Voters are going to the polls for primaries in five states on Tuesday, the biggest primary night so far in the 2022 midterm elections.
All eyes will be on Pennsylvania, the fifth-largest state by population and the perennial swing state. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is retiring, leaving his seat open. Former President Trump has endorsed television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has been locked in a vicious battle with hedge fund manager David McCormick, who had also sought Trump’s endorsement. Amid their mudslinging, Kathy Barnette, a conservative who Steve Bannon once referred to as “ultra MAGA,” has surged.
A recent Fox News poll had Oz leading the field with 22%, followed by McCormick at 20%, Barnette at 19% and 18% undecided. Trump had initially endorsed Sean Parnell, who dropped out of the race in November after losing custody of his children.
On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has been leading U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta. Fetterman, who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, on Friday suffered a stroke caused by a clot, and his campaign issued a statement on Tuesday saying he would be receiving a pacemaker with a defibrillator. Fetterman tweeted a photo of himself on Tuesday voting from the hospital with an emergency absentee ballot.
In the governor’s race, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolfe is term-limited, and Democrats have united behind state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is uncontested on their primary ballot. The Republican field, meanwhile, is crowded, with Trump endorsing loyal supporter state Senator Doug Mastriano. A Fox News poll released last week found Mastriano, who establishment Republicans worry can’t win a general election, leading the field with 29%. He was followed by former Representative Lou Barletta (17%), former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain (13%) and businessman Dave White (11%).
Lamb’s seat, the swing 17th District in the Pittsburgh area, has two Democrats vying for the nomination: veteran Chris Deluzio and Democratic National Committee member Sean Meloy. Three Republicans are running in the primary in the district: former local councilwoman Kathleen Coder, national security expert Jason Killmeyer and former township commissioner Jeremy Shaffer.
In Pennsylvania’s 12th District, progressive and Sanders-backed state Rep. Summer Lee is running to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Matt Doyle. But Doyle has backed attorney Steve Irwin. There are three other challengers running for the Democratic nomination: professor Jerry Dickinson, businessman Will Parker and nonprofit administrator Jeff Woodward.
Voters in North Carolina are also facing an open Senate seat, since Republican Sen. Richard Burr is retiring. Trump is backing U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, who is facing former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker. Recent polls show Budd’s lead widening. Democrats are expected to nominate former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, whose most credible opponents dropped out of the race.
A number of House races in North Carolina are also gaining attention. In North Carolina’s 11th District, incumbent freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn has been facing a number of scandals, from calling Ukrainian President ethics complaints of alleged misconduct toward his staff.a “thug,” to getting caught driving with a revoked license, to bringing a into a Charlotte airport to
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, who has been vocal in his disapproval of Cawthorn, has publicly backed state Sen. Chuck Edwards in the primary, saying “unfortunately, Madison Cawthorn has fallen well short of the most basic standards Western North Carolina expects from their representatives, and voters now have several well-qualified candidates to choose from who would be a significant improvement.” Michele Woodhouse, who has painted herself as a Trump-like alternative to Cawthorn, is also running.
Cawthorn needs to get at least 30% of the vote to avoid a runoff, and a recent independent poll had him with 38%. Tillis said Tuesday that “if there’s a runoff, Cawthorn loses.”
In North Carolina’s 4th District, Sen. Elizabeth Warren-backed Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam would become the first Muslim woman to serve in public office in North Carolina if she wins the primary and general. She is facing former “American Idol” contestant Clay Aiken and state Sen. Valerie Foushee. The seat’s current representative, Democrat David Price, is retiring.
In North Carolina’s 13th District, outside of Raleigh, Trump has endorsed Bo Hines, a 26-year-old and former college football recruit. The Club for Growth, an anti-tax PAC that has been active in GOP primaries, has also backed Hines over several other Republican primary candidates.
In Idaho, Republican incumbent Gov. Brad Little is facing a primary challenge from Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who has Trump’s endorsement and is running to the right of Little. In addition to McGeachin issuing two COVID executive orders when Little was out of the state, McGeachin has falsely claimed that the 2020 election was stolen.
She’s not the only one running statewide in Idaho to make those claims. Two of the three Republican candidates running to be Idaho’s chief elections officer have falsely claimed that President Biden didn’t fairly win the 2020 election. State Representative Dorothy Moon signed on to a letter from an Arizona lawmaker calling for a “50-state audit” of the 2020 election.
Oregon’s 5th District member of Congress, Democrat Kurt Schrader, has the backing of President Joe Biden, but is facing a primary challenge from progressive Jamie McLeod Skinner.
In Oregon’s 6th District, state Representative Andrea Salinas and tech researcher Carrick Flynn are locked in one of the most expensive and contentious Democratic primaries in the country. Salinas has the backing of BOLD PAC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ campaign arm, while Flynn is endorsed by the House Majority PAC, a group aligned with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat that has not endorsed in the primary, called the House Majority PAC’s involvement “flat-out wrong.”