May 8 Primaries Live Coverage & Preview – West Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio

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LIVE UPDATES – Start at 7PM ET

10:52PM ET – CALL – Miller wins WV-03 GOP Primary, will face Ojeda in general

It took a lot longer than I expected, but the pre-election front runner, Carol Miller is going to beat Delegate Ruper Phillips by about a 1,000-vote margin. This concludes our coverage for the night, thanks for following along!

10:50PM ET – Votes slowly trickling in

With 6% of precincts remaining, Miller leads Phillips by just 268 votes, this race is still too close to call.

10:28PM ET – Miller into 1st

It took a lot longer than expected, but West Virginia House of Delegates Majority Whip Carol Miller is into 1st place with 91% of the vote in. Miller sits at 7,236 votes, while delegates Ruper Phillips and Marty Gearheart stand at 6,824 and 6,566 each.

10:25PM ET – Carol Miller into 2nd, 150 votes seperate 1st and 3rd

Rupert Phillips – 6,473 votes (20.6%)
Carol Miller – 6,421 (20.5%)
Marty Gearheart – 6,321 (20.2%)

The favorite, Carol Miller, who has been in third all night, is up to 2nd place with just 52 votes separating her and Rupert Phillips. This is with 15% of the vote remaining.

10:05PM ET – 55-vote difference in the final race of the day

wv

State Delegate Rupert Phillips sits at 6,299 votes
State Delegate Marty Gearheart sits at 6,240 votes
West Virginia House of Delegates Majority Whip Carol Miller sits at 5,976 votes

10PM ET – CALL – First Incumbent to fall of the 2018 cycle

With a 2.2% lead and just 2% remaining, pastor and anti-gay rights activist Mark Harris has upset incumbent Republican representative Robert Pittenger in the North Carolina 9th primary. He will go on to face Dan McCready in the General.

9:55PM ET – Down to the wire with two races to go

WV-03 (R) – 71% in

Rubert Phillips – 20.8%
Marty Gearheart – 20.4%
Carol Miller – 20.2%
Conrad Lucas – 16.4%

NC-09 (R) – 93% in 

Mark Harris – 48.5%
Robert Pittenger (incumbent) – 46.3%

9:49PM ET – CALL – Patrick Morrisey headed to face Joe Manchin in General Election

With just over 30% of the vote left to count, Morrisey’s 6.2 point edge over Evan Jenkins is big enough for me to call this race. Don Blankenship will come in third.

9:47PM ET – Big dump in WV-03

WV-03 (R) – 63% in

Rupert Phillips – 22%
Marty Gearheart – 21%
Carol Miller – 19%
Conrad Lucas – 16%

We got another 15% in West Virginia’s third congressional district, and State delegate Rupert Phillips has rocketed into 1st as establishment candidate and Majority Whip of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Carol Miller, sits in third.

9:43PM ET – Watching surprising results in NC-09

Pastor Mark Harris is holding onto his lead against incumbent representative Robert Pittenger 49-46% in the GOP primary for the 3rd congressional district with 90% of votes in. This would be a massive upset, as the only poll for the race showed Pittenger up 52-20.

9:38PM ET – Three races to go

WV-Senate (R) – 56% in

Patrick Morrisey – 36%
Evan Jenkins – 28%
Don Blankenship – 20%

WV-03 (R) – 47% in

Marty Gearheart – 21%
Carol Miller – 20%
Rubert Phillips – 19%
Conrad Lucas – 16%

NC-09 (R) – 87% in 

Mark Harris – 49%
Robert Pittenger (incumbent) – 46%

9:29 PM ET – CALL – Renacci holds on in Closer Than Expected Race

With 40% of the vote in and a 12% vote differential, US Representative James Renacci holds on to defeat banker Mike Gibbons and advance to the general election to take on Sherrod Brown.

9:25 PM ET – Shocker in West Virginia’s third

Mary Gearheart, who raised just $81,963, is leading the Republican primary in West Virginia’s third congressional district. Carol Miller, who raised almost six times that amount, currently is running three points behind that.

9:21 PM ET – Four races remaining

WV-Senate (R) – 41% in

Patrick Morrisey – 35%
Evan Jenkins – 29%
Don Blankenship – 20%

WV-03 (R) – 36% in

Marty Gearheart – 22% (wow)
Carol Miller – 19%
Rubert Phillips – 19%
Conrad Lucas – 16%

NC-09 (R) – 66% in 

Mark Harris – 50%
Robert Pittenger (incumbent) – 45%

OH-Senate (R) – 39% in

James Renacci – 45%
Mike Gibbons – 33%

9:18 PM ET – CALL – Troy Balderson, Anthony Gonzalez stave off far-right challengers

The establishment candidates in the Republican primaries in the 12th and 16th congressional have avoided being upset by Freedom caucus backed challengers as state senator Troy Balderson and football player Anthony Gonzalez lock up the nominations.

9:10PM ET – CALL – O’Connor headed to Special Election; establishment candidates doing well in Ohio

We already saw Ohio’s gubernatorial nominations for both the Republican and the Democrat go to expected (comparatively) moderate candidates, and now Cody O’Connor has secured the Democratic nomination for the special election for the 12th district there. The establishment candidate on the GOP side of that race, as well as the GOP primary in OH-16 seem to be tilting towards the establishment candidate as well.

8:55PM ET – Update

WV-Senate (R) – 26% in

Patrick Morrisey – 33%
Evan Jenkins – 29%
Don Blankenship – 21%

WV-03 (R) – 20% in

Marty Gearheart – 30% (wow)
Rubert Phillips – 19%
Carol Miller – 16%
Conrad Lucas – 14%

NC-09 (R) – 31% in 

Mark Harris – 50%
Robert Pittenger (incumbent) – 45%

OH-Senate (R) – 11% in

James Renacci – 44%
Mike Gibbons – 34%

OH-12 (D) – 12% in

Danny O’Connor – 41%
Zach Scott – 17%
John Russell – 15%

OH-12 (R) – 5% in 

Troy Balderson – 39%
Melanie Leneghan – 22%
Tim Kane – 14%
Kevin Bacon – 12%

OH-16 (R) – 2% in

Anthony Gonzalez – 58%
Christina Hagan – 36%

8:52PM ET – CALL – Coleman wins Dem Nomination in NC-02, Jones keeps seat in NC-03

Moderate Walter Jones has held onto his seat in North Carolina’s third congressional district after a primary challenge from the far right, and former state rep Linda Coleman has won the Democratic nomination in the R+7 NC-02

8:47PM ET – West Virginia Senate Update

Morrisey sits at 34%, Jenkins at 27%, and Blankenship at 22% with 15% of the vote in. We have a lot of the major population centers in, but a lot of the “coal country” vote is still out.

8:39PM ET – Mark Harris could be headed to the US House

Mark Harris fell by just over 100 votes Robert Pittenger in the 2016 Republican primary, and now, despite Pittenger’s incumbency, he leads Pittenger 51%-45% although we do have just 9% of the vote in. Harris is a pastor, most known for his anti-gay rights rhetoric.

8:32PM ET – New, updated results

WV-Senate (R) – 5% in

Patrick Morrisey – 37%
Evan Jenkins – 28%
Don Blankenship – 20%

WV-03 (R) – 1% in

Carol Miller – 31%
Conrad Lucas – 21%
Rubert Phillips – 12%

NC-02 (D) – 5% in

Linda Coleman – 58%
Ken Romley – 31%

NC-03 (R) – 10% in

Walter Jones (Incumbent) – 47%
Phil Law – 27%
Scott Dacey – 27%

NC-09 (R) – 9% in 

Mark Harris – 51%
Robert Pittenger (incumbent) – 45%

OH-Senate (R) – 2% in

James Renacci – 46%
Mike Gibbons – 33%

 

OH-12 (D) – <1% in

Danny O’Connor – 43%
John Russell – 17%
Zach Scott – 16%

OH-12 (R) – <1% in 

Troy Balderson – 32%
Melanie Leneghan – 25%
Tim Kane – 15%
Kevin Bacon – 13%

8:20PM ET – Cordray, DeWine make it to the General

Both Cordray and DeWine are running at over 60% of the vote in, and it is safe to say they will be the two nominees heading to the general election

8:07PM ET – Results from West Virginia

WV-Senate (R) – <1% in

Patrick Morrisey – 56%
Evan Jenkins – 25%
Don Blankenship – 17%

WV-03 (R) – <1% in

Rubert Phillips – 16%
Conrad Lucas – 14%
Carol Miller – 12%

8:03PM ET – Results from North Carolina

NC-02 (D) – <1% in

Linda Coleman – 58%
Ken Romley – 32%

NC-03 (R) – 1% in

Walter Jones (Incumbent) – 49%
Phil Law – 29%
Scott Dacey – 24%

NC-09 (R) – <1% in 

Mark Harris – 50%
Robert Pittenger (incumbent) – 42%

Wow, we have practically no votes in, but we could see the first incumbent knocked off by a far right challenger of this cycle.

7:55PM ET – Results from Ohio

OH-Senate (R) – <1% in

James Renacci – 40%
Mike Gibbons – 35%

OH-Governor (D) – <1% in

Richard Cordray – 66%
Dennis Kucinich – 15%

OH-Governor (R) – <1% in

Mike DeWine – 66%
Mary Taylor – 35%

OH-12 (D) – <1% in

Danny O’Connor – 45%
John Russell – 18%
Zach Scott – 15%

OH-12 (R) – <1% in 

Troy Balderson – 26.4%
Melanie Leneghan – 26.2%
Tim Kane – 17%
Kevin Bacon – 15%

7:37PM ET – Braun win is a good sign for Blankenship

The more experienced Rokita and Messer splitting the vote and leading to the self-funded outsider Braun winning is a big sign for Blankenship, as you can draw a lot of parallels between the two primaries

7:30PM ET – Polls close in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia

We’ll be watching primaries in six congressional districts (NC-02, NC-03, NC-09, OH-12, OH-16, and WV-03) as well as Ohio’s senatorial and gubernatorial primaries, and of course, the crown jewelel, West Virginia’s senatorial primary.

7:24 PM ET – We wait for North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia

All three of those states close polls at 7:30, and because I have already called both of the featured elections in Indiana, you should scroll down and check out my previews for those three states.

7:17PM ET – CALL – Mike Braun headed to General Election

Braun is up 13% with 11% in, and that is with both Rokita and Messer’s congressional districts mostly in, I’m calling this race for Mike Braun, who will carry a double-digit primary win into the general election against Joe Donnelly

7:13PM ET – CALL – Pence wins GOP nomination in IN-06

Mike Pence’s brother, Greg, leads economist Jonathan Lamb 67-22% with 17% reporting, which is enough for me to call the nomination (and very likely the seat in Congress) for Greg Pence.

7:10PM ET – Results slowly trickle in

With 8% in, self-funded businessman and state representative Mike Braun leads US Representatives Todd Rokita and Luke Messer each by double digits. Braun’s lack of experience may make him a weaker candidate in the general election.

7PM ET – Polls close in the rest of Indiana

Current results for those two GOP primaries I said we were keeping an eye on

US Senate – Indiana (R) – 5.7% in

Mike Braun – 42.3%
Todd Rokita – 29.2%
Luke Messer – 28.5%

US House – IN-06 (R) – 13.5% in

Greg Pence – 67.7%
Jonathan Lamb – 21.7%

6:00PM ET- Polls close in (most of) Indiana

Polls have closed in most of Indiana, the part of the state the is in the Eastern Time Zone. We’ll be watching the GOP Senate primary to see who will be taking on Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly in November, as well as seeing if Mike Pence’s brother, Greg, can pick up the nomination in the sixth congressional district. No call can be made until 7PM when polls close in the corners of the state, I’ll see you then.

THE PREVIEW

Indiana – Polls close at 6/7 PM ET*

* Polls close at 6 in most of the state, parts of the state in Central Time will close at 6PM CT (7PM ET)

US Senate (R)

Mike Braun – Former State Representative
Todd Rokita – US Representative
Luke Messer – US Representative

This is the race to challenge incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly in November. Donnelly is considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats up in the US Senate this year, so this has been a competitive primary that has been filled with attacks from all sides. Braun has had to deal with attacks that he has previously voted in the Democratic primaries, Messer lives out of state, and in return, Rokita coined the phrase “Lyin’ Todd” (a take on Donald Trump’s “Lyin’ Ted”) in reaction to an IndyStar story that he lied about a $240,000 per year government contract his wife had. All three have tried to tie themselves to Trump, but Rokita seems to be the tea party guy, Messer the establishment guy, and Braun the moderate.

According to Open Secrets, Braun has raised 5.8 million dollars (much of which was self-funded), Messer has raised 2.9 million dollars, and Rokita has raised 2.7 million dollars. The only poll of the primary, taken 4/11 by Gravis Marketing showed Braun at 26%, Rokita at 16%, and Messer at 13%, leaving a wide margin of 45% undecided. All three trailed Donnelly in a potential general election matchup according to that poll. Current odds via PredictIt have the race at 68% chance for Braun, 20% chance for Rokita, and 12% for Messer.

6th US House District (R)

Greg Pence – Mall owner, brother of Vice President Mike Pence
Jonathan Lamb – Economist

Messer’s former seat, the 6th congressional district, also has an interesting race going on. This seat has a Cook PVI of R+18, so whichever Republican wins here is likely to be headed on to the house of representatives. Greg Pence is the eye-catching name here, the brother of Vice President Mike Pence, who also represented this seat at one point. His main competition is businessman Jonathan Lamb, who due to a lot of self-funding has raised about half a million dollars (Pence has raised 1.2 million, both are according to Open Secrets). Current odds via PredictIt have the race at a 92% chance for Pence and an 8% chance for Lamb.

North Carolina – Polls close at 7:30 PM ET

2nd US House District (D)

Linda Coleman – Former state representative, Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2012 & 2016
Ken Romley – management consultant

Entrepreneur Ken Romley has outraised Linda Coleman, raising 570 thousand dollars to her 141 thousand, largely due to self-funding, but Coleman does have name recognition from her failed runs for lieutenant governor in 2012 and 2016, as well as having the experience edge. The winner will take on incumbent Republican George Holding in November in the R+7 district, and with Holding already having raised 1.5 million dollars, it will be an uphill climb. Current odds via PredictIt slightly favor Coleman, 57% to 43% despite Romley’s edge in funding.

3rd US House District (R)

Walter Jones – Incumbent
Scott Dacey – Vice-Chairman of the Craven County Board of Commissioners

Walter Jones has been one of the more independent members of the Republican caucus in the house and has not voted with leadership on many things, such as the Russian meddling question. This has earned him a primary challenge from the right as Craven County Commissioner Scott Dacey has outraised the incumbent, 377 thousand to 350 thousand, although a Civitas Institute poll shows Jones leading 37%-28%. No Democrat is running for this seat, so the winner of the primary will be headed to the house.

9th US House District (R)

Robert Pittenger – Incumbent
Mark Harris – Reverend

Incumbent Republican Robert Pittenger defeated a local pulpit, Mark Harris by just over 100 votes in the 2016 Republican primary. Harris will go at it again this year, although he may not have the same support. In a March poll from the Civitas Institue, Pittenger led Harris 52% to 20%, although I would be shocked if it was that much of a blowout. Pittenger has also outraised Harris, raising 1.2 million dollars to Harris’ 573 thousand. The winner of this primary will take on Dan McCready in the General Election. This seat has an 8 point Republican lean according to the Cook PVI.

Ohio – Polls close 7:30PM ET

Governor (R)

Mike DeWine – Ohio Attorney General, former US Senator
Mary Taylor – Lieutenant Governor of Ohio

Republican governor John Kasich is term-locked out of running for governor again, and the #2 and 3 members of the state’s government are running for his seat. His Lieutenant Governor, Mary Taylor, has certainly not benefitted from his endorsement, as Kasich’s anti-Trump antics have lost her support in the Republican primary. Taylor has tried to distance herself, but to no avail. DeWine infamously tweeted #LockHerUp after a story of her misuse of taxpayer funds on state airplanes leaked.

DeWine seems to have this one locked up, he leads 43% to 26% in the most recent poll and has a 94% chance to win the election according to PredictIt.

Governor (D)

Richard Cordray – Former Attorney General of Ohio and former Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Dennis Kucinich – Former US Representative, former Mayor of Cleveland, candidate for President of th United States in 2004 & 2008

Richard Cordray, who you might remember as the first-ever director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Obama, is the front-runner, who will be taking on former congressman and progressive presidential candidate in 2004 and 2008, Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is endorsed by Bernie Sanders, while Cordray is endorsed by Elizabeth Warren (who created the CFPB), so we see the far-left implode. Both are essentially calling the other “not liberal enough,” Cordray held an A rating from the NRA in 2010, and Kucinich accepted money from a group supportive of Bashar al-Assad, although he later returned the money.

The latest poll shows Cordray at 28%, Kucinich at 13%, a little under 10% other, and about 50% undecided. Cordray has also outraised Kucinich, and has a 91% chance of prevailing according to PredictIt.

12th US House District (R)

Troy Balderson – State Senator
Kevin Bacon – State Senator
Melanie Leneghan – Liberty Township Trustee
Tim Kane – Economist, former Air Force intelligence officer

Incumbent Republican Pat Tiberi resigned to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable, but his preferred successor, state senator Troy Balderson is facing a tough challenge in the GOP Primary from hardcore Trump supporter Melanie Leneghan, who establishment Republicans fear could be toxic for Republicans in the general election. Veteran economist Tim Kane has also ran as an outsider candidate, although Leneghan would be the more likely of the two. Kevin Bacon, another state rep, has picked up support as a traditional pro-life, pro-gun conservative.

Funding is pretty close between the top three. Balderson has raised 464K off the back of a contribution from Tiberi, Kane has raised 459K, Leneghan is at 450K, and Bacon is a distant 4th at 281K. The only poll shows Balderson at 17, Leneghan at 11, Kane at 10, and Bacon at 10. PredictIt odds have Balderson at 58%, Leneghan at 36%, and Bacon at 6%.

12th US House District (D)

Danny O’Connor – Franklin County Recorder
Zach Scott – Former Franklin County Sherriff
John Russell – Farmer, and Democratic nominee for State Representative in 2016

Despite the 12th district having a Cook PVI of just R+7, the Democratic enthusiasm has not been what you might expect. The top three candidates: Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor, former Franklin County Sherriff Zach Scott, and Indivisible activist John Russell have raised 182K, 54K, and 91K respectively. O’Connor is the establishment figure, Scott is the moderate, and as you can probably tell by his position in the Indivisible organization, Russell is the progressive candidate. PredictIt sees this race as relatively safe for O’Connor, they give him an 83% chance, Scott an 11% chance, and Russell a 6% chance.

16th US House District (R)

Anthony Gonzalez – Former NFL Player
Christina Hagan – State Representative

Ohio’s other open House seat, which has a Cook PVI of R+8, has a similar sort of thing panning out on the Republican side. Former Ohio State (and later NFL) football player Anthony Gonzalez has the endorsement of many establishment Republicans, but he has found a challenge from his right as the house freedom caucus has endorsed state representative Christina Hagan. Gonzalez has raised 1.2 million dollars compared to Hagan’s 386 thousand. The winner is likely to win the special election, as the top Democrat, scientist Grant Goodrich, has raised just over 100K.

US Senate (R)

Jim Renacci – US Representative
Mike Gibbons – Investment banker

This race seems to be pretty much decided, but because it is a Senate race I’ll throw it in here. The winner of this race will face Sherrod Brown in November in a race that Republicans are eager to flip. Jm Renacci, is a clear favorite, sitting at 25% compared to Gibbons’ 11%, although Gibbons may have closed the gap a little in the closing stages, as he’s spent 2 million dollars of his own money to try and win the seat. He still is at about half (2.2 million) of what Renacci has raised (4.4 million). Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown is sitting at 20.3 million.

West Virginia – Polls Close at 7:30PM ET

US Senate (R)

Don Blankenship – Former Chairman & CEO of Massey Energy
Patrick Morrisey – Attorney General of West Virginia
Evan Jenkins – US Representative

The crown jewel of today’s primaries, the West Virginia Republican Senate. Incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin is very vulnerable in November, West Virginia is pretty much the most Trump-friendly state in the union, so the winner here will have a very good chance to at least challenge him in November. The only public poll of the race had Jenkins in the lead, but I actually see him as the least likely winner of the three, mostly because he is the most moderate. Morrisey is the more libertarian candidate, securing endorsements from Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker.

Then… there is Don Blankenship, the former Massey Energy CEO who spent a year in jail for “conspiring to violate mine safety standards” after 29 workers died in an explosion at one of his mines. He famously has killed Mith McConnell “Cocaine Mitch,” and said that he doesn’t like the Senate Majority Leader’s ties to “China people” referring to McConnell’s in-laws. Open Secrets has the funding at 3.5 million for Blankenship (largely self-funded), 1.9 million for Morrisey, and 1.5 million for Jenkins. The added media attention on Blankenship certainly ups his name value, and while he came in third in the previously mentioned poll, I would call him a slight favorite over Morrisey.

3rd US House District (R)

Carol Miller – Majority Whip of the West Virginia House of Delegates
Conrad Lucas – Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party and candidate for the district in 2010
Ruppie Phillips – State Delegate

Jenkins running for Senate means he vacated his US House seat, leaving many Republicans vying for the top spot. Carol Miller, the Majority Whip of the West Virginia House of Delegates is the frontrunner with 464K in funding. West Virginia Republican Party chair Conrad Lucas and state delegate Ruppie Phillips both sit just shy of 250K in funding. The district has a Cook PVI of R+23, so the winner of this primary is likely to win the seat. PredictIt gives Miller a 72% chance, Lucas a 22% chance, and Phillips a 6% chance.

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