This past Tuesday, four more states held primary elections, with eyes watching to see what voters would do with some of the more interesting or controversial races.
So, what did voters say and does it have any indication as to what might happen in the November general election?
Let’s start with Minnesota, a state that seems to be more liberal than many would think.
Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, had served 2 terms as governor prior to a dismal performance as a 2012 GOP presidential candidate. Pawlenty made national news during the 2016 campaign season when he declared Donald Trump as being unfit to be president. He has continued to be critical of President Donald Trump as he ran again for governor. Pawlenty was thought to be very popular and he raised a lot of money for his campaign, but when Tuesday’s votes were counted, he finished 28,000 votes behind Republican challenger, Jeff Johnson. Johnson served in the US House from 2001 to 2007 and has been serving as the Commissioner of Hennepin County. It needs to be noted that Pawlenty led by as many as 19 points in some major polls prior to the primary, once again proving that polls can’t be trusted. Johnson will be facing Democrat Tim Walz in the general election. Waltz has been in the US House since 2007.
The other good thing to come out of Minnesota’s primary election is that US Rep Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, will be running for Minnesota Attorney General meaning he won’t be in Washington any longer. However, even though Ellison won Tuesday’s primary, he is not a shoe in for the general election as he is facing abuse charges filed by his ex-girlfriend.
Tina Smith was appointed to take the place of Sen Al Franken who resigned amid numerous sexual misconduct allegations. Smith won the Democratic primary and will face Republican Karin Housley, currently a member of the Minnesota Senate. Most polls have Smith winning, but then the polls in the state also had Pawlenty winning handily, also.
Wisconsin – Republican Governor Scott Walker won Tuesday’s primary. He has been widely popular among Republicans, especially for his anti-union and costing cutting policies. Walker faced a recall after first being elected and taking action to limit the power of unions representing state workers, but the recall failed and Walker went on to win a second term. Democrats are still licking their wounds and are again mounting a big pro-union push to defeat Walker in November.
Vermont – The big news in Vermont is that a transgender candidate, ‘Christine’ Hallquist, won the Democratic primary for governor. Hallquist will face incumbent Republican Governor Phil Scott in November. Scott has come under criticism by the Republican Party for his support for more gun restrictions.
Connecticut – Jahana Hayes, a Democrat named Teacher of the Year in 2016 by Barack Obama, won the primary race for a seat in the US House. Hayes has zero political experience and some say she is running on a campaign of race, as she hopes to be the first black American elected to Congress from a small New England state – Connecticut.
One important take-away from Tuesday’s primaries is that a number of Republicans who have been critical of President Donald Trump, lost their primaries to Republicans who support Trump and many of his policies. Some believe this is an indication of what could happen in November.