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 HickenlooperOn The Trail: How marijuana went mainstream Senators press for answers in Space Command move decision Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants MORE is facing off against former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in the Democratic nominating contest to take on Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 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 TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest 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 HornWhy does Rep. Johnson oppose NASA's commercial human landing system? The US's investment in AI is lagging, we have a chance to double it What should Biden do with NASA and the Artemis Program? 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) LoveVoters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican Democrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains McAdams concedes to Owens in competitive Utah district 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 BidenFederal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Biden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure Jill Biden gives shout out to Champ, Major on National Pet Day 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 McConnellBiden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure 100 business executives discuss how to combat new voting rules: report Arkansas governor says 'divisive' Trump attacks on GOP officials are 'unhelpful' 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 BarrFed to form committee focused on climate risks to financial system Financial regulators home in on climate risks House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit 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 GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike 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