On September 4th, 2020, the final competitive primary of the year finished as Jesse Mermell conceded to Jake Auchincloss. With the close of the Massachusetts primaries, the last major ones, is primary season done?
Well, that’s not the case. Three states, two on September 8th and one on September 15th, still have primaries to go. While they may not be for high-profile races, there are still a few races among these last remaining primaries that will be interesting to look at.
Delaware Senate Democratic Primary: Is there any energy for Progressives in Delaware?
Delaware is a solidly blue state. In fact, thanks to favorite son Joe Biden being the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party this year, it should be even more blue than normal. So that means for the upcoming Senate race, the primary is all that matters. The incumbent, Chris Coons, fits Delaware politics almost to a “T”. He is liberal on social issues while still being business-friendly. That last part is very crucial in a state like Delaware. The state is well-known for its friendly tax laws for citizens and businesses alike. So even the Democratic base in the state would not be excited to see those laws changed.
There is, however, a challenger to Coons’s left that has drawn the usual hype online from progressives. They have supported Jess Scarane, a technology executive from Wilmington. Scarane highlights her support for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and fighting against Wall Street. While there is a certain sect of the Democratic Party that wants to see Scarane beat Coons, there is nowhere near a large enough portion who’d want to see him gone. Coons’s strong stances during the impeachment trial also likely shored him up with some Democrats, meaning he is likely a lock to beat Scarane. While I do not expect this race to be competitive, I am interested to see how Scarane does across the state.
Delaware’s primaries are the last ones before November, scheduled for September 15th.
New Hampshire: Who gets to be the apparent sacrificial lamb against Governor Sununu and who will get the GOP nod to face Freshman Chris Pappas?
New Hampshire is one of two states that will be holding primaries on September 8th. While none of these races are expected to be highly competitive this cycle, there are three primaries to at least keep your eyes on.
The Democrats have a key primary for the gubernatorial race to face incumbent Chris Sununu. While this race is not expected to be competitive, it was not in 2018 either until the final few weeks. The Democrats have two legitimate candidates: State Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes and Governor’s Council member Andru Volinsky. The two polls we have for this race do show a tight primary, with Volinsky holding the lead in the most recent poll. The polls for the general do not show a competitive race, however. Boosted by a solid COVID response, Sununu has a lead of over 20 percentage points over both candidates.
The second primary you could turn your eye to is the GOP primary in New Hampshire’s 1st district. Unlike in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, this race does have a clear favorite. That favorite is Matt Mowers, a former State Department staffer. Mowers has the endorsement of both President Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. While this usually would mean an easy win for Mowers, Trump’s endorsement has not been the lock towards a victory that it had been. His closest competitor is Matt Mayberry, a former Dover councilman and Air Force veteran.
Finally, the New Hampshire Republican Senate primary pits Trump-endorsed businessman Corky Messner against former United States Army officer Don Bolduc. Messner has a strong lead as of the most recent poll, but both candidates trail incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen by double-digit margins.
Rhode Island: Can a progressive make noise against Langevin in the 2nd District?
Rhode Island is likely to lose its second house seat following reapportionment. You would think that would mean no one would try and challenge the incumbent in a primary, right? Well, you’d be wrong. Dylan Conley, a 32-year old attorney from Providence, is running to the left of incumbent Jim Langevin for this seat.
Conley has the usual progressive platform. Green New Deal, Abolish ICE, and forgiving college loans are all a part of it. The question becomes whether those ideas get any support in this district. While the 2nd is a Safe Democratic district, it is considerably less Democratic than Rhode Island’s other district; President Trump only lost it by seven percentage points. So it will be interesting to see if Conley can get any significant amount of the vote. In a way, this reminds me of the PA-10 Democratic primary back in June. I definitely don’t see Conley winning, but I’m interested to see how well he does. Considering the long-standing rumors that Langevin will run for Governor in 2022, I’m sure progressives across the state want to see how he does as well.