Can a Republican Nobody Win the Nomination?

By: Inoljt,

It is the June, 2012. The Republican candidate, recent winner of the party’s presidential nomination, rises up to deliver a triumphant victory speech. He launches a full-throated defense of conservatism, inserts a few sly attacks on the Democratic president, and thanks his opponents for endorsing him.

Just six months ago nobody had heard about him. Yet then he won the Iowa caucuses, shocking everybody in the political world. New Hampshire followed, then a string of victories that utterly defeated his remaining opposition. Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee never stood a chance.

How likely is this to happen?

More below.

Well, it is certainly within the bounds of conceivability – although admittedly somewhat unlikely. There are several factors that ought to be considered.

Firstly, there is the state of the current Republican field itself. This is a surprisingly weak selection. There are a number of potentially strong candidates out there. The problem is that none of them are running.

Unlike most previous contests, there is no obvious front-runner such as Governors George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan. Former Governor Mitt Romney is the one who best fits the definition. But Mr. Romney’s political skills are uncommonly weak; there is something about him (and this is a personal characteristic, not his Mormonism) that just turns-off voters.

So, unlike previous nominations, there is still plenty of space for a surprise Republican candidate to enter.

What about historical precedent? Here the picture is still pretty good. History is full of surprise candidates taking the nomination by storm. The most recent instance is, of course, the president himself (although he was actually pretty well known amongst the Beltway before 2008).

Even more encouraging might be example of President Jimmy Carter. Nobody, not even those immersed in politics, had heard of the peanut farmer before he ran for president. As late as January 1976 – the equivalent of January 2012 today – only 4% of Democrats chose him as their candidate. But Mr. Carter won the Iowa primary through retail politics, and then a string of other small primaries to build momentum.

There are other examples: Senator John Kerry in 2004, Governor Bill Clinton in 1992, and arguably Governor Mike Dukakis in 1988. These should hearten an ambitious yet unknown Republican.

On the other hand, all these examples come on the Democratic side. For whatever reason, political unknowns haven’t been as successful in the Republican Party. The last time the Republican frontrunner lost was in 1964, when Senator Barry Goldwater won the nomination (probably not the most inspiring model). Perhaps there is something in the nature of conservatism that is less attracted to exciting, new candidates of change.

At the moment, however, the chances that an unknown Republican will win the nomination better than they have been since – well – 1964.

Michigan & Missouri Primary Results Open Thread

9:41pm: Follow us over here.

9:40pm: I don’t think we’ve even mentioned the Kansas Dem Senate primary, not that we really need to. Lisa Johnston leads at 35, with Charles Schollenberger at 23, and David Haley (a state Senator and former SoS candidate, no less) a woeful 17.

9:39pm: Switching back to Kansas, things are getting tighter between Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt. Moran leads 49-44 with about 8% in.

9:36pm: Speaking of MI-02, that GOP primary may be the night’s most exciting match. It’s currently Huizenga 26, Kuipers 25, Riemersma 24, Cooper 19.

9:34pm: Although Peter Hoekstra can take some comfort in the fact that he’s still well-liked back home. He’s up 50-25 over Snyder within the bounds of MI-02.

9:33pm: As we close in on 20% statewide in Michigan, things are looking fairly stable in the governor’s races. Virg Bernero leads 58-24 over Andy Dillon for the Ds. For the GOP, it’s Snyder 36, Hoekstra 27, Cox 25, Bouchard 10. Looks like cornering the moderate market worked out for tough nerd Snyder.

9:31pm: Thanks to a big margin in the Lower Peninsula, Jason Allen’s pulling into the lead in MI-01, now 39-38 over Dan Benishek.

9:30pm: As more votes pour in, things are tightening up in MI-13. Hansen Clarke still leads Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, but with about 10% in, it’s still a pretty big Clarke lead: 50-32. At least she’s over the Bob Inglis line for worst incumbent primary performance.

9:28pm: The most drama in Missouri seems to be in the GOP field in MO-04, where social con Vicki Hartzler leads state Sen. Bill Stouffer 39-34.

9:27pm: What am I bid for a House seat? With about 10% reporting, auctioneer Billy Long is cruising in MO-07, with 40%. State Sen. Gary Nodler’s stronghold of Newton Co. hasn’t reported yet though (he’s only at 8, with J. Goodman at 22).

9:25pm: Show Me the money! The AP has called the GOP Senate primary in Missouri, no surprise, for Roy Blunt. He’s beating Chuck Purgason 72-13 in one of the cycle’s bigger cases of teabagger fail.

9:23pm: Wow, major momentum shift in MI-02 again. Now teabagger Bill Cooper’s in 4th! Huizenga and Kuipers share the lead at 26, with about 15% in.

9:21pm: Only 5% in in KS-01, but in the R primary there, birther real estate agent Tracey Mann leads at 32, with CfG fave Tim Huelskamp at 27 and ‘moderate’ Jim Barnett at 20. No runoffs in Kansas.

9:20pm: I think most people had forgotten that Lynn Jenkins in KS-02 was getting a semi-legit teabagger challenge (state Sen. Dennis Pyle). She’s winning, but with an underwhelming 60-40 margin with about 3% in.

9:19pm: Hmm, things much tighter suddenly in MI-01 GOP primary. Benishek leads Allen 40-38.

9:18pm: Switching over to Kansas, Jerry Moran is in the lead, 52-40. Moran leads 73-22 in KS-01, while Todd Tiahrt leads 55-38 in KS-04.

9:16pm: In MI-09, Rocky Raczkowski is way in the lead in the GOP primary: 50-28 over Paul Welday, Joe Knollenberg’s former CoS.

9:15pm: And in MI-07, the guy who was teabagging before it was called teabagging, Tim Walberg, looks like he’ll be back for revenge. He’s beating establishment choice Brian Rooney 55-34.

9:13pm: In MI-03: state Rep. (and teabagger) Justin Amash is running away with it at 47%, with Hardiman at 17 and Heacock at 19.

9:12pm: Check out MI-02: teabagging businessman Bill Cooper’s in the lead at 30 with nearly 10% in, with those three Dutch-named guys all clumped in the low 20s.

9:08pm: It’s early, but get a load of netroots fave Sean Tevis in KS-02 — the dude is in third place against a pair of Some Dudes!

9:06pm: Hoekstra’s leading 47-27 in his home CD, but in 3rd elsewhere.

9:04pm: In MI-06, Fred Upton has nosed down to 55% against wingnut’s wingnut Jack Hoogendyk.

9:01pm: Back in Michigan, Virg Bernero has shot up to a 59-41 lead over Andy Dillon. For the Republicans, Rick Snyder is ahead of Pete “The Incredible Hoek” Hoekstra by 35-28. Just over 7% of precincts reporting.

8:57pm: Though this was a foregone conclusion, the Associated Press has called the Dem Senate nomination in Missouri for Robin Carnahan.

8:55pm: Just a handful of votes in in MI-13, but Hansen Clarke is leading Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick by 43-17 so far.

8:51pm: Some more GOP House race updates: In MI-01, Benishek leads Allen by 45-30; in MI-02, Kuipers leads Riemersma by 26-23 (with Huizenga very close behind); in MI-07, Walberg leads Rooney by 55-34.

8:49pm: Wow, check out MI-06 — Republican incumbent Fred Upton is only at 55.5% against teabagging ex-state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk. 20% of precincts are reporting.

8:43pm: A good sign for Dan Benishek in MI-01 (R): he’s leading 53-19 in the UP, but also edging out Jason Allen 35-34 in the LP.

8:40pm: Regional divisions are becoming pretty evident in a few races. In MI-Gov (R), Peter Hoekstra’s scoring 61% in his home district while only 27% elsewhere. In KS-Sen (R), Jerry Moran’s getting 73% in his home district to Tiahrt’s 22%; he’s also leading 59-34 in the rest of the state. Nothing in Tiahrt’s home district’s reported though.

8:39pm: The AP’s called KS-Gov (R) for Sam Brownback.

8:24pm: House races for the GOP: In MI-07, Walberg’s out to an early lead with 66%; in MI-01, with two UP precincts in, Dan Benishek’s up 37-26 over Jason Allen. In Missouri, Vicki Hartzler is up 36-28 over Bill Stouffer in MO-04.

8:22pm: A few results in Michigan, where on the Dem side, Andy Dillon has a 3% advantage over Virg Bernero. On the GOP side, Peter Hoekstra’s out to an early lead with 35%, with Mike Cox behind at 28% and Rick Snyder at 23.

8:18pm: A surprising result in MO-08 (R) so far, with incumbent Jo Ann Emerson earning only 60%.

8:12pm: Our first results in for the night, a lonely precinct in Missouri where Roy Blunt has 55% to Chuck Purgason’s 37% in the GOP Senate primary.

Let’s do this thing.


     Kansas: Associated Press | Politico

     Michigan: Associated Press | Politico | MI DoS

     Missouri: Associated Press | Politico | MO SoS

UT & CA-SD15 Results Thread

2:27 am: With 100% of precincts reporting in CA-SD15, Blakeslee has 49.71% of the vote. The AP hasn’t signaled a runoff yet, with Blakeslee catching a runoff by about 750 votes.

2:14 am: That last set of precincts bailed us out here – Blakeslee’s at 49.93%, but everything else has reported and the remaining Monterey precincts should keep him under 50.

1:56 am: Pick your poison – things are looking bad whichever source you choose. Laird ends up losing Santa Clara by 3%, 7% off the pace. Model is suggesting 50.1% or 50.3% for Blakeslee…

1:40 am: With a few more Santa Clara precincts trickling in, the SoS model projects Blakeslee finishing at 49.7% but the AP model sees him finishing at 50.3%. This’ll be a nailbiter (as to whether or not we do the whole thing over again).

1:32 am: A few more precincts in, we’re now at 44% by the AP. Blakeslee’s at 49.47%, but the model has that improving to 50.03% by night’s end. Laird’s staying consistently 11% off the pace in SLO and Santa Barbara. All of these jurisdictions have pretty diverse precincts, but without significant shift, thing’s still aren’t looking good.

1:12 am: There’s a slow trickle of precincts in from California, either 117/362 or 143/399, depending on whether you believe the SoS or the AP. Regardless, Laird’s still 7.5% off the baseline, and we’ll still be lucky to get a runoff here.

12:51 am: AP calls UT-Sen for Mike Lee, who is maintaining his 3% advantage.

12:49 am: In CA-SD-15, Laird’s performance against the baseline is varying quite a bit. He’s 11% off the pace in Santa Barbara and SLO, 6% off in Santa Clara, 4% off in Santa Cruz, and running even in Monterey. SSP Labs thinks we’ll be fortunate to have a runoff here.

12:46 am: Surfing around the county websites and aggregating the total, we’re at 83% reporting. Lee has a 4,500 vote (or 3%) edge on Bridgewater, with little shift from the status quo in Utah County or SLCo.

12:35 am: With Weber County (Ogden) all in, we’re at 72% and only three major players are left: SLCo, Utah County (Provo/Orem), and Washington (St. George). SLCo is quite diverse, so it really depends where these precincts have come in. Bridgewater continues to do marginally better along the Wasatch Front, with 55% in Box Elder, 54% in Weber, 51% in Davis, 51% in SLCo; the exception is his 47% in Utah. For the first time tonight, though, the SSP Mainframe is telling us that the outstanding precincts will be more favorable to Bridgewater than Lee.

12:22 am: This is like watching paint dry, except there are interesting variations in how fast the paint dries in different places. We’re close to 2/3rds in Utah, and it’s crept up to Lee 52, Bridgewater 48. That’s odd because Bridgewater has pulled into the lead in SLCo, now up 51-49, but Lee’s going the other way in Utah County, now up 53-47. Only real hope for Bridgewater here is that SLCo is still half out (400 precincts remain, which is more than half of all outstanding precincts throughout the state), while Utah is 2/3rds in and the rest of the state is already basically done and gone to bed.

12:04 am: We’ve passed the 50% mark in Utah, and there’s still no change: Lee 51, Bridgewater 49. The only development that seems worth noting is that Salt Lake County (which was 52 Lee, 48 Bridgewater) is now 50-50. Are late-reporting urban precincts more Bridgewater-favorable?

11:52 pm: The AP has called UT-02 for Matheson. The tally right now, with 234 of 850 reporting, is Matheson 68, Wright 32. Fairly convincing, but Aaron Blake points out that Matheson spent $800K to make sure of it.

11:45 pm: Past the one-third mark in Utah, and it’s still Lee 51, Bridgewater 49. About a 1,400 margin between them.

11:37 pm: We’re getting some Monterey and Santa Cruz numbers, and the trend’s moving back in our direction: Blakeslee 49, Laird 41. I don’t know if Laird can pull into the lead, but he can probably keep Blakeslee under 50 and force a do-over.

11:30 pm: Over 20% in in Utah, and it keeps narrowing: 51 Lee, 49 Bridgewater. It’s 52 Lee, 48 Bridgewater in both Salt Lake and Utah Counties (the two biggest counties by far… both of the candidates are from Utah Co.), but Bridgewater seems to have an edge in the majority of the smaller counties.

11:25 pm: It didn’t occur to me that SD-15 would be such a NoCal/SoCal rivalry, but that’s what’s happening. Blakeslee has pushed past 50 (to 52, with Laird at 37), but that’s because a lot more reports have come in from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara (Blakeslee’s Assembly district). Laird’s saving grace may be that none of Monterey’s 110 precincts have reported.

11:23 pm: Up to 15% reporting in Utah, gap has narrowed to Lee 52, Bridgewater 48.

11:15 pm: We’re seeing a little progress in counting in Utah; we’re up to 5% in for Sen. and 7% in for UT-02. The needle hasn’t really budged, though. It’s still Lee 53, Bridgewater 47, and Matheson 68, Wright 32.

11:08 pm: Wow, things are happening fast in California; maybe they’ll lap Utah. With nearly 10% reporting, it’s 46% for Blakeslee (R), 44% for Laird (D). Remember that this somebody needs to break 50 to win, though, so if this keeps up we’ll just be doing the exact same thing in mid-August.

10:52 pm: Is it time for a ganja fry sauce break? Still very few precincts in; Lee’s keeping his 53-47 edge for UT-Sen and Matheson’s now up more than 2-1 in UT-02.

10:27 pm: A smattering of early votes and precincts are reporting in Utah, with Mike Lee out to a 53-47 lead over Tim Bridgewater. Bridgewater is doing marginally better on the more heavily-populated Wasatch Front. In UT-02, Jim Matheson is sporting a 65-35 lead over Claudia Wright, including an identical advantage in the relatively-liberal part of the district, Salt Lake County.

Polls have now closed in Utah (we’ve got another hour to go in California). Let’s bust a move.


NC & SC Results Thread

9:20pm: 100% is now reporting in SC-03. Duncan’s sporting a 3% or 2,100 vote lead over Cash, but still no call from the AP after a short delay, the AP has called it for Duncan.

9:00pm: Given that the Ark of the Covenant is in Arizona, Tim D’Annunzio can try his next congressional run there. AP calls NC-08 for Johnson.

8:57pm: Duncan continues to hold his lead over Cash in SC-03; this territory went for Cash narrowly by 0.4% in the first round. This is a swing of 3.7% to Duncan, who needs a swing of 2.3% to win. In NC-08, Johnson continues to whomp D’Annunzio 62-38.

8:47pm: AP calls SC-01 for Tim Scott. He will likely become the first black Republican in Congress since JC Watts left office in 2003.

8:40pm: It’s over for Rep. Bob Inglis – the AP calls it. Trey Gowdy has beaten him soundly. Inglis is the third House incumbent and fifth member of Congress to lose a primary/convention so far this cycle.

8:37pm: Man, maybe SSP HQ needs to take a ganja break this time! The two biggest races have been called (NC-Sen and SC-Gov), and NC-08, SC-01, and SC-04 all look like blowouts. And SC-03 isn’t exactly a barnburner. We may not have much real action until Utah starts coming in later tonight.

8:33pm: Really bad news for fans of Raiders of the Lost Ark: Tim D’Annunzio is getting smashed by Harold Johnson, 68-32, with about 18% reporting. This represents an almost 15% swing to Johnson, which means Timmy D might wind up with a smaller share than in the first round. Pretty pathetic, but if anyone could pull this off, he could.

8:31pm: The one real barnburner tonight might be SC-03, the seat being vacated by gubernatorial loser Gresh Barrett. Duncan leads Cash 52-48 with over half the vote in. This represents a nice swing toward Duncan from round one, though, so it might not wind up being this close in the end.

8:30pm: Yeah, it’s officially official – We Are Marshall. She’ll take on Richard Burr this fall.

8:29pm: Buncha people on Twitter are saying the AP has called NC-Sen for Elaine Marshall. Really gotta wonder what the DSCC was thinking here. Time for them to embrace her fully.

8:22pm: AP calls SC-Gov for Nikki Haley. She’ll face Dem state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the fall. Unlike in SC-Sen, we definitely got the candidate we wanted in our primary.

8:19pm: Meanwhile, in SC-01, Tim Scott is cruising with a 73-27 lead with a quarter of the voted reporting. Hard to see him losing this one. I guess Paul Thurmond can go commiserate with Ethan Hastert.

8:17pm: With about 30% of the vote in, Nikki Haley is crushing Gresham Barrett 64-36. Gotta wonder what folks like Andre Bauer and the local Chamber of Commerce were thinking.

8:16pm: Terrible sign for Inglis – he’s down 60-40 in his purported “base” of Greenville. He was a dead man walking for the last couple of weeks. Tonight is just the grand finale.

8:11pm: 1% of the vote has trickled in in NC-08, and Harold Johnson leads Tim D’Annunzio 70-30. This represents a 13% swing to Johnson from the first round (based on the two-candidate share of the vote).

8:04pm: True to the Greenville v. Spartanburg divide in SC-04, the one precinct from Greenville in has closed this to 70-30 Gowdy.

8:02pm: Cash has retaken the lead in SC-03 over Duncan narrowly at 50.3-46.7, but this is territory that went for him 26-19 in the first round.

7:59pm: In NC-Sen, Elaine Marshall continues to sport her 64-36 lead over Cal Cunningham. This is territory that went for Marshall 39-30 in the first round. In SC-Gov, Haley’s lead is 62-38 over Barrett; this territory went for her 49-23 in the first round.

7:55pm: In SC-01, Scott’s lead remains an impressive 70-30 over Thrumond. Further west in SC-03, Duncan now has a 52-48 lead over Cash.

7:49pm: Marshall’s lead has ticked up slightly to 64-36 with 6% reporting in NC. Johnson is whomping D’Annunzio 75-25 with two precincts in.

7:47pm: Duncan’s now taken the lead in SC-03, a slim 89-vote lead over Cash.

7:42pm: 1% reporting in North Carolina now, Marshall is up on Cunningham 63-37.

7:30pm: We only have five precincts reporting in South Carolina, and Nikki Haley leads Gresham Barrett by 61-39. In SC-01, Tim Scott leads Paul Thurmond by 67-33, and ice cream truck driver businessman Richard Cash leads state Rep. Jeff Duncan by 54-46 with one precinct counted in SC-03. Trey Gowdy is also crushing Bob Inglis by 85-15 in the early vote.

Polls have now closed in South Carolina. (North Carolina will close at 7:30pm ET.) We’ll be using this thread to follow the returns.


House Incumbent 2010 Primary Performance

Here’s a fun chart – it’s a list of all the members of the House who have scored 70% or less in a primary so far this year:

Incumbent Party District %age Notes
Inglis (R) SC-04 28% TARP [RUNOFF]
Burton (R) IN-05 30%
Griffith (R) AL-05 33% Ex-Dem [LOST]
Mollohan (D) WV-01 44% Ethics [LOST]
Souder (R) IN-03 48% TARP [RESIGNED]
Miller (R) CA-42 49% TARP, Ethics
Kanjorski (D) PA-11 49% Ethics
Lance (R) NJ-07 56% Cap-and-trade
Hall (R) TX-04 57% TARP, Ex-Dem, Age
Simpson (R) ID-02 58% TARP
Harman (D) CA-36 59% Blue Dog
Shuler (D) NC-11 62% HCR
Schmidt (R) OH-02 62% TARP
Kissell (D) NC-08 63% HCR
McHenry (R) NC-10 63%
Terry (R) NE-02 63% TARP
Coble (R) NC-06 64% TARP, Age
Herger (R) CA-02 65% TARP
Holden (D) PA-17 65% HCR
Lewis (R) CA-41 66% TARP, Ethics
Calvert (R) CA-44 67% TARP, Ethics
Davis (D) IL-07 67% Considered other office
Jackson-Lee (D) TX-18 67%
Rahall (D) WV-03 67%
Richardson (D) CA-37 68% Ethics
Hill (D) IN-09 69%
Smith (R) NJ-04 69% Cap-and-trade, TARP
Wilson (D) OH-06 69% HCR
Bono Mack (R) CA-45 70% Cap-and-trade, TARP
Platts (R) PA-19 70% Sought Obama appointment
Granger (R) TX-12 70% TARP

I’ve also included some notes on possible reasons for these poor performances: Dems who voted against healthcare reform, Republicans who voted for the bailout or cap-and-trade, ethical issues on either side, and a few other odds-and-ends. For a complete list of all members of Congress and their primary percentages, click here. So far, 89 (38D, 51R) incumbents have faced primaries while 141 have not (and another 13 open seats have been contested). Of those in primaries, the median vote share has been 74% (76% D, 73% R).

AL Post Primary Rundown

Last night, the voters in Alabama voted on nominees for each party to contest seats up for election in November. Here is a rundown of how things went in the Yellowhammer State last night:

AL-GOV: The GOP Primary will go to a runoff between former State Senator Bradley Byrne and either State Representative Robert Bentley or Real Estate Developer Tim James. Personally, I’m surprised Roy Moore, who was polling second in polls leading up to this race, placed 4th. In the Democratic Primary, Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks surprised many by crushing Congressman Artur Davis by a nearly 2-1 margin.

AL-LT GOV: State Treasurer Kay Ivey, who abandoned a hopeless Gubernatorial bid earlier this year, unsurprisingly romped over State Senator Hank Erwin and Teacher Gene Ponder. Ivey will face Incumbent Jim Fosom Jr. in November.

AL-AG: One of the biggest surprises of the evening occurred here with Attorney Luther Strange walloping Incumbent Republican AG Troy King by 20 points, a race that was under the radar for most political observers. In another surprise, Attorney James Anderson and former State Democratic Party Chairman Giles Perkins will go to a runoff. Perkins finished nearly 19 points below Anderson in yesterday’s vote tallies.

AL-State Treasurer: In another massive upset, former State Finance Department Official Young Boozer crushed former State Treasurer, former PSC Commissioner, and son of former Governor George Wallace, George Wallace Jr. by about 30 points(Thank God!!!). Unsurprisingly, in the Democratic Primary, former State Conservation Commissioner Charles Grimsley defeated Attorney Jeremy Sherer by about 20 points in the final tallies.

AL-AG Commissioner: In the GOP Primary, Former State Conservation Commissioner John McMillan and Walker County Economic Development Chair Dorman Grace are headed to a Runoff. The winner faces an uphill fight against Democratic Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Glen Zorn.

AL-SEN: No surprises in either race, Republican Senator Richard Shelby will face Democratic Attorney William Barnes in November.

AL-01: No surprise, Republican Congressman Jo Bonner horse-whipped Real Estate Developer Peter Gounares and will do so again to Constitution Party Artificial Reef Contractor David Walter in November.

AL-02: The Republicans will go to a Runoff between Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby and Businessman Rick Barber. Whoever wins faces Incumbent Democrat Bobby Bright in November.

AL-05: In the GOP Primary, Madison County Commissioner Morris Brooks surprised everybody by trouncing turncoat Congressman Parker Griffith 51-33. In another surprise, former Congressional Aide Steve Raby beat back a challenge from former State Board of Education Member and Grandson of former Senator John Sparkman, Taze Shepard 61-22.

AL-06: Incumbent Republican Congressman Spencer Bachus God-smacked Pastor Stan Cooke 77-23.

AL-07: Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Smoot and Attorney Terri Sewell surprised everyone by outpacing State Representative and son of former Congressman Earl Hilliard, Earl Hilliard Jr. to make the Democratic Runoff. The GOP has a Runoff of their own between Some-Dude Don Chamberlain and Mortgage Broker Chris Salter.

Please share your opinions in the comments.

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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AL, MS & NM Results Thread #2

2:30am: It looks like we won’t have any resolution tonight on AL-Gov (R). The good people of Cleburne County have apparently gone home for the night, leaving that county’s 17 precincts unreported. Those are the only precincts outstanding in the state. So, until then, Bentley and James are at 25% each, but Bentley is leading by 140 votes. We’ll see if they figure this out tomorrow.

1:48am: I want some of what they’re smoking down in Cleburne County, Alabama. It’s been six freakin’ hours, dudes!

1:25am: So now that the AP has accounted for empty precincts in Mobile, our projection has shifted to Dr. Rob Bentley by 97 votes instead of Fob James by 2500+ for the second runoff ticket.

1:08am: And the AP finally gets off the pot and calls AL-05 (R), despite that one outstanding precinct in Jackson Co. Mo Brooks wins it without a runoff, at 51%.

12:51am: AP finally brings some closure to AL-02 (R). Runoff for Roby and Barber. Roby just missed the cutoff at 49%.

12:47am: Wow, Bentley moves back into 2nd place in AL-Gov (R). Only a 150 vote lead, though.

12:40am: Our model has James taking the 2nd spot in the runoff, with his lead over Bentley projected to edge up to 2,700.

12:37am: AP has Byrne definitely making the R Gov runoff. In the 2nd place scramble, Tim James is edging ahead of Bentley. They’re tied at 25, but now James has a 150 vote edge. 95% reporting.

12:35am: AP calls AL-07 as runoff for Sewell and Smoot.

12:28am: 100% have reported in the 7th, although no call from the AP yet. Still Sewell 37, Smoot 29, with Hilliard missing the runoff at 27.

12:22am: It’s over in AL-05 as Parker Griffith has conceded to Mo Brooks. Brooks will face Dem Steve Raby in November. What a monumentally stupid idea this party switch was — and kudos to DavidNYC for his astute post on this idiocy back in December. Parker Griffith Can Lose.

12:11am: SSP Labs’ mainframe is spewing out punch cards telling us that we can call a Sewell/Smoot runoff in AL-07. Right now it’s Sewell 37, Smoot 29, Hilliard 27.

12:02am: Bradley Byrne is putting a little distance on the rest of the crowd in AL-Gov (R). He’s at 28, with the real battle, to make 2nd and get into the runoff, between James and Bentley at 25 apiece. Bentley has an edge of about 1,400. 91% are reporting.

11:59pm: In AL-02, with 93.5% in, Martha Roby has climbed up to 49.1% thanks to the Montgomery vote coming in. I’m not sure if there’s enough out there to get her over the hump outright tonight, though.

11:55pm: Some downballot local color: George Wallace Jr. loses the GOP Treasurer primary to a fellow by the name of Young Boozer.

11:43pm: A big clot of Sewell votes showed up in AL-07. She’s up to 37 now, with Smoot at 29 and Hilliard at 27. So the real battle here is whether Smoot or Hilliard makes the runoff. (And hopefully Smoot/Hilliard consolidates all the non-Sewell votes.)

11:41pm: Another seesaw in AL-Gov. Bradley Byrne is back on top at 27, and now Bentley is in 2nd at 26. Tim James is at 25, and only 700 back from Bentley. Roy Moore’s at 20. Good thing or bad thing? (Byrne is probably the toughest GOP opponent for the general, but also the least crazy, as far as actual good governance goes, if he wins the general. Also, would the James and Moore backers go to Bentley in the runoff, helping him to complete the upset?)

11:39pm: Man, even if you thought that Artur Davis would lose tonight, I don’t think that him losing by over 20 points was on anyone’s mind.

11:29pm: The AP has called the MS-01 primary for state Sen. Alan Nunnelee, who narrowly avoided a runoff with 51% of the vote. Nunnelee faces Travis Childers and his mighty ‘stache of doom in November.

11:27pm: The D AL-07 primary is a great horserace too. Right now Smoot and Sewell are both at 32, with Hilliard at 28. Smoot’s edge is 300 votes over Sewell. With about three-quarters reporting, Hilliard is back another 2,000, so making the runoff is looking less likely.

11:22pm: The R primary in AL-Gov just keeps being the most exciting race of the night. With 2057 of 2843 in (72%), it’s James at 26, Byrne at 25, and Bentley at 25. James up 2,000 over Byrne, who in turn is up 300 over Bentley. Hangin’ judge Roy Moore not that far back at 21%.

11:20pm: Looks like the polls were right about AL-AG, at least. Challenger Luther Strange is whomping troubled incumbent Troy King in the GOP primary, 61-39.

11:16pm: Only county outstanding in MS-01, which will tell us whether Nunnelee clears 50%, is Clay County. That’s only one county over from the county where Eupora (the town where Ross was mayor), but with only 14 precincts, I can’t see that being the tipping point.

11:11pm: More like the Land of Disenchantment for Allen Weh. He’s conceding the R gube primary in New Mexico, after spending $1.6 mil on it.

11:09pm: The SSP Labs model is calling MS-01 for Nunnelee without runoff (looks like that last-minute Sarah Palin endorsement for McGowen [sic] didn’t pay off). And, it’s saying AL-02 will come down to Roby/Barber runoff.

11:06pm: This will no doubt change, but at this instant in time, 2 (two) votes separate Tim James (84,497) and Bradley Byrne (84,495) in 1st and 2nd. Bentley is back in 3rd, trailing by 2,000 more. It’s 26-26-25, with 1887 of 2843 in.

11:04pm: The AP has called the R primary in NM-Gov for Susana Martinez. She’ll face Diane Denish in November.

10:57pm: Based on our model, SSP Labs is feeling confident to call AL-05 without a runoff in favor of Brooks. Griffith’s party switch goes down with the Edsel and New Coke in the pantheon of bad ideas.

10:55pm: Pretty much simultaneously, AP calls AL-Gov D primary for Sparks, and Davis concedes. Running to the right doesn’t win you a Dem primary, even in Alabama.

10:53pm: Not much change in New Mexico, although we’re up to almost one-third reporting. Martinez leads Weh 51-29.

10:50pm: AP calls AL-05 for Steve Raby, who crushed Taze Shepard 62-22.

10:41pm: The people who don’t give a rrrrip about Alabama are out in force tonight. Dale Peterson is deep in third at 26%, with a McMillan/Grace runoff likely.

10:37pm: Bradley Byrne just found a bunch of votes. He’s up 700 over Tim James, and about 2400 over Bentley with nearly 50% of precincts reporting. Meanwhile, Sparks leads Davis by 65-35.

10:34pm: SSP Labs update: In AL-05, we’re projecting brooks with 50.5%, 709 over a runoff. In MS-01, we’re projecting Nunnelee to escape a runoff with 51.2% of the vote.

10:30pm: Over in MS-01, with 88% reporting, Alan Nunnelee is still hovering at 51.1% of the vote.

10:29pm: The AP calls AL-06 for Spencer Bachus. Wasn’t close at all in the end.

10:23pm: Here’s one more bad sign for Artur Davis: Macon County, which is 84% black, is now all in. Davis only won 47% of the vote there tonight.

10:21pm: Another lead change in AL-07, where it’s neck and neck and neck. Shelia Smoot has moved ahead at 34%, with Terri Sewell at 32, and Earl Hilliard Jr. at 27 (and Bozeman a non-factor at 8). But, as we close in on halfway reported, the runoff could be any combination of the 3.

10:19pm: In AL-05, we’re projecting Brooks with 50.6%, 764 over a runoff. Keep in mind this is something of a crude model, though. It should be close.

10:18pm: The AP has called the R primary in MS-04 for Steven Palazzo.

10:15pm: Over in the Land of Enchantment, it’s a good night for Susana Martinez. She’s at 50%, with 101 of 1509 reporting. Allen Weh is in 2nd at 32%. Pete Jr. is at a whopping 6%.


Alabama, Mississippi & New Mexico Results Thread

10:15pm: Let’s move this party over here.

10:08pm: With not quite a quarter in, on the GOP side of the AL-Gov primary, Bentley has actually pulled into the lead at 27%. James is 2nd at 26, with Byrne at 25. Can’t quite count Byrne out yet, but that Dem 527 meddling in the GOP primary may have had the desired effect (i.e. taking out Byrne, ostensibly the toughest general election opponent). And Roy Moore’s at 18: what’s up with his collapse?

10:05pm: We’re now up to 48% in AL-05: Brooks leads Griff by 51-34, and Raby leads Taze by 62-23.

10:03pm: As expected, Luther Strange is kicking Alabama AG Troy King’s ass by a 60-40 margin.

10:02pm: 70% reporting in MS-01, and Nunnelee is resting at 51.3%.

9:59pm: Over in MS-04, state Rep. Steven Palazzo leads businessman Joe Tegerdine by 58-42 with 59% in.

9:56pm: Hah, Spencer Bachus leads his teabagger opponent, Stan Cooke, by only 59-41 with 13% in. It’s a TARP!

9:54pm: We’re now up to 37% of precincts reporting in AL-05, and Mo Brooks leads Griffith by 53-31. (Raby still cruising.)

9:51pm: SSP Labs doesn’t take an election night off, and here is our model for Alabama. It’s based on the usual back-of-the-envelope stuff, but also incorporates the racial composition of each county. (jeffmd)

9:47pm: Checking in with New Mexico, Susana Martinez has a 16-point lead over Allen Weh in the early vote.

9:43pm: 21.5% of the vote’s now in in AL-05, and Brooks leads Griffith by 49-38. Raby is up over Taze Shepard by 65-21.

9:41pm: Terri Sewell has now pulled into second place (just 200 votes behind Shelia Smoot) in AL-07, but only 12% of the vote’s been counted.

9:39pm: With 11.7% in, Sparks leads by 63-37. On the GOP side, Tim James leads with 28%, followed by Rob Bentley at 26%. Front-runner Bradley Bryne is in third at 23%.

9:35pm: We’re up to 41% reporting in MS-01, and Alan Nunnelee is dangerously flirting with a runoff at 49.7%.

9:30pm: Big swing in Jeffco, where Sparks now leads Davis by 54-46. Overall, Sparks is up by 61-39 with 7% in.

9:24pm: Check out AL-07, where the three front-runners are separated by just 170 votes. Smoot has 31, Hilliard’s at 30, and Sewell checks in at 27 with 11% reporting.

9:20pm: Almost 10% of Jeffco is in, where Artur Davis is cleaning up. The Gov race has tightend to 60-40 for Sparks. And, in AL-05, Mo Brooks leads Griffith by 58-28 with 8 precincts in.

9:11pm: It looks like Dick Shelby will survive an attempted teabagging from Clint Moser.

9:08pm: We’re now at 4/326 in AL-05, and Brooks has pulled ahead of Griffith by 48-36. Whoa baby!

9:03pm: Over in AL-05, with just three precincts in, turncoat Parker Griffith has fallen just barely under 50%. Mo Brooks has 33%.

9:00pm: Alan Nunnelee is now flirting with 50%. He leads Ross by 51-37. McGlowan is a huge non-factor here.

8:44pm: We also have our first precinct reporting in MS-01, and Alan Nunnelee has 56% to teabagger Henry Ross’ 26%. Sarah Palin’s late pick, Angela McGlowan, is in third.

8:41pm: 9/2843 in so far, and Sparks leads Davis by 73-27. On the GOP side, it looks like a three-way fight for second place between Tim James, Robert Bentley, and Roy Moore.

8:36pm: Now Barber is up on Roby by two votes. In AL-05, Parker Griffith has 62% of the very early vote.

8:23pm: In the AL-02 primary, teabagging businessman Rick “The Barber” Barber only trails NRCC-crowned favorite Martha Roby by 40-37. Just three precincts in there so far, though.

8:20pm: We’re up to three precincts in Alabamer, and Sparks leads by a 71-29 spread. Over in the Ag Comm’r primary, American Hero Dale Peterson is in third.

8:09pm: We’ve got one precinct out of the oven in Alabama. Sparks leads Davis by 12 votes to 5.

Polls will close in Alabama and Mississippi in about fifteen minutes, and in New Mexico an hour later. We’ll be using this thread to follow the returns — and if you have any additional results links, please share ’em in the comments.


Alabama, Mississippi & New Mexico Predictions Thread

Polls close in Alabama and Mississippi at 8pm Eastern, and in New Mexico at 9pm. SSP will be liveblogging these races once the first returns start rolling in, but let’s get the pre-game party started with a predictions thread. And in case you missed it, here is our preview of the key races to watch tonight.

June Elections Calendar

May was manna from heaven for elections junkies, with some truly exciting primary and special elections to watch. June is shaping up to be a pretty respectable sequel. We’ve identified as many noteworthy races as we can think of in the following chart, but if there’s anything we’re missing, please let us know in the comments!

Get ready to shake some action.

P.S. SSP’s complete primary calendar is available here.