Senate Races in Ohio, N.C. Too

Our attention is obviously focused on the Hoosier state, but voters also went to the polls in Ohio and North Carolina today. Each has a competitive Senate primary.

In Ohio, former Republican Rep. Rob Portman is his party’s choice for the seat held by retiring GOP Sen. George Voinovich.

Two state administration officials are battling it out on the Democrat side. Although polls show Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher comfortably ahead of Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Democratic activists are pushing Brunner’s candidacy. Low turnout could favor Brunner and make the race tighter than Fisher aides would like.

Incumbent House members from both parties are not expected to be seriously challenged in their primary races.

In North Carolina, Democratic strategists are nervous that former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, the party’s top recruit, will fall to Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. They view Cunningham as more likely to give Republican Sen. Richard Burr a serious challenge in November. Attorney Ken Lewis might provide a tough challenge for Burr.

Reps. Walter Jones and Howard Coble will face GOP primary challenges.