Welcome to the Monday, May 16, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- This is how many statewide measures have been certified for the ballot this year
- A look at Pennsylvania’s May 17 primaries
- A look at North Carolina’s May 17 primaries
This is how many statewide measures have been certified for the ballot this year
We periodically bring you updates on certified ballot measures.
So far, we’ve tracked 93 statewide ballot measures that have been certified for the ballot in 33 states. That’s 10 fewer than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020.
Here’s the latest:
Seven new measure were certified last week:
- Colorado Charitable Gaming Amendment
- Colorado Homestead Exemption to Surviving Spouses of U.S. Armed Forces Members and Veterans Amendment
- Colorado Income Tax Deduction Caps to Fund School Meals Program Measure
- Colorado Table of Changes to Income Tax Owed Required for Citizen Initiatives Measure
- Georgia Timber Equipment Exempt from Property Taxes Measure
- Michigan Legislative Term Limits and Financial Disclosure Amendment
- Missouri Department of the National Guard Amendment
Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for 10 initiatives in California, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota:
- California Art and Music K-12 Education Funding Initiative
- California Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative
- California Legalize Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative
- California Pandemic Early Detection and Prevention Institute Initiative
- Idaho Income Tax Increases for Education Funding Initiative
- Missouri Marijuana Legalization Initiative
- Missouri Top-Four Ranked-Choice Voting Initiative
- North Dakota Single-Subject and 60% Supermajority Approval Requirements for Constitutional Amendments Initiative
- South Dakota Marijuana Legalization Initiative
- South Dakota Medicaid Expansion Initiative
Enough signatures were verified for two initiatives in Alaska and Ohio to certify them to the legislature:
- Alaska State Recognition of American Indian Tribes Initiative (2022)
- Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2022)
From 2010 to 2020, the average number of statewide ballot measures certified in an even-numbered year was 164. By this time during even-numbered years from 2010 through 2020, an average of 103 statewide measures had been certified for the ballot.
Click below to learn more about this year’s ballot measures.
A look at Pennsylvania’s May 17 primaries
Five states will hold statewide primaries tomorrow, May 17—Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Last week, we looked at elections in Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon. Let’s round out our May 17 primary preview series with Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
First up, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
At the congressional level, Pennsylvania voters will decide a Republican and Democratic primary for the state’s U.S. Senate seat, and Republican and Democratic primaries for all 18 of the state’s U.S. House districts.
The Republican and Democratic primaries for the state’s U.S. Senate seat are being closely watched around the country because the general election is expected to be competitive. As of May 10, three independent race forecasters consider the general election either a Toss-up or Tilt Republican. The current incumbent, Sen. Pat Toomey (R), is retiring.
Seven candidates are running in the Republican primary. The candidates who’ve polled highest include Mehmet Oz, an author and former surgeon and TV show host, David McCormick, the CEO of an investment management firm and former Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs in the George W. Bush (R) administration, and Kathy Barnette, a political commentator who worked in corporate finance after serving in the United States Army Reserve. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Oz on April 9. Barnette trailed McCormick and Oz in polling for most of the race but has in recent weeks polled near the top of the pack. A recent poll conducted May 7-9 put Oz at 23%, Barnette at 21%, and McCormick at 19% (the poll has a margin of error of ± 3.6 percentage points).
The Democratic primary features four candidates, including Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, who have received the most campaign contributions, media attention, and lead in the polls. Fetterman served as the mayor of Braddock, Pa., from 2005 to 2019 and was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. Lamb was an assistant U.S. attorney and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a March 2018 special election, before being re-elected in 2018 and 2020. Yahoo News’ Christopher Wilson wrote that the race for Toomey’s seat “might be the Democratic Party’s best chance to gain a Senate seat in the fall.”
We’ll bring you more on Pennsylvania’s Senate primaries in Tuesday’s edition.
Pennsylvania is one of six states with one Democratic and one Republican U.S Senator. President Joe Biden (D) won the state by 1.2 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. The state’s U.S. House delegation is currently divided between nine Democrats and nine Republicans.
Pennsylvania is also holding elections for governor and lieutenant governor, 25 seats in the state Senate, and 203 seats in the state House. Forty-two of the 190 Pennsylvania state legislators who filed for re-election this year—20 Democrats and 22 Republicans—will face contested primaries. The rate of incumbents facing contested primaries—22%—is the highest rate since 2014. The remaining 78% of incumbents are not facing primary challengers.
In Pennsylvania, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Pennsylvania is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state does not cancel uncontested primaries.
Click below to read more about Pennsylvania’s May 17 primary.
A look at North Carolina’s May 17 primaries
Now that we’ve looked at Pennsylvania’s upcoming primaries, let’s head south to North Carolina.
On May 17, North Carolinians will have a chance to vote in Republican and Democratic primaries for a U.S. Senate seat and Republican and Democratic primaries for the state’s 13 U.S. House districts. The state’s 50 state Senate seats and 120 state House seats are also on the ballot. North Carolina is one of six states that isn’t holding any state executive elections this year.
Candidates in the Republican and Democratic primaries for North Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat are running to replace incumbent Richard Burr (R), who is retiring.
Fourteen candidates are running in the Republican primary. The candidates that have led recent polls and have received the most media attention are Ted Budd, Pat McCrory, and Mark Walker. Trump endorsed Budd, a U.S. Representative since 2017, in June 2021. The Budd Senate endorsement was among Trump’s first in this election cycle. McCrory was governor from 2013 to 2017. Before that, McCrory was the mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009, while Walker represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021 and was a pastor for 16 years before that.
Ten candidates are running in the Democratic primary.
As of May 10, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Lean Republican.
All 14 of North Carolina’s House districts are up for election, four of which are open, meaning no incumbent is running. The current delegation is divided between eight Republicans and five Democrats.
In the state Senate, all 50 seats are up for election. Republicans control that chamber 28-22. In the state House, all 120 seats are up for election. Republicans control that chamber 69-51. Across both chambers, the number of uncontested state legislative districts in North Carolina grew from 14 in 2020 to 51 in 2022. The increase in uncontested districts was driven by a decline in Democratic challengers. In 2020, Democrats ran in 166 of the state’s 170 districts, and Republicans ran in 160. This year, Republicans once again filed to contest 160 districts while Democrats filed to run in 129.
To learn more about North Carolina’s May 17 primaries, click below.