Primary day has arrived in both the Old North State and up in the Buckeye State; here’s several primers for today’s primary elections…
- (NC) Does the establishment win outright or will the Tea Party force a runoff? Most political observers in North Carolina expect current state House Speaker Thom Tillis to win the most votes in today’s GOP Senate Primary…the question is whether he will get the 40% needed to dodge a runoff in two months agst. likely runoff opponents Greg Brannon or Mark Harris. Given the number of establishment Republicans (namely former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney) who’ve come out for Tillis in the primary campaign, it would not be good if Tillis has to go to a runoff; it would also give incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D) two more months to define whoever her Republican challenger is before they can either define themselves or her in the general election campaign.
- (NC) Which 2016 hopeful wins the NC Senate Proxy Battle? Three of the current GOP hopefuls for 2016 – former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul – have all endorsed candidates in the NC Senate primary: Bush for Tillis, Huckabee for Harris and Paul for Brannon. Now, to be fair, none of their presidential aspirations are going to be in tatters should their candidate lose today…but, it would be a small black mark on their respective campaigns should their candidate lose this proxy battle of sorts, especially Sen. Paul, who’s seen as a rising force within the Senate GOP; if Brannon loses, it dims Paul’s star…if Brannon either makes the runoff or wins outright, on the other hand…that could give Paul’s potential 2016 campaign a major boost.
- (OH) What will Boehner’s margin of victory be tonight? Like point #1, most political observers expect House Speaker John Boehner to win tonight in Ohio’s 8th Congressional District over challenger J.D. Winteregg – remember Winteregg, he of the “electile dysfunction political advertisment”? Well, anyway…here the question isn’t whether Boehner will win – odds are, he will – but what will the margin of victory be.
- (NC) Does Walter Jones, Jr. Survive His Primary Battle? Down east in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Walter Jones – like Speaker Boehner – is facing a primary challenge, from former Bush-43 aide Taylor Griffin. Unlike Boehner’s primary challenge, however, the margin isn’t expected to be quite as big, though most observers – like in Boehner’s case – expect Jones to win by a comfortable margin.
- (NC) Runner-up once again for Clay Aiken? Meanwhile, over in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, there’s a three-way donnybrook between Democratic challengers Clay Aiken, former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and mental health professional Toni Morris, the winner to face incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers…and according to most reports, Aiken’s campaign hasn’t been the most well-run; most expect either Crisco or Morris to win and face Ellmers in what is admittedly a long-shot chance at beating the former Tea Party darling come November.
- (NC) Potential runoffs elsewhere? Besides NC-2, there could be potential runoffs over in NC’s 6th Congressional District and NC’s 12th Congressional District; in the 6th, the race is on the GOP side to succeed retiring Rep. Howard Coble while in the 12th, its’ a crowded Democratic field who’ll face off to see who will succeed former Rep. Mel Watt.
Polls close at 7:30pm in both Ohio and North Carolina, so if you haven’t already, get out and vote!