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The End Of Primary Season-- Good Riddance Too

Updated: Sep 14


Trump endorsed Mowers in 2020 but has refused to do so for the same New Hampshire seat this year-- so Mowers is pretending Trump did anyway

Tonight we’re seeing the last of the 2022 primary results— consequential Democratic results in Rhode Island and consequential Republican results in New Hampshire. In Decision Desk’s newsletter this morning, Derek Willis featured an e-mail from extreme right wing kook Karoline Leavitt, who’s competing with mainstream conservatives Gail Huff Brown and Matt Mowers for the nomination to take on weak New Dem, Chris Pappas. Pappas won the seat in 2018, a good Democratic year, when the partisan lean was R+1. The Republican legislature have significantly redrawn the district to give it a partisan lean of R+9, a much tougher row to hoe, especially in a year that doesn’t look great for Democrats.

As of the August 24 FEC reporting deadline, Pappas had raised $3,134,023 and still has $2,271,796 on hand. The 3 Republicans each raised over a million dollars, but none have much left after a tough primary contest:

  • Matt Mowers- $1,677,093 ($562,755)

  • Karoline Leavitt- $1,496,946 ($574,293)

  • Gail Brown- $1,150,872 ($411,944)

"Independent" outside spending has been huge for Mowers, the establishment candidate— $1,646,696 to bolster him and $1,330,487 to slam Leavitt. The biggest spenders are Kevin McCarthy’s SuperPAC ($2,369,491) and Defending Main Street ($1,323,487).


This morning, Willis wrote that “Today’s Republican primary in New Hampshire’s 1st District features five candidates, but the race is between Gail Huff Brown, Karoline Leavitt and Matt Mowers. It has not been a quiet affair, and a recent University of New Hampshire poll showed Mowers and Leavitt pulling about a quarter of the vote with Huff Brown solid in third place. Mowers, the party’s nominee in 2020, has… been using Trump’s endorsement of his 2020 campaign in mailers (Trump hasn’t endorsed in this race this year).”


Earlier today we looked at the ad McCarthy is running for Mowers, while noting that hardcore House extremists like Lauren Boebert, Gym Jordan and Matt Gaetz have endorsed Leavitt, as has Ted Cruz. Meanwhile Huff Brown is the wife of former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and is pro-Choice and is backed by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Leavitt is the clear MAGA candidate and after appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show on Sept. 8, [her] campaign sent out the following email at least six times over the weekend:



The $5 million figure is just a typical MAGA-QAnon lie, by the way.


Roll Call published a post-primaries piece this morning about who they think-- they're not especially correct-- the 10 most vulnerable House members are, noting that 14 incumbents— Carolyn Bourdeaux (Blue Dog-GA), Marie Newman (D-IL), Andy Levin (D-MI), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Tom Rice (R-SC), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), David McKinley (R-WV) and Liz Cheney (R-WY)— have already lost reelection bids in primaries, falling “in primaries where redistricting or increasingly dogmatic electorates doomed them.” Several others were driven to retire for the same reasons— Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL), Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL), Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN), Ron Kind (New Dem-WI), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Fred Upton (R-MI), John Katko (R-NY), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH).


“The House member most likely to lose on Election Day,” wrote Stephanie Akin, Kate Ackley and Mary Ellen McIntire, “Florida Democratic Rep. Al Lawson, is in a rare situation of having his current district parceled away but not opting to retire. He is now running in a district that President Joe Biden lost by 11 points in 2020. Since he faces a fellow incumbent, Republican Neal Dunn, he’s not included in the top 10. Neither is new GOP Rep. Mayra Flores, who won a special election and now is the underdog in a race for Texas’ 34th District against Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez. Biden won that district by almost 16 points in 2020.”


These are their 10 most likely to lose in November, most of them going down not because of how bad they are but because of partisan gerrymandering:

  1. Tom O’Halleran (Blue Dog-AZ)- partisan lean went from R+6 to R+15

  2. Cindy Axne (New Dem-IA)- partisan lean remains R+2. (Unfortunately, they’re probably wrong about the degree of her vulnerability.)

  3. David Valadao (R-CA)- partisan lean went from D+9 to D+10.

  4. Tom Malinowski (New Dem-NJ)- partisan lean went from D+4 to R+3 and he has a credible opponent in Tom Kean, Jr.

  5. Elaine Luria (New Dem-VA)- partisan lean went from R+2 to R+6.

  6. Mary Peltola (D-AK)- no reason for her to be on this list after he stunning win last month

  7. Steve Chabot (R-OH)- partisan lean went from R+8 to D+3.

  8. Don Bacon (R-NE)- partisan lean went from even to R+3 and Bacon doesn’t belong on this list.

  9. Elissa Slotkin (New Dem-MI)- partisan lean went from R+6 to R+4. (Like Axne, they’re probably wrong about the degree of her vulnerability. Besides She’s has $6.6 million in her campaign fund and he has less than half a million.)

  10. Mike Garcia (R-CA)- partisan lean went from D+5 to D+8. Garcia would be a sure loser except that the Democrats nominated the worst possible candidate, a Republican-lite piece of crap who progressives don’t want to vote for. She’ll probably win though because of abortion.


Mary Peltola was just sworn in today; she deserves a full term

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