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U.S. weekly unemployment insurance claims fall to 256,000

New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 5,000 for the week ending July 23 to a seasonally adjusted 256,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up from 251,000 to 261,000. The four-week moving average as of July 23 rose to 249,250 from a revised 243,000 as of the week ending July 16.

The number of continuing unemployment insurance claims, which refers to the number of unemployed workers who filed for benefits at least two weeks ago and are actively receiving unemployment benefits, fell 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.359 million for the week ending July 16. Reporting for continuing claims lags one week.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

For information about unemployment insurance programs across the country, click here.

Additional reading:

Unemployment insurance

Unemployment insurance fraud



Federal judge blocks Biden administration guidance on transgender students

A federal judge from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on July 15, 2022, struck down a Department of Education order that aims to protect transgender students and workers from discrimination. 

The Biden administration released the challenged guidance in response to recent legislation passed by states that aim to bar transgender students from participating on school sports teams and using bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity. The guidance states transgender students are protected under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex at federally funded schools. It also claims that transgender workers are protected under Title VII, which bars employers from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, and/or national origin. The department in June issued a proposed rule seeking to codify parts of the guidance. 

Tennesse and 19 other Republican-led states brought a lawsuit against the federal government last August, asserting the Department of Education overreached its executive authority by issuing the order. The states claim in part that the department’s guidance infringes on state power in violation of the Tenth Amendment.

Judge Charles Atchley, a Trump appointee, ruled the department overreached its authority in order to penalize states for their recent legislation. In a preliminary injunction, Judge Atchley wrote, “[T]he harm alleged by plaintiff States is already occurring – their sovereign power to enforce their own legal code is hampered by the issuance of defendants’ guidance and they face substantial pressure to change their state laws as a result.”

In response to the ruling, Joni Madison, the Human Rights Campaign’s interim president, said, “Nothing in this decision can stop schools from treating students consistent with their gender identity. And nothing in this decision eliminates schools’ obligations under Title IX or students’ or parents’ abilities to bring lawsuits in federal court.” 

Additional reading:

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee

Charles Atchley



Missouri’s average gas price falls to $3.79

As of August 3, Missouri’s average gas price according to AAA was $3.79 for regular gas, which was below the national average of $4.16. Gas prices fell from the previous week’s average of $3.97 and were below the June average of $4.53. On August 3, 2021, the state’s average price was $2.87.

Joplin was the metro area in the state with the lowest average price at $3.55. Jefferson City was the metro area in the state with the highest average price at $3.91.

Missouri has a gas tax of $0.1742 cents per gallon, making it the fourth-lowest in the United States. The lowest is Alaska ($0.0895) and the highest is Pennsylvania ($0.586). The average across the country is $0.2885.

The price of gasoline is affected by several factors. Gas prices are primarily driven by crude oil prices, which are in turn affected by supply and demand, financial markets, international politics, environmental regulation, taxes, weather, and other factors. When the supply of oil increases due to increased production, the price will likely decrease. When demand increases—either from individual consumers or oil-dependent industries—the price will likely increase. Production may increase or decrease depending on advances in technology, changes in industry regulation, policy changes, political forces, and more.



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 33

Welcome to The Heart of the Primaries, Democratic Edition

August 4, 2022

In this issue: Michigan’s battleground primary takeaways and Vermont’s U.S. Senators weigh in on House race

Primary results roundup

Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington held statewide primaries on Tuesday. Ohio held state legislative primaries. We followed two battleground Democratic primaries in Michigan closely.

Michigan’s 11th District: U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens defeated U.S. Rep. Andy Levin 60%-40%, according to results available Wednesday morning. 

This race was one of six incumbent-vs.-incumbent House primaries, and one of four featuring two Democratic incumbents, because of redistricting. Michigan lost one congressional district following the 2020 census. According to Daily Kos data, the redrawn 11th contains about 45% of the old 11th, which Stevens has represented since 2019. The new 11th contains about 25% of the old 9th District, which Levin has represented since 2019.

Levin is one of 10 House incumbents, and one of four Democrats, who ran for re-election and lost in primaries this year. Two of the other defeated Democratic incumbents lost to fellow incumbents. In 2020, eight incumbents lost primaries, including three Democrats. 

Stevens’ backers included Hillary Clinton, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Levin had endorsements from U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and J Street. 

Michigan’s 12th District: Incumbent Rashida Tlaib defeated three candidates. Based on results as of Wednesday morning, Tlaib received 64% of the vote and Janice Winfrey finished second with 20%.

Tlaib represents Michigan’s old 13th Congressional District and ran in the redrawn 12th. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D), the old 12th District’s representative, ran in the redrawn 6th District.

Tlaib was first elected to Congress in 2018. Winfrey is Detroit’s city clerk. According to election forecasters, this is a safe Democratic district.

Media analysis

CNN discussed Stevens’ win as a loss for progressives and a win for AIPAC: 

Rep. Haley Stevens’ projected Democratic primary victory in Michigan’s newly drawn 11th Congressional District over fellow Rep. Andy Levin marks another blow against progressives in what has been a mostly disappointing primary season.

It’s also a resounding victory for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, and its super PAC, United Democracy Project, which has spent millions backing moderate, more staunchly pro-Israel candidates in Democratic primaries.

Stevens and Levin are both supportive of Israel, but Levin — who is Jewish — has been more willing to criticize its government’s treatment of Palestinians and is the lead sponsor of the Two-State Solution Act.

Progressive Democrats, frequently targeted by AIPAC spending this primary season, have fumed at fellow Democrats for accepting or courting support from the group, which has also contributed to Republican election deniers. AIPAC has defended the practice, arguing that its policy goals need bipartisan support.

J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that has clashed with AIPAC, tried to boost Levin with a $700,000 July ad buy, but that sum paled in comparison to the millions bundled by AIPAC and more than $4 million spend by UDP.

Al Jazeera‘s Ali Harb wrote about Tlaib’s win in the context of a satellite group supporting one of her opponents and of Tlaib’s 2021 infrastructure bill vote:  

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has all but secured re-election after comfortably fending off primary challengers and an advertising campaign by a pro-Israel group. 

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a lobbying group, has been spending millions of dollars to defeat progressives critical of Israel, but it did not interfere in the Tlaib race.

However, a new pro-Israel group called the Urban Empowerment Action (UEA) PAC (political action committee) spent nearly $700,000 backing Winfrey, according to Open Secrets, a website that tracks US election spending.

The congresswoman’s detractors often slam her criticism of Israel as a US ally and question her loyalty to the mainstream Democratic Party and President Joe Biden.

Tlaib was one of six progressive House Democrats to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that Biden signed into law last November.

Progressives – and at some point Biden himself – wanted the bill to pass simultaneously with the president’s now-doomed Build Back Better social spending agenda, priced at $1.75 trillion.

Tlaib and her fellow progressives had hoped to use the vote on the infrastructure bill as leverage to convince conservative Democrats to advance the Build Back Better package.

But the congresswoman’s “no” vote on the infrastructure legislation became one of the main points of criticism against her in the primary race.

State legislative incumbents defeated

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

Thirteen state legislative incumbents—six Democrats and seven Republicans—lost in the Aug. 2 primaries in Kansas, Ohio, and Missouri. No incumbents have lost in Arizona, Michigan, or Washington so far, but this will likely change. Eighty-seven House and Senate primaries featuring incumbents—24 Democratic, 33 Republican, and 30 top-two—remain uncalled.

Across the 33 states that have held state legislative primaries so far this year, 156 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 33 states that have held primaries so far, nine have Democratic trifectas, 18 have Republican trifectas, and six have divided governments. Across these states, there are 4,306 seats up for election, 70% of the nationwide total.

Three leading candidates withdraw from Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate primary and endorse Barnes

Three of the four candidates who led in fundraising and media attention in Wisconsin’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary ended their campaigns last week and endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

Former state Rep. Tom Nelson ended his campaign on July 25. Nelson said, “It didn’t look like we were in a strong position” and that it “made sense to consolidate the progressive vote.”

Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry announced his withdrawal on July 27: “After talking with [U.S. Sen.] Tammy [Baldwin (D)] and seeing the data, I think it was clear there was no path forward for us to be able to win. We wanted to make sure we were able to unite and rally our support to ensure we’re spending every second we can to get Ron Johnson out of office.”

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski ended her campaign on July 29, saying, “I know that we’re better when we all come together. If there is one thing we know about Mandela Barnes is he is no stranger to running statewide.”

Barnes said in a statement, “This week has demonstrated what it looks like when we come together for a goal that is greater than ourselves. We are building a coalition that crosses generations, crosses racial divides and political divides. A coalition that includes farmers, union leaders, teachers, small business owners, and working people all across this state.”

Barnes had received endorsements from the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

Godlewski’s, Lasry’s, and Nelson’s names will still appear on the Democratic primary ballot due to the timing of their withdrawal.

The primary is on Aug. 9. Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is running for a third term. Wisconsin is one of two states President Joe Biden won in 2020 that is holding an election for a Senate seat a Republican holds this year. In the other state—Pennsylvania—Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is not seeking re-election.

Vermont’s U.S. Senators weigh in on House primary

The winner of Vermont’s lone U.S. House race in November will become part of the state’s three-member congressional delegation, along with two U.S. senators. Both senators have weighed in on the Democratic primary. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed state Sen. Becca Balint in the House primary and appeared at rallies with her in Burlington, Montpelier, and Rutland over the weekend. Sanders told VTDigger, “[I]t’s imperative that we have people in Washington who are prepared to think outside of status quo thinking, who are prepared to stand up to very powerful special interests who dominate the economic and political life of this country. And I think Becca will be one of those people.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who has not made an official endorsement, said he voted early for Lt. Gov. Molly Gray in the House primary: “While I think highly of both of the leading candidates, I voted for Molly Gray because I believe her experience is well suited to the job. … Her work in Congress, her legal training, her deep connections to Vermont communities.”

A recent University of New Hampshire poll showed Balint leading Gray 63% to 21%. The poll’s margin of error was +/- 5 percentage points.

Sianay Chase Clifford, a former staffer for U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), withdrew from the primary last month. The Vermont Progressive Party had endorsed Chase Clifford.

Chase Clifford said, “I really wanted to be able to tell the story that you don’t need to do this with a lot of money and that regular people should be able to do this. … Unfortunately, what is really kind of sick and twisted about electoral politics is if that’s your message, you still need money to be able to share that message.”

Balint and Gray reported raising more than $1 million as of July 20. Chase Clifford had $21,000. 

The primary is Aug. 9.

Points of contention in Hawaii’s gubernatorial primary

Former Hawaii first lady and businesswoman Vicky Cayetano, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, and U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele are running in Hawaii’s gubernatorial primary. Points of contention in the race include Green’s financial records, a telescope project, and marijuana legalization.

Cayetano and Kahele held a joint press conference on July 27 where they called on Green to release certain financial records. Hawaii Public Radio’s Sabrina Bodon wrote, “The pair renewed calls for Green to share records regarding his finances and links to three limited liability companies. They said the LLCs have contributed up to $1 million to Green’s income over the years.” 

According to Hawaii News Now, “[M]ost of the allegations they made and questions they raised have been heard before. … Kahele and Cayetano also repeated that Green paid a $1,000 fine over disputed mainland contributions when he ran for lieutenant governor. Even though those facts aren’t new, both say Green hasn’t responded adequately.”

According to Bodon, “Green has said one LLC was used for his income as a doctor, and asserted that other calls of unethical behavior have either been clerical errors or taken out of context.”

In a campaign ad that aired the day of the press conference, Green said, “When campaigns get desperate, sometimes they start attacking instead of talking about the issues that really matter to people. … But you know me. I’m gonna keep talking about building affordable housing, fighting homelessness, and lowering the cost of living.”

Cayetano, Green, and Kahele disagree on the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope project, a plan to construct a $2.65 billion telescope on the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano. Cayetano supports it, Kahele opposes the plans as they stand, and Green expressed disappointment in the handling of the project, saying he supported large projects like the telescope if they were done with respect between cultures. 

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser‘s Dan Nakaso, the candidates also disagree on recreational marijuana legalization. Nakaso wrote, “Kahele and Green support legalizing recreational marijuana, with caveats, while Cayetano is opposed.”

A poll conducted for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in mid-July showed Green at 55%, Cayetano at 19%, and Kahele at 16%. The margin of error was +/- 5.6 percentage points. 

Seven candidates are running in the primary on Aug. 13. 

Competitiveness data: TN, CT, MN, and WI

Tennessee holds primaries on Aug. 4. Connecticut, Minnesota, and Wisconsin hold primaries on Aug. 9. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

Tennessee

Connecticut

Minnesota

Wisconsin

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Beasley, Budd, and seven other candidates running in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate general election on Nov. 8

Former state supreme court justice Cheri Beasley (D), U.S. Rep Ted Budd (R), and seven others are running in the general election on Nov. 8, 2022, to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.

Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R)—who first took office in 2005—is not seeking re-election, making this an open seat race. In 2020, when the state last held an election for U.S. Senate, incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis (R) defeated Cal Cunningham (D), 49% to 47%. In 2016, Burr defeated Deborah Ross (D), 51% to 45%.

The two most recent presidential elections in North Carolina were decided by less than 4 percentage points. In the 2020 election, incumbent President Donald Trump (R) defeated Joe Biden (D), 49.9% to 48.6%. In the 2016 election, Trump carried North Carolina with 49.8% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 46.2%. At the start of the 2022 election cycle, Inside Elections rated this state Battleground Republican.

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. Republicans are defending two Senate seats in states Joe Biden (D) won in the 2020 presidential election: Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats are not defending any Senate seats in states Donald Trump (R) won in 2020.

Minor party, independent, and write-in candidates include Matthew Hoh (G), Shannon Bray (L), and independent candidates Hayden Boyette, Michelle Lewis, Kimrey Rhinehardt, Brenda Rodriguez, and Marc White.

Additional reading:

U.S. Senate battlegrounds, 2022

United States Senate election in North Carolina, 2022 (May 17 Democratic primary)

United States Senate election in North Carolina, 2022 (May 17 Republican primary)



$118,005 spent with USPS from Indiana campaign accounts

In Indiana, state-level candidates and PACs have spent $118,005 from their campaign accounts on services from the United States Postal Service in the 2022 election cycle so far. USPS received 0.3 percent of all $34.3 million in reported expenditures

According to Indiana Secretary of State reports, here are the top candidates and PACs that have spent campaign funds with USPS between Jan. 1, 2021, and Jun. 30, 2022.

Top 10 Indiana candidates and PACs spending money with USPS

Of the $118,005 spent with USPS, 52.7 percent came from these 10 campaign accounts.

Top Campaign Expenditures with USPS (1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022)

RankTotal Paid to USPSNameAccount Type
1.$20,262.00Kevin BoehnleinCandidate Committee
2.$7,934.15Marion County Democratic Central CommitteeNon-Candidate Committee
3.$7,405.15Todd ConnorCandidate Committee
4.$6,519.16INDIANA BUSINESS FOR RESPONSIVE GOVERNMENTNon-Candidate Committee
5.$3,886.00Bobbi PlummerCandidate Committee
6.$3,854.95Bryan WashburnCandidate Committee
7.$3,285.65Daniel ElliottCandidate Committee
8.$3,128.49Diego MoralesCandidate Committee
9.$3,068.60Suzanne CrouchCandidate Committee
10.$2,902.22Fred GlynnCandidate Committee

Campaign expenditures with USPS in eight states

Here is how spending with USPS in Indiana compares to other states with the most recent report data available from Transparency USA for the 2021-2022 election cycle:

Comparison of total spent with USPS, by state

RankStateExpenditures with USPSTotal Reported Expenditures% of Total Reported ExpendituresAvailable Reporting Period
1California$15,081,328$1,226,617,6541.23%1/1/2021 – 5/21/2022
2Pennsylvania$2,783,385$520,342,0530.53%1/1/2021 – 6/16/2022
3Texas$2,296,493$558,195,683.200.41%1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022
4Michigan$516,804$164,128,118.560.31%1/1/2021 – 7/20/2022
5Wisconsin$359,986$84,579,752.310.43%1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022
6North Carolina$275,000$57,297,691.780.48%1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022
7Indiana$118,005$34,302,447.740.34%1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022
8Ohio$58,235$71,355,093.800.08%1/1/2021 – 6/3/2022

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Indiana PACs submitted to the Indiana Secretary of State. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Name of ReportReporting PeriodDeadline
2021 Annual1/1/2021 – 12/31/20221/19/2022
2022 Q1 & Q2/ July Semiannual1/1/2022 – 6/30/20227/15/2022
2022 Pre-Election4/8/2022 – 10/14/202210/21/2022
2022 Q310/14/2022 – 10/24/202211/1/2022
2022 Annual1/1/2022 – 12/31/20221/18/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



$15.1 million spent with USPS from California campaign accounts

In California, state-level candidates and PACs have spent $15.1 million from their campaign accounts on services from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the 2022 election cycle so far. USPS received 1.2 percent of all $1.2 billion in reported expenditures

According to California Secretary of State reports, here are the top candidates and PACs that have spent campaign funds with USPS between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 21, 2022.

Top 10 California candidates and PACs spending money with USPS

Of the $15.1 million spent with USPS, 32.6 percent came from these 10 campaign accounts.

Top Campaign Expenditures with USPS (1/1/2021 – 5/21/2022)

RankTotal Paid to USPSNameAccount Type
1.$1,207,709.29Steven GlazerCandidate Committee
2.$625,831.23Committee to Increase Voting in CaliforniaNon-Candidate Committee
3.$567,102.20Stop the Republican Recall of Governor NewsomNon-Candidate Committee
4.$499,815.14California Apartment Association Housing Solutions CommitteeNon-Candidate Committee
5.$388,001.16Coalition to Restore California’s Middle Class Including Energy Companies Who Produce Gas Oil Jobs and Pay TaxesNon-Candidate Committee
6.$385,160.00Jim CooperCandidate Committee
7.$358,506.00Future PACNon-Candidate Committee
8.$330,587.67Keep California GoldenNon-Candidate Committee
9.$276,834.58Keeping Californians Working a Coalition of Insurance Agents Technology Energy and Health Care ProvidersNon-Candidate Committee
10.$276,030.67Housing Providers for Responsible Solutions Sponsored by Housing ProvidersNon-Candidate Committee

Campaign expenditures on USPS in eight states

Here is how spending with USPS in California compares to other states with the most recent report data available from Transparency USA for the 2021-2022 election cycle:

Comparison of total spent with USPS, by state

RankStateExpenditures with USPSTotal Reported Expenditures% of Total Reported ExpendituresAvailable Reporting Period
1California$15,081,328$1,226,617,6541.23%1/1/2021 – 5/21/2022
2Pennsylvania$2,783,385$520,342,0530.53%1/1/2021 – 6/16/2022
3Texas$2,296,493$558,195,683.200.41%1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022
4Michigan$516,804$164,128,118.560.31%1/1/2021 – 7/20/2022
5Wisconsin$359,986$84,579,752.310.43%1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022
6North Carolina$275,000$57,297,691.780.48%1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022
7Indiana$118,005$34,302,447.740.34%1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022
8Ohio$58,235$71,355,093.800.08%1/1/2021 – 6/3/2022

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active California PACs submitted to the California Secretary of State. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Name of ReportReporting PeriodDeadline
2022 Jan Semiannual10/1/2021 – 12/31/20211/31/2022
2022 1st Pre-Primary1/1/2022 – 3/31/20224/28/2022
2022 2nd Pre-Primary4/1/2022 – 6/30/20225/26/2022
2022 July Semiannual7/1/2022 – 9/2/20228/1/2022
2022 1st Pre-General9/3/2022 – 9/30/20229/29/2022
2022 2nd Pre-General10/1/2022 – 12/31/202210/27/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual10/1/2021 – 12/31/20211/31/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Turnout for Kansas’ Aug. 2 abortion ballot measure

Welcome to the Thursday, August 4, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Turnout for Kansas’ Aug. 2 abortion ballot measure
  2. An update on defeated state legislative incumbents, and more from Tuesday’s battleground primaries
  3. A look at Minnesota’s upcoming primaries

Turnout for Kansas’ Aug. 2 abortion ballot measure

On Aug. 2, Kansans rejected an amendment to provide that the state constitution does not secure a right to abortion. The vote was 58.78% ‘No’ to 41.22% ‘Yes’.

Kansas is the first state to vote on an amendment addressing constitutional interpretation and abortion since the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade. The amendment was in response to a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling that the state’s Bill of Rights provides a state constitutional right to abortion.

Based on unofficial results, 908,745 people voted on the constitutional amendment compared to 727,360 in the gubernatorial primaries and 718,545 in the U.S. Senate primaries. Turnout on the amendment exceeded overall turnout at the 2018 (457,598) and 2020 (636,032) state primaries. 

Democratic turnout in the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate primaries was also higher than in recent years. 

  • Of those who voted in the gubernatorial primaries, 38% voted in the Democratic primary compared to 33% in 2018 and 20% in 2014. 
  • Of those who voted in the U.S. Senate primaries, 35% voted in the Democratic primary compared to 32% in 2018, 24% in 2016, and 20% in 2014. 

Since 2014, voters in four states – Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia – have approved amendments addressing constitutional interpretation and abortion. The last state to reject one was Florida in 2012. Kentucky is the next state to vote on this type of amendment on Nov. 8. 

In November, voters will decide on four more abortion-related ballot measures. Beside the constitutional amendment in Kentucky, measures will be on the ballot in California, Montana, and Vermont. You can read more about abortion-related measures at the link below.

Keep reading

An update on defeated state legislative incumbents, and more from Tuesday’s battleground primaries

On Tuesday, we covered elections in six states—Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Washington. 

Including what we know of those races so far, 156 state legislative incumbents—39 Democrats and 117 Republicans—have lost to primary challengers this cycle. Across the 33 states that have held primaries, 4.7% of incumbents running for re-election have lost—an elevated level of incumbent losses compared to previous cycles.

These totals include data from the six states that held state legislative primaries on Aug. 2. No incumbents have lost, so far, in Arizona, Michigan, and Washington, though races featuring incumbents remain uncalled. For the remaining states:

  1. Kansas: one Democrat and three Republicans lost;
  2. Ohio: one Democrat and two Republicans lost; and,
  3. Missouri: four Democrats and two Republicans lost.

To read more about state legislative incumbents defeated this year and keep up with the latest statistics, click here

U.S. Senate

Masters to face Kelly in November: Blake Masters defeated Jim Lamon, Mark Brnovich, and two other candidates in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Arizona. Incumbent Mark Kelly (D) ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. 

Schmitt advances to general election: Eric Schmitt won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Missouri. Schmitt defeated Vicky Hartzler, Eric Greitens, and seventeen other candidates. On the Democratic side, Trudy Busch Valentine defeated Lucas Kunce and nine other candidates. 

U.S. House

Schweikert advances to general election: David Schweikert defeated Josh Barnett and Elijah Norton in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District.  

Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District Republican primary too close to call: Eli Crane defeated Walter Blackman and five other candidates in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.  

Gibbs advances to general election: John Gibbs defeated Incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer in the Republican primary for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District. Meijer was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) following the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump endorsed Gibbs in this primary.

Stevens advances to general election: U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens defeated U.S. Rep. Andy Levin in the Democratic primary for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District. Michigan lost one congressional district following the 2020 census, and when the lines were redrawn, its new 11th district included areas represented by multiple Democratic incumbents.

Governor

Republican primary for governor of Arizona too close to call: Kari Lake, Scott Neely, Karrin Taylor Robson, and Paola Tulliani-Zen ran in the Republican primary. As of this writing, Lake had received 46% of the vote to Taylor Robson’s 44%. Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is term-limited. 

Dixon advances to general election: Tudor Dixon won the Republican primary for governor of Michigan. Dixon will face incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the November general election. 

Attorney general

Kobach advances to general election: Kris Kobach defeated Tony Mattivi and Kellie Warren in the Republican primary for Kansas attorney general. 

Click below to see more Aug. 2 election results. 

Keep reading 

A look at Minnesota’s upcoming primaries

Minnesota primaries take place Aug. 9. Here’s what’s on the ballot.

Congressional primaries

Minnesota is one of 15 states that does not have a U.S. Senate seat up for election this year. All of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats are up for election. Democrats hold a 4-3 majority in the U.S. House delegation (with one vacancy in the 1st Congressional District). Former Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) — the incumbent in the 1st district — passed away while in office on February 17. A special election to fill the seat is scheduled for Aug. 9.

Thirty-two candidates filed to run for Minnesota’s eight U.S. House districts, including 18 Democrats and 14 Republicans. That’s four candidates per district, less than the 4.63 candidates per district in 2020 and the 4.75 in 2018.

Eight candidates — three Republicans and five Democrats, including incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) — filed to run in the 5th district, the most candidates who filed for a seat this year. There were nine contested primaries this year, five Democratic and four Republican. That number was down from 10 contested primaries in 2020 and 2018.

State primaries

Five state executive offices are up for election in Minnesota, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. All 67 seats in the state Senate and all 134 seats in the state House are also up for election. 

Here’s a rundown of a few of those races. 

Incumbent Gov. Tim Walz and Ole Savior are running in the Democratic primary. Bob Carney Jr., Scott Jensen, and Joyce Lacey are running in the Republican primary. Minnesota’s last Republican governor was Tim Pawlenty, who served from 2003 to 2011. 

Minnesota has a divided government and is one of two states—along with Virginia—with a divided legislature. Republicans hold a 34-31 majority in the state Senate, while Democrats hold a 69-64 majority in the state House. Sixty-three state legislative districts are open, representing 31% of the state’s legislature. That’s an increase compared to the preceding four election cycles.

In Minnesota, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Minnesota is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. In Minnesota, partisan primaries are canceled if all candidates in each party are unopposed. Write-in candidates are prohibited from running in primaries. 

Click below to learn more about Minnesota’s upcoming primaries.  

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Final incumbent vs. incumbent primary upcoming in NY-12

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, Suraj Patel, and Ashmi Sheth are running in the Democratic primary for New York’s 12th Congressional District on Aug. 23. Maloney, Nadler, and Patel lead in endorsements, funding, and media attention.

This race is the last of six primaries featuring two U.S. House incumbents in 2022.

Maloney currently represents the 12th District as it was drawn before redistricting, and Nadler represents the old 10th District. Heading into the election, Maloney represents 61% of the redrawn 12th District’s population, and Nadler represents 39%, according to Daily Kos data.

Both representatives were first elected in 1992. Maloney chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Nadler chairs the Judiciary Committee. Maloney and Nadler are both members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and are campaigning as progressives.

Maloney’s campaign website says she has fostered “lasting bipartisan agreement in an increasingly polarized government, without giving up the ideals and causes she’s fought for throughout her career: promoting equality, protecting consumers, building infrastructure that serves New Yorkers and the region, extending and protecting healthcare coverage for all, protecting the environment, and working to understand and find solutions for everyday issues like affordable housing and small business support.”

Nadler’s campaign website says his record includes “standing up to Republican attempts at voter suppression, providing justice to survivors of sexual assault and harassment, [and] leading the impeachment of President Trump as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.” The website calls Nadler “a relentless defender of our country’s democracy and a fierce fighter for civil rights, racial justice, and a safer, more equal America.”

Patel, an attorney, was a campaign staffer for Barack Obama’s (D) presidential campaigns. Patel challenged Maloney in 2018 and 2020, receiving 40% of the vote to Maloney’s 60% in 2018 and 39% to Maloney’s 43% in 2020.

Patel calls himself “an Obama Democrat” and said, “Democrats need a new generation of leaders – practical and progressive leaders who can deliver new energy and fresh ideas on how to get things done.” Patel said, “New Yorkers are hungry for change. They want more affordable housing, better jobs, safer streets, modern infrastructure that actually gets built in their lifetimes, and representatives who are willing to do whatever it takes to protect and codify their human rights at the federal level.”

Major independent observers rate the general election as solid Democratic or safe Democratic.



Stevens defeated Levin in race incumbent-vs.-incumbent Democratic primary for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens defeated U.S. Rep. Andy Levin in the Democratic primary for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District on August 2, 2022. Stevens received 59.5% of the vote, and Levin received 40.5%.

This race was one of six incumbent-vs.-incumbent primaries occurring for the U.S. House in 2022 as a result of congressional redistricting.

Michigan lost one congressional district following the 2020 census, and when the lines were redrawn, its new 11th district included areas represented by multiple Democratic incumbents. According to data from Daily Kos, the newer 11th district contains about 45% of the older 11th district, which Stevens began representing in Congress in 2019. The newer 11th contains about 25% of the older 9th district, which Levin began representing in Congress in 2019.

When asked why he decided to run for election in the new 11th district instead of the new 9th, Levin said, “I’m running where I live, and I’m very happy about that decision, no regrets.” Levin’s campaign website said of the newer 11th district that Levin’s “roots in Oakland County, Michigan, go back well over 100 years” and that his father Sandy Levin (D) represented parts of the newer 11th in the older 9th district from 1983 to 2019.

Stevens called the incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary unfortunate, saying, “No one asked for this…In ten months, we are not going to be colleagues and that is not good. That is not good for Michigan. That’s not good for the Democratic Party. It’s not good for the country.” 

Levin served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs committees in the 117th Congress. He was also a member of the Progressive caucus. Levin’s campaign said he had a progressive record in Congress, citing his co-sponsorship of bills to implement the Green New Deal and Medicare for All and his endorsements from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D). Levin also emphasized his background on the campaign trail, saying of his former jobs as union organizer for the national AFL-CIO and SEIU, “It’s my life. I’m the union organizer in Congress.” Heading into the final month of the race, Levin had raised more than $4.5 million.

Stevens served on the Education and Labor and Science, Space & Technology committees in the 117th Congress. She helped launch the Women in STEM Caucus in 2020, which said that its goal is to support and increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Prior to her election to Congress in 2018, Stevens served as the chief of staff for the U.S. Auto Rescue Task Force under former President Barack Obama (D). Heading into the final month of the race, Stevens had raised more than $2.5 million. In a July 2022 Target-Insyght poll, Stevens led Levin with 58% of voter support to his 31%.

Before the primary, the Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections all rated Michigan’s 11th Congressional District as a solid/safe Democratic seat, meaning that the winner of the Democratic primary was very likely to win the general election as well.