DemDaily: Tuesday’s Election Results! Maryland, Nebraska, West Virginia

May 16, 2024

Voters in Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia went to the polls Tuesday, setting in motion what could be a historic shift in the political landscape for the next generation of voters.

In the high-profile Maryland US Senate primary, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks defeated three-term Congressman David Trone, 54%-41.9%, to secure the Democratic nomination in the heavily blue Free State.

Alsobrooks, who is poised to make history as the state's first Black US Senator and the third black woman in the Upper Chamber of Congress, will now face former GOP Governor Larry Hogan in the general election -- one of only two Republicans to hold statewide office in the last 40 years.

See: DemDaily: Alsobrooks Triumphs in Maryland Senate Primary 5/15/24

Presidential Primary ResultsDemocrat: Joe Biden 90%, Dean Phillips (dropped out) 10%. Republican: Donald Trump 80.2%, Nikki Haley (dropped out) 17.9%.

Incumbent Senator Deb Fischer (R) easily won renomination to a third term with 80% of the GOP primary vote and will face Independent candidate Dan Osborn in the general. As President of the Bakery Confectionary Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM), Local 50G, Osborn drew national attention for leading the successful 2021 Kellogg’s strike in Omaha -- securing benefits and a new contract for some 1,400 workers.

A Navy and National Guard veteran, Osborn entered the race in October 2023. No Democrats filed to run for the seat, with the expectation that state Democrats would be supporting Osborn in the general election. However, in a surprise announcement Wednesday, Osborn said that he would no longer seek endorsements from any political party as he didn't want to be beholden to either major party -- or the money and special interests behind them.

Democratic Party leaders, who reportedly have been meeting with Osborn for months, were blindsided by his "change in course" the day after the primary. State Party Chair Jane Kleeb confirmed they will now put forward a write-in candidate to represent the Democratic Party.

A April 24-25 Public Policy Polling survey, sponsored by the Osborn Campaign, showed Osborn trailing Fischer by just 4 points, 37% to 33%, with 30% of Nebraska voters undecided (MOE: +/- 3.6%).

In Nebraska's US Senate Special Election, former Governor and interim US Senator Pete Ricketts (R) easily defeated two minor primary opponents on Tuesday with 79% of the vote. Ricketts will face Democratic author and activist Preston Love in November to see who will complete the remaining two years of former Senator Ben Sasse's (R) term -- who resigned in January 2023 to become the president of the University of Florida.

West Virginia
Presidential Primary ResultsDemocrat: Joe Biden 70.5%, Jason Palmer 11.5%, Stephen Lyons 7.6%, Dean Phillips 7.5%. Republican: Donald Trump 88.4%, Nikki Haley (dropped out) 9.4%, Rachel Swift 1.0%.

While the Mountain State, which has voted with the Republican nominee in the last six presidential elections, will not be a factor in the race for the White House, it will play a critical role in control of the US Senate.

Embattled centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a frequent swing vote for the GOP who was reelected in 2018 by just 3.3%, announced his retirement in November, ending all hopes of Democrats retaining the seat.

Manchin would have faced popular two-term Governor Jim Justice, who entered the Senate race in April 2023, and on Tuesday defeated Congressman Alex Mooney, a member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, 61.8%-26.6% for the GOP nomination.

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott prevailed in Tuesday's Democratic primary with 45.4%, followed by political organizer Zachary Shrewsbury with 36.1% and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship with 18.4%.

In the race to succeed Justice as Governor, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won the GOP primary, narrowly defeating former State Delegate Moore Capito, 33.3%-37.6%. Automobile dealer Chris Miller received 20.4%, Secretary of State Mac Warner 16% and two other candidates 1.4%.

Capito, who is the grandson of former Governor Arch Moore and son of US Senator Shelley Moore Capito, was endorsed last month by Justice, who campaigned with him statewide.

Morrisey, who was elected to his third term as AG in 2020 with 63.77% of the vote, unsuccessfully challenged Mansion in 2018, losing 46.3% to 49.6%. In the general election, he will be running against Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, who was unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election.

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Sources: Ballotpedia, Washington Post, New York Times, The Washington Informer, Maryland Matters, Nebraska Examiner, Mountain State News, KETV, FiveThirtyEight

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