The candidates for crucial 2018 Senate, House, and governor's races will be picked in primary elections Tuesday in Virginia, Nevada, Maine, and South Carolina. Polls close at 7 pm ET in Virginia and South Carolina, 8 pm ET in Maine, and 7 pm PT (10 pm ...
The candidates for crucial 2018 Senate, House, and governor’s races will be picked in primary elections Tuesday in Virginia, Nevada, Maine, and South Carolina.
Polls close at 7 pm ET in Virginia and South Carolina, 8 pm ET in Maine, and 7 pm PT (10 pm ET) in Nevada. Live results are below.
Zac Freeland/VoxVirginia’s Second Congressional District Democratic primary: Elaine Luria is expected to win her bid to challenge Scott Taylor
Elaine Luria is a former US Navy commander who now runs an art studio. She has earned the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue imprimatur, which means the national party thinks she’s shown she can be a credible candidate. She also has the endorsements of Emily’s List and End Citizens United.
On Tuesday, her only challenger is Karen Mallard, a schoolteacher who says that President Trump’s nomination of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos inspired her to enter the race.
The winner faces Rep. Scott Taylor: former state legislator, first elected in 2016. He voted for Obamacare repeal, the tax bill, and a 20-week abortion ban.
The Cook Political Report considers this a Lean Republican race. But in 2016, though Taylor won handily, Trump beat Hillary Clinton by just 3 points. It’s a pretty diverse district too: 68 percent white, 20 percent black, 5 percent Asian, 5 percent Latino.
Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District Democratic primary: Abigail Spanberger is the favorite to face archconservative Dave Brat
Abigail Spanberger is considered the favorite. She’s a former federal law enforcement officer and CIA operative and has amassed support from a lot of local leaders. She is facing Dan Ward, a retired military colonel. It’s worth noting that in Democratic primaries where the top choices are a man and a woman, women have been winning a lot.
Incumbent Rep. Dave Brat is waiting in the general election. He is a former college professor who famously ousted then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor from the right in 2014. He’s one of the most conservative members of the House, but his district is changing. Trump won by 6 points here after Mitt Romney won by 11 in 2012. It swung 8 points toward Democrats in the governor’s race last year. There are a lot of younger, more affluent, and better-educated voters in the district, which covers parts of the Richmond suburbs.
Virginia’s 10th Congressional District Republican primary: Barbara Comstock needs to hold off a challenger
Incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock, first elected in 2014 and long pegged as one of 2018’s most vulnerable Republicans. A former Bush administration official, Comstock voted against Obamacare repeal but for the tax bill. It’s the latter that could land her in trouble, since the individual mandate repeal is being cited by insurers as a big reason for coming premium hikes for 2019. She does have a primary challenger: Shak Hill, a former Air Force officer and ex-Senate candidate running to her right.
Virginia’s 10th Congressional District Democratic primary: Jennifer Wexton looks to secure the nomination to challenge Comstock
State Sen. Jennifer Wexton is probably the frontrunner: She has name identification on her side, and she’s well-liked by many different factions. She can also run on Virginia expanding Medicaid. But she has some legitimate challengers: Alison Kiehl Friedman worked at the State Department under President Obama, Lindsey Davis Stover worked at the VA under Obama and on Capitol Hill, and Dan Helmer is a veteran running the furthest to the left.
The 10th sits near the top of Democratic targets in 2018. Cook pegs it actually D+1, and Clinton beat Trump here in the Washington, DC, suburbs by 10 points(!) in 2016. Everybody thinks this is a toss-up race.
Zac Freeland/VoxNevada Senate Democratic primary: Jacky Rosen readies to take on Dean Heller
Incumbent Sen. Dean Heller is expected to win the Republican nomination, avoiding what would have been a credible challenge from perennial far-right Nevada candidate Danny Tarkanian. Tarkanian, with Trump’s encouragement, dropped out of the Senate race to run for Nevada’s Third House District.
Among the Democrats, the clear frontrunner is Rep. Jacky Rosen, a political newcomer, who narrowly won a House race in Nevada’s Third Congressional District against Tarkanian in her first bid for elected office in 2016. Her background is in computer programming and consulting. She has a half-dozen challengers, but Rosen is far and away the favorite to emerge on Tuesday.
Nevada governor Democratic primary: a tense race to try to end a nearly 20-year lockout from the governor’s mansion
There are six Democrats running in a hotly contested primary for the governor’s race.
Clark County Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Christina Giunchigliani are the favorites among a field of six, with things getting increasingly tense between the two in recent weeks. Ahead of the primary, Sisolak and Giunchigliani have traded barbs over everything from the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas to a proposed bill that addresses the treatment of sex offenders. Polls give Sisolak — who’s amassed a roughly $6 million war chest — the edge, but the bitterly contested race is still pretty close.
Meanwhile, a whopping seven Republicans are running in the primary.
Nevada governor Republican primary: an anti-immigrant hardliner is running replace moderate outgoing Gov. Brian Sandoval on top of the ticket
Seven Republicans are running in the primary.
State Attorney General Adam Laxalt is expected to come out on top. Laxalt is known for backing the Trump administration’s hardline stance on immigration — signing on to a filing last year that opposed California’s “sanctuary cities” and joining a lawsuit in 2015 that challenged the Obama administration’s expansion of DACA. Laxalt has also secured donations from big-ticket Republican names including Sheldon Adelson and the Freedom Partners Action Fund, a group that’s linked to the Koch brothers. His grandfather, Paul Laxalt, was previously a governor and senator for the state, and his father, Pete Domenici, was a senator for New Mexico.
Nevada’s Third Congressional District Democratic primary: Jacky Rosen’s seat is open as she pursues the Senate
This is an open race in a Democratic-leaning district that Trump narrowly won in 2016.
Philanthropist Susie Lee leads a field of seven in both endorsements and fundraising. Lee, who has been named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue list, has secured endorsements from current incumbent Jacky Rosen, former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and former Vice President Joe Biden. She previously ran unsuccessfully for Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District in 2016. Entrepreneur Jack Love and IT specialist Michael Weiss are among the others on the ballot.
Nevada’s Third Congressional District Republican primary: the Tarkanian family wants to go to Congress
The most notable candidate and likely frontrunner is Tarkanian, an entrepreneur who was going to run for Senate but changed course after Trump called on him to clear the path for Heller. There are nine contenders including state Sen. Scott Hammond and former television reporter Michelle Mortensen. This is Tarkanian’s second bid for this district; Rosen beat him in 2016.
Zac Freeland/VoxMaine is doing something weird: ranked voting. Voters in the Democratic and Republican primaries will rank their candidates in preferred order. If no candidate gets 50 percent on the first go, the lowest-ranked candidate will be eliminated and the second-place votes of their voters will be distributed. That will be repeated until a candidate hits 50 percent.
Maine governor Democratic primary: Janet Mills leads the field to reclaim the office for Democrats
In the best poll we have of the race, Janet Mills — Maine’s attorney general since 2013, and a state lawmaker before that — was way ahead of the field, with 32 percent of the vote. So while she is the frontrunner, she has some credible challengers. Mark Eves, a former Maine House speaker, had 16 percent of the vote, good enough for second place, in the poll we have. State Sen. Mark Dion had 10 percent. Democratic organizer Adam Cote was the other notable finisher, at 9 percent.
Maine governor Republican primary: all the major candidates are hugging close to outgoing Gov. Paul LePage
Business executive Shawn Moody is the leader in the Republican primary based on the best available polling, sitting at 36 percent. But he doesn’t seem to have a majority and faces several credible Republican challengers.
Mary Mayhew — who, as LePage’s top health official, has been instrumental in helping to block the Medicaid expansion — came in second at 19 percent, and she has also said she will continue to obstruct expansion. Garrett Mason, the Maine Senate majority leader, registered third at 15 percent, and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette was fourth with 10 percent.
Whoever emerges from both parties’ primaries, the November general election should be competitive. Cook Political Report rates the race a toss-up, while the University of Virginia’s Crystal Ball thinks it leans toward the Democrats. LePage is pretty unpopular: 41 percent of Mainers approve of his job performance and 53 percent disapprove, according to Morning Consult. Then again, he’s been elected twice and Trump lost narrowly (3 points) in 2016.
Maine’s Second Congressional District Democratic primary: Democrats look for a candidate to challenge Republican Bruce Poliquin
State Rep. Jared Golden, bookseller Craig Olson, and nonprofit director Lucas St. Clair make up the field.
Golden and St. Clair have the lead on fundraising. Golden is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and a former staffer for Maine Sen. Susan Collins. St. Clair is a conservationist and the son of Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby. He played an active role in pressing then-President Barack Obama to preserve Katahdin Woods and Waters as a national monument.
Two-term incumbent Bruce Poliquin seeks to defend his seat. While Trump took this district in 2016 — marking an unprecedented split of Maine’s electoral votes — Democrats aim to focus on health care in an effort to flip voters. Poliquin was one of the swing votes on the House Obamacare repeal bill, and his vote in favor of the plan is likely to be held against him. Cook says this district is just R+2 (meaning it leans just 2 points toward Republicans compared to the nation as a whole) and rates it Lean Republican.
Zac Freeland/VoxSouth Carolina’s First Congressional District: Mark Sanford faces an unexpectedly tough Republican primary
The real news is that Rep. Mark Sanford — who was first elected in 2013; you may remember his sex scandal as South Carolina governor — seems to have a legitimate primary challenge. Sanford is actually a comparatively moderate House GOPer and has occasionally criticized Trump. State lawmaker Katie Arrington is running a campaign to his far right, portraying him as, as Politico put it, “a disloyal Never Trumper.”
This race popped up on the radar when Politico reported Sanford was going on TV to attack Arrington, which suggested he felt some heat. He wouldn’t be the first House Republican to struggle in 2018 for being insufficiently loyal to the president.
It would take a major wave for the district to become competitive in November, though Cook rates it as merely Likely Republican, rather than Absolutely Without a Doubt Republican.
Trump’s margin of victory in 2016 was narrower than Mitt Romney’s in 2012, but he still won by 13 points. Cook rates it as an R+10 district. But maybe things could get wild if Sanford fell in Tuesday’s primary. Stay tuned.
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