Takeaways from June 7th Primaries

Tuesday’s primary elections occurred in 7 states including California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, and South Dakota. While some of the winners will not be fully decided for days or even weeks as mail-in ballots are still counted, there are still several important takeaways from the results so far.

California was the largest state to hold elections on Tuesday. As suspected, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom appears to have won a second term, currently with about 56% of the vote. Similarly, Democratic senator Alex Padilla appears to have well over half of the vote. Both of these races were expected to turn out this way, however, the races at the congressional level were a bit less predictable.

In the 40th congressional district, incumbent Representative Young Kim is currently down 5.7% against Democratic competitor, as the Republican vote has been split between Kim and a far-right candidate Greg Raths. A similar situation occurred in the 22nd district after Republican Valado received pushback after supporting Donald Trump’s impeachment last year. He lost much of the Republican vote to Mathys, allowing Democratic Rudy Salas to win by over 20%. 

In Iowa, a competitive race between Democratic Senate candidates came as a surprise given incumbent Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is still regarded as a favorite. Michael Franken won by 15% against his competitor Abby Finkenauer, and Grassley swept the polls by nearly 50%. 

Mississippi’s race challenged both of the state’s congressional incumbents to face competition, however, in the 4th district, Republican Representative Steven Palazzo, who has recently faced ethics controversies expected stiff competition. Palazzo and his competitor, Mike Ezell, now advance to a runoff election.  

This primary has given Montana an additional representative, in which Ryan Zinke appears to be in a very tight race with Al Olszewski, winning by a little over 1,000 votes. Zinke served on Trump’s cabinet as secretary of the Interior and was involved in at least 15 investigations concerning corruption and ethics.

In New Jersey’s District 1, incumbent Representative Donald Norcross defeated close competition from competitor Mario DeSantis. In district 7, despite Democratic incumbent Malinowski taking an enormous win, republicans predict his position is vulnerable against Republican Tom Kean, who has won the Republican primary by a little over 20%.

Lastly, in South Dakota, incumbent Republican Senator John Thune took an unsurprising win, despite comments made by Former President Donald Trump, that his career would soon end. Thune is one of very few incumbents who ran unopposed in this year’s primary elections.

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