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Four House primaries to watch this Tuesday

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: Ohio Congressional Candidate Nina Turner speaks at a campaign stop on July 24, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ohio Congressional Candidate Nina Turner speaks at a campaign stop on July 24, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — If it’s Monday ... House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Poland’s president the day after meeting with Ukraine’s Zelenskyy in Kyiv. ... First Lady Jill Biden heads to Romania and Slovakia later this week. ... Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis eyes re-election bid as a possible 2024 springboard, NBC’s Marc Caputo writes. ... Early in-person voting begins for Georgia’s May 24 primaries. ... Sen. Joe Manchin crosses party lines in WV-2 ad. ... And it’s one day until the May 3 primaries in Indiana and Ohio.

But first: By now, you probably know about tomorrow’s crowded GOP Senate primary in Ohio, as well as the less-crowded Democratic Senate primary there, and even the gubernatorial primaries in the Buckeye State.

But there are some other races we’ll be watching on Tuesday, including:

The rematch in Ohio-11

Former state Sen. and Bernie Sanders presidential campaign co-chair Nina Turner is in a primary rematch against Congresswoman Shontel Brown, D-Ohio. Brown, if you remember, beat Turner by 6 points in an Aug. 2021 special election primary in this Cleveland-area district.

This primary for a full term has attracted less attention — and less money — than last year’s special election did. Nearly $2 million has been spent and booked on ads so far, per AdImpact, with most of that money boosting Brown. The outside groups Protect Our Future and the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC have put in a combined $1.2 million to support Brown, while Brown’s campaign has added $411,000 on the airwaves. Turner’s campaign, by contrast, has spent just $178,000 worth of airtime — a fraction of the $2.4 million her campaign spent on ads in the special election.


U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Ind., isn’t facing a significant primary challenge, but the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is targeting his district in November. A total of seven Republican candidates are vying for their party’s nomination. Leading the fundraising pack is Air Force Reservist Jennifer-Ruth Green, who recently earned endorsements from Susan B. Anthony List and Indiana Right to Life. Another frontrunner is former LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo, who touts endorsements from more than a dozen Republican mayors across Indiana. Milo outraised Mrvan in the first quarter of 2022, raising $208,000 to Mrvan’s $177,000.


Three Republicans are challenging incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, the longest serving woman in the House – state Rep. Craig Riedel, Air Force veteran JR Majewski, and Ohio state Senator Theresa Gavarone. The non-partisan Cook Political Report labels the district as a Toss Up for the general election, since recent redistricting in Ohio altered the district to include more conservative and rural areas


Democrat Tim Ryan is running for Senate, and his House seat is up for grabs with competitive primaries on both sides. Seven Republicans are running - including Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, former co-chair of the national Women for Trump advisory board and member of the 2020 Trump campaign advisory board. Gesiotto Gilbert is the fundraising leader on the right, having raised $616,000 so far through April 13. Greg Wheeler, an attorney who was featured on Shark Tank, raised $173,000. Democrat Emilia Sykes, the state’s House Democratic leader, is the only major Democrat running. The Cook Political Report rates the race a Toss Up for the general.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … $11 million

That’s how much money has been spent on ads in Ohio’s gubernatorial race through today, per AdImpact — $7.7 million from the right and $3.3 million from the left.

GOP Gov. Mike DeWine has been the biggest spender in the race by far, $4.7 million, as he looks to vanquish his primary challengers who have been attacking him from his right flank while keeping an eye on general election. One of those challengers, former Rep. Jim Renacci, has spent $1.6 million on ads, while a pro-DeWine group has spent another $830,000.

Cincinnati Democratic Mayor John Cranley has spent far-and-away the most on ads among the Democrats, dropping $1.8 million, while Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has spent $155,000.

For more on the race, read the new deep-dive from NBC News’ Henry Gomez.

Other numbers you need to know today:

46 percent: The portion of respondents in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll that back Democrats on the generic ballot, compared to 45 percent who back Republicans.

42 percent: The share of adults who approve of President Biden’s job, per the same poll.

19: The number of states where a secretary of state candidate is running that denies the 2020 election results, according to a group that tracks those races.

10.9 percent: The rate of inflation in the Phoenix metropolitan area, which is the highest of any metropolitan area in the country, according to Bloomberg. It’s also the site of crucial Senate and governor’s races this fall.

$150 million: How much pro-abortion rights groups, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY's List, plan to spend on the midterms, per Politico.

$23 million: That’s how much billionaire Rick Caruso’s campaign has spent on his bid for mayor in Los Angeles, most of it from his own personal wealth.

62.5 percent: The increase in the two-week average of daily Covid cases in America as of Sunday afternoon, per an NBC News analysis.

31.6 percent: The decrease in the two-week average of daily Covid deaths in America as of Sunday afternoon.

Midterm roundup: A big night for JD Mandel

Trump traveled to Nebraska Sunday to rally supporters around his pick for governor, businessman Charles Herbster, who is also facing multiple groping allegations (which Herbster has denied). But Trump didn’t just focus on Herbster’s race in his 104-minute speech, NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard reports.

Trump flubbed J.D. Vance’s name, Trump’s preferred candidate in Ohio’s Senate race, instead calling him “JD Mandel,” an apparent mix-up with another candidate in the race, state Treasurer Josh Mandel. (“We've endorsed J.P., right—J.D. Mandel,” Trump said.)

He also praised Missouri GOP Rep. Billy Long as Long continues to vie for Trump’s endorsement in the Show Me State’s Senate race.

And Trump criticized a series of other sitting Republicans, including Nebraska’s own Sen. Ben Sasse and Rep. Don Bacon, saying he would not endorse Bacon or Bacon’s primary challenger ahead of the May 10 primary. But he added that Bacon is a “bad guy” and wished his primary challenger “good luck.”

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Arizona Senate: Politico reports that state Attorney General Mark Brnovich appears to have lost his lead in the GOP Senate primary as other candidates in the race hit the airwaves.

Colorado Governor: Danielle Neuschwanger, who fell just short of the votes needed at the state GOP convention to qualify for the Republican primary ballot, will run a third-party candidacy.

Georgia Governor: Early voting starts today in Georgia ahead of the May 24 primary. GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and former Sen. David Perdue met again on the debate stage Sunday. Trump is holding a tele-rally for Perdue tonight.

Wisconsin Governor: Republican businessman Tim Michels booked another $117,000 in ad spending for this week as he rolls out his new gubernatorial bid.

Florida-27: Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell is ending his Democratic Senate bid to run for Congress against GOP Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar

Ad watch: Manchin crosses party lines

Just over a week ahead of West Virginia’s primary election, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., is featured in a new ad supporting GOP Rep. David McKinley, who’s running against fellow GOP Rep. Alex Mooney in a member-vs.-member race due to redistricting. Trump has endorsed Mooney.

“For Alex Mooney and his out-of-state supporters to suggest David McKinley supported Build Back Better is an outright lie,” Manchin says in the ad.

“David McKinley has always opposed reckless spending because it doesn't make sense for West Virginia,” Manchin adds. “Alex Mooney has proven he's all about Alex Mooney, but West Virginians know David McKinley is all about us.”

In the ad, Manchin not only crosses party lines to appear in an ad for Republican, but he highlights his torpedoing of a major part of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. He’s not the first high profile West Virginian to cut an ad for McKinley. The state’s governor, Republican Jim Justice, has also appeared in McKinley’s ads.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

President Biden’s private polling from last year, obtained by the New York Times, warned him that immigration and inflation could be vulnerabilities for the president.

NBC’s Scott Wong explores the flood of pro-cryptocurrency cash in Democratic primaries.

Politico reports on how Trump’s endorsement has — and hasn’t — shifted the dynamics surrounding Mehmet Oz’s Senate candidacy.

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper wrote in his new memoir that former President Trump raised the prospect of shooting demonstrators who were protesting near the White House in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to Axios.