poll for Endangered Incumbent 

A recent McLaughlin & Associates poll finds New York freshman Rep. Anthony D'Esposito (R-Island Park) leading the woman he defeated two years ago, former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Guillen, (D) by a 45-38% margin. 

With a FiveThirtyEight data organization rating of D+10, the Empire State's 4th District is the most Democratic seat held by a Republican in the entire country. As such, it is one of the key seats in the nation that will determine which party controls the House majority in the next Congress.


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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