FiveThirtyEight
Nathaniel Rakich

We’re finally starting to get some results out of Indiana — specifically, the Republican primary for the 9th District, an open, safely Republican seat. With 8 percent of the expected vote in, former state Sen. Erin Houchin has 44 percent, former Rep. Mike Sodrel has 25 percent and veteran Stu Barnes-Israel has 16 percent. Unsurprisingly, Houchin is doing better in the parts of the district that overlap with her old Senate district.

Kaleigh Rogers

Which Candidates Have Questioned The Legitimacy Of The 2020 Election?

A year and a half after the 2020 election, Trump continues to make claims that the election was fraudulent and that Biden “stole” it from him. Even though all the “evidence” supposedly backing up this claim has been summarily debunked, Trump is not alone: Many candidates up and down the ballot have endorsed Trump’s “Big Lie.”

Considering that those elected will have (varying degrees of) control over future elections, we thought it prudent to track which candidates are still baselessly questioning the last one. By our definition, that’s anyone running for Senate, House, governor, secretary of state or attorney general who has said that either Trump’s loss or the 2020 election was illegitimate or who took legal action to overturn its results. That includes incumbent members of Congress who were among the 147 Republicans who voted not to certify some of the election results, as well as more full-throated endorsements of Trump’s fraud claims.

Here’s a look at the races we’re tracking tonight. Among the candidates running for Senate, House and governor in Indiana and Ohio, we identified 25 full-blown election deniers and 11 who have questioned the 2020 election but stopped short of saying it was illegitimate:

How Big Lie supporters are doing tonight

Senate, House and governor candidates who have either denied or questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election and its results in Indiana’s and Ohio’s
GOP primaries, as of 7:05 p.m. Eastern

CANDIDATE OFFICE Big Lie Position % REPORTING VOTE SHARE STATUS
Mark Leyva IN-01 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0% 0.0%
Blair E. Milo IN-01 ❓Raised doubts 0 0.0
Ben Ruiz IN-01 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Jackie Walorski* IN-02 🚫 Denied legitimacy 1 100.0
Jim Baird* IN-04 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Greg Pence* IN-06 🚫 Denied legitimacy 7 76.8 Leading
Erin Houchin IN-09 ❓Raised doubts 4 40.7 Leading
Jim Baker IN-09 ❓Raised doubts 4 5.3 Trailing
J. Michael Davisson IN-09 ❓Raised doubts 4 2.8 Trailing
Steve Chabot* OH-01 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Jenn Giroux OH-01 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
James J. Condit Jr. OH-02 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Lee R. Stahley OH-03 ❓Raised doubts 0 0.0
Jim Jordan* OH-04 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
John Anderson OH-06 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Bill Johnson* OH-06 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Gregory M. Zelenitz OH-06 ❓Raised doubts 0 0.0
Charlie Gaddis OH-07 ❓Raised doubts 0 0.0
Max Miller OH-07 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Jonah Schulz OH-07 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Warren Davidson* OH-08 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Beth Deck OH-09 ❓Raised doubts 0 0.0
Theresa Gavarone OH-09 ❓Raised doubts 0 0.0
J.R. Majewski OH-09 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
James Hemphill OH-11 ❓Raised doubts 0 0.0
Madison Gesiotto Gilbert OH-13 ❓Raised doubts 0 0.0
Janet Folger Porter OH-13 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Dante N. Sabatucci OH-13 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Joe Blystone OH Gov. 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Jim Renacci OH Gov. 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Mike Gibbons OH Sen. 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Josh Mandel OH Sen. 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Neil Patel OH Sen. 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Mark Pukita OH Sen. 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
Jane Timken OH Sen. 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0
J.D. Vance OH Sen. 🚫 Denied legitimacy 0 0.0

*Incumbent.

Candidates marked as having “denied legitimacy” of the 2020 election either explicitly said Donald Trump’s loss or the 2020 election itself was illegitimate or, if an elected official, took legal measures to try to overturn the election. Candidates marked as “raised doubts” have questioned the fairness of the 2020 election or made references to “election integrity” but have not explicitly said the election or Trump’s loss was illegitimate.

Sources: News reports, campaigns, ABC News

Not all Republicans running for these offices in Indiana and Ohio back Trump’s Big Lie, though, so I’ll also be monitoring the results for the nine Republicans who have vocally accepted the 2020 election results and the four who have acknowledged Biden’s win but have still raised questions about fraud fare:

How Big Lie opponents are doing tonight

Senate, House and governor candidates who have accepted the legitimacy of the 2020 election and its results in Indiana’s and Ohio’s
GOP primaries, as of 7:05 p.m. Eastern

CANDIDATE OFFICE Big Lie Position % REPORTING VOTE SHARE STATUS
Martin Lucas IN-01 ✅ Accepted 2020 results 0% 0.0%
Victoria Spartz* IN-05 ✅ Accepted 2020 results 0 0.0
Larry D. Bucshon* IN-08 ✅ Accepted 2020 results 0 0.0
Todd Young* IN Sen. ✅ Accepted 2020 results 2 100.0 ✓ Won
Brad Wenstrup* OH-02 🤔 Accepted with reservations 0 0.0
Bob Latta* OH-05 🤔 Accepted with reservations 0 0.0
Phil Heimlich OH-08 ✅ Accepted 2020 results 0 0.0
Mike Turner* OH-10 ✅ Accepted 2020 results 0 0.0
Troy Balderson* OH-12 ✅ Accepted 2020 results 0 0.0
Santana F. King OH-13 ✅ Accepted 2020 results 0 0.0
David P. Joyce* OH-14 ✅ Accepted 2020 results 0 0.0
Mike DeWine* OH Gov. 🤔 Accepted with reservations 0 0.0
Matt Dolan OH Sen. 🤔 Accepted with reservations 0 0.0

*Incumbent.

Candidates marked as having “accepted 2020 results” have said Donald Trump’s loss or the 2020 election itself was legitimate. Candidates marked as “accepted with reservations” have accepted Trump’s loss and the election’s legitimacy but have still raised questions about whether there was voter fraud.

Sources: News reports, campaigns, ABC News

Finally, I’ll also be keeping an eye on candidates running for secretaries of state and attorneys general, as these positions have significant influence over how elections are administered. If a Big Lie believer wins one of these seats in a state, it could jeopardize future elections.

Nathaniel Rakich

The Key Races To Watch In Ohio

The polls will soon close in Ohio, which has several races we’re watching tonight:

  • The Republican primary for U.S. Senate. In what’s probably the biggest race of the evening, Trump has endorsed “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, but other candidates are still in the mix too, such as former state Treasurer Josh Mandel and investment banker Mike Gibbons. Self-funding state Sen. Matt Dolan also has a shot, which would be notable since he is the only candidate who hasn’t tried to ingratiate himself with Trump. See my full preview here.
  • The Republican and Democratic primaries for governor. For the GOP, Gov. Mike DeWine is favored but not certain to hold off hardline conservative challenges from former Rep. Jim Renacci and farmer Joe Blystone. The Democratic nomination, meanwhile, looks quite evenly matched between former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Although the winner would definitely be the underdog against DeWine, they might make things interesting against Renacci or Blystone.
  • The Republican primaries for the open 7th and 13th districts. The two candidates Trump has endorsed in these districts (Max Miller and Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, respectively) look like the front-runners. Gilbert’s win would be especially symbolic, as she’d replace pro-impeachment Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in Congress because of redistricting — that is, assuming she wins in November.
  • The Republican primary for the 9th District. This race could determine how easy it will be for Republicans to defeat incumbent Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in the fall. Conservative state Rep. Craig Riedel and Jan. 6 attendee J.R. Majewski could turn off independents in this swing seat, while moderate state Sen. Theresa Gavarone could be more electable.
  • The Democratic primary for the 11th District. In a rematch of last year’s special election, now-incumbent Rep. Shontel Brown, a consensus-building moderate, is running against former state Sen. Nina Turner, a diehard progressive. Turner is still a fundraising machine and still has the influential backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders, but Brown should benefit from her incumbency, as well as from a rare endorsement from President Biden.
  • The Republican primary for secretary of state, which (barring a major upset in November) will determine who administers the 2024 presidential election in the state. Incumbent Frank LaRose believes that Biden rightfully won the presidency in 2020 but has also had to saber-rattle about the potential dangers of voter fraud as he faces a challenge on his right flank from Big Lie believer John Adams.