washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Primary Day in Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina

It’s primary day in three states, with a host of congressional and state legislative contests on tap, and three interesting Senate primaries, one on the Republican side (Indiana) and two on the Democratic (Ohio and North Carolina).
I’ve written previews of the Senate campaigns over at 538.com (here and here). The only pretty clear, easy-to-predict race is in OH, where Lee Fisher seems to be pulling away from Jennifer Brunner, having outraised and outspent her by nearly four-to-one; Fisher also has labor and DC support. In NC the race is likely to go to a runoff between long-time front-runner Elaine Marshall and the candidate recruited by the DSCC, Cal Cunningham, but watch out for the possiblity that Marshall will top 40% and end it tonight. Almost anything could happen in Indiana, though the general expectation is that John Hostettler and Marlin Stutzman will split the True Conservative vote and enable Dan Coats to limp into the general election against Brad Ellsworth. Coats would have a strong national wind at his back, but this may not be the best year for a candidate sporting a recent history as a DC lobbyist for big banks.
There are an assortment of interesting House primaries, most notably in IN, where longtime conservative Rep. Mark Souder, who violated a term limit promise, is in trouble against a self-funded car dealer, Bob Thomas. Another self-funding GOPer, NC’s Tim Annunzio, may be in the process of buying the nomination to face vulnerable Dem Larry Kissell, but Annunzio’s history of erratic behavior could make him non-viable in the general election (Kissell faces his own primary against Nancy Shakir, whose campaign has been fed by unhappiness with Kissell’s vote against health reform, but the incumbent is expected to win).
Turnout will be terrible in OH and NC, perhaps higher (on the GOP side at least) in IN. Stay tuned for analysis of the results tomorrow.
UPDATE: Take away the modifier “perhaps” before my suggestion that turnout in IN will be higher than in today’s other primary states. According to the IndyStar, turnout may be running ahead of 2006 levels, particularly on the GOP side, where the Senate primary is just one of a number of hot races around the state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.