Five states are holding primary elections Tuesday, but you wouldn’t know it from the coverage.
If you go online, you’ll see stories from individual states, but not much from the national media. The only story that has aroused any interest is the House race by Mark Sanford, former governor and hiker on the Appalachian Trail. Sanford has been one of only a few Republicans to question Donald Trumps words and actions. And he’s paying for it, according to Breitbart.
Sanford is paying the price for his intransigence against the Republican Party and against the president, as [State Rep. Katie] Arrington surges ahead in his June 12 primary. Another Republican House member not sufficiently in line with the president’s agenda, Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), has already lost a primary to pro-Trump challenger Dr. Mark Harris, and Sanford is feeling the same heat Pittenger did in his race ahead of June 12. . .
A polling memo obtained by Breitbart News in May showed Sanford at well under 40 percent. The May 10 internal Arrington polling memo showed Sanford down at 34.6 percent, with Arrington at 25.8 percent and 38.5 percent undecided.
After that poll, Arrington went up with an ad on television across the district subtly ripping Sanford for his “hiking the Appalachian Trail” sex-scandal during his time as governor–comparing that dishonesty to Sanford’s Never Trump actions. . .
While no new polling has been done in this race since that May 10 internal from the Arrington campaign, it appears Sanford–since he is backtracking on his anti-Trump rhetoric and naming his opponent publicly–is in serious trouble of potentially being the second establishment sitting congressman to go down in a primary this year.
RedState comments on all five of the states:
A Senate election and some primaries in the House races are on tap. I say “some primaries” because some district match-ups come November are already established through Virginia’s convention system. . . The current House delegation favors the GOP 7-4, but with two Republican incumbents retiring, things could get interesting here. Republican Scott Taylor in the 2nd has been targeted by the Democrats and has drawn not only a primary challenge, but five Democrats to their primary. . .
A Governor’s race and seven House races (the GOP holds the current advantage 6-1) will be featured in South Carolina. In the Governor’s race, current GOP incumbent Henry McMaster ascended to the throne when Nikki Haley left for the UN. . . None of the GOP House incumbents appear at risk although there is some noise in the First where Mike Sanford may face some stiff primary opposition. Trey Gowdy is vacating the GOP-safe 4th district and with 12 Republicans in the primary, the only question is whether any can reach that 50% threshold.
Democratic incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp is considered vulnerable in 2018 and the GOP got their man when Rep. Kevin Cramer announced he would run for her Senate seat. Heitkamp has to walk a tightrope in red North Dakota where Trump has a 56% approval rating. Her approval rating is a respectable 47%. Scant polling shows a very tight general election race. Three Republicans will vie for the chance to take on Democrat Mac Schneider in November in the open House seat race.
An open gubernatorial race and one of two Congressional districts are drawing interest in Maine in 2018. That and ranked choice voting will occur for the first time after some legal wrangling cleared the way. Paul LePage, the incumbent GOP Governor, is term-limited and leaves with a 41% approval rating which mirrors Trump’s 42% in Maine. In some ways, LePage was Trump before Trump with his bombastic statements. . . Bruce Poliquin is a rarity in New England- the only GOP member of the House from that region. He represents the 2nd District. Three Democrats are in their primary and Poliquin faces no primary opposition. This district has been targeted by the Democrats.
Nevada has an electoral trifecta this year and all the races are interesting. Brian Sandoval is term-limited as Governor and leaves office with a healthy 57% approval rating. . . In the Senate race, GOP incumbent Dean Heller’s problems start with his dismal 37% approval rating (against 40% disapproval). In fact, it is below Trump’s 45% rating in Nevada and Heller, if you remember, was taken to task by Trump over Obamacare repeal. . . Three of the four Congressional districts will have some drama. In the 2nd, GOP incumbent Mark Amodei will face Sharron Angle in a primary challenge while six Democrats are looking for the chance to take the GOP winner on in November. With Rosen leaving the 3rd for the Senate run, an open race has attracted 10 Republicans and 8 Democrats. . .
Next: We take a one week break before four primaries on June 26th- Maryland, Utah, Colorado and Oklahoma.
While polling has been sparse, PredictIt, the betting site, has many “markets” about probability of winning.
Will Heller win NV GOP Senate primary? Yes 99%
Who’ll win the NV Dem Gubernatorial Primary? Sisolak 60%, Giunchigliani 35%
Will Taylor win VA-02 GOP primary? Yes 97%
Who will win the VA GOP Senate primary? Stewart 80%, Freitas 25%
Who’ll win the SC GOP gubernatorial primary? McMaster 75%, Templeton 13%
Who’ll win SC-04 GOP primary? Bright 56%, Timmons 39%
Who’ll win the ME Dem Senate primary? Mills 80%, Eves 5%
Who’ll win NV-03 GOP primary? Tarkanian 97%, Mortensen 3%
Who’ll win the NV Dem Senate primary? Rosen 99%, Shaih 1%
Who’ll win the ME GOP gubernatorial primary? Moody 90%, Mason 5%
Who’ll win the SC Dem gubernatorial primary? Smith 88%, Noble 5 %
Who’ll win VA-10 Dem primary? Wexton 92%, Friedman 5%
Who’ll win NV-04 Dem primary? Horsford 97%, Vilela 7%
Note that those numbers are probability of winning, not an estimate of final vote percentage. Without any real polling, there is little in the way of hard data to forecast into some of the smaller primary races.