As mentioned before on this blog, CIVPAC has a small, all volunteer, staff. With only a few months remaining before the 2022 primaries, we are going to have to focus on just a few races. For the sake of simplicity we are going to start with the eight battleground U.S. Senate races, identified by BallotPedia (a great resource by the way).
The four races, in which Republicans currently hold the Senate seat, that BallotPedia identifies as likely to be tight are: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Wisconsin. The four races, in which Democrats currently hold the Senate seat, that they identify as tight are: Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Georgia.
In some cases, the battleground state criteria is not a great filter since the contested battleground is likely to be in the general election rather than the primary. In Georgia, for example, incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) is likely to face Herschel Walker (R). Neither of them appears to face a serious challenger during the primaries. That could change, and we will continue to monitor it, but unless it does we will put that race, and others like it, on the back burner.
Arizona provides a more interesting target for our efforts. Mark Kelly (D) is running unopposed in the Democratic primary but there are nine candidates in the Republican primary to determine his challenger. The fact that we are focusing on the Republican primary in this race does not mean that we will ultimately endorse a Republican, or any candidate, in the general election. It just means that the primary is where the action is at this point.
Here is the list from Ballotpedia:
The following candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate from Arizona on August 2, 2022.
The odd thing about this race is that the Republican most likely to win in the general election refuses to run. Gov. Doug Doucey would probably be a shoe in to win the seat in the general election according to the New York Times, but he is unwilling to run because he would face opposition from Donald Trump during the primaries. Doucey has held out the possibility that he will weigh in on the Republican primary with an endorsement, as we get closer to the primary in August. My guess is that, if that happens, the primary will boil down to a contest between the Trump endorsed candidate and the Doucey endorsed candidate. If that ends up being the case, I suspect that CIVPAC will endorse the Doucey backed candidate, if it endorses any candidate in the Republican primary.
It is important to remember that the objective is not necessarily to identify a truly centrist candidate, but to identify the most centrist candidate available in the field.
I will be reporting back later on a short list of candidates that I believe we may choose among for our endorsement in the Arizona Senatorial Republican primary. If any of you have any information about this race that you would like to share, please comment on this post below.