As if the stakes weren't high enough already for candidates in Tuesday's primaries, several Democrats are fighting not just for their electoral futures but for the hopes of national Democratic groups.
In particular, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and its candidates have a lot riding on Tuesday's contests. Fully one-third of the liberal group's endorsed campaigns this cycle have elections June 5, including two Democratic House candidates, Eric Griego in New Mexico's 1st District and Lori Saldana in California's 52nd District. The group has also devoted significant resources to the recall contests in Wisconsin. Each race is an "uphill battle," but the PCCC isn't shying away from judging its efforts on tomorrow's results.
"It's a big day for progressives nationally, is what I'd say," said Neil Sroka, the PCCC's press secretary. "There are a bunch of races that progressives have been really focused on for the last year or so."
But the PCCC has started the year on the wrong foot, and it needs to chalk up a victory to avoid looking ineffective. The PCCC candidate in Illinois's 10th District, ex-MoveOn activist Ilya Sheyman
, lost a high-profile Democratic primary
to businessman Brad Schneider
by more than eight percentage points in March. And last week, the finance director of another endorsee, Connecticut state House Speaker Chris Donovan
, was arrested
for laundering campaign contributions from lobbyists, damaging the favorite in Connecticut's 5th District.
Now, Griego and Saldana are both locked in difficult battles for their seats' Democratic nominations. Griego has been tied with Michelle Lujan Grisham
in every poll that came out in the last weeks of the campaign, and Saldana's main Democratic antagonist, Scott Peters
, has spent over $1.4 million on his primary campaign -- five times more than Saldana.
The PCCC has faith in its candidates' ground games, and that could prove the difference in one or more races tomorrow. But the group has had a rough start to the year, and the difficult elections coming up Tuesday night mean there's a real chance it could get rougher when results start pouring in.