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Midterm battlegrounds take shape in Midwest primaries

Two upper Midwestern states where Democrats hope to rebound in November's ...

Posted: Aug 15, 2018 11:06 AM
Updated: Aug 15, 2018 11:06 AM

Two upper Midwestern states where Democrats hope to rebound in November's midterm elections after losing ground to President Donald Trump in 2016 selected their candidates in a slew of major races Tuesday.

In Wisconsin, perhaps Trump's most surprising victory, Democrats selected state schools chief Tony Evers to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker, CNN projects, in the party's fourth -- and likely best -- shot at defeating him. Republicans, meanwhile, chose state Sen. Leah Vukmir, a darling of conservative talk radio and the Walker-led state GOP establishment, to challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

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In Minnesota, Democrats nominated Rep. Tim Walz for governor, CNN projects. Republicans, meanwhile, shockingly rejected former governor and 2012 presidential aspirant Tim Pawlenty's comeback bid, instead tapping Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, CNN projects.

The two states will join Ohio, Michigan and Illinois on the list of Midwestern battlegrounds with governor's offices on the ballot this fall that Democrats believe they can win.

Those primary wins came on a night that Vermont Democrats chose the first transgender gubernatorial nominee for a major political party, Minnesotans selected a congressional candidate who is likely to become one of the first two Muslim women in Congress and Connecticut nominated a former National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes, for the House.

Vermont picks transgender woman for governor

Christine Hallquist will win her Democratic primary in Vermont, CNN projects, becoming the first transgender gubernatorial nominee for a major political party.

Her victory is a breakthrough of both substantial and symbolic importance for LGBTQ Americans, in particular the trans community, which has for so long been shut out of the highest levels of elected office.

After outlasting a field of four Democratic hopefuls, one of them a teenage boy, she will now take on Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who will survive his GOP primary challenge, CNN projects.

CNN projects incumbent Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party, will win the Democratic nomination in Vermont. As he has done previously, he is expected to decline the party's nomination and then run as an independent in the general election.

Minnesota governor's race

Unlike Wisconsin, Minnesota hasn't totally slipped out of the grasp of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party -- but the question is how long the party can hold onto power there.

Already, the GOP controls the state House and Senate.

Trump finished less than two percentage points behind Hillary Clinton there in 2016, raising fears from the left that with a comeback by Pawlenty, the former Republican governor, the state could soon be ruled exclusively by Republicans for the first time in a half-century and face the same sorts of policies, like the union-busting stripping of collective bargaining for public employees, that Walker enacted next door.

Democrats chose Walz over state Rep. Erin Murphy and Attorney General Lori Swanson, who was the best-known candidate.

Swanson's campaign faced a late controversy over The Intercept's report in which former staffers said she had pressured those working in the attorney general's office to also perform campaign work -- charges Swanson has denied.

In the Republican primary, Pawlenty had been expected by national party strategists to sail to the GOP's nomination. But Johnson, the 2014 nominee, won the state party's endorsement when Pawlenty skipped the convention, and offered himself as a more Trump-like option.

Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary

The most significant grip on power that Wisconsin Democrats have is Baldwin's seat. There, Republicans nominated Vukmir over businessman and veteran Kevin Nicholson.

What drew national eyes to the race is that Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein has pumped nearly $11 million into groups supporting Nicholson -- making for a highly unusual tie between a politician and his corporate benefactor.

Baldwin has held a clear lead in recent public polls, but Republicans have long believed that the Walker-built political machine and the state's rightward drift could make her a surprisingly ripe target in November.

Race to replace Paul Ryan

Ironworker Randy "Iron Stache" Bryce, an internet sensation who sought to challenge House Speaker Paul Ryan before Ryan announced his retirement, defeated teacher Cathy Myers, CNN projects, in what's been a bitter contest locally for the 1st District Democratic congressional nomination in Wisconsin.

Other key House primaries Tuesday come in Minnesota's 1st and 8th districts, perhaps the two most endangered seats currently held by Democrats on the map. Both incumbents are leaving to run for higher office.

Ellison wins after abuse accusations

Rep. Keith Ellison, the Democratic National Committee deputy chair and a favorite of Bernie Sanders' backers, won the Democratic nomination to become Minnesota's next attorney general, CNN projects, positioning him to fight the Trump administration in court.

His win comes despite accusations over the weekend from Ellison's ex-girlfriend of domestic abuse, which he flatly denied.

In the race to replace Ellison, Democrats nominated state Rep. Ilhan Omar, CNN projects, a Muslim Somali-American progressive woman who is backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Since both come from safe districts, she is likely to join Rashida Tlaib, who won a congressional primary in Michigan, as one of the first two Muslim women in Congress.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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