Tomorrow is yet another big primary day. The big primaries are on the Republican side, and they stretch from South Carolina to California. Some are noted because they have been, well, just plain weird, and others will have a huge impact on the electoral outcomes in those states.
So let us mosey on down the list, shall we?
- The Golden State’s biggest fights are on the Republican side. Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a huge McCain booster in 2008, appears to have righted the ship in her campaign. For a couple of months, it appeared that former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA) would take the nomination, as Fiorina’s campaign was flagging amidst a lackadaisical approach to campaigning, and well…those really weird ads. However, Campbell has been hit by accusations of taking money from professors linked to terrorism, and Fiorina has really picked up the pace throughout the campaign. As such, Fiorina has broken through the pack and now has a solid lead in the polls. I look for her to be the Republican nominee against U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Likewise, the governor’s race on the Republican side experienced a period of tightening, as former EBay CEO Meg Whitman’s lead appeared to have vanished overnight a couple of weeks ago. However, State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has not been able to capitalize on various missteps related to Whitman’s EBay dealings, and Whitman appears poised for a convincing victory tomorrow. She will take on former Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) in the general.
2. South Carolina
- Given the strong Republican tilt in the Palmetto State, the Republican primary will be tantamount to election. The big story has been the Republican gubernatorial primary, where State Rep. Nikki Haley is seeking to become the state’s first Indian-American governor. However, there have been claims from two politicos (unsubstantiated, I must add) that they have had affairs with Haley. Because these claims are unsubstantiated, they have not become too much of a liability to her campaign. In fact, they may have helped her, since many see them as attempted smears from her opponents (one of the staffers that she allegedly slept with was a staffer of her opponent, Lt. Gov, André Bauer). She will not avoid a runoff, so it is tough to say who wins the primary overall, but Haley will finish first in the primary tomorrow.
- Ah, Iowa. The land of corn. And really competitive gubernatorial primaries. This primary has captivated me. The storylines are numerous: former four-term Gov. Terry Branstad comes out of political retirement to seek the GOP gubernatorial nomination, tea party favorite Bob Vander Plaats makes his third run at the governor’s mansion, and Democratic Gov. Chet Culver struggling mightily to get it all together. Culver is unpopular with unions after resorting to somewhat drastic measures in order to balance Iowa’s budget last year, and the rift threatens to cut into his natural grassroots volunteer base. Branstad will win the primary tomorrow, and unless something causes the landscape dramatically, he will also win the general as well.
- Remember when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was a walking dead man? Remember when I could have probably challenged him in the general and won? Well, that was before former Nevada GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden, the (former) frontrunner for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, said that we should start bartering chickens for health care. Now, former State Assemblywoman Sharron Angle’s tea party-fueled campaign has seized the lead for the nomination. Normally, this would be a good thing: hyped-up activists that are willing to go all out for candidates, volunteers that are truly committed to a cause and view you as the embodiment of that cause. However, establishment Republicans have signaled that they will not work with Angle were she to win the nomination, and this rift has breathed new life into Reid’s campaign. As far as the primary tomorrow goes, I believe that Angle takes it in a tight three-way race that also involves businessman Danny Tarkanian, but I do not believe that she unseats Reid in the general.
Have fun tomorrow and happy primary watching!
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