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Twelve numbers that help explain the 2022 primary season

First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Donald Trump Holds Rally With Ohio Candidates In Youngstown
Audience members put their index finger up to symbolize America First while President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally at the Covelli Centre on Sept. 17, 2022 in Youngstown, Ohio.Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — If it’s Wednesday .... President Biden addresses the U.N. General Assembly, aiming to rally world leaders behind Ukraine. ... Russia’s Putin mobilizes more troops for war. ... The special master appointed in Mar-a-Lago case appears skeptical of Trump’s “declassification” claims. ... NBC News confirms that GOP Senate group has cut the rest of its ad spending in Arizona Senate. ... And the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman breaks down the six types of races that will decide control of the House in November.

But first: The 2022 primary season officially ended last week, and here’s what we learned, by the numbers:

7: That’s the number of House incumbents who lost their re-election bids to challengers —Reps. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., Tom Rice, R-S.C., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., Peter Meijer, R-Mich., Kurt Schrader, D-Wash., Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. (in chronological order). 

7: That’s the number of House incumbents who lost re-election to other members in matchups shaped by redistricting —Reps. David McKinley, R-W.V., Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga., Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Marie Newman, D-Ill., Andy Levin, D-Mich., Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. (again in chronological order). 

34: That’s how many victories Trump-endorsed candidates had in competitive House, Senate and gubernatorial primaries.

8: That’s how many losses Trump-backed candidates had in competitive House, Senate and gubernatorial primaries. (This doesn’t count candidates who dropped out before the primary or where Trump’s endorsement was withdrawn.)

7: That’s the number of incumbents in the House, Senate and in statewide contests (not including member-on-member primaries) who defeated Trump-backed primary challengers. They are: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Sec. State Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King, Idaho Gov. Brad Little and Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C. and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.

219: That’s at least how many House Republicans nominees who have questioned or cast doubt on the legitimacy of the President Biden’s election, per our Political Unit’s count. (This includes members of Congress who voted to object to the Electoral College certification.) Of these 219, 38 are in races rated by the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter as competitive. 

6: That’s at least how many secretaries of state candidates who advanced to the general election who have questioned or cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election. 

15: That’s how many candidates out of the 22 Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., endorsed who won their primaries. 

24: How many of the 31 Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, endorsed who advanced past their primaries.

81: That’s how many Republican House nominees are women, 27 of whom are running in races rated by the Cook Report. (There are currently 32 Republican women in the House, per the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics.) 

177: That’s how many Democratic women won their House primaries, 38 in races rated competitive by the Cook report. (There are currently 91 Democratic women in the House.) 

76: That’s at least how many House nominees are running for Congress for their first time in competitive races.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … 14 points 

That’s the percentage-point lead for an unnamed Democratic candidate over an unnamed Republican candidate during a message test in the latest NBC poll. 

Our bipartisan team of pollsters wrote up summaries of the Democratic and Republican messages for the latest poll, asking voters whether the message described them well and which message they preferred. 

Per the poll, 46% of registered voters picked the unnamed Democratic message over the GOP message, which 32% preferred. That comes despite the congressional preference (which specifically names both parties) being tied at 46% in the same poll. 

Read more about the findings on the Meet the Press Blog, including the full text of the Republican and Democratic messages. 

Other numbers to know: 

5: The number of people recently arrested in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack who are allegedly tied to the far-right group America First.

$10,000: The size of a donation to a super PAC or 501(c)(4) that would trigger donor disclosure requirements under a Democratic campaign finance proposal, which Biden backed Tuesday, and which the Senate is poised to vote on this week. 

17: How many states Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is visiting this fall to campaign with GOP candidates as he weighs another presidential run, per Politico. 

9: How many days until Sept. 30, the final day before a government shutdown if Congress can’t agree to avert it

More than 24: How many fake electors from 2020 still hold powerful jobs in GOP politics, per NBC News’ Natasha Korecki and Kaitlyn Francis

Midterm roundup: Dry time in Arizona

Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters’ push to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly took a hit Tuesday, when the major GOP super PAC that plays in Senate races cut the rest of its ad spending in the state. A spokesperson for Senate Leadership Fund confirmed an Axios report that the group cut $9.6 million — the rest of its ad reservation — in the Senate race after initially cutting its September spending last month. 

SLF president Steven Law said other “Republican outside forces” pledging to help spend to defeat Kelly “allows us to pursue offensive opportunities.” This week the group added to its ad buys in Georgia, New Hampshire and Nevada.

While a handful of GOP outside groups are still planning to spend in the race, Democrats have a massive advantage in ad reservations so far, per AdImpact. Kelly and aligned Democratic groups have $34.4 million on the airwaves through Election Day, while Masters and aligned Republican groups have reserved $6.8 million, per AdImpact. 

Masters is getting a last-minute boost from some fundraisers. CNBC’s Brian Schwartz reports that billionaire Peter Thiel is hosting a fundraiser next week for Masters, who served as chief operating officer for Thiel’s investment firm and ran his foundation. It remains to be seen whether Thiel, who spent millions to help Masters in the primary through a super PAC, will open up his own wallet again and spend millions to defeat Kelly. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Florida Senate: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio leads Democratic Rep. Val Demings, 45%-41%, according to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll of likely voters

Georgia Senate: Republican nominee Herschel Walker will travel to Washington for a fundraiser with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday, Punchbowl News reports. A new CBS News poll of likely voters found Walker at 49% vs. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s 51%.

Pennsylvania Senate: Republican nominee Mehmet Oz is up with a new spot hitting Democratic nominee John Fetterman on crime and taxes, but through the lens of accusing him of “dodging debates.” 

Wisconsin Senate: Democratic nominee Mandela Barnes scrubbed the names of two law enforcement officers from his website after previously listing them as endorsers of his campaign, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. 

Nevada Senate/Governor: Two debates scheduled in Nevada’s marquee midterm races have been scrapped after both Republican nominees — Adam Laxalt and Joe Lombardo — did not RSVP by the deadline, the Las-Vegas Sun reports. 

Florida Governor: Three migrants who were flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, last week are suing GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who organized the flight. And NBC News’ Marc Caputo and Lauren Egan report that DeSantis has kept everyone guessing on his plans for another flight. 

Meanwhile, the USA Today poll found DeSantis leading Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, 48%-41%. 

Georgia Governor: Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin is heading to Georgia next week to campaign with GOP Gov. Brian Kemp. It will be one of Kemp’s first campaign events in the Atlanta suburbs, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Pennsylvania-17: The GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund’s new spot hits Democrat Chris Deluzio over a pro-Medicare for All pledge that calls the current private health care system racist, calling his solution “socialist health care.” (Deluzio’s campaign website calls for expanding Medicare “to achieve universal coverage.) 

Ad watch: Sing along to Adkins’ new ad

Republican Amanda Adkins is out with a new ad this week featuring a 30-second jingle that accuses her opponent, Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., of “hidin’ Biden.”

“So when you’re votin’, don’t forget what she’s promotin’. Sharice Davids: sidin’ with Biden,” one part of the jingle goes.

Adkins is running to flip Kansas’ 3rd District, which Davids has served for two terms. Since the early August primary, Davids has outspent Adkins on the airwaves, having spent $1.8 million compared to Adkins’ $766,000 spend, according to AdImpact.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world 

The special master at the center of the investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago appears skeptical of Trump’s claims he declassified the documents in question. 

Protests spread throughout Iran after a woman died in the custody of the morality police.

CORRECTION (Sept. 22, 2022, 2:53 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the number of women who are Republican House nominees in 2022. The total number is 81, not 82.