No surprises in yesterday's primaries for senator and governor.
INDIANA -- SENATE
Former Senator Dan Coats easily won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Coats got 39%, to 29% for state Senator Marlin Stutzman, and 23% for former Congressman John Hostettler. Observers had called this primary a race between three factions: Coats representing the Washington GOP establishment, Stutzman as the Tea Party candidate, and Hostettler as libertarian. Perhaps an oversimplification, but there seems to be a good deal of truth in that analysis.
The state's Democratic Central Committee will meet on May 15 to choose the Democratic candidate. They are expected to nominate Congressman Brad Ellsworth.
Polls reported by Real Clear Politics for the general election matchup show Coats leading Ellsworth by double-digit margins.
NORTH CAROLINA -- SENATE
There will be a runoff primary for the Democratic nomination. North Carolina's Secretary of State Elaine Marshall got 36%, to 27% for her main opponent, former state Senator Cal Cunningham.
State law sets 40% as the threshold for nomination; because no candidate reached that mark, there will be a runoff on June 22.
Incumbent Republican Senator Richard Burr won his party's primary with 80% of the vote.
Real Clear Politics reports polls showing Burr comfortably ahead of both of the remaining Democratic candidates.
OHIO -- SENATE
As expected, Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher easily defeated Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, by a margin of 55% to 45%, in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
Former Congressman Rob Portman was unopposed for the Republican nomination.
Polls indicate a close contest in the general election, according to Real Clear Politics.
Republicans had done very well in Ohio until recent years. Republican Mike DeWine won a U.S. Senate seat in the GOP landslide of 1994. Then, George Voinovich was elected to succeed Democratic Senator John Glenn, in 1998. Voinovich and his fellow Republican, Bob Taft II, between them held the governorship from 1991 to 2007. Then, Taft's approval ratings fell to single digits, after he pleaded no contest to charges that he had illegally accepted gifts. The Republican brand has been tarnished in Ohio since 2006. In that year, DeWine lost a reelection bid to Democrat Sherrod Brown, and Democrat Ted Strickland was elected governor.
So, in a Republican year, in what has traditionally been a swing state, a high-profile GOP candidate still faces a tough fight.
OHIO -- GOVERNOR
There were no contested primaries. Governor Strickland is in a very tight race with the Republican nominee, former Congressman John Kasich, according to Real Clear Politics.