June 23: Kentucky, New York, Virginia Hold Primaries; a Congressional Vacancy is to be Filled

June 23, 2020

New York and Kentucky hold their rescheduled presidential primaries Tuesday. We'll be watching to see if Joe Biden can cross another delegate threshold.  Those two states, as well as Virginia also hold their congressional primaries. There's also a special election in New York for a vacant congressional seat.  Finally, there are two runoff U.S. House primaries, one each in Mississippi and North Carolina.

The large vote-by-mail nature of these elections will cause delays in the ability to call some competitive races. This will be particularly true in Kentucky and New York, where we may need to wait a week or more to find out the winners of some important primaries.


Polls Close (Eastern Time)

Your individual polling place may have different hours. Do not rely on this schedule to determine when to vote. 

6:00 PM Kentucky (ET)
7:00 PM Kentucky (CT), Virginia
7:30 PM NC-11
8:00 PM MS-02
9:00 PM New York

 


Democratic Delegate Count

New York has 274 pledged delegates available Tuesday. That's more than any state except California. Kentucky adds 54 more for a total of 328.  Joe Biden starts the day at 2,144. If he reaches 2,376,1 1This number may change slightly depending on the final count of superdelegate votes. which seems likely, he will have amassed pledged delegates totaling more than 50% of ALL Democratic delegates (pledged + superdelegates) available this year. As a result, superdelegates will be allowed to participate in the roll call vote at the convention.


 

Results by State

Kentucky New York Virginia NY-27 Special Runoffs

 

Kentucky

President: There are 54 pledged delegates available in the Democratic presidential primary.

Senate: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is seeking a 7th term this year.  A member since January, 1985, he currently has the 3rd longest tenure in the U.S. Senate.2 2Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont (1975) has the most seniority, followed by Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa (1981). McConnell has nominal primary opposition.

A very competitive primary exists on the Democratic side. Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot had long been the frontrunner. However, state representative Charles Booker has come on strong in the final weeks of the contest.

A formidable general election challenge awaits the winner, especially with a popular Republican president headlining the ticket in this deep red state.  A recent poll showed McConnell with a double-digit lead over either Democrat.

House: Kentucky has 6 congressional districts, but not much general election drama. All incumbents are running; a couple have primaries but should advance. The Lexington-area 6th district is the only one that is on the radar in November, but just barely.  In 2018, the race there received national attention after the aforementioned Amy McGrath launched a campaign for that seat with this video.  Although she raised millions, incumbent Republican Andy Barr held on by 3%. Barr, whose wife passed away unexpectedly last week, will likely face Democrat Josh Hicks in November.

All Kentucky Results >>

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New York

President: There are 274 pledged delegates available in the Democratic presidential primary.

House: Only a small number of New York's 27 congressional districts will be competitive in the general election, but there are quite a few interesting primary contests. Three long-time members of the House are retiring this year and at several incumbents are facing credible challengers.

District 2: Peter King (R) is not seeking a 15th term in this district along the South Shore of Long Island. There are primaries in both parties, which have drawn some national attention in advance of what should be a fairly competitive general election.  Suffolk assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R) and former Town of Babylon trustee Jackie Gordon (D) are favored to advance. 

District 9: Yvette Clark faced a serious primary challenge from community organizer Adem Bunkeddeko in 2018. She prevailed by about 4% before going on to win the general election by 79% in this heavily Democratic Brooklyn district. Bunkeddeko is back for another try, and a few other candidates are on the ballot as well.  The New York Times endorsed Bunkeddeko in 2018 and has done so again this year.

District 11: Democrat Max Rose flipped this district from the GOP in 2018, winning by 6%. The most Republican-leaning area in New York City, the district covers all of Staten Island and a small part of Brooklyn. Donald Trump won here by 10% in 2016.  The likely GOP nominee is state assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. Her primary opponent is Joe Caldarera, a former prosecutor.  The general election is seen as a toss-up.

District 12:  This is a pretty similar situation to District 9. Here the incumbent Democrat Carolyn Maloney fended off a 2018 primary challenge from businessman Suraj Patel before going on to win by 74% in this deep blue district that covers parts of three NYC boroughs.  Patel is on the ballot again this year, along with a few other aspirants.

District 14:  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a stunning upset in the 2018 primary, defeating a long-time incumbent in this Bronx/Queens district.  Now Ocasio-Cortez is herself being challenged, by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former business journalist and CNBC host.  Caruso-Cabrera has received considerable support from business-friendly interests.  

District 15: Democrat Jose Serrano is retiring after 16 terms. Voters in this Bronx district gave him 96% of the vote in 2018, so it is safe to say that whoever emerges from the party's primary Tuesday will be the district's next representative. A large field is vying for that honor, with most of the attention going to two city councilman: Ruben Diaz Sr. and Ritchie Torres.  Diaz is a well-known but controversial figure, with positions not well-aligned with the party. A recent poll showed the race statistically tied, with about 1/3 of voters undecided.

District 16: In the House since 1989, Eliot Engel last had a competitive primary in 2000. He has a serious one this year, and is perhaps the most endangered of New York's incumbents seeking another term. Engel is being challenged from the left by Jamaal Bowman, a high school principal. The New York Times has endorsed Bowman, while Engel has the support of Democratic party leaders as well as the Congressional Black Caucus. This district covers the northern Bronx and southern Westchester county and is safely Democratic. Engel ran unopposed in 2018 and no Republicans have filed to run this year.

District 17: Nita Lowey is retiring after 16 terms, opening up another safely Democratic seat, this one covering Rockland and northwestern Westchester counties. Eight Democrats are vying to fill the seat, with several of them drawing double-digit support in a recent poll. 

District 22: Republican Claudia Tenney, who narrowly lost to Democrat Anthony Brindisi in 2018 is attempting to win back the seat this year.  She'll first have to survive the GOP primary against teacher George Phillips. The general election for this central New York district will be among the most competitive in the state again this year.

District 24:  This Syracuse-area district is expected to be competitive in November. In 2018, incumbent Republican John Katko beat Syracuse University professor Dana Balter by 6%. Balter is again seeking the nomination. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won here by about 3.5% over Donald Trump.

All New York Results >>

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Virginia

Senate: Three political newcomers are vying for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Warner in November.  The incumbent is expected to have little trouble winning a third term. 

House: Three seats flipped to Democratic candidates in 2018. Two of those, in Districts 2 and 7 look to be the most competitive for the general election this November.  In District 2, Republican Scott Taylor, who lost his seat in 2018, is looking for a rematch against Democrat Elaine Luria.

The GOP nominee in District 7 will be chosen at a party convention instead of the primary, which is an option under Virginia law.  It's an option that may have cost Republican Denver Riggleman his job. On June 13, a District 5 GOP convention chose Bob Good over the incumbent. This is a Republican-leaning district, but the choice of Good put District 5 back on the competitive map for November per some analysts. Four Democrats are seeking the nomination to oppose him.

All Virginia Results >>

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NY-27 Special Election

This seat has been vacant since last October 1, when former Rep. Chris Collins resigned, pleading guilty to insider trading charges that same day. Under indictment at the time of the 2018 midterms, Collins won reelection by less than 1% in a district Donald Trump won by nearly 25 points in 2016. With Collins out of the picture, the vote should more closely reflect the heavy Republican lean of the district, making state senator Chris Jacobs the favorite.

Regardless of the outcome, Jacobs and Democratic nominee Nate McMurray are very likely to meet again in November. Jacobs is on the ballot for Tuesday's regularly scheduled NY-27 GOP primary.  McMurray has no primary opposition.

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Runoffs

MS-02:  Brian Flowers edged Tom Carey by 1.5% in the March 10 GOP primary, but neither crossed the 50% required to avoid this runoff.  The eventual nominee will have little chance against 14-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson in November.

NC-11:  The runoff threshold in North Carolina is 30%, but with a field of 12 competing in the March 3 GOP primary, nobody received more than 23%. Despite being redrawn to include Asheville, the district remains safely Republican, with Tuesday's winner likely headed to victory in November.  

Note that this seat is currently vacant. Former Rep. Mark Meadows announced late last year he would not seek a 5th term. He subsequently resigned in late March to become the White House Chief of Staff.  At present, no special election is scheduled. 

 

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