5 takeaways from the primaries in Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and DC

A number of states held primaries for races up and down the ballot Tuesday, with President Biden and Donald Trump moving ever closer to their respective nominations and a few notable Senate matchups solidifying.

Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Washington, D.C., held some of the last presidential primaries of the cycle. Guam and the Virgin Islands will officially close the presidential primary on Saturday, when they both hold their Democratic elections.

But on Tuesday evening, other important primaries also took place, such as in Montana, where Senator. Jon Tester (D) officially had an opponent in Tim Sheehy. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, an establishment-backed Republican delivered a surprise blow to Donald Trump and the Republican representative. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) moved closer to being the state’s next senator.

Here are five takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries:

Kim cruises to victory, but faces wild card with Menendez

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) won the Democratic primary for New Jersey’s Senate race on Tuesday, beating several contenders by a wide margin.

Kim was widely considered the favorite after facing the senator. Bob Menendez (NJ) announced in March that he would not run as a Democrat. Menendez finally filed to run as an independent this week.

The New Jersey senator and his wife face charges over allegations he acted as an agent of the Egyptian government, among other accusations, although the senator has denied any wrongdoing.

Democrats, including Kim, had pressed Menendez to resign, even though the senator rejected those calls.

Even though Menendez faces a steep climb to re-election as an independent, it remains unclear to what extent he could play a spoiler role against Kim. If Menendez still gets a smaller but not insignificant share of the vote, it’s possible that could give Republicans the opportunity to flip the seat.

Trump’s candidate falls

New Jersey handed Trump an unexpected defeat when Republicans nominated real estate developer Curtis Bashaw over Trump-backed candidate and Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner in the state’s GOP Senate primary. New Jersey.

Most of the former president’s supporters won their respective GOP primaries, although New Jersey — home to outspoken Trump critic Chris Christie — was one example that proved Trump’s support had its limits.

Trump has largely avoided contested Senate primaries, with a few exceptions, including in Ohio, where he supported businessman Bernie Moreno over Ohio Secretary Frank LaRose (R) and to the state senator. Matt Dolan (right).

Notably, Trump has yet to weigh in on his preferred Senate candidate in Nevada, which this year will see one of the most competitive races for a seat in the Upper House. GOP Senate primary features retired Army captain. Sam Brown, backed by Senate Republicans, and former Iceland Ambassador Jeff Gunter, who served under the Trump administration.

A good night for the New Jersey establishment

One of the big winners in Tuesday night’s primaries was the New Jersey establishment, as several candidates, including Bashaw and Rep. Rob Menendez (D-N.J.) won their respective contested primaries.

Menendez, son of the embattled senator, survived a major challenge from Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Although prosecutors have not linked Menendez’s son to the senator’s corruption scandal, the corruption scandal has nevertheless dogged the House Democrat during his own re-election campaign, with Bhalla highlighting Menendez’s ties to the state party.

Bashaw’s victory in New Jersey was also a boost for establishment Republicans after she defeated Serrano Glassner, who aligned heavily with Trump in the primary. Serrano Glassner called Bashaw a “coward” and described him as a “false” ally.

Bashaw, like Serrano Glassner, supported Trump for president. However, Bashaw had already given money to the former New Jersey governor. Chris Christie has been on the presidential campaign trail this cycle and once supported a letter that deemed Trump a “threat to democracy.”

Protest votes persist for Trump and Biden

Although both Biden and Trump have long been considered frontrunners in their respective parties, both candidates have seen significant protest votes across the country. Tuesday was no different.

At the time of publication Tuesday evening, Biden had received 84 percent support in New Mexico, while the uncommitted vote – a movement largely formed in protest of his handling of the war between Israel and Hamas – had received nearly 10 percent. Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson also received nearly 7 percent.

Meanwhile, Trump received 85 percent support, with 76 percent of the estimated vote. But nearly 15 percent of Republican Party primary voters voted for either Nikki Haley, Trump’s rival, Christie, or “uncommitted.”

Haley announced last week that she would vote for Trump, and many of the early votes cast for him in the New Mexico primary were likely sent before she threw her support behind him. Still, his continued support suggests that a portion of the GOP primary electorate does not view Trump as its preferred candidate.

In New Jersey, nearly 9 percent voted uncommitted, although Biden had 88 percent of the vote with 66 percent of the votes estimated at press time.

The results underscore the growing urgency both candidates face in courting resisters angry at their respective parties’ standard-bearers. However, it remains to be seen how this will be reflected in November.

The holders hold on

Tuesday’s primaries also highlighted the power of the incumbent president, with several participants avoiding the upheaval of the primaries.

In addition to Menendez in New Jersey, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (right) dodged a primary challenge from the state representative. Tanner Smith (right), while Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) won his primary in Montana’s 1st Congressional District.

In Iowa, GOP Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Rudy Feenstra also defeated primary challenges.

The results will likely be seen as a welcome development for both parties heading into an already tumultuous election cycle.

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