It’s a big night for the future of the Republican Party.
There are key races in no fewer than four states this evening, some with more than one contest worth tracking. The big one is Arizona, where Trump is hoping to hit the parlay in the Senate and gubernatorial races. He backed Peter Thiel’s boy, nationalist Blake Masters, for Senate and Obama supporter turned MAGA fanatic Kari Lake for the governor’s seat. Both appear to be on their way to easy victories, with Lake leading by 10 points or more in numerous polls lately and Masters also ahead by double digits. The Republican establishment did its best to rescue Lake’s challenger, Karrin Taylor Robson, by having Doug Ducey and Mike Pence endorse her last month. (Robson allies tried to lure Ron DeSantis into the race as well, with no luck.) But Robson’s surge in the polls appears to have stalled out; apart from one ultra-fluky Emerson poll that has her at 49 percent, ahead of Lake, she’s been stuck below 40 consistently.
As for Masters, his lead hasn’t been threatened for months. Early in the race it looked like Arizona AG Mark Brnovich might skate through by dint of name recognition but that went up in smoke once Trump attacked him for failing to prove phantom voter fraud in Arizona. Brnovich will end up an also-ran tonight — but he did get a measure of revenge against Trump yesterday.
Gonna be a lot of “Trump tightens his grip on GOP” headlines tomorrow after his candidates win, never mind that Lake and Masters are likely weaker match-ups against the Democrats than Robson and Brnovich would have been.
You know all about the stakes in the Missouri Senate primary so I won’t rehash them here except to say that “Eric” is guaranteed to win. The Eric in question is likely to be Schmitt, who should go on to an easy victory this fall in the general election. Seeing him nominated in Mizzou over the execrable Eric Greitens will be a consolation prize tonight for establishment Republicans smarting over the Lake and Masters victories in Arizona. Ronna McDaniel can rest easy knowing that she won’t have to spend money in a state Trump won by 15 points in 2020 just to try to get Greitens over the finish line.
The undercard for the Senate and gubernatorial primaries are three House races involving Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. I’ve written ad nauseam lately about Peter Meijer’s challenge in Michigan’s Third District from Trump-backed — and Democratic-funded — John Gibbs. If Meijer goes down, Dems will be blasted tomorrow for having intervened on behalf of an election truther, especially if Gibbs wins only narrowly. Meanwhile in Washington state, Jaime Herrera Beutler of the Third District and Dan Newhouse of the Fourth District will try to prove that it *is* possible to support impeachment and not lose your career. Note that Washington uses a jungle primary system in which candidates from both parties are listed on the same ballot and the top two finishers overall advance to the general election in November. It’s possible, in other words, that Beutler and Newhouse will survive tonight but that each will face a MAGA Republican in the fall. I don’t like their odds in a race like that, knowing that Trump will be up there to campaign against them.
There’s one other election of great import although unfortunately we don’t have a live tracker for it below. That’s the Kansas ballot initiative on abortion, in which the state’s voters will decide whether to repeal a provision in the state constitution that guarantees a right to choose. If you’re following election news this evening and come across the results, know that “Yes” is the pro-life position — as in, yes, repeal the abortion clause and let the state legislature ban the practice. “No” is the pro-choice position, to keep the constitution as it is. (The ballot language is confusing.) If pro-choicers manage to pull out a win in a state as red as Kansas, there’ll be massive hype in the media tomorrow about how a “Roe effect” might blunt the red wave this fall.
Polls close in Michigan and Missouri at 8 p.m. ET and a bit later in Arizona and Washington. For individual House races, use the “Change Race” dropdown menu in the upper left corner of each state’s results widget to choose the appropriate one. Again, Meijer is MI-03, Beutler is WA-03, and Newhouse is WA-04.