Tracking the Primary and Congressional Races with Stu Rothenberg
Aired May 6, 1998 - 5:23 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST (voice-over): Primary day was the easy part. Now, Senate nominees in three states are looking ahead to the fall, and so is political analyst Stu Rothenberg. As expected...
SEN. LAUCH FAIRCLOTH (R), NORTH CAROLINA: How sweet it is.
WOODRUFF: Senator Lauch Faircloth sailed to victory in North Carolina's GOP primary yesterday. He's being challenged by John Edwards, a multi-millionaire who won the Democratic nod by a surprisingly large margin.
STUART ROTHENBERG, "ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT": Faircloth looks like he's the number one vulnerable Republican senator seeking reelection in November. The Democratic nominee, Jonathan Edwards, is young. He has plenty of money. He's attractive. He's been defending children, who suffered from personal injuries.
He's almost an ideal candidate in the media age. And Senator Faircloth, for all his hominess and conservatism in a generally conservative state is not exactly your TV candidate.
WOODRUFF: As expected, in Ohio, Governor George Voinovich easily won the GOP Senate primary. He will battle Democrat Mary Boyle in November for the seat of retiring Senator John Glenn.
ROTHENBERG: The big news there is that a ballot measure, an increase in the sales tax, went down to heavy defeat, and it was a measure that was supported by the governor for money for schools and some property tax relief. And the defeat of that ballot measure is viewed as something of a rebuke for the sitting governor, and I think it encourages Democrats to feel that Mary Boyle has at least a shot against Voinovich in November.
WOODRUFF: In Indiana, former governor Evan Bayh is the Democratic nominee to succeed GOP Senator Dan Coats. Bayh was unopposed yesterday. He faces Republican Paul Helmke this fall.
ROTHENBERG: Basically, this was a yawner where none of the Republicans got much attraction. The sense is that this race is already over, it's in the bag. This is a Democratic pickup.
WOODRUFF: Let's move from Senate races now to the House and two interesting GOP primary contests. The first in Indiana's Tenth District where conservative Gary Hoffmeister (ph) defeated moderate Virginia Blankenbaker (ph), but may have trouble this fall.
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ROTHENBERG: Hoffmeister has got to hold on to his vote, reach out, get some moderate Republicans, some swing Democrats, ticket splitters. It's probably an uphill battle for him in a Democratic district.
Plus, this was the case of two conservatives dividing the conservative vote and allowing a moderate Republican, Nancy Holister, the lieutenant governor, to sneak into the nomination. Holister will be a formidable Republican nominee against the Democrat Ted Strickland this.
This is a southeastern Ohio district, Republican-leaning House. There is a moderate. If she can hold on to those conservatives who voted for the primary opponents has a terrific chance here. This is going to be a really good race, but it's a good indication of conservatives in the Republican party.
We hear a lot about how conservatives win primaries and they generally do. But in this case, the math did not add up for conservatives. Two conservatives was not better than one, and the moderate Holister was.
WOODRUFF (voice-over): Finally, a noteworthy vote in Michigan. Ypsilanti voters decided to preserve an anti-discrimination ordinance that includes protection for homosexuals. The balloting came five days after Green Bay Packer's football star Reggie White appeared at a rally against the ordinance gay rights provision. White has been under fire for a speech he gave to the Wisconsin State Legislature that included anti-gay remarks.
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