Political Snippets from Around the Country

Check out these political snippets on primary results, the presidential, congressional races from across the country. 

Primary Results


In the 1st Congressional District, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks* (R-LeClaire) only scored a 56-44% renomination victory over businessman David Pautsch, who attacked over a series of her centrist votes. Mr. Pautsch had raised just $35,000 through the May 15th pre-primary disclosure period. Therefore, him holding Miller-Meeks to only 56% within her own party suggests significant incumbent weakness for the general election.

Turning to the state’s western district, two-term Rep. Randy Feenstra* (R-Hull/Sioux City) only scored a 60% win over former CIA agent Kevin Virgil who was backed by many of former US Rep. Steve King’s supporters. Rep. Feenstra holds Iowa’s safest congressional district and will now have little trouble winning a third term in November.

In the most competitive seat, the Des Moines anchored 3rd District, Rep. Zach Nunn* (R-Bondurant) will face former Department of Agriculture official Lanon Baccam, who scored an easy 84% victory in the Democratic primary. In 2022, Mr. Nunn nipped two-term incumbent Cindy Axne (D) with a less than a one point margin.


Sen. Jon Tester (D) and Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), as expected, both easily won renomination in Tuesday’s primary. Overall, Republican participation was greater as one would expect based upon vote trends from elections after 2012. Approximately 57% of those who cast a ballot in the primary did so on the Republican side.

Sen. Tester will now officially face retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) in the general election for what will be one of the most important Senate races on anyone’s ballot.

In the open 2nd District, State Auditor Troy Downing* defeated former US Rep. Denny Rehberg, ex-DEA agent Stacy Zinn, and state Superintendent for Public Instruction to score a 37-17-15-9% Republican primary victory. As the new 2nd District Republican nominee, Mr. Downing is virtually assured of succeeding retiring Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) in the safely Republican eastern Montana congressional district.

New Jersey

After being outspent and trailing in an early poll, freshman New Jersey US Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) defended himself against a serious challenge from Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla to record a 54-36% renomination victory. In a seat that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+47, the Congressman’s primary win has unofficially secured him a second term. He also overcame the baggage he inherited from his father, Sen. Bob Menendez, and the latter’s criminal indictment and trial.

In the open Garden State Senate race, as predicted, US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) easily won the Democratic primary, scoring 75% of the vote against two minor candidates. Republicans nominated real estate developer Curtis Bashaw with approximately 46% of the vote against three GOP opponents. Mr. Bashaw will advance to the general election against Rep. Kim and Sen. Menendez who is running as an Independent.

In Rep. Kim’s open 3rd District, also as expected, state Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Delran) looks to have topped state Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Mt. Laurel) by a 2:1 margin. Mr. Conaway will now have a relatively easy ride in the general election from a seat that redistricting transformed into a likely Democratic domain. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates NJ-3 as D+9.


North Carolina

Meeting Street Insights again conducted a regular statewide North Carolina political survey for the Carolina Leadership Coalition and the Carolina Partnership for Reform organizations in late April (4/25-28; 500 NC likely general election voters) and have now released the results. The data shows mixed conclusions for both parties.

In the presidential race, former President Donald Trump, while posting the same upside down favorability index as President Joe Biden, 39:59% positive to negative, leads the incumbent 40-35% with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. drawing 11% support on the Independent ballot line, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein attracts 2 percent. This is likely a better result for Trump than the numbers indicate. In every other tested statewide race, Governor, Attorney General, state Supreme Court, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Democratic candidate holds a lead between two and seven points.


In the first released polls since former President Donald Trump’s conviction was announced on Thursday night, a pair of pollsters still project him locked in a virtual national tie with President Joe Biden. YouGov, polling for The Economist publication and Morning Consult released their frequent tracks.

In the YouGov survey (6/2-4; 1,566 US registered voters; online), the ballot test finds Messrs. Trump and Biden tied at 42% apiece. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I) records 3% support, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Independent Cornel West each secure 1% preference. Morning Consult (5/31-6/2; 10,404 US registered voters; online) sees Mr. Trump holding a slight 44-43% edge in a head-to-head test. Therefore, with the respondents knowing of the Trump conviction, the voting populace seems unfazed.

U.S. Senate


While Afghan War veteran and official Republican Party backed Senate candidate Sam Brown* was expected to breeze through the GOP primary, a new poll suggests otherwise. A Kaplan Strategies study conducted for the Jeff Gunter (R) campaign (5/30; 802 NV likely Republican primary voters; online) sees the former Ambassador to Iceland and physician moving ahead of Mr. Brown by a 31-30% count.

In further bad news for Mr. Brown, the Tyson Group (5/22-25; 601 NV likely general election voters; online) shows Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leading the general election ballot test with a large 47-33% advantage. In both the Gunter and Rosen cases, the candidates had launched large media blitzes prior to the polling, which could explain the swing away from Brown. Mr. Gunter may be hitting his peak at the right time, however, as the Nevada primary is fast approaching on June 11th.

New Jersey

Despite being bogged down with a bribery indictment and trial, Sen. Bob Menendez (D), as expected, has filed for an Independent ballot line in the 2024 New Jersey US Senate general election. After the indictment and facing very poor favorability numbers even within his own party, the embattled incumbent announced he would not compete in the Democratic primary.

Irrespective of his filing, the Senator’s re-election prospects are still dismal. The move, however, allows him to use his still substantial remaining campaign funds to pay legal expenses because he is a qualified candidate. Thus, the decision to file as an Independent is more about his finances and legal defense rather than a serious attempt to win re-election. The favorite in the Democratic primary and for the seat remains US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown).

West Virginia

West Virginia no longer has a Democratic Senator. Incumbent Joe Manchin, who is serving his final year in the Senate, announced he is leaving the Democratic Party to become an Independent. The Senator says he can work better outside the political party structure to help bring the country closer together.

Though Sen. Manchin has already stated that he would not enter the Governor’s race because of his support for the Democratic Party nominee, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, speculation that he will make a ballot appearance before the August 1st Independent and minor party candidate filing deadline continues. It’s likely that we will also hear about a prospective Manchin political move either in the Governor or Senate race as the September 17th write-in deadline approaches.

At the end of the day, the chances of Sen. Manchin running for any office this year are slim. Additionally, attempting to get in at such a late date would likely leave him in an underdog position in a three-way Governor’s race, or against Gov. Jim Justice* (R) for the Senate.

U.S. House of Representatives


Fabrizio Lee & Associates (5/13-15; 400 AZ-8 likely Republican primary voters), polling for the Blake Masters campaign, finds their client leading attorney Abe Hamadeh and former US Rep. Trent Franks by a 28-16-14% margin in the Republican primary battle to succeed US Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) who is running for Maricopa County Supervisor.

The poll suggests that the latest Masters negative ad attacking Hamadeh as a son of illegal immigrants, a supporter of abortion, and one who claimed that Israel was behind the 911 attacks is having an effect. A late January poll found the two tied at 24% support. The July 30th Republican primary winner will easily take the 8th District seat in November.


A new Gravis Marketing poll released of Colorado’s 4th District (5/22-24; 423 CO-4 likely general election voters; online & text) finds retired Marine Corps officer Ike McCorkle (D) leading Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), 41-27%, in a hypothetical general election poll. This result is surprising in an eastern Colorado 4th District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+26, which is the safest Republican seat in the Centennial State.

While Rep. Boebert’s move to the 4th District from the Western Slope 3rd CD that she currently represents appears to be working since she won the party convention and has a huge resource lead over all of her GOP opponents, it appears she will have more work to do to convince a majority of the new district voters to support her in November. Of course, Mr. McCorkle, who has twice run for the seat, is no lock in the Democratic primary. He faces his own field of three other Democratic candidates.

The Colorado primary is June 25th. A special election will also occur that day to fill the balance of Rep. Ken Buck’s (R) final term. The Republican special election nominee is former local mayor Greg Lopez who is not running for the regular term. The Democratic nominee, speechwriter Trish Calvarese, is a candidate in both the special and regular elections.


As the candidate filing deadline closed in conjunction with Kansas’ August 6th primary election, former one-term Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (D) surprisingly filed papers to run for the open Topeka anchored 2nd District. In 2006, Ms. Boyda upset then-US Rep. Jim Ryun (R) but failed to hold the seat two years later at the hands of then-state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R). Now, 18 years after her original victory, Ms. Boyda is returning to the congressional wars.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the open 2nd District as R+21, and former President Donald Trump carried the seat with a 57-41% victory margin in 2020. Retiring Rep. Jake LaTurner* (R-Topeka) averaged 56.4% of the vote over his two successful congressional campaigns.

But, Ms. Boyda may not even make the general election ballot. Businessman Matt Kleinmann (D), a member of the 2008 National Champion Kansas Jayhawks college basketball team, has been running for the party nomination ever since Rep. LaTurner announced he would not seek re-election. Regardless of who becomes the Democratic standard bearer, however, he or she will be a decided underdog to former Attorney General and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Derek Schmidt, who is the clear favorite to win the GOP primary.


We are fast approaching the June 18th Republican primary that will decide whether Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg), the House Freedom Caucus chairman, can win renomination to a third term despite opposition from former President Donald Trump and ex-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Rep. Good was one of the leaders in ousting the former Speaker.

A pair of June polls find seriously conflicting results. The most recent, from WPA Intelligence (6/2-4; 300 VA-5 likely Republican primary voters; live interview), sees Rep. Good’s challenger, state Sen. John McGuire, leading the race with a 41-31% advantage. But a Neighborhood Research and Media survey (conducted for Media Champions of Freedom PAC; released 6/4; 301 VA-5 likely Republican primary voters) finds Rep. Good holding a similar 39-30% advantage. Therefore, the conflicting data suggests the race is undecided as we enter the final week of campaigning. 

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