Early returns Tuesday evening from primary elections in eight states set the stage for a couple of key House battles in New Jersey and a race for an open Senate seat in South Dakota, while Republican Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi was in the fight for his political life against tea-party challenger Chris McDaniel.
A number of other contests in Alabama and New Jersey were playing out as expected, but results from primaries in California, Iowa, Montana, and New Mexico had not yet started to trickle in by 10 p.m. Eastern time.
With less than half the vote counted in Mississippi’s Republican primary, Cochran had 50.6 percent while McDaniel had 47.8 percent. Cochran, 76, is seeking his seventh term in the Senate.
Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds easily won a five-way Republican primary Tuesday for the right to take on Democratic business owner Rick Weiland and two independents on Nov. 4 for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Tim Johnson, the Senate Banking Committee chairman who is retiring after five terms in the House and three terms in the Senate.
Thunderstorms forced Rounds to cancel his travel plans as voters went to the polls Tuesday, but the bad weather didn’t affect the results — Rounds was heavily favored over state Sen. Larry Rhoden, state Rep. Stace Nelson, and two other GOP candidates in the primary.
In New Jersey, candidates were selected Tuesday for November races to replace retiring Reps. Jon Runyan, a Republican, and Rush Holt, a Democrat.
County official Aimee Belgard will be the Democrats’ hope for flipping Runyan’s 3rd District seat in South Jersey against Republican Tom MacArthur, a former mayor who crushed another former mayor, Steve Lonegan, in a tough primary. Belgard, who had the backing of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, easily bested two other candidates in her primary.
State Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman will be the favorite to keep Rush’s central New Jersey seat in Democratic hands after besting state Sen. Linda Greenstein, Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, and physicist Andrew Zwicker in Tuesday’s primary. Watson Coleman will face Republican Alieta Eck, a physician, in November.
Also in New Jersey, Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat who won a special election last year to finish the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, was waiting until late Tuesday night to find out his opponent this fall in a race for a full, six-year term. Conservative Richard Pezzullo, establishment Republican Brian Goldberg, and economic researcher Jeff Bell were in a close race in the GOP primary with about two-thirds of the vote counted Tuesday. Booker will be heavily favored over either Republican, though.
In Alabama, state Rep. Paul DeMarco was leading a seven-candidate field in the Republican primary for the seat being vacated in January by GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. State Sen. Scott Beason and think-tank cofounder Gary Palmer were both running about 15 points behind with about a third of the vote counted. The winner will be favored over Democratic businessman Avery Vise in November.
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At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.
Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."
Just as Hillary Clinton was inviting debate viewers to visit her site for real-time fact checking, there appeared to be a problem with Donald Trump's own campaign website. For about a 15-minute period, a blank page or an error message appeared when we tried to load the Trump site.
Donald Trump has come out in the first segment of this debate raring to go. Trump has interrupted nearly every answer being given by Hillary Clinton, talking over her time and again. Clinton is sticking to her guns, smiling while Trump speaks and then calling on people to go to her website and see the fact checking being done.