Six states held primaries on Tuesday — Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, and Pennsylvania — in what turned out to be a Super Tuesday “lite” of the 2014 midterm election cycle.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell bested Tea Party challenger Matt Bevin in Kentucky. Monica Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, won the GOP nomination in Oregon even after days of late-breaking stories about her personal life. A chaotic Republican primary in Georgia gave way to a July runoff. And a Clinton in-law, Marjorie Margolies, came up short in her bid to win her old House seat back in Pennsylvania.
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SENATE: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell beat his tea party challenger, Matt Bevin, according to the Associated Press. McConnell was expected to win the Kentucky GOP Senate Primary, but this decisive victory blew the tea party out of the water, and McConnell gets to start the general election with the wind at his back, despite the serious challenge from Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat half his age. It’s always difficult to oust a leader, but this fight was supposed to be much tougher. McConnell’s unfavorable ratings, Bevin’s personal fortune, and tea party groups pouring money into the race to try and defeat their number one target, made this a much talked-about possibility, but in the end it never materialized. READ MORE
13TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Despite the support of both former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Marjorie Margolies, Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law, lost her bid for Congress. The Associated Press called the race for her opponent, Brendan Boyle. At 37, Boyle, a state legislator, is 15 years younger than his next-youngest opponent. His campaign raised the least amount of money. He lacked his opponents’ powerful connections to the Philadelphia political establishment. And yet, he just beat the Clinton family at its own game. “They say money always wins,” Boyle told ABC News in a recent interview. “If we win, we show that’s not true.” Margolies, 71, had a significant boost from the Clinton machine throughout the race. Margolies’ son Marc Mezvinsky married Chelsea Clinton in July 2010 and they are expecting a baby this fall. READ MORE
GOVERNOR: Tom Wolf (no, not the author — the wealthy businessman) cruised to victory over the once favored Rep. Allyson Schwartz in the Democratic primary. The Associated Press has projected Wolf to be the winner. Wolf swamped Schwartz with his personal fortune, and will now become one of the most talked-about Democrats on the ballot this year. The governor’s race in Pennsylvania is one of the few potential bright spots for Democrats in 2014. More from the AP: “Wolf’s primary victory comes after a months-long courtship of voters. His seemingly unending series of TV ads featured his Jeep Wrangler and testimonials from his wife, his two grown daughters and employees of his kitchen cabinet company. Voters said the folksy ads helped win them over. Wolf began them in the dead of winter after putting $10 million of his own money into the campaign. His win sets up a race against a governor who has struggled with low approval ratings. Every Pennsylvania governor since 1970 has been awarded a second term.”
SENATE: In Georgia’s competitive Senate race, Republicans have a top candidate and soon will have narrowed their options to two. The results Tuesday night were a blow to the Tea Party, but not necessarily to conservatives. As expected, businessman David Perdue topped the field of seven GOP candidates vying in Tuesday’s primary to run against Democrat Michelle Nunn this fall. Nunn won her primary by a wide margin tonight. By collecting less than 50 percent of the vote, Perdue now advances to a July 22 primary runoff against Rep. Jack Kingston. Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel came in third. Georgia Republicans will see a runoff between the two candidates who bested their competitors in both polls and money throughout the primary race.
SENATE: No surprise here. The Associated Press declared Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., as the winners of their respective primaries in Arkansas. Both Pryor and Cotton were uncontested in the primary races, allowing them to focus on the general election instead of waging tough primary fights. Recent polls show Pryor, whose father held the same Senate seat he’s looking to hold onto, ahead of Cotton by double digits.
SENATE: Despite days of revelations about her personal life, Dr. Monica Wehby has won Oregon’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate, according to the Associated Press. Wehby bested her opponent, state legislator Jason Conger. Oregon is a vote by mail state so it’s possible she won before the revelations came to light. Either way she goes into the general election wounded.
2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: “Rep. Mike Simpson has prevailed in the Republican primary for Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District, fending off a conservative challenger who drew early support from anti-tax advocates. Simpson’s opponent, Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith, got an endorsement from the Club for Growth. Smith had said Simpson was too liberal for Idaho, citing his October 2013 decision to end the 16-day partial government shutdown Republicans attempted to use to force an end to the federal Affordable Care Act. Simpson, who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, says he has a strong conservative voting record in his eight terms in office.”