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The Hill's Campaign Report: It's primary night in Georgia

The Hill's Campaign Report: It's primary night in Georgia
© Dustin Chambers

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

LEADING THE DAY: 

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It’s primary night in five states, but the spotlight will be on Georgia, where voters are casting their ballots in the presidential nominating contest and a closely watched Senate primary. 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Biden28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Franklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE has already shored up the Democratic presidential nomination, meaning that the contest in Georgia is little more than a formality. He’s expected to pick up the vast majority of the 105 pledged delegates at stake.

It’s the Democratic race to challenge Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in November that will get the bulk of the attention Tuesday night.

The favorite to win the nomination is investigative journalist Jon OssoffJon Ossoff28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire DC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Senate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill MORE, who you may remember from his 2017 House bid in Georgia’s 6th District. He ultimately lost that election — which stands as the most expensive House race in U.S. history — but grew his profile both in Georgia and nationally with the experience. Ossoff is facing six other Democrats in the primary, including two top challengers, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Sarah Riggs Amico, the 2018 Democratic nominee for Georgia's lieutenant governor. 

The big question of the night will be whether Ossoff can win the nomination outright. That will require him to clinch 50 percent of the vote plus one, according to Georgia election rules. That may prove difficult with so many other candidates in the race; one recent poll from WSB-TV showed him leading Tomlinson and Amico by double digits, but still falling short of the majority he needs to secure the nomination. If no one wins a majority on Tuesday, the two top vote-getters will head to a runoff primary on Aug. 11. 

On the House side, there are two districts that we’re watching closely. In Georgia’s 6th District, former Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelOssoff defeats Perdue in Georgia Senate runoff McBath wins rematch against Handel in Georgia House race House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts MORE (R-Ga.), who beat Ossoff in the 2017 special election before losing her seat in 2018, appears to be the favorite to win the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathLawmakers brace for battles with colleagues as redistricting kicks off On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history Giffords group unveils gun violence memorial on National Mall MORE (D-Ga.) in November. But she’ll still have to fight off a field of four other Republicans.

And in Georgia’s 7th District, six Democrats are battling for the nomination to replace retiring Rep. Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallMcCarthy guarantees GOP will take back House in 2022 Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Bustos won't seek to chair DCCC again in wake of 2020 results MORE (R-Ga.). Among those contenders is Carolyn Bourdeaux, who narrowly lost to Woodall in 2018. But if she wants another shot at the seat this year, Bourdeaux will have to overcome challenges from other competitive Democrats, including Nabilah Islam, who has the backing of prominent progressives such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Israel launches heavy airstrikes on Gaza as pressure increases on US to help broker ceasefire Capitol riot fuels debate over domestic terror laws MORE (D-N.Y.).

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Don’t expect to get results quickly. The Georgia primaries are being conducted almost entirely by mail, which could delay reporting. At the same time, long lines and confusion at polling sites on Tuesday could push things back even more. 

-- Max Greenwood

READ MORE: 

Gun control group rolls out first round of Senate endorsements, by Julia Manchester

Here's where your state stands on mail-in voting, by The Hill's J. Edward Moreno

Kentucky Senate candidate: McConnell 'couldn't care less if we die' by The Hill's Rebecca Klar

Biden, Democrats seek to shut down calls to defund police by The Hill's Amie Parnes, Jordain Carney and Cristina Marcos

FROM THE TRAIL:

Former Vice President Joe Biden virtually addressed mourners at Houston’s Fountain of Praise Church for the funeral of George Floyd on Tuesday, striking a tone of unity and compassion. "We can't turn away. We must not turn away," Biden said from his home in Delaware. “We cannot leave this moment thinking we can once again turn away from racism that stings at our very soul from systemic abuse that still plagues American life.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful also rolled out a new ad Tuesday, appealing to young voters amid the nationwide protests over Floyd’s death. The ad, which is dubbed "Progress," uses footage spanning from the Civil War to present-day protests and features excerpts of Biden's address on racial equality in Philadelphia last week. 

Biden — and many Republicans — also criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE for promoting a conspiracy theory about an elderly man who suffered a head injury after being thrown to the ground by police. Julia reports.

PERSPECTIVES:

Laurence Kotlikoff: Joe Biden must see Condoleezza Rice as running mate

Tim Alberta: Is this the last stand for law and order Republicans?

Matthew Yglesias: Biden has a huge lead in the polls.

Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE: Fake polls destroy media credibility.

CONGRESS & STATES:

Voters in Georgia expressed frustrations with long lines and a lack of voting machines on Tuesday as voters sought to take part in the state’s primary elections. The Hill’s John Bowden reports.

Former progressive presidential contender Bernie SandersBernie SandersMusk's SpaceX has a competitive advantage over Bezos' Blue Origin New York, New Jersey, California face long odds in scrapping SALT  Warren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas MORE rolled out a series of primary endorsements on Tuesday, including in Kentucky and New York. In Kentucky, Sanders, along with progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed state Rep. Charles Booker (D) in the primary, along with the editorial board of Kentucky’s Herald Leader. Booker is one of several Democrats challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBipartisanship has become a partisan weapon Washington showing signs of normalcy after year of restrictions Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden MORE (Ky.), including Amy McGrath, who has the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Rebecca Klar reports. 

Sanders also threw his support behind Democratic Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers on hot mic joke 'aisle hog' Engel absent from Biden address: 'He'd wait all day' Bowman to deliver progressive response to Biden's speech to Congress Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges MORE’s (N.Y.) primary challenger, Jamaal Bowman in New York’s 16th Congressional District on Tuesday. Ocasio-Cortez has also endorsed Bowman. Jonathan Easley reports.

MONEY WATCH:

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Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate hears from Biden's high-profile judicial nominees for first time Senate Democrats take aim at 'true lender' interest rate rule Former North Carolina chief justice launches Senate campaign MORE (R-N.C.) rolled out a new $510,000 television ad buy on Tuesday as he ramps up spending ahead of the fall campaign season. The ad, titled “Pay Day,” highlights the first-term senator’s working-class background, and will air on TV stations and digital platforms throughout the Charlotte and Raleigh media markets. It comes two weeks after he dropped $750,000 on his first ad of his general election campaign. Max Greenwood has the exclusive.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)

June 9:

Georgia primaries

West Virginia primaries

June 23:

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Kentucky primaries

July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primary

July 11:

Louisiana

July 14:

Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff

August 11:

Connecticut primary

August 17-20:

Democratic National Convention

August 24-27:

Republican National Convention