The Political Report – 5/18/22

PENNSYLVANIA ELECTION RESULTS. Doug Mastriano (R) was projected to win the state’s GOP gubernatorial primary Tuesday despite a flagging effort from some Republicans to block him from the nomination, The Hill reports.

New York Times: “In his short time in public office, Mr. Mastriano, 58, has emerged as Pennsylvania’s leading far-right figure.”

“John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor whose shorts- and scowl-wearing persona made him something of a political celebrity, has won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who has been in the hospital recovering from a stroke since Friday, will get a pacemaker, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Fetterman’s U.S. Senate campaign “said doctors reversed Fetterman’s stroke in time to prevent any cognitive damage and that he is expected to make a full recovery.”

Daily Beast: “The Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania was too close to call late Tuesday night, with television doctor Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund manager David McCormick almost in a dead heat and currently within the 0.5 percent margin that would trigger the state’s automatic recount rule.

As of midnight on Tuesday, Oz had clawed out a lead of just a few hundred votes over McCormick, with MAGA die-hard Kathy Barnette about seven points behind in third.” As of 6:23 am this morning, Oz lead with 31.3% of the vote, and McCormick with 31.1% of the vote, with 2,672 votes separating them. They now have to count the obviously fraudulent mail in vote to determine the winner. LOL.

NORTH CAROLINA 11 CD ELECTION RESULTS. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has lost renomination to state Sen. Chuck Edwards (R) in the primary in North Carolina’s 11th district, according to the Cook Political Report.

Axios: “Cawthorn’s loss comes after an avalanche of scandals that have plagued the 26-year-old incumbent, which led GOP leaders across the country to doubt his ability to serve in Congress.”

Playbook: “This was a major win for Thom Tillis. The GOP senator from the Tar Heel State came out hard against Cawthorn. A PAC tied to him even spent heavily to oust the representative, whom he called an ‘embarrassment.’ It is a rare example of an elected Republican leader stepping up to stop a conservative candidate he views as problematic for the party — at a time when many other Republicans have ducked for cover, lest they anger the MAGA base.”

Also: “It’s one less headache for Kevin McCarthy — at least in theory. Cawthorn’s drama has been a distraction for the minority leader in his quest to flip the House — to the point that he chided Cawthorn publicly, something he is loath to do to his own members. However, this could cut another way: With his re-election no longer a concern, could Cawthorn become even more of a loose cannon?”

Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) won the Republican nomination for Senate in North Carolina on Tuesday, with a lift from former president Donald Trump who endorsed him in a crowded primary that included former governor Pat McCrory (R),” the Washington Post reports.

“Budd will face Cheri Beasley, the first Black woman to serve as a state Supreme Court chief justice, who captured the Democratic nomination.”

IDAHO ELECTION RESULTS. TPM: “Idaho’s governor Brad Little on Tuesday night easily beat back a far-right challenge in the Republican primary from his own lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin.

McGeachin, who earned Trump’s endorsement to be Idaho’s next governor, has for years made a show of undermining Little’s authority. (In Idaho, the governor and lieutenant governor run on separate tickets.)

The Associated Press called the race less than 90 minutes after polls closed in Idaho. Little, at that time, had a significant lead, with 61.8 percent of the vote to McGeachin’s 24.4 percent. The AP estimated that 31.7 percent of the vote had been counted.”

A new NBC poll found the Democratic Party with a net favorability rating of -19. That’s lower than the Republican Party at -11, Vice-President Kamala Harris at -17, and Donald Trump at -16.

Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette (R) hinted to Breitbart that she might not support her GOP rivals if she loses today’s primary.  Said Barnette: “I have no intentions of supporting globalists. I believe we have ran out of room on this runway for this spaceship. I believe we have very little rope left to just roll the dice and we’ll see how it all works out on the other end. I believe our country is in trouble. I don’t believe we have much longer and I believe what I have done is I have made it possible where Pennsylvanians do not have to hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils this time.”

She added: “I don’t think we have room to just vote for any old warm body with an R next to their name. I think we can do better than that.”

“To a degree surpassing any other contest in the 2022 midterms so far, Donald Trump has poured his personal prestige into Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary race, which is going through a final spasm of uncertainty as Kathy Barnette, an insurgent candidate with a sparse résumé, gives a last-minute scare to Trump’s pick, Dr. Mehmet Oz,” the New York Times reports.  “The outcome of that election, as well as the GOP contest for governor, is threatening to implode the state’s Republican Party — with a blast radius that might be felt in states as far away as Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina over the coming weeks and months.”

“A staffer with Doug Mastriano’s Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign who helped block media access to an event over the weekend was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, where he appeared to smile and laugh as rioters smashed media equipment on Capitol grounds,” NBC News reports.

CALIFORNIA 37TH CD and 42ND CD. The crypto-aligned Protect Our Future PAC is now spending serious amounts in a pair of top-two primaries for open (and safely blue) Southern California seats. The PAC has deployed $360,000 in support of state Sen. Sydney Kamlager in the 37th District, while it’s expending $870,000 to aid Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia in the 42nd. This is the first major outside spending we’ve seen in either June 7 contest.

FLORIDA 27TH CD. Miami Commissioner Ken Russell has publicized a late April internal from the Democratic firm the Kitchens Group that shows him trailing Republican incumbent María Elvira Salazar only 43-41; the survey was conducted weeks before Russell launched his campaign for this seat in the Miami area.

GEORGIA 6TH CD. A group called Trailblazer PAC has spent $210,000 so far to weaken physician Rich McCormick ahead of the May 24 Republican primary, and Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux reports that it’s funded by influential donor Randy Evans; Evans is the father of former state ethics commission chair Jake Evans, who just happens to be one of McCormick’s intra-party foes.

OREGON 6TH CD. After spending a truly mind-boggling $10 million on positive ads for economic development adviser Carrick Flynn, Protect Our Future PAC has launched a late $810,000 ad campaign attacking one of his rivals, state Rep. Andrea Salinas, ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic primary. The spot declares Salinas once worked as a lobbyist “for a drug corporation accused of driving up drug prices.”

TENNESSEE 5TH CD. A federal judge has rejected a request by video producer Robby Starbuck to restore him to the Aug. 4 Republican primary ballot for Tennessee’s open 5th Congressional District, saying he’d failed to show that the state GOP’s decision to boot him for failing to meet its opaque “bona fide” standard violated the Constitution or state law. Starbuck suggested he might appeal or file a new suit in state court.

CALIFORNIA 3RD CD. Assemblyman Kevin Kiley picked up Donald Trump’s endorsement over the weekend ahead of the June 7 top-two primary. Kiley’s main opponents are Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, a fellow Republican who has run ads utilizing an old picture of him with Trump, and physician Kermit Jones, who is the one serious Democrat in the race.

FLORIDA 13TH CD. State Rep. Michele Rayner announced Monday that she was dropping out of the Democratic primary in order to run for re-election, arguing, “We have these maps that are partisan, racist, and gerrymandered. I believe they are illegal.” Former Department of Defense official Eric Lynn remains in the race for a seat that the new GOP map transformed from a 51-47 Biden constituency to one that Trump would have carried 53-46.

FLORIDA 15TH CD. State Sen. Kelli Stargel and wealthy businessman Jerry Torres have each announced that they’re running in the August Republican primary for this new seat in the eastern Tampa suburbs. The GOP field for this 51-48 Trump constituency already includes former Rep. Dennis Ross, state Rep. Jackie Toledo, Army veteran Jay Collins, and Navy veteran Mac McGovern.

Stargel, who currently chairs the influential Senate Appropriations Committee, successfully passed a bill to ban abortion after 15 weeks without any exception for rape or incest, and she also pushed through legislation banning trans girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their identity. Torres, meanwhile, is a Green Beret veteran and first-time candidate who has pledged to self-fund at least $5 million. Torres said his personal investment may go as high as $15 million, arguing, “So if I go out and try to sell Jerry Torres as a good candidate for Congress I’m probably not … going to get the donors.”

ILLINOIS 17TH CD. Former state Rep. Litesa Wallace has released an internal from Triton Polling & Research that gives her a narrow 22-19 lead over former TV meteorologist Eric Sorensen in the June 28 Democratic primary, with Rock Island County Board Member Angie Normoyle in third with 8%. A total of six Democrats are competing here, while Primary School notes that a seventh, Rockford Alderwoman Linda McNeely, failed to make the ballot.

MICHIGAN 13TH CD. Target Insyght is out with the first poll we’ve seen since filing closed for the August Democratic primary, and it gives former Detroit General Counsel Sharon McPhail a 20-15 edge over hedge fund manager John Conyers III in this safely blue seat. Self-funding state Rep. Shri Thanedar grabs third with 12%, while Michigan Civil Rights Commissioner Portia Roberson and Detroit School Board member Sherry Gay-Dagnogo are just behind with 9% apiece. Another 6% goes to state Sen. Adam Hollier, while the remaining five contenders each lag behind with 2% or less.

MINNESOTA 1ST CD. ​​Former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger won the state party endorsement over the weekend ahead of next week’s special Democratic primary. Six other candidates, including former Bush White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, are also seeking the nomination, but none of Ettinger’s intra-party rivals have brought in a serious amount of money.

MISSOURI 4TH CD. State Rep. Sara Walsh announced Monday that she was exiting the August Republican primary for this open seat because the map her colleagues passed last week moved her entire legislative constituency to GOP Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s 3rd District. Walsh, though, couldn’t have changed course and run against Luetkemeyer this year even if she’d wanted to. That’s because U.S. House candidates had to file by late March along with everyone else using the existing congressional map, and the Kansas City Star’s Bryan Lowry says that filing won’t be reopened.

RHODE ISLAND 2ND CD. Former John Kasich staffer Michael Neary on Friday ended his bid for the Democratic nod, a campaign that seemed quixotic even before Neary was arrested back in Ohio in March for allegedly stalking a couple.  

TEXAS 15TH CD. Businesswoman Michelle Vallejo has earned an endorsement from 15th District Rep. Joaquin Castro, who represents a nearby constituency, ahead of next week’s Democratic runoff.

TEXAS 28TH CD. EMILY’s List has launched a $530,000 TV ad campaign to support attorney Jessica Cisneros in next week’s Democratic runoff. EMILY, with a version of its spot in both English and Spanish, attacks conservative Rep. Henry Cuellar for voting “to make it harder to join a union” and “oppos[ing] expanding overtime pay.” The narrator continues, “Now he’s voting with MAGA Republicans against women’s health care.” EMILY’s move comes at a time when pro-Cuellar groups, including AIPAC and a PAC called ​​Mainstream Democrats, have been spending upwards of $2 million.

MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL and SECRETARY OF STATE. Minnesota Republican delegates voted to endorse a pair of attorneys, Jim Schultz and Kim Crockett, for the Democratic-held offices of attorney general and secretary of state, respectively (see our MN-Gov item for more about the convention). However, at least Schultz still has a competitive August primary ahead of him before he can focus on defeating incumbent Keith Ellison to flip a post the GOP last won in 1966.

Schultz will go up against former state Rep. Dennis Smith, who skipped the gathering he denounced as “a game for insiders.” 2018 nominee Doug Wardlow, who is running to avenge his 49-45 loss to Ellison, may also continue on to the primary: Wardlow responded to his convention defeat by tweeting the next day, “We are taking some time now to reflect and pray about the next steps for our campaign.”

Crockett, for her part, defeated businesswoman Kelly Jahner-Byrne at the convention, and Jahner-Byrne soon made it clear her campaign to take on Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon was over. Crockett made news back in 2019 when she was suspended from her conservative think tank over racist comments about Somali immigrants, saying, “These aren’t people coming from Norway, let’s put it that way. These people are very visible.”

Crockett since then has worked to spread lies about the 2020 election, saying at the convention, “I worked hard to stop the train wreck of the 2020 election and then examined the wreckage to make sure it never happens again.” No other Republicans are currently running for this office.

TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL. UT Tyler, surveying on behalf of the Dallas Morning News, finds incumbent Ken Paxton beating Land Commissioner George P. Bush 41-35 ahead of next week’s Republican runoff. A recent internal for a pro-Paxton group put the attorney general’s lead far higher at 58-31.

In the first FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll, 52% of Americans said the most important issue facing the country was inflation. We asked Americans this question in a variety of ways, but regardless of how we asked it, the top answer was always the same: inflation.

“It’s true that a larger percentage of Republicans than Democrats or independents in our poll said they were concerned about inflation. But inflation still led the way regardless of party identification: About two-thirds of Republicans selected it as a top issue, as did about half of all independents and slightly more than 40 percent of Democrats. Inflation was the top issue for respondents of all age groups and for both men and women, too.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “The Political Report – 5/18/22

  1. cassandram

    Very ironic that we are waiting for the results of the PA Senate R primary to count mail in ballots. Let me know if you hear them start spinning up bid-rigging panics, ok?

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