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Snippets from Around the Country

Democratic Nomination: Former Vice President Joe Biden clinched the Democratic nomination last Tuesday in Georgia with an 84% victory and a 65% West Virginia win sweeping the states’ combined 133 bound first ballot votes. By all counts now, Mr. Biden has exceeded the minimum 1,991 delegate votes to officially clinch the party nomination.

Joe Biden: The Associated Press is cited sources inside Democratic presidential nominee-designate Joe Biden’s campaign that the Vice-Presidential running mate list has been narrowed to six individuals.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), US Representative and former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings (D-FL), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and former UN Ambassador Susan Rice comprise Mr. Biden’s reported final list of potential running mates.

Long ago, the former Vice President said he would choose a female running mate. Absent from the list are Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, who are eliminated. The campaign spokespeople indicate the choice will be made public on or slightly before August 1.

New Hampshire: The Granite State’s St. Anselm University, which conducts political polling, just completed an online survey of 1,072 registered voters during the June 13-16 period. The results find former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump, 49-42%. This tracks in the same average range as Hillary Clinton recorded during the commensurate period in 2016. In the end, however, New Hampshire’s actual vote margin was one of the closest in the country, with Ms. Clinton carrying the state by only 2,736 votes.
 
U.S. House of Representatives
 
GA-13: Last week’s primary led to an upset of sorts in the suburban 13th Congressional District. Spending just $875 on her campaign, former state Rep. Keisha Waites has forced nine-term Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta) into a runoff election. Mr. Scott only pulled 47% of the vote in his own primary, with Ms. Waites trailing at 31%. The other two contenders who spent a combined $60,000 received the remaining 22 percent. It remains to be seen if Ms. Waites can attract national left-of-center money with which to compete in the August 11 secondary election. The seat will remain in the Democratic column regardless of who becomes the party nominee. The Democratic nomination can be considered competitive in the runoff since 53% of the more than 87,000 votes already counted have gone to a challenger candidate.

KY-4: Northern Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Garrison/ Covington), who attracted headlines when he questioned the size of the Coronavirus bailout legislation and demanded a roll call vote in the House, appears to be headed for a landslide victory in his June 23 re-nomination battle. According to a WPA Intelligence survey for the Club for Growth (6/10-11; 411 KY-4 likely Republican primary voters), the Congressman destroys GOP attorney Todd McMurtry 77-11%, even up from the 70-13% split the research organization found in late April.

NY-16: More evidence is coming from New York City that former middle school principal Jamaal Bowman is a serious Democratic primary threat to 16-term veteran Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx). The pre-primary filing period that closed June 3 shows Mr. Bowman actually bringing in more money than Rep. Engel during the period, $431,000 to $389,000. Congressman Engel, however, still dominates the cash-on-hand column $826,000 to $345,000.

In a Democratic primary race that is becoming more competitive everyday, two familiar Democratic foes made recent endorsements and, not surprisingly, chose different sides. Former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced her support for Rep. Engel, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as we know a two-time presidential candidate, publicly backs Mr. Bowman. The New York primary is next Tuesday, June 23.

Additionally, a new Data for Progress survey reveals a surprising result. The poll, conducted for the Bowman campaign (released 6/17; 525 NY-16 likely Democratic primary voters) gives the challenger a 41-31% lead over Rep. Engel, and a whopping 52-36% advantage when leaners are added. The Engel campaign spokesperson responded that the poll was flawed because it did not list the other two Democratic candidates in the primary race, while their own internal Global Strategy Group survey posts the Congressman to an eight-point lead. The Engel campaign, however, refused to make their poll public.

NY-17: Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Greenburgh Town Democratic Committee (6/15-16; 1,141 likely NY-17 Democratic primary voters via interactive response device) finds attorney Mondaire Jones taking the lead for Tuesday’s open seat Democratic primary that features a field of eight Democratic candidates.

According to PPP, Mr. Jones takes 25% of the congressional primary vote followed by self-funding attorney Adam Schleifer and ex-Defense Department official Evelyn Farkas trailing with 14% apiece. Another poll’s previous leader, state Sen. David Carlucci (D-New City/Ossining) drops to 11% support.

Last week’s Data for Progress survey found Carlucci leading the pack with 15%, followed by Schleifer and Farkas at 13%, and Jones closely trailing with 12 percent. Tuesday promises to yield a close finish. The Democratic winner will become to prohibitive favorite to replace retiring Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) in the general election.

MA-3: For weeks it appeared that 2018 Massachusetts congressional candidate Dan Loh, who lost to now-Representative Lori Trahan (D-Lowell) by just 143 votes in the Democratic primary, was ready to launch another challenge. Three things had happened since the last election that suggested Mr. Loh was all in for another run, including him raising money and constructing a campaign operation. The other two happenings were Mr. Loh getting elected as a Selectman in the town of Andover, and Ms. Trahan coming under investigation for potential campaign finance violations. 
 
Yet, it appears that the Congresswoman went from facing a strong primary opponent to having none at all. Candidate filing is now finalized in Massachusetts and Mr. Loh decided not to enter the race, thus allowing Rep. Trahan to find herself without a Democratic opponent. Furthermore, she’s also unopposed in the general election.

PA-1: Public Policy Polling surveyed Pennsylvania’s swing 1st Congressional District (6/10-11; 753 PA-1 registered voters, half through live phone interviews and half through text messages to cell phones) in order to test two-term Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) and Ivyland Borough Councilmember Christina Finello (D). The poll comes after the June 2 Pennsylvania primary that found Rep. Fitzpatrick scoring a disappointing 58% against a Republican opponent who exerted little in the way of campaign effort. The PPP result breaks 40-38% in Rep. Fitzpatrick’s favor, not unlike his 51-49% re-election victory margin in 2018.

TX-24: According to a story in the Texas Scorecard online publication and others, Democratic congressional candidate Kim Olson made a controversial statement during an interview. She said, in response to a question about defunding the police that, “[e]ven if people loot, so what? Burn it to the ground, you know, if that’s what it’s going to take to fix our nation.” She then added that, “I don’t think people want me to say that.”
 
Ms. Olson, a retired Air Force Colonel and defeated 2018 State Agriculture Commissioner candidate is running against local school board trustee Candace Valenzuela in the July 14 Democratic runoff campaign in a contest that is becoming highly competitive. 
 
U.S. Gubnetorial Races

New Hampshire: We Ask America surveyed the New Hampshire electorate (6/13-15; 500 likely NH general election voters) and found two-term Gov. Chris Sununu (R) topping state Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes (D-Concord) by a whopping 59-20% spread. Gov. Sununu also records an eye-popping 76:16% job approval ratio. New Hampshire, like neighboring Vermont, awards its Governor only two-year terms. Therefore, even though Mr. Sununu is seeking his third term, he is only coming to the end of his fourth year in office.
 
Utah: It is probable that the winner of the June 30 Republican primary will succeed retiring Gov. Gary Herbert (R) in November. The primary outcome became a bit more clouded when Suffolk University released its survey for the Salt Lake Tribune (6/4-7; 500 UT likely Republican primary voters). 
 
According to Suffolk, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox’s lead over former Governor and US Ambassador Jon Huntsman has shrunk to just two percentage points, 32-30. In third position is former state House Speaker Greg Hughes at 14% support, and ex-Utah Republican Party chairman Thomas Wright trailing with 8% preference. It appears this primary race will be a dash to the political finish line between the top two contenders at the end of the month.


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