Tuesday’s primary results show more midterm trends
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
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.