Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries

Eight states and Washington, D.C., will hold primaries on Tuesday, marking the busiest electoral day since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March.

Besides presidential contests, the races include a number of congressional primaries, which could have implications for the fight to control the House and Senate in November. 

In Iowa, Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingDemocrats lead in 3 of 4 Iowa House races: poll Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it MORE (R) will fight to defend his House seat from a GOP challenge from businessman Randy Feenstra, who has been backed by much of the Republican establishment. 


Meanwhile, in Montana, Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockGOP sees path to hold Senate majority Interior says Pendley to remain at BLM despite 'dramatic tweets' from Democrats Democrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll MORE (D) is likely to clinch his party’s Senate nomination as Democrats look to flip Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesGOP sees path to hold Senate majority Democrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll Poll shows statistical tie in Montana Senate race MORE's (R) seat in the fall. 

Here are the key races to watch in Tuesday’s primaries. 


Numerous candidates have lined up in the race to replace outgoing Reps. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksDemocrats seek wave to bolster House majority Energized by polls, House Democrats push deeper into GOP territory Bipartisan lawmakers call for broadband expansion to eliminate inequities MORE (R) and Peter ViscloskyPeter John ViscloskyBottom line Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries Trump's emergency declaration looms over Pentagon funding fight MORE (D). 

Fourteen Democratic candidates are set to compete in the 1st District, held by Visclosky, on Tuesday, while six Republicans are competing in the district’s GOP primary. The seat is considered safely Democratic. 

Meanwhile, in Brook’s 5th District, there are 15 Republicans running in the GOP primary and five candidates in the Democratic primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as “lean Republican.” 



King finds himself in the fight of his political life after years of making inflammatory remarks, resulting in a number of Republicans backing his top challenger, Randy Feenstra, in the state’s 4th District.

Party leaders like Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states Hillicon Valley: Hospitals brace for more cyberattacks as coronavirus cases rise | Food service groups offer local alternatives to major delivery apps | Facebook says it helped 4.4M people register to vote White House getting pushback on possible government-owned 5G network MORE and Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Business groups back pandemic insurance bill modeled on post-9/11 law National Retail Federation hosts virtual 'store tours' for lawmakers amid coronavirus MORE (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), have backed Feenstra. A number of national organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Right to Life Committee have pledged their support to elect the businessman. 

Feenstra’s recent internal polling shows him within the margin of error and trailing King by only 3 points, after trailing him by 31 points in January and by 7 points last month. Another survey released by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling earlier this month shows Feenstra leading King by four points.

Jeremy Taylor, Bret Richards, and Steven Reeder will also face off against King in the Republican primary, potentially splitting the anti-King vote.

Iowa will also hold three other House primaries for races that are likely to be close in the fall, including the open race to replace retiring Rep. Dave LoebsackDavid (Dave) Wayne LoebsackDemocrats lead in 3 of 4 Iowa House races: poll House Democrats target Midwestern GOP seats The Hill's Campaign Report: Physician candidates lean on medical experience amid coronavirus campaigning MORE (D) in the 2nd District.

And in the Senate, former urban planner Theresa Greenfield is heavily favored to emerge as the winner from the Democratic primary, setting up a challenge against Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden barnstorm the Midwest | Texas sets statewide turnout record | Trump, Tillis trail in NC Oct. 30: Where Trump and Biden will be campaigning Ernst holds narrow lead over Democratic challenger in Iowa: poll MORE (R) for a seat rated as "Lean Republican" by The Cook Political Report.


House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats seek wave to bolster House majority Hoyer lays out ambitious Democratic agenda for 2021, with health care at top Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate MORE (D-Md.) will face a primary challenge from progressive candidate Mckayla Wilkes in the state’s 5th District on Tuesday. Wilkes, who released her first television ad in the race earlier this month, will likely face an uphill climb against the longtime Maryland lawmaker. 

Democrats will also hold a primary in the 7th District, where recently-elected Rep. Kweisi Mfume will face a crowded list of challengers, including Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of the late Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene Cummings'Kamala' and 'Kobe' surge in popularity among baby names Women of color flex political might Black GOP candidate accuses Behar of wearing black face in heated interview MORE, whose seat Mfume now occupies. 

Mfume easily beat Rockeymoore Cummings in a February primary and went on to win the special election last month. Whoever emerges from next week's primary will be favored to win in November in the safe blue district. 



Bullock appears to be on track to become the Democratic Senate nominee in the state on Tuesday. The two-term governor will face John Mues, an energy engineer and Navy Veteran, who is running as a progressive. Bullock has raised $2.5 million over the past six weeks and has raised a total of $5.8 million. 

Incumbent Sen. Daines will face former Montana Public Service Commissioner John Driscoll and hardware store manager Dan Larson. Daines brought in $1.3 million over the last six weeks, and has raised a total of $9.2 million. 

Meanwhile, in the state’s Democratic race for governor, the race appears to be tight based on fundraising. Montana Lieutenant Gov. Mike Cooney (D) has raised roughly $886,500 as of mid-May in his bid to replace Bullock, while Whitney Williams has raised over $1 million. 

Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteDemocrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll Poll shows statistical tie in Montana Senate race Energized by polls, House Democrats push deeper into GOP territory MORE (R) is heavily favored in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

New Mexico

The Republican and Democratic primaries to replace outgoing Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Judge tosses land management plans after ousting Pendley from role | Trump says he could out-raise Biden with calls to Wall Street, oil execs | Supreme Court to review Trump border wall funding, asylum policies OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Pendley says court decision ousting him from BLM has had 'no impact' | Court strikes down Obama-era rule targeting methane leaks from public lands drilling | Feds sued over no longer allowing polluters to pay for environmental projects  Pendley says court decision ousting him from BLM has had 'no impact' MORE (D-N.M.) will take place on Tuesday with Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján and Libertarian candidate Bob Walsh set to become their party’s nominees in their uncontested races. Prior to Udall, the Senate seat was held by former Sen. Pete Domenici (R) for over 30 years. 


In the GOP Senate primary, former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti ended last quarter with the most cash on hand, but was outspent by Gavin Clarkson, who served in the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Trump administration in 2017. Elisa Martinez, founder of the New Mexico Alliance for Life, is also running in the state’s GOP primary. 

Luján’s decision to run for Senate has opened up his House seat in the 3rd District. Former CIA operative Valerie Plame will face off against activist Teresa Leger Fernandez  in the Democratic primary. The two women have led the field in fundraising in the battle for the House seat, which has been historically Democratic. 

Over in the state’s 2nd District, the GOP primary to challenge first-term Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is heating up. Former state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) is running for a second time after losing her bid in 2018. She is going up against oil executive Claire Chase and businessman Chris Mathys.

Chase, who is part of the NRCC’s Young Guns program, has traded barbs with Herrell throughout the race, with the two accusing each other of being secretly “never Trumpers.” 

Cook Political Report rates the seat in New Mexico's 2nd District as a "toss-up." 



Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickLawmakers urge IRS to get stimulus payments to domestic violence survivors Hopes for DC, Puerto Rico statehood rise Florida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum MORE (R-Penn.) will face Andrew Meehan in Pennsylvania’s 1st District. Meehan, a vocal supporter of the president, faces an uphill climb in his primary challenge.

However, the primary underscores the challenge Fitzpatrick could face in November as a moderate Republican with Trump at the top of the ticket. Cook Political Report rates the race as “lean Republican.”

Meanwhile, Christina Finello, who is considered to be her party’s favorite to win the nomination in the district’s Democratic primary, will face off against technology consultant Skylar Hurwitz on Tuesday. 

Republicans are also holding primaries in Pennsylvania’s 7th and 8th Districts. In the 7th District, Republicans Lisa Scheller and Dean Browning will face off to determine who will go up against freshman Rep. Susan WildSusan WildCongress must act to end US military aid to the Philippines Centrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote DCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program MORE (D-Penn.) in November.

Scheller has received endorsements from Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe truth, the whole truth about protecting preexisting conditions McCarthy urges networks not to call presidential race until 'every polling center has closed' House Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 MORE (R-Calif.). Cook Political Report rates the seat as “lean Democratic." 

In the 8th District, six Republicans have lined up to challenge Rep. Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats break fundraising records in Senate races Races heat up for House leadership posts Trump Jr. seeks to elect 'new blood' to Republican Party MORE (D-Penn.): Jim Bognet, Mikkel Cammisa, Teddy Daniels, Earl Granville, Harry Haas, and Mike Marsicano. Cook Political Report has rated the general election as a "toss-up." 

In the 10th District, Attorney Tom Brier will face off against the state's auditor general in the Democratic primary in their bid to challenge Rep. Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryHouse Republicans ask Amtrak CEO for information on Biden's train trips Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it MORE (R) in the fall. The seat is rated as a "toss-up" by Cook Political Report.