• NE-Sen (R): Republican Sen. Mike Johanns is calling it quits after only one term, and five Republicans are competing to replace him. Until recently this looked like a two-man contest between the establishment-flavored former state Treasurer Shane Osborn and tea partying Midland University President Ben Sasse. Things quickly got nasty: Osborn especially earned some bad headlines after he circulated a bogus Navy memo defending his military service. The Sasse-Osborn smackdown appears to have given a third candidate, wealthy bank president Sid Dinsdale, a chance to sneak through.
Sasse's allies began running ads against Dinsdale for the first time in the last week of the race, appearing to confirm that he is a legitimate threat. A last-minute Dinsdale win would not be unprecedented: In 2012's Nebraska Republican primary, then-state Sen. Deb Fischer spent most of the race as an afterthought but surged to victory in the last weeks of the contest. It looks like a real possibility that Dinsdale could pull off a similar upset, though what little public polling there is shows Sasse ahead. Two other Republicans, attorney Bart McLeay and businessman Clifton Johnson, are also running but aren't expected to get very far. The winner of Tuesday's primary will be the heavy favorite in the general election in this conservative state.
Head below the fold for more races to watch Tuesday.
• NE-Gov (R): Six Republicans are running to succeed termed-out Gov. Dave Heineman. There is also very little public polling here, but it appears that the two main contenders are Attorney General Jon Bruning and wealthy former Ameritrade Chief Operating Officer and 2006 US Senate nominee Pete Ricketts. Bruning starts out well known from his time in office and from his recent unsuccessful 2012 Senate bid. Bruning also earned Heineman's endorsement in the last week of the race. For his part, Ricketts has the support of Texas Sen. and tea party favorite Ted Cruz, former Gov. Kay Orr, and Sarah Palin. This isn't the first time Bruning has butted heads with the Ricketts family: Pete Ricketts' father Joe Ricketts financed the outside group that helped sink Bruning's Senate bid.
Also in the race are state Sens. Tom Carlson and Beau McCoy, state Auditor Mike Foley, and lawyer Bryan Slone. If there's a surprise on election night, Foley is probably the best positioned to benefit. The GOP nominee will start out as the favorite in the general election, but Democrats have a credible candidate in former University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook.
• WV-02 (R & D): Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is giving up her central West Virginia seat to run for the US Senate, setting up a competitive race to take her place. There does not appear to be a clear frontrunner among the seven Republicans running here. Until recently the only candidate spending any real money was Alex Mooney, a former Maryland state senator and state party chair who only moved to West Virginia in 2013 (Mooney also ran for the New Hampshire House of Representatives while studying at Dartmouth). However, in the last few weeks self-funding pharmacist Ken Reed has outspent Mooney. Former US International Trade Commissioner Charlotte Lane also has the resources to compete and may benefit from being the only woman in this crowded race. Former state Sen. Steve Harrison and three other candidates are also running, but each of them have spent little to no money.
While Democratic fortunes in West Virginia have taken a hit in recent years, Team Blue has a potentially strong candidate in former state party chair Nick Casey. Casey looks like the clear favorite against Del. Meshea Poore, who has spent very little here.
• Nebraska: Republicans have primaries in the open races for attorney general and state auditor. In the attorney general race four Republicans are competing: attorneys Doug Peterson and Brian Buescher; 2012 state Senate candidate Mike Hilgers; and state Sen. Pete Pirsch. The winner should be the clear favorite in November. In the state auditor primary, state Sen. Charlie Janssen faces Larry Anderson, who works for outgoing state Auditor and gubernatorial candidate Mike Foley. The winner will face Democratic state Sen. Amanda McGill.
• Newark Mayor: Two Democrats are facing off to succeed now-Sen. Cory Booker. City Councilor Ras Baraka appears to be the frontrunner against former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries. The race is very expensive and nasty, with race, crime, and education emerging as central issues. Polls constantly show Baraka ahead, but Jeffries' allies are arguing that the gap is rapidly closing. Polls close for Newark at 8:00 PM ET.