Midterm battlegrounds take shape in Midwest primaries

Two upper Midwestern states where Democrats hope to rebound in November's ...

Posted: Aug 15, 2018 11:06 AM
Updated: Aug 15, 2018 11:06 AM

Two upper Midwestern states where Democrats hope to rebound in November's midterm elections after losing ground to President Donald Trump in 2016 selected their candidates in a slew of major races Tuesday.

In Wisconsin, perhaps Trump's most surprising victory, Democrats selected state schools chief Tony Evers to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker, CNN projects, in the party's fourth -- and likely best -- shot at defeating him. Republicans, meanwhile, chose state Sen. Leah Vukmir, a darling of conservative talk radio and the Walker-led state GOP establishment, to challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

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In Minnesota, Democrats nominated Rep. Tim Walz for governor, CNN projects. Republicans, meanwhile, shockingly rejected former governor and 2012 presidential aspirant Tim Pawlenty's comeback bid, instead tapping Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, CNN projects.

The two states will join Ohio, Michigan and Illinois on the list of Midwestern battlegrounds with governor's offices on the ballot this fall that Democrats believe they can win.

Those primary wins came on a night that Vermont Democrats chose the first transgender gubernatorial nominee for a major political party, Minnesotans selected a congressional candidate who is likely to become one of the first two Muslim women in Congress and Connecticut nominated a former National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes, for the House.

Vermont picks transgender woman for governor

Christine Hallquist will win her Democratic primary in Vermont, CNN projects, becoming the first transgender gubernatorial nominee for a major political party.

Her victory is a breakthrough of both substantial and symbolic importance for LGBTQ Americans, in particular the trans community, which has for so long been shut out of the highest levels of elected office.

After outlasting a field of four Democratic hopefuls, one of them a teenage boy, she will now take on Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who will survive his GOP primary challenge, CNN projects.

CNN projects incumbent Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party, will win the Democratic nomination in Vermont. As he has done previously, he is expected to decline the party's nomination and then run as an independent in the general election.

Minnesota governor's race

Unlike Wisconsin, Minnesota hasn't totally slipped out of the grasp of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party -- but the question is how long the party can hold onto power there.

Already, the GOP controls the state House and Senate.

Trump finished less than two percentage points behind Hillary Clinton there in 2016, raising fears from the left that with a comeback by Pawlenty, the former Republican governor, the state could soon be ruled exclusively by Republicans for the first time in a half-century and face the same sorts of policies, like the union-busting stripping of collective bargaining for public employees, that Walker enacted next door.

Democrats chose Walz over state Rep. Erin Murphy and Attorney General Lori Swanson, who was the best-known candidate.

Swanson's campaign faced a late controversy over The Intercept's report in which former staffers said she had pressured those working in the attorney general's office to also perform campaign work -- charges Swanson has denied.

In the Republican primary, Pawlenty had been expected by national party strategists to sail to the GOP's nomination. But Johnson, the 2014 nominee, won the state party's endorsement when Pawlenty skipped the convention, and offered himself as a more Trump-like option.

Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary

The most significant grip on power that Wisconsin Democrats have is Baldwin's seat. There, Republicans nominated Vukmir over businessman and veteran Kevin Nicholson.

What drew national eyes to the race is that Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein has pumped nearly $11 million into groups supporting Nicholson -- making for a highly unusual tie between a politician and his corporate benefactor.

Baldwin has held a clear lead in recent public polls, but Republicans have long believed that the Walker-built political machine and the state's rightward drift could make her a surprisingly ripe target in November.

Race to replace Paul Ryan

Ironworker Randy "Iron Stache" Bryce, an internet sensation who sought to challenge House Speaker Paul Ryan before Ryan announced his retirement, defeated teacher Cathy Myers, CNN projects, in what's been a bitter contest locally for the 1st District Democratic congressional nomination in Wisconsin.

Other key House primaries Tuesday come in Minnesota's 1st and 8th districts, perhaps the two most endangered seats currently held by Democrats on the map. Both incumbents are leaving to run for higher office.

Ellison wins after abuse accusations

Rep. Keith Ellison, the Democratic National Committee deputy chair and a favorite of Bernie Sanders' backers, won the Democratic nomination to become Minnesota's next attorney general, CNN projects, positioning him to fight the Trump administration in court.

His win comes despite accusations over the weekend from Ellison's ex-girlfriend of domestic abuse, which he flatly denied.

In the race to replace Ellison, Democrats nominated state Rep. Ilhan Omar, CNN projects, a Muslim Somali-American progressive woman who is backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Since both come from safe districts, she is likely to join Rashida Tlaib, who won a congressional primary in Michigan, as one of the first two Muslim women in Congress.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40163

Reported Deaths: 1528
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12867789
Ramsey5066230
Dakota252494
Stearns244819
Anoka2328111
Nobles16766
Olmsted119617
Washington119040
Mower9722
Rice8628
Scott8034
Clay59838
Kandiyohi5841
Blue Earth5352
Wright5055
Carver4331
Todd4022
Sherburne3405
Lyon3312
Freeborn3020
Watonwan2420
Steele2401
Benton2283
St. Louis20316
Nicollet18712
Martin1715
Cottonwood1380
Goodhue1378
Winona13315
Le Sueur1171
Pine1110
Crow Wing10812
Chisago1031
Otter Tail1021
McLeod960
Dodge930
Carlton890
Polk863
Unassigned8438
Chippewa791
Isanti780
Waseca730
Itasca6812
Douglas670
Murray670
Pipestone664
Meeker621
Morrison611
Faribault600
Becker570
Jackson570
Sibley562
Pennington530
Beltrami410
Brown392
Renville372
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha340
Rock310
Yellow Medicine310
Fillmore300
Houston290
Swift251
Grant220
Norman210
Redwood210
Wilkin213
Cass192
Roseau190
Big Stone170
Koochiching171
Kanabec161
Wadena160
Aitkin150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln110
Clearwater100
Mahnomen101
Hubbard80
Stevens80
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33162

Reported Deaths: 740
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6990182
Woodbury328243
Black Hawk239759
Buena Vista172711
Johnson13848
Linn134183
Dallas133031
Marshall106819
Scott92610
Dubuque83422
Story8254
Pottawattamie78012
Wapello71231
Muscatine68344
Crawford6793
Sioux4930
Tama47829
Wright3891
Louisa36313
Plymouth3365
Jasper33217
Warren3001
Dickinson2853
Webster2844
Washington2489
Cerro Gordo2231
Hamilton1931
Boone1601
Clay1431
Clarke1403
Allamakee1354
Clinton1211
Mahaska11817
Shelby1180
Poweshiek1088
Carroll1041
Pocahontas1041
Bremer1027
Franklin990
Des Moines952
Emmet920
Henry903
Hardin880
Cedar851
Cherokee811
Taylor810
Monona770
Marion750
Floyd742
Benton721
Guthrie724
Jones680
Sac650
Osceola640
Iowa621
Jefferson620
Buchanan611
Butler602
Humboldt591
Calhoun582
Hancock571
Harrison560
Delaware541
Fayette540
Lee542
Madison512
Monroe517
Jackson480
Lyon480
Clayton473
Mills460
Palo Alto460
Mitchell430
Winneshiek430
Davis421
Grundy420
Kossuth390
Howard370
Union370
Lucas324
Winnebago310
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Cass270
Ida230
Unassigned220
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Worth210
Keokuk201
Page200
Adair160
Audubon161
Ringgold151
Decatur120
Montgomery112
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
Rochester
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Albert Lea
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Austin
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