Eight US states cast midterm primary ballots: All you need to know about polls that will shape 2020 campaigns

Eight states cast midterm primary ballots on Tuesday, with implications for control of the House and Senate and for several governor's races.

AP June 06, 2018 14:01:13 IST
Eight US states cast midterm primary ballots: All you need to know about polls that will shape 2020 campaigns

Eight states cast midterm primary ballots on Tuesday, with implications for control of the House and Senate and for several governor's races.

Votes are being tallied in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.

Women in the governor's office

In a record-setting year for female candidates across the country, women moved closer to more milestones. Voters gave Michelle Lujan Grisham the Democratic nomination for New Mexico governor, giving her a shot at becoming the first Latina Democratic governor in US history.

Eight US states cast midterm primary ballots All you need to know about polls that will shape 2020 campaigns

Representational image. AP

Lujan Grisham, a congresswoman, is trying to succeed the nation's first Latina Republican governor, Susana Martinez. Republicans also nominated a member of Congress, Rep Steve Pearce, to run for the job.

Another congresswoman, South Dakota's Kristi Noem, won her state's Republican gubernatorial primary. She would become the first female governor in South Dakota history.

Voters in Alabama and Iowa had opportunities to set up all-female matchups for governor in November.

Alabama's Republican Governor Kay Ivey avoided a runoff despite several primary challengers. But Democrats chose Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox over Sue Bell Cobb, a former state Supreme Court chief justice.

In Iowa, labor leader Cathy Glasson couldn't pull off an upset against businessman Fred Hubbell for the Democratic nomination. Hubbell will take on Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who had no party opposition.

Both Reynolds and Ivey are vying for their first full terms after succeeding men who resigned. Reynolds is Iowa's first female governor. Ivey is the second woman to helm Alabama government, but the first in five decades.

Senator's advance

It was also a good night for incumbents in the Senate. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey got a surprisingly strong primary challenge after a hung jury spared him a conviction in a federal bribery trial. But Menendez held on, to the delight of Republicans who want to use his troubles to tar every Democrat in the state. Menendez will face Republican Bob Hugin, a pharmaceutical executive, in the fall.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein stood her ground against criticism from the left. The 84-year-old Democrat advanced to the November ballot with a huge lead over more than two dozen challengers, including liberal state Senate leader Kevin de Leon. Incomplete returns showed de Leon still trying to fend off Republicans for the second spot on the November ballot.

In Montana, the GOP establishment's choice for Senate, State Auditor Matt Rosendale, won a competitive primary over a former state judge for the chance to face Senator Jon Tester in November. Tester is facing a tough race in a red state and Rosendale is likely get a big push from the national party.

Battle for House control

Democrats are looking to New Jersey and California as key states in their efforts to gain at least 23 more House seats and become the majority when Congress convenes next year.

There are five New Jersey GOP House seats targeted by national Democrats and establishment Democrats got their picks in a couple on the list. Navy veteran and former federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill claimed the Democratic nomination in a district left open by the retirement of Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen. Republicans nominated state Assemblyman Jay Webber.

In southern Jersey, a conservative Democratic state senator, Jeff Van Drew, dispatched more liberal competitors in a Republican-leaning district now held by Frank LoBiondo, who is retiring. Republicans tapped Seth Grossman, an Atlantic City attorney who says he will forcefully defend Trump's agenda.

A former Obama administration aide, Andy Kim, will take on New Jersey GOP Rep Tom McArthur, and Democrat Tom Malinowski, an appointee in the Obama State Department, won the nomination to take on vulnerable Republican Rep. Leonard Lance.

California's outcomes probably won't be decided on Tuesday because the state allows mail-in ballots to be postmarked through primary day. But the focus is on seven House districts where President Donald Trump trailed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In three of those districts, all in southern California, Democrats faced the possibility of being shut out of the top two spots because they have so many candidates. Early returns showed Democrats remained at risk of being shut out in two of the three.

In Alabama, a Republican incumbent who criticized Trump as a candidate in 2016 is headed for a runoff. Rep Martha Roby led her GOP competitors but fell shy of a required majority. She'll face former Rep Bobby Bright, whom she defeated in 2010. Bright was then a Democrat.

An Iowa state lawmaker, meanwhile, has taken the next step toward becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Abby Finkenauer, 28, won the Democratic nomination in a northeast Iowa district. She will face Republican incumbent Rod Blum.

And in New Mexico, Debra Haaland won the Democratic nomination in the congressional district opened by Lujan Grisham's run for governor. Haaland will be a heavy favorite this fall as she tries to become the first Native American woman to serve in Congress.

California governor

California Republicans dodged a bullet with Republican business executive John Cox qualifying for a November matchup in the governor's race against Democrat Gavin Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor and current lieutenant governor.

Avoiding a runoff shutout gives the state GOP an important voice at the top of the ticket in the fall. That could help drive turnout in down-ballot races, even though Newsom will be the clear favorite for the state's top job.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

12 years of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack: Look at Pakistan masterminds, brave Indian officers and survivors who lived to tell the brutal tale
India

12 years of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack: Look at Pakistan masterminds, brave Indian officers and survivors who lived to tell the brutal tale

As Mumbai grappled with the four-day siege in 2008, many heroes emerged. While some lived to tell the tale, others sacrificed their lives to ensure hundreds were rescued from the horrific shooting and bombings that followed

16 Days of Activism: Five forms of violence against women with disabilities that must be addressed
Lifestyle

16 Days of Activism: Five forms of violence against women with disabilities that must be addressed

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to data on violence against women with disabilities is that we don’t have disaggregated data to assist in showing the heightened violence faced by them.

Parliamentary panel red flags rapid antigen tests: A look at what makes the testing method contentious
India

Parliamentary panel red flags rapid antigen tests: A look at what makes the testing method contentious

While experts say that rapid antigen tests can help countries with out-of-control outbreaks, India’s practice of conflating the data from rapid tests and RT-PCR tests risks painting an incomplete picture of its infection rates