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Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts faces a primary challenge from tea partying physician Milton Wolf.
Voters in Kansas, Michigan, and Washington go to the polls Tuesday to select candidates in their state's primary (Missouri will also hold a primary, but there are no notable statewide or federal races to watch). Below is our guide to each state. We'll be liveblogging the results at Daily Kos Elections starting at 8:00 PM ET when polls begin to close.

KS-Sen (R): Republican Sen. Pat Roberts' long service in Congress has made him a tempting target for the tea party. Roberts' re-election got more complicated in February, when it emerged that Roberts barely lived in his nominal home state. Tea party groups and their allies have gotten behind physician Milton Wolf, who happens to be a distant cousin of Barack Obama.

Roberts' greatest asset in the race may turn out to be Wolf himself. The challenger found himself in hot water in early 2014 after news broke about his habit of posting pictures of dead and injured people on Facebook and making jokes about them. The story resurfaced just weeks before the primary after the Kansas Board of Healing Arts announced that they were investigating Wolf's actions. Polls have consistently shown Roberts clearly ahead of Wolf, but both sides are continuing to fight hard here. (Update: A new Google Consumer Surveys poll for Daily Kos finds Roberts up 53-39). A Wolf victory would be a major upset but in a season full of Republican primary surprises, it cannot be ruled out.

Head below the fold for more.  

KS-01 (R): Sophomore Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp is about as conservative as it gets, but his style has made him a number of enemies. Huelskamp's dispute with House Republican leaders got him thrown off the Agriculture Committee, and his support for cutting federal farm subsidies has only further angered local interests back home. A mysterious group called Now or Never PAC has spent $260,000 hitting Huelskamp on agricultural issues, and powerful organizations like the Kansas Farm Bureau have made their displeasure with Huelskamp known.

The man who may benefit from all this is Alan LaPolice, a former school district superintendent. LaPolice has not raised much money and got very little attention until the final week of the race. Huelskamp for his part does not seem to have taken LaPolice seriously, barely spending any money in this contest. A poll from LaPolice's allies at Now or Never found Huelskamp up 50-29 in the final week of the contest, and it still looks like this contest is Huelskamp's to lose. Still, even if LaPolice falls short as expected, a good performance could mean more challenges to Huelskamp in 2016.

KS-04 (R): Sophomore Rep. Mike Pompeo looked like he was in for an easy re-election campaign until his predecessor Todd Tiahrt unexpectedly jumped into the contest. Tiahrt, who represented this Wichita-area seat from 1995 until his unsuccessful 2010 Senate bid, initially looked like the clear underdog here. However, a recent SurveyUSA poll shows Pompeo up by only seven points. Pompeo wasted little time releasing his own numbers, showing himself winning 45-26.

A few groups are spending to help Tiahrt, seemingly due more to personal dislike for Pompeo than anything else. Even if Tiahrt is closing the gap, it looks like he has a tough path to victory. Pompeo does not appear to have done anything to alienate conservative Republican primary voters, and Tiahrt appears to be relying on moderates to put him over the top. Tiahrt is too well known to count out, but a Pompeo defeat would be a big surprise here.

To help keep track of Michigan's House races, we've included this interactive map of the state below.

Interactive map of Michigan's new congressional districts
MI-03 (R): Rep. Justin Amash's libertarian tendencies have angered many members of the GOP establishment, and they have turned to wealthy businessman Brian Ellis to defeat Amash. Ellis, who outspent the congressman in the final weeks of the race, has attempted to portray Amash as weak on abortion issues and even as a supporter of Al Qaeda. However, it appears that primary voters in this Grand Rapids-area seat aren't particularly angry with Amash, and the incumbent's habit of explaining each of his votes makes it harder to distort his record. Polls consistently show the congressman with clear leads. A surprise is always possible, but it looks like Amash is set for a win.  

MI-04 (R): Long-time Republican Rep. Dave Camp is calling it quits in this central Michigan seat. Two credible Republicans are running to succeed him: businessman and state GOP finance chair Paul Mitchell, and state Sen. John Moolenaar. Moolenaar has the support of Camp and likely started the race better known. However, Mitchell has heavily outspent Moolenaar in the last weeks of the race and made an early impression with a creative ad. The race has gotten very negative, with both candidates hitting each others' conservative credentials. A recent poll shows the race deadlocked, and it's anyone's guess who will come out on top here.  

MI-06 (R): Republican Rep. Fred Upton has had some weak primary wins in the past, and is worth keeping an eye on for Tuesday. Even so, a win for Ron Paul activist Jim Bussler would be a complete shock. Bussler has raised little money, and outside groups aren't playing here. A weak Upton win would probably set him up for a stronger challenge in 2016 or convince him to retire, but a Bussler victory would be a surprise on par with Eric Cantor's loss.

MI-08 (R): Republican Rep. Mike Rogers is giving up this Lansing-area seat. The Republican primary is a duel between former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and state Rep. Tom McMillin. Bishop looks like the clear frontrunner, bringing in much more cash and leading 45-33 in the only released poll of the primary. Bishop also has Rogers' endorsement. The winner will likely take on Democratic Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing, who faces minimal primary opposition of his own.

MI-11 (R & D): Freshman Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio has had a target on his back even before he entered the House. Bentivolio, a virtually unknown reindeer farmer, won his suburban Detroit seat in a fluke in 2012 after then-Rep. Thad McCotter was thrown off the ballot. The Republican establishment was unable to defeat Bentivolio in a write-in campaign in the 2012 primary, but this time they have wealthy foreclosure attorney Dave Trott. Through a mix of personal funds and fundraising, Trott has spent far more than the incumbent, swamping him $459,000 to $52,000 in the final weeks of the race. Bentivolio has not helped his situation by having only a minimal presence on the campaign trail. A recent poll showed Trott leading 53-31, and it would be a massive surprise if Bentivolio can pull off a win here.

Democrats may have a shot in this 52-47 Romney seat, especially given some of Trott's ugly history. National Democrats recruited former State Department official Bobby McKenzie to run here. However, physician Anil Kumar has outspent McKenzie and could come out on top Tuesday.

MI-14 (D): Democratic Rep. Gary Peters is vacating this Detroit-area seat to run for the Senate, and three credible Democrats are campaigning here. Initially, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence looked like the clear frontrunner over state Rep. Rudy Hobbs. However, former Rep. Hansen Clarke entered the race at the last minute and complicated things.

For a long time this looked like a two-person fight between Clarke and Lawrence. However, in the last week of the race Hobbs has looked like the one with the momentum. Hobbs has been the best fundraiser of the bunch and he has been consolidating important establishment endorsements. A recent poll for a pro-Hobbs group gave him a surprising lead, with him taking 39 percent to Clarke's 25 and Lawrence's 22. Anything can happen here but it's looking like Hobbs may be able to pull off a victory that few though possible only weeks ago.  

WA-04 (2): Republican Rep. Doc Hastings is leaving behind his conservative inland seat, setting up a crowded battle that may be fiercely contested all the way to November. In Washington all the candidates run on one ballot in the "top-two primary": The two people with the most votes advance to November regardless of party.  

Eight Republicans are running here. The two who look like they have the best chance to make it to November look like former NFL player and 2012 Public Land Commissioner nominee Clint Didier and former state Agricultural Director Dan Newhouse. Didier is more tea party flavored, while Newhouse is more establishment oriented. State Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry and attorney George Cicotte also look like they have a shot.

Two Democrats are running and it's unclear if either of them will make it to the general or not. Team Blue would have a tough time winning this 60 percent Romney seat, but a Republican versus Republican match would keep things interesting here until November. With so many Republicans running there may be a slim chance that both Democrats advance and lock the Republicans out of the general election, but Team Blue shouldn't count on it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (30+ / 0-)

    Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident). Formerly known as Darth Jeff.

    by Jeff Singer on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:00:02 AM PDT

  •  Radio barrage in Big1 today.. (3+ / 0-)

    I'm being told that a radio ad blast has gone up in several places in the Big1 (KS-1) encourage voters to 'anyone but Huelskamp' with a blistering breakdown of committees he's been kicked off of and statements he's made.

    The thought is it's Now or Never PAC, but it is a very real spend that goes along with numerous mail pieces and a public forum campaign that started two weeks ago

    Milton Wolf campaign is having Erick Erickson point out how important this race is, and their supporters are debating in radio talk shows that they won't be 'Cochran'd'

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle
    >Follow @tmservo433

    by Chris Reeves on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:14:34 AM PDT

  •  Cue the Loony Toons music (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, Mopshell
    Tea party groups and their allies have gotten behind physician Milton Wolf, who happens to be a distant cousin of Barack Obama. Roberts' greatest asset in the race may turn out to be Wolf himself. The challenger found himself in hot water in early 2014 after news broke about his habit of posting pictures of dead and injured people on Facebook and making jokes about them.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:22:12 AM PDT

  •  Kumar will lose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Simply because hi is, probably, an Indian. And district is mostly white. Democrats tried that in 2012. McKenzie his better name...

    Very Independent minded. Moderate. Extremely cynical (main principle: don't easily believe anyone, but himself).

    by Ragmod on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:43:55 AM PDT

    •  hAs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Very Independent minded. Moderate. Extremely cynical (main principle: don't easily believe anyone, but himself).

      by Ragmod on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:44:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This isn't 1970 nt (0+ / 0-)

      Please try to back up that assertion with evidence

      •  2012 is evidence (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Yes. It was held in more republican district compared to specials. Still - Democrats had more success with "more standard" candidate. Whether we like it or not (and i don't like it) - this is a factor to be taken into consideration. It would not be so in Queens, with a lot of Asian-Americans, or in Silicon Valley. Or in some other areas. It will be in suburban-rural Michigan.. People tend to vote for "one of their own"....

        Very Independent minded. Moderate. Extremely cynical (main principle: don't easily believe anyone, but himself).

        by Ragmod on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 08:12:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Livonia, one of the anchors of that district, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate

        is extremely white.  I believe it's still one of the whitest cities of its size in the country.  This does not generally lend itself well to acceptance of diversity.

        It's also very Republican.

    •  I really wish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I really wish you'd stop your concern trolling, and that's exactly what this is and has been. Whether or not I agree with you on the actual point, Kumar has not even won the primary, yet, and you're already calling a general election race.  That you mind instantly goes past that and you decide to post that shows your motivations, and quite frankly, I'm tired of it.

      Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

      by MetroGnome on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:36:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kumar is a Flat Tax-er (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MI Sooner

      I don't care why he loses,as long as he does.  We don't have room in the tent for him.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:46:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is the main reason (0+ / 0-)

        I voted in the D primary this morning instead of the R. I was going to vote for the crazy reindeer farmer in the R but kumar might win the D primary. I couldn't let that happen.

        Born in Oklahoma Raised in Ohio Escaped to Meechigan!!!

        by MI Sooner on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:53:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tiahrt's double campaign... (3+ / 0-)

    has selected a few issues to appeal to moderates (GMO labeling, wind energy, big money in politics) while pushing hard on lots of conservative buttons.  Tiahrt calls for a new Republican speaker, dumping Boehner.  That is something Pompeo could not do.  Tiahrt's final days 20 point action planhas lots of red meat for conservatives.

    The national media has given attention to Tiahrt's moderate issues, but I don't think they put them in perspective of his entire campaign.

    It's a smart strategy is he can pull it off, since the last Survey USA poll showed about the same percentage of undecideds among moderate as conservative Republicans.

  •  WA-04 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcus Graly, Chas 981

    I don't think its Republican enough to lock out Dems when the Dem vote will be split two ways and the Republican vote 8 ways. At least I don't think its any more likely than Dems locking the Republicans out.

    We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

    by James Allen on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 08:31:52 AM PDT

  •  For people unfamiliar with the atmosphere in KS, (5+ / 0-)

    I live in an area which used to be mostly "moderate" Republicans.  But it's also the stronghold of rabid anti-abortionists.

    Just recently the County government voted 5 to 2 not to hire a respected physician to a position in the county's public health dept. due to the local "pro-life" group targeting him.

    Was he providing abortions?  No.
    Was he assisting people who were providing abortions?  No.
    Was he advocating abortions?  No.

    So what lost him the job which shouldn't have been a controversial choice?  He testified as an expert witness in a court case stating that the physician who assisted Dr. Tiller (the KS doctor murdered while attending church by a rabid anti-abortionist) was following accepted medical procedures.  The court found that this second physician was in fact acting properly, and it appears that the prosecution was just part of an attempt to harass doctors associated with abortions.  (Kansas law doesn't let a woman simply see a physician and receive an abortion.  Instead, a second physician has to review the case and agree.  The purpose, of course, is to require a second doctor to be willing to risk their life in providing abortions.)

    Several of the 5 people who voted against hiring this physician stated that he was qualified and the only reason they were voting against him was the unwarranted opposition upon him by the pro-lifers, which would serve as "a distraction".

    In case you're wondering what distraction this could be, they're candidates in tomorrow's primary.

    •  Ah! Kansas! I've often wondered exactly WHY (0+ / 0-)

      this collection of little islands of clashing cultures was ever made a State.

      Isn't this the location where, in addition to murdering Doctors attending Church on Sunday, the so called "Creation Science" is now a part of the Public School curriculum?

      Perhaps that might serve to explain - or excuse - the reason all the rabid ANTIs that make up the population there aren't given rabies shots, regularly.

      •  Not yet regarding "creation science." Its (0+ / 0-)

        proponents have managed to get a majority on the state education board, but before they can make the changes to the curriculum they've gotten voted off so far.

        At one point they even tried to run candidates who would publicly support evolution while privately supporting creationism at fundamentalist churches in an attempt to fool the voters, but it failed, fortunately.

        To date they succeed only when the primary turnout is so low that their relatively small group of voters can win an election due to most of the creationists voting as a block.

        They may be gaining, however, due to the influence of fundamentalist pastors plus home schooling (not always hyper-conservative, but often).

  •  Washington vote counting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is this one of those races where we could potentially have no idea who actually wins for a couple weeks, or do the votes tend to come in faster outside of King and Pierce counties?

    •  Ballots postmarked today count (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Since we can put our ballots in Regular US Mail today rather than drop them off at an elections site, unless there's massive turnout ahead of time, we do take a little longer.

      "He not busy being born is busy dying" -- Bob Dylan

      by Kascade Kat on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:08:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Much of the delay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is because there are lots of votes to count in King County (about 1/3 of the state). Because of financial constraints, the county doesn't like to pay overtime, and temporary workers involve both cost and security concerns. Therefore, verifying and counting the ballots takes time.

      It seems like they have procedures worked out pretty consistently now, so most ballots (i.e. 50%+) for all precincts are counted and announced Tuesday evening, with occasional updates through the week, and nearly-complete results for all counties by Friday afternoon.

      The Tuesday night results will skew toward early voters, but are otherwise a pretty good indicator. By Friday the results should be broad-based. Very close races may have to wait a few more days for the late votes (overseas military, mail delays, etc.), but some of those races will need to wait for a recount anyway.

      WA-04 covers smaller counties, so those results should be pretty clear Tuesday night -- unless it's really close, which wouldn't surprise me.

  •  MI-04 (3+ / 0-)

    I'd like to add further context to the craziness that is the GOP primary in MI-04.  Not only has Mitchell spent way more, but the earlier poll done of this race a few weeks back showed Mitchell leading Moolenaar by almost 25 points.  Even if one believe it's really hard to poll primaries, what is clear ist hat Mitchell was way out ahead for awhile.  For Moolenaar to pull back into a dead-heat with him in literally a couple of weeks shows a major ground-game advantage for Moolenaar.  If Moolenaar can pull this out, this is a narrative that you can sometimes beat big money.

    On a policy front, though, neither of them is really better than the other if you're a Dem.  They are both conservative whack-a-doodles.  Moolenaar manages to be both the "establishment" candidate as a sitting state senator and backed by the congressman vacating the seat as well as getting the backing of the corporate entities (Dow) in the district, and the tea party candidate having been endorsed by the Tea Party Express and Rick Santorum.

    I think Dems would rather run against Mitchell, who has been virtually unvetted and has no natural constituency.  There is probably a whole bunch of stuff in his closet concerning his years as the MI GOP's finance chair and the job training company he runs.  Moolenaar's a pretty well known quantity, and will have organizational support.

    It'll be intresting to see how close Dems get in MI-04 with this being an open seat.  We really haven't been able to test the temperature in the district like this, in years.

    Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

    by MetroGnome on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:45:43 PM PDT

  •  Kansas has some state races of interest, too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kind67, James Allen, jazzhawk2004

    I don't think that the incumbent in either case has a very good chance, and these are state offices, but the players are of broader interest, so I thought I'd mention them.

    1. Brownback, the governor everyone loves to hate, has a primary challenger. Although she'll almost certainly lose, the margin will say a lot about Sam's general election support from Republicans.

    2. Even more interesting to non-Kansans, Kris Kobach faces an opponent in the (R) primary today. Those outside the state will know our Secretary of State as the guy who writes anti-immigrant laws for other states. You'd be forgiven for not knowing that he has a day job in the Kansas government. Kobach's Republican challenger, however, has noted this, and that his opponent seems to view the SOS position as part time or perhaps a hobby. This, despite the full-time job description and $80,000 salary. Kobach takes the challenge seriously enough to accuse his opponent of not being a "real republican".

    And BTW, KS-03 has a Democratic Primary today. The outcome in not really in doubt: Kelly Kultala will probably win and go on to challenge Rep. Kevin Yoder in the general in November. Her opponent stated that he only filed for election (very early) because at the time Yoder was going to run unopposed in 2014. Still, a good turnout in the primary would be a good sign.

    May contain literary devices. For adult consumption only.

    by Dead Eyed Suburbanite on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 06:23:10 AM PDT

  •  Didier got a Sea Times profile (0+ / 0-)

    in the governor's race a few years ago, where he was an unlikely hopeful.  I suspect he'd be right at home in pre  civil war south, except less compassionate and more crazy, and for his supporters that's a selling point.  On the upside, if he wins, he will seem consistently ridiculous, and he'll stop running for WA State offices where he could do real and lasting harm.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:11:08 AM PDT

  •  imo opinion (0+ / 0-)

    the crazier the gop gets the better, that way maybe the supposed none aligned independents or moderates will finally see their way to vote for the socialist (sarcasm noted) dems, progressives, dare i say liberals, wake up america the clock is ticking and you are fiddling.

    •  It hasn't been working that way (0+ / 0-)

      We just get a crazier congress. I would rather have sane moderates who work for the betterment of the country than insane idiots who would throw us off the cliff to protect us from imaginary monsters.

      Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

      by Leftleaner on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:42:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget Brownback's primary (0+ / 0-)

    Jennifer Winn is running against Brownback - and she's a total tea party / libertarian nutter whose only redeeming characteristic is she's for legalization of hemp/mj.  

    Watch this race- if Winn gets 20% that means Brownback could only score 80% of the very conservative Republican base and watch out!

  •  Watching Kansas returns tonight? (0+ / 0-)

    Be aware, Sedgwick County (Wichita) returns had early errors and were very late in reporting in 2010,

    Who knows if Kris Kobach has fixed the problem or not?

  •  I know it might not be as relevant to some, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, Amber6541

    Here in Washington LD35, we've got an important Primary happening as well. Currently we're represented in the state senate by Tim Sheldon, who is head of a scheme New Yorkers might recognize: He's one of two "Democrats" (The other was Rodney Tom, who is retiring) who joined with Republicans to flip a 26-23 Democrat majority to a 25-24 "Majority Coalition Caucus"-led Senate in exchange for being named President Pro Tempore.

    In the Top-2 Primary, he's being challenged by a Republican (Travis Couture) on one side, and a real Democrat (Irene Bowling) on the other, but Sheldon has the incumbency advantage.

  •  Kochs are running ads for Wehby in Portland now (0+ / 0-)

    according to my Aunt who lives there. She is an Evangelical Democrat and keeps up with this stuff, still has conversations with people in her church, so that's a good thing.
    Do the Democrats have the equivalent of the Kochs doing ads anywhere? Anyone? No billionaire Democrats willing to spend the money, or what?

    The US ranks 138th out of all 169 voting countries in actual voting. Since 1974, mid-term % of eligible voters who vote avgs. 37%. Democrats would dominate if they did one thing- GOTV. They never do. Curious.

    by Incredulousinusa on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 07:04:17 AM PDT

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