Tuesday Features Runoffs in NC, SC, MS; Primary in UT
Tuesday, June 22 — that’s today — features primary runoffs in North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi. Utah also hosts a primary, but it is similar to a runoff, thanks to a dual convention/primary system that eliminates many candidates at the convention.
The big contest Tuesday is probably the North Carolina Democratic primary for US Senate. The race is between Cal Cunningham and Elaine Marshall to see who will take on incumbent Richard Burr in the general. Burr is probably the most vulnerable incumbent Republican Senator.
Cunningham has the backing of the Washington establishment and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, while Marshall draws much more support from grassroots and activist organizations like DFA and Moveon.org. In the May 5 primary, Marshall won 36 percent of the vote while Cunningham took 27 percent.
The Republican Congressional primary in NC-08 is also drawing interest. The controversial Tim D’Annunzio is facing off against Harold Johnson. National Republicans are strongly hoping D’Annunzio does not get the nomination.
Nikki Haley came in just below the 50 percent mark two weeks ago in the Republican primary for Governor, forcing her into a runoff with Gresham Barrett. Haley received almost twice as many votes as Barrett in the first round and should easily win Tuesday.
Republican Rep. Bob Inglis (SC-03 04) looks like he will be the latest incumbent to lose this cycle. In the first round of the primary, he was able to win only 28 percent of the vote, compared with Trey Gowdy’s 39 percent.
In the Republican-heavy 1st District, if Tim Scott beats Paul Thurmond (son of the late Senator Strom), he will likely be responsible for increasing the number of African-American Republicans in Congress next year from zero to one.
In Mississippi’s 2nd District, are competing for the Republican nomination. The seat leans strongly Democratic and is currently held by Bennie Thompson (D).
In Utah, Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater are competing for the Republican nomination for Senate. In the convention, they both managed to get enough delegate votes to prevent incumbent GOP Sen. Bennie Thompson from running in the primary, effectively ending his career. The winner of this contest will likely go on to be the next Senator from Utah. Bennett is endorsing Bridgewater in the primary.
On the House side, there is some interest in the UT-02 Democratic primary. Liberal Claudia Wright had a surprisingly strong showing in the party convention and won the right to take on incumbent Jim Matheson in the primary. Matheson is expected to win, though, with the latest poll showing him in the lead, 52 to 33 percent.