September 8 primary review: Unofficial results from New Hampshire and Rhode Island indicate majority of opposed incumbents defeated primary challengers

New Hampshire and Rhode Island held statewide primaries on September 8, 2020. Candidates ran in elections for the following offices.

New Hampshire:
• Governor: Incumbent Chris Sununu (R) faced two primary challengers and advanced to the general election. He faces Dan Feltes (D) and Darryl Perry (L) in the general election.
• Executive Council (5 seats): Three incumbents—two Democrats and one Republican—filed for re-election. All three incumbents were unopposed and advanced to the general election.
• State Senate (24 seats): Twenty-one incumbents—11 Democrats and 10 Republicans—filed for re-election. Three incumbents faced a primary challenger. Of these, one incumbent, David Starr (R-1), lost his bid for re-election. The remaining 20 incumbents advanced to the general election.

• State House of Representatives (400 seats): Three-hundred and twenty-two incumbents—198 Democrats and 124 Republicans—filed for re-election. Ninety-six incumbents faced a primary challenger. As of September 10, eight incumbents had lost their bids for re-election (four Democrats and four Republicans), 281 incumbents advanced, and 33 incumbents’ races had not been called.

Rhode Island:
• State Senate (38 seats): Thirty-four incumbents—29 Democrats and five Republicans—filed for re-election. Ten incumbents faced a primary challenger. As of September 10, the contested incumbents’ races had not been called. Twenty-four incumbents advanced to the general election.

• State House of Representatives (75 seats): Sixty-nine incumbents—61 Democrats and eight Republicans—filed for re-election. Sixteen incumbents faced a primary challenger. As of September 10, no incumbents had lost their bids for re-election, but 15 incumbents’ races had not been called. Fifty-four incumbents advanced to the general election.

Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

New Hampshire has a divided government, meaning no political party holds a state government trifecta. Rhode Island has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

New Hampshire and Rhode Island were the 47th and 48th primaries to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on September 15 in Delaware.

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About the author

Marielle Bricker

Marielle Bricker is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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