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LIVE RESULTS: South Dakota, Iowa, New Jersey, and Mississippi Primaries

Townhall Media

After a break in primary elections following Memorial Day, voters are back in the spotlight as they choose their parties' standard-bearers for November's midterms just five months away. Tuesday night, it's voters in seven states who have their turn deciding the direction of their respective parties as centrist Democrats find it difficult to beat leftist challengers and Republicans continue to pick America First candidates to represent them in the general election contests ahead. For more on these races, plus live-updated vote totals as ballots are counted on Tuesday night, stay with Townhall and read on below:


South Dakota

In South Dakota, incumbent GOP Governor Kristi Noem who became a conservative hero for her hands-off and unobtrusive handling of the COVID-19 pandemic — allowing her state's residents to choose for themselves how they'd take precautions rather than mandating business closers, masking, or vaccines — faces a long-shot challenge from within her party in former state House Speaker Steve Haugaard. Incumbent Republican Senator John Thune is also facing challengers Bruce Whalen and Mark Mowry. The incumbent GOP Representative for South Dakota's at-large district, Dusty Johnson, has a challenger as well — state Rep. Taffy Howard. 

While Republican challengers abound in South Dakota this year, a poll conducted by South Dakota State University in early May found Noem, Thune, and Johnson all leading their challengers. Governor Noem is up 61-17 percent over Haugaard, Thune polled at 46 percent compared to ten and four percent for Whalen and Mowry, respectively, with 41 percent "not sure," and Johnson was up 53 to 17 percent over Howard. 


In Iowa, Democrats lined up to challenge long-serving Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley in November's general election — who also faces a long-shot GOP challenger in state Senator Sen. Jim Carlin. In the Democrat field, Retired Navy Admiral Mike Franken and former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer are leading their party's charge. An Iowa court had previously ruled that Finkenauer had failed to get enough valid signatures to appear on the primary ballot, but the Iowa Supreme Court overruled and allowed her to remain in contention. Franken, however, leads her in last-minute campaign spending by more than five-to-one, according to The Des Moines Register.


Meanwhile in Iowa's Third Congressional District, three Republicans are competing to challenge incumbent Democrat Rep. Cindy Axne, one of many incumbent Dems considered vulnerable in the midterms. While the GOP field remains contested, it's been a relatively quiet primary by comparison. One of the three Republicans — Gary Leffler, state Sen. Zach Nunn, or Nicole Hasso — will be worth watching heading toward November's general election.

New Jersey

In New Jersey, no statewide races are on the ballot in 2022, but primary voters will still decide a number of key U.S. House races that will determine the final general election showdowns in November that could wrest control of the lower chamber away from Speaker Pelosi and into Republicans' eager hands. For The Garden State's twelve congressional seats — 10 of which are held by Democrats and just two have GOP incumbents — more than 50 candidates between the two parties are running to carry their team's banner into November. Among more notable names on the ballot in New Jersey's primary are Rob Menendez, son of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, seeking the Democrat nomination for 8th Congressional District to replace retiring Rep. Albio Sires (D). 


As Mississippi voters head to the polls on Tuesday, residents will be choosing among candidates for the Magnolia State's four congressional seats, all of which have an incumbent running to keep their seat with challengers looking for an upset. The GOP currently holds three seats — those of Reps. Trent Kelly, Michael Guest, and Steven Palazzo — while Rep. Bennie Thompson is the lone Democrat from Mississippi's U.S. House delegation. Several races feature multiple challengers, meaning there's a chance of a runoff being called should no one candidate in a given race receives a majority of the votes cast. In Palazzo's race, for example, there are ten challengers in all — six Republicans and four Democrats — looking to land a punch toward unseating the incumbent. The runoffs, if necessary, will take place three weeks later on June 28.


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