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Live Coverage: 2022 Primaries

Election results from NPR's nationwide network

Karoline Leavitt takes part in a debate in Henniker, N.H., just days before the primary. Mary Schwalm/AP hide caption

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Mary Schwalm/AP

Karoline Leavitt takes part in a debate in Henniker, N.H., just days before the primary.

Mary Schwalm/AP

Former Trump press staffer Karoline Leavitt has won the Republican primary in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

Leavitt, 25, is only the second member of Generation Z to win a House primary and the first Republican. The 2022 midterm season is the first time the eldest Gen Zers are eligible to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, where 25 is the minimum age to serve.

Leavitt will now face off against incumbent Democrat Chris Pappas, 42, to represent the district — a toss-up seat Republicans hope to flip as part of their goal of winning back the majority of seats in the House.

"They said I was too young, we could never raise the money to compete, and that we could never beat a former Republican nominee," Leavitt said in her victory speech Tuesday night.

"Over the last year we were outspent but we were not outworked," she exclaimed. "No way!"

Leavitt defeated former Trump State Department official Matt Mowers, 33, who ran for the seat in 2020 and lost to Pappas by 5 percentage points.

Mowers released a statement in which he pledged to "never stop fighting" for middle class families.

Though Mowers narrowly led in polls against Leavitt ahead of the primary, the most recent University of New Hampshire survey added uncertainty, finding that nearly a fourth of respondents were still undecided just two weeks from the election.

The two candidates also ran with similar platforms, branding themselves as staunch conservatives and political outsiders — while simultaneously promoting their time working in the Trump administration.

Where they differ is on the result of the 2020 election — Leavitt openly trumpeted the former president's lie that he won, while Mowers has not directly addressed it.

Matt Mowers speaks during the final primary debate before Tuesday's race. Mary Schwalm/AP hide caption

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Mary Schwalm/AP

Matt Mowers speaks during the final primary debate before Tuesday's race.

Mary Schwalm/AP

Trump did not endorse a candidate in the primary race, but the matchup divided support among Republican leaders in Congress.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the two highest-ranking House Republicans, threw their support behind Mowers. While New York Rep. Elise Stefanik — ranking third — backed Leavitt, who previously served as her spokeswoman in Congress.

Leavitt's connection to Stefanik partially links back to her historic start in Congress, when the New York Congresswoman made history in 2014 as the youngest woman ever elected to the House when she took office.

"[Stefanik] was one of the few people, frankly, in Washington that believed in me to do this," Leavitt told NPR in an interview earlier this summer.

"I know Elise received that same condemnation when she wanted to run, so she really believed in me and believed that I had what it took," she added.

Throughout her campaign, Leavitt framed her youth as an asset rather than a deterrent — arguing that younger voters need to hear from more conservative voices — even though a majority of those voters lean towards Democratic candidates.

"It's a very one-sided culture that we live in," Leavitt told NPR, "How do we break through that mold? It's by electing young people to office that can resonate with these voters, have a platform at the national stage, that can show them ideas, policies, values that they're not hearing elsewhere."

But for Mowers, who's 33 years old and would easily be considered a younger member of Congress, in this race, Leavitt is nearly a decade younger, putting generational differences in the political spotlight.

Leavitt's win comes less than a month after Democratic candidate Maxwell Frost made history as the first member of Gen Z to win a congressional primary.

Stefanik (left) and Leavitt (right) in the U.S. Capitol on May 14 after Republicans voted Stefanik to House leadership. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Stefanik (left) and Leavitt (right) in the U.S. Capitol on May 14 after Republicans voted Stefanik to House leadership.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan speaks during a campaign canvas kickoff event on Saturday in Dover, N.H. Hassan is running for reelection and her Republican opponent will be chosen in the upcoming GOP primary. Scott Eisen/Getty Images hide caption

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Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan speaks during a campaign canvas kickoff event on Saturday in Dover, N.H. Hassan is running for reelection and her Republican opponent will be chosen in the upcoming GOP primary.

Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The 2022 primary season comes to a close Tuesday. While nominees in other states have hit the campaign trail gearing up for November, voters in Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will decide on their picks with fewer than two months to go until the general election.

Perhaps the most-watched state is New Hampshire, where the stakes are high in the five-way Republican Senate primary. The winner of that race will take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in a race that's among a handful that could decide party control over the U.S. Senate.

New Hampshire Senate

Former President Donald Trump has, so far, stayed out of these races but has loomed large as candidates have fought to play up their fealty to him. The sprawling field includes Chuck Morse, who is the president of New Hampshire's state Senate, and Don Bolduc, a former Army general who has backed Trump's false claims about the 2020 election being stolen.

Bolduc has been dismissed as a "conspiracy theorist-type" by New Hampshire's Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is backing Morse. Morse also has the support of an outside group run by a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It's spent $4 million to boost Morse and attack Bolduc, but Bolduc, who also ran for Senate in 2020, has campaigned doggedly, stoking conservative anger over COVID-19 lockdowns and promising to hold leaders in both parties accountable.

The field also includes Lincoln, N.H., businessman Vikram Mansharamani.

New Hampshire congressional primaries

New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District — which includes Manchester, the state's seacoast and vote-rich commuter towns along the Massachusetts border — is seen as a true swing district. There are five Republicans fighting to take on two-term incumbent Democrat Chris Pappas. Prime among them is Matt Mowers, a former Trump administration State Department staffer, who got his political start in New Jersey as an aide to then-Gov. Chris Christie.

Mowers was the GOP's 2020 nominee for the seat, losing to Pappas by 5 points. Mowers, 33, entered this race as the frontrunner and has been endorsed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, but Mowers' victory is far from assured. Karoline Leavitt — a 25-year-old former Trump administration assistant press secretary who has derided Mowers as the establishment's "handpicked puppet" — has gained ground in polling.

The race for New Hampshire's 2nd District, which runs along the border with Vermont and tilts more liberal, features Bob Burns, a serial candidate well-known in GOP activist circles. Burns bills himself as "pro-life, pro-Trump, America first." He faces George Hansel, the Republican mayor of the liberal city of Keene, N.H. Hansel supports some abortion rights and has the support of Gov. Sununu. Hansel has accused Burns of repeatedly lying about his record but has tacked right over the course of this race. The winner of that primary faces five-term incumbent Democrat Annie Kuster, a prolific fundraiser.

Rhode Island governor

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee remains the favorite in a five-way Democratic primary, although two rivals — Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and former CVS Health executive Helena Buonanno Foulkes — could pull off an upset.

In March 2021, McKee, then the lieutenant governor, moved up to governor when Gina Raimondo left office to become the U.S. commerce secretary. McKee touts his leadership in guiding Rhode Island through the pandemic since then.

Gorbea and Foulkes did not rush to criticize McKee's record. When they did, they targeted a potential soccer stadium in Pawtucket with $60 million in public investment and an ongoing FBI probe of an educational consulting contract awarded by McKee's administration. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican businesswoman Ashley Kalus, a Rhode Island newcomer. Republicans held the governor's office from 2003 until 2011, but have been locked out since then.

New Hampshire governor

Three-term incumbent Chris Sununu, the most successful Republican in the Granite State in a generation, is almost certain to win the primary for governor. He faces three challengers, all staunch conservatives who are taking particular aim at the Sununu's handling of COVID-19.

New Hampshire was less restrictive in terms of pandemic policies than any of its New England neighbors, but conservative activists were still galvanized by school closures, business closings and mask mandates.

If Sununu wins Tuesday, he'll face Democratic challenger Dr. Tom Sherman, who now serves in the state Senate.

Josh Rogers is the senior political editor and reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio. Ian Donnis is a political reporter for The Public's Radio in Rhode Island.

J.D. Vance, left, rode former President Donald Trump's endorsement to a narrow victory in Ohio's Republican U.S. Senate primary in early May. Across the country, Trump endorsed dozens of candidates in this year's GOP primaries. Joe Maiorana/AP hide caption

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Joe Maiorana/AP

J.D. Vance, left, rode former President Donald Trump's endorsement to a narrow victory in Ohio's Republican U.S. Senate primary in early May. Across the country, Trump endorsed dozens of candidates in this year's GOP primaries.

Joe Maiorana/AP

Former President Donald Trump has remained a constant presence in this year's statewide primaries, endorsing more than 200 Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and top state executive offices across the country.

So with the end of the primary calendar nearing, how have his endorsees fared?

An NPR tally of Trump's endorsements finds the vast majority won their GOP primaries, but about three-fourths of his picks are incumbents who were already expected to win, with many running unopposed in their primary contests.

In fact, only one Trump-endorsed incumbent — North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn — was ousted in a primary.

The former president's endorsees performed somewhat worse in open races, without an incumbent, or when he backed a challenger to a Republican incumbent.

Overall, 91% of Trump's candidates won their open primaries, and 4 of 10 challengers topped incumbents. His picks fared particularly poorly in Georgia, as he sought to oust sitting GOP officials from state executive offices.

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Looking at who Trump endorsed, most candidates said they support his false claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. And among just Trump-endorsed House incumbents, the vast majority objected to certifying the 2020 election.

Up and down the ballot, Trump made a concerted effort to endorse and actively campaign for Republicans challenging GOP incumbents who disagreed with his election lies.

Notably, of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him following the Jan. 6 insurrection, five of six who ran for reelection faced Trump-backed primary challengers, and just two of those incumbents prevailed.

Many Republicans endorsed by Trump face competitive general election matchups against Democratic candidates, so it's unclear how they'll fare in November.

The full list is below. Did we miss something? Email nprpolitics@npr.org.

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With reporting by Benjamin Swasey

Democrat Pat Ryan speaks during a campaign rally Monday in Kingston, N.Y., before defeating Republican Marc Molinaro in Tuesday's special election for New York's 19th Congressional District. Ryan had stressed abortion rights on the trail. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

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Mary Altaffer/AP

Democrat Pat Ryan speaks during a campaign rally Monday in Kingston, N.Y., before defeating Republican Marc Molinaro in Tuesday's special election for New York's 19th Congressional District. Ryan had stressed abortion rights on the trail.

Mary Altaffer/AP

Abortion rights once again appeared to be a key motivator for Democratic voters, and the party establishment showed it still has an advantage, with election results in New York and Florida Tuesday night.

A win in a key special election in New York State is giving Democrats hope of doing relatively well in these midterm elections. They clearly have momentum, though they should probably temper expectations.

Plus, key races in Florida are now set, with Democrats hoping to stop Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis from winning reelection and a platform to perhaps bigger things — and the first Gen Z candidate won with a likely path to Congress, signaling where things may be headed for Democrats.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday's elections:

1. More evidence that abortion rights has changed the landscape

How many examples does it take to make a trend? Democrat Pat Ryan won a special election in an evenly divided Upstate New York House district that is one of the swingiest in the country. Former President Obama won it in 2012, former President Trump won it in 2016 and President Biden won it in 2020.

Ryan won it by about 2 points Tuesday, and following on abortion-rights supporters' win on a ballot measure in Kansas earlier this month, he made abortion rights the key issue in his election. Republican Marc Molinaro, on the other hand, made his race about inflation and crime.

It can be tempting to overread the results of special elections. They are generally low-turnout affairs that draw the most engaged voters. In recent years, however, they have been indicators of which party has the most enthusiasm, and the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade is a pretty clear line of demarcation.

In midterms, history is usually on the party out of power's side, and Republicans had success early on in Biden's presidency, overperforming in races in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as special elections earlier this cycle.

But as the Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman lays out, that changed post-Dobbs:

The big question is whether that enthusiasm holds into November when there will be far higher turnout. What's more, political momentum has shifted quickly in this election cycle.

And before rank-and-file Democrats get their hopes up too high, while there may now be an outside shot at the party retaining the House, it's still considered a longshot. At the moment, Republicans need to net just five seats to take back the House, and they have redistricting and history on their side.

Democrats have had problems with setting expectations that they can lasso the moon and then disappoint their base when they only make it to space — even though that's a pretty good accomplishment. (See: Biden's original Build Back Better plan.)

What abortion rights has done is likely given Democrats a real shot at keeping Republicans' margins down in the House and maybe help them retain the Senate, both of which would be major wins.

2. There's no time like the present for establishment Democrats who still (mostly) have the advantage

For as much as Republicans want to stereotype Democrats as extreme progressives, once again the perceived-to-be more moderate or establishment candidates won — in a key Florida race and even in one of the most Democratic-leaning places in the country: Manhattan, Brooklyn and the areas just north of the city.

— Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee head Sean Patrick Maloney defeated progressive Alessandra Biaggi, 67%-33%. Biaggi had the backing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

— Dan Goldman, who prosecuted the first impeachment case against Trump, defeated a splintered field of more progressive candidates.

In fairness, had progressives consolidated and not split the vote, one of them may well have won. Rep. Mondaire Jones, who was essentially forced into this district because of redistricting and Maloney's decision to run in the 17th District, and Yuh-Line Niou held a news conference before the election encouraging voters not to cast ballots for "conservative Democrat" Goldman. (Only in Manhattan or Oakland could Goldman be considered "conservative.")

Yet, they and several others, remained on the ballot and divided up votes, giving Goldman a path to a narrow victory, which he got, by about 2 points over Niou.

— And in Florida, in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Rep. Charlie Crist handily defeated Nikki Fried, the state's agriculture commissioner, by more than 20 points.

This race highlighted a generational divide within the party — and an old school-new school divide over how to do politics. Crist, a former Republican governor-turned-Democrat, cashed in on contacts and worked political power broker networks, and for now, that old-school style won out again.

New school is coming, though. In the Orlando area, the likely first Gen Z member of Congress won his primary — and it may signal the future for Democratic politics.

"Today's election is proof that Central Florida's working families want representation that has the courage to ask for more," Maxwell Frost, 25, said in a statement. Frost is favored to win election to Congress this fall because of the liberal bent of the district.

3. The results highlight ideological differences within the parties

If more moderate Democratic establishment candidates are winning in many places, the opposite has been true mostly for Republicans this cycle, who are being pulled more to their polarized extreme.

Though candidates Trump endorsed had mixed results Tuesday night, overall, people pushing his election lies are winning or being boosted, though several of them lack political experience.

That's led to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell questioning his party's "candidate quality." The Trump and MAGA brands are going to be tested in purple states and swing districts. And while a wave can push even flawed candidates over the finish line, that's less true with a lazy river current, which is what this election is looking more like.

What's more, even Tuesday, candidates who only a couple cycles ago would have been seen as far off on the fringe lost, but got better than 40% of the vote.

That was the case in Western New York with Carl Paladino, a political gadfly with a history of making offensive comments, and Laura Loomer in Florida. Loomer has regularly posted conspiracy theories, including about COVID-19 vaccines, and calls herself a "proud Islamophobe" and "pro-white nationalism." She won a GOP primary in 2020 before losing by 20 points in the general election.

This time, she lost her GOP primary, but still received 44% of the vote and added a new wrinkle — some Trump-style baseless griping.

"I'm not conceding, because I'm a winner and the reality is our Republican Party is broken to its core," Loomer said in a non-concession speech Tuesday night.

With tears streaming down her face, Loomer, who has been banned from social media platforms, added, "We are losing our country to big-tech election interference."

4. Key Florida statewide races now set

Incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio against Rep. Val Demings is now official. And this race so far has had a heavy dose of Trump. Rubio has criticized the FBI search of Trump's Florida home, while Demings was a Trump impeachment manager.

But there's another issue that is notable to watch — how a Democrat who positions themselves as pro-law enforcement does in a state that's been tipping toward the GOP.

Demings, a former Orlando police chief, hasn't been shying away from that record. She ran an ad, for example, denouncing the idea of "defund the police."

"In the Senate, I'll protect Florida from bad ideas, like 'defund the police,'" Demings says in the ad. "That's. Just. Crazy."

Rubio still has the advantage and this is seen as a bit of a stretch for Democrats to be able to win in this environment, but Demings has outraised Rubio and has done well in some early polling.

The main event, though, very well may be the gubernatorial showdown between Crist and DeSantis.

DeSantis has landed in repeated controversy over his stances on education, women's rights, redistricting and voting, but he's seen as a rising star in Republican circles. Many conservatives see him as a more disciplined version of Trump, someone who can carry the culture-war mantle forward without the chaos.

There's been plenty of DeSantis 2024 talk, but he has to win reelection as governor first.

Democrats went with Crist over Fried, in some measure because of Crist's perceived strength of electability. That's going to be tested. Crist knows the stakes.

"This guy wants to be president of the United States of America, and everybody knows it," Crist said in his victory speech Tuesday night, of DeSantis, without using his name. "However, when we defeat them on Nov. 8 that show is over. Enough."

Rep. Jerry Nadler speaks at a candidate forum for New York's 12th Congressional District on Aug. 10. Frank Franklin II/AP hide caption

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Frank Franklin II/AP

Rep. Jerry Nadler speaks at a candidate forum for New York's 12th Congressional District on Aug. 10.

Frank Franklin II/AP

In a battle of Manhattan, Rep. Jerry Nadler has beaten fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a closely watched primary, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

The two incumbents, who both chair powerful committees for the House Democratic caucus, were placed in the same district after redistricting. (Nadler has represented the Upper West Side for years, with Maloney representing the Upper East Side.)

Nadler and Maloney were both first elected in 1992, and have largely voted the same over the years, with some key exceptions.

Maloney had outraised her opponents, but Nadler received some key endorsements, including from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Another candidate, Suraj Patel, a former Obama aide, finished third.

Nadler is expected to take the House seat, since the district leans so heavily Democratic. His opponent in November is Republican Michael Zumbluskas.

Maxwell Frost speaks during a March For Our Lives Florida drive-in rally and aid event at Tinker Field in Orlando on March 26, 2021. Orlando Sentinel/TNS hide caption

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Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Maxwell Frost speaks during a March For Our Lives Florida drive-in rally and aid event at Tinker Field in Orlando on March 26, 2021.

Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Progressive activist Maxwell Frost, one of the first members of Generation Z to run for Congress, has won his Democratic primary, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

Frost's win nearly secures his path to Congress since the Orlando-based seat is considered a solidly Democratic district. Frost will face off against Republican Calvin Wimbish in November.

"Today's election is proof that Central Florida's working families want representation that has the courage to ask for more," Frost said in a statement. "I share this victory with the nurses, forklift drivers, teachers, caregivers, social workers, farmers, union organizers, cashiers, and other members of this vibrant community who supported this campaign."

At 25 years old, Frost just qualifies for the age requirement to serve in the U.S. House. The 2022 midterms mark the first election where members of Generation Z can run for congressional office. The Pew Research Center considers anyone born between 1997 and 2012 to be Gen Z.

Frost campaigned on key progressive issues, including Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, student debt cancelation and an end to gun violence. He first became involved in political organizing in 2012 while in high school following the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. He's also spoken publicly about surviving a separate incident of gun violence.

"Our generation has been born into a lot of trauma and a lot of civil unrest around people being frustrated with things. And I think because of that, our generation naturally thinks about things in a bit of a different way," Frost told NPR.

The former March for Our Lives national organizing director and ACLU activist beat out a crowded field of nine other competitors, including state Sen. Randolph Bracy and former Florida Reps. Corrine Brown and Alan Grayson.

Frost also topped his competitors in fundraising while racking up key national endorsements from progressive leaders, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

In an interview with NPR, Frost acknowledged that age plays a symbolic role in his campaign.

"Yes we march, yes we engage in mutual aid, yes we engage on social media, and now we're running for office because we believe that we are prepared to be in the rooms and to be the voice for our communities and we can do that and young people should be allowed," he said.

Charlie Crist speaks to a crowd in St. Petersburg, Fla. after winning the Democratic nomination for governor in Florida on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. Crist, a member of congress, will face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November. Daylina Miller/WUSF hide caption

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Daylina Miller/WUSF

Charlie Crist speaks to a crowd in St. Petersburg, Fla. after winning the Democratic nomination for governor in Florida on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. Crist, a member of congress, will face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Democrat and longtime politician Charlie Crist has won the primary for governor in Florida and will face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

Crist served as Florida's Republican governor more than a decade ago and is now a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The primary for governor has highlighted a split within the Democratic Party in the state. Crist's challenger, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, hammered him over his record as governor and for switching his stance on issues like abortion and criminal justice.

As Crist claimed victory Tuesday night, he thanked Fried for a spirited campaign, but it was clear his sights were firmly set on DeSantis: "The stakes could not be any higher for this election. Our fundamental freedoms are literally on the ballot, my friends. A woman's right to choose - on the ballot. Democracy - on the ballot. Your rights as minorities are on this ballot."

He called DeSantis a "bully" and "dangerous" and made sure to solidify his stance as a candidate who supports abortion rights.

"On day one of my administration, I will sign an executive order protecting a women's right to choose."

Crist outraised Fried and has run as a moderate by casting himself as the person most likely to beat DeSantis in November. He has tried to court unaffiliated voters and disaffected Republicans and has earned endorsements from top Democratic-leaning groups like the state's teachers' union.

When it comes to winning elections, Crist has a mixed record. He left the Republican party in 2010 to run as an independent against Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate. He made another run for governor as a Democrat in 2014 but lost by about a percentage point to Republican Rick Scott — now a U.S. senator.

Eyes toward November

Now that the dust has settled on the Democratic primary, Crist will face DeSantis in November.

The powerful governor is rumored to be considering a presidential run in 2024. He's raised his national profile and has more than $100 million in the bank. DeSantis has become known for his battles over education, including how teachers talk to students about race, history and LGBTQ people. He's pushed new laws that restrict how conversations around those subjects take place in public school classrooms and even businesses.

If he's to win in November, Crist will have to sway some of the nearly 4 million unaffiliated Florida voters. Registered Republicans now outnumber registered Democrats in the state, but statewide races have often been close. DeSantis, himself, won by about a single percentage point in 2018.

WUSF's Steve Newborn contributed to this story.

Florida state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Rep. Charlie Crist lead the Democratic primary to try to defeat Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Octavio Jones/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Florida state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Rep. Charlie Crist lead the Democratic primary to try to defeat Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Octavio Jones/Getty Images

The final primary day of August has some key election contests in Florida, New York and Oklahoma.

Florida and New York had their congressional maps scrambled by redistricting, boosting the number of notable races Tuesday.

But the biggest matchup in Florida is at the top of the ticket, where Democrats will pick a nominee to try to defeat Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential presidential contender in 2024. (Rep. Val Demings will also aim to lock up the Democratic nomination to take on GOP Sen. Marco Rubio.)

In New York, voters are finally casting ballots in congressional races, months after the state's top court scrapped the legislature's map, ruling it unfairly benefited Democrats. The newly drawn map led to intraparty battles, mostly within solidly blue districts, as incumbent House members had to run in new districts, compete against colleagues or face a handful of challengers. New York also has two special congressional elections.

And in the Republican stronghold of Oklahoma, runoff primary elections take place to fill a U.S. Senate term, and in the state's 2nd District.

Florida governor

Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary will likely come down to who voters believe has the best chance of defeating DeSantis in November.

Rep. Charlie Crist is running against state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only statewide elected Democrat. Crist lost his last gubernatorial bid in 2014. But he was elected to serve as governor in 2006 as a Republican.

Many state Democratic lawmakers, including some of the party's more progressive members, have expressed support for Crist. He also has endorsements from the Sierra Club and several labor unions, including the statewide teachers union. Fried has received endorsements from a handful of Democratic state representatives and the Florida College Democrats.

Crist has also raised more money than Fried. Most polls have shown Crist leading Fried — and DeSantis leading both in hypothetical matchups.

3 notable Florida U.S. House races

- FL-07: Eight Republicans are campaigning for a chance to fill outgoing Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy's seat, which contains parts of the Orlando suburbs and now skews Republican following redistricting. Leading among the GOP candidates are state Rep. Anthony Sabatini and controversial businessman Cory Mills — both of whom promote Donald Trump's lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

- FL-10: Progressive activist Maxwell Alejandro Frost leads among a slew of Democrats in fundraising and national endorsements in the race to fill the solidly Democratic, Orlando-based seat left open by Demings' run for Senate. If elected, Frost, 25, would be the first member of Generation Z to serve in Congress. The Democratic field also includes state Sen. Randolph Bracy and former Rep. Alan Grayson.

- FL-13: Florida's latest round of redistricting has also turned Crist's once-toss-up Democratic district, containing Clearwater and parts of St. Petersburg, into a competitive Republican playing field. Leading among Republican candidates is Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, who's been endorsed by Trump. The winner of the GOP primary will go on to face former Obama official Eric Lynn in November.

New York's 12th Congressional District

Rep. Carolyn Maloney greets a voter while campaigning on the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan on Aug. 16. Maloney is running against attorney Suraj Patel and Rep. Jerry Nadler in New York's 12th District Democratic primary. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

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Mary Altaffer/AP

Redistricting has forced two high-ranking Democrats into a bitter fight over a single, Manhattan-based seat.

Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler are both from New York City and were both first elected in 1992. They have largely voted the same, with a handful of key exceptions.

Now, Maloney is making a pitch based on her work on women's rights — arguing that she is the best candidate to fight for reproductive health care in a post-Roe world. Nadler highlights his votes opposing the Iraq War and the Patriot Act, as well as his leading role in the Trump impeachment hearings.

They're challenged by a third candidate, Suraj Patel, a former Obama aide who came within 4 percentage points of beating Maloney in 2020.

Maloney has outraised her opponents, but Nadler has received some key endorsements, including from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Tuesday's winner is expected to take the House seat, since the district leans so heavily Democratic. But no matter the outcome, Democrats will lose at least one of their senior leaders in Congress.

New York's 10th Congressional District

As Nadler takes on Maloney, a newly redrawn 10th District is open for the first time in nearly a decade.

Daniel Goldman, the former legal counsel to House Democrats who spearheaded Trump's impeachment in 2019, is a leading candidate in the race, as are U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones and state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou.

Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, left, and Rep. Mondaire Jones stand together during an Aug. 15 news conference to speak out against Dan Goldman's candidacy in the Democratic primary for New York's 10th District. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

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Mary Altaffer/AP

Out of a crowded field of about a dozen candidates, Goldman leads in recent polling, followed by Niou, Jones and Councilwoman Carlina Rivera — all three of whom are self-described progressives.

Goldman, a descendant of the family that owns Levi Strauss & Co., has been criticized for largely self-financing his campaign and vastly outspending his opponents.

Jones — a freshman congressman currently representing District 17, located in the suburbs outside New York City — has been endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. But other progressive figures, such as fellow New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have stayed out of the fray.

Special elections in New York's 19th and 23rd Districts

- NY-19: In New York's Hudson Valley, two county executives, Democrat Pat Ryan and Republican Marc Molinaro, are locked in a close race to serve out the remaining four months of former Rep. Antonio Delgado's term. The Democrat Delgado resigned in May to serve as lieutenant governor.

The district is considered a toss-up by the Cook Political Report, and Ryan and Molinaro are ideologically divided along party lines, notably splitting on the issue of abortion, making the race a key contest to watch as November inches closer.

(A twist: Molinaro is running for a full term in the 19th District under the new congressional map, while Ryan is also running for a full term, but in the 18th District.)

- NY-23: Republican Joe Sempolinski will face off against Democrat Max Della Pia for the remaining months of former Rep. Tom Reed's term. But Sempoliski, a former aide to Reed, is not running in the primary for a full term, despite the district being solidly Republican and the term only lasting until January.

Instead, Della Pia, who is running in the primary unopposed, will go up against either state GOP Chair Nick Langworthy or controversial businessman Carl Paladino.

Oklahoma U.S. Senate runoff

Despite a first-place finish in June, Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin failed to get over 50% of the Senate GOP primary vote, forcing a runoff against former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP

In Oklahoma, voters are one step closer to knowing who will finish the term of retiring Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe. And in a deep red state like Oklahoma, winning the GOP contest effectively seals the deal.

Despite a first-place finish back in June, Rep. Markwayne Mullin failed to get over 50% of the primary vote, forcing a runoff against former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. Mullin has the endorsement of Trump and has out-fundraised Shannon.

The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Kendra Horn in November. Both Mullin and Shannon have the potential to become the first Indigenous person to serve in the Senate since 2005.

Oklahoma 2nd District runoff

The contest to succeed Mullin in the 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses the eastern portion of the state, is also in a runoff on the GOP side.

Both former state Sen. Josh Brecheen and state Rep. Avery Frix tout their support for Trump — though the former president has not issued an endorsement. Frix marginally leads against Brecheen, according to recent polling, but 42% of Republican respondents polled remain undecided. The winner goes against Democrat Naomi Andrews.

With reporting from WFSU's Valerie Crowder in Florida and Zach Hirsch in New York.

After a redistricting scramble, New York on Tuesday holds primary elections for U.S. House seats, including a battle of longtime Democrats in the 12th District, in New York City. There's also a notable special election in the 19th District.

See results for other states holding elections on Tuesday: Florida and Oklahoma.










U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, flashes a thumbs up to a passing motorist while waving signs Tuesday in Anchorage. Mark Thiessen/AP hide caption

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U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, flashes a thumbs up to a passing motorist while waving signs Tuesday in Anchorage.

Mark Thiessen/AP

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski advanced from her primary along with Kelly Tshibaka, her GOP rival endorsed by former President Donald Trump, while another Trump-backed candidate, Republican Sarah Palin, was among the candidates bound for the November general election in the race for Alaska's only House seat.

Murkowski had expressed confidence that she would advance and earlier in the day told reporters that "what matters is winning in November." Tshibaka called the results "the first step in breaking the Murkowski monarchy's grip on Alaska." Tshibaka also said she was thankful "for the strong and unwavering support President Trump has shown Alaska."

A Murkowski has held the Senate seat since 1981. Before Lisa Murkowski, who has been in the Senate since late 2002, it was her father, Frank Murkowski.

Under a voter-approved elections process being used for the first time in Alaska elections this year, party primaries have been scrapped and ranked choice voting is being used in general elections. The top four vote-getters in a primary race, regardless of party affiliation, are to advance to the general election.

The other two places in the Senate race were too early to call.

Murkowski voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Trump was acquitted. But he has had strong words for Murkowski, calling her "the worst" during a rally last month in Anchorage.

Murkowski said that if Tshibaka derives her sole strength from Trump's endorsement, "what does that really say about her as a candidate with what she has to offer Alaska? Is it just that she will be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump? I don't think that all Alaskans are really seeking that. Not the ones that I'm talking to."

Kevin Durling, a co-chair of Tshibaka's campaign, said Trump's endorsement of Tshibaka was an added bonus for him. He said Tshibaka's commitment to business and family and her values were important to him. He expressed frustration with Murkowski for the impeachment vote and for her support of the nomination of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

In the House primary, Democrat Mary Peltola, Palin and Republican Nick Begich advanced to the November election. It was too early to call the fourth spot. The winner of the November race will be elected to a two-year term.

Peltola, Begich and Palin were also competing in a special election to serve the remainder of the late-Rep. Don Young 's term, which ends early next year. Young died in March.

The special election was voters' first shot at ranked voting in a statewide race. The winner of the special election may not be known until at least Aug. 31. If successful, Peltola would be the first Alaska Native woman elected to the House.

There also were several write-in candidates in the special election, including Republican Tara Sweeney, who was also competing in the House primary. Sweeney was an assistant secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Interior Department during the Trump administration.

The special election was on one side of the ballot; the other side contained primary races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor and lieutenant governor and legislative seats.

Palin, in a statement Tuesday evening, called this "the first test case of the crazy, convoluted, undesirable ranked-choice voting system."

Sarah Palin, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum on May 12 in Anchorage. Mark Thiessen/AP hide caption

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Mark Thiessen/AP

Sarah Palin, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum on May 12 in Anchorage.

Mark Thiessen/AP

Supporters of ranked voting have said it encourages positive campaigning but the House race has at times taken on harsh tones.

Begich, a businessman from a family of prominent Democrats, has come out hard against Palin, seeking to cast her as someone chasing fame and as a quitter; Palin resigned during her term as governor in 2009.

In one Begich ad, the narrator says Alaska has faced "years of disasters," including fires and COVID-19. "Sarah Palin is one disaster we can actually avoid," the narrator says.

A narrator in one of Palin's ads refers to Begich as "negative Nick" and says Palin wants to serve in Congress "to carry Don Young's torch."

Peltola, a former lawmaker who most recently worked at a commission whose goal is to rebuild salmon resources on the Kuskokwim River, has cast herself as a consensus builder.

She said one thing that would help her be a good representative is that she is "not a millionaire. I am just like every other regular Alaskan, and I understand the economic struggles that Alaskans face first-hand. My priorities are the priorities of everyday Alaskans."

In a statement early Wednesday, she said while the results of the special election won't be known for some time, "we are moving forward into the general election. We are going to build on this momentum and build a coalition of Alaskans that can win in November."

In the race for Alaska governor, Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy advanced, as did former Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, and Democrat Les Gara. It was too early to call the fourth spot.

Dunleavy and his running mate, Nancy Dahlstrom, in a statement said this "is only the start of the race. We'll dig into all the numbers as they come in over the next few days to find out where we need to shore up our campaign, and we're looking forward to reaching every Alaskan and earning their vote between now and November."

Walker is running with Heidi Drygas and Gara with Jessica Cook.

Republican House candidate Harriet Hageman speaks to supporters on Tuesday in Cheyenne, Wyo., after defeating Rep. Liz Cheney in the Republican primary. Mead Gruver/AP hide caption

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Mead Gruver/AP

Incumbent Wyoming Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney was defeated Tuesday after she broke from her party to criticize former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 insurrection.

She lost the race for Wyoming's at-large congressional district to Harriet Hageman, an attorney who supported Cheney in her race for the House in 2016.

While there is not extensive official information on Hageman, this is what we know:

She has a background as an attorney

Hageman, a Wyoming native, received both her undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Wyoming.

She began her career as a law clerk for federal appeals Judge James Barrett, and went on to practice law privately in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska, according to Iowa State University.

Her specialty as an attorney was natural resources and water litigation. She also represented the federal government in many private property cases and eventually opened her own firm, according to Wyoming Public Media.

She first ran for public office in 2018

Hageman, whose father Jim Hageman was a Wyoming state representative for more than 20 years, first joined the political sphere when she unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018.

Hageman said in a statement that she decided to run against Cheney in the House because Cheney "betrayed Wyoming, betrayed the country and she betrayed me."

Cheney was ostracized by senior members of the Republican Party for voting to impeach Trump and later criticizing him for his handling of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Roughly 70% of Wyoming voted for Trump and Cheney's repudiation of him became the red line for so many GOP voters who enthusiastically backed her not long ago.

Trump eventually officially endorsed Hageman, a former Republican National Committee member for the state of Wyoming.

Liz Cheney is considering a presidential run to stop Trump after losing her House seat

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Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., appears at an Election Day gathering in Jackson, Wyo., to concede defeat in a GOP primary to Harriet Hageman, who was backed by former President Trump. Cheney vows that she will carry on her work to make sure Trump doesn't return to the presidency. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Jae C. Hong/AP

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., appears at an Election Day gathering in Jackson, Wyo., to concede defeat in a GOP primary to Harriet Hageman, who was backed by former President Trump. Cheney vows that she will carry on her work to make sure Trump doesn't return to the presidency.

Jae C. Hong/AP

Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is laying out her future political plans, including a possible run against Donald Trump in 2024, after conceding defeat in the primary election for her House seat. Her loss on Tuesday followed unyielding criticism since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol of the former president and his efforts to subvert the 2020 election.

"This primary election is over, but now the real work begins," Cheney said in her concession speech Tuesday night, noting that she had called opponent Harriet Hageman to congratulate her.

Cheney acknowledged in a Wednesday interview on NBC's Today she was "thinking" about running for president in 2024.

For her 2022 House race, Cheney raised $14 million, a record for any primary in Wyoming's history, and she spent about half of it. The vast majority of donations came from out of state, and she has built up a network she could tap into in the future. Cheney plans to transform her campaign operation into a political action committee called The Great Task, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

"In coming weeks, Liz will be launching an organization to educate the American people about the ongoing threat to our Republic, and to mobilize a unified effort to oppose any Donald Trump campaign for president," said Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler, as first reported by Politico.

In the interview on Wednesday, she called Trump a "grave threat" and said, "I think that defeating him is going to require a broad and united front of Democrats, Republicans and independents, and that's what I intend to be part of."

Cheney didn't say whether she would run as a Republican or an independent, but said the GOP is "in very bad shape" and said it "could take several election cycles" to return it to its principles. But she said it was important for the country that the Republican Party return to its roots, instead of being focused on Trump.

It was an expected outcome for Cheney, who went from party star and heir to a conservative dynasty to a political outcast — marked by the moment she chose to break with the former president following his role in fomenting a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Cheney addressed supporters on Tuesday night in Jackson Hole, near her home, repeating her vow to do whatever she can to stop Trump from returning to the White House and warning against candidates for other offices willing to ignore the will of voters.

"Our nation is barreling once again toward crisis, lawlessness and violence," Cheney said. "No American should support election deniers for any position of genuine responsibility."

Hageman argued that Cheney was out of step with the state.

"By our vote today, Wyoming has put the elites on notice: We are no longer going to tolerate representatives who don't represent us," Hageman said in her victory speech.

Hageman, an attorney endorsed by Trump who once was a Cheney supporter, took a vast lead over the incumbent. In a state that gave Donald Trump his biggest victory in 2020, Hageman is on a glide path to win the seat outright against Democratic opponent Lynnette GreyBull in November.

When Liz Cheney chose to run for reelection to her House seat in 2020 instead of making a bid for an open Senate seat, some Republicans speculated she was charting a path to become the first female Republican speaker of the House.

Cheney's allies assert she could have easily won reelection if she had done what the vast majority of her GOP colleagues in Congress have done — stood in lock step with Trump. Instead, Cheney made the race entirely about her decision to stand up to the former president.

The Trump base is king in GOP primaries

Roughly 70% of Wyoming voted for Trump and Cheney's repudiation of him became the red line for so many GOP voters who enthusiastically backed her not long ago.

Her final campaign ad zeroed in on her argument that Trump's lie about the 2020 election being stolen is "insidious" and damaging to democracy.

Mary Martin, chair of the Teton County Republican Party in Wyoming, supported Cheney in the past, but says Cheney's interaction with voters changed following her sharp break with the former president.

"I have heard personally from folks who were really staunch supporters of Liz Cheney, and contributed lots of money to her in the past, that she's insulted them," Martin said, adding that her rhetoric labeling her constituents, "Just her personal approach to this has alienated and turned people off. She is not the only person in Wyoming that supports the Constitution."

Republican strategist Alice Stewart says Trump's influence was the ultimate factor in this race.

"Without a doubt, again, when we're talking about a primary, the base is king, and right now, the base of the Republican Party supports Donald Trump," she said.

Martin says the race became personal for many: "In Wyoming, trust and loyalty are very high traits. And she has betrayed trust and she's betrayed loyalty. And she has taken a stance that is perceived by some to be arrogant and not acceptable. And that I mean, it comes down to just, in my opinion, January 6th."

Hageman proudly touted Trump's support. He traveled to Casper in May hold a rally for her and labelled Cheney a "RINO" — Republican In Name Only.

While Hageman criss-crossed the state, Cheney held mostly small private campaign events and her aides say security concerns forced a more limited public schedule. Cheney has had a U.S. Capitol Police detail for more than a year due to a steady stream of threats.

Cheney was one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. With her loss, only two in that group — David Valadao of California and Dan Newhouse of Washington State — will remain on the ballot in November. Three others lost primaries and four chose to retire.

Cheney's future: Jan. 6 investigation and 2024

Cheney's public statements hinted for some time she's focused on the long game. In June, she delivered a blunt broadside at fellow House GOP members still loyal to Trump at the primetime kick off of the public hearings of the House panel probing Jan, 6.

"Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain," Cheney said.

The panel is still interviewing witnesses and planning more public hearings this fall. It plans to release a report by the end of the year, and Cheney's position as vice chair gives her a national platform for several more months.

Even before the primary vote, Cheney was showing some signs of positioning for a possible 2024 presidential campaign. It's unclear if she would remain a Republican, or consider an independent bid.

In June, she traveled to the Ronald Reagan Library — a stop for GOP presidential hopefuls — and made a speech many viewed as the blueprint for a national campaign. It was a mix of her regular denunciations of Trump, mixed with her political biography. It outlined conservative principles similar to those espoused by her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney: limited government, lower taxes and a strong national defense.

Cheney also made gender a part of her critique about the current leaders in power. She emphasized that many of the key witnesses in the Jan. 6 probe were young women like Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, whose dramatic testimony marked a major moment in the investigation. She told the audience at the library, "These days, for the most part, men are running the world, and it is really not going all that well."

Stewart believes, even after she no longer has a seat in Congress, there is a place for Cheney in the GOP. She thinks she could be part of an effort to expand the message beyond the Trump base.

"If she continues to get out there and engage in GOP circles and functions, and continue to remind people about her voting record as a Republican, and about her support for freedom and policies that unite the Republican Party as opposed to grievances that divide us, there's a path for her to stay very relevant in the Republican Party," Stewart said.

Martin agreed that Cheney's Wyoming primary, and her role in the party going forward, would be one that people would talk about for a while: "I know that she's going to go down in history, but I think we are going to have to wait a while to see what the story is of what is said about Liz Cheney in history."

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming speaks at a hearing held by the House Jan. 6 committee. Cheney, who serves as vice chair of the committee, is facing a likely defeat in Tuesday's GOP primary in Wyoming. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming speaks at a hearing held by the House Jan. 6 committee. Cheney, who serves as vice chair of the committee, is facing a likely defeat in Tuesday's GOP primary in Wyoming.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Liz Cheney has cut a national profile, crossing former President Donald Trump because of his conduct on Jan. 6.

The Wyoming Republican is one of two Republicans on the House Jan. 6 committee, of which she is the vice chair — and her voice has been one of the clearest laying blame for the insurrection on Trump.

But on Tuesday, Cheney faces voters back home in Wyoming who will determine her fate and whether they want to send her back to Congress.

And she looks to be in significant trouble.

Cheney's broadsides against Trump put her job in serious jeopardy, having drawn his ire and prompting him to endorse primary challenger Harriet Hageman.

Polls show Cheney down by 20 points or more as her approval among Republicans in the state has nosedived.

In an effort to adjust for that, Cheney has been trying to appeal to Democrats, encouraging them to cross over and vote for her, even invoking the late Democratic President John F. Kennedy in a fundraising email.

That seems like a good idea on its face, but it's likely ill-fated. There simply aren't enough Democrats in Wyoming, the state that voted by a wider margin for Trump in the 2020 presidential election than any other state in the country.

It's been odd to see Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, lauded as something of a folk hero among Democrats. The numbers bear that out: In the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, Cheney had a 60% favorability rating with Democrats.

But among Republicans, her favorability sank to just 13%.

Looking at other surveys, it's a similar story. A Quinnipiac poll, for example, showed her approval with Republicans at 17%.

In Wyoming, a survey found Cheney's disapproval in Wyoming at 72%.

That's bad news for a candidate trying to win a competitive primary.

Let's look at the numbers. Broadly, even if every Democrat, every member of the Constitution Party, libertarian and every other otherwise unaffiliated registered voter in the state broke for Cheney, she'd still be more than 200,000 votes short in a state of just under 300,000 registered voters.

To put an even finer point on it, if Cheney wins every Wyoming voter who is not a Republican, she'd still lose by almost 50 points (73%-27%) if she won no Republican votes.

Cheney will obviously win some Republicans' votes, but that's quite the steep hill to start from.

It all points to a possibly rough night for Cheney, and if she does lose, just two of the 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment as a result of his conduct on Jan. 6 will have won their primaries.

One of those, California's David Valadao, is one of the most endangered Republicans in the country, because he's in a district President Biden won in 2020 by double digits.

That means when the next Congress begins, it's possible just one Republican Trump impeacher, Washington's Dan Newhouse, will likely still be in office.

Sarah Palin faces Alaska voters again in a special election for Congress

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U.S. House candidate former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin greets the crowd during a rally held by former President Donald Trump on July 9 in Anchorage. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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U.S. House candidate former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin greets the crowd during a rally held by former President Donald Trump on July 9 in Anchorage.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Alaskans go to the polls Tuesday to decide, among other things, whether to send former governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to Congress.

The right-wing Republican is among three candidates in a special election for Alaska's sole U.S. House seat. Palin is up against Republican Nick Begich III and Democrat Mary Peltola in the first test of Alaska's new ranked-choice voting system.

The winner will serve until the end of the year, finishing the term of GOP Rep. Don Young. He died in March after serving 49 years.

Begich is a wealthy tech entrepreneur. He was co-chair of Young's 2020 campaign but turned on the incumbent the next year and ran to Young's right. He comes from a family of prominent Democrats and is named for his grandfather, the congressman who held the seat before Young.

With two conservatives splitting the vote, Peltola, a salmon advocate and former state legislator from western Alaska, is likely to gain the most first-choice ballots. But the winner of the special election won't be known until the end of August, after all the mailed ballots arrive. That's when the Alaska Division of Elections will tabulate the rankings. The third-place finisher will be eliminated and the ballots that went to the candidate will be reallocated according to the voters' second choices.

Palin has called it the "screwiest system" that "makes no sense to most voters."

A slim majority of Alaska voters adopted the new method in 2020. It pairs a nonpartisan primary with ranked choice voting in the general.

To win the special general, one of the conservatives would have to get enough second-choice votes from the other to overcome Peltola's likely lead in the first round of counting.

The two Republicans have been attacking each other for weeks while leaving Peltola alone.

Palin recently called the Democrat a "sweetheart," even as she attacks Begich for supporting Democrats in past races.

Begich has called Palin a "quitter," tapping into the disappointment many Alaska Republicans felt when she resigned as governor in 2009 in the wake of her unsuccessful campaign as John McCain's vice presidential running mate in 2008.

"We picked her to do a job, and she didn't bother to finish it. Because she wanted to go out there and get rich and famous," a Begich ad says.

While they need second-choice votes, Begich and Palin have a more immediate concern.

"Game No. 1 has to be that you don't come in third," said Art Hackney, a Republican consultant working for Begich. "Because if you come in third, you are, you know, moot to the whole thing, and it becomes your second-choice votes that are the things that matter."

To complicate this election day for voters, it is also the day of the regular primary.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate Republican who supports abortion rights, is on the ballot for reelection with 18 challengers. Among them is attorney and evangelical pastor Kelly Tshibaka. She, like Palin, has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

The Alaska Republican Party would like to punish Murkowski for voting to convict Trump at his second impeachment trial, but the new system eliminates the partisan primary. The top four vote-getters will advance to the November ballot. Murkowski and Tshibaka are both sure to make the cut, along with Democrat Pat Chesbro, a retired educator.

Also at stake this election season: Who will serve the next full term in the U.S. House. Begich, Palin and Peltola are all in that race, too.

Two states hold primaries Tuesday: Alaska and Wyoming.

In Alaska, there are notable races for governor, U.S. Senate and the state's single U.S. House district.

There are actually two simultaneous elections for the House. Three candidates are competing in a ranked-choice special election to fill the late Rep. Don Young's seat until the end of the year. If no candidate has at least 50% of the vote on the first round, the candidate with the least number of votes will be eliminated and those votes will be redistributed to the second-choice candidate on the ballots.

Those same candidates are among nearly two dozen competing in a primary for the full U.S. House term beginning in 2023. The top four candidates in that race will advance to a ranked-choice general election in November.



Former President Donald Trump campaigns May 28 in Casper, Wyo., for Harriet Hageman, who is challenging Rep. Liz Cheney in the state's Republican primary. Chet Strange/Getty Images hide caption

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Chet Strange/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump campaigns May 28 in Casper, Wyo., for Harriet Hageman, who is challenging Rep. Liz Cheney in the state's Republican primary.

Chet Strange/Getty Images

This Tuesday brings another round of important primaries for Congress and statewide office and the likelihood that big-name candidates will go down to defeat.

But the news next week will not focus on those household-familiar names or what their losses mean for their states. It will focus on what those outcomes may mean for Donald Trump.

That is all the more remarkable considering that these could be the last bids for seats in Congress for two of the best-known women in American politics — Republican icons Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Cheney is vice chair of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and has often been the sharp point of the spear for that probe. Until she voted to impeach Trump in January 2021, she was on track to someday be the first Republican woman to be speaker of the House. She may also be a candidate for president in 2024.

Cheney is, of course, also the daughter of former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, who served two terms in the White House (2001-2009) and was often described as the most powerful No. 2 executive in U.S. history. The former vice president has released an ad and a video in which he appears in a cowboy hat and growls out his support for his daughter and dismisses Trump's claims about the 2020 election. The tag line is: "Only a coward would lie to his own supporters."

Sarah Palin is, of course, Sarah Palin

Palin was the first woman since Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 to be on the national ticket of either of the two major parties, chosen for the vice-presidential slot by GOP nominee John McCain in 2008. She delivered one of the most memorable speeches in recent history at the party's St. Paul convention that summer and headlined packed rallies that autumn that in many ways anticipated Trump's own.

Before that she was the governor of Alaska and since then she has been a TV reality star, though far less successful in that career than Trump. She has also been a Fox News contributor prior to her current campaign and a contestant on "The Masked Singer."

She is running now for the seat held for 49 years by the late Rep. Don Young, the longest serving Republican member of Congress in history. If she wins the special election Tuesday, she will complete his term, and a primary vote on the same ballot would nominate her for a full term starting in 2023.

Just over a year ago, the prospect of Cheney and Palin both serving in the same chamber of Congress at once would have been enough to draw media attention of all kinds at all levels of sophistication.

With first names that easily fit in headlines and last names sure to be click-bait, the two could have driven traffic for years. That would have been especially true had one or the other or both run for president in 2024 or thereafter. And even if neither did, either would be an automatic mention for vice president in 2024 or thereafter.

It is still possible, but developments in both their states and nationally have made it increasingly unlikely that either will be on the House floor next year.

A loss for Liz or a launch?

In another time — say one cycle ago — Cheney would be breezing to another GOP nod for the seat she first won in 2016 and has held since. In November she would expect to win with more than two-thirds of the vote, as she has three times.

But this time, she is expected to lose badly to state legislator Harriet Hageman, who has been leading in the polls – including a University of Wyoming poll published Aug. 12 showing Hageman ahead 30 points.

Trump endorsed Hageman the day she announced way back in September 2021, a swift move that helped to freeze out other Republican rivals who might have divided the anti-Cheney vote.

"We love President Trump here," Hageman says, thanking him for also coming to the state for her. Trump has made good on his vow to oppose the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him in January 2021 (two have survived their primaries, three have lost and four others did not seek re-election).

Hageman was a strong supporter of the presidential aspirations of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in 2016, at the time dismissing Trump as "racist and xenophobic." She now says she was the victim of lies about Trump told by Democrats and Liz Cheney at that time, but now regards him "as the greatest president of my lifetime."

In interviews, Cheney has strongly suggested she has already accepted the verdict of the Wyoming voters but is not ready to end her career. After completing her current term, observers have suggested, she could be the anti-Trump campaigner in a 2024 field of pro-Trump Republicans – quite possibly including Trump himself.

While no data exist to suggest Cheney could still win on Tuesday, her candidacy has prompted an unprecedented outpouring of support from outside the state and from longtime adversaries as well. Led by former Gov. Mike Sullivan, many Wyoming Democrats are expected to switch their party registration (as state law permits on primary day) so as to vote for Cheney. But it's highly unlikely there would be enough of these to make the difference.

There may have been some erosion of Trump support in Wyoming, where he got 70% of the vote twice. But that slippage probably ended when the FBI searched his home at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8. Republicans in Wyoming, as elsewhere, closed ranks behind the former president this past week and denounced the search as politically motivated.

After that FBI search, the blood is up in Trump states.

Stymied by a voting system

But even this latest rallying around Trump might not be enough to save Palin.

She has his endorsement, and he dialed in for one of her rallies as recently as the day his home was searched. What's stopping Palin is not her relationship with the former president, it's a voting system.

Alaska has an open primary that lists all candidates together regardless of party. In the first round of the vote there this spring, there were 48 candidates on the ballot. Palin, no surprise, came in first with 27% of the total. She has often complained that she "got the most votes" and should not be subjected to a second round of voter assessment.

But under Alaska's system, Palin must face a second round of voting that includes the top four finishers from the first round. One of the top four in the June vote has dropped out, but Palin is still battling two second-round rivals on Tuesday, including another Republican. He is Nick Begich III, the grandson of the last person to hold this seat before Young. His grandfather was a Democrat who was lost in a plane crash in the Alaska wilderness in 1972; his uncle Mark, also a Democrat, was a one-term U.S. senator.

The third candidate this Tuesday is Mary Peltola, a former state legislator who is a daughter of a Yup'ik Eskimo. A Democrat who has emerged as a factor in her own right, she could even win a plurality of first-place votes on Tuesday. But that would not be the end of the story, because a first-place plurality is not enough.

Alaska has just installed a new ranked-choice system, like the one used in Maine and New York City and elsewhere. It allows each voter to vote for more than one candidate, ranking them by order of preference.

If no one gets over 50% on first count, the two with the most first-place votes proceed to an "instant runoff" — a tally of their respective second-place votes. If a candidate has enough of an advantage in the second tally it can overcome a deficit in the first.

Because third-place votes at this point may be the kiss of death, the contest becomes less a popularity contest than an unpopularity contest. The candidate liked best by some but liked least by too many others is not going to win.

Negatives can weigh heavily

One of the arguments for the ranked-choice system has been that it encourages candidates to be more congenial and supposedly discourages negative campaigning.

But Begich's ads have been tough on Palin. One says "she left Alaska to be a celebrity." A voice in another says "vote smart, not Sarah." It was widely noted that she missed a candidate debate this summer for a fundraiser in Minnesota.

And while she was a charismatic force in the 2008 presidential campaign, she has not faced any voters since quitting midway through her one term as governor in 2009. Some Republicans have still not forgotten how she won that term, challenging an incumbent Republican. A recent poll by Alaska Survey Research showed her to be viewed unfavorably by 60% of Alaskans, far more than either Begich or Peltola.

Surveys have shown voters in other places have found the system reasonably easy to use and like the chance to make more than one choice. Trump, for his part, has weighed in calling the system "crap."

He might be even less enamored of it if it frustrates Palin on Tuesday. She was among the first famous Republicans to support him in his presidential quest, and he was pleased to return the favor.

But he will likely console himself by thinking about Wyoming.

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