After a mostly primary-less July, the first Tuesday in August means it's back to the partisan battles pitting Republicans and Democrats against each other to determine the candidates who'll carry the GOP banner into November's consequential midterms now less than 100 days away.
This week, voters in Arizona, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas, and Washington will make their voices heard, and as usual Townhall is watching closely to see how Trump-endorsed candidates fare and whether Democrat voters favor radical leftists or more moderate centrists. Townhall will have all your live results on Tuesday night as polls close and ballots are counted, but here's a preview of the races we're watching this week.
Arizona — most polls close at 10:00 p.m. ET but results are held until last polls in the Navajo Nation close at 11:00 p.m. ET.
In the Grand Canyon State, the Republican U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races are two to watch. Running to succeed current GOP Governor Doug Ducey are Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson. Lake, a former TV reporter, is Trump's pick in the contest while Robson is backed by Pence and Ducey. The latest Emerson poll has the race in a statistical dead heat with Robson at 47 percent and Lake at 46 percent.
Whichever Republican wins the primary will likely face Democrat Katie Hobbs, Arizona's Secretary of State, in November's general election.
In the GOP U.S. Senate primary, candidates include Trump-endorsed Blake Masters, Jim Lamon, and current AZ Attorney General Mark Brnovich. The race has gotten a little messy since Trump attacked Brnovich, but Masters is leading the polls and has done well with the backing of Peter Thiel.
Across the aisle, incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Kelly — who won the 2020 special U.S. Senate election to serve out the rest of late GOP Senator John McCain's term — will seek to defend his seat and be elected to his first full term in November.
Kansas — polls close at 8:00 p.m. ET and 9:00 p.m. ET
In Kansas, primary voters — motivated by both the consequential nature of this midterm cycle and the issue of abortion being on the ballot — have already turned out at a level that's 246% higher than this point in the 2018 midterm cycle.
In addition to the partisan races on Tuesday's ballot, there's a ballot question on a "Value Them Both" amendment to the state constitution in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs that overturned Roe v. Wade. Per the Kansas Secretary of State:
A vote for the Value Them Both amendment would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion. A vote against the Value Them Both amendment would make no changes to the constitution of the state of Kansas, and could restrict the people, through their elected state legislators, from regulating abortion by leaving in place the recently recognized right to abortion.
Michigan — polls close at 8:00 p.m. ET and 9:00 p.m. ET
The Wolverine State has a few races to watch on Tuesday night, including the GOP gubernatorial contest and some U.S. House primaries. The Republican candidates for governor include Ryan Kelley, who was recently arrested for what authorities allege were untoward activities at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Kelley is still actively campaigning and is among the leaders. Tudor Dixon is also in the running, and has the backing of the influential DeVos family and just landed Trump's endorsement over the weekend. Businessman Kevin Rinke, in his first run for public office, has mostly self-funded his campaign. Five other candidates were removed from the ballot after widespread fraud was discovered in the nomination signatures submitted by people hired to collect them. The GOP victor will face incumbent Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer in November.
The Democrat primary for Michigan's 11th Congressional District is messier than others since it pits two incumbents against one another due to redistricting: Andy Levin, who has the endorsements of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and Haley Stevens. Levin is something of a party crasher who moved from the 10th Congressional District to avoid the newly right-leaning district and its presumptive Republican nominee John James.
Then there's the GOP primary for Michigan's 3rd Congressional District in which Peter Meijer is hoping to fend off a challenge from John Gibbs. Meijer voted to impeach Trump, hence the challenge from Gibbs who Trump endorsed.
Missouri — polls close at 8:00 p.m. ET
The Show Me State has shown a lot of twists and turns in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, a rather crowded race that includes ex-Governor Eric Greitens who resigned amid ethical and legal scandals, current Attorney General Eric Schmidt, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, and U.S. Rep. Billy Long. Endorsements in the race have only made things more confusing. Senator Josh Hawley endorsed Hartzler, Schmidt is backed by Peter Thiel and Senator Ted Cruz, and on Monday evening President Trump announced his endorsement of "Eric." Just Eric. Both Schmidt and Greitens have claimed they're who Trump endorsed, but it seems like the former president is hedging his bets to increase his odds of a winning candidate.
Washington — polls close on a per-county basis until 2:00 a.m. ET Wednesday
In Washington, two more incumbent Republicans who voted to impeach Trump face challengers on Tuesday: Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse. Thanks to the Evergreen State's nominating system, however, the top two vote-getters of all parties on Tuesday advance to appear on November's general election ballot meaning the incumbents are still likely to have a shot at reelection despite their challengers.
In the 3rd Congressional District, Herrera Beutler faces eight challengers, including Trump-endorsed Army veteran Joe Kent. Over in the 4th Congressional District, Newhouse faces seven challengers, including former Republic, WA, police chief Loren Culp — whom Trump endorsed — and Navy veteran Jerrod Sessler.