AP Decision Notes: What to Expect in the Tuesday Presidential and State Primaries

March 15, 2024by Robert Yoon, Associated Press
AP Decision Notes: What to Expect in the Tuesday Presidential and State Primaries
This combo image shows Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, left, March 9, 2024, and President Joe Biden, right, Jan. 27, 2024. (AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Voting in the races for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations happens again Tuesday, a week after President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump secured enough delegate support to become their parties’ presumptive nominees. Three states also will hold primaries for other offices as this November’s battle for control of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House comes into sharper focus.

Biden and Trump will appear on primary ballots in four states: Arizona, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio. Trump also will appear on the ballot in Florida, which canceled its Democratic primary. Neither candidate faces strong challenges, although “None of the Names Shown” will be a ballot option for both primaries in Kansas.

Further down the ballot, California and Ohio will hold special primaries to fill vacancies in the narrowly divided House. In California’s 20th District, nine candidates are competing to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who resigned in December following his ouster from the speakership by members of his own party. All candidates run on the same ballot regardless of party, and, if no one receives a majority of the vote on Tuesday, the top two finishers will advance to a May special general election. The winner will serve out the rest of McCarthy’s term. A separate primary was held on March 5 for the full term that begins in January 2025. Republicans Vince Fong, a state Assemblyman, and Mike Boudreaux, the Tulare County sheriff, advanced to the November ballot. They are also competing in Tuesday’s special primary.

In Ohio’s 6th Congressional District, voters will choose the nominees to replace former Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, who resigned in January to become the president of Youngstown State University. Three Republicans and two Democrats are competing in both a special election to fill the remainder of Johnson’s term as well as the regularly scheduled primary for the full term. The winner of the special election will advance to a special general election on June 11.

Ohio Republicans will also decide a competitive U.S. Senate primary featuring state Sen. Matt Dolan, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and businessman Bernie Moreno, who has Trump’s backing. Dolan has the endorsement of Gov. Mike DeWine and former Sen. Rob Portman and was the only candidate in his primary who didn’t actively court Trump’s endorsement. The winner will face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in one of the key races for control of the chamber this fall.

Illinois will also hold state primaries Tuesday besides the presidential contests. Three incumbent members of Congress face competitive challenges from within their parties. In the 4th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Chuy García faces Alderman Raymond Lopez. In the 7th District, Rep. Danny Davis is part of a crowded field that includes Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, community organizer Kina Collins and two others. In the 12th District, Republican Rep. Mike Bost has a challenge from former state Sen. Darren Bailey.

DECISION NOTES

In the presidential race, Biden and Trump are the favorites in their primaries as neither faces strong challenges. The first indications that they are winning statewide on a level consistent with the overwhelming margins seen in most other contests held this year may be sufficient to determine the statewide winners.

In the California special congressional election, the results of the March 5 primary for the full-term seat provide a useful point of comparison, since both races included the same major candidates. Fong was the top finisher on March 5, with Boudreaux a distant second and Democrat Marisa Wood close behind in third place. A candidate can win the seat on Tuesday by receiving more than 50% of the vote. Otherwise, the top two finishers will advance to a special general election in May. This could delay determining who won the race. If the leading candidate hovers near the 50% mark, the race might not be called until additional votes are counted, even if the front-runner leads the rest of the field by a significant margin. The Associated Press will either declare a winner if a candidate has clearly received more than 50% of the vote or declare that no candidate has received a majority and identify which two candidates will advance to the May special election.

Here are the March 19 contests at a glance:

DELEGATES AT STAKE ON MARCH 19

Democrats: 379

Republicans: 350

STATES WITH PRESIDENTIAL CONTESTS (5)

Arizona, Florida (Republican only), Illinois, Kansas, Ohio

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CONTESTS (4)

STATE-RUN PRIMARIES (4): Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CONTESTS (5)

STATE-RUN PRIMARIES (5): Arizona, Florida (Republican only), Illinois, Kansas, Ohio

STATES WITH PRIMARIES FOR STATE & LOCAL OFFICES (3)

California, Illinois, Ohio

TUESDAY TIMELINE

7 p.m. EDT: Most polls close in Florida

7:30 p.m. EDT: All polls close in Ohio

8 p.m. EDT: All polls close in Illinois; last polls close in Florida; most polls close in Kansas

9 p.m. EDT: Last polls close in Kansas; first polls close in Arizona

10 p.m. EDT: Most polls close in Arizona

11 p.m. EDT: All polls close in California

ARIZONA

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (D): Biden, Gabriel Cornejo, Frankie Lozada, Stephen Lyons, Jason Palmer, Dean Phillips, Marianne Williamson. 72 delegates at stake

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (R): Trump, Ryan Binkley, John Castro, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson, David Stuckenberg, Vivek Ramaswamy. 43 delegates at stake

WHO CAN VOTE: Voters registered with a party may only participate in their own party’s primary. Independents may vote in any primary.

FIRST VOTES REPORTED (2022 primaries): 11:01 p.m. ET

LAST ELECTION NIGHT UPDATE: 7:11 a.m. ET with about 77% of total votes counted

CALIFORNIA

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 20 SPECIAL PRIMARY: Republicans Mike Boudreaux, Anna Zoë Cohen, Vince Fong and Kyle Kirkland. Democrats Harmesh Kumar and Marisa Wood. No Party Preference: James Cardoza, Ben Dewell, David Fluhart. All candidates are listed together on the same ballot regardless of party. If no candidate receives a vote majority, the top two vote-getters advance to a special general election on May 21.

WHO CAN VOTE: Any registered voter in California’s 20th Congressional District may participate in the special primary.

FIRST VOTES REPORTED (March 5 primary): 11:11 p.m. EDT

LAST ELECTION NIGHT UPDATE: 5:10 a.m. EDT with about 51% of total votes counted

FLORIDA

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (D): Primary canceled because Biden was the only candidate nominated by the state party. All 224 delegates awarded to Biden

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (R): Trump, Binkley, Christie, DeSantis, Haley, Hutchinson, Ramaswamy. 125 delegates at stake

WHO CAN VOTE: Only voters registered with a party may participate in that party’s primary. Democrats can’t vote in the Republican primary or vice versa.

FIRST VOTES REPORTED (2022 primaries): 7:01 p.m. ET

LAST ELECTION NIGHT UPDATE: 1:14 a.m. ET with about 99.8% of total votes counted

ILLINOIS

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (D): Biden, Lozada, Phillips, Williamson. 147 delegates at stake

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (R): Trump, Binkley, Christie, DeSantis, Haley. 64 delegates at stake

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 4 PRIMARY (D): Rep. Chuy Garcia, Raymond Lopez

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 7 PRIMARY (D): Rep. Danny Davis, Melissa Conyears-Ervin, Kouri Marshall, Nikhil Bhatia, Kina Collins

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 12 PRIMARY (R): Rep. Mike Bost, Darren Bailey

COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY (D): Clayton Harris, Eileen O’Neill Burke

WHO CAN VOTE: Any registered voter may participate in any party’s primary.

FIRST VOTES REPORTED (2022 primaries): 8:05 p.m. EDT

LAST ELECTION NIGHT UPDATE: 3:12 a.m. EDT with about 90% of total votes counted

KANSAS

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (D): Biden, Palmer, Phillips, Williamson, “None of the Names Shown.” 33 delegates at stake

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (R): Trump, Binkley, DeSantis, Haley, “None of the Names Shown.” 39 delegates at stake

WHO CAN VOTE: Voters registered with a party may only participate in their own party’s primary. Independents may vote in any party’s primary.

FIRST VOTES REPORTED (2022 Primaries): 8:22 p.m. EDT

LAST ELECTION NIGHT UPDATE: 3:31 a.m. EDT with about 97% of total votes counted

OHIO

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (D): Biden, Phillips. 127 delegates at stake

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (R): Trump, Christie, DeSantis, Haley, Ramaswamy. 79 delegates at stake

U.S. SENATE PRIMARY (R): Frank LaRose, Bernie Moreno, Matt Dolan

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 2 PRIMARY (R): Niraj Antani, Kim Georgeton, Phil Heimlich, Ron Hood, Thomas Hwang

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 6 PRIMARY (R): Michael Rulli, Reggie Stoltzfus, Rick Tsai (for both full and partial terms)

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 9 PRIMARY (R): Steve Lankenau, J.R. Majewski, Derek Merrin, Craig Riedel

SUPREME COURT PRIMARY (D): Lisa Forbes, Terri Jamison (for term ending Dec. 31)

WHO CAN VOTE: Any registered voter may participate in any party’s primary.

FIRST VOTES REPORTED (2022 primaries): 7:38 p.m. EDT

LAST ELECTION NIGHT UPDATE: 1:14 a.m. EDT with about 99% of total votes counted

UNCOMMITTED ON THE BALLOT

Kansas (as “None of the Names Shown” on both the Democratic and Republican ballots)

ARE WE THERE YET?

As of Tuesday, there will be 118 days until the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, 153 days until the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and 231 days until the November general election.

___

Associated Press writer Maya Sweedler contributed to this report.

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