• Primaries: Tuesday was one of the biggest primary nights of the year, with elections in six different states covering a dozen-and-a-half interesting races. Two of the biggest contests were, as predicted, blowouts. In Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell handily won the GOP primary against businessman Matt Bevin, 60-36. He'll face Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in November. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, businessman Tom Wolf powered his way to an impressive victory with 58 percent of the Democratic primary vote for governor. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord were both far back at 17 with two thirds of the vote counted. He'll be trying to unseat GOP Gov. Tom Corbett this fall.
One of the more interesting races downballot turned out to be for Schwartz's House seat, Pennsylvania's 13th District. An absence of any polling made this four-way affair look up for grabs, but it wound up a landslide. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, state Rep. Brendan Boyle, the only candidate from Philadelphia, had 47 percent of the vote. The other three contenders, all from suburban Montgomery County, split the remainder, with ex-Rep. Marjorie Margolies at 26, state Sen. Daylin Leach, a progressive favorite, at 15, and physician Val Arkoosh at 13. Though Boyle was the most socially conservative candidate, he also had the most extensive backing from labor groups. He's a lock in November in this safely Democratic seat.
Many other races remained uncalled when we put the Digest to bed late on Tuesday night, so check back in with us for a recap of all the key contests later today.
• KY-Sen: As expected, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership is already out with their promised new ad, which attacks Democrat Alison Grimes along predictable lines. A still image of Grimes slides along a red carpet, which is being rolled out for her by "Obama's biggest fundraisers and Hollywood's most liberal political activists." The narrator then offers a dollop of Pace Picante, saying "Michelle Obama let the truth slip out at a New York City fundraiser, calling Grimes' election 'critical' to President Obama's liberal agenda that's hurting Kentucky." That quote from the first lady looked like GOP fodder from the moment it was first reported.
• MO-Sen: Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has just signed a contract to write a "tell-all" book about her legendary 2012 Senate race against Republican Todd Akin, with publication expected by year's end. The best part is that, according to USA Today, McCaskill has "promised to detail how she helped boost Akin in the Republican primary, because she believed he would be the easiest candidate for her to beat." This is especially apropos in light of Jeff Singer's excellent recent piece on the topic, so I can't wait to read this.
• NC-Sen: The first in a spate of new ads expected from the Crossroads empire is now online. Crossroads GPS, which until now hasn't been especially active on the television advertising front, features clips of both President Obama and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan uttering some version of "if you like it, you can keep it," branding the statements as "not true."
• NY-Sen: A very strange political scandal that burbled out of a very obscure race looks like it'll end in jail time. Conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza has pleaded guilty to charges that he asked two friends to donate $10,000 to the Senate campaign of New York Republican Wendy Long, then illegally reimbursed them. D'Souza has also agreed not to contest any prison term between 10 and 16 months, though he won't be sentenced until Sept. 23, and it sounds like he's still hoping to avoid jail time.
What made this whole thing so bizarre, though, was that Long had absolutely no chance of defeating Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who demolished her by a 72-26 margin. So of all the elections to do something this stupid for, this was the stupidest. (Long was apparently a college bud of D'Souza's, back in his infamous Dartmouth Review days. Blech.) And in this day and age, if you want to circumvent campaign finance limits, that's what Citizens United is for, so this just makes D'Souza even dumber—and that's pretty remarkable.
• SC-Sen-A: Here's another ad from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, featuring Graham's sister, Darline. She says, "I have always looked up to Lindsey—he's just always been there for me" and explains that her brother took care of her after their parents died. A longer, 60-second version goes into more detail, and Graham's Wikipedia page explains that he actually adopted his sister and raised her after she was orphaned.
• CO-Gov: We've seen some early fall ad reservations in a bunch of Senate races already, but now they're spreading to gubernatorial contests as well. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper just announced that he's booked $906,000 in TV time for the final month of the campaign. Not only is Hickenlooper locking down cheaper rates, but it'll be harder for his eventual GOP opponent to the do the same, as all the Republicans have far less money than he does and also have to spend what little they do have on winning the primary first.
• IA-Gov: Between Jan. 1 and May 14 of this year, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad utterly swamped his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Jack Hatch, in fundraising. Branstad raised $1.2 million during that time period and has $4.5 million cash-on-hand. Hatch, meanwhile, took in just $262,000 and has $312,000 in the bank.
• AL-06: The great thing about American politics is that you can release a web video in which you fire a series of increasingly high-powered firearms into a printed copy of the Affordable Care Act before finally throwing it in a wood-chipper and still get branded a liberal. The Club for Growth is unloading on businessman Will Brooke in a new ad that castigates him for donating to Democratic campaigns, including "$10,000 to the Democrat candidate for governor" and concludes, "That's liberal—that's Will Brooke." The Club has endorsed surgeon Chad Mathis in the GOP primary for this open seat.
• AZ-07: State Sen. Steve Gallardo certainly made an interesting strategic decision to raise exactly zero dollars in his first month on the campaign trail. Shockingly, it was not a good one. On Tuesday, Gallardo announced that he was dropping out of the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Rep. Ed Pastor and would instead run for the seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors being vacated by one of the two remaining contenders for the 7th District, Mary Rose Wilcox. That means Wilcox will face state Rep. Ruben Gallego mano-a-mano in the Aug. 26 primary.
• CA-31: Democratic ex-Rep. Joe Baca has waged one of the worst campaigns of the cycle, but a recent DCCC internal showed him as a potential threat to make it past next month's top-two primary thanks to a badly divided field. And it's not just residual name recognition that's propping Baca up: There's a mysterious—and shady—super PAC that's also out there boosting him with mailers, phone calls, and maybe even some billboards.
The group, with the ironic name of Cal Voters for Honest Government, hasn't bothered to file a single independent expenditure report, as required by law, and has received warning letters from the Federal Elections Commission as a result. This means that no one knows how much Cal Voters has spent on Baca's behalf. Needless to say, this is a travesty that's emblematic of how broken our campaign finance system is. Given the FEC's toothlessness, the only hope voters have is that one of Baca's opponents can make a big enough issue out of this mess to damage him and keep him out of the general election.
• IA-03: Loras College's new poll of the GOP primary in Iowa's 3rd District shows virtually no change from their survey a month ago, when state Sen. Brad Zaun led the pack with all of 17 percent. Zaun's still at 17, with three candidates—businessman Robert Cramer, former Chuck Grassley chief of staff David Young, and Secretary of State Matt Schultz—all at 8 and former congressional aide Monte Shaw at 5. With 50 percent of voters still undecided and the election on June 3, there's a strong chance that no one will clear 35 percent, meaning the nomination would get tossed to a convention.
• LA-05: A Glascock Group poll for an unknown "Republican pro-gun group from Washington" finds that state Sen. Neil Riser would start out with a big lead if he ran for retiring Rep. Vance McAllister's seat. Riser, a Republican, takes 48 percent in the poll—nearly enough to avoid a runoff—while Democrat Jamie Mayo, the mayor of Monroe, is far behind at 14, and a bunch of other names are in the single digits. So far, though, neither Riser nor Mayo has committed to a run. The only candidates actually in the race so far are two Republicans: former Grant Parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley and businessman Harris Brown, who just entered.
• NJ-03: In a new ad, Steve Lonegan slams fellow Republican Tom MacArthur, with a quavering narrator claiming that MacArthur's "insurance company delayed or refused payment to victims" of a 2008 wildfire in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sylmar.
• NY-13: Rep. Charlie Rangel won't be entirely alone when it comes to earning support from New York City's top labor organizations. 1199 SEIU, which represents 200,000 health care workers, has once again sided with Rangel as he faces state Sen. Adriano Espaillat in next month's Democratic primary. The union is considered a major player in politics and, if it so chooses, can bring considerable resources to bear on Rangel's behalf.
• WV-03: An Anzalone Liszt Grove internal from Rep. Nick Rahall's campaign, obtained by The Hill, is now the third straight poll to show strong numbers for the Democrat. ALG finds Rahall up 53-39 on Republican state Sen. Evan Jenkins, similar to the 52-40 Rahall edge that Garin Hart Yang posted last month, and not far off DFM Research's 48-39 lead for Rahall a few weeks ago. Rahall also sports a 56-39 favorability rating, which is pretty remarkable given the onslaught in Koch ads he's faced. (Jenkins, meanwhile, stands at an even 25-25.)
It wasn't that long ago that it looked like Rahall might be given up for dead. In the face of a March NRCC survey that had Jenkins up 14, Rahall refused to share his own numbers, and Chuck Todd started spreading rumors that the congressman had nearly retired. But since that time, the House Majority PAC has continually lit into Jenkins with a series of ads tying him to the Koch brothers and accusing him of wanting to roll back black lung benefits for coal miners. So now Jenkins is the one who isn't offering contradictory polling, and things may have really turned around for the incumbent.
• NRCC: I guess those "DOOOM!!!" emails from the DCCC must actually be working, because they once again knocked the socks off the NRCC in monthly fundraising. House Republicans just announced raising $4.1 million in April, leaving them with $32.3 million in the bank, versus a monster $7.1 million for Democrats, who have $43.5 million cash-on-hand.
• Washington: Filing closed Friday for Washington's Aug. 5 primary, and the state now has a list of candidates available here. Note that Washington uses a top-two primary system: All the candidates from every party run on one ballot with the top two vote-getters advancing to the November general election.
In the 4th District, Republican Rep. Doc Hastings is vacating his safely red seat. Eight Republicans are running to succeed him. The most prominent look like former NFL player Clint Didier; state Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry; former state Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse; and Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck. Two Democrats are also in the race. While it's hard to envision Team Blue taking this 60-38 Romney seat outside of a fluke, it looks like a good bet that one of the Democrats can at least advance to the general. That would be good news for whichever Republican emerges on top, since he or she would have an easier time in November against a Democrat than another Republican.
The state's other nine House members are all running for re-election. We rate all as safe. However, freshman Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene does face a potentially credible challenge from Republican Pedro Celis, a former Microsoft executive. (Jeff Singer)