It’s Tuesday in August, which means there is probably a primary happening somewhere around the country. This week, it’s Minnesota and Wisconsin picking candidates ahead of the general election in November. The Wisconsin race for Governor will be closely watched and today Democrats will select a candidate to challenge Republican Scott Walker once again. Some voters in Connecticut and Vermont are also heading to the polls for primaries as well, but they are not getting the same attention as the races in the Midwest.
First, let’s talk about Minnesota, eh? Voters are selecting candidates in a literal buffet of races including governor, both U.S. Senators, and some Congressional seats. Here’s a report on primary day in the North Star State from the local Patch affiliate:
Voters across the Land of 10,000 Lakes will head to the polls Tuesday in a primary that’s expected to feature close results and high turnout. Early absentee voting is up more than 150 percent from the same time in 2016, election officials announced last week.
Voters will see a jam-packed ballot featuring a governor’s race, two Senate races, races for the U.S. House, and more. The winners in the August primary will represent their parties in the general election on Nov. 6.
Polls are open statewide until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
President Trump has waded into one of the Minnesota Congressional races with support for Republican Pete Stauber:
Looking to influence the outcome in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District, President Donald Trump gave his full support to Republican House primary candidate Pete Stauber.
“Pete Stauber is running for Congress in Minnesota. He will make for a great Congressman,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon.
“Pete is strong on crime and borders, loves our Military, Vets and Second Amendment. Vote for Pete tomorrow. He has my full and total Endorsement!”
Stauber faces off against fellow Republican Soren Sorensen Tuesday.
Polls close in Minnesota at 8pm CT (9pm ET).
The Democratic primary for Governor is probably the most closely watched race right now. FiveThirtyEight gives us a rundown of what’s happening in the Badger State primary:
The Democratic primary for Wisconsin governor has seven serious contenders, and in such a crowded field, the eventual winner could be coronated with 20 percent or less of the vote. Mahlon Mitchell, the head of the state firefighters’ union, has developed a reputation for shooting from the hip on the campaign trail. Mike McCabe has led several nonpartisan reform groups. Former state party chair and attorney Matt Flynn has come under fire for representing the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in sex-abuse cases. Former state Rep. Kelda Roys, endorsed by Emily’s List, made national news for an ad in which she breastfed her daughter. State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout brings experience winning a Republican-leaning rural district. Paul Soglin is famous for his decades of liberal activism as the mayor of the “People’s Republic of Madison.” But it is state education chief Tony Evers, with three statewide wins under his belt, who leads in every primary poll. The guess here is that Evers or Vinehout would do the best in November against GOP Gov. Scott Walker, while Flynn or Soglin would do the worst.
While Democrats fight it out in the governor’s race, Republicans are beating on each other for the chance to take on Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin:
Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race has fallen off the radar a little bit, but at least two Republicans are still hoping to unseat Tammy Baldwin. State Sen. Leah Vukmir is the pick of the local GOP establishment and has $2.5 million in PAC spending behind her, but that’s nothing compared with the $10.7 million that Republican uber-donor Richard Uihlein has spent plugging 40-year-old Marine veteran and business consultant Kevin Nicholson. Even though Nicholson is backed by some of the most conservative names in Republican politics, Vukmir partisans have questioned whether he’s a real Republican. Nicholson was president of the College Democrats of America and spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, although he says he left that event “absolutely sure I was not a Democrat.” But he worked for Democrats in Minnesota in 2002, voted in the 2008 presidential primary2 and remained a registered Democrat until 2010.
Polls close in Wisconsin at 8pm CT (9pm ET).
There are a handful of other primary races as well, such as in Vermont and Connecticut. You can read more about them at the stories below for details on all the primary races happening today: