Author

Amee LaTour

Amee LaTour is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster (D) and Bob Burns (R) running in NH-02

Incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster (D) and Bob Burns (R) are running for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District on Nov. 8, 2022.

Kuster first took office in 2013. She said, “I will protect access to safe, legal abortion, and my opponent, Mr. Burns, won’t, and that’s the difference. That’s what’s on the ballot this November.” Kuster is also campaigning on her record in Congress, saying she has put New Hampshirites over partisan politics, including by working with both parties to increase economic opportunities and by supporting a ban on members of Congress trading stock.

Burns said, “Managing taxpayer money as the Hillsborough County Treasurer and managing the payroll at Burns Automation is the type of real-world experience that is needed now more than ever in Congress.” Burns said people won’t want to vote for Democrats due to high oil costs this fall. He said he would like to ban abortion but didn’t think it was going to happen and that he supports “a fetal heartbeat bill. That’s abortion up to 12 weeks.”

Kuster defeated Steve Negron (R) 54% to 44% in 2020 and 56% to 42% in 2018. That year, Burns placed fourth in the 2nd District Republican primary with 16%.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House in the 118th Congress. All 435 House districts are up for election. Democrats hold a 221-212 majority. Republicans need to gain a net of six districts to win a majority in the chamber.

Daily Kos calculated what the 2020 presidential election results in this district would have been following redistricting. Joe Biden (D) would have received 53.6% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 44.7%.



Incumbent Chris Pappas (D) and Karoline Leavitt (R) face off in NH-01

Incumbent Chris Pappas (D) and Karoline Leavitt (R) are running for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District on November 8, 2022.

Pappas served on the New Hampshire Executive Council and in the state House of Representatives before Congress. He emphasizes his experience owning a restaurant. Pappas says his record includes working for affordable healthcare for New Hampshirites and combatting the opioid crisis. Pappas called Leavitt “the most extreme, out-of-step nominee” the district has seen and has criticized Leavitt’s support for the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Leavitt was a presidential writer and assistant press secretary under President Donald Trump (R). She highlights working for her family’s small business while growing up and her work in the Trump administration. Leavitt discusses securing the border, supporting police, and banning critical race theory as priorities. She said Pappas, along with President Joe Biden (D) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), are “destroying our economy, brainwashing our children, and allowing illegals to invade.”

Democrats have held the seat since 2017. The 1st District changed party hands five times in elections between 2006 and 2016, alternating between Democrat Carol Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta. Pappas was first elected in 2018, when he defeated Eddie Edwards (R) 54% to 45%. In 2020, Pappas defeated Matt Mowers (R) 51% to 46%.

Leavitt defeated Mowers in the 2022 Republican primary 33% to 26%.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. As of September 20, 2022, Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacancies. Republicans need to gain a net of six districts to win a majority in the chamber.

Daily Kos calculated what the results of the 2020 presidential election in this district would have been following redistricting. Joe Biden (D) would have received 52.2% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 46.2%.



Incumbent Maggie Hassan (D), Don Bolduc (R), and Jeremy Kaufmann (L) in battleground N.H. U.S. Senate election

Incumbent Maggie Hassan (D), Don Bolduc (R), and Jeremy Kauffman (L) are running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire on November 8, 2022.

Hassan took office in 2017. Hassan is campaigning on what she describes as a bipartisan record and her support for a gas tax holiday through 2022, saying she has worked to lower costs for residents. Hassan says Bolduc is an extremist and that he “said he would vote for any anti-choice legislation in the U.S. Senate, and that he would never compromise.”

Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general, said the election “is about the economy, fiscal responsibility and the safety and security of this nation.” He attributes inflation and high gas prices to Hassan and other Democrats. Bolduc’s campaign ads emphasize his military background and call Hassan a career politician. Bolduc said he’d support allowing states to set abortion policy.

A mid-September poll showed Hassan leading Bolduc 51% to 40%. The poll’s credibility interval, similar to a margin of error, was +/- 3.4 percentage points.

In the state’s 2020 Senate election, incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D) won re-election against Bryant Messner (R) by a margin of 16 percentage points. In 2016, Hassan defeated incumbent Kelly Ayotte (R) by 0.1 percentage points.

President Joe Biden (D) won New Hampshire by 7 percentage points in 2020. Hillary Clinton (D) won the state in the 2016 presidential election by 0.3 percentage points.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. Senate. Thirty-five of 100 seats are up for election, including one special election. Democrats have an effective majority, with the chamber split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) having the tie-breaking vote. Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 21 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022.




Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 39

September 15, 2022

In this issue: A recap of major themes throughout the 2022 primary season, plus our reader survey

Welcome to our 39th and final issue of 2022’s The Heart of the Primaries, and thanks for joining us throughout the primary season! 

Let us know what you think

We’d love your feedback on the 2022 Heart of the Primaries newsletter. Please take our reader survey. We’ll be randomly selecting three participants for $50 gift cards!

Highlights from the final Democratic primary night

Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island rounded out the 2022 party primary season Tuesday. Here are the highlights: 

Rhode Island Governor: Incumbent Dan McKee defeated four other candidates. As of Wednesday morning, McKee led with 33% to Helena Foulkes’ 30% and Nellie Gorbea’s 26%.

Delaware Auditor: Lydia York defeated incumbent Kathy McGuiness 71% to 29%. We wrote last week about the misdemeanor charges McGuiness was convicted of ahead of the primary.

State legislative incumbents defeated

These figures were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

Ten state legislative incumbents—four Democrats and six Republicans—lost in primaries on Sept. 13, but that may change. There are 15 Democratic primaries and 24 Republican primaries that remain uncalled.

Across the 46 states that held state legislative primaries this year, 216 incumbents, 4.5% of those running for re-election, have lost, an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Forty-seven of the defeated incumbents (22%) this year lost in incumbent vs. incumbent primaries.

Build Back Better and Infrastructure Act positions in spotlight

Throughout the year, incumbent Democrats’ positions on last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Build Back Better Act were points of debate in primaries. The conflicts involved arguments over bipartisanship, divisiveness, and furthering the president’s agenda. 

In August 2021, the House passed a resolution to advance both the infrastructure and Build Back Better bills. The resolution contained a nonbinding commitment to vote on the infrastructure bill in September (which did not happen). The House passed the infrastructure bill and then Build Back Better in November. The Senate didn’t take up Build Back Better. Both chambers passed and President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a smaller reconciliation bill, this year.

The Infrastructure bill “no” voters

Six lawmakers said they voted against the infrastructure bill because it was separated from the Build Back Better Act. Among the six, four faced primary opposition: Reps. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-01), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13). Each faced criticism from opponents and opponents’ supporters for their votes. 

Critics, including the incumbents’ primary opponents, said the representatives were divisive and not focused on getting results. The representatives said passing the infrastructure bill separately from Build Back Better threatened the fate of the latter bill. 

Each of the four incumbents above won their primaries. For more on the conflict in each of the races, including quotes from candidates and opponents, see the Heart of the Primaries stories below.

The budget resolution debaters

Nine Democratic House members signed a letter in August 2021 saying they would not support a budget resolution needed to pass Build Back Better unless a vote on the infrastructure bill, which the Senate had passed, happened first. Reps. Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) were among the nine who signed. 

The letter said, “The country is clamoring for infrastructure investment and commonsense, bipartisan solutions. This legislation does both[.] … [W]e simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) held a rally for Jessica Cisneros, who challenged Cuellar in a rematch this year. Ocasio-Cortez said, “If you’re upset about Build Back Better, you can elect Jessica Cisneros.” 

And in Georgia’s 7th, where Boudeaux faced fellow incumbent Lucy McBath (D) due to redistricting, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Patricia Murphy and Greg Bluestein wrote that “Bourdeaux drew the wrath of progressive groups — and [Stacey] Abrams allies — for joining other moderates with a stand that threatened to derail a $3.5 trillion social policy plan.” 

Bourdeaux and Cuellar supported the budget resolution with the nonbinding agreement and both bills when they came up in November. Cuellar won a primary runoff against Cisneros, while Bourdeaux lost to McBath.

Three satellite groups spent $55 million in Democratic primaries in 2022

Throughout the year, the satellite groups United Democracy Project, Protect our Future PAC, and Democratic Majority for Israel made headlines for their involvement in Democratic U.S. House primaries. According to Open Secrets, the groups spent a combined $55 million of the total $106 million all groups spent in those primaries.

United Democracy Project and Protect Our Futures PAC were the biggest spenders at $24 million a piece. 

United Democracy Project is a super PAC affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The group spent $14 million supporting Democratic primary candidates and $11 million opposing Democratic candidates. 

United Democracy Project made its largest expenditure in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District primary. We covered conflict over the group’s involvement in the race, and J Street Action Fund’s counter-involvement, in our July 14 issue. United Democracy Project spent $4.3 million opposing former U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards and $1.7 million supporting former Prince George’s County state attorney Glenn Ivey. Ivey defeated Edwards 51% to 35% in the July 19 primary. 

The group also spent $3.9 million supporting Rep. Haley Stevens in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District. Stevens defeated fellow incumbent Andy Levin 59.5% to 40.5%. For stories on satellite spending in Michigan’s 11th and the candidates’ positions on Israel, see our March 10, July 7, and August 4 issues. 

Protect Our Future PAC is associated with cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried. According to Open Secrets, $23.3 million (96%) of the group’s expenditures supported Democratic candidates.

Protect Our Future PAC spent $10.4 million supporting Carrick Flynn in Oregon’s newly created 6th Congressional District Democratic primary. The group spent $936,000 opposing Andrea Salinas. Salinas, the only Democratic primary candidate Protect Our Future PAC spent against, won the May 17 primary with 36% of the vote. Flynn finished second with 18%.

Protect Our Future PAC’s spending made Oregon’s 6th District the congressional district with the most satellite spending this primary season. See our April 14 and May 19 issues for more on the group’s involvement in this district.   

Democratic Majority for Israel spent $6.6 million in Democratic primaries. Almost half was spent in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. The group spent $1.6 million supporting Shontel Brown and $1.5 million opposing Nina Turner, who were in a rematch from last year’s special primary election. (Note that figures include spending in both the special and regular primaries.) Protect Our Future PAC and United Democracy Project were also active in this race, both spending to favor Brown’s re-election. Brown defeated Turner in the May 3 primary 66% to 34%.

Democratic Majority for Israel was also active in Illnois’ 6th District, where Rep. Sean Casten defeated Rep. Marie Newman 68% to 29%. The group spent more than $500,000 opposing Newman.

See our March 10, May 19, and June 30 issues for more on this group’s involvement in 2022’s primaries.

Redistricting and the primaries: By the numbers

This year’s primaries were the first using new district boundaries enacted after the 2020 census. Forty-four states adopted new congressional district maps. Six states only have one congressional district.

Forty-nine states adopted new legislative district boundaries, except for Montana. The state’s Legislature only meets in odd-numbered years and adjourned before the U.S. Census Bureau delivered data to the states on Aug. 12, 2021.

Seven new congressional districts

There are seven new congressional districts as a result of six states gaining U.S. House districts during apportionment: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas (which gained two seats). 

Seven states—California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia—lost one district each.

Six member vs. member elections

As a result of redistricting, six U.S. House districts had two incumbents running against each other in their party’s primaries (winner is underlined):

In the 2012 House elections following the last round of redistricting, 11 primaries featured two incumbents: seven Democratic, three Republican, and one all-party primary in Louisiana with two Republican incumbents.

Two House general elections will feature two incumbents in November. Neal Dunn (R) faces Al Lawson (D) in Florida’s 2nd, and Mayra Flores (R) faces Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) in Texas’ 34th.

Click here for more on these multi-member matchups.

In 2022, there were 48 incumbent vs. incumbent state legislative primaries: 16 for Democrats and 32 for Republicans.

Two rescheduled primaries

Two states held contests for different types of offices on two different dates because of court decisions regarding redistricting. 

New York held statewide and state Assembly primaries as originally scheduled on June 28 and congressional and state Senate primaries on Aug. 23. The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, overturned the state’s congressional and state Senate maps on April 27, ruling that both violated the state’s constitutional redistricting process.  

Ohio held congressional and statewide primary elections on May 3 and legislative primaries on Aug. 2. The Ohio Supreme Court struck down the state’s adopted legislative district boundaries on April 14, after previously overturning three other sets of legislative maps that the legislature or state redistricting commission had approved. The state ultimately used maps the Ohio Redistricting Commission adopted.

U.S. House incumbent primary losses exceed last two redistricting cycles

Overall, 15 House incumbents lost in 2022 primaries—nine Republicans and six Democrats. (Those figures include Republican Bob Gibbs (OH-07), who unofficially withdrew but whose name still appeared on the ballot.) Six incumbent losses were inevitable this year due to primaries featuring two incumbents. Still, the number exceeds the previous two post-redistricting elections in 2012 and 2002. In 2012, 13 House incumbents lost primaries. And in 2002, eight incumbents lost.

Here’s 2022’s list of defeated U.S. House incumbents:

See you next primary cycle, and thanks again for reading!



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 39

September 15, 2022

In this issue: A recap of major themes throughout the 2022 primary season, plus our reader survey.

Welcome to our 39th and final issue of 2022’s The Heart of the Primaries, and thanks for joining us throughout the primary season! 

Let us know what you think

We’d love your feedback on the 2022 Heart of the Primaries newsletter. Please take our reader survey. We’ll be randomly selecting three participants for $50 gift cards!

Highlights from the final GOP primary night

Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island rounded out the 2022 party primary season Tuesday. Here are updates on the races we’ve covered: 

U.S. Senate in New Hampshire: Don Bolduc won the primary. He had 37% to Chuck Morse’s 36%. Nine other candidates ran.

New Hampshire’s 1st District: Karoline Leavitt defeated nine other candidates with 35% of the vote. Matt Mowers was second with 25%.

New Hampshire’s 2nd District: Bob Burns won with 33%. George Hansel had 30%, and Lily Tang Williams had 25%.

State legislative incumbents defeated

These figures were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

Ten state legislative incumbents—four Democrats and six Republicans—lost in primaries on Sept. 13, but that may change. There are 15 Democratic primaries and 24 Republican primaries that remain uncalled.

Across the 46 states that held state legislative primaries this year, 216 incumbents, 4.5% of those running for re-election, have lost, an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Forty-seven of the defeated incumbents (22%) this year lost in incumbent vs. incumbent primaries.

Breaking down Trump’s primary endorsements and outcomes

Perhaps the most persistent storyline throughout the 2022 GOP primaries was former President Donald Trump’s (R) involvement, mainly via endorsements. We tallied 244 primaries and conventions in which Trump endorsed, 241 of which have taken place (the other three are in Louisiana). See our endorsements page for a full list.

Unopposed

Of the primaries completed so far, 60 candidates (25%) Trump endorsed ran unopposed. (We counted candidates who only had write-in opposition as unopposed.) 

Contested

Of the 176 contested primaries that have taken place in which Trump endorsed (excluding five races in which candidates didn’t make the ballot), 159 Trump endorsees won and 17 lost. That’s a success rate of 90%.

Endorsed GOP incumbent challengers

Some of the most noteworthy GOP primaries of the year were those where Trump endorsed a challenger to a Republican incumbent. There were 17 such primaries, and six endorsed challengers defeated incumbents. All are listed in the table below.

Note that we didn’t include the two primaries in which GOP incumbents ran against each other due to redistricting. In West Virginia’s 2nd, Trump backed Rep. Alex Mooney against Rep. David McKinley, and Mooney won. And in Illinois’ 15th, Trump-endorsed Rep. Mary Miller defeated Rep. Rodney Davis. (More on these races below!)

Over the year, we’ve featured a number of stories on battleground races in which Trump’s influence was a major theme. Here are just a few stories capturing key moments:

Potential 2024 presidential contenders emerge as counter-force

We’ve also seen a thread of counter-forces throughout the primaries. Sometimes it’s contrasting endorsements, and other times, overt criticism of Trump’s involvement. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence (R) made five gubernatorial primary endorsements this year, three of which contrasted with Trump’s endorsements. Pence backed Karrin Taylor Robson in Arizona, incumbent Brian Kemp in Georgia, and Rebecca Kleefisch in Wisconsin.

In one of our first Heart of the Primaries issues of the 2022 cycle, we wrote that Maryland’s term-limited Gov. Larry Hogan (R) endorsed Kelly Schultz in the gubernatorial primary the day after Trump endorsed Dan Cox. Cox won the primary in July, and Hogan said he wouldn’t support Cox in the general election. 

Hogan said Trump’s endorsements against incumbent Republicans hurt the party. Hogan branched out from his home state, fundraising for incumbents Trump opposed including Kemp and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03). 

Arizona’s term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey, chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), endorsed Taylor Robson in Arizona’s gubernatorial primary along with Beau Lane for secretary of state, countering Trump’s endorsement of Mark Finchem in the latter primary.

We also wrote about the RGA spending $850,000 on pro-Kemp ads during Georgia’s primary. The Hill‘s Max Greenwood said that “the spot for Kemp marks the first time that the group is financing a TV ad in a primary to support an incumbent facing a Republican challenger.”

Trump, Pence, Hogan, and Ducey are all on our list of potential 2024 presidential candidates.

Redistricting and the primaries: By the numbers

This year’s primaries were the first using new district boundaries enacted after the 2020 census. Forty-four states adopted new congressional district maps. Six states only have one congressional district.

Forty-nine states adopted new legislative district boundaries, except for Montana. The state’s Legislature only meets in odd-numbered years and adjourned before the U.S. Census Bureau delivered data to the states on Aug. 12, 2021.

Seven new congressional districts

There are seven new congressional districts as a result of six states gaining U.S. House districts during apportionment: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas (which gained two seats). 

Seven states—California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia—lost one district each.

Six member vs. member elections

As a result of redistricting, six U.S. House districts had two incumbents running against each other in their party’s primaries (winner is underlined):

In the 2012 House elections following the last round of redistricting, 11 primaries featured two incumbents: seven Democratic, three Republican, and one all-party primary in Louisiana with two Republican incumbents.

Two House general elections will feature two incumbents in November. Neal Dunn (R) faces Al Lawson (D) in Florida’s 2nd, and Mayra Flores (R) faces Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) in Texas’ 34th.

Click here for more on these multi-member matchups.

In 2022, there were 48 incumbent vs. incumbent state legislative primaries: 16 for Democrats and 32 for Republicans.

Two rescheduled primaries

Two states held contests for different types of offices on two different dates because of court decisions regarding redistricting. 

New York held statewide and state Assembly primaries as originally scheduled on June 28 and congressional and state Senate primaries on Aug. 23. The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, overturned the state’s congressional and state Senate maps on April 27, ruling that both violated the state’s constitutional redistricting process.  

Ohio held congressional and statewide primary elections on May 3 and legislative primaries on Aug. 2. The Ohio Supreme Court struck down the state’s adopted legislative district boundaries on April 14, after previously overturning three other sets of legislative maps that the legislature or state redistricting commission had approved. The state ultimately used maps the Ohio Redistricting Commission adopted.

U.S. House incumbent primary losses exceed last two redistricting cycles

Overall, 15 House incumbents lost in 2022 primaries—nine Republicans and six Democrats. (Those figures include Republican Bob Gibbs (OH-07), who unofficially withdrew but whose name still appeared on the ballot.) Six incumbent losses were inevitable this year due to primaries featuring two incumbents. Still, the number exceeds the previous two post-redistricting elections in 2012 and 2002. In 2012, 13 House incumbents lost primaries. And in 2002, eight incumbents lost.

Here’s 2022’s list of defeated U.S. House incumbents:

Four of the nine Republican losses this year were among incumbents who voted to impeach Trump in 2021. Ten Republicans total voted yes on impeachment, and six of them ran for re-election. 

Democrats spent millions in GOP primaries

According to a Washington Post analysis, Democratic groups and individuals spent around $53 million in Republican primaries this year, 65% of which occurred in Illinois’ gubernatorial primary. The rest occurred in 12 primaries across eight states.

The Post‘s Annie Linskey wrote, “Some Democrats explain their actions by saying they are simply getting a jump on attacking Republican candidates for the general election, while others openly acknowledge trying to secure weaker competition in the fall. But there is little dispute about the effect of altering the Republican primaries in ways that could affect the November matchups.”

We wrote about Democratic groups spending in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate primary and the 2nd Congressional District last week. Previous issues included stories on Democratic spending in Maryland’s gubernatorial election and Illinois’ gubernatorial primary.

After the $35 million Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and the Democratic Governors Association spent on ads the Post said were meant to boost Darren Bailey, who won the GOP primary, the Post found the next-highest spending levels in Colorado’s U.S. Senate primary ($4 million), Nevada’s gubernatorial primary ($3.9 million), and New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate primary ($3.2 million).

The Post described candidates the Democratic groups apparently intended to support as far right. Four of those candidates won primaries and seven lost. 

Linskey’s piece also discussed the debate among Democrats over Democratic spending in GOP primaries. Read more here.

Cross-party primary spending has happened before. For example, in 2012, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) ran ads designed to boost Todd Akin in Missouri’s GOP Senate primary, whom McCaskill went on to defeat in the general election. In 2020, a Republican group spent on ads and activities supporting Erica Smith (D) in North Carolina’s Democratic Senate primary. Cal Cunningham defeated Smith in the primary.

See you next primary cycle, and thanks again for reading!



Previewing Alaska’s ranked-choice gubernatorial election

Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R), Les Gara (D), Charlie Pierce (R), and Bill Walker (I) are running for governor of Alaska on Nov. 8, 2022. They advanced from the top-four primary on Aug. 16, 2022.

Dunleavy was first elected in 2018, succeeding Walker, who had served as governor since 2014. Walker withdrew from the 2018 gubernatorial race in October and endorsed Democrat Mark Begich, saying, “Alaskans deserve a competitive race, and Alaskans deserve a choice other than Mike Dunleavy.” Gara served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 2003 to 2018. Pierce has served as mayor of Kenai Peninsula Borough since 2017.

Permanent Fund dividends (PFD) are a major issue in the race. The state invests oil and gas revenues and distributes a portion of the investment earnings to residents annually. The statutory formula for calculating the dividend was last followed in 2015. Starting in 2016, a portion each year went toward funding government services.

Dunleavy says he’s working to guarantee the PFD in the state constitution and is calling for a 50-50 split between payments to residents and funds for government services.

Gara said Dunleavy changed his promises regarding the PFD. Gara said he pushed in the state House to return to the statutory formula with revenue gained from ending what he called an “oil tax giveaway.”

Pierce said he would restore the statutory funding formula.

Walker said Dunleavy had made unrealistic promises regarding the PFD. Walker said he would support “the largest dividend the state can afford but not at the expense of high taxes and weakened government services such as education and public safety.”

This is the first gubernatorial election in Alaska to use top-four primaries and ranked-choice voting for the general election, a system voters voters approved in 2020.

A state government trifecta refers to a situation where one party controls a state’s governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Alaska has a divided government, with a Republican governor and Republican numerical majorities in both chambers of the legislature but a power-sharing agreement in the state House that splits control between parties.

As of Sept. 9, there were 23 Republican trifectas, 14 Democratic trifectas, and 13 divided governments where neither party holds trifecta control.

This is one of 36 gubernatorial elections taking place in 2022. The governor serves as a state’s top executive official and is the only executive office that is elected in all 50 states. There are currently 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors. Click here for an overview of all 36 gubernatorial elections taking place in 2022.




Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 38

September 8, 2022

In this issue: Rick Scott defends GOP Senate candidate quality, and we announce our final HOTP issue

The Heart of the Primaries final issue of the year is next week

We’ll be sending our last issue of 2022’s The Heart of the Primaries next Thursday. We’ll include results from the final battleground primaries of the year and a roundup of some of the major themes we’ve seen playing out across primaries. 

Also, we’re excited to announce our The Heart of the Primaries reader survey, which we’ll include in next week’s issue. We’d love to hear your feedback on the newsletter!

Massachusetts primary highlight

Governor: Geoff Diehl defeated Chris Doughty on Tuesday. As of Wednesday morning, Diehl led 56%-44%. Diehl was a state representative from 2011 to 2019.

Politico Massachusetts Playbook‘s Lisa Kashinsky wrote:

It’s Maura Healey versus Geoff Diehl in a governor’s race that will be a referendum on former President Donald Trump’s legacy and rhetoric in a historically anti-Trump state.

Trump-backed Diehl clinched the Republican nomination over more moderate political newcomer Chris Doughty, setting up a November clash between the conservative former state representative and the two-term attorney general who burnished her profile by repeatedly suing the Trump administration.

Republicans will “bring Trumpism to Massachusetts,” Healey declared in her victory speech, delivered before the GOP primary was called. She painted her Republican rival as someone who will “oppose abortion rights” — Diehl says he’s “pro-life” — and is generally “out of touch with the values we stand for.”

Diehl, in turn, cast Healey as “the people’s worst nightmare” in his speech. “We are going to be redefining politics as usual here in Massachusetts. For the first time in our state’s history, we are going to run a campaign focused specifically on we the people, our freedoms, our rights and our prosperity.”

State legislative incumbents defeated

These figures were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

No state legislative incumbents lost in Massachusetts’ primaries on Sept. 6, but that may change: There are eight races featuring incumbents—seven Democrats and one Republican—that remain uncalled.

Across the 43 states that have held statewide primaries so far, 205 incumbents, 4.7% of those running for re-election, have lost, continuing an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Of the 43 states that have held primaries so far, 11 have Democratic trifectas, 21 have Republican trifectas, and 11 have divided governments. Across these 43 states, there are 5,679 seats up for election, 90% of the nationwide total.

Satellite spending and polling roundup in NH battleground races

Here’s a roundup of the latest satellite spending and polling ahead of New Hampshire’s congressional primaries on Sept. 13.

In the Senate primary, two satellite groups placed ad buys totaling more than $10 million combined in recent weeks. 

White Mountain PAC is spending more than $4 million on ads supporting state Senate President Chuck Morse, who has trailed Don Bolduc in polls. The Democratic group Senate Majority PAC is spending $6 million on ads opposing Morse. The Washington Post‘s Azi Paybarah said the PAC is trying to boost Bolduc and that its involvement is “the latest example of Democrats spending money to boost far-right candidates in Republican primaries in the belief they will be easier to defeat in November.”

A recent University of New Hampshire (UNH) poll showed Bolduc leading Morse 43% to 22%, with 20% undecided. The poll’s margin of error (MOE) was +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) is running for re-election. Hassan defeated Kelly Ayotte (R) 48.0% to 47.9% in 2016. 

The 1st Congressional District primary has seen more than $2 million in satellite spending. The Congressional Leadership Fund spent more than $800,000 supporting 2020 GOP nominee  Matt Mowers. The group Defending Main Street spent more than $500,000 opposing Karoline Leavitt. American Dream Federal Action spent $300,000 supporting Mowers, and Truth & Courage PAC spent $200,000 supporting Leavitt.

In UNH’s 1st District poll, Mowers and Leavitt were essentially tied 26% to 24%. Gail Huff Brown was next with 16%, and 26% were undecided. The MOE was +/- 4.8 percentage points. 

Incumbent Chris Pappas is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

In the 2nd District, American Liberty Action PAC is spending almost $500,000 supporting Keene Mayor George Hansel. The PAC Democrats Serve spent $100,000 on an ad saying Hillsborough County Treasurer Robert Burns “follows the Trump playbook on immigration, the border and guns.” 

Politico‘s Ally Mutnick said the Democratic group is trying to “elevat[e] a far-right candidate over a moderate backed by GOP Gov. Chris Sununu.” Sununu endorsed Hansel. One of the major issues in the race is abortion. Burns calls himself pro-life, while Hansel says he’s pro-choice.

In UNH’s 2nd District poll, Burns had 32% to Hansel’s 18%. Lily Tang Williams had 10%, and 37% were undecided. The MOE was +/- 4.5 percentage points. 

Incumbent Annie Kuster is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Race ratings and electoral history suggest competitive Senate and House general elections in New Hampshire this year.

NRSC Chair Rick Scott criticizes Republicans who criticize GOP Senate candidates

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Examiner telling fellow Republicans to stop saying the party’s Senate nominees aren’t good candidates. 

Scott said, “many of the very people responsible for losing the Senate last cycle are now trying to stop us from winning the majority this time by trash-talking our Republican candidates.” Scott did not name anyone in particular but said, “Giving anonymous quotes to help the Washington Post or the New York Times write stories trashing Republicans is the same as working with the Democratic National Committee.” 

Scott further said that “when you complain and lament that we have ‘bad candidates,’ what you are really saying is that you have contempt for the voters who chose them.”

In an interview last week, Scott commented on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s  (R-Ky.) statement that “there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”

Scott said, “I clearly disagree with what he said. … We both agree we want to get the majority.”

On Monday, Politico changed its forecast for Senate control from Lean Republican to Toss-up. FiveThirtyEight has said Democrats are Slightly Favored to maintain control of the Senate since late July, a change from Toss-up. Both outlets mention Republican nominees, including in Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as a factor in their ratings changes. 

Scott wrote, “We have great candidates with incredible backgrounds and ideas to make our country better. Do I wish they had more money than their Democratic opponent? Of course. But we have great candidates, chosen by the voters in their states, and our job is to help each one of them win.”

Trump endorses in 2023 Kentucky gubernatorial primary

As the 2022 primary season wraps up, we’re beginning to look ahead to 2023’s races. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for governor last month. 

Cameron is one of seven declared GOP candidates, alongside former Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, David Cooper, Eric Deters, Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon, state Rep. Savannah Maddox, and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. Former Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has not ruled out running. When the Courier Journal asked Bevin ahead of the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s annual breakfast if he was planning to run, Bevin replied, “I am planning to eat ham.”

The date of the Republican primary isn’t set yet. The 2019 primary took place on May 21.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is running for re-election. Beshear defeated Bevin in 2019 49.2% to 48.8%. Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Competitiveness data: New Hampshire and Rhode Island

We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive New Hampshire’s and Rhode Island’s Sept. 13 primaries are compared to recent cycles. 

New Hampshire

Rhode Island



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 38

September 8, 2022

In this issue: Criticisms fly at RI gubernatorial debate, and we announce our final HOTP issue

The Heart of the Primaries final issue of the year is next week

We’ll be sending our last issue of 2022’s The Heart of the Primaries next Thursday. We’ll include results from the final battleground primaries of the year and a roundup of some of the major themes we’ve seen playing out across primaries. 

Also, we’re excited to announce our The Heart of the Primaries reader survey, which we’ll include in next week’s issue. We’d love to hear your feedback on the newsletter!

Massachusetts primary highlight

Secretary of state: Incumbent William Galvin defeated Tanisha Sullivan on Tuesday. As of Wednesday morning, Galvin led 70%-30%.

The Boston Globe‘s Matt Stout wrote:

With Tuesday’s projected victory, [Galvin] sits on the cusp of realizing historic longevity: Should he capture an eighth term in November, he will be poised to pass Frederic Cook, whose 28-year tenure as secretary lasted until 1949, as the longest-serving secretary in state history.

After not facing a Democratic opponent for more than a decade, Galvin has now beat back consecutive intraparty challengers, both of whom pitched themselves as more progressive alternatives.

Sullivan, like former Boston city councilor Josh Zakim in 2018, argued that Galvin had not been aggressive enough in pushing election reforms. She also cast Galvin as “anti-abortion,” echoing a similar line of attack Zakim made, and said she would push the office to tangibly do more to protect abortion rights.

And after a stirring speech at the state party convention in June, Sullivan captured party activists’ attention and the party’s endorsement — again, just as Zakim did four years earlier.

For some Democrats, Sullivan offered a more captivating pitch for change than her predecessor. A 48-year-old corporate attorney and Hyde Park resident, she pitched the office as a potential hub for democracy. She would have been both the first woman and person of color elected secretary, offering a perspective, she argued, that was needed to better engage communities of color and other places where voter participation has long lagged.

But as a first-time candidate, Sullivan struggled to raise funds and capture widespread attention for a down-ballot — and at times bitter — race. It’s also unclear how squarely her criticisms of Galvin as being an obstacle to change landed, given he publicly backed changes such as establishing election-day registration and was a vocal proponent of making expanded mail-in voting permanent.

State legislative incumbents defeated

These figures were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

No state legislative incumbents lost in Massachusetts’ primaries on Sept. 6, but that may change: There are eight races featuring incumbents—seven Democrats and one Republican—that remain uncalled.

Across the 43 states that have held statewide primaries so far, 205 incumbents, 4.7% of those running for re-election, have lost, continuing an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Of the 43 states that have held primaries so far, 11 have Democratic trifectas, 21 have Republican trifectas, and 11 have divided governments. Across these 43 states, there are 5,679 seats up for election, 90% of the nationwide total.

Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial candidates participate in first televised debate

On Aug. 31, NBC 10 News hosted the first televised debate of Rhode Island’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. All five candidates participated: incumbent Gov. Dan McKee, Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz, former CVS executive Helena Foulkes, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, and former Secretary of State Matt Brown. 

The Providence Journal’s Patrick Anderson and Katherine Gregg wrote that candidates “bashed the McKee administration for being the subject of an FBI investigation into an ill-fated education contract.”

Gorbea said, “We cannot have a state that is known nationally for FBI investigations. … That is not the kind of Rhode Island that will generate the kind of economy that works for everybody.”

Foulkes said, “The facts are, days into the governor’s term he gave a $5-million contract to a friend of his for business that we already had where they were charging us $1 million.”

McKee responded, “I know what I have done and what I haven’t done. … And every decision I made as governor of the state of Rhode Island has been in the benefit of the people of the state of Rhode Island[.]”

McKee, Gorbea, and Foulkes have led in endorsements and polling. To watch the full debate, click here.

Gorbea also criticized McKee about the FBI investigation in a campaign ad. McKee countered in an ad saying, “Lies and false attacks, it’s the worst kind of politics.” Foulkes said in a recent ad that she was focused on policy and criticized both Gorbea’s and McKee’s campaign ads.

McKee, formerly lieutenant governor, became governor in March 2021 after former Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) was appointed U.S. secretary of commerce.

The primary is Sept. 13.

Judge upholds two convictions against Delaware auditor, drops one

Two weeks ago, we wrote about Delaware Auditor Kathy McGuinness’ (D) convictions on three misdemeanor charges. On Aug. 30, Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter upheld two convictions—conflict of interest and official misconduct—and dropped one on structuring (related to allegations over a state contract given to a political consultant). McGuinness appealed the convictions in July.

Delaware News Journal‘s Xerxes Wilson reported that the judge ruled McGuinness’ daughter, Elizabeth McGuinness, who Kathy McGuinness hired as a casual/seasonal employee in the Office of Auditor of Accounts, received special benefits as an employee, constituting a conflict of interest. The misconduct conviction, which Carpenter upheld, was connected to the conflict of interest conviction. Steve Wood, McGuinness’ attorney, said other employees received similar benefits as McGuinness’ daughter, while Carpenter said Wood didn’t bring that up in trial. You can find Carpenter’s full ruling at the end of Wilson’s article.

McGuinness said, “They did not prove that my daughter had any special privilege, nor did she.” 

Wood said, “Once sentenced, Ms. McGuiness intends to appeal her conviction to the Delaware Supreme Court, where we will point out the legal and factual errors that led to her being wrongly convicted.”

McGuinness faces Lydia York in the Sept. 13 primary. York said, “The people of Delaware deserve leaders who can be trusted to always do the right thing and to follow the letter of the law. The current auditor has done the opposite.” 

The state Democratic Party endorsed York in July. 

Competitiveness data: New Hampshire and Rhode Island

We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive New Hampshire’s and Rhode Island’s Sept. 13 primaries are compared to recent cycles. 

New Hampshire

Rhode Island



Peltola, Palin, Begich, and Bye advance from Alaska U.S. House primary

Mary Peltola (D), Sarah Palin (R), Nicholas Begich III (R), and Chris Bye (L) advanced from the top-four primary election for U.S. House in Alaska. Peltola received 37%, followed by Palin with 30% and Begich with 26%. Tara Sweeney (R) finished fourth with 4% but withdrew from the race. Since it was more than 64 days before the general election, the fifth-place finisher, Bye, advanced with 0.6% of the vote. 

The primary was held Aug. 16, the same day as a special election for the same office. Peltola won the ranked-choice voting special election against Palin and Begich, meaning she’ll be the incumbent heading into the regular general election. Peltola had finished fourth in the top-four special primary behind Palin, Begich, and Al Gross (I). Gross, the third-place finisher, withdrew from the special election. 

Former Rep. Don Young (R) died in March. Young had been in office since 1973. 

Additional reading:



Mary Peltola (D) wins special U.S. House election in Alaska

Mary Peltola (D) won the Aug. 16 special U.S. House election in Alaska, according to results released Aug. 31. In the final round of unofficial ranked-choice voting tabulation, Peltola had 51.5% of the vote to Sarah Palin’s (R) 48.5%. This election fills the term ending Jan. 3, 2023.

Before ranked-choice tabulation began, Peltola had 40% of first-choice votes, followed by Palin with 31% and Nick Begich III (R) with 28%. Write-in candidates received a combined 1.6% of the vote.

Write-in candidates were eliminated first as a batch. Then Begich was eliminated. The votes of those who chose eliminated candidates as first choices were redistributed to the voters’ second-choice candidates if they chose such.

Peltola will be Alaska’s first Democratic U.S. representative since Nick Begich Sr.—Nick Begich III’s grandfather. Begich Sr.’s plane went missing while he was in office in 1972. Don Young (R) won a special election to succeed Begich. Young served until his death in March of this year.

Peltola, Palin, and Begich will meet again in the regularly scheduled general election for U.S. House on Nov. 8. That election will also use ranked-choice voting.

Alaska holds top-four primaries. Independent Al Gross also advanced from the special primary election in June having placed third, but Gross withdrew from the race.

As of September 2022, 14 special elections have been held for the 117th Congress, and there are three upcoming special elections scheduled to take place.

Additional reading: