Significant Tuesday

I’m not sure how super Tuesday was but it was certainly significant and not all the action took place at the polls.

Before the polls closed arguably the biggest news of the day hit when Arizona’s formerly Democratic and now independent Senator (who still caucuses with the Democrats), Kyrsten Sinema, announced that she would not be running for reelection. The Democrats must defend this seat to retain control of the upper chamber and with Sinema’s exit that, while far from a certainty, becomes more likely; especially if the GOP candidate ends up being current frontrunner Kari Lake in a likely matchup with Ruben Gallego.

The top line battles were the two presidential primaries. As expected, Joe Biden and Donald Trump nearly swept their respective party’s contests. If anyone was in doubt (perhaps more accurately denial) a 2020 rematch is all but assured. While neither mathematically clinched their party’s nods the handwriting is one the walls in bold type face. So much so that, if news reports are accurate, by the time you read this Nikki Haley will have suspended her campaign. (Biden never had a significant or remotely viable challenger in the first place.)

Being my current home state, I paid more attention to North Carolina than most. The Republicans selected a nutcase as their gubernatorial nominee. In short, he will be 2024’s Hershel Walker without a Heisman in his home trophy case. That could be the difference in the presidential race in a very evenly divided state like North Carolina. More than ever the Tar Heel State’s 15 electoral votes are in play in 2024.

There are no great Democratic Senate pickup opportunities in 2024, but Texas comes the closest. The Democrats selected Colin Allred to take on unpopular Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. It will take some great campaigning and a break or two but an Allred victory is not the stuff of drug influenced dreams. If the Democrats have any 2024 Senate campaign “gambling money” the Lone Star State may be the best place to wager it.

Going to the other coast – with Tuesday the primaries and caucuses have gone coast to coast as well as border to border – the Democrats got an extremely winnable matchup in California with Democrat Adam Schiff taking on Republican Steve Garvey. Garvey was a great Major League baseball player that I remember well but he is a political novice who shows no similar talent level in that game. The Democrat should be able to defend this seat relatively easily freeing up money for other races.

Talent Alert! Katie Porter finished out of the running in this primary and will be a “free agent” in 2025. Cabinet and other top executive branch personnel often leave after one term. Keep Katie in mind should you get reelected Joe.

Back to the presidential race for a bit. Much is made of the 13% uncommitted vote in the Maryland Democratic primary. Unless Republican Senate candidate Larry Hogan has much stronger coattails than I imagine, Maryland will go to Biden in November. That said, the uncommitted vote in some other states, mainly Michigan, is concerning.

Assuming he is really trying to win, I think there is much more cause for concern about the vote not gotten in the Trump camp. Despite being roundly defeated in almost every contest; Nikki Haley got a decent percentage of the vote. Where that will go in November and will it show up should be major causes for concern at Trump HQ. Remember to win in 2024 Trump has to retain every state he won in 2020 and flip probably three that he lost in that contest. Biden could afford to lose a state much more than Trump.

Very few Democratic uncommitted primary voters are will vote for Trump in November. The big concern in the Biden camp is that they would stay home. On the Republican side many of the Nikki voters will vote for Biden and many more will sit home. Trump can’t afford a mass exodus or a large group of stay at homes.

If you are looking for a complete rundown of Tuesday’s results there are several news outlets that have done a great job; this is not one of them, nor is it intended to be. Tip: if you are looking for local results, look at your local news sources. Those contests and that information is also important.

I understand where the moniker Super Tuesday came from and the reasoning behind it. For this cycle I’d like to rename it a much more appropriate, Significant Tuesday.

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