What to Know About the May 14 Primary Elections

Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia will go to the polls to pick their party’s nominees for the general election.

Voters in three states—Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia—will go to the polls today to pick their party’s nominees for the general election, with control of various state and federal offices on the line.

The contests for president will be largely uneventful, as former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden are already their party’s presumptive nominees.

Also on the ballot for Republicans will be former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley who, despite dropping out of the race at the beginning of March, has continued to rake in double-digit support in Republican contests.

Likewise, President Biden is expected to win his primary comfortably, though Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) and Marianne Williamson will still appear on the ballot, despite dropping their bid for the presidency already.

Here’s what you should know about the primary contests.

Maryland

In Maryland, voters will choose nominees for the state’s eight House seats, a nominee for the U.S. Senate, and their pick for president.

In the highly establishmentarian Old Line State, Ms. Haley could garner substantial support against the presumptive nominee, though President Trump is still expected to win the race.

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The much more closely watched contest in the state will be between two Democrats vying for the Senate nomination.

This year, the contest is an open one for both parties, as Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is stepping down and not seeking reelection.

Two Democrats, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), are seeking their party’s nomination.

It’s been an expensive and time-consuming campaign for Mr. Trone, who has broken records for self-funding his campaign with millions from his own coffers.

In exchange for his roughly $50 million investment in the campaign, Mr. Trone is seen as the favorite for the nomination, but only barely.

Despite lagging substantially in funding, Ms. Alsobrooks has managed to stay about neck-and-neck with Mr. Trone.

The most recent poll of the contest has her leading by two points, suggesting that the race to become Maryland’s next senator will be one of the closest Senate primaries for Democrats in decades.

Until recently, this was a sleepy contest that seemed likely to be a lock for Democrats in the dark blue state,  which hasn’t elected a Republican senator for nearly half a century.

However, that changed when Larry Hogan, the popular former Republican governor of the state, announced at the eleventh hour that he would be seeking the nomination.

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks to the press during a campaign stop at South Mountain Creamery in Frederick, Md., on April 6, 2024. (Courtesy of Larry Hogan)
Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks to the press during a campaign stop at South Mountain Creamery in Frederick, Md., on April 6, 2024. (Courtesy of Larry Hogan)

In some polls, Mr. Hogan has even led his Democratic rivals, though those polls have shifted toward the Democrats as the election has approached.

Candidate Robin Ficker, who presents himself as a strong ally of President Trump, has run a tough ad campaign in the state, but polls show that he still lags substantially behind Mr. Hogan, who’s far and away the frontrunner for the nomination.

The primary election could have big implications for who will control the U.S. Senate in 2024, with Republicans projected to have a fighting chance at flipping the deep-blue seat should Mr. Hogan win the nomination.

Marylanders will also choose their nominees for Maryland’s 6th congressional district, an open seat vacated by Mr. Trone to pursue his Senate run.

Two Democrats—Joe Vogel, a state delegate, and April McClain-Delaney, who served in President Biden’s Department of Energy— are the frontrunners for the seat.

Polls have painted an unclear picture of the contest, with some showing a runaway, double-digit victory for Ms. McClain-Delaney, while others show a dead heat.

The nominee is also favored to win the general election in the district, which last elected a Republican in 2010.

However, with Mr. Trone leaving the seat, Republicans consider it in play.

On the GOP side, many Republicans are seeking the nomination, though two are the most likely to win due to their name-recognition advantage.

Those include Dan Cox, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and Neil Parrott, who unsuccessfully challenged Mr. Trone for his seat in 2022.

No polls of the race on the GOP side have been conducted, making it difficult to predict who will be victorious in the state.

West Virginia

Just to the west of Maryland, voters in West Virginia will also be selecting their nominees today. As in Maryland, the presidential race is not expected to be heavily contested here.

President Trump is widely expected to far surpass Ms. Haley’s margins in the state, which delivered President Trump some of his biggest percentage wins in 2016 and 2020.

Likewise, President Biden is expected to glide to an easy victory in the state.

The big contest, like in Maryland, is for the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), the only Democrat to hold onto his office as the state veered ever further rightward, announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking reelection.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) speaks at the Planet Word Museum in Washington, on March 19, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) speaks at the Planet Word Museum in Washington, on March 19, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In a state that President Trump won by nearly 40 points in 2020, this all but guarantees that Republicans will easily flip the seat.

Two Republicans are vying for their party’s blessing to be the state’s next senator: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W. Va.).

Mr. Justice has far and away led the polling in the state. Despite some grumbling by Mr. Mooney and other conservatives about Mr. Justice’s right-wing bona fides, the governor is expected to cruise to an easy victory over Mr. Mooney.

On the Democrat side, three West Virginians are competing for the nomination but each lacks the storied history and name recognition of Mr. Manchin.

Voters will also choose their picks for the governorship being left behind by Mr. Justice in a contest that pits political dynasty against political dynasty.

The three big-name contenders in the race are former state delegate Moore Capito, son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Chris Miller, son of Rep. Carol Miller (R-W. Va.), and Secretary of State Mac Warner.

As with the Senate, the nominee is all but guaranteed victory in ruby-red West Virginia.

However, no polls of the governor’s race in the state have been taken.

Also contested will be the nominations for both of the state’s congressional districts, including Mr. Mooney’s vacated seat.

Nebraska

Finally, voters in Nebraska will also head to the polls.

The hottest race in the Republican-leaning state is that of Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), who represents the state’s second congressional district encompassing Omaha, a district that voted for President Biden in 2020.

The swing district is a major battleground heading into the 2024 election.

As a Biden-district Republican, Mr. Bacon is one of the most moderate Republicans in the 118th Congress, a position that has caused backlash from some conservatives. That’s the message of Dan Frei, a state-level Republican operative running to Mr. Bacon’s right.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) arrives for a GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol, on Oct. 16, 2023. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) arrives for a GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol, on Oct. 16, 2023. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

However, Mr. Bacon seems poised to win his reelection bid easily.

The most recent poll, commissioned by Mr. Bacon, shows Mr. Bacon leading by a whopping 50-point margin, suggesting that the race isn’t on track to be a close one.

The Democratic ticket, meanwhile, is uncontested, with Nebraska State Sen. Tony Vargas hurtling toward a rematch with Mr. Bacon.

In 2022, Mr. Vargas came within striking distance of winning the seat, losing his race by only a three percent margin.

Mr. Bacon is seen by observers as a more electable candidate in the purple district.

Also running in Nebraska is Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), though she’s facing no significant primary opposition.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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