Primary Day in Indiana and Ohio

Welcome to the Tuesday, May 3,  Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Primary Day in Indiana and Ohio
  2. Republican primaries drawing the most cash in Indiana’s state legislative races
  3. Number of contested U.S. House primaries in Alabama remains the same as last cycle

Primary Day in Indiana and Ohio

For the past few days, we’ve been bringing you updates about the statewide primaries taking place today, May 3, in Indiana and Ohio. These are the second statewide primary elections of the 2022 cycle. Texas held the first primaries on March 1. Here’s a reminder of what’s on the ballot:

Indiana will be holding primary elections for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and the state legislature. Three state executive offices—secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor—are also up for election this year, but candidates will be selected at nominating conventions on June 18.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R) and eight of the nine House incumbents—two Democrats and six Republicans—are seeking re-election. Of those incumbents, three House members—André Carson (D), Frank Mrvan (D), and Greg Pence (R)—are facing primary challengers.

Twenty-five of the state’s Senate districts and all 100 of its House districts are also up for election. There will be 49 primaries overall, the most since 2014. Eleven incumbents are not seeking re-election—one Democrat and 10 Republicans. Of the 114 incumbents who are running, 30 (26%) are facing primary challengers, also the most since 2014.

Ohio will be holding primary elections for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state executive offices, including the governorship. This is also the first time Ohio will have partisan state supreme court elections. Three seats are up for election this year, but there are no contested primaries. The state initially planned to hold state legislative primaries on May 3, but legal challenges over redistricting have postponed those elections to a yet-to-be-determined date.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R) is not seeking re-election, leaving Ohio with its first open Senate race since Portman was first elected in 2010. We are following both party’s primaries closely, with three Democrats seeking the nomination and seven Republicans seeking their party’s nod. Race forecasters differ on their general election outlooks, with three ranging from Lean to Solid Republican. In 2018, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) won re-election with 53% of the vote. Portman received 58% of the vote in 2016.

All 15 U.S. House districts in Ohio are also holding elections. Ohio lost one congressional district during reapportionment due to slower-than-average population growth over the past decade. Fourteen incumbents—three Democrats and 11 Republicans—are seeking re-election, with eight (57%) facing primary challengers. 

At the state executive level, every incumbent up for re-election—all Republicans—is running. There are three contested primaries: the Democratic and Republican primaries for governor and lieutenant governor, which include incumbents Mike DeWine (R) and Jon Husted (R), and the Republican primary for secretary of state between incumbent Frank LaRose (R) and John Adams (R).

Be sure to check back tomorrow for some unofficial results! And subscribe to our Heart of the Primaries newsletter for even deeper dives into party primaries throughout the cycle.

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Republican primaries drawing the most cash in Indiana’s state legislative races

With voters turning out to the polls, let’s take a closer look at Indiana’s state legislative primaries to see which candidates and which races have seen the most money raised.

To do this, we looked at contested primaries in the state Senate and House. By party, there are nine contested Democratic primaries in Indiana this year and 40 among Republicans.

Between Jan. 1, 2021, and April 8, 2022, Republican primaries made up eight of the 10 primaries with the most fundraising. Across these primaries, 19 Republican candidates raised $2.7 million. Democratic primaries made up the remaining two top-raising contests, with nine candidates raising $487,382

Three of the top 10 primaries are for open districts, meaning the incumbent did not seek re-election. The remaining seven primaries feature nine incumbents. This is because two Republican primaries—in Senate District 47 and House District 22—have incumbent vs. incumbent contests. This often happens after redistricting, when incumbents can be drawn out of their old districts and into new ones setting up contested primaries or general elections between two members of the same chamber.

In the seven primaries with incumbents, there are two races where challengers lead in fundraising:

Use the table below to view specific details by primary and candidate.

Thanks to our partnership with Transparency USA, we will be able to provide state-level campaign finance information to you from around the country throughout this election cycle. Learn more about our work here. And stay tuned this week to learn how these primaries turned out!

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Number of contested U.S. House primaries in Alabama remains the same as last cycle

Looking ahead on the calendar, Alabama is one of three states holding primary elections on May 24. This year, voters will decide congressional, state executive, and state legislative races, including all seven of Alabama’s U.S. House districts.

Democrats currently represent one district in Alabama and Republicans represent six.

With seven districts up for election, there are 14 possible primaries—one per district for both major parties. This year, the number of contested primaries for U.S. House remains the same as in 2020 at five (36%). One difference: this year, there are more Democratic primaries than there are for Republicans.

More incumbents are running this year than in 2020 when two incumbents left office. This year, one incumbent—U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R)—is not seeking re-election, choosing instead to run for the U.S. Senate.

While five incumbents are running for re-election, four will not face primary challengers, while 3rd District Rep. Mike Rogers (R) faces challenger Michael Joiner (R). 

One incumbent faced a primary challenger in 2020, as well, but that equaled 20% of incumbents seeking re-election since there were five on the ballot. This year, with six incumbents seeking re-election, that percentage decreases to 17%, the lowest rate of incumbents in contested primaries since 2014.

Looking beyond the primary, Republicans are likely guaranteed to win two districts—the 1st and the 6th—because no Democrats filed. There are no districts with only Democratic Party candidates.

In Alabama, a primary candidate must win a majority vote to advance directly to the general election. If no candidate receives a majority, the top two vote-getters will advance to a June 21 runoff.

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