The 2018 West Virginia primary, which caught national attention in the past week, is among numerous races taking place on May 8.
Voters in four states — Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia — head to the polls for their state and federal primaries. The 2018 election cycle begins hitting its stride in May as a dozen states will vote this month.
This is a look at the various United States elections taking place on May 8, 2018.
2018 West Virginia Primary
The US Senate race in West Virginia captured a wider spotlight last week on the Republican side. Don Blankenship, running for the GOP nomination to face Sen. Joe Manchin (D), was accused of racism after a new commercial aired. In it, he called Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell “Cocaine Mitch” and accused the senator of getting rich off of creating jobs for “China-people.” Blankenship has vigorously defended himself, and according to recent polling, he may have reason to feel good today.
The Weekly Standard reported that two internal polls have Blankenship in position to win the Republican primary. Remembering of course that these are internal polls, Republicans in West Virginia are on track to see a long night. Blankenship’s main opponents are two top-tier candidates: state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Congressman Evan Jenkins. A Blankenship win would have a Trumpian feel, as it would be another tale of an outsider candidate beating establishment picks. Donald Trump, however, has withheld his support from Blankenship.
To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
There will also be 2018 West Virginia primary races in all three House seats, with a crowded field running in Evan Jenkins’ 3rd District. Among the candidates are seven Republicans and four Democrats.
2018 Indiana Primary
Indiana’s Republican primary for US Senate has been a fight. Two congressmen, Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, both want to be the man to take down Sen. Joe Donnelly (D). This is a realistic opportunity for the Republicans to gain a seat in the Senate, though the winner will have emerged through a bruising primary. Also in the running is Mike Braun, a former state representative, and one poll had him in the lead. Messer and Rokita don’t much care for him, either.
Almost every Congressional race in Indiana features a thick field of candidates. In Todd Rokita’s 4th District, the Republicans and Democrats together have 13 candidates running to fill the seat.
2018 Ohio Primary
The big doings in the Buckeye State revolve around the gubernatorial race. John Kasich (R) cannot run for a third term, and there is a crowded field to replace him on the Democratic side. As for Kasich’s GOP, it’s two heavy-hitters: Mike DeWine, the attorney general and former senator, and Mary Taylor, the lieutenant governor. DeWine, a well-known figure in Ohio politics, has held a significant lead over Taylor in most public polls this year.
Meanwhile, the Democrats could nominate Richard Cordray, former attorney general. Ironically, Cordray lost the attorney general race to DeWine back in 2010. Early polling suggests DeWine has the edge in 2018 as well. Notably, former congressman Dennis Kucinich, also a past presidential candidate, is running for governor as well. Kucinich has trailed behind Cordray for the most part, but the number of undecideds has been very high.
For Mike DeWine’s old Senate seat, now held by Democrat Sherrod Brown, the Republicans don’t have much of a primary. It’s Rep. Jim Renacci’s nomination to lose, though he trails early in the general election cycle to Brown.
Finally, the US House 12th District will hold its primary for their August 7 special election. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) resigned in January, and both parties will have quite the battle. Among the Republican candidates is Kevin Bacon — no, not that Kevin Bacon. With it being just an R+7 Cook PVI district, Democrats are hoping that this could be another victory a la Pennsylvania 18.
2018 North Carolina Primary
North Carolina has no major statewide primaries on Tuesday. The governor is next elected in 2020, at which time Sen. Thom Tillis (R) will also run for re-election. All the action here is in the US House races, as well as many various state legislative and local races. All 13 sitting members of Congress are running again in 2018, but few are expected to face a real challenge. Rep. Robert Pittenger (R) may be one of those people, as he has drawn Mark Harris in the primary again. Pittenger defeated Harris in 2016 by a razor-thin margin.
Other May 8, 2018 Elections
Starting with the 2018 West Virginia primary, we’ve made it all the way down to the local level. On Tuesday, Newark, New Jersey will elect its mayor from a field of two. Incumbent mayor Ras Baraka is seeking a second term, while city councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins hopes to become the city’s first female leader.