Primaries in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia: What to watch

Five states head to the polls on Tuesday in primary elections...

Posted: Jun 12, 2018 12:47 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2018 12:47 PM

Five states head to the polls on Tuesday in primary elections that will set up some of the most critical contests to determine control of Congress next year.

Two of the most vulnerable senators -- a Republican in Nevada and a Democrat in North Dakota -- will have challengers by the end of the night.

In South Carolina and Virginia, Republican voters will decide if they want to punish representatives who haven't fully embraced President Donald Trump. Democrats in Nevada and Maine are picking candidates they need to turn the tide on GOP-controlled Washington.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Polls close at 7 p.m. EDT in Virginia and South Carolina. In Virginia, Democrats are targeting a handful of seats to flip in November and Republicans will choose their nominee to challenge Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine. In South Carolina, Rep. Mark Sanford is facing an insurgent primary challenger who is attacking him for his criticism of Trump.
  • Polls close at 8 p.m. EDT in Maine. The state will be the first in the nation to use ranked choice in statewide elections on Tuesday. Democrats feel good about the race to replace controversial Republican Governor Paul LePage, though the state's unusual voting means even professional observers don't know which Democratic candidate will win the nomination. State Attorney General Janet Mills and Iraq and Afghanistan wars veteran Adam Cote are both seen as strong Democratic candidates for the Fall.
  • All polls are closed at 9 p.m. EDT in North Dakota. Republicans will most likely pick Rep. Kevin Cramer, the state's sole representative in Congress, to challenge incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, one of the most vulnerable Democratic senator this November. Trump won North Dakota by 36 points in 2016.
  • Polls close at 10 p.m. EDT in Nevada. Another competitive November election will be take shape here on Tuesday. Incumbent Sen. Dean Heller, considered to be the most vulnerable Republican senator this year, will most likely face Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is most favored to win her party's nomination in a general election race CNN currently rates as a toss-up.

Here's a closer look at what to watch tonight:

ANOTHER TRUMP CRITIC IN TROUBLE: Just one week after Republican Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a runoff in Alabama over her 2016 disavowal of Trump, South Carolina's Sanford might face a similar fate. Sanford is facing a strong primary challenge from state Sen. Katie Arrington, who has attacked him for criticizing Trump and has alluded to his adulterous past, saying in an ad that "it's time for Mark Sanford to take a hike - for real this time." Sanford only won re-nomination by 4,000 votes in 2016, but he has also demonstrated a remarkable ability to weather political storms and controversies over the years.

WILL PARNELL WIN? Sanford is not the only politician in hot water in South Carolina. In the state's 5th Congressional District, embattled Democrat Archie Parnell -- who narrowly lost a 2017 special election -- remains on the ballot, despite recently admitting to domestic abuse in the 1970s, news which rocked his campaign and likely spoiled a long-shot Dem pick-up opportunity if Parnell advances.

MCMASTER OF HIS OWN FATE: The Palmetto State is home to one of the most compelling gubernatorial contests of the year. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster - who endorsed then-candidate Trump in January 2016 - earned a Trump Twitter endorsement in the final weekend heading into the primary. He faces strong challengers in Catherine Templeton and John Warren, among others. McMaster must win 50% of the vote or more in order to avoid what would be an embarrassing runoff. On the Democratic side, state Rep. James Smith -- endorsed by Joe Biden -- is seen as the one Democrat who can pull off the upset in deep red South Carolina, should a "blue wave" extend that far south.

STRONGER ALONE: After losing for Vice President in 2016, Kaine is uncontested in the Democratic primary in Virginia for his Senate re-election. The Republican primary for the seat has been another race to the right between 2017 gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart, state Delegate Nick Freitas, and pastor E.W. Jackson, the Virginia GOP's 2013 nominee for lieutenant governor. Kaine will begin the general election as a favorite to win re-election against whichever Republican emerges.

DEMOCRATS PLAY FOR THE HOUSE: While Virginia has been trending blue at the statewide level for the past decade, Republicans have managed to have a firm grip on the commonwealth's House seats. Democrats, however, believe they can flip three, possibly four seats here come November. Their top target is Rep. Barbara Comstock's 10th District in the DC suburbs. Six Democrats are running, and whoever emerges will be in a toss-up against Comstock.

Meanwhile, GOP Reps. Scott Taylor in the 2nd District and Dave Brat in the 7th District will face credible Democrats in November. CNN rates both as Lean Republican.

GOP Rep. Tom Garrett's late retirement decision opens up his more heavily Republican 5th District, which Democrats will have more trouble putting into play. CNN rates it Likely Republican.

NEVADA HOUSE RACES: Rep. Jacky Rosen's Senate candidacy opens up her seat, where Democrat Susie Lee has emerged as the Democratic frontrunner. She should face Republican Danny Tarkanian, who lost to Rosen by under 4,000 votes in 2016. CNN rates this race as Lean Democrat. In Nevada's 4th District, Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen announced he would not seek re-election last year following allegations of sexual misconduct. His central Nevada district, including the Las Vegas suburbs, gives Democrats a slight advantage, as CNN rates this race lean Democrat. Former Reps. Steven Horsford (D) and Cresent Hardy (R) -- who lost to Kihuen in 2016 -- are favored to face off in November for another shot at representing this district.

MAINE VOTING ATTRACTION: Maine's contests for governor and Second House District are in Democrats' eyes to take in November, but most political watchers are looking to the Pine Tree state to see how the voting turns out. The state instituted "ranked choice voting" for elections with more than two candidates, meaning voters can rank all candidates running in either gubernatorial primary, the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District, and a GOP nod in a state legislative seat. If no one receives a majority, the last-place candidate is dropped and those voters' second choice voters get added to the original vote count. This continues until someone has a majority or the candidate with the most votes in the final two is declared the winner. The voting method is also facing a "people's veto" referendum on the ballot, meaning voters could choose to start the process to get rid of it.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 43°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 46°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 40°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 46°
High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast for our Saturday. This will keep us filled with plenty of sunshine in our weather forecast for our Saturday.
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