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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

6/3/14 AL, IA, MS, MT, NJ, NM, & SD Primary Preview

ALABAMA

AL Governor GOP: Governor Robert Bentley is favoured to win over State Correctional Officer and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George.

AL Governor DEM: Based soley upon name recognition, former Congressman and legendary turncoat(he started out Democrat before switching to Republican, to Independent, and back to Democrat again) Parker Griffifth is modestly favoured over former pro-Basketball player Kevin Bass, though an upset cannot be ruled out.

AL Secretary of State GOP: This race features former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney, Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue, and State Representative John Merrill. Based upon geography alone, McKinney would seem to have an edge, but I'll cop to having no clue the true dynamics behind this one.

AL Auditor GOP: This race features colourful businessman Dale "cattle prod" Peterson, former Public Service Commissioner Jim Zeigler, former Assistant State Conservation Commissioner Hobbie Sealey, and Secretary of State Aide Adam Thompson. My hunch is that there will be a Runoff between Peterson, who has both enthusiasm and name recognition(for better or for worse) propelling his campaign, and Zeigler, who has mere name recognition behind his.

AL-5 GOP: Incumbent Republican Mo Brooks faces a challenge from former Athens, AL, City Councillor Jerry Hill. Brooks is heavily favoured going into tonight.

AL-6 GOP: The leading contenders for the seat of retiring Republican Spencer Bachus are Tea Party-backed Surgeon Chad Mathis, Corporate Executive Will Brooke, State Representative Paul DeMarco, and former State Senator and 2012 runner-up Scott Beason. This race will head to a certain Runoff, with Mathis and either DeMarco or Beason advancing.

AL-7 DEM: Incumbent Democrat Terri Sewell is facing a challenge from former Birmingham City Attorney Tamara Harris-Johnson. Sewell will win, but with maybe a little more difficulty than most expect.


IOWA

IA Senate GOP: This competitive Primary features State Senator Joni Ernst, Energy Executive Mark Jacobs, Radio Talk Show Host Sam Clovis, and former US Attorney Matt Whitaker. If no one candidate gets over 35% of the vote, the Primary will then be decided at a Convention, a scenario which is unlikely to transpir, as Ernst has the momentum and recent polling has her only just short of the pivotal 35% threshold. Prediction: Ernst 39%, Clovis 28%, Whitaker 17%, and Jacobs 14%.

IA Governor GOP: Governor Terry Branstad is heavily favoured over Conservative activist Tom Hoefling.

IA-1 DEM: This one is a multi-car pileup between former State House Speaker Pat Murphy, former US Labour Department Official and 1988 nominee Dave O'Brien, Cedar Rapids City Councillor Monica Vernon, State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic, and former State Utilities Board Member Swati Dandekar. Murphy has the narrowest of advantages going into tonight.

IA-1 GOP: This one's a 3-way fight between 2008 Senate candidate and gun rights activist Steve Rathje, Software Company Owner Rod Blum, and Marshalltown School Board Member Gail Boliver. Rathje must be considered the favourite.

IA-2 GOP: This race appears to be a fight between State Representative Mark Lofgren and former State Public Health Director and 2008/2010 nominee Marianette Miller-Meeks. This one is very much a coin flip.

IA-3 GOP: The three main contenders for this race are State Senator and 2010 nominee Brad Zaun, Secretary of State Matt Schultz, and former Chief of Staff to Senator Chuck Grassley David Young. I give Schultz an advantage based on name recognition, though Zaun cannot be completely counted out.


MISSISSIPPI

MS Senate GOP: The battle royale of the night pits six term US Senator Thad Cochran against Tea Party-backed State Senator Chris McDaniel. Recent polling has shown both men exchanging narrow leads, whilst remaining mired in the low forties. In comes the third, and perhaps defining, factor: The candidacy of Realtor Tom Carey. While he is a sure loser tonight, he has been drawing a high enough level of support that he could trigger a Runoff. At this point, a Runoff seems very likely. Prediction: McDaniel 46%, Cochran 43%, Carey 11%.

MS Senate DEM: This is a decidedly low-key affair, but it has the potential to be interesting nonetheless. This race pits former Congressman Travis Childers against Tea Party Democrat, former Republican, and 2010/2012 MS-2 nominee Bill Marcy. This one could get interesting if there are enough Conservatives so disillusioned with both Cochran and McDaniel that they choose to vote for Marcy in the Democratic Primary. It is doubtful such will take place, though, and Childers is a solid favourite going into tonight.

MS-4 GOP: Centrist Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo faces a challenge from the Right in Hancock County Port Commissioner and former Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor. There is a decent likelihood that this race goes to a Runoff, as there are quite a few other Republicans running. Prediction: Taylor 47%, Palazzo 44%, Others 9%.


MONTANA

MT Senate DEM: The main contenders are interim Senator John Walsh and former Lieutenant Governor(and Walsh's predecessor in that office) John Bohlinger. Prediction: Walsh 52%, Bohlinger 43%, Rancher Dirk Adams 5%.

MT Senate GOP: This race pits Congressman and 2004 Gubernatorial nominee Steve Daines against State Representative Champ Edmunds. While Edmunds may poll formidably(read: 30s), Daines is still the solid favourite.

MT-AL GOP: The main contenders for this wide open race are former State Senate Minority Leader 2012 Gubernatorial runner-up Corey Stapleton, former State Senator Ryan Zinke, and State Senator Matt Rosendale. Stapleton probably is favoured based on name recognition.

MT-AL DEM: Former State House Speaker, former Public Service Commissioner, and 2008 nominee John "backpacking to nowhere" Driscoll and former Congressional staffer John Lewis are battling it out for this race. Driscoll seems to be the favourite based on name recognition.


NEW JERSEY

NJ Senate GOP: The leading candidates are Consultant and 1978 nominee Jeff Bell and Professor, Ron Paul activist, and 2008 Senate candidate Murray Sabrin. This one is a coin flip, as Bell's been out of the scene for over 3 decades and Sabrin may have residual name recognition from his 2008 run, though Republicans are usually pretty averse to nominative Libertarian types.

NJ-1 DEM: In the race to succeed resigned Democratic Congressman Rob Andrews, State Senator and political scion Donald Norcross is the solid favourite over Logan Mayor Frank Minor.

NJ-1 GOP: Locally-renown Sportscaster Gary Cobb is in a tight fight with former Collingswood School Board Member Claire Gustafson for the right to lose to Donald Norcross in both the Special Election and the General Election.

NJ-2 GOP: Centrist Republican incumbent Frank LoBiondo faces a Primary challenge former Absecon School Board Member Mike Assad. LoBiondo is a certain victor.

NJ-2 DEM: Attorney and political scion Bill Hughes Jr. faces a test from former Obama White House Aide Dave Cole, a test he should pass with only marginal difficulty.

NJ-3 GOP: This one is trench warfare between two carpetbaggers: Former Bogota, NJ, Mayor, 2013 US Senate nominee, and 2009 Gubernatorial Primary runner-up Steve Lonegan and former Randolph, NJ, Mayor Tom MacArthur. This one is going to be really tight. Name recognition and enthusiasm favours Lonegan, while advertising and polling would seem to favour MacArthur.

NJ-12 DEM: This free-for-all for the seat of retiring Democrat Rush "my Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist" Holt has centred around two State Legislators: 2012 NJ-7 nominee Upendra Chivukula and Linda Greenstein. Given that it takes a stinker of a campaign to lose a center-left district in a Liberal banner year the likes of 2012, I would say Greenstein has the edge going into tonight.


NEW MEXICO

NM Senate GOP: Former State GOP Chairman and 2010 Gubernatorial runner-up Allen Weh and former Dona Ana County GOP Chairman David Clements are running for the right to defeat Democratic Senator Tom Udall in November. This race may be somewhat close, but Weh has an advantage due to residual name recognition from his 2010 campaign.

NM Governor DEM: This bloody brawl pits Attorney General and political scion Gary King against State Senators Howie Morales and Linda Lopez, former Magazine Publisher and racist Alan Webber, and former Albuquerque, NM, Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Rael. The two leaders of the pack are King, with his own name recognition plus that of his father, the late former New Mexico Governor Bruce King, and Webber, with his self-funding capabilities. This one could be an all-nighter.

NM-1 GOP: This race, between Businessmen Mike Frese and Richard Priem for the right to take down Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham, is hard to call one way or another. We'll just wait and see.


SOUTH DAKOTA

SD Senate GOP: Former Governor Mike Rounds is heavily favoured over State Senate majority Whip Larry Rhoden, State Representative Stace Nelson, and Physician Annette Bosworth.

SD Governor GOP: Governor Dennis Daugaard is solidly favoured to win over former State Representative Lora Hubbel.

SD Governor DEM: This race, for the right to lose in November, pits State Representative Susan Wismer against carpetbagging retired State Wildland Fire Suppression Director and former Mission Viejo, CA, Mayor Joe Lowe. Wismer is a modest favourite.

SD Secretary of State GOP: This race features State Senate Majority Whip Shantel Krebs and Deputy Secretary of State and former First Lady Pat Miller. Miller is at least a narrow favourite going into tonight.

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