4 Things to Watch in Tonight’s Primaries

Bennet's challenger will be decided tonight. (Rob Kunzig/Morning Consult)

Republicans in Colorado will decide Tuesday who will run against Sen. Michael Bennet, one of the Senate’s most vulnerable Democrats, in November.

Coloradans will be joined in down-ballot primaries by voters in three other states: New York, Oklahoma and Utah. Polls close in New York at 9 p.m. Eastern, and ballots are due in Colorado by 9 p.m. Eastern. The Colorado Senate race results will be available here and the New York House primary results will be available here. (You can also find results for House primaries in Oklahoma and Utah here and here.)

Here’s what to watch for.

1. Will the anti-establishment get a win in Colorado? 

The Senate Conservatives Fund, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah have all endorsed Darryl Glenn in the five-way Republican primary in Colorado. And among the crop of not-so-well known candidates in the race, Democrats would not mind him as the nominee, either.

Though he has not endorsed in the race, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has questioned Glenn’s candidacy. During an interview earlier this month, McConnell said having the group’s support is akin to having “a ticket on the Titanic,” and said the group has “an outstanding record of defeat.”

Republican Party leaders in Washington, D.C., are backing another candidate: Former state Rep. Jon Keyser, a military veteran. With only a sparse legislative record, he is perhaps the most polished of the bunch attempting to challenge Bennet, but even he has had his stumbles, including a long fight to get on the ballot.

2. Will Emily’s List win its primaries? 

Emily’s List, a group that helps elect Democratic women, has six candidates it is supporting on the ballot Tuesday, including Morgan Carroll in Colorado’s Republican-leaning 6th District, and five others in New York.

In the Empire State, along with its support of incumbent Rep. Nydia Velázquez in her 7th District primary, Emily’s List is supporting Anna Throne-Holst in her quest to challenge vulnerable House Republican Lee Zeldin, Anna Kaplan in the 3rd District race for the seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, Zephyr Teachout in the wide-open 19th District race, and Colleen Deacon in New York’s competitive 24th District, where Rep. John Katko is seeking re-election.

In the 24th District, Deacon is facing Eric Kingson, who is being backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was in the area to campaign for him over the weekend.

3. How will the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s ‘Red to Blue’ candidates fare?  

Deacon is the only one of the five people on the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” candidates list, who faces primary challengers – Kingson and Steve Williams. All of the other candidates on the DCCC’s offensive program have managed to shake off serious primary challengers.

4. Who will be the candidates in New York’s most competitive races? 

Of the four House races where the incumbent is not seeking re-election, three of them – Israel’s seat, the 19th District seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson, and the 22nd District being vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Hanna – are listed among the nation’s most competitive House races.

Both parties are facing high stakes to get the candidates they support across the finish line. In the race for Hanna’s seat, Democrats have solidified behind Kim Myers. Republicans are engaging in a tough three-way race, including conservative state lawmaker Claudia Tenney, a favorite of the tea party.


Morning Consult