Last week marked the end of the 2018 primary season. We began our results coverage the first week of March in Texas and finished last Thursday in NY.
As part of our weekly newsletter (which you receive when you sign up for access to our results and the 0ptimus Forecast Model here) DDHQ Executive Director Brandon Finnigan took a look back at some of the key races that may determine the outcome in November. You can find the Øptimus race ratings and information about all of the contests covered here and any other federal election here.
Here are some highlights:
March 6th– Texas 7th Congressional district Democratic primary
Democrats have set their sights on John Culberson since his district narrowly voted for Clinton in November of 2016. Their candidate, Lizzie Fletcher, faced off against six other Democrats and secured a position for a runoff which she won handily over Laura Moser. But had she been locked out in March, Moser had the second highest name-ID and could have very well won the primary, and with her unapologetically progressive platform, could have made this seat, currently rated a toss-up by most, a safer one for the GOP. Fletcher is currently polling a few points behind Culberson in the live New York Times/Siena poll.
March 20th– Illinois 3rd Congressional district Democratic primary
Incumbent Dan Lipinski faced his strongest primary challenge to date in Marie Newman. Lipinski was able to hold on, delaying a narrative of liberal/progressive ousters of more moderate/conservative incumbents for several months. A Newman victory may have encouraged more progressive candidates to run in other states, making Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ win yet another part of a snowball – or perhaps giving Joe Crowley a serious wake up call early enough to derail her rise.
September 4th Massachusetts 7th Congressional district, Democratic
If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ victory proved that tenacious campaigning could lead to progressive victories in districts represented by more moderate Democrats, the 7th district primary fight proves the value of “its time for a change” and “its time for newer voices and faces”, something that could come into play more in 2020 as we’ve run out of primaries. Incumbent Mike Capuano wasn’t a blue dog like Lipinski or a “more moderate than the district suggests” like Crowley, but had a record of progressive votes spanning twenty years. He was clearly out-campaigned by Boston councilwoman Ayanna Pressley, who criss-crossed the district and earned the endorsement of the Boston Herald on her message of being a new voice. Sometimes, it isn’t whether or not you’ve cast the right votes. Sometimes, people want something new- even in a year that favors your team.
You can find the Øptimus Forecast Model ratings for these and all other House and Senate general elections here.