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Daily Election Report: Thursday, March 15, 2018 – Conor Lamb To Run In The New 17th District

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Story Of The Day:

Pennsylvania’s (New) 17th: Incumbent Republican Congressman Keith Rothfus was placed in a district that is somewhat competitive on paper – Trump won it 49%-46%, Romney won it 52%-47%, and McCain won it 51%-49%.

However, Conor Lamb has decided to run here as expected and Rothfus is vulnerable.

The good news is that there is very little overlap between the old 18th and the new 17th. Also, Lamb has to win a primary in order to win the nomination, instead of a convention. He’s extremely centrist: anti-Pelosi, pro-fracking, and pro-gun. He never criticized Trump and supports several pieces of his agenda.

Rothfus has been in competitive elections before. In 2010, he first ran for Congress in the old-old 4th district (which McCain won with 55% of the vote) but lost to centrist Democrat Jason Altmire 51%-49%. In 2012, Rothfus defeated centrist Democrat Mark Critz in the current 12th district 52%-48%. He won re-election in 2014 with 59% of the vote and 2016 with 62% of the vote.

The bad news is that Lamb dominated the small part of the district that overlaps.

Senate Elections:

Mississippi: State Senator Chris McDaniel has switched races by running for the Senate seat vacated by Thad Cochran instead of challenging incumbent Senator Roger Wicker. Republican Governor Phil Bryant slammed McDaniel and has indicated that he won’t appoint McDaniel to the seat.

House Elections:

California’s 48th: Incumbent Republican Rep. Dana Rohrbacher is extremely vulnerable in this Romney-Clinton swing district, but Democrats are in a civil war over who to nominate. Three congressional Democrats who represent Orange County are endorsing businessman Harley Rouda. However, the CA Democratic Party and Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney officially endorsed Dr. Hans Keirstead, a stem cell research scientist. This will be interesting to watch.

Virginia’s 10th: Dem Governor Ralph Northam has weighed in and endorsed a candidate in the extremely crowded Democratic primary field. He endorsed the only elected official in the 8-candidate race: state Senator Jennifer T. Wexton. She hasn’t been in public office that long though – she was first elected to the state senate in a 2014 special election defeating (current VA GOP Chair) John Whitbeck 53%-38%. In 2015, she won re-election in 57%-43%, which isn’t very impressive considering the fact that Obama won her Senate district 59%-39% and Clinton won it 63%-31%. Incumbent Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock will struggle to keep this suburban Northern Virginia Romney-Clinton swing district. She barely won re-election 53%-47% in 2016, while Clinton smashed Trump 52%-42%. Mitt Romney defeated Obama in this district by one point, 50%-49%. Northam himself won the district 56%-43%.

 

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