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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5/20/14 Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, & Pennsylvania Primaries: Races to Watch

ARKANSAS

AR Governor GOP: This race features former Congressman and 2006 Gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson and Businessman and 2010 US Senate candidate Curtis Coleman. Hutchinson has a decent edge going into tonight.

AR Lieutenant Governor GOP: Congressman Tim Griffin faces State Representatives Debra Hobbs and Andy Mayberry. While we cannot rule out the possibility of an upset, Griffin should be considered the favourite as of now.

AR-2 GOP: The big contest out of this state tonight pits self-funding Banker and the NRCC's choice cut French Hill against the more Conservative State Representative Ann Clemmer and Tea Party-backed retired Army officer Conrad Reynolds. Hill may have a financial edge, but the outcome is anyone's to guess.

AR-4 GOP: State House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman is facing off against Energy Executive Tommy Moll for the right to run in Arkansas' most Conservative district. Westerman has a distinctive edge going into tonight.

IDAHO

ID Governor GOP: This cartoonish Primary features incumbent Governor Butch Otter going up against State Representative Russ Fulcher, retiree and street preacher Walt Bayes, and Engineer and Motorcyclist Harley Brown. The four of them recently met for a debate, which was largely memorable for its striking resemblance to an audition for 'The Village People on Broadway.' Fulcher will poll formidably(as the only serious alternative to Otter), but Otter will still win 57-31.

ID Senate DEM: This race, for the right to lose to Republican Senator Jim Risch, features Attorney and frequent multi-state candidate William Bryk(who will also lose his Primary to Senator Jeff Merkley in Oregon tonight), Attorney Nels Mitchell, and Website Developer Jeffrey Anderson. Mitchell is the probable favourite for tonight.

ID-2 GOP: This one will get the most attention of all the Congressional races tonight. Incumbent Congressman Mike Simpson faces the fight for his political life against Tea Party-backed Trial Lawyer Bryan Smith. This is the Congressional Primary where outside groups have spent the most, indicating the closeness of the race. Right now, I give Smith the advantage going into tonight based on grassroots enthusiasm.

KENTUCKY

KY Senate GOP: The marquee contest of the night features Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell going up against Tea Party-backed Investment Executive Matt Bevin. Polls have indicated McConnell is ahead by modest margins, and he is indeed the favourite tonight. That said, do not be surprised if this turns into a sleeper race.

KY-6 DEM: Non-Profit Education Group CEO Elizabeth Jensen is facing 2012 State Representative nominee Geoffrey Young for the right to take on freshman Congressman Andy Barr. Jensen is heavily favoured.

OREGON

OR Senate GOP: Surgeon Monica Wehby and State Representative Jason Conger are the main contenders duelling it out for the right to face vulnerable freshman Senator Jeff Merkley in November. Wehby has been hit in recent days with accusations stating that she harassed her husband during divorce proceedings. Normally this would help Conger, but it has also come to light that he was a proud supporter of Cover Oregon(the failed statewide exchange for ObamaCare) and a local bridge project which went nowhere after many millions of taxpayer dollars were spent promoting and planning it. Given the nature of Oregon voting(the state does vote by mail), Wehby should still retain enough of an edge to beat Conger. I'm thinking around 40-37 Wehby.

OR-1 GOP: This race features Vineyard owner Delinda Morgan, Mechanical Engineer Bob Niemeyer, and Pest Control Service Manager Jason Yates. Sources on the ground tell me that Yates has decent odds going into tonight.

OR-2 GOP: Congressman and NRCC Chairman Greg Walden faces a Primary challenge from Tea Party-backed Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum. Walden should be able to hold on.

OR-5 GOP: This race features a brawl between Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith and former Congressional aide Ben Pollack for the right to take on Congressman Kurt Schrader. Smith has name recognition on her side, while Pollack has grassroots support. This will be very close.

PENNSYLVANIA

PA Governor DEM: This one will be the most closely watched Gubernatorial Primary of the night. Former State Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, State Treasurer Rob McCord, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, and former State Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty are in the running to take on unpopular GOP Governor Tom Corbett. Wolf has maintained a sizable lead in the Primary, and should win with ease tonight. Prediction: 48% Wolf, 25% McCord, 16% McGinty, 11% Schwartz.

PA Lieutenant Governor DEM: This race features 5 heavyweights vying to take on GOP Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley. Former Congressman Mark Critz, Harrisburg City Commissioner Brad Koplinski, State Representative Brandon Neuman, Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith, and State Senator Mike Stack are all running. Everything I've heard says Critz and Stack are the leaders of the pack, and that Critz is the narrow favourite for the nomination.

PA-8 DEM: This race features Publishing Company Executive Shaughnessy Naughton going up against Afghan/Iraq War Veteran Kevin Strouse, the choice of national Democrats, for the right to take on GOP Congressman Mike FitzPatrick. Strouse has maintained fundraising advantages, and should be able to put this one away.

PA-9 GOP: Congressman Bill Shuster is facing a Tea Party-backed challenge from Businessman Art Halverson. Shuster is heavily favoured to win.

PA-13 DEM: This one is a 4-car pileup, with former Congresswoman and Clinton in-law Marjorie Margolies, State Senator Daylin Leach, State Representative Brendan Boyle, and Physician Val Arkoosh running to replace Gubernatorial hopeful Allyson Schwartz. The Clinton association should be enough to guide Margolies to a narrow win in this Suburban Philadelphia district.

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