Tues­day’s pri­mary re­sults show more midterm trends

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - El­iza Collins

Now that vot­ers in Pennsylvania, Ne­braska, Ore­gon and Idaho have cast their votes on the can­di­dates who will rep­re­sent each party in the gen­eral elec­tions in the fall, here are some of the take­aways:

The year of the women

Pennsylvania has an all-male con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion, but af­ter Tues­day’s pri­maries, that is likely to change. A slew of Demo­cratic women won their pri­maries, some of them in dis­tricts that are likely to vote for Democrats in Novem­ber un­der the state’s new map. Madeleine Dean and Mary Scan­lon both won con­tested pri­maries in dis­tricts that are solidly blue. Susan Wild won in a dis­trict that is com­pet­i­tive but where her party holds a slight ad­van­tage, and Chrissy Houla­han, who ran un­op­posed, could win the gen­eral elec­tion. Her dis­trict was drawn more fa­vor­ably for Democrats, and they got another win af­ter the dis­trict’s GOP in­cum­bent dropped out at the last minute.

There were other wins for women Tues­day night across the coun­try. In Ne­braska, Kara East­man beat for­mer rep­re­sen­ta­tive Brad Ash­ford for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion for a House seat. Democrats are try­ing to take the seat from Re­pub­li­can hands. It is con­sid­ered a “tossup” by the non-par­ti­san Cook Po­lit­i­cal Re­port.

Vot­ers chose for­mer state rep­re­sen­ta­tive Paulette Jor­dan for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion for Idaho gover­nor. She eas­ily beat A.J. Balukoff, a Boise School Board mem­ber. Idaho has not had a Demo­cratic gover­nor since the

1990s. In Ore­gon, Demo­cratic Gov. Kate Brown squashed her clos­est pri­mary op­po­nent, Ed Jones, by more than

230,000 votes.

Democrats are di­vided

The divi­sion be­tween the lib­eral and mod­er­ate wings of the party was on dis­play Tues­day. In Ne­braska, Re­pub­li­cans cel­e­brated East­man’s victory be­cause they said her left-wing views would make it eas­ier for them to hold the seat in a dis­trict that went for Pres­i­dent Trump in 2016, though nar­rowly. The Demo­cratic Con­gres­sional Cam­paign Com­mit­tee, the House Democrats’ cam­paign arm, backed Ash­ford, who the com­mit­tee ex­pected would be a more for­mi­da­ble can­di­date.

“Pro­gres­sives are in con­trol of the party, and de­spite their con­tin­ued med­dling, the DCCC is com­ing up short,” Sarah Dolan, a spokes­woman for the GOP po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee Amer­ica Ris­ing. By early Wed­nes­day, the DCCC had got­ten be­hind East­man. Com­mit­tee spokesman Evan Lukaske sent out a memo that the pri­mary re­sults showed she was “run­ning strong, and she is well-po­si­tioned to win this fall.”

Wild won Pennsylvania’s 7th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, beat­ing out both the lib­eral pick, Greg Ed­wards, and John Mor­ganelli, an im­mi­gra­tion hard-liner and anti-abor­tion Demo­crat.

Mixed bag for House Re­pub­li­cans

Another House Re­pub­li­can lost a bid for higher of­fice. Rep. Raúl Labrador, a mem­ber of the House Free­dom Cau­cus, lost the pri­mary for Idaho gover­nor to the state’s lieu­tenant gover­nor. Labrador’s loss fol­lows four other House col­leagues who fell short last week in North Carolina, West Vir­ginia and In­di­ana.

In Pennsylvania, there was a bright spot for GOP Rep. Lou Bar­letta, a Trump ally, who se­cured his party’s nom­i­na­tion to take on sit­ting Demo­cratic Sen. Bob Casey in Novem­ber.

In Pennsylvania, Tues­day was the first time vot­ers cast bal­lots un­der a new con­gres­sional map that is much more fa­vor­able to Democrats.

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