The Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights

The Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights
© Greg Nash

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. 




Two political giants are headed for a tougher-than-expected primary night. 

In Colorado, former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperDemocrats frustrated, GOP jubilant in Senate fight Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  MORE is facing off against former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in the Democratic nominating contest to take on Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerHillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities Democrats vent to Schumer over Senate majority failure MORE (R-Colo.) in November. Hickenlooper was persuaded to enter the Senate race after ending his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and immediately became the candidate to beat.

But a series of gaffes and an ethics controversy put him in the crosshairs of Romanoff and Republicans, who have attacked him relentlessly as a flawed and ethically compromised choice for the Senate seat. He’s still favored to win, and recent polling shows him with a commanding double-digit lead over Romanoff. Still, an upset in the primary fight would send shock waves through the political world by dealing a crushing defeat to a candidate whom Democratic leaders have touted as one of their top Senate recruits.

In Utah, another former governor, Jon Huntsman, is looking to fend off a challenge from Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary. Huntsman is a political heavyweight in Utah, where he served as governor from 2005 until 2009, when he left to serve as ambassador to China under the Obama administration. Most recently, he served as President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE’s ambassador to Russia. 

Despite his long résumé of public service and near-universal name ID in Utah, Huntsman is running neck and neck with Cox, with one recent poll showing the two candidates statistically tied. Cox has also been endorsed by Utah’s current Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and is in the unique position of heading up the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, giving him crucial leadership credentials in a crisis situation. 

The Colorado Senate primary and Utah gubernatorial primary aren’t the only contests in the spotlight on Tuesday. A crowded field of Republicans are vying for the chance to take on Rep. Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornWhat should Biden do with NASA and the Artemis Program? Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day MORE (D) in Oklahoma’s 5th District, though that primary appears likely to go to a runoff scheduled for August. There’s also a Republican primary in Utah’s 4th District to choose a general election challenger for Rep. Ben McAdams (D), who only narrowly edged out former Rep. Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains McAdams concedes to Owens in competitive Utah district Poll: McAdams neck and neck with GOP challenger in Utah MORE (R) in 2018 and is likely to face a competitive reelection.


Check back with The Hill tonight for more primary coverage as it unfolds. 

--Max Greenwood


Max Greenwood: Hickenlooper seeks to shake ethics woes in Tuesday primary



Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE slammed President Trump over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday as a number of southern states see cases skyrocket. "We need real plans, real guidelines with uniform nationwide standards to help us chart our economic reopening," the former vice president told reporters during an address in Wilmington, Del. Julia Manchester reports.

Democrats are pushing the Biden campaign to expand their map ahead of November in an effort to give the former vice president more paths to victory. This comes as a number of polls show Biden leading in states, like Texas and Georgia, where Republicans have historically had an advantage. The Hill’s Amie Parnes reports.

The Republican National Committee said that its convention in August will fully comply with health regulations in Jacksonville, Fla. A spokesperson said organizers are planning to take health precautions including conducting temperature checks, making available personal protective equipment, “aggressive” sanitizing protocols and available COVID-19 testing. The Hill’s Rebecca Klar reports.



Former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath fended off a challenge from progressive state Rep. Charles Booker in the Democratic Senate primary in Kentucky, overcoming an unexpectedly tough nominating contest to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop aide: Biden expected to visit Georgia in push to boost Ossoff, Warnock Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' MORE (R-Ky.) in November. The results came a full week after primary day in Kentucky, with a high volume of absentee ballots holding up the counting process. The Hill’s Max Greenwood reports.

Marine veteran and former police officer Josh Hicks won the Democratic primary in Kentucky's 6th District on Tuesday, setting him up to face off against Rep. Andy BarrAndy BarrRep. Andy Barr beats back Democratic challenge in Kentucky Reclaiming the American Dream Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of current emergency lending programs MORE (R-Ky.) in November. The Hill’s Abigail Mihaly reports.



Biden: 53%

Trump: 41%


Biden: 57%

Trump: 32%



Biden: 48%

Trump: 46%



South Carolina's Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison released a new ad on Tuesday hitting back at his opponent, incumbent South Carolina Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMedia and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Hackers love a bad transition The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump campaign files for Wis. recount l Secretaries of state fume at Trump allegations l Biden angered over transition delay MORE (R). The ad, a six-figure TV and digital spot set to debut Tuesday in all four South Carolina media markets, is the first negative ad of Harris’s general election bid. Max Greenwood reports.



June 30:

Colorado primaries

Oklahoma primaries

Utah primaries


July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primaries


July 11:

Louisiana primaries


July 14:

Alabama primary runoffs

Texas primary runoffs

Maine primaries


Aug. 4:

Arizona primaries

Kansas primaries

Michigan primaries

Missouri primaries

Washington primaries


Aug. 11:

Connecticut primaries

Minnesota primaries

Vermont primaries

Wisconsin primaries

Georgia primary runoffs


Aug. 18:

Alaska primaries

Florida primaries

Wyoming primaries


Aug. 17-20:

Democratic National Convention


Aug. 24-27:

Republican National Convention


Sept. 1:

Massachusetts primaries


Sept. 8:

New Hampshire primaries

Rhode Island primaries


Sept. 15:

Delaware primaries


Sept. 29:

First presidential debate


Oct. 7:

Vice presidential debate


Oct. 15:

Second presidential debate


Oct. 22:

Third presidential debate