GOP panic over two major Pennsylvania races headlines huge primary night nationwide

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Tuesday brings us the biggest primary night of the 2022 cycle so far―in fact, one of the biggest we can expect all year―as voters in five different states across the country head to the polls. We have tons of must-watch and extremely expensive elections in store as each side selects its nominees in crucial contests for Senate and governor, as well as in numerous House races.

Below you’ll find our guide to all of the top primaries, arranged chronologically by each state’s poll closing times. When it’s available, we’ll tell you about any reliable polling that exists for each race, but if we don’t mention any numbers, it means no recent surveys have been made public.

And of course, because this is a redistricting year, every state on the docket has a brand-new congressional map. To help you follow along, you can find interactive maps from Dave’s Redistricting App for Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Note that the presidential results we include after each district reflect how the 2020 race would have gone under the new lines in place for this fall. And if you’d like to know how much of the population in each new district comes from each old district, please check out our redistribution tables.

The Daily Kos Elections Team talks about how the MAGA civil war might be hurting the GOP in races across the country on The Downballot podcast

Our live coverage will begin at 7:30 PM ET at Daily Kos Elections when polls close in North Carolina. You can also follow us on Twitter for blow-by-blow updates, and you’ll want to bookmark our primary calendar, which includes the dates for primaries in all 50 states.

KENTUCKY

Polls close in the portion of the state located in the Eastern Time Zone, which includes the entire 3rd Congressional District, at 6 PM ET. They close in the rest of the state an hour later.

KY-03 (D) (60-38 Biden): Rep. John Yarmuth, who’s spent a decade as Kentucky’s only Democratic member of Congress, is retiring from a Louisville seat that only underwent minor changes in redistricting, and two candidates are running for the nod to replace him: state Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, who has Yarmuth’s endorsement, and state Rep. Attica Scott, who would be the state’s first Black member of Congress.

McGarvey, who has enjoyed a massive fundraising lead over Scott, has also received $1 million in support from Protect Our Future PAC, a group funded by cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. Scott, who kicked off a campaign for this seat before Yarmuth announced his departure, has not benefited from any serious outside spending.

NORTH CAROLINA

Polls close statewide at 7:30 PM ET. Candidates must take at least 30% of the vote to avert a July 26 runoff, though the second-place finisher must officially request a runoff for one to occur. 

NC-Sen (R) (50-49 Trump): A total of 14 Republicans are competing to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr, but most of the attention has centered around Rep. Ted Budd and former Gov. Pat McCrory. Budd has the backing of Donald Trump and the well-funded Club for Growth, which along with its allies has spent $14.3 million on the congressman’s behalf. 

While Budd’s campaign appeared to be in rough shape as recently as late January, every recent survey has shown him far ahead and well above the threshold for avoiding a runoff. Former Rep. Mark Walker and businesswoman Marjorie Eastman are also running, but they’re unlikely to matter unless the polls are wrong and Budd struggles to win outright. The winner will face former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, who doesn’t have any serious opposition in the Democratic primary. 

NC-01 (D & R) (53-45 Biden): Rep. G.K. Butterfield is retiring from this northeastern North Carolina seat that became slightly redder under the new congressional map imposed by the state courts after finding the GOP’s districts were illegal partisan gerrymanders. Four fellow Democrats are running to replace the departing congressman. The two main contenders are state Sen. Don Davis, a prominent moderate whom Butterfield is supporting, and former state Sen. Erica Smith, who badly lost the 2020 primary for the U.S. Senate.  

Smith has gone after her opponent for supporting anti-abortion legislation, but she’s been heavily outspent by Davis and his allies. The senator has benefited from $2.9 million in spending from United Democracy Project, a super PAC funded by the hawkish pro-Israel group AIPAC, while the Working Families Party has deployed a considerably smaller $600,000 to promote Smith. A recent Davis internal, to which Smith did not respond, showed him up 44-31

Things got unexpectedly nasty in the final week of the GOP’s eight-way primary when the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC close to party leadership, launched an ad campaign aiming to torpedo accountant Sandy Smith, who is running again after losing to Butterfield 54-46 in 2020. Smith’s most prominent intra-party foe appears to be Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson, who is the only elected official in the contest and has self-funded most of his bid. Other contenders to watch are attorney Billy Strickland, who failed to beat an incumbent state senator in a 2020 primary, and another self-funder, businessman Brad Murphy.

NC-04 (D) (67-32 Biden): Veteran Rep. David Price is retiring from a safely blue seat that remains anchored by the college towns of Durham and Chapel Hill, and eight fellow Democrats are competing to take his place. The contest includes two elected officials: Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, who in 2020 became the first Muslim woman to win elective office in North Carolina, and state Sen. Valerie Foushee, who would be the first Black woman to represent this area in Congress. Also in the running is Clay Aiken, the former “American Idol” star who unsuccessfully ran against Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers several maps ago in 2014 and would be the state’s first gay representative.

Outside spending has very much favored Foushee, with AIPAC and Protect Our Future, the crypto-aligned PAC, representing most of the $3.5 million that has been deployed on her behalf; by contrast, Allam has received about $330,000 in support from the Working Families Party and other groups, while there have been no independent expenditures for Aiken. A late April internal from Foushee’s allies at EMILY’s List showed her defeating Allam 35-16.  

NC-11 (R) (54-44 Trump): Far-right freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn pissed off lots of folks in western North Carolina when he tried to leave them behind to run for an even more conservative district in the Charlotte area that he had almost no ties to—a self-serving plan to boost his own profile that got derailed when the state’s new court-drawn map replaced that Charlotte seat with a solidly blue district. 

Cawthorn now faces seven challengers in a constituency that’s virtually the same as the one he wanted to abandon, several of whom launched campaigns during the brief period that the congressman was trying to hop districts. Sen. Thom Tillis has thrown his support behind state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who has pitched himself as an ardent conservative alternative to the shameless, attention-seeking incumbent. A super PAC close to Tillis has spent $1.6 million on ads attacking Cawthorn and his litany of embarrassing behaviors while also promoting Edwards. 

The incumbent, though, retains Trump’s endorsement, and he could benefit if the other six candidates, including local GOP official Michele Woodhouse, split the anti-Cawthorn vote. Indeed, a late April survey from GOPAC, which isn’t backing anyone, showed that Cawthorn still led Edwards 38-21. The eventual winner will likely go up against Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, who is the Democratic frontrunner. 

NC-13 (D & R) (50-48 Biden): Redistricting created a new swing seat in Raleigh’s southern suburbs, and both parties have competitive primaries here. The Democratic side includes five candidates, with state Sen. Wiley Nickel and former state Sen. Sam Searcy the frontrunners. Nickel has enjoyed a spending advantage over Searcy in a contest where major outside groups haven’t gotten involved. 

Things are far busier on the Republican side, where eight contenders are squaring off. Both Donald Trump and the Club for Growth are supporting Bo Hines, a 26-year-old former North Carolina State University football player who has minimal ties to the area and. The Club, the nihilistic House Freedom Caucus, and assorted other groups have together spent over $2.3 million promoting Hines and attacking one of his many opponents, wealthy attorney Kelly Daughtry, while a PAC called Old North has dropped over $1 million to boost Daughtry and bash Hines. 

The other six candidates haven’t attracted as much attention. The field includes former Rep. Renee Ellmers, who represented part of the greater Raleigh area in the House from 2011 to 2017 in a brief career that was defined by some very wild swings of fortune; party activist DeVan Barbour; Army veteran Kent Keirsey; and pastor Chad Slotta. 

PENNSYLVANIA

Polls close statewide at 8 PM ET

PA-Sen (R & D) (50-49 Biden): Both parties have hosted expensive primaries to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in this key swing state, though the GOP contest has been a far more volatile affair. Until the final week, the main contenders were TV personality Mehmet Oz, who has Trump’s backing, and wealthy former hedge fund manager David McCormick. The two candidates and their allies have dumped millions on attack ads for months, which appears to have provided an unexpected opening for author Kathy Barnette, an election denier who badly lost to Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean last cycle in the 4th District. 

A survey taken for Fox News late in the race showed Oz with a 22-20 edge over McCormick, with Barnette just behind at 19%. The Club for Growth soon followed up with a $2 million infusion for Barnette, who has scarcely aired any ads on her own. Many GOP insiders are worried that she’d jeopardize the party’s general election prospects, and even Trump tried to knock her down Thursday. Also in the running are Jeff Bartos, who was Team Red’s nominee for lieutenant governor; former Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands; and attorney George Bochetto, but they haven’t demonstrated any Barnette-like late surge. 

On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has from day one enjoyed huge polling leads over his two main intra-party rivals, Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta. The race never descended into anything like the bloody affair on the Republican side, though it did turn negative last month. A pro-Lamb super PAC tried to weaken Fetterman using an erroneous and since-corrected news report to falsely claim Fetterman is a “self-described socialist” (the spot was pulled off the air and an edited version had to be substituted), but there’s no indication this attack had its desired effect. Fetterman announced Sunday that he’d suffered a stroke two days before but was “well on my way to a full recovery” and would continue his campaign.  

PA-Gov (R) (50-49 Biden): Republicans have to sort out a crowded, bitter primary before they can focus on trying to replace termed-out Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, a contest Team Blue has taken a deep interest in. State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a QAnon ally and Big Lie proponent whom many Republicans fret would be a toxic nominee, posted a 29-17 advantage over former Rep. Lou Barletta in a mid-May Fox News poll despite spending little money. Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who has no intra-party opposition, even ran commercials ostensibly attacking Mastriano that are actually designed to help him appeal to Trump fans; Trump himself also delivered a late endorsement to Mastriano on Saturday.  

GOP leaders who aren’t Trump have hoped that they could consolidate behind one non-Mastriano candidate, prompting state Senate leader Jake Corman and former Rep. Melissa Hart to drop out just days before the primary and endorse Barletta, an anti-immigration zealot who is anything but a moderate. However, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, self-funding businessman Dave White, and several contenders even further behind in the polls have stayed put. McSwain himself has spent heavily, but he got the worst news possible last month when Trump attacked him for not doing enough to advance the Big Lie and urged Republicans not to vote for him. 

PA-12 (D) (59-39 Biden): Five Democrats are campaigning to succeed retiring Rep. Mike Doyle in a Pittsburgh-based seat that looks very much like the 18th District he currently serves.  

Doyle and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald are both backing Steve Irwin, a former chief of the Pennsylvania Securities Commission. The other major contender is state Rep. Summer Lee, a progressive who would be the first Black woman to represent the Keystone State in Congress. In Lee’s corner are Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey and the influential SEIU Pennsylvania State Council. There’s also law professor Jerry Dickinson, who challenged Doyle in the 2020 primary and lost 67-33. Dickinson, like Lee, is a Black progressive, and it’s possible the two will be competing for the same sorts of voters. 

A late March poll for Lee’s supporters at EMILY’s List showed her beating Irwin 38-13, but Irwin’s allies have ramped up their spending since then. A total of $3.1 million in outside spending has gone towards promoting Irwin or attacking Lee, with the bulk of it coming from AIPAC. The Working Families Party and Justice Democrats, meanwhile, are responsible for most of the $1.7 million that’s aided Lee. 

PA-17 (D & R) (52-46 Biden): Two Democrats and three Republicans are campaigning to succeed Senate candidate Conor Lamb in a suburban Pittsburgh seat that’s very similar to the old 17th District. On the Democratic side, Navy veteran Chris Deluzio has outspent party operative Sean Meloy in a race where outside groups haven’t gotten involved. Deluzio has the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council on his side, while Meloy, who would be the state’s first LGBTQ member, has the support of neighboring Rep. Mike Doyle. 

The GOP race is a battle between former Ross Township Commissioner Jeremy Shaffer and Jason Killmeyer, a national security analyst who often appears in conservative media. Shaffer has spent the most money, though Killmeyer has made sure to highlight the fact that Shaffer unseated an incumbent state senator in the 2018 primary only to narrowly lose the general election and cost the GOP a crucial seat. The third Republican, business owner Kathleen Coder, has little money. 

IDAHO

Polls close in the portion of the state located in the Mountain Time Zone at 10 PM ET/8 PM local time. Polls close in the rest of the state an hour later.

ID-Gov (R) (64-33 Trump): Gov. Brad Little faces seven fellow Republicans in this overwhelmingly red state, but the most prominent of the bunch is Trump-endorsed Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who is also an ally of far-right conspiracist groups. Little, however, has enjoyed a massive financial lead, and he posted a huge 60-29 lead over McGeachin in an independent poll conducted in mid-April. 

ID-02 (R) (60-37 Trump): Longtime Republican Rep. Mike Simpson faces a primary rematch against attorney Bryan Smith, whom he beat 62-38 in 2014, in an eastern Idaho constituency that barely changed following redistricting; three little-known contenders are also on the ballot. 

Just as he did eight years ago, Smith is arguing that the congressman is insufficiently conservative, though this time he’s also attacking Simpson for the doubts he expressed about Trump in 2016. The incumbent, for his part, is once again portraying the challenger as a greedy lawyer. Pro-Simpson groups have spent $1.7 million here, while Smith’s allies have dropped $680,000. 

ID-AG (R) (64-33 Trump): Five-term Attorney General Lawrence Wasden faces an intra-party challenge from former Rep. Raúl Labrador, who spent his four terms in the House as one of the most prominent tea party shit-talkers before losing his 2018 bid for governor in the GOP primary. Conservative activist Art Macomber is also in the mix. The Club for Growth has run commercials attacking Wasden for refusing to join other GOP attorneys general in suing to overturn Biden’s win, and Labrador has also taken him to task for not working with hardline conservatives in the legislature. A trio of polls, including a Club internal, have found Labrador in the lead

OREGON

Polls close in most of Oregon at 11 PM ET/8 PM local time; they close an hour earlier in the small portion of the state in the Mountain Time Zone, but few if any votes will be reported before 11 ET.

OR-Gov (D & R) (56-40 Biden): Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is termed-out of an office her party has held since the 1986 elections, and both sides have competitive races to succeed her. The two candidates who emerge Tuesday will be in for an expensive general election that will also feature former state Sen. Betsy Johnson, a conservative Democrat-turned-independent who’s been a strong fundraiser.

There are 15 different Democrats in the running, but the only two serious contenders are state Treasurer Tobias Read and former state House Speaker Tina Kotek, who would be the first lesbian elected governor anywhere in the country. Kotek’s ads have emphasized her role in passing progressive policies, while the more moderate Read has argued that he represents a “new approach” for the state. A mid-April Reed internal had Kotek ahead 25-20.

The 19-person GOP field is similarly crowded but more in flux. The only recent poll we’ve seen was an independent survey from early May that showed former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan leading former state Rep. Bob Tiernan, who has been self-funding, 19-14, with 2016 nominee Bud Pierce at 10%. The field also includes 1998 nominee Bill Sizemore; consultant Bridget Barton; businesswoman Jessica Gomez; Baker City Mayor Kerry McQuisten; and Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam. 

OR-04 (D) (55-42 Biden): Veteran Rep. Peter DeFazio is retiring from a district along the state’s south coast that Democrats in the legislature made several points bluer, and eight fellow Democrats are running to replace him. 

The top fundraiser is state Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle, who has endorsements from DeFazio and Sen. Jeff Merkley. Around $580,000 in outside spending has gone to supporting Hoyle, with most of that coming from the crypto-aligned Web3 Forward. Also in the race are former Airbnb executive Andrew Kalloch; Corvallis school board chair Sami Al-Abdrabbuh; and Doyle Canning, who badly lost the 2020 primary to DeFazio. The winner will go up against 2020 GOP nominee Alek Skarlatos, a National Guard veteran whose 52-46 loss last cycle represented the closest re-election contest of DeFazio’s career.

OR-05 (D & R) (53-44 Biden): Rep. Kurt Schrader, who has long been one of the most visible moderates in the Democratic caucus, faces a challenge from the left in a central Oregon seat that he currently represents just under half of. Schrader’s sole intra-party foe is Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who would be Oregon’s first LGBTQ member of Congress and has attacked the incumbent for his ties to special interests. 

McLeod-Skinner has raised a serious amount of money, but Schrader has still massively outspent her. The congressman has also received $2.1 million in outside support, with most of it coming from super PACs dedicated to electing centrist Democrats, while the Working Families Party has deployed about $340,000 for the challenger. Biden has also endorsed Schrader.

Five Republicans are facing off as well. The two serious contenders are former Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who lost two competitive races for the state House in 2016 and 2018, and businessman Jimmy Crumpacker, who took fourth place in the 2020 primary for the old 2nd District.

OR-06 (D & R) (55-42 Biden): Democrats have experienced a massively expensive nine-way race for this brand-new seat in the mid-Willamette Valley that the state earned in reapportionment, though the bulk of the outside spending has benefited just one of them. That candidate is economic development adviser Carrick Flynn, who’s been backed by a staggering $11.4 million from cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s super PAC, Protect Our Future, Protect Our Future. House Majority PAC, a decade-old group that exists to help Democrats in general elections, has also spent $940,000 to support Flynn, an unprecedented departure condemned by Sen. Jeff Merkley. A third super PAC called Justice Unites Us is running ads for Flynn as well.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a heavy donor to HMP that was furious about the PAC’s intervention, has spent around $1.5 million to support state Rep. Andrea Salinas, who would be Oregon’s first Latina member of Congress. The field also includes state Rep. Teresa Alonso León; self-funding perennial candidate Cody Reynolds; Oregon Medical Board member Kathleen Harder; former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith; and cryptocurrency developer Matt West, though none of them have received any outside support. An early May Salinas internal poll showed her edging out Flynn 18-14, with everyone else in single digits.

The seven-person Republican primary is similarly crowded but far cheaper. The field includes three candidates who have histories in older versions of the 5th District, from which the new 6th draws the bulk of its DNA: former Rep. Jim Bunn, who was elected to his only term in the 1994 Gingrich revolution; Mike Erickson, who was the GOP’s unsuccessful 2006 and 2008 nominee for the next incarnation of the 5th; and former Keizer city councilor Amy Ryan Courser, who lost to Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader in 2020. Also in the running are Army veteran Nate Sandvig, state Rep. Ron Noble, Dundee Mayor David Russ, and Air Force veteran Angela Plowhead.

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