Here’s how many state legislative incumbents have lost in primaries this year

Welcome to the Friday, June 23, Brew. 

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

  1. 3.7% of state legislative incumbents who ran for re-election have lost in primaries
  2. 2024 presidential candidates fundraise in lead up to end of month campaign finance reporting deadline
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many recalls did we track in 2022?

3.7% of state legislative incumbents who ran for re-election have lost in primaries

In yesterday’s Brew, we looked at early results from Virginia’s June 20 legislative primaries. Today, let’s dive deeper into how incumbents fared in these and other state legislative elections.

At least six incumbents lost in Virginia, or 6% of the 97 incumbents who ran for re-election and 35% of the incumbents who faced contested primaries. Incumbents ran in two races that remain uncalled as of this writing. Incumbents who lost included four Democrats (state Senate) and two Republicans (one in the state House and the other in the state Senate).

This is the largest number and percentage of incumbents defeated in Virginia’s primaries in more than a decade.

One incumbent—a Democratic state senator—lost in New Jersey’s state legislative primaries on June 6, bringing the total to six this year, or 3.7% of incumbents running for re-election this year. This is slightly less than in 2021 (3.9%). 

In total, five Democrats and two Republicans have lost to primary challengers in Virginia and New Jersey. Democratic incumbents have lost at a higher rate than Republicans. Of the 102 Democratic incumbents who filed for re-election in 2023, five (4.9%) have lost to primary challengers. For Republicans, two of the 88 who filed for re-election (2.3%) have lost.

Three of these seven incumbent losses (43%) were guaranteed due to redistricting. When states redraw legislative lines, incumbents can end up in a new district with other incumbents, leading to incumbent v. incumbent primaries or general elections.

Of the two states that have held primaries so far, New Jersey has a Democratic trifecta, while Virginia has a divided government. Across the four states holding legislative elections in 2023, there are 578 seats up for election, 7.8% of the nationwide total. This is the most seats up for election in an odd-numbered year since 2011.

Primaries in Mississippi and Louisiana are being held on Aug. 8 and Oct. 14, respectively.

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2024 presidential candidates fundraise in lead up to end of month campaign finance reporting deadline 

Let’s check in on some 2024 presidential election news. 

Thus far, we’ve identified three noteworthy Democratic presidential candidates and 13 noteworthy Republican candidates. Former U.S. Representative Will Hurd (R-Texas) entered the race on June 22.

Below is a summary of each candidate’s campaign activity, including fundraising events, from June 16 to June 23. Candidates file quarterly fundraising reports with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). The filing period for the second quarter of the year ends June 30, with reports due in mid-July. 

  • Joe Biden (D) held the first rally of his campaign in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 17. The AFL-CIO, which endorsed Biden June 16, hosted the rally. Biden also attended a campaign fundraiser in Connecticut on June 16, and campaign fundraisers in California on June 19 and June 20. The Democratic National Committee began a six-figure national billboard, digital, and television ad buy on June 21 highlighting Biden’s support for abortion rights.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (D) delivered a speech on foreign policy in New Hampshire on June 20, and spoke at an Ethan Allen Institute dinner on June 21 in Vermont. On June 15, Kennedy appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast. 
  • Marianne Williamson’s (D) campaign manager, Roza Calderon, resigned according to a June 20 report from Politico. Calderon began working for the campaign after the previous campaign manager, Peter Daou, resigned last month.
  • Doug Burgum (R) spent more on campaign ads than any other candidate in the Republican presidential primary according to a June 21 report from NBC. Burgum has spent $2.9 million since launching his campaign on June 7, mainly on television ads in New Hampshire and Iowa
  • Chris Christie (R) held a town hall in New Hampshire on June 21.
  • Ron DeSantis (R) spoke at former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s (R) Basque Fry in Nevada on June 17, and attended a campaign fundraiser in California on June 19.
  • Larry Elder (R) campaigned in Iowa on June 17 and in New Hampshire on June 22.
  • Nikki Haley (R) wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post titled “Nikki Haley: Five questions Blinken should ask when he’s in China” on June 16. Haley campaigned in South Carolina on June 19, and is set to deliver a speech on foreign policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC today.
  • Asa Hutchinson (R) campaigned in Iowa on June 19 and June 20. Hutchinson also campaigned in New Hampshire yesterday.
  • Mike Pence (R) spoke at the Gridiron Men’s Conference in Alabama on June 16, and in Indiana on June 21 where Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) endorsed Pence. 
  • Vivek Ramaswamy (R) campaigned in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 20.
  • Tim Scott (R) attended two campaign fundraisers in California on June 16, and participated in a Fox News town hall in South Carolina on June 20.
  • Donald Trump (R) released a policy memo on June 20 titled “Agenda47: Using Impoundment to Slash Waste, Stop Inflation, and Crush the Deep State” and a memo on June 21 titled “Agenda47: Cementing Reciprocal and Fair Trade with the Trump Reciprocal Trade Act.” Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) endorsed Trump on June 17.

We did not identify any campaign activity from Corey Stapleton (R) or Francis Suarez (R) during this time frame. To read more about how we define campaign activity, click here.

At this point in the 2020 cycle, 27 noteworthy candidates were running for president. Twenty-five were seeking the Democratic nomination, and two (Trump and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld) were seeking the Republican nomination. In the 2016 election, 16 noteworthy candidates had announced their campaigns as of June 23, 2015. There were four Democrats and 12 Republicans. 

Notable stories at the time included the June 19, 2019, launch of Trump’s re-election campaign, and 22 Democratic candidates attending Rep. Jim Clyburn’s (D) World Famous Fish Fry event in South Carolina on June 21.

At this point in the 2016 cycle, Bernie Sanders (I) held a rally in Colorado on June 21, 2015, and The Associated Press published a story on June 20 highlighting Republican presidential candidates’ comments on whether the Confederate flag should be removed from outside the South Carolina Statehouse.

Bookmark the link below to stay up to date on all 2024 presidential election news. 

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#FridayTrivia: How many recalls did we track in 2022?

In the Tuesday Brew, we mentioned our upcoming mid-year recall report (look for that soon!) and summarized last year’s recall activity. 

From 2010 to 2022, we tracked an average of 210 recall efforts each year. How many recall efforts did we track in 2022? 

  1. 67
  2. 456
  3. 230
  4. 437