Election News

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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The Road to 270: Indiana

June 22, 2020

The Road to 270 is a weekly column leading up to the presidential election. Each installment is dedicated to understanding one state’s political landscape and how that might influence which party will win its electoral votes in 2020. We’ll do these roughly in order of expected competitiveness, moving toward the most intensely contested battlegrounds as election day nears. 

The Road to 270 will be published every Monday. The column is written by Drew Savicki, a 270toWin elections and politics contributor. Contact Drew via email or on Twitter @SenhorRaposa.

Indiana has produced six Vice Presidents: from Schuyler Colfax, who held office when much of the Postbellum South was still under military rule, to the current incumbent, Mike Pence. Though it was often competitive at lower levels, the Hoosier State has voted blue for president just five times since 1900. Outside the major metro areas, industrial towns dot the landscape. Home to the nation's third largest Amish population, Indiana has gained a reputation for its social conservatism.

2008: Barack Obama does the impossible

In 2008, Indiana was considered among the most Republican states in presidential races -- as the only state in the Great Lakes region that wouldn’t support Bill Clinton in the 1990s, it had last voted Democratic for president in 1964. Still, Barack Obama, who perhaps had an extra dose of Midwestern appeal as the senator from next-door Illinois, contested it. The Obama campaign ultimately spent $17 million on the state and visited it eight times during the course of the 2008 campaign. After John Kerry lost the state by 21% in 2004, Obama carried it by 1% -- outside of his native Hawaii, Indiana was the state that swung most to Obama.

Since every county got more Democratic from 2004 to 2008, looking at the swing -- or the outright change in the margins -- isn't terribly instructive. Instead, let's look at what some call the ‘trend' or change in the deviation. Essentially what this measures is the change in how each county voted vs the change in the statewide margin. For example let's look at Marion County (Indianapolis). In 2004, it voted 23% more Democratic than the state as whole but in 2008 it voted 28 points left of the state so that means it shifted five points towards Democrats. There's no perfect measure to accurately capture the swing but this is an alternative way to look at the change.

Southern Indiana’s shift is notable. Strictly speaking, none of Indiana is located in Appalachia, but its southern portion would, culturally, fit right in. All but two counties along the Kentucky border trended rightward from 2004. Though it accelerated in 2016, the decline in Democratic performance in the south could be seen pre-Trump. The suburban shift can also be seen here, with Obama's gains in the northern Indianapolis suburbs, as well as Allen County (Fort Wayne). Some of the more usually Democratic counties -- like Lake in the northwest, situated near Chicago -- trended rightward simply because there wasn't much room for Obama to grow the margins.

In their post-2008 book How Barack Obama Won, Chuck Todd and Sheldon Gawiser claim that the foundation of Obama’s Hoosier State upset was in the May primary. By the time Indiana voted in May, the Democratic primary was a true two-way race between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Though Obama came up slightly short to Clinton, his campaign made serious investments in their state apparatus -- this would be useful to him in the fall.

Congressional Politics

The 2010s have seen an almost complete turnover in the state's congressional delegation. In 2012, the late Sen. Dick Lugar -- a veteran Republican moderate, whom Obama even cites as a mentor -- lost renomination to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party-backed candidate. In the general election, Mourdock made some controversial comments on abortion that were eerily similar to those from fellow GOP Senate nominee Todd Akin, over in Missouri (we recently profiled Missouri and mentioned Akin’s race). Democrats ran Rep. Joe Donnelly, a moderate Blue Dog from the South Bend area. Though the Obama campaign ignored the state in 2012, ultimately losing it by 10%, Donnelly won 50%-44%.

Like Missouri's Sen. Claire McCaskill, Donnelly had Republicans gunning for him in 2018. Early in the cycle, the Republican primary seemed like a contest between sitting congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, while former State Rep. Mike Braun looked like a third wheel. Still, as the two congressmen turned their fire on each other, Braun seized an opportunity to contrast himself with his opponents. A businessman, Braun struck a populist chord by painting his opponents as typical politicians -- in this popular ad, he featured cardboard cutouts of the two. It worked: Braun won the primary with a 41% plurality, as the other two split the remainder of the vote about evenly. In the end, despite his moderate profile, Donnelly lost 51%-45% -- basically the same margin McCaskill lost by that year, as well.

Indiana's two most recent Senate races highlight the changes in the state’s coalitions well. In 2016, Sen. Dan Coats (R) retired and Rep. Todd Young kept the seat for the GOP. Democrats ran former Sen. Evan Bayh, who held that seat before Coats. His father, Birch Bayh, was an iconic liberal senator, but Evan made his name as more of a centrist -- as governor from 1989 to 1997, he passed tax cuts. Bayh was last on the ballot in 2004, a less partisan time when the GOP didn’t seriously target him. He was also considered as a possible running mate for both Obama and Clinton in 2008. Much changed in the intervening years, though. Bayh lost by 10% in 2016, but two years later, Donnelly couldn’t match his performance in most rural areas.

As Democratic margins in western and southwestern Indiana dropped, the Indianapolis metro area shifted leftward. Democrats were buoyed this year by the retirement of Rep. Susan Brooks (R) from the 5th Congressional District, which encompasses Indianapolis's northern suburbs. In 2016, Sen. Young carried the 5th district by 12 points but in 2018, Donnelly carried the 5th district by half a percentage point

Upon Brooks’s retirement, Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved the race from ‘Safe Republican’ to ‘Leans Republican.’ Although the district went for Trump by 12% in 2016, it is a well-educated and high income suburban seat. In the primaries, Democrats nominated former State Rep. Christina Hale while Republicans chose State Sen. Victoria Spartz. Republicans have the advantage in the district but don’t be surprised to see a close race in November.

The Dean of Indiana's Congressional delegation is Rep. Pete Visclosky (D) from the state's 1st District. A union-friendly Democrat known for his support of the steel industry, Visclosky has represented IN-1 since 1985. Visclosky came to Congress by primarying Rep. Katie Hall in 1984 and, although he has faced some ethics issues over the years, he remains quite popular. His 28% win in 2018 was bigger than Obama's 2008 margin in the district. In 2019, Visclosky surprisingly announced his retirement and he endorsed North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan. Comprising the northwestern corner of Indiana, the 1st District has trended rightward bit but, as the nominee, Mrvan is not expected to face any issues winning the seat. Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates the race as ‘Safe Democratic.’

A particularly consequential Senate race in Indiana history was 1980. Sen. Birch Bayh (D) was seeking a fourth term that year against two-term Republican Rep. Dan Quayle. During his time in the Senate, Bayh authored what would become the Twenty-Fifth (concerning presidential succession) and Twenty-Sixth (setting now minimum age to vote at 18) Amendments. Since the days of the Founding Fathers, no other legislator has written multiple constitutional amendments. More liberal than his state’s partisanship would suggest, Bayh cobbled together a string of three close wins. In Bayh’s last successful reelection, 1974, he faced then-Indianapolis Mayor Dick Lugar (Lugar would win the state’s other seat in 1976).

In 1980, Ronald Regan carried Indiana by 18%, and swept Quayle into office, who was just 33 at the time. In describing Indiana’s two senators, the 1982 edition of the Almanac of American Politics summed up: if Lugar was the kind of class intellectual and valedictorian, Quayle was the class athlete and student body president. In 1988, running as the GOP nominee, Vice President George H. W. Bush was seeking to shore up his credibility among the right and chose Sen. Quayle as his running mate. Prone to gaffes, Quayle has not held office since his single term as Vice President. His launched a campaign for President in 2000 but it went nowhere, as he was overshadowed by bigger names like Sen. John McCain and Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

State level politics 

Indiana used to elect Democratic governors with some regularity but the state's increasing Republican tilt in the 2000s marked the end of era for Indiana Democrats’ dominance of the governorship. Republicans control all statewide offices in the Hoosier State and benefit from having gubernatorial races in presidential cycles -- a dynamic that helped Republicans in 2016. In 2012, popular Gov. Mitch Daniels was term limited and was succeeded by then Rep. Mike Pence (R). The Democratic nominee was former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg. Gregg, a Democrat from southwestern Indiana, was the state’s longest serving Democratic Speaker of the House. Pence won, but the margin was less than 3%.

A darling of the Tea Party, Pence governed as a staunch fiscal and social conservative. In 2015, one of his signature pieces of legislation as Governor was the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which basically states the government cannot infringe on one’s right to practice their religion unless it can prove it has a reason to do so. A law hailed by the religious right, it was met with an immediate firestorm of criticism from LGBT rights and business groups. Various organizations and figures boycotted the state as a result of the bill. Pence initially stood behind the bill but as the national outrage persisted, he backed some changes to it.

In 2016, as Pence was gearing up for what looked like a rematch against Gregg, Donald Trump, then the presumptive GOP nominee, tapped him to join the national ticket. Pence's Lt. Governor, Eric Holcomb, was chosen by Indiana Republicans as the replacement nominee. As a more generic Republican and a fresher face, Holcomb was elected in his own right by a decent six point margin. Now Governor, Holcomb is not expected to face much of a challenge. He has boasted generally solid approval ratings and Democrats lack any real bench in this red state. Thus forecasters like Sabato's Crystal Ball rate the gubernatorial race as 'Safe Republican.' In a telling sign of the state's partisanship, then South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg sought the Democratic nomination for President in 2020 rather than run for Governor. 

One downballot race to keep an eye on this year is the race for Attorney General. Incumbent Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) was elected in 2016 and has faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct. Gov. Holcomb and many other Republicans called on him to resign in the summer of 2018 but Hill has resisted such calls. In May of this year, the Indiana Supreme Court found that he "committed acts of misdemeanor battery, conduct that under the circumstances of this case violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules..." and ordered the suspension of his law license for 30 days.

In Indiana, the nominations for certain offices, such as Attorney General, are decided via party conventions rather than primaries. Hill faces three challengers for renomination: Decatur County Attorney Nate Harter, former Rep. Todd Rokita, and Indianapolis attorney John Westercamp. Due to the ongoing pandemic, ballots will be submitted via mail and the results will be announced in several weeks. Democrats had a convention of their own and nominated former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. Given the red lean of the state, Democrats are hoping Hill wins renomination as that would clearly give them their best shot at winning the office.

With their supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature likely to hold, Republicans will have full control of redistricting in 2021. They could try to crack the two Democratic-held districts by diluting their voters among the neighboring districts. As the GOP’s hold on the suburban IN-5 has grown somewhat shaky, shoring up that seat will also likely be a priority for legislative Republicans.

Presidential outlook

Indiana Polls >>

As it moved back into the red column after 2008, Obama’s win in Indiana is looking like a fluke. With no Senate race there this year and IN-5 looking like the only competitive House race, national Democrats don’t have much reason to invest in the state. In the southwest, Vigo County (home to the city of Terre Haute) is one of the nation’s bellwether counties: it’s picked the winner of every presidential election since 1956. This fall, that streak may end. In 2016, Trump carried it by a robust 55%-40% vote and in 2018 Sen. Donnelly carried it by just 1%. It seems likely that even if Trump is ousted, he’ll hold Vigo County.

Next Week: Oregon

Reports in this series:

Interactive Electoral and Senate Maps Based on Polling

June 18, 2020

These maps will track the state of the race based purely on available polling. Where there are no polls, the consensus rating is used.  The maps are automatically updated three times each day.

The final daily update is added to the timeline, which appears above the map. This will let you see how the map evolves over time.

States where the margin is <5% are shown as toss-up. Leaning is <10%, likely <15%. Safe is 15% or higher.

The polling maps will shift more frequently than and may vary significantly from the consensus maps, although those differences should narrow as the election draws closer. The discrepancy has to do with the fact that polling is a snapshot in time - and we are still about 140 days out from Election Day. There is also limited polling in some states, which may or may not reflect the current state of the race.

Related: Direct links to polling by state

The images below are embedded, and will update as the map changes. Click or tap for the interactive version and timeline.

Electoral Polling Map

The consensus map as well as a number of other forecasts can be found here.

Senate Polling Map

Use particular caution with this map, as Senate polling is extremely limited in most states.  Also, this map is new as of June 18; we will add the timeline once we have a few days of history.

The consensus map as well as a number of other forecasts can be found here.

The Road to 270: New Jersey

June 15, 2020

The Road to 270 is a weekly column leading up to the presidential election. Each installment is dedicated to understanding one state’s political landscape and how that might influence which party will win its electoral votes in 2020. We’ll do these roughly in order of expected competitiveness, moving toward the most intensely contested battlegrounds as election day nears. 

The Road to 270 will be published every Monday. The column is written by Drew Savicki, a 270toWin elections and politics contributor. Contact Drew via email or on Twitter @SenhorRaposa.

Last year, as it become increasingly clear that House Democrats would pursue articles of impeachment against President Trump, one New Jersey congressman’s name began to reappear in articles: the late Peter Rodino. First elected in 1948, Rodino represented the Newark area for 40 years. A Democrat, he chaired the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate scandal, and oversaw the impeachment effort against Richard Nixon. Nearly 50 years later, Rodino’s (relatively) bipartisan approach was cited as a model for Democrats to follow. While New Jersey isn’t a swing state in presidential politics, Rodino shows that its members can have a lasting impact on Capitol Hill.

Two New Jerseys: an upscale north and a blue collar south

If there is one consistent theme in New Jersey politics, it is the north-south divide. Located about 30 miles west of New York City, Morris County is something of a focal point of North Jersey, and encapsulates the region’s political trends well. A traditionally Republican suburban county -- the state’s most prominent Republican in recent memory, former Gov. Chris Christie, hails from there -- 54% of voters there have a bachelor's degree. Perhaps not coincidentally it’s also one of the wealthiest counties in America. Morris County has voted Republican for President in every election since 1968 -- but it seems ripe for a flip this year. In 2012, Mitt Romney fit the county well, and carried it by 55%-44% margin. Trump’s populism proved a harder sell in Morris County, and he held it with less than 50% of the vote in 2016.

In 2018, Democratic candidates for Congress carried Morris by a seven point margin. A populous county, it’s split between two congressional districts: NJ-7 and NJ-11. The 7th District portion, which accounts for roughly a quarter of the county, leans more Republican: even as he was voted out of office, GOP incumbent Leonard Lance won that area by 4%. In the 11th District portion, Democrat Mikie Sherill won 55-45%. Aside from its income level, Morris's growing Asian and Hispanic populations play a role in its leftward-trending politics. 

If Morris County sums up North Jersey, on the state’s other extreme, Cumberland County represents South Jersey well. Cumberland County's median income is about $53,000 -- half of Morris's $111,000 -- and just 15% of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Although it’s more racially diverse than some of the North Jersey suburbs -- it has much larger Hispanic and Black populations than Morris -- the white voters in South Jersey swung sharply rightward in 2016. Hillary Clinton carried the county by just 6%, down from Obama’s 24 point margin four years earlier.

Located entirely in New Jersey's 2nd District, Cumberland swung back towards Democrats in 2018 but it didn't return to its pre-Trump partisanship. Although a popular local figure at the time, then-state. Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) still ran behind Obama in most towns within the county. With Van Drew now a Republican (more on that later), it will be interesting to see how his support holds up in places like Cumberland. Following last year's legislative elections, Cumberland County's legislative delegation is now evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Given its large minority population, it seems unlikely that Cumberland entirely flips to Republicans but certainly the trendline is not encouraging for Democrats.

In 2018, New Jersey’s congressional delegation saw a massive shakeup. Democrats went into the cycle controlling seven of the state’s twelve districts; after the midterms, they held all but one. Republican incumbents Rodney Frelinghuysen (from one the state’s best-known political families) and Frank LoBiondo retired. Frelinghuysen, who supported abortion rights, and LoBiondo, with his unusually strong ties to labor, were two of the most moderate members of the House GOP and were both elected in 1994. Veteran and lawyer Mikie Sherrill (D) flipped Frelinghuysen’s open NJ-11 (which includes Morris County) by a convincing 15% margin and, at the other end of the state, Van Drew won the South Jersey NJ-2. In between those districts, two other Republicans, Leonard Lance and Tom McArthur, lost reelection.

A member of both the centrist Blue Dog Coalition and center-left New Democrat Coalition, Sherill is widely viewed as a rising star among New Jersey Democrats and a top candidate to succeed Senator Bob Menendez (D) when he retires. President Trump carried two of North Jersey’s Democratic-held seats -- the 5th and 11th districts -- but Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates both as ‘Safe Democratic.’

In South Jersey, NJ-2 has trended the other way. A more culturally conservative region than the upscale northern suburbs, the 2nd District includes most of the state's rural and working class communities. Van Drew was a longtime State Senator known for his centrist views, and national Democrats had tried to recruit him for years -- with LoBiondo’s retirement, they got their wish. Though the controversial Republican nominee was disavowed by the national party, Van Drew flipped the seat by a less than convincing margin. Citing the pressure of the impeachment process, Van Drew switched parties in December 2019, thus making the delegation 10-2 Democratic.

Van Drew’s party switch and subsequent endorsement from Kevin McCarthy and the President scrambled the race in the 2nd District. Businessman David Richter was already running against Van Drew as a Republican but the party essentially froze him out once the party switch became official. Richter eventually opted to run in the neighboring 3rd District, represented by freshman Democrat Andy Kim. Party officials were initially happy with their recruit in former Burlington County freeholder Kate Gibbs but her fundraising has proven mediocre. Although it is an Obama/Trump district, the lackluster GOP field prompted Sabato’s Crystal Ball to move the race from ‘Tossup’ to ‘Leans Democratic’.

Perhaps the most competitive race in the state may be in NJ-7. State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R) -- whose father was a popular governor in the Reagan era -- is running for Congress again this year, against freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D). There is no doubt Kean is a strong candidate but he faces an uphill battle in the Dem trending district. NJ-7 voted for Mitt Romney by 6% in 2012 and Hillary Clinton by one point in 2016. Joe Biden seems likely to expand Clinton’s margin there. Kean was the GOP’s nominee for Senate in 2006, and would have carried the district by 12% then, but the area has shifted blue as Donald Trump has become the face of the national party. Either way, NJ-7 is the lone competitive race in the northern half of the state.

The state’s lone safely Republican seat is NJ-4. Represented by Republican Chris Smith since 1981, it encompasses some of the capitol Trenton area, plus takes in some ruby red parts of Monmouth and Ocean counties, closer to the state’s famed Jersey Shore. Known for his steadfast social conservatism, Smith consistently ranks as one of the House’s most bipartisan members. The dean of the New Jersey delegation, Smith is a fascinating figure. He is an ardent opponent of both abortion and LGBT rights but is otherwise one of the most moderate Republicans on fiscal and economic issues. In fact before he ran for office, he was a Democrat.

The Garden State’s two Senators are Democrats Bob Menendez and Cory Booker. Menendez represented now-defunct NJ-13 (it was based around Jersey City and Newark) for seven terms before he was appointed to the Senate in 2006 by Governor Jon Corzine (D). Menendez won the full term that year by nine points against State Senator Tom Kean Jr. In the Senate, Menendez has never been especially popular but the state’s partisanship insulates him from any real general election threat. In 2018, he faced a credible opponent in Republican businessman Bob Hugin, who spent nearly $40 million on his own campaign. True to some of the state’s political stereotypes, Menendez was the subject of an ethics trial in 2017, which gave Hugin more ammunition -- Menendez was eventually cleared but admonished.

Most forecasters saw Menendez as the favorite in 2018 but not prohibitively so. Both Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Inside Elections rated the race as ‘Likely Democratic’ but The Cook Political Report made a bold move and rated the race as a tossup. Despite his unpopularity, the state’s partisanship came through for the Democrat and he won by 11%. In fact, despite his aura as a machine politician, Menendez overperformed most in the suburbs -- a sign of nationalization.

New Jersey’s junior Senator is Cory Booker. Booker, a former Mayor of Newark, who has long been viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party. He made an unsuccessful bid for President for 2020, though his effort was praised in some quarters. If Democrats’ presumptive nominee, Joe Biden, hadn’t committed to picking a woman as his running mate, Booker would be a strong possibility. In any event, Booker is up for reelection this year but faces only trivial opposition.

Prior to 2018, Republicans last came close to winning a U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey when it looked like another scandal-plagued incumbent, Bob Torricelli, was going to seek reelection in 2002. In October 2002, Torricelli dropped out of the race and was replaced as the nominee by former Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Lautenberg had retired himself in 2000 -- and was in fact a longtime rival of Torricelli’s -- but in the interest of the party, came out of his brief retirement. Sure enough Lautenberg returned to the Senate with 54% of the vote in 2002. He held office until his 2013 death, and became New Jersey’s longest serving senator. Upon Lautenberg's death, Governor Chris Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to serve out the remainder of the term. Chiesa declined to run for the seat in that year's special election and it was won by then Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

State level politics

New Jersey is one of the few states in the country that elects no statewide offices below Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Democrats control both chambers of the New Jersey legislature, but a number of moderate Republicans continue to hold districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. In an interesting reversal of the trends in the state, the most powerful Democrats in the state, the Norcross brothers and State Senate President Steven Sweeney, hail from South Jersey.

New Jersey is one of those states with an old fashioned political machine. Although he holds no formal position in the party, businessman George Norcross is generally thought of as the leader of New Jersey's Democratic Party. In 2013, thanks to the help of his brother and son, Norcross got some long sought-after tax breaks from the state, as the legislature overhauled the state’s tax system that year. The Norcross family's business reaped benefits of the tax overhaul, receiving $1.1 billion in tax breaks. Norcross's son Donald, then a State Senator and now a member of Congress, was a co-sponsor of the bill. In this business heavy state, George Norcross wields considerable power.

One of the most unique facets of New Jersey politics -- and something that is a vestige of its machine-dominated past -- is the “party line.” To get a preferred spot on county ballots in primary elections, candidates appeal to local parties.

Presidential outlook

New Jersey Polls>>

Although the Garden State will see several competitive House races, do not expect any action at the presidential level. New Jersey is a mildly, but inelastically, blue state: Democratic candidates can easily win a majority of the vote, but getting more than 60% is rare. New Jersey was one of just six states where President Obama improved his showing from 2008 to 2012, though much of that can be attributed to his handling of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. In 2016, Hillary Clinton saw a drop in support in the southern half of the state but made up for it by gaining ground in the state's more upscale northern suburbs.

The state was last competitive in 2004. With its proximity to New York City, the impact of 9/11 was especially poignant in New Jersey; electorally, this aided George W. Bush. A mid-October Quinnipiac poll put John Kerry’s lead at just 48%-43%. Kerry would go on to win the state by a more comfortable 53%-46%, but Democratic nominees since then have won the state by double-digits -- and that should be the case again this year.

Next Week: Indiana

Reports in this series:

GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman Loses Renomination Bid at Virginia Party Convention

June 14, 2020

Freshman GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman was defeated in his bid for renomination at a district party convention Saturday.  He lost to former county supervisor Bob Good, who challenged Riggleman from the right.  

While most nominees are chosen in a traditional primary process, Virginia allows district party committees the option to instead choose their nominees at a party convention. The state's regular primaries are scheduled for June 23.

The 5th district is the state's largest by land area, stretching from the exurbs of Washington D.C. southward through the central part of the state to the North Carolina border. Riggleman was elected by 6.5% in 2018 after his predecessor Tom Garrett (R) did not seek reelection. Donald Trump won the district by 11 points in 2016. 

The general election had been seen as Likely Republican, but this nomination may put it more on the competitive radar. Sabato's Crystal Ball is expected to move their rating to Leans Republican.

Riggleman is the third House member to lose renomination Fellow Republican Steve King (IA-2) and Democrat Dan Lipinski (IL-3) were ousted in traditional primaries earlier this year.  This brings to 39 the total current members retiring from the body at the end of 2020.

Carolyn Bourdeaux Avoids Runoff; Wins GA-7 Democratic Primary

June 13, 2020

Carolyn Bourdeaux has won the Democratic primary for Georgia's 7th congressional district, avoiding an August runoff.  As ballots from the largely mail-in primary continue to be counted, she has crossed the 50% threshold, with that number expected to continue to grow as the remaining ballots are counted.

The race was called late Saturday afternoon by our results provider Decision Desk HQ.

Bourdeaux, a professor of public policy, was the 2018 nominee in this district, losing to incumbent Republican Rob Woodall in what would be the closest congressional race of the midterms. Woodall has since announced his retirement. She will face off against physician Rich McCormick, who won the Republican nomination.

Most forecasters see the race as a toss-up.

John Ossoff Wins Democratic Nomination for U.S. Senate in Georgia

June 10, 2020

Following up on an earlier story, John Ossoff is now projected to be the outright winner of the Georgia Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate. By exceeding 50% of the vote, Ossoff will avoid an August runoff.

Ossoff will challenge incumbent Republican Sen. David Purdue in November.   

Ossoff Hopes to Avoid Runoff in Bid for Georgia Democratic Senate Nomination

June 10, 2020

Jon Ossoff will finish first in Tuesday's Georgia Democratic Senate primary. It still remains to be seen if he will end up with more than 50% of the vote, which is needed to avoid an August 11 runoff. Former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson is currently in second place. 

As of late Wednesday, with 95% of precincts reporting, Ossoff had 50.2% of the vote, a percentage that has climbed several points from earlier in the day.

The latest live results are below. 

The eventual nominee will meet incumbent Republican Sen. David Purdue in November.  A runoff will help Purdue, as it will force Democrats to wage an intraparty fight for the next two months that will also delay the start of the general election campaign.

June 9 is Primary Day in Five States: Overview and Live Results

June 9, 2020

Joe Biden formally clinched the Democratic nomination over the weekend, ending what little suspense was left in finalizing the top of the ticket. Nonetheless, Georgia and West Virginia hold their presidential primaries on Tuesday, as Biden continues to build his delegate count heading toward the August convention. Those states, as well as Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina also have congressional and - where applicable - gubernatorial primaries.

On this page, we provide an overview and live results for some of Tuesday's key primary elections. Associated with each section is a link to live results for the remainder of the state's contested primaries.  


Polls Close (Eastern Time)

Update: Polling places in Fulton County, Georgia (Atlanta and some suburbs) will remain open until 9:00 PM Eastern. As a result, we don't expect much - if anything - in the way of results prior to that time.

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

7:00 PM Georgia, South Carolina
7:30 PM West Virginia
9:00 PM North Dakota*
10:00 PM Nevada

*Many polling places close an hour earlier


Results by State

Georgia Nevada North Dakota South Carolina West Virginia

 

Georgia

For any congressional primary (Senate or House) where no candidate gets a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will meet in an August 11 runoff election.

President: There are 105 pledged delegates available in the Democratic presidential primary.

Senate: Both Georgia U.S. Senate seats will be on the ballot this November. The seat currently held by David Perdue (R) is up for its regular six-year term. Perdue has no opposition to his renomination. On the Democratic side, a field of seven is competing. Jon Ossoff, who lost a fiercely-contested U.S. House special election race in 2017, is likely to receive the most votes. Ossoff saw 42% support in a recent poll. However, the survey also found 28% still undecided, so it is certainly possible Ossoff could get the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. 

If a runoff is necessary, Ossoff's likely opponent will be former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson or Sarah Riggs Amico, who lost an election for Lt. Governor in 2018.

The other Senate seat is currently held by Kelly Loeffler (R), appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp when former Sen. Johnny Isakson resigned at the end of 2019. The special election is for the final two years of Isakson's term. Under Georgia special election law, there are no party primaries. Instead, all candidates from all parties will be on the ballot Election Day, November 3.

House: Georgia has 14 congressional districts, but not much general election drama in most of them. 12 of the districts are safe for the incumbent party. However, the two competitive suburban Atlanta districts will be closely watched. Karen Handel (R), who defeated Ossoff in the aforementioned special election, is attempting to regain the District 6 seat after losing to Lucy McBath (D) by one percentage point in the 2018 midterms.  The 2018 race in adjacent District 7 was the closest congressional race in the entire country. Incumbent Rob Woodall (R) was reelected by about 400 votes over Carolyn Bourdeaux (D). Woodall announced his retirement, creating an open primary on the Republican side. Bordeaux will attempt to be renominated in the Democratic primary.

All Georgia Results >>

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Nevada

House: There are contested primaries for both parties in all four congressional districts.  All of the incumbents are expected to prevail. Looking ahead, District 1 (Las Vegas) is safely Democratic in November, while District 2, covering the northern third of the state, is safely Republican. The Nevada Independent has overviews of the GOP primary candidates in District 3 and District 4.  These are more likely than not to stay Democratic in November, but could be competitive in the right environment. Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 1% in District 3 in 2016.

All Nevada Results >>

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North Dakota

Governor: Gov. Doug Burgum (R) has has a nominal primary challenge. He should have little trouble with that or with winning a 2nd term in November.

House: Incumbent Kelly Armstrong (R) is unopposed. There's a Democratic primary to choose his opponent. Little general election suspense is expected in this race.

All North Dakota Results >>

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South Carolina

For any congressional primary (Senate or House) where no candidate gets a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will meet in a June 23 runoff election.

Senate: Sen. Lindsey Graham is seeking a 4th term. He does have a primary, but should be renominated. The general election may prove more interesting. Graham has evolved into one of President Trump's most ardent defenders, which has given this race an outsized national profile. Democratic nominee Jaime Harrison outraised Graham in Q1, with about 92% of those donations coming from out of state.  Graham remains favored in this deep red state, but The Cook Political Report moved the race out of the 'safe' column in late April.

House: As noted earlier, neighboring Georgia has 14 districts, but only two are competitive in November. South Carolina has a parallel situation, at a smaller size.  The Palmetto State has seven districts, and only one is competitive. And as in Georgia, the competitive seat will be fiercely contested. In 2018, Joe Cunningham (D) won the coastal 1st District by just over 1%. Cunningham defeated Katie Arrington (R) who had beaten incumbent Mark Sanford (R) in that year's GOP primary. This is a district Donald Trump won by a 13 point margin in 2016.

Four Republicans are vying for the nomination. The frontrunners are state Rep. Nancy Mace and Mount Pleasant Councilwoman Kathy Landing. 

All South Carolina Results >>

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West Virginia

The state that gave Donald Trump his largest percentage share of the vote in 2016 will also have elections for Senate, governor and U.S. House on the November, 2020 ballot.

President: There are 28 pledged delegates available in the Democratic presidential primary.

Senate: Shelley Moore Capito (R) should have little trouble winning her primary or a 2nd term in November.  Her opponent will likely be Richard Ojeda, who ran a brief campaign for president, or Paula Jean Swearengin, who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in the 2018 Democratic Senate primary.

 

Governor:  Elected as a Democrat in 2016, Gov. Jim Justice switched to the GOP in 2017.  He's attracted six challengers in his bid to be renominated, but is expected to prevail. Five Democrats are vying for their party's nomination.  Justice is a strong favorite to win a second term in November.

House: All three GOP incumbents are seen as safe for reelection in November.

All West Virginia Results >>

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The Road to 270: Missouri

June 8, 2020

The Road to 270 is a weekly column leading up to the presidential election. Each installment is dedicated to understanding one state’s political landscape and how that might influence which party will win its electoral votes in 2020. We’ll do these roughly in order of expected competitiveness, moving toward the most intensely contested battlegrounds as election day nears. 

The Road to 270 will be published every Monday. The column is written by Drew Savicki, a 270toWin elections and politics contributor. Contact Drew via email or on Twitter @SenhorRaposa.

In 1820, Missouri was admitted to the Union as part of the Missouri Compromise. It was admitted as a slave state while Maine -- until then, largely a part of Massachusetts -- was admitted as a free state. Missouri is located in a unique geographic position: it’s neither fully northern nor southern. This border state status allowed Missouri to develop a political culture influenced by both regions of the country. Electorally, this confluence led to a state that was often reflective of the nation as a whole -- until recently.

The death of a bellwether

From 1904 to 2016, Missouri voted for the winning presidential candidate in all but three elections (1956, 2008, and 2012). Since 2008 the state has lurched rightward and is now firmly in the Republican column. As Barack Obama was winning by seven points nationally, he lost Missouri to John McCain by less than 4,000 votes or 0.13%. This stunning result prompted many Democrats to wonder whether the great Missouri bellwether was dead. In fact, going into the election, Obama, as a senator from next door Illinois, even had some built-in name recognition in the populous St. Louis metro area. The Democratic ticket visited the state 13 times during that 2008 general election campaign and the Republican ticket visited the state 14 times, while both camps spent roughly $10 million each there. The problem for Democrats has been the staunch rightward shift of everything outside four reliably blue localities: the urban core of Boone, Jackson and St. Louis counties, as well as the city of St. Louis.1 1The city of St. Louis seceded from St. Louis County in 1876. It is one of the few U.S. cities not part of any county.  

Hillary Clinton matched Obama's margin in the state's urban core but fell off elsewhere -- Trump ran 13 points ahead of Mitt Romney's showing in the rest of the state. In addition to the rural areas, even some of Missouri’s suburban counties now vote Republican. It's clear that the rural slippage for Democrats began long before the Trump era did. Since Obama-Biden in 2008, no Democratic ticket has visited the state -- something unlikely to change soon. Once an important cultural and political bellwether, Missouri is increasingly conservative.

Regional divides give way to nationalization

Like many states, Missouri used to have stark regional divisions that drove its politics. In southeastern Missouri lies the Lead Belt, a seven-county region known for its status as the largest concentration of lead in the world. Like other mining communities, the Lead Belt -- with its historical ties to organized labor -- was once reliably Democratic but has strongly trended towards Republicans in recent years. One of the poorer and less educated regions of the state, it's no surprise that the region is losing population. As blue collar whites continue to trend Republican, areas like this will drift away from the Democratic Party.

Further southeast, the Bootheel has undergone a similar transformation. A 1930 House race illustrates its old allegiance well: The Bootheel, and counties around it, were loyally blue while western counties, in the Ozarks, were red. As politics became increasingly nationalized -- with elections falling more along urban/rural lines -- older regional divides have disappeared.

Today, Missouri's congressional delegation is dominated by Republicans, but it wasn't always that way: some of the state’s most iconic figures in Washington D.C. were President Harry Truman, and later, veteran Democratic congressmen Ike Skelton and Dick Gephardt. Democrats hold just two of the state's eight congressional districts: St. Louis’ 1st District and the Kansas City-based 5th District. The state's two Senators are Republicans Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley.

First elected to the Senate in 2010, Roy Blunt has been a fixture of Missouri politics for several decades. He was elected Missouri's Secretary of State in 1984 and was reelected in 1988. After an unsuccessful bid for Governor in 1992, Blunt ran for the open MO-7 in 1996. Anchored by the city of Springfield and cradled in the Ozarks, southwestern Missouri is traditionally the reddest part of the state. Even as President Clinton won the state by 6% that year, he didn’t carry a single county in the district. Blunt won 65%-32%.

From a safe district, Blunt quickly ascended through House leadership, becoming Chief Deputy Whip in his second term and Majority Whip in 2003. Upon the resignation of Majority Leader Tom Delay, Blunt served as Acting Majority Leader for several months in 2005. He then served as Minority Whip after Republicans lost the House in 2006. A month after Senator Kit Bond (R) announced his retirement in January 2009, Blunt announced he was running for the open seat. He easily dispatched Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, daughter of the late Governor Mel Carnahan. In the Senate, Blunt is also a member of Republican Leadership. An ally of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Blunt is regarded as an establishment conservative. Though mostly a reliable vote for his party, he sometimes rankles activists -- recently for his opposition to the President's use of an emergency declaration to fund the border.

Blunt’s 2016 reelection was surprisingly close. He faced a strong challenge from Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D). Against attacks from the National Riffle Association over his support for background checks in this rural gun friendly state, Kander touted his service in the Army and his familiarity with guns. Kander had one of the most memorable campaign ads of all time: he assembled a rifle blindfolded. Though Kander lost 49%-46%, it was much better than Clinton’s punishing 56%-38% loss -- if the presidential ticket had done just a few points better, it’s easy to see the senatorial result being different.

Representing the state in the U.S. Senate from 2007 to 2019 was Democrat Claire McCaskill. With the grit and tenacity of a country lawyer, McCaskill had a long career in Missouri politics. In the 1980s, she represented Kansas City in the Missouri House of Representatives. She was elected to the Jackson County Legislature (the equivalent to a county commission) in 1990 and was elected Jackson County Prosecutor the following year. She first won statewide in 1998, becoming state Auditor, and had an easy reelection bid in 2002 against a convicted felon. In 2004, McCaskill made the unusual decision to primary the (increasingly unpopular) incumbent Governor -- Bob Holden -- but lost the general election to Secretary of State Matt Blunt (R) (Sen. Blunt’s son). In 2006, though, she rebounded to win a U.S. Senate seat. Shortly after, in 2008, she made waves by becoming the first woman senator to endorse then-Sen. Obama’s presidential campaign.

By 2012, it was evident Missouri was drifting rightward, and McCaskill was widely considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents up for reelection. Recognizing this, she famously meddled in the GOP primary that year and got her preferred opponent: Rep. Todd Akin. A congressman from the St. Louis suburbs, Akin was known as a devout social conservative. Initial post-primary polling showed Akin ahead, but in August, he ignited a firestorm with his comments on rape and abortion. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) subsequently pulled their support of him (though they came around just before the election). Ultimately McCaskill pulled off a 15 point win, despite Obama's nine point loss in the Show Me State.

Vowing not to get burned again, Republicans made the 2018 Senate race a priority. After Trump's resounding victory in the Show Me State, national Republicans looked to state Attorney General Josh Hawley. Hawley impressed Republicans with his first run for office in 2016 -- he easily won an open post. Although his 2016 ads critiqued career politicians who jump from job to job, he found himself on that same course.

Though McCaskill was no slouch, the partisanship of the state weighed heavily. After numerous visits from President Trump and in the wake of the contentious Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, McCaskill found her crossover appeal dry up -- she lost 51%-46%. As a candidate who modeled herself after the state’s most famous son, Harry Truman, McCaskill’s defeat signaled the end of an era for Missouri Democrats. As for Hawley, he’s been a conservative populist in the Senate, and is often mentioned as a future GOP presidential candidate.

Looking at the House, elections in seven of Missouri's eight districts were decided by a margin of 25% or greater in 2018, making it a very safe map for the incumbent party. The one exception is in the 2nd District, which encompasses the St. Louis suburbs and is expected to see yet another competitive race this year. State Senator Jill Schupp (D) is challenging four-term Rep. Ann Wagner (R), who had a close 2018 race. Originally drawn as a securely red seat, both Senator McCaskill and Auditor Galloway carried it in 2018. Schupp has fundraised well but Wagner has a substantial financial lead. Forecasters such as Sabato's Crystal Ball rate the 2nd District as 'Leans Republican,' so Wagner is the favorite but not prohibitively so.

State level politics

2016 was a realigning election in Missouri. With Trump's coattails, Republican candidates swept into all statewide offices that year. The 2016 gubernatorial race was interesting: Democrats ran state Attorney General Chris Koster, a Republican until 2007, while the GOP nominated first-time candidate Eric Greitens, who was a registered Democrat for much of his life -- in that way, it was actually like the presidential race: Trump has a history of party switching while Clinton was originally a Republican. In any event, Koster received endorsements from some notable GOP-leaning groups, namely the state Farm Bureau and the NRA, but it was such a red year that he still lost 51%-46%. Hawley won the open Attorney General's office and Jay Ashcroft, an attorney and son of elder statesman John Ashcroft, won the open Secretary of State's office. Missouri is unusual in that only two offices have term limits: Governor and Treasurer. Democrat Clint Zweifel was term limited in 2016 and Republicans easily picked up the office.

A number of resignations in the past few years have shaken up Missouri's row offices. In 2018, Greitens resigned amidst a sexual blackmail scandal and first-term Lt. Gov. Mike Parson assumed the Governorship. In office, Parson has been largely scandal-free and is governing as a mainstream conservative. When Hawley resigned to become a U.S. Senator, Parson appointed Treasurer Eric Schmitt to fill the vacancy. State Representative Scott Fitzpatrick was appointed to the Treasurer's office.

As a result of the shuffling, of the five statewide officers elected in 2016, Ashcroft is the only one who still holds the same office. Except for its state Auditor, Missouri elects its row officers in presidential years. Given the increasingly red lean of the state these days, none of these races are likely to be competitive and Republicans are expected to hold all of them.

Missouri's lone statewide Democrat is Auditor Nicole Galloway, who served as Boone County Treasurer prior to her appointment to the position by then-Gov. Jay Nixon (D) in 2015. Nixon appointed her following the death of Auditor Tom Schweich (R). Galloway ran for and won a full term in 2018, against Republican Saundra McDowell. As the party's best hope, she announced a bid for Governor in August 2019, though still faces an uphill race. Parson, who lacks Greitens’ baggage, has the lean of the state on his side. Limited polling of the race has shown Parson with a lead of at least high single-digits. The presence of Trump on the ballot once again should help Republicans down the ballot.

Looking to redistricting, Republicans have large supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature; the best Democrats can hope for is breaking the supermajority and winning the Governorship. The Democratic-held 5th District could see some major alterations after 2020. Republicans could easily divide up Kansas City multiple ways, thus diluting the Democratic vote. In 2018, voters approved redistricting reform for state legislative maps but many Republicans in the legislature are pushing for a repeal of the amendment.

Presidential outlook

Missouri Polls >>

Joe Biden seems likely to improve upon Hillary Clinton's performance in the Show Me State but it's unlikely to receive much attention. Flipping the state seems out of the question, though Democrats are focusing on unseating Rep. Wagner in MO-2. A suburban district where Trump did worse than Romney, the 2nd District is likely to be the main target of political spending in the state.

Next Week: New Jersey

Reports in this series: