Senate GOP tests waters in Washington, but Tuesday’s primary will tell us much moreJuly 29, 2022
Murray herself will be one of those observers keeping a close watch over the proceedings. Notably, back in 2010, the senator and two minor Democratic candidates notched a combined 48% of the vote in the first round of voting, while two-time gubernatorial nominee Dino Rossi and two other Republicans took 49%. Those vote totals foreshadowed a very competitive race in the fall, though they didn’t preview a GOP win: Murray ended up turning back Rossi 52-48, and she easily prevailed in her bid for a fifth term six years later.
Smiley, who is a first-time candidate, lacks Rossi’s name recognition, but she has raised a notable amount of money. Still, the incumbent held a $6.7 million to $2.3 million cash-on-hand lead on July 13, and she’s used her financial edge to go on TV early. One Murray spot, which went on the air right after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, used a clip of Smiley saying “I am 100% pro-life” and went on to warn viewers that the Republican would empower Mitch McConnell to ban abortion nationwide. Smiley herself has also run commercials to introduce herself, though she’s so far focused on portraying herself as a political outsider rather than attacking Murray.
We’ve seen four polls over the last two months, and they’ve all found Murray ahead, though by varying margins. An early June survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for the Northwest Progressive Institute had the senator up 51-40, while a Smiley internal two weeks later gave Murray only a 48-43 edge.
The more recent surveys have found Murray in better shape: SurveyUSA had her ahead 51-33, while Elway Research gave her a similar 53-33 advantage. Next week’s primary results will also give us more information about the state of the race, though don’t draw any conclusions too early: Washington conducts its elections entirely by mail, and ballots postmarked by Election Day are still valid as long as they’re received within a few days. In the past, we’ve often seen later results trend bluer, and in fact, that’s exactly what happened when Murray fended off Rossi in 2010.
● RI-Gov: Former CVS executive Helena Foulkes has earned an endorsement from Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, who leads Rhode Island’s largest city, ahead of her September Democratic primary against Gov. Dan McKee.
● FL-10: The crypto-aligned Protect Our Future PAC has dropped $910,000 to aid gun safety activist Maxwell Alejandro Frost, which makes it the first major outside group to get involved in the busy Aug. 23 Democratic primary. Frost himself is also airing an ad that uses a clip of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis scolding the candidate, “Nobody wants to hear from you.” Frost himself tells the audience, “I’ve been making sure they hear from us for 10 years.”
● MI-03: The DCCC recently launched an ad campaign intended to help conservative commentator John Gibbs defeat freshman Rep. Peter Meijer in Tuesday’s Republican primary, and the congressman’s allies are responding with a spot arguing that this proves Gibbs is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “handpicked candidate.”
Principled Leadership for Michigan’s commercial doesn’t mention that Democrats are taking action because they believe the challenger would be easier to beat in the general election, though. Instead, the narrator intones, “Gibbs worked for a big tech firm in California. The same big tech elites pulling out the stops for Nancy Pelosi, censoring conservatives.” The size of the buy is $427,000, which is about how much the DCCC deployed to boost Gibbs.
● NY-03: DNC member Robert Zimmerman has publicized a Global Strategy Group survey of the Aug. 23 Democratic primary to succeed Rep. Tom Suozzi that shows him edging out deputy Suffolk County Executive Jon Kaiman 17-13. Melanie D’Arrigo, who lost to Suozzi in 2020, takes 12%, with the congressman’s endorsed candidate, Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan, at 10%; 48% are undecided.
● NY-19: EMILY’s List has endorsed businesswoman Jamie Cheney in next month’s Democratic primary in a southeastern upstate New York seat that would have supported Biden 51-47. Cheney is facing attorney Josh Riley for the nomination; the winner will go up against Republican Marc Molinaro, who is also competing in the Aug. 23 special election for the old version of the 19th.
● KS-AG: State Sen. Kellie Warren is airing a new spot ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary touting her support from two of the biggest names in the state, Sen. Roger Marshall and former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Warren’s main opponent is former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, whom Marshall defeated in 2020.
● Los Angeles, CA Mayor: Democratic Rep. Karen Bass has earned an endorsement from Hillary Clinton ahead of the nonpartisan general election. Bass led billionaire developer Rick Caruso, a Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat, 43-36 in the first round of voting in early June.
● Orleans Parish, LA District Attorney: A jury on Wednesday acquitted Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams on tax fraud, a verdict that lifts a legal cloud that has hung over him since 2020. Williams, who campaigned as a criminal justice reformer, proclaimed his innocence after he was indicted by federal authorities two years ago, and he went on to win a six-year term as the top prosecutor for New Orleans.
Dollar amounts reflect the reported size of ad buys and may be larger.