Voters in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware went to the ballot box this week for primaries to determine who will be on the general election ballot in November. This set of Northeast states could play an important role in the balance of power in the House of Representatives, Senate and in governor’s mansions all over the country. In Rhode Island, Democratic voters had governor, lieutenant governor and US House candidates to vote for. According to New York Times reporting, incumbent governor Daniel McKee, who took office when Gina Raimondo became President Biden’s Secretary of Commerce, beat out businesswoman Helena Foulkes and Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea to be the democratic nominee for governor. Incumbent Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos won her primary as well, and Seth Magazine and David Cicilline both won their primaries easily.
The Rhode Island Republicans Ashley Klaus, Aaron Guckian, Allen Waters and Allan Fung all easily won their primaries for governor, lieutenant governor, and the House seats respectively. Rhode Island went to President Biden by 21% over President Trump in 2020, and each of these races is projected to go to the Democrat by Cook Political Report.In New Hampshire, Republicans had a strong night, especially ones that align with President Trump’s wing of the Republican Party. Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan won her primary by more than 90%.
The Democratic nominees for Governor (Tom Sherman) and the two House seats (Representative Chris Pappas and Representative Ann McLane Kuster) were uncontested. Republican Senate nominee Donald Bolduc narrowly defeated Chuck Morse. Wednesday morning, Senator Rick Scott, Chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee said they would spend money to ensure Bolduc’s victory over Hassan. “We are going to do everything we can to make sure he wins, “ Sen. Scott said to CNN’s Manu Raju. Cook Political rates this race as “Lean D”, meaning the race is competitive, but Hassan has an advantage.
The Cook Political Report rates the gubernatorial race between Governor Chris Sununu, a moderate Republican, and Tom Sherman as a “Solid R”, meaning they have little expectation for Sununu to lose. Cook rates Pappas’s race as a toss-up and Kuster’s race as “Lean D.”In President Biden’s home state of Delaware, Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Democrat ran uncontested and the Delaware GOP supported Lee Murphy, setting up a 2020 rematch for the seat. Cook Political Report rates this race as “Solid D”, meaning not even competitive.
Each of these Northeastern states were safe states for President Biden in 2020, but some of these races, especially Senator Hassan’s race against Donald Bolduc, could be competitive and garner attention on the national scale.