Elections 2020: Can John James Catch Gary Peters in Michigan?


Focus: Senate

Georgia: With almost all of the remaining Georgia statewide ballots counted, documentary film maker and former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff has been declared the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic US Senate primary. He now advances into the general election against Sen. David Perdue (R) with a 51% primary victory over former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and ex-Lt. Governor nominee Sarah Riggs Amico.

Iowa: Public Policy Polling, surveying for EMILY’s List, an organization supporting new Iowa Democratic US Senate nominee Theresa Greenfield, released a post-primary flash poll that found Sen. Joni Ernst (R) trailing her new opponent by two percentage points. According to the PPP study (6/3-4; 963 IA registered voters), Ms. Greenfield edges Sen. Ernst, 45-43%. The Civiqs survey research organization, polling for the Daily Kos Elections website (6/6-8; 865 IA registered voters), finds a similar conclusion with Ms. Greenfield posting a 48-45% edge over Sen. Ernst. The Iowa race clearly begins in toss-up mode.

Michigan: Wolverine State pollster Epic-MRA (5/30-6/3; 600 MI likely voters) finds Sen. Gary Peters (D) reaching his largest lead of the election cycle over Republican business owner and retired Army Ranger John James. The data gives Sen. Peters a 15-point advantage over Mr. James, 51-36%. The same poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden posting a 12-point, 53-41% Michigan lead over President Trump.

Mississippi: Public Policy Polling (5/27-28; 871 MS registered voters; 50% via a text survey) sees Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s (R) lead over former US Agriculture Secretary and ex-Mississippi Congressman Mike Espy (D) diminishing from the huge 28-point advantage the early May Impact Management Group study produced. The PPP result finds the Senator’s margin to be 49-41%. Relying on text messaging to obtain survey research is a tactic not often used. A 50% share of text respondents participating in this poll raises reliability questions.

Focus: House

GA-7: 2018 Democratic party nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux was projected to be heading to a runoff with state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero (D-Norcross) after Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning’s vote count, but now reports are surfacing that approximately another 30,000 District 7 ballots have arrived post-election. Such a number could be enough to catapult Ms. Bourdeaux over the majority mark. It will likely be over the weekend until we see a definitive result in this campaign.

The 2018 7th District race was decided by just 419 votes in favor of Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville) and now, as an open seat with the Congressman retiring, the 2020 general election is rated a pure toss-up. On Tuesday, physician and Navy veteran Rich McCormick easily won the Republican nomination outright with 55% in a field of seven candidates. Therefore, Bourdeaux being forced to an August 11th runoff would certainly give Mr. McCormick an extra advantage.

GA-13: Now that the Atlanta vote results are finally coming forth, we see an upset of sorts in the suburban 13th Congressional District. Spending just $875 on her campaign, former state Rep. Keisha Waites has forced nine-term Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta) into a runoff election. Mr. Scott only pulled 47% of the vote in his own primary, with Ms. Waites trailing at 31%. The other two contenders who spent a combined $60,000 received the remaining 22 percent.

It remains to be seen if Ms. Waites can attract national left-of-center money with which to compete in the August 11th secondary election. The seat will remain in the Democratic column regardless of who becomes the party nominee. The Democratic nomination can be considered competitive in the runoff since 53% of the more than 87,000 votes already counted have gone to a challenger candidate.

MA-3: For weeks it appeared that 2018 Massachusetts congressional candidate Dan Loh, who lost to now-Representative Lori Trahan (D-Lowell) by just 143 votes in the Democratic primary, was ready to launch another challenge. Three things had happened since the last election that suggested Mr. Loh was all in for another run, including him raising money and constructing a campaign operation. The other two happenings were Mr. Loh getting elected as a Selectman in the town of Andover, and Ms. Trahan coming under investigation for potential campaign finance violations.

Yet, it appears that the Congresswoman went from facing a strong primary opponent to having none at all. Candidate filing is now finalized in Massachusetts and Mr. Loh decided not to enter the race, thus allowing Rep. Trahan to find herself without a Democratic opponent. Furthermore, she’s also unopposed in the general election.

NY-17: The battle to succeed veteran Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison/White Plains), who is retiring after what will be 16 congressional terms, has drawn eight Democratic candidates. A new Data for Progress poll (released 6/4; 302 NY-17 likely Democratic primary voters) suggests that at least four of the candidates have a chance to win the June 23rd primary election. The eventual Democratic nominee is a lock in the general election.

According to the DFP survey, state Senator David Carlucci (D-Ossining) has taken a slight lead over former Obama Defense Department official Evelyn Farkas, ex-federal prosecutor Adam Schleifer, and attorney Mondaire Jones. The ballot test breaks 15-13-13-12% for Carlucci over Farkas, Schleifer, and Jones. Among the 38% who said they were undecided, Sen. Carlucci attracts 16% when asked to which candidate the respondent might be leaning, far ahead of any other even though he is one of the lesser fundraisers.

Sen. Carlucci is one of five members of the Independent Democratic Caucus who voted to keep Republican leadership for the previous state Senate session. Therefore, the crowded field allows him to attract the less liberal voter in the Westchester and Rockland County region, which may open a surprising path to the nomination.

TX-24: According to a story in the Texas Scorecard online publication and others, Democratic congressional candidate Kim Olson made a controversial statement during an interview yesterday. She said, in response to a question about defunding the police that, “[e]ven if people loot, so what? Burn it to the ground, you know, if that’s what it’s going to take to fix our nation.” She then added that, “I don’t think people want me to say that.”

Ms. Olson, a retired Air Force Colonel and defeated 2018 State Agriculture Commissioner candidate is running against local school board trustee Candace Valenzuela in the July 14th Democratic runoff campaign in a contest that is becoming highly competitive.

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