Sun. May 26th, 2024
alert-–-how-control-of-the-senate-could-flip:-all-eyes-on-primaries-in-maryland,-west-virginia-and-nebraska-as-voters-head-to-the-pollsAlert – How control of the Senate could FLIP: All eyes on primaries in Maryland, West Virginia and Nebraska as voters head to the polls

Voters in three states are headed to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots in primary races that could help decide the majority in the Senate come November.

Democrats in the Senate currently hold a narrow 51 seat majority but are facing an unfriendly map this election season. 

The states holding primaries on Tuesday – Maryland, West Virginia and Nebraska –  are typically considered safe red or blue states, but based on who is running could lead to some shake-ups this fall. 

Republicans are gunning to reclaim the chamber after missing their chance in the 2022 midterms. 

Maryland’s Competitive primary

Voters in Maryland are heading to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots in the state’s Senate primary where the Democratic race for the nomination is extremely competitive and Republicans could force a competitive race in the usually blue state come November.  

Congressman David Trone

Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George's County executive

Former Governor Larry Hogan

Democrats will choose their candidate to go up against former GOP Governor Larry Hogan in the Maryland Senate race

It is an open race to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Senator Ben Cardin. The 80-year-old announced he would not seek another term a year ago.

Angela Alsobrooks and Congressman David Trone appear to be neck-and-neck in the Democratic primary race.

The latest poll by Emerson College has Alsobrooks polling at 42 percent among Democratic primary voters while Trone has 41 percent. Several other recent polls had Trone leading in the razor-thin race.

Alsobrooks has served as executive of Prince George’s County just outside Washington, D.C., since 2018. 

She has the backing of Maryland Democratic heavyweights including Governor Wes Moore, Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Jamie Raskin.

If she wins the primary and is elected in November, she would be the first black woman elected to the Senate from the state and the only black woman serving in the Senate nationally.

Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is backed by Maryland's Governor Wes Moore, Senator Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Jamie Raskin

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is backed by Maryland’s Governor Wes Moore, Senator Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Jamie Raskin

Rep. David Trone has served as a congressman since 2019 and has put more than $50 million of his own money into the race

Rep. David Trone has served as a congressman since 2019 and has put more than $50 million of his own money into the race

Former Governor Larry Hogan served as the state's chief executive including leading it through the coronavirus pandemic

Former Governor Larry Hogan served as the state’s chief executive including leading it through the coronavirus pandemic

Senator Ben Cardin announced he would retire at the end of his latest term. He has served in the Senate since 2007

Senator Ben Cardin announced he would retire at the end of his latest term. He has served in the Senate since 2007

Trone has been a congressman representing Maryland’s 6th congressional district since 2019 which includes some suburbs of Washington, DC.

While Alsobrooks has the backing of top Democrats in the state – Trone, a businessman, has a whopping cash advantage. 

Trone has put more than $54 million of his own money into his campaign through April 24 according to federal election filings.

Whoever wins the Democratic primary will go up against the likely Republican Senate nominee Larry Hogan. 

Hogan, who has been a Donald Trump critic, was the GOP governor in the blue state from 2015 to 2023 and left office with high marks from both Democrats and Republicans. 

Emerson College’s latest general election poll show both Alsobrooks and Trone both leading him in the race, but other polls have shown Hogan leading by as much as double digits, signaling his entrance into the Senate fight has made it much more competitive this fall. 

Voters cast ballots in the Maryland primary election in Chester, MD on May 14

Voters cast ballots in the Maryland primary election in Chester, MD on May 14

A voter casts a ballot on May 14, 2024 in the Maryland primary

A voter casts a ballot on May 14, 2024 in the Maryland primary

Nearly $60 million has been spent in the Maryland Senate primaries alone making it one of the most expensive. The vast majority of that spending has been by Trone who has dropped more than $45 million on advertising in the race.

Polls close at 8pm ET. 

Joe Manchin’s Senate exit paves way for a West Virginia Republican

West Virginia has become a deeply red state with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin being the last Democrat in statewide office. But Manchin is not running for re-election. 

His retirement from the Senate means Republicans are more than likely to pick up the open seat come November. Cook Political Report rates it as solidly Republican. 

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced in November that he would not seek re-election paving the way for Republicans to flip the seat

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced in November that he would not seek re-election paving the way for Republicans to flip the seat

Governor Jim Justice

Rep. Alex Mooney

Republican West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is leading by double-digits in the state’s GOP Senate primary

Former Democrat turned Republican Governor Jim Justice is the frontrunner in the Republican West Virginia Senate race. 

Justice is one of the wealthiest people in the state and has the name recognition to match having served as governor since 2017.

Justice’s closest opponent in the GOP primary race is Congressman Alex Mooney.

Mooney has served in Congress since 2015. He has been getting a boost from the conservative super PAC Club for Growth Action, but Justice has been leading in the polls by double digits.

Democrats running in the primary include former coal executive Don Blankenship who served prison time for violating mine safety rules, Wheeling mayor Glenn Elliot and Marine veteran and community activist Zachary Shrewsbury.

Polls in the state close at 7:30pm ET. 

Nebraska holds two Senate primaries 

In Nebraska, voters are casting ballots in two Senate races thanks to former Republican Senator Ben Sasse’s retirement in 2022.

In one race, Republican Senator Deb Fischer is up for re-election and seeking her third term.  She’s being challenged in the GOP primary by Arron Kowalski. 

While the race is not considered competitive, Fischer does not have the backing of the state Republican party.

Republican Senator Deb Fischer

Republican Senator Pete Ricketts

Nebraska voters are casting ballots in two Senate races. Senator Fischer is up for re-election and Senator Pete Ricketts is facing a special election having been appointed to fill the seat vacated by former Senator Ben Sasse

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Pete Ricketts, who was appointed to the seat when Sasse retired, is running in the special election to serve two more years.

Ricketts is leading in a race against GOP challengers John Glen Weaver and Mac Stevens, but he also did not receive an endorsement from the state party.

Also in Nebraska, Rep. Don Bacon is facing a primary challenger in Nebraska’s second congressional district which serves as a bellwether in the presidential election. 

Rep. Don Bacon and his wife Angie Bacon vote in the Nebraska primary

Rep. Don Bacon and his wife Angie Bacon vote in the Nebraska primary

 Bacon, who has served since 2017, won reelection in 2020 but Biden also won the district with more than 56 percent.

Bacon is being challenged by business executive Dan Frei, who is backed by the state Republican party. 

Whoever wins the primary will face a tough primary against Democrat Tony Vargas who lost to Bacon in the 2022 midterm by less than 6,000 votes. 

error: Content is protected !!