Seven states are holding primary elections on Tuesday: California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.
California is an open, or jungle state. This means that voters can vote for any candidate, regardless of the political party they are registered with. The New York Times reports these types of elections encourage voters to look beyond party lines and pick the candidate that best represents their beliefs.
Currently, Democrats hold every statewide office in California, and registered voters outnumber Republicans, per Al Jazeera. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is running for a second term in a Democratic state, and it is likely that he will take the race against his Republican opponents.
San Francisco Attorney General Chesa Boudin is up for recall. Otherwise, his term is set to end in 2024, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Boudin has faced criticism from some voters, according to Vox, accusing him of failing to address the drug and Asian-hate related crimes in the area. If Boudin is recalled, the San Francisco mayor would appoint a replacement.
Rob Bonta is the incumbent and only Democrat in the attorney general race, according to the Seattle Times. He is being challenged by Republicans Nathan Hochman, a former federal prosecutor who is endorsed by the state party, and Eric Early, who was unsuccessful in recalling Newsom last year. Independent Anne Marie Schubert, a former Republican, is now running against the rest as an independent.
Abby Finkenauer, a Democrat and former state representative who lost reelection in 2020, is running for U.S. Senate against Michael Franken and Glenn Hurst, per NPR. The three Democrats are vying for 88-year-old Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley’s seat.
The race between Finkenauer and Franken is expected to be a tight one, due to Franken’s credibility as a Navy veteran, ABC News reported. In November, one of the three Democrats will take on Grassley, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, according to Al Jazeera.
Four congressional elections are happening in the Magnolia State on Tuesday. In the 1st District, Trent Kelly, a Trump-endorsed Republican, is opposed by Mark D. Strauss, who has phrases such as “COVID tests are poison” and “Trump won” painted across his picket fence, The Associated Press reported.
On the Democratic side, there’s Hunter Avery, who is pushing for more Medicare and fewer homeless veterans, according to Ballotpedia. Dianne Black is also running for the seat, making a major push for affordable health care and livable wages.
Another notable election will take place in the 4th District, where six Republican candidates are challenging Republican incumbent Steven Palazzo, according to ABC News. Palazzo has been accused of unethical spending habits, allegedly using campaign funds to spot his brother and fund his personal expenses, Al Jazeera reported.
For the first time, with the addition of a new district, Montana will have two district elections. NPR predicts the seat is going to go red as a result of Tuesday’s polls. The new district includes Kalispell, Missoula, Bozeman and Butte.
Running for the seat of this district is Ryan Zinke, a former interior secretary for Trump, who is endorsed by the former president. He is challenged by four other Republicans: Mitch Heuer, Matt Jette, Al Olszewski and Mary Todd.
Three Democrats are also competing for the seat: Cora Neumann, Monica Tranel and Tom Winter, according to NPR.
New Jersey’s 7th District is a newly Republican favored one. This poses a challenge to the Democratic incumbent, Tom Malinowski, NPR reports.
In the 4th District, Republican Rep. Chris Smith, incumbent, is under criticism for voting for a bipartisan infrastructure bill, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump stated he would back whoever decided to oppose Smith, but Al Jazeera states the former president never got involved with the election.
Smith is challenged by three other Republicans: talk show host Mike Crispi, Mike Blasi and Steve Gray. On the Democratic side, Matthew Jenkins runs unopposed, according to the New Jersey Monitor.
Fighting for the Democratic nomination in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District are Darshan Patel and Gabriel Vasquez. Incumbent Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell is unchallenged, NPR stated. The newly formed district saw a partisan flip in the 2020 elections, with Joe Biden winning narrowly. ABC News predicts that the November election will be a “toss up” between Democrats and Republicans in this district.
In the 2018 gubernatorial election, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham had an easy win, but the GOP believes she won’t have as good of a shot in November. Her biggest challenger is Mark Ronchetti, a meteorologist who lost a U.S. Senate campaign in 2020, per MSNBC. Grisham is running unopposed, but there are five Republicans competing with Ronchetti for the nomination on Tuesday.
Al Jazeera states that Gov. Kristi Noem, Trump’s endorsement, is likely to win the Republican nomination. She is challenged by state legislator Steve Haugaard, who claims Noem hasn’t been doing her job as governor.
In the state Senate election, John Thune, Mark Mowry and Bruce Whalen are vying for the Republican seat. NPR reported that Thune is “one of America’s most popular U.S. senators.” However, he is not favored by Trump. After Thune dismissed Trump’s election fraud claims in 2020, the former president predicted the people of South Dakota would end his political career in this year’s primaries.