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  1. Amy McGrath's big upset in Kentucky shows how message and money can overcome the establishment

    On Tuesday, retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, beat Lexington Mayor Jim Gray 49-41 in the Democratic primary to take on GOP Rep. Andy Barr in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. While late polling showed McGrath in a position to pull off the win, her victory was still a monumental upset against an opponent who began the race with widespread name recognition and had been recruited into the race by the DCCC even after McGrath had spent months on the campaign trail.

    But the D-Trip had no problems switching horses on primary night: The National Journal recently reported that the committee had established a much better relationship with their newly minted nominee over the last few months, and as soon as McGrath had won, the DCCC rolled out a poll conducted by their in-house analytics team that gave her a huge 52-37 lead over Barr, even though Donald Trump carried this seat 55-39.

    Of course, when you see a spread like that, it’s only natural to wonder if the numbers are too good to be true. The only other survey we've seen of the race was a February internal from McGrath that showed her trailing Barr 48-44. The DCCC survey, by contrast, was conducted in late April and early May—a time when both McGrath and Gray were spending heavily on ads while Barr, who had minimal opposition in his primary, was off the air. The Democratic contest stayed positive until the final weekend of the primary, so it's very possible that McGrath is doing well in the DCCC's poll in part because voters saw plenty of ads touting her without viewing any spots attacking her or promoting Barr.

    That state of affairs won't hold in the general election, of course. Barr had $2.3 million in the bank as of early May, so he'll have plenty of money to get his message out, and his allies at the Congressional Leadership Fund have also reserved $1.8 million in fall TV time to defend him (the Democratic group House Majority PAC booked $564,000 in March to help the eventual Democratic nominee). And while Barr was able to stockpile cash, McGrath spent much of her war chest on her primary, so she'll need to replenish it. However, McGrath has proven to be a very strong fundraiser (she brought in $2 million through early May), so she, too, should have the resources she'll need for November.

    McGrath's decisive victory over Gray is also a good reminder that, while it's certainly good to start out a primary with strong name recognition, it's very possible to overcome your opponent’s advantage if you have a strong message and the money to broadcast it far and wide. One of the reasons that we at Daily Kos Elections spend so much time looking at candidate fundraising is to get an idea about which contenders, regardless of how well-known they are and where they stand in the polls at the start of a race, have the resources to get their name and message out, and which ones don't.

  2. Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 5/23

    Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

    Please note: The Live Digest is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free space. It’s also an elections-only zone. If you'd like to discuss policy, please visit the latest Daily Kos Elections policy open thread.

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    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:29:22 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    AR-02: State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the four-way Democratic primary with 58 percent of the vote, so he will not need to go through a June runoff; teacher Gwen Combs was a distant second with 20 percent. This central Arkansas seat, which includes Little Rock, backed Trump 52-42, but national Democrats are excited about Tucker's campaign against sophomore Rep. French Hill.

    Tucker recently beat cancer, something he's emphasized in his commercials. The Democrat has been a strong fundraiser during his first few months in the race, though Hill had a big $1.63 million to $240,000 cash-on-hand edge in early May.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:50:28 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    GA-06: The Democratic primary to take on GOP Rep. Karen Handel will go to a July 23 runoff. Prominent gun-safety activist Lucy McBath led with 36 percent of the vote, while businessman Kevin Abel beat former new anchor Bobby Kaple 31-26 for the second runoff spot.

    McBath got involved in gun safety efforts in 2012, the year her 17-year-old son was murdered by a gunman, and she was invited to the Obama White House and spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She had originally planned to run against a GOP state representative, but she unexpectedly announced in March that she'd challenge Handel. McBath only raised $106,000 through May 2, but she got some critical help during the final days of the campaign when Everytown For Gun Safety, a group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, launched a $540,000 TV buy for her.

    Abel, who has loaned his campaign $150,000, has been a much stronger fundraiser so far, and he outspent both his rivals in the lead up to the primary. Abel has largely run a centrist campaign, arguing that he can win over Republicans in this historically red suburban seat. But Abel, who is originally from South Africa, did run an ad where he spoke to the camera to tell Trump he was an immigrant who was running "in part because of a reaction to you holding DACA kids hostage," and he concluded, "America was a better, more decent and kind place, before you."

    Handel won the most expensive House election in American history last year by a 52-48 margin against Jon Ossoff. Major outside groups haven't made fall reservations here yet, but both parties will probably be keeping an eye on this 61-37 Romney to 48-47 Trump seat.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:01:13 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    GA-07: Georgia State public policy professor Carolyn Bourdeaux and businessman David Kim will face off in the July Democratic runoff to take on GOP Rep. Rob Woodall. Bourdeaux, who has the support of EMILY's List, led Kim 27-26, while attorney Ethan Pham took third with 18 percent. Bourdeaux has raised a credible $530,000 through May, while Kim who founded a national test-prep company, raised about $223,000 and self-funded another $524,000.

    This seat, which includes Atlanta's northeast suburbs, moved from 60-38 Romney to 51-45 Trump. Woodall is far from the most vulnerable House Republican, but he could have trouble in a Democratic wave year. Woodall, who has never faced a competitive Democratic opponent, also had just under $500,000 in the bank in early May, which is not a huge war chest for a four-term incumbent in a potentially competitive race.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:06:28 PM +00:00 · David Nir

    Special Elections: Not much to see here. Johnny Longtorso has the summary:

    Arkansas SD-16: Republicans held this seat, with Breanne Davis defeating Democrat Teresa Gallegos by a 77-23 margin.

    Arkansas SD-29: This was also a hold for the Republicans. Ricky Hill defeated Democrat Steven McNeely by a 79-21 margin.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:20:05 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    WV-Sen: Coal baron Don Blankenship's attempt to run under a third-party banner after losing this month's Republican primary could end up running afoul of West Virginia's "sore loser" law, but it isn't so clear cut whether his planned legal challenge against the law will fail. Legislators passed a law earlier this year that makes it much clearer that those who lose a primary can't turn around and petition their way onto the general election ballot, but that new law doesn't take effect until a month from now. Consequently, legal experts haven't reached a consensus on whether Blankenship will be able to mount his spoiler campaign under the previous statutes.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:24:41 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    AZ-Gov: AFSCME has endorsed Arizona State University professor David Garcia in the Democratic primary for governor, where he faces state Sen. Steve Farley.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:39:56 PM +00:00 · David Nir

    NY-AG: On Tuesday, lawmakers in both houses of New York's legislature jointly named Barbara Underwood as the state's new attorney general by a vote of 190-1, filling the vacancy abruptly created when fellow Democrat Eric Schneiderman resigned in the midst of a sexual assault scandal two weeks earlier. Underwood had been serving as acting attorney general since Schneiderman's departure and is now the first woman ever to hold the post on a permanent basis, though she has pledged not to seek a full four-year term this fall.

    As a result, there will be an open Democratic primary in September, though there's already a frontrunner: New York City Public Advocate Tish James, who was endorsed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday. As Politico notes, James has spent years preparing for a run for higher office—most likely mayor—and was therefore quickly able to consolidate support for her bid for attorney general instead. If she wins, she'd be the first black woman ever elected statewide in New York.

    James won't have a clear field, though. Former Cuomo aide Leecia Eve, who unsuccessfully sought the lieutenant governorship in 2006 and has some influential allies, announced her own campaign earlier this week, and a few other notable names are still considering, including law professor Zephyr Teachout, who challenged Cuomo in the 2014 primary, and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who ran for attorney general once before, in 2006.

    The state of play may become somewhat clearer later this week, since New York Democrats are hosting their election-year convention on Wednesday and Thursday, and any candidates who fail to win the support of at least 25 percent of delegates must go through the extremely arduous and expensive process of petitioning their way on to the primary ballot. Eve has suggested she might try to petition if she falls short at the convention, though she has yet to raise any money for her bid.

    Republicans have a contested primary of their own, but they haven't won a race for attorney general in New York since Dennis Vacco's fluke victory in 1994—he was turned out by none other than Eliot Spitzer four years later—and they haven't won any statewide elections since 2002.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:54:22 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    MD-Gov: Fundraising reports are now available for the period from Jan. 11 to May 15 in Maryland's gubernatorial contest, where several Democrats are competing to take on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. The numbers for each Democrat are below:

    Ben Jealous: $874,000 raised, $100,000 self-loaned, $660,000 cash-on-hand

    Jim Shea: $625,000 raised, $75,000 self-funded, $1.4 million cash-on-hand

    Rushern Baker: $543,000 raised, $577,000 cash-on-hand

    Richard Madaleno: $181,000 raised, $287,000 received from public funds, $305,000 cash-on-hand

    Alec Ross: $442,000 raised, $206,000 cash-on-hand

    Krish Vignarajah: $139,000 raised, $500,000 cash-on-hand

    Valerie Ervin: $115,000 raised, $164,000 cash-on-hand

    Note that state Sen. Richard Madaleno was prohibited from raising money during the legislative session, while he's also the only candidate relying in part on public funds. While Democrats have to spend their resources to try to win the June 26 primary, Hogan has been building up his war chest. Even though he was also barred from raising money when the legislature was in session, Hogan raised $1.2 million from April 10 to May 15, leaving him with a huge $9 million in the bank.

    Meanwhile, money isn't the only concern for former Montgomery County Councilor Valerie Ervin's Democratic primary bid. Her deceased running-mate, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, is still listed at the top of the ballot since there wasn't enough time to reprint ballots ahead of the start of early voting, and the state Board of Elections has now proposed putting up signs at polling places saying that a vote for Kamenetz counts for her instead. However, Ervin was not pleased with the proposed compromise,  and earlier this week she had threatened to sue to get her name on the ballot at the top of the ticket.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 4:14:49 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-Sen: The GOP firm JMC Analytics is out with a poll they commissioned themselves giving GOP Sen. Ted Cruz a 47-40 lead over Democrat Beto O'Rourke. The only other poll we've seen in recent months was an April Quinnipiac survey that showed Cruz leading just 47-44.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 4:27:15 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-Gov: Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez defeated businessman Andrew White, the son of the late Gov. Mark White, 53-47 in the Democratic runoff, a considerably closer margin than Valdez's 43-27 lead on the March 6. Valdez's win makes her the first openly gay major party nominee for governor in state history, as well as the first Latina to hold that distinction.

    Valdez will face a very uphill race against GOP Gov. Greg Abbott in a state where Democrats haven't won a single statewide office since 1994. The GOP firm JMC Analytics released a survey hours before the polls closed that they'd commissioned giving Abbott a 48-36 lead over Valdez  (White trailed by a similar 50-39). The only other recent poll we've seen was an April Quinnipiac survey that found Abbott ahead 49-40.

    Democrats aren't at all optimistic that Abbott will lose, but they're hoping that a strong effort from Valdez will help them turn out voters for more competitive races down the ballot. However, fundraising has been a big concern for her in this very expensive state. She reported taking in only $208,000 from late February to mid-May, and she had only $115,000 in the bank to Abbott's $41 million. We'll see if Valdez's financial situation improves now that she's the nominee in the second-largest state in the country.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 4:35:53 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    SC-Gov: Palmetto PAC, which is opposing former state cabinet official Catherine Templeton in the Republican primary, has renewed airing a TV attack ad against her that she has called defamatory. The spot claims she was fired by the state health agency and Revenue Department, even though former Gov. and current U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Templeton left on her own accord. Templeton issued cease-and-desist letters last week, and several stations owned by the right-wing Sinclair Broadcasting Group pulled the commercial, but Palmetto PAC says almost all stations are now running the ad again while a Greenville NBC affiliate is airing a "slightly modified" version.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 4:48:41 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    TN-Gov: Rep. Diane Black has released a Republican primary poll from OnMessage Inc. that showed her with a 41-28 lead over businessman Randy Boyd while former Higher Education Commission member Bill Lee took 9 percent and state House Speaker Beth Harwell earned 8 percent. The memo trendline contains a previously unreleased April survey that had her up just 33-30 on Boyd to argue she has momentum. However, these numbers are nearly identical to a Grassroots Targeting survey from earlier in May on behalf of Black that had her up 41-26 over Boyd, and it's unclear why she felt the need to release this poll from a different firm.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 4:49:45 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-02: Retired Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw won the GOP runoff for this suburban Houston seat by defeating state Rep. Kevin Roberts in a 70-30 landslide. Crenshaw will face nonprofit head Todd Litton, who won the Democratic nomination back in March, for a district that moved from 63-36 Romney to a smaller 52-43 Trump. Litton had a credible $242,000 in the bank at the end of March, but it's not clear if national Democrats will target this seat.

    Crenshaw's presence in the general election would have been a surprise a few months ago. Roberts, who had the support of the NRA and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett (a position akin to county executive), led the crowded field to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Ted Poe with 33 percent in March. Crenshaw, who lost his right eye in Afghanistan, had a compelling story but little money, so it was quite an upset when he beat wealthy GOP donor Kathaleen Wall 27.4-27.1 to claim the second runoff spot.

    While the race between Roberts and Crenshaw started amicably, it quickly turned into a very expensive and nasty contest. Roberts and his allies accused Crenshaw of disrespecting both Donald Trump and Christianity itself in past Facebook posts, while Crenshaw and his supporters argued that Roberts insulted Crenshaw’s military experience and indeed all veterans. Two pro-Crenshaw groups also spent heavily on ads praising his service and arguing that Roberts was just a typical politician who is trying to smear his heroic opponent.

    A group called Conservative Results Matter that was largely funded by Roberts' brother-in-law's law firm also invested about $600,000 here, but they may have done Roberts more harm that good with one commercial. Their spot featured pictures of Crenshaw that showed only his left side, which hid the eye patch Crenshaw wears over his missing right eye. The local media noticed, and it may have fed into Crenshaw's narrative that this was a race between a heroic veteran and an ungrateful officeholder.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 4:55:18 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    TN-Gov: Meanwhile, Tennessee Jobs Now PAC is up with an ad attacking Black over a 2001 state legislative vote to provide driver's licenses for "illegal immigrants," while it also claims she voted against Trump's border wall this year. Notably, this PAC is mostly funded by Boyd donor Joe Hollingsworth, who just happens to be the father of Indiana Rep. Trey Hollingsworth; the elder Hollingsworth played a key role in his son getting elected in 2016 shortly after moving to the Hoosier State from Tennessee by funding a super PAC in that election, too.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 5:08:46 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    KY-06: On Tuesday, retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, beat Lexington Mayor Jim Gray 49-41 in the Democratic primary to take on GOP Rep. Andy Barr. While late polling show McGrath in a position to pull off the win, her victory was still a monumental upset against an opponent who began the race with widespread name recognition and had been recruited into the race by the DCCC even after McGrath had spent months on the campaign trail.

    But the D-Trip had no problems switching horses on primary night: The National Journal recently reported that the committee had established a much better relationship with their newly minted nominee over the last few months, and as soon as McGrath had won, the DCCC rolled out a poll conducted by their in-house analytics team that gave her a huge 52-37 lead over Barr, even though Donald Trump carried this seat 55-39.

    Of course, when you see a spread like that, it’s only natural to wonder if the numbers are too good to be true. The only other survey we've seen of the race was a February internal from McGrath that showed her trailing Barr 48-44. The DCCC survey, by contrast, was conducted in late April and early May—a time when both McGrath and Gray were spending heavily on ads while Barr, who had minimal opposition in his primary, was off the air. The Democratic contest stayed positive until the final weekend of the primary, so it's very possible that McGrath is doing well in the DCCC's poll in part because voters saw plenty of ads touting her without viewing any spots attacking her or promoting Barr.

    That state of affairs won't hold in the general election, of course. Barr had $2.3 million in the bank as of early May, so he'll have plenty of money to get his message out, and his allies at the Congressional Leadership Fund have also reserved $1.8 million in fall TV time to defend him (the Democratic group House Majority PAC booked $564,000 in March to help the eventual Democratic nominee). And while Barr was able to stockpile cash, McGrath spent much of her war chest on her primary, so she'll need to replenish it. However, McGrath has proven to be a very strong fundraiser (she brought in $2 million through early May), so she, too, should have the resources she'll need for November.

    McGrath's decisive victory over Gray is also a good reminder that, while it's certainly good to start out a primary with strong name recognition, it's very possible to overcome your opponent’s advantage if you have a strong message and the money to broadcast it far and wide. One of the reasons that we at Daily Kos Elections spend so much time looking at candidate fundraising is to get an idea about which contenders, regardless of how well-known they are and where they stand in the polls at the start of a race, have the resources to get their name and message out, and which ones don't.

    McGrath is a good example of a candidate who did have the necessary resources and the compelling message to pull off this feat. While she entered the race last summer with a hard-hitting introductory video that quickly went viral and helped her raise a fortune, she still badly trailed Gray as recently as two months before the primary. McGrath's own polling in December showed her down 63-18, and a Gray poll from early March gave him a hefty 52-19 lead.

    However McGrath soon went on the air with a barrage of strong ads touting her military service, including one spot recounting a harrowing mission in Iraq in which she only had enough fuel to drop a single bomb on an enemy outpost—a mission she pulled off in spite of the odds and thus saved her fellow troops. She also ran ads pledging to stand up to Trump and to protect Obamacare, while Gray's more bipartisan spots seemed geared toward a general election audience.

    And while Gray would have been Kentucky's first openly gay member of Congress, McGrath’s campaign highlighted her fight to become one of the first women combat pilots, a dream she harbored from a time before such roles were open to women. McGrath was also able to argue that the mayor was part of a political establishment that she was separate from. We're likely to see her use a similar message against Barr.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 5:14:18 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    WY-Gov: Billionaire megadonor Foster Friess has begun airing his first Republican primary ad, which is part of a $156,000 buy. The minute-long spot has soaring orchestral music playing while Friess lays out his vision for Wyoming. Describing himself as a "conservative businessman," he promises to "cut wasteful spending," protect Wyoming's resource-extraction industries, and create good jobs.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 5:29:41 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-05: State Rep. Lance Gooden defeated fundraiser Bunni Pounds 53-47 in the GOP runoff for this 63-34 Trump seat. Gooden led Pounds 30-22 in March, but while his win wasn't a surprise, he still had to overcome plenty of powerful forces who were for his opponent.

    Pounds had the support of retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who used to employ Pounds as his campaign manager. Hensarling also successfully convinced Vice President Mike Pence to back her, though the Trump White House team was reportedly not happy when Pence blindsided them with his Tweet for Pounds. The Club for Growth also spent a total of $333,000 against Gooden during both rounds of the primary, though they didn't back Pounds until the runoff. Finally, Sen. Ted Cruz endorsed Pounds the evening before Election Day. Pounds also outspent Gooden during the lead up to the primary.

    However, Gooden did have some advantages. A super PAC called Our Conservative Texas Future spent $400,000 for him, which helped him offset the Club's offensive. The group was primarily funded by businessman and rancher Monty Bennett, who was Gooden's largest individual donor in his legislative races. The Texas Tribune also wrote that Gooden, who also owns an acre of property with Bennett, has passed legislation that has benefited Bennett's ranch. Gooden also had the support of most of the defeated March candidates.

    Geography also proved to be an important factor. While this district is often described as a suburban Dallas seat, most of the GOP primary vote is cast in the rural counties. Pounds lives in Dallas County while Gooden holds a rural state House seat, so if Gooden could just do well with his base, he'd be in good shape. However, Gooden had struggled in past races at home. While he was first elected to the state House in 2010, he never took more than 55 percent of the vote in any of his renomination contests. In 2014, Gooden even lost his seat 51-49 in the primary, and he only won his rematch 52-48 two years later.

    Despite those showings, however, Gooden's rural base of support helped him get first place in the crowded March primary and beat Pounds on Tuesday. Pounds carried Dallas County 57-43, but it made up just 13 percent of the vote. Gooden ended up taking just over 60 percent of the vote in the two counties that make up his state House seat despite his poor performances there in the past.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 5:32:46 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    FL-Sen: New Republican PAC, which is supporting GOP Gov. Rick Scott has thrown down another $566,000 to oppose Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, bringing their total ad buy up to $2.2 million so far. There's no copy of any new ad available yet.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 5:45:15 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    VA-Sen: Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart has released an internal poll of the June 12 Republican primary by Atlantic Media & Research that gives him a 32-9 lead over state Del. Nick Freitas, while minister E.W. Jackson earns just 5 percent. The only other poll we've seen here was a February survey from Christopher Newport University, which had Stewart beating Jackson for first by a much smaller 16-7 edge, but voters have undoubtedly become more familiar with the field now that the primary is just a few weeks away.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 5:58:59 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    WV-Sen: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has unveiled a Global Strategy Group poll that gives him a 47-40 lead over Republican nominee Patrick Morrisey, while Libertarian Rusty Hollen takes 4 percent. This poll contradicts a recent survey from Republican pollster WPA Intelligence, which had Morrisey up 46-44. However, there have been no other general election polls this year, let alone from a pollster without a favorite in the race.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 6:55:35 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-06: Former Tarrant County Tax Assessor Ron Wright beat veteran Jake Ellzey by a surprisingly tight 52-48 margin in the GOP runoff, a much smaller margin that his 45-22 lead in March. Neither Republican spent much money (and Wright has even gone into debt to keep his campaign afloat), but the Club for Growth aired ads to support Wright.

    A good deal of Wright's weak showing seems to been due to forces largely outside of his control. The Star-Telegram's Bub Kennedy writes that there were several competitive local races in Ellis and Navarro counties that helped boost turnout in Ellzey's strongest areas, while turnout in Wright's Tarrant County base was bad. And indeed, while Tarrant made up 57 percent of the GOP primary vote in March, it made up just 44 percent on Tuesday.

    This Arlington-area seat became open after longtime Rep. Joe Barton decided to retire after he apologized when a “graphic nude photo" of him circulated online, and the public learned even more unsavory aspects of his personal life. Wright served Barton's chief of staff before becoming tax assessor, and he spent years as the congressman's presumed heir apparent. Barton initially said that, while he would probably vote for his protégé, he was "not sure if anybody would want my endorsement, so I might come out against somebody if that helps them."

    However, Barton held events for Wright in both Washington and in the district in the final weeks of the race, so the campaign seemed to decide that Wright had more to gain than to lose by having the incumbent in his corner. It's possible that there was a conservative backlash against Barton, both due to his scandal and over his support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, that hurt Wright. And despite the support of the anti-establishment Club for Growth, it was always a bit difficult for Wright to argue he wasn't a political insider.

    This district went from 58-41 Romney to a smaller, but still tough, 54-42 Trump, and it will likely stay red. Still, this contest is worth keeping an eye on in a good Democratic year. Public relations consultant Jana Lynne Sanchez won the Democratic nod on Tuesday, and Kennedy notes that the $234,000 she raised through early May is more than what Barton's last Democratic 17 opponents took in combined. It's also more than the $222,000 that Wright, who is also almost $160,000 in debt, brought in.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 7:12:58 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-07: Attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher defeated activist Laura Moser 67-33 in the Democratic runoff to take on longtime GOP Rep. John Culberson.

    This contest made national headlines in late February when the DCCC, believing that Moser would be a weak nominee, posted a dossier of opposition research about her in an unusual and controversial attempt to undermine her campaign. Fletcher led the field with 29 percent in the first round in March, but Moser's 24 percent got her a spot in the runoff. However, the runoff was a considerably more civil affair, and national Democrats kept quiet over the following two months.

    This district, which includes part of Houston and some of its nearby suburbs, has been in GOP hands since George H.W. Bush won a previous version of it back in 1966. But national Democrats became very interested in it after it swung from 60-39 Romney all the way to 48-47 Clinton. Fletcher has also been a strong fundraiser.

    However, this race will be a challenge even in a strong Democratic year year. Republicans still do well here down the ballot, and while Culberson spent 2017 running a complacent campaign, he's ramped up his fundraising over the last few months. Both national parties are preparing for an expensive race: The Democratic group House Majority PAC has reserved close to $2 million here in fall TV time, while their GOP counterparts at the Congressional Leadership Fund have invested $2.1 million.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 7:29:01 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    MT-Sen: Principles First PAC, about which few details exist, has launched a TV ad opposing state Auditor Matt Rosendale ahead of next month's Republican primary. Their spot hits the Maryland native as "Maryland Matt," claiming he only recently moved to Montana in order to start running for office there. It also contends he favors tax increases and supports a "pathway to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 7:29:34 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-21: Chip Roy, a former chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz, won the GOP runoff against perennial candidate Matt McCall by a surprisingly close 53-47 margin. Roy had the backing of Cruz, retiring Rep. Lamar Smith, the Club for Growth, and an allied organization called National Horizon PAC. McCall, who badly lost primary bids against Smith over the last two cycles, had no prominent outside support, and he was badly outspent.

    This seat, which stretches from the Austin area to San Antonio and takes up much of the Texas Hill Country, went from 60-38 Romney to a smaller 52-42 Trump. This is another historically red district that won't be easy to flip, but national Democrats got some good news when Army veteran and businessman Joseph Kopser beat underfunded Pastor Mary Wilson 58-42. This is a huge change from March, when Kopser dramatically outspent his rivals but found himself trailing Wilson 31-29. Kopser, who earned a Bronze Star in Iraq, has raised close to $1.2 million through early May compared to Roy's $732,000 haul.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 7:44:28 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-23: Retired Air Force Intelligence Officer Gina Ortiz Jones defeated teacher Rick Trevino 68-32 in the Democratic runoff to take on GOP Rep. Will Hurd.

    Jones had scored a surprisingly strong 42 percent of the vote in March while Trevino surprisingly edged two other candidates to take second with 17 percent. The DCCC and other national groups, including Daily Kos and EMILY's List, consolidated behind Jones in the runoff, while Trevino raised very little money and attracted little outside support. If Jones wins, she'd be the first lesbian to represent Texas in Congress, as well as the body's first ever Filipina-American.

    This seat, which stretches from the outskirts of El Paso east to San Antonio, swung from 51-48 Romney to 50-46 Clinton, and it will be a top Democratic target. But Hurd, who previously worked as a CIA agent, is a very strong fundraiser who has a knack for generating positive news coverage. Hurd has also been smart about breaking with Trump on key issues like immigration (a very important topic in a district that stretches across much of the border with Mexico) while still backing most of his agenda.

    Both sides are preparing for a very expensive race. The GOP groups Congressional Leadership Fund and NRCC have reserved a combined $3.9 million here in fall TV time, while House Majority PAC has reserved $850,000.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 7:46:07 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    NV-Gov: Campaign finance reports for the period of Jan. 1 through May 18 are now out for Nevada's gubernatorial election, but if money is any indication, only one party's June primary is at all competitive. On the Democratic side, Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak raised $1.4 million yet spent a huge $5.2 million thanks in part to leftover cash from past commission races, leaving him with roughly $700,000 on-hand. Fellow County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani raised $813,000, spent $1.1 million, and ended the period with roughly $584,000 in the bank.

    However, things don't look so contested on the Republican side. State Attorney General Adam Laxalt is by all accounts the odds-on favorite for the nomination, and he raised a hefty $1.9 million and spent $730,000. By contrast, state Treasurer Dan Schwartz raised a pitiful $6,000 and loaned himself $60,000. Consequently, it's unlikely Schwartz will have the resources to spread his message to voters far and wide.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:04:36 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-27: Former Victoria County GOP Chair Michael Cloud defeated Bech Bruun, who resigned as chair of the state Water Development Board to run here, 61-39 in the runoff for this 60-37 Trump seat. A bit awkwardly, the two will face off again at the end of June in a special election for the final months of disgraced former Rep. Blake Farenthold's term.

    Until the March primary, it appeared that Bruun was on a glide path to Congress. While Cloud had been challenging Farenthold in the primary months before the congressman resigned in disgrace, he raised little money for his efforts. But Cloud did have the support of former Rep. Ron Paul, who used to represent a portion of this seat and is very much not a member of the party establishment, which may have given him an unexpected boost.

    It looked possible that Bruun could win the majority in the first round he'd need to win the GOP nod outright, but he instead ended up outpacing Cloud just 36-34. Cloud's prospects very quickly improved even further after that showing. All the defeated primary candidates quickly endorsed him, and the Club for Growth began airing ads both touting Cloud and slamming Brunn as a career politician.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:06:26 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    OK-Gov: The nonpartisan Sooner Poll has released this cycle's first survey of hypothetical general election matchups, and they have relatively good news for likely Democratic nominee Drew Edmondson. Testing three Republicans, the poll has Edmondson trailing Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb by 33-28 and former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett by 33-27, but Edmondson actually leads businessman Kevin Stitt by 32-25. While Edmondson is still far from 50 percent, even keeping it a single-digit race would be astonishing in a state that Trump won by 65-29. Of course, we have no way of knowing just how close to the mark the results are.

    Sooner also polled the Republican primary, where they found Lamb leading Cornett 23-20 while Stitt took just 14 percent; no other candidate topped 4 percent. If no Republicans breaks 50 percent in the June 26 primary, there would be an Aug. 28 runoff.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:11:32 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    VT-Gov: Democratic state Sen. John Rodgers has announced he won't run for governor, leaving former Vermont Electric Cooperative CEO Christine Hallquist as the only notable Democrat in the race to take on GOP Gov. Phil Scott.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:14:10 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-31: Air Force veteran M.J. Hegar beat physician Christine Eady Mann 62-38 in the Democratic runoff to take on longtime GOP Rep. John Carter. This suburban Austin seat went from 60-38 Trump to a smaller 54-41 Trump, and Democrats hope Carter can be caught off-guard.

    Hegar also has an interesting background that could play well with voters. She flew search-and-rescue missions in Afghanistan, and in 2009, she saved her passengers after the Taliban shot down her medevac helicopter. Hegar went on to lead a lawsuit against the Department of Defense against their now-defunct policy that prevented women from serving in ground combat positions, and Angelina Jolie reportedly has been in talks to star in a movie version of her memoir. This seat is still going to be a tough lift for Democrats, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:22:04 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    TX-32: Colin Allred, a one-time NFL linebacker turned civil rights attorney, defeated former Department of Agriculture official Lillian Salerno 69.5-30.5 in the Democratic runoff to face GOP Rep. Pete Sessions. Allred led Salerno by a surprisingly wide 38-18 margin in March, and the DCCC soon added him to their Red to Blue list for top candidates.

    This seat, which includes part of Dallas and some of its nearby suburbs, swung from 57-41 Romney to 48-47 Clinton. However, this is another area where the GOP has done well down the ballot for decades, and Sessions is a former NRCC chair who will have all the money he could possibly need to defend himself.

    Sessions also doesn't seem at all concerned about being sunk by a backlash against Trump. When a reporter recently asked him if he'd want Trump to campaign for him at home Sessions immediately responded, "Awesome, I welcome him with open arms," and added, "Can you invite him for me?" But the Democratic group House Majority PAC is making a big bet that Sessions is vulnerable despite his money and bravado, and they've reserved $2.2 million in fall TV time for this area.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:22:26 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    WI-Gov: State education chief Tony Evers is likely one of the leading candidates in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary, and he just released a PPP poll that has him defeating Republican Gov. Scott Walker by 49-45 in the fall. Evers didn't disclose any primary or alternate general election match ups if any were tested, and it's a good bet this poll is intended to argue for his general election strength ahead of the primary.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:24:40 PM +00:00 · David Nir

    HI-01: A new poll for Honolulu Civil Beat from Merriman River finds state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim with a 26-19 lead on Lt. Gov. Doug Chin in the Democratic primary for Hawaii's open 1st Congressional District, while state Rep. Beth Fukumoto is the only other candidate in double digits at 11 percent. Behind her are state Rep. Kaniela Ing at 8 and Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin at 4, with a plurality of 32 percent still undecided.

    The results square with expectations, since the best-known candidates are in front: Kim served as Senate president for three years and ran for this seat once before in 2014, while Chin, before stepping down as state attorney general early this year to focus on his congressional bid, had earned a lot of attention for fighting Trump's travel ban. Martin, however, edged out the two frontrunners in fundraising in the first quarter, and there's still quite a bit of time before the Aug. 11 primary for this safely blue seat, so the race remains in flux.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:35:17 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    CO-05: The GOP firm Magellan Strategies gives us our first poll of the June 26 Republican primary for this red Colorado Springs-area seat, and they find Rep. Doug Lamborn taking first place thanks in part to a split field. Magellan, which says they're not working with anyone with an interest in the outcome, gives Lamborn a 37-27 lead over 2016 Senate nominee Darryl Glenn, with state Sen. Owen Hill taking 10 and 21 percent undecided.

    Lamborn posts a 52-31 favorable rating with primary voters, which is only the latest sign that, for whatever reason, a significant number of Republicans just don't like their congressman almost 12 years since he narrowly won his first primary. However, Lamborn just needs a plurality of the vote to win renomination, and Glenn and Hill may have a hard time passing him if they just split the anti-Lamborn vote.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:37:32 PM +00:00 · David Nir

    FL-27: State Rep. David Richardson continues to unleash negative ads attacking Donna Shalala, the frontrunner in the negative primary. His latest spot claims Shalala "gave thousands to pro-gun, pro-life, anti-gay Republicans" (true) and "profited off the housing crisis," which appears to be a reference to the fact that Shalala served on the board of Lennar Corporation, a major Miami-based homebuilder that issued many subprime mortgages ahead of the 2008-09 collapse in the housing market.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:40:27 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    ND-SoS: North Dakota Republicans have found themselves with no other option than to back an independent candidate in the race for secretary of state after GOP convention-endorsee Will Gardner dropped out over a sexual harassment scandal, leaving the GOP with no one else on the June primary ballot. Gardner has said he'll decline the nomination so no Republican will officially appear on the ballot this fall, meaning the GOP will have to unite behind an independent candidate to hold onto the office.

    However, state Republicans didn't commit to backing long-time GOP incumbent Al Jaeger, who revived his campaign as an independent after Gardner's scandal blew up. While no other notable Republicans are talking up an indie bid yet, there could still be some lingering bad blood between top GOP insiders and Jaeger, who ended his Republican primary campaign after losing at the convention in April. If indeed the state GOP backs another horse, a divided Republican field would be one of several stars that would need to align for Democratic state Rep. Josh Boschee to win in this dark-red state.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:41:26 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    CT-05: On Wednesday, New Britain Alderman Manny Sanchez announced he was ending his campaign for the Democratic nomination. Sanchez took a distant third at last week's party convention with 17 percent of the delegates, and while that was enough to get him on the August primary ballot, he said at the time he wasn't sure if he would stay in the race. The primary is a duel between former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, who narrowly won the party endorsement, and 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes, who has Sen. Chris Murphy's support.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:47:02 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    CA-45: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has closely aligned itself with the Republican establishment, is spending $250,000 for ads on behalf of Republican Rep. Mimi Walters. There's no copy of any ads available yet.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 8:54:07 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    CA-49, CA-48, CA-39: In the latest sign that Republicans are trying to lock Democrats out of the top-two primaries in California, the American Future Fund has dropped $500,000 on behalf of two Republicans in the 49th District: Assemblyman Rocky Chavez and Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey. The buy is for both TV time and canvassing, although there's no copy of any ads available yet. They're also notably spending $65,000 on canvassing for 48th District Republican Scott Baugh and $32,500 on 39th District Republican Young Kim, both of which districts could see Democrats get eliminated.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 9:03:00 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    FL-06: Last month, wealthy businessman John Ward pissed off fellow Republicans across the state when he declared that hurricane evacuees from Puerto Rico should not be able to register to vote in Florida.

    Republicans very much want to make inroads with Puerto Rican voters ahead of this November's statewide races, and Ward's comments don't help things. One of those unhappy Republicans is Rep. Ron DeSantis, the man Ward is hoping to replace in Congress. DeSantis, who is running for governor, put out a statement saying declaring, "Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and any suggestion that they should be treated differently than other Americans is beyond the pale."

    Ward tried to do some damage control on Monday, telling Politico that, while he welcomes "any Puerto Rican who wants to permanently resettle in Florida to register to vote here," he stood by his earlier comments that Democrats shouldn't "be able to take advantage of Puerto Rican evacuees fleeing a natural disaster, here on a temporary basis, in order to manipulate voter registrations rolls in the run up to the 2018 elections." Former Rep. Fed Costello, who is one of two noteworthy Republicans facing Ward in the August primary, was not convinced, and he called Ward's new position "horse manure."

    The third major GOP candidate, wealthy businessman and former Dick Cheney foreign policy advisor Michael Waltz, has been a bit more quiet about Ward's comments, though he said he was "shocked that John Ward would suggest that Americans should not vote," adding, "Certainly, someone who wants to prevent Americans from voting should never serve in office." Hey, Michael Waltz, if you really believe that, you should check out the Daily Kos Elections Voting Rights Roundup for a rundown of what Republicans serving in office are doing to prevent Americans from voting! It's free to subscribe!

    Waltz also is out with his first TV commercial of the race, where he promotes his career in the Green Berets, including how he "led the search for Bowe Bergdahl." Waltz, who once appeared in an anti-Trump video and told conservatives not to "let Donald Trump fool you. Look into his record, and stop Trump now," uses his ad to also call for more conservative reinforcements for Donald Trump.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 9:08:32 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    CA-50: SurveyUSA polled the top-two primary here, and their results don't show Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter in dire straits just yet. The survey has Hunter with a sizable plurality of 43 percent, while Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar took 10 percent, enough for both to advance to the general election. Democrat Patrick Malloy also earned 7 percent, Republican Bill Wells sported 6 percent, and Democrat Josh Butner had only 5 percent. These numbers are relatively similar to a recent Campa-Najjar internal from Tulchin research, which had Hunter beating him 39-14 while none of the other candidates topped 8 percent.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 9:20:27 PM +00:00 · David Nir

    CA-39: Despite all the upheaval in the race for California's open 39th District of late, a new poll for Democrat Gil Cisneros from Tulchin Research shows that not a whole lot has changed in the last couple of months. Cisneros previously released a survey conducted in mid-March by the same firm, so we can now compare the two sets of data directly. Below are the latest numbers, with figures from the previous poll listed in parentheses:

    Gil Cisneros (D): 20 (19)
    Young Kim (R): 14 (11)
    Bob Huff (R): 14 (12)
    Andy Thorburn (D): 11 (10)
    Shawn Nelson (R): 8 (13)
    Sam Jammal (D): 7 (4)
    Steven Vargas (R): 6 (2)
    Mai Khan Tran (D): 5 (5)
    Undecided: 15 (20)

    Because all the candidates are so closely bunched together, relatively small shifts in vote share can lead to dramatic changes in overall position. That's particularly the case for Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who's been targeted in DCCC ads as classic self-dealing pol. Yet former state Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff has also been the subject of the same D-Trip offensive (they call him a tax-hiker), yet he's seen his standing rise slightly, so go figure.

    But the most important take-away here is that Cisneros, whom the DCCC named to its Red to Blue list last month, is in first, and by what passes for a healthy margin in a race this crowded. So if this survey is accurate, Democrats would avoid a lockout in next month's top-two primary. But even if it is, the contest remains very volatile and Democrats have no choice but to remain worried about the primary until all the votes are counted.

    That's why the D-Trip just launched its first pro-Cisneros ad, a Spanish-language spot that praises the candidate as the first in his family to go to college and attacks Republicans in general for opposing the DREAM Act. (Cisneros is Latino.) The committee is spending $260,000 to air the ad, apparently both on TV and on digital platforms.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 9:29:47 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

    FL-09: Former Rep. Alan Grayson has launched his first TV ad in his Democratic primary challenge against Rep. Darren Soto. The spot features audio clips and video footage of Martin Sheen, Michael Moore, MSNBC's Chris Hayes, and former MSNBC host Ed Schultz lavishing praise on him as an effective congressman who wasn't afraid of saying what people are secretly thinking.

    Of course, what Grayson doesn't say is that many, if not all, of these clips appear to be from nearly a decade ago, when Grayson first gained national attention by calling out the GOP's heartlessness on health care. After years of awful headlines regarding his shady ethics, alleged domestic abuse, and otherwise offensive statements, it seems doubtful that these prominent progressives would be singing his praises today.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 9:41:17 PM +00:00 · David Nir

    IA-Gov: On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register reported that three different women, two of whom gave their names, have accused state Sen. Nate Boulton of sexual misconduct. The women say Boulton groped them or rubbed his crotch against them without their consent on several occasions, one in 2015 and the others over a decade ago when Boulton was in law school. Boulton did not directly deny the allegations, though he did say, "I don't have the same recollection." Boulton added, "All I can say is that if I crossed a line and people feel that way, I apologize. I apologize publicly, and I offer an apology directly."

    Boulton, who has heavy support from organized labor, also seems determined to stay in the race, saying, "I think I owe it to those people who have supported me to have that vision tested at the ballot box." Two recent polls have shown him in second place in the June 5 Democratic primary, in both cases with 20 percent support but behind businessman Fred Hubbell by double digits.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 9:52:52 PM +00:00 · David Nir

    VA-05: In a surprise development Wednesday afternoon, Politico reported that freshman GOP Rep. Tom Garrett's chief of staff had quit his job—and that Garrett might not seek a second term in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District this fall. Garrett did not dispute the story and would only say publicly that he's not resigning, which is very different than saying he's not retiring. Earlier this year, anonymous House Republicans called Garrett out for not taking his re-election campaign seriously enough, but there's no telling if his lackadaisical attitude has anything to do with these developments.

    If Garrett does drop out, though, a committee made up of local Republican leaders would choose a replacement, much as they did in the 2nd District in 2004 after GOP Rep. Ed Schrock was apparently caught on tape seeking sex with another man and abandoned his re-election bid that August. Should this scenario come to pass, this backup candidate would be starting from scratch against journalist Leslie Cockburn, who's been hoping to put this reliably red central Virginia seat in play for Team Blue. But Garrett's fundraising had been so poor, he was already at risk of making this race competitive all by himself.

  3. Morning Digest: In dominant win, Stacey Abrams becomes first-ever black woman nominated for governor

    The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

    Leading Off

    Campaign Action

    GA-Gov: On Tuesday night, former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams made history by becoming the first black woman to win a major party's nomination for governor in any state, defeating her one-time colleague in the legislature, former state Rep. Stacey Evans, by a resounding 75-25 margin when we put the Digest to bed. While Evans spent heavily on TV, Abrams devoted most of her resources to direct voter outreach, though she did receive significant help on the airwaves from outside groups, including BlackPAC (which played a key role in electing Doug Jones in Alabama) and EMILY's List.

    Abrams has long argued in favor of a strategy of maximizing turnout among the Democratic Party's base: black voters (especially black women), young people, and other voters of color. That stands in contrast to the traditional path Democrats have pursued statewide in Georgia, which revolves around persuading Republican-leaning white voters to switch sides. It's a path that's yielded nothing but futility for well over a decade now, though, so Abrams will have ample opportunity to test her approach as she seeks to become the nation's first-ever black woman governor.

    Exactly whom she'll face in November is not yet known, however. Despite outspending his rivals by such a wide margin that it looked possible he could avoid a runoff, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle held only a 39-26 lead on Secretary of State Brian Kemp at press time, meaning the two will face off in a July 24 runoff. (Former state Sen. Hunter Hill was a distant third with 18.) While Cagle likely remains the favorite to win the GOP nod, he and Kemp will continue to whale away on one another as Abrams gets to spend two months replenishing her war chest and preparing for what will be an expensive and hard-fought showdown this fall.

    P.S. Arkansas and Kentucky also held primaries last night, and Texas conducted runoffs. We'll run down all of the key races, including other contests in Georgia, in the next Digest, but in the meantime, you can find all the results here.

  4. Daily Kos Elections Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas runoff liveblog thread #4

    It’s primary night in America! Voters in Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky go to the polls for their party primaries, and we also have runoffs in Texas in contests where no candidates took a majority in the March 6 primaries. Note that, like Texas, both Arkansas and Georgia require a runoff for any races where no one wins a majority; Arkansas’ runoff would be June 19, while Georgia's would be July 24.

    You can find our guide to all the key primaries right here, and we’re liveblogging the results at Daily Kos Elections. You can also follow along with our coverage on Twitter.

    Poll closing times: 6 PM ET in the Eastern time zone portion of Kentucky; 7 PM ET in Georgia and the rest of Kentucky; 8 PM ET in most of Texas; 8:30 PM ET in Arkansas; 9 PM ET in the Mountain time zone portion of Texas.

    Results: Arkansas | Georgia | Kentucky | Texas

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:23:09 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    We’re moving into the home stretch on this four-state primary night! For those just joining us, feel free to reference our handy cheat sheet to see what races have already been called.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:24:16 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    GA-Gov (R): Speaking of races that are called, the AP has just called this race as...not being over for another two months! The AP has called a runoff between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (39 percent) and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (26 percent).

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:26:48 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    TX-32 (D): The AP has called this runoff for attorney and former NFL linebacker Colin Allred. He leads Lillian Salerno 70-30, with over half of the precincts in.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:39:32 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    TX-21 (D): The AP has called the Democratic end of this runoff for businessman and veteran Joseph Kopser.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:40:23 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    TX-Gov (D): The AP calls this runoff for Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who will take on incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott in November.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:43:17 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    TX-27 (R): The AP calls this runoff for Michael Cloud, who is heavily favored to hold this seat for the GOP in the wake of disgraced former Rep. Blake Farenthold’s resignation.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 2:57:25 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    AR-02 (D): The AP was waiting to see if any challengers could force a runoff, and the answer is: no. So the AP calls this race for Democratic state legislator Clarke Tucker, who will face Republican Rep. French Hill in November.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:00:41 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    TX-06 (R): With all precincts reporting, the AP has called this runoff for Tarrant County Tax Assessor Ron Wright, who narrowly beat Jake Ellzey (52-48) for the nod. He faces Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez, who narrowly beat Ruby Woolridge in their runoff (54-46).

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:09:35 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    TX-21 (R): The AP calls this runoff for attorney and former Hill staffer Chip Roy, who wound up with a 53-47 win over businessman Matt McCall. He will face Democrat Joseph Kopser, who was declared a winner in his runoff earlier this evening.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:14:42 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

    TX-07 (D): And the last race we had our eye on in Texas is in the books. The AP calls this runoff for Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who has either easily bested Laura Moser in their contest (68-32, at present).

    So, with that, all that remains in our list of key contests (see the cheat sheet for the full list) are the two House seats in suburban Atlanta, which appear locks to wind up as runoffs. The only question, as the evening rolls on, is the identities of the Democrats who will be  in those July runoffs.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:27:16 AM +00:00 · James Lambert

    GA-07 (D): We have a call in one of our last two outstanding races. The AP has called Democrats Carolyn Bourdeaux, a Georgia State public policy professor, and businessman David Kim to advance to the July 24 runoff election.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:45:43 AM +00:00 · James Lambert

    GA-06 (D): We finally have closure… for tonight, at least. The AP has called the Democratic primary for gun safety advocate Lucy McBath and businessman Kevin Abel, who advance to a July 24 runoff election. And with that, Daily Kos Elections is calling it a night!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 · 3:53:35 AM +00:00 · James Lambert

    GA-SoS: Alright, one more update, because why not? The AP has also called the Democratic primary for Georgia’s Secretary of State for ex-Rep. John Barrow, who avoided a runoff by securing 52% of the primary vote. The GOP side of the race will go to a runoff between Brad Raffensperger and David Isle.

  5. Daily Kos congratulates Gina Ortiz Jones on TX-23 victory, announces disbursement of nominee funds

    Today, Daily Kos congratulated Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones on her victory in the primary runoff in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District. Additionally, Daily Kos announced the latest disbursement of Democratic Nominee Funds raised through ActBlue. The Democratic nominees in Texas Congressional Districts 7, 23, and 32 will receive their share of the over $158,000 from over 80,000 individual, low-dollar grassroots donations the Daily Kos community has raised to oust Republicans in these races.

    “Daily Kos is excited to support Gina Ortiz Jones as she fights to evict conservative incumbent Will Hurd from Congress this year,” said Daily Kos Political Director David Nir. “Additionally, the Daily Kos community has raised over $2 million oust Republicans from 43 U.S. House seats and three U.S. Senate seats since first launching our effort around ActBlue’s nominee funds a year ago. We’re thrilled to see more funds from this campaign go to support these Democratic efforts in Texas.”

    Daily Kos has led the way in supporting Democrats across the country this cycle, raising over $5.4 million for candidates in small, grassroots donations in 2017-2018. We will continue to analyze and invest in key races nationwide.