Elections 2020: Looking at Key Governors

Flyover's Elections 2020 coverage returns next weekend. Mark your calendar. Don't miss the latest developments!

Focus: Governor/States

Alaska: Since the COVID-19 virus became omni-present, a state law was enacted to give the Lt. Governor, the chief elections officer in Alaska, the ability to order an all-mail election. Yesterday, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer (R) announced that the August 18th primary would proceed in normal fashion, rejecting the all-mail option citing potential voter fraud. Mr. Meyer said, “that’s 600,000 unsecured ballots that are either sitting in the post office, sitting on your kitchen table, or in the garbage can. And that’s very concerning to us.”

Georgia: The Georgia primary has already been moved from May 19th to June 9th as a result of COVID-19 precautions, but a number of voting rights groups coalesced to file a lawsuit asking for the election to again be delayed, this time until June 30th. A federal judge sitting in the Northern District of Georgia, rejected the lawsuit, saying moving the primary is a “nonjusticiable political question," therefore, voting will remain on June 9th. Judge Timothy Batten said that the election scheduling issue is a matter for the legislature and Governor to decide.

Missouri: Everyday, we see more legislative and judicial action surrounding voting procedures, mostly in response to the COVID-19 virus. In Missouri, a state court’s ruling against expanding absentee mail voting for the upcoming primary election will now be heard by the state Supreme Court.

While the Coronavirus precautions are the reason the lawsuits began, the proponents are invariably trying to take the changes further, wanting them to apply to this year’s general election and likely beyond. The Missouri primary is not until August 4th, but we can still expect a quick ruling coming from the high court since election officials obviously need lead time to send the absentee ballot application forms prior to the actual primary election date.

North Carolina: The aforementioned East Carolina University poll (see North Carolina Senate above) also tested the 2020 Governor’s campaign. Since the March 3rd primary, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has been leading Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R) by wide polling margins, and the ECU model is no exception. According to the university data, Gov. Cooper enjoys a 51-36% lead, consistent with the other seven post-primary published surveys.

Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court, overturned a lower court ruling that allowed voters to return their primary absentee ballots after the election so long as the envelope was postmarked by election day. The plaintiffs were asking for a seven-day post-election period for the various county election departments to receive ballots. The high court’s action means that local authorities must receive all ballots by June 2nd.

Texas: The Texas state Supreme Court, overturning a lower court ruling, disallowed the all-mail voting option for the coming July 14th runoff and general elections. The mail voting issue may not be settled, however. Two more lawsuits, both addressing the same all-mail option issues, remain alive in a pair of federal courts.

Washington: Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who was one of the first 2020 presidential candidates to exit the national race, is running for a third term in his home state. He is a clear favorite for re-election, but the jungle primary will be interesting. He faces no less than 35 opponents who just completed the candidate filing process during the week.

Survey USA (5/16-19; 530 WA likely voters) tested the Washington jungle primary, scheduled for August 4th, and found Gov. Inslee way ahead in each general election scenario as he drives for a third term. None of his potential opponents have developed much in the way of statewide name identification, thus allowing the Governor to post leads of between 22 and 29 points against each of four general election possibilities.

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