On Tuesday, voters in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah will cast ballots for their state’s downballot primaries. Below is our look at the key races to watch. The first polls will close at 8 PM ET in Oklahoma, and as always, we’ll be liveblogging all the results at Daily Kos Elections and tweeting as well.
● NY-03: Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, the former head of the DCCC, is retiring from this swingy Long Island seat, and four Democrats are competing to replace him. Israel is backing Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern, who has spent the most of any candidate, and a number of other prominent politicians from his home county are also backing Stern. Suffolk, however, only makes up only one-third of the seat. Still, Stern may benefit from being the only candidate from the eastern end of the district if he can do well there while his rivals split the rest of the vote, most of which is in Nassau County.
North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan has dropped a comparable amount of cash, and, like Stern, is the only candidate who’s gone up on TV. Her ads have emphasized how her background as a Jewish refugee from Iran has shown her how important it is to fight Donald Trump and his rhetoric. Ex-Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi entered the contest with plenty of name recognition, but not all of it is positive: Suozzi surprisingly lost re-election to a Republican in 2009 and badly lost a rematch in 2013. Ex-Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, who has spent the least amount of money, rounds out the field. There have been no publicly released polls. The winner will face Republican state Sen. Jack Martins.
● NY-01 (D): Freshman Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin will be a major Democratic target in his swingy seat at the far eastern end of Long Island, and two Democrats are waging a competitive contest to face him. Ex-Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst has the backing of national figures like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. However, the East Hampton Star notes that Throne-Holst has a reputation for being difficult to work with, which helps explain why venture capitalist Dave Calone has the backing of far more local Democrats than his opponent. However, Throne-Holst has outspent Calone, and EMILY’s List has spent a hefty $720,000 on her behalf.
Calone has run ads noting that Throne-Holst only recently joined the Democratic Party (she was previously a member of the Independence Party), and that she donated to the Conservative Party in the past; the group now backs Donald Trump. Throne-Holst quickly went up with a response ad stressing her progressive bona fides. There have been no public polls here.
● NY-13 (D): Longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel is retiring from this safely blue seat, which includes Harlem and part of the Bronx, and he’s endorsed Assemblyman Keith Wright’s campaign to succeed him. Like Rangel, Wright is African-American, and Harlem of course has been a black Mecca for a century. But while Wright has outspent his many primary rivals and has the backing of prominent figures like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, he doesn’t have a clear path to the Democratic nod.
That’s because the 13th District now contains a sizable Dominican-American population, whose support state Sen. Adriano Espaillat is hoping to consolidate. In fact, 54 percent of the district is Latino while only 25 percent is black. Latinos have historically turned out in lower numbers than black voters here, but that pattern has been changing, as evidenced by Espaillat’s two close challenges to Rangel in 2012 and 2014. This time, though, Espaillat isn’t the only prominent Dominican in the race, and his longtime rival, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, could eat into Espaillat’s base despite having spent little.
Two other notable black candidates are also running. Former Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV is the son of the legendary (and legendarily controversial) ex-Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, but he hasn’t raised much money. The younger Powell ran against Rangel (who unseated his father in 1970) in 1994 and 2010, but he didn’t come close to winning either time. Former DNC political director Clyde Williams has been airing ads, but he only took 10 percent of the vote against Rangel in 2012. The only poll we’ve seen came from a pro-Espaillat group, and it gave him just a 20-19 edge over Wright, with Powell at 13.
● NY-19 (D & R): Both parties have expensive primaries for this open 52-46 Obama seat in the Hudson Valley. The Democratic contest, though, has been a pretty low-key affair. Law professor Zephyr Teachout waged a longshot primary challenge against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014, but here she’s the favorite. Teachout has the support of both establishment power-players like New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and she also earned an endorsement from Bernie Sanders, who helped her raise a massive amount of cash for a House race. However, Teachout only recently moved into the district, and Livingston Town Councilor Will Yandik is hoping to make this a contest between an outsider and a local. But he’s not likely to succeed: A late Siena poll gave Teachout a dominant 62-23 lead.
The GOP, meanwhile, has hosted a much nastier and more expensive affair. Former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso, who badly lost the 2006 gubernatorial race to Eliot Spitzer, has been outspent by businessman Andrew Heaney. Heaney has eagerly embraced Donald Trump and has tried to channel Trump’s rhetoric in his ads. However, two wealthy GOP donors have financed a group called New York Wins that has spent heavily attacking Heaney as a carpetbagger and a closet liberal. A Heaney poll found him down 37-29 and Heaney has canceled some of his ad buys, which is a very bad sign for him. Siena also gave Faso a 58-28 lead a week before the primary.
● NY-22 (R): Rep. Richard Hanna, one of the few moderate Republicans in the House, is retiring from this competitive upstate seat, and three Republicans are facing off to replace him. Conservative Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney lost to Hanna 53-47 in the 2014 primary, and she decided to run again even before Hanna announced that he was quitting. But Tenney has been badly outspent by businessman Steve Wells, who earned Hanna’s endorsement days before the primary. Outside spending has also not been kind to Tenney. The Oneida Indian Nation seriously has it in for Tenney and has spent heavily on ads hitting her and boosting Wells. At the same time, a GOP establishment group called Defending Main Street has also been running ads supporting Wells.
A recent independent poll found Tenney leading Wells just 32-31, with underfunded candidate George Phillips far behind. However, Tenney’s allies at Citizens United countered with a survey giving Tenney a stronger 38-26 edge. The winner will face Democrat Kim Myers, a Broome County legislator; wealthy independent Matt Babinec is also running in November.
● NY-24 (D): Freshman Republican Rep. John Katko is defending a Syracuse seat that backed Obama 57-41, and three Democrats are competing to face him. The DCCC and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand are supporting Colleen Deacon, a former Gillibrand staffer. Deacon has outspent attorney Steve Williams and college professor Eric Kingson (who got a late Bernie Sanders endorsement), and a recent DCCC poll gave her a huge 50-17 lead over Williams.
● CO-Sen (R): Michael Bennet is the most vulnerable Democratic senator in the country, but the GOP has a truly uninspiring field of candidates to choose from. Ex-Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham has spent about $1 million on TV spots, while conservative businessman Robert Blaha has dropped no more than $685,000 on television. Graham has run a few dull ads promoting himself as a business outsider, while Blaha has run a few somewhat more entertaining commercials with a similar message.
El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn spent much of the contest as an obscure and underfunded candidate, but he galvanized conservatives with a rip-roaring speech at the state GOP convention in April that earned him the party’s official endorsement; Glenn, who is black, notably got a huge applause line when he declared, “All lives matter!” While Glenn still has little cash, he recently earned high-profile endorsements from Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, which could help him stand out in this field. The Senate Conservatives Fund has also aired some ads for him.
Ex-Aurora City Councilor Ryan Frazier and former state Rep. Jon Keyser round out the field. Keyser tried to pass himself off as the GOP establishment favorite when he entered the race, but he’s also been a weak fundraiser, and he attracted a string of bad headlines after one of his petition-gatherers forged several signatures to help get him on the ballot. Keyser spent weeks trying to evade the topic, and he even implied that he’d sic his dog on a reporter who asked questions about the scandal.
● CO-05 (R): Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn won renomination just 53-47 in 2014 in this safely red Colorado Springs seat, and it’s not the first time he’s had problems here. While Lamborn has a solidly conservative record and hasn’t been touched by scandal, there just seems to be something about him that a significant number of Republicans don’t like. In a shocking move a few months ago, delegates at the GOP convention favored former legislative aide Calandra Vargas over the incumbent 58 percent to 35; if Lamborn had taken less than 30 percent, he wouldn't have even advanced to the GOP primary.
Vargas and Lamborn will face off again on Tuesday in the primary, and the good news for Lamborn is that Vargas has barely spent any money. Convention delegates tend to be much more ideological than primary voters, so Lamborn’s near-disaster doesn’t necessarily mean he’s in trouble. Lamborn also hasn’t dipped much into his war chest, an indication that he doesn’t take Vargas seriously. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s right not to, though.
● OK-01 (R): Tea partier Jim Bridenstine defeated a Republican incumbent in 2012, and oil man Tom Atkinson is hoping to do the same thing to Bridenstine now. Atkinson has largely self-funded his campaign, and he’s outspent Bridenstine, though Bridenstine has also been running ads here and appears to be taking this seriously. Atkinson has stressed his own credentials as a businessman, though he doesn’t appear to have made much of a case for why Republicans should oust Bridenstine. This Tulsa seat is safely red.
● OK-02 (R): The sleepy GOP primary in eastern Oklahoma got a little bit interesting a few weeks ago when ex-Sen. Tom Coburn, angry that Rep. Markwayne Mullin began backing away from his old term limits pledge, endorsed veteran Jarrin Jackson. The good news for Mullin is that Jackson is still quite underfunded, but Mullin does seem to be treating his opponent as a potential threat, since he spent a reasonably sizable $307,000 to Jackson's $48,000 from April 1 to June 8. This once-ancestrally Democratic seat is safely red these days.
● UT-Gov (R): GOP Gov. Gary Herbert faces a primary challenge from Jonathan Johnson, the chairman of Overstock.com, but independent polls show the incumbent easily winning. A recent poll from Johnson even gave Herbert a 48-37 lead, so it doesn’t look like there will be much to watch here. Herbert should have little trouble in November.