The Political Report – 5/25/22


  • Gov. Brian Kemp (R) easily defeated Trump-backed former U.S. Senator David Perdue (R) 73% to 22%, with 95% reporting.
  • The GOP secretary of state primary with incumbent Brad Raffensperger (R) defeated his main challenger, U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (another Trump endorsee), 52% to 33%, with 95% of the vote in.
  • Ex-NFL star/Trump endorsee/evolution skeptic/snake oil salesman/election conspiracy theorist Herschel Walker crushed five other Republican candidates in his primary for the U.S. Senate seat. He currently has 68% of the vote, and his nearest competitor has 13%, with 95% of the vote in. Senator Warnock won his primary with 96% of the vote.
  • No Madison Cawthorn here: Majorie Taylor Greene looks like she has won her primary easily with 69% of the vote.
  • In the Georgia 7th CD, in a battle of incumbents, Lucy McBath looks like she has defeated Carolyn Bourdeaux 63% to 31%.
  • “Georgia Republican primary voters on Tuesday rejected former president Donald Trump’s attempt to unseat GOP officeholders who refused to join his fight to overturn the 2020 election, as Gov. Brian Kemp defeated challenger David Perdue in a landslide and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won re-nomination,” the Washington Post reports.


  • Katie Britt (R) and Rep. Mo Brooks (R) are headed to a runoff in Alabama’s GOP Senate primary, the Washington Post reports. “Britt is a former aide to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), who is retiring and helped boost her candidacy by donating millions of his campaign funds to a super PAC supporting her. She will face Brooks (R), support for whom Trump withdrew when his campaign appeared to be floundering.” “The runoff is June 21 and is occurring because neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote.”


  • Incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who has been under multiple indictments for 7 years, destroyed the Last Bush 68% to 32%.
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), the last anti-choice Democrat left in the House, is leading Jessica Cisneros 50.2% to 49.8%, or a margin of just 175 votes. 95% of the vote is in, so obviously, this one won’t be decided for a while.


  • Ex-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has won the GOP nomination for Governor.
  • U.S. Senator John Boozman (R) has defeated former football player Jake Bequette, 58% to 21%, with 95% reporting.

GEORGIA GOVERNOR. On the eve of Georgia’s primaries, GOP gubernatorial candidate and Trump stooge David Perdue accused Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is Black, of “demeaning her own race” because she had said in 2018 that people (not Black people specifically, by the way) shouldn’t have to go into agriculture or hospitality to make a living in Georgia.

Perdue also said yesterday that Abrams should “go back where she came from” (she’s been living in Georgia since high school). In fact, he said it twice (during an interview on a conservative radio show and during his final rally).

We’re talking same guy who pretended he couldn’t pronounce fellow Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) last name during his failed Senate reelection bid.

Also, Trump didn’t bother showing up at Perdue’s final rally last night. Instead, he just called into the event as Perdue thanked the ex-president and told him, “You’re the best, boss.”

If the polls are correct, Donald Trump is set to suffer a humiliating endorsement loss in Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary today, Politico reports.

“The Republican base is poised to take a turn delivering Trump a stinging rebuke in a state where, during his presidency, the GOP lost two Senate seats, two House seats and the state’s Electoral College votes for the first time since the mid-1990s.”

Playbook: “For Trump, the risk is not simply that his favored candidate could lose. It’s that a defeat here could further erase the sense of him as an untouchable GOP kingmaker. If Perdue goes down, it’ll be the third time this year that a Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate has been defeated in a GOP primary.”

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has been on cruise control to renomination for a while in Tuesday’s primary, and the Georgia Democratic Party already began airing its first ad against him last month in anticipation of the general election. The ad skewers Kemp for signing a law that effectively allows permitless concealed carry of handguns by letting Georgians who buy a gun through a private sale avoid a background check, meaning people convicted of or charged with violent crimes can now legally carry a concealed firearm this way.

PENNSYLVANIA U.S. SENATOR. The national Republican Party is taking the side of Mehmet Oz (R) in Pennsylvania’s neck-and-neck GOP primary contest for U.S. Senate and opposing a lawsuit that could help David McCormick (R) close the gap in votes, the AP reports.

Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick (R) filed suit to try to force the state to count undated absentee and mail-in ballots in the very tight primary between him and Mehmet Oz (R), the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

New York Times: “With such an important race in the balance, one that could decide the Senate majority, the state of Mr. Fetterman’s health is of intense public interest. Yet, despite repeated requests, his campaign did not make him or his doctors available to discuss his stroke and his medical treatment.”

“And specialists in stroke, heart disease and electrophysiology said that some of the campaign’s public statements do not offer a sufficient explanation for Mr. Fetterman’s described diagnosis or the treatment they say he has received.”

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR. Not one, not two, but five GOP gubernatorial candidates in Michigan (including the two leading candidates) now face potential disqualification after the state’s Bureau of Elections uncovered a huge forgery scandal involving fraudulent signatures on the candidates’ petition sheets.

There were at least 68,000 invalid signatures across nomination petitions for 10 candidates, the bureau reported on Monday. The five candidates fell short of the required number of signatures once the fraudulent ones were taken out.

Billionaire Dick DeVos has announced that he and his family are endorsing conservative radio host Tudor Dixon and that they intend “to provide support for her financially” in the GOP primary for governor this August. The DeVos family is very well connected in state GOP politics, with Dick DeVos having been the 2006 nominee for governor; his wife Betsy DeVos served as education secretary in the Trump administration and previously chaired the state party. The Detroit News noted that the DeVos family was Michigan’s top donor in the 2018 election, having given more than $11 million that cycle according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network nonprofit.

Dixon faces a crowded August primary where former Detroit Police Chief James has appeared to be the frontrunner since last summer. There have been signs in recent months that Craig’s lead is vulnerable, and Dixon had previously won endorsements from Reps. Bill Huizenga and Lisa McClain, along with praise from Trump that stopped just short of an endorsement, but that support has so far failed to translate to the polls. The only recent poll we have here from a reliable firm was a Glengariff Group survey that gave Craig a 23-8 lead over chiropractor Garrett Soldano, while Dixon took just 2%. However, with only 17% of Republicans in that poll having heard of her, Dixon’s support may increase if she can effectively get her message out.

NEW YORK 3RD and 17TH CDs. “Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s (D-NY) decision last week to leave behind his current congressional district to campaign for a colleague’s safer seat infuriated fellow Democrats, who saw the actions as unacceptable for the man tasked with protecting their House majority,” the New York Times reports.

“On Monday, a progressive New York lawmaker, Alessandra Biaggi (D), said she would try to stand in his way, channeling the ire of the party’s left wing at the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”

Biaggi called Maloney “a selfish corporate Democrat.”

Biaggi, who represents a slice of Westchester and the Bronx in the legislature, was originally drawn into the 3rd District in the map she and her colleagues passed in February. However, the new court-imposed boundaries returned the 3rd to an all-Long Island configuration similar to the way it had looked for the previous decade. That left Biaggi well outside the new 3rd, facing off against a squadron of Long Island natives across the sound.

However, Biaggi doesn’t have any obvious ties to the 17th District, either. She lives in the Westchester town of Pelham on the Bronx border, and even the northernmost tip of her Senate district is still well south of the 17th, which includes northern Westchester, all of Rockland and Putnam counties, and the southern reaches of Dutchess County.

But Maloney’s been roundly lambasted, including by several House colleagues, for his own debatable connections to the 17th. Maloney immediately announced after the court-appointed special master published a draft map last week that he’d abandon the 18th to instead run one district to the south, despite representing just a quarter of the 17th and 71% of the 18th. He justified the decision by arguing his home is in the 17th, but in switching districts, he not only left the 18th more vulnerable, he forced fellow Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones out of the 17th, even though he represented 73% of the district. (Jones is instead seeking an open seat in New York City.)

Biaggi specifically cited Maloney’s move in explaining her decision to run, saying, “What hurt the party was having the head of the campaign arm not stay in his district, not maximize the number of seats New York can have to hold the majority.” She also has experience defeating well-funded senior party leaders: In 2018, she unseated powerful state Sen. Jeff Klein, who for years had allowed Republicans to maintain control of the Senate through an alliance with his caucus of renegade Democrats known as the IDC, or Independent Democratic Conference. Biaggi now has three months to find out whether she can play the role of political giant-slayer once more.

“If Trump is alive, Biden is running.” — A longtime adviser to President Biden, quoted by New York magazine, on the 2024 presidential race.

CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR and U.S. SENATOR. A new WTNH poll in Connecticut finds Gov. Ned Lamont (D) leading opponent Bob Stefanowski (R) by 13 points. Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) leads opponent Themis Klarides (R) by 10 points.

ARIZONA U.S. SENATOR. The Democratic firm Blueprint Polling has conducted a poll testing hypothetical general election matchups in Arizona that finds Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly with double-digit leads over three of his prospective Republican foes; there’s no word as to who, if anyone, is their client. Kelly beats businessman Jim Lamon 48-34, outpaces state Attorney General Mark Brnovich 50-33, and prevails 49-32 over former Thiel Capital chief operating officer Blake Masters. These numbers are the best we’ve seen for Kelly by anyone this cycle, though few pollsters have released surveys here so far.

NORTH CAROLINA U.S. SENATOR. The Democratic-affiliated Senate Majority PAC has launched a new TV ad supporting former Democratic state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley as part of a $1.4 million buy over the next three weeks, which is notable after SMP previously omitted North Carolina when it revealed its fall ad reservations back in April. The ad hits back against unmentioned GOP attacks by trying to portray Beasley as tough-on-crime and noting that she even applied the death penalty in a case where a man killed a child.

Meanwhile, a new East Carolina University poll finds GOP Rep. Ted Budd holding a 47-39 lead over Beasley after the two won their respective parties’ primaries last week.

OHIO U.S. SENATOR. Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan has debuted his first ad following his primary win earlier this month, and it continues his focus on bringing well-paying blue collar jobs to Ohio. The spot attacks GOP nominee J.D. Vance over a past statement where he said we may have to just accept that “a 55-year-old worker in Dayton, Ohio who spent his entire life in manufacturing … may not be able to find a good paying job for the rest of his working life.”

UTAH U.S. SENATOR. A new Dan Jones & Associates poll of the June 28 Republican primary on behalf of the Deseret News and Hinckley Institute of Politics shows GOP Sen. Mike Lee ahead by 49-19 over former state Rep. Becky Edwards, while businesswoman Ally Isom takes just 6%. Both Edwards and Isom are challenging the incumbent for being too extreme.

MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR. Massachusetts Republicans held their state party convention on Saturday, and former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, who has Trump’s backing and lost by a wide margin as the GOP’s 2018 Senate nominee, won the party endorsement 71-29 over businessman Chris Doughty, who has pitched himself as a moderate. Diehl will still have to face off with Doughty in the September primary, however, because Doughty cleared the 15% threshold needed to advance to the primary ballot.

NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR. A new Research & Polling Inc. survey of the June 7 GOP primary for the Albuquerque Journal finds former TV meteorologist and 2020 Senate nominee Mark Ronchetti leading by 45-17 over state Rep. Rebecca Dow, with retired Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Greg Zanetti taking 9% and Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block earning 8%. Marchetti’s advantage in this latest poll is similar to a SurveyUSA poll from earlier this month that showed him up 44-12 over Block while Zanetti and Dow were close behind in third and fourth, respectively.

PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR. Put Pennsylvania First, a PAC supported by the Democratic Governors Association, Planned Parenthood, and other Democratic-affiliated groups, has announced it is putting $6 million behind a campaign that includes $3 million for TV ads and $1 million for digital ads, with the rest going to voter outreach. The TV spot warns how the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade and attacks newly minted GOP nominee Doug Mastriano for supporting a total ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest.

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR. Republicans at the state GOP convention on Saturday opted not to endorse a candidate after former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch won the support of just 55% of delegates, which was shy of the 60% needed to earn the state party’s backing. While party endorsement conventions in Wisconsin only began in the 2010 cycle and aren’t nearly as important as in neighboring Minnesota, where rivals of endorsed candidates will often drop out instead of fight on to the primary, the Associated Press noted that winning the Wisconsin GOP’s endorsement would have allowed the party to spend as much as it wanted on the victor.

ALASKA GOVERNOR. Former Democratic state Rep. Les Gara has released an internal poll from Lake Research Partners that shows him snagging the second spot in the August top-four primary, where GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy leads with 40%, followed by Gara at 24%, former independent Gov. Bill Walker at 18%, and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, another Republican, at 5%. This is the first poll we have seen from anyone this year.

NEW HAMPSHIRE U.S. SENATOR. Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan’s campaign says it’s gotten local TV stations to yank the NRSC’s inaugural attack ad on the grounds that it falsely claimed that Hassan had raised gas prices while governor. The spot, which is no longer available online, cited an NHPR article noting that Hassan had increased taxes on gasoline in 2014. However, the cost of gas actually went down that year, contrary to a graphic in the NRSC’s ad claiming it went up.

Meanwhile, a new super PAC called Stand for New Hampshire is reportedly putting $450,000 behind an ad campaign boosting former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith’s bid for the GOP nomination, which is the first outside spending of any kind in the primary. The spot follows the compare-and-contrast model, with half devoted to generic hits on Hassan and half mentioning generic priorities favored by Smith. Also seeking the Republican nod are state Senate President Chuck Morse and retired Army Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc.

GEORGIA U.S. SENATOR. The NRSC has launched its opening ad buy targeting Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, which seems to concede that the GOP’s efforts to portray Warnock as a radical pastor during last year’s runoff were a failure. The committee’s spot, which is reportedly backed by a $1.2 million expenditure, starts with a narrator saying, “His personal story? Inspirational”—high praise from your enemies!

Of course, from there, the voiceover continues, “His story as a senator is the problem.” The ad complains that Warnock has voted with Joe Biden “95% of the time” and claims he supports legislation that would increase energy costs and “make us more dependent on foreign suppliers.”

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

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