DemDaily: Battleground and Blue. Tuesday’s Election Results!

September 9, 2020

Tuesday's New Hampshire and Rhode Island state primary elections were among the last on the election calendar, and in two states with very different political environments.

(Tony Schinella/Patch)

In the presidential battleground state of New Hampshire, both statewide incumbents -- one Republican and one Democrat -- easily fended off primary challenges in the last test of the electorate before the presidential just eight weeks away.

The results reflect the divided electorate and government of the Granite state, one of just three states with Republican governors that voted for Hillary Clinton, who won the state's four electoral votes by less than 3,000 votes in 2016.

The 2016 elections also saw Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan defeat incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte to join Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen in the US Senate, and, with the two House members, secure a completely Democratic Congressional delegation.

In the same election, however, Republican Chris Sununu was elected Governor, giving Republicans, who also controlled both state houses, full control over state government.

New Hampshire is one of only two states, along with bordering Vermont, to hold gubernatorial elections every two years as opposed to every four.

In the 2018 midterm elections, both chambers of the state legislature flipped to Democratic control, while Sununu was reelected as governor, resulting in a divided government.

NH Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes will face Sununu in November (wiki)

This set up a critical dynamic for the 2020 elections and control of redistricting following the 2020 census. In New Hampshire, the state legislature is responsible for drafting both congressional and state legislative district plans, but those plans are subject to gubernatorial veto.

In addition to the presidential, the US Senate, and the Gubernatorial races, all 25 State Senate (14D-10R) and all 400 State House (233D-167R) seats are up for election in 2020.

Incumbent Governor Chris Sununu swept yesterday's Republican primary with 89.9%, and will defend his seat in the general election against Democratic primary winner and State Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes.

Felts, the establishment candidate, won with 52.6% to 47.4% secured by progressive attorney and education activist Andru Volinksky, who had the endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders.

Although the race is rated as a likely Republican victory, a strong win by Biden in the presidential could produce crucial coattails that sway the swing electorate.

An August 15-17, 2020 St. Anselm College poll (MOE +/- 3.0) of registered New Hampshire voters had Joe Biden leading Donald Trump 51% to 43%.

US Senate
Two-term Democratic US Senator Jeanne Shaheen cruised to victory in the Democratic Primary with 94.1% over two challengers.

In the general election Shaheen will face Republican primary winner Bryant "Corky" Messner, a wealthy lawyer endorsed by President Trump, who moved full-time to the state from Denver only in 2018.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen is heavily favored to win reelection

Messner secured 50.6% to main rival and retired Army General Don Bolduc's 42.5%, followed by two other contenders under 7%.

In the First Congressional District Republican primary, New Hampshire GOP Executive Director Matt Mowers, who was endorsed by President Trump, emerged the victor of the five-way contest with 59.6%.

Mowers will take on freshman Democratic Congressman Chris Pappas, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

In the Second Congressional District, four-term Democratic Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster will be challenged by former State House Representative Steven Negron, who won the Republican primary with 48.3% of the vote.

Four-term Democratic Senator Jack Reed, who was unopposed in his primary, is expected to easily win reelection in November against Republican challenger Allen Waters, who first filed to challenge Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey before switching states to run in Rhode Island.

In the First Congressional District, Democratic Congressman David Cicilline, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and has no Republican opponent, will be headed to a sixth term in November.

Ten-term Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin will be challenged in the solidly blue
Second Congressional District by former State Representative Bob Lancia.

Democrats hold both US Senate seats, the Governor's mansion, and a supermajority in both State Chambers. Hillary Clinton won the deep blue Ocean State in 2016 with 54.4% to Donald Trump 38.9%.

State Primaries & Runoffs
September 15: Delaware State Primary
November 3:    Lousiana State Primary
December 4:    Lousiana State Runoff

Presidential & Vice Presidential Debates

September 29: First Presidential Debate (Cleveland, Ohio)

October 7:       Vice Presidential Debate (Salt Lake City, Utah)
October 15:     Second Presidential Debate (Miami, Florida)
October 22:     Third Presidential Debate (Nashville, Tennessee)

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: New York Times, Roll Call, Ballotpedia

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