With primaries Tuesday for just three congressional seats across two states, consider this the calm waters before a wave crashes in two weeks. Three Senate primaries and a seemingly endless stream of House races to watch on Aug. 30 make it the last big day of preliminary elections before the final two-month sprint to November.
— Even with Rep. Ron DeSantis opting out of the Senate race to seek reelection, the number of House primaries to watch in Florida is still in double-digits. Thanks to middecade redistricting, retirements, and the allure of the Senate, there are seven open seats and three incumbents are seeking reelection in new districts. The races feature: one indicted member of Congress, Rep. Corrine Brown (D), in the 5th District; the wife of Rep. Alan Grayson (D), who is vying for the Senate nomination, in the 9th District; a former candidate for speaker, Rep. Dan Webster (R), taking on a former staffer for the retiring incumbent in the 11th District; an ousted party chair fending off a liberal challenger in the 23rd District; and a former member of Congress seeking his old seat in the 26th District but not backed by House Democratic leaders.
— Just up the ballot in Florida are two Senate primaries. A once unwieldy and unpredictable Republican nomination fight all but resolved itself when Sen. Marco Rubio filed for reelection at the 11th hour. He has only a pesky opponent in wealthy developer Carlos Beruff, whose personal financial investment has kept him in the game but has trailed Rubio by significant margins in polling. Rep. Patrick Murphy is favored over Grayson in the Democratic primary, and his victory is critical for Democrats to keep this pickup opportunity on the map.
— Florida hosts the lion’s share of races on Aug. 30, given its sheer size and unique circumstances, but Arizona is hosting two open-seat House primaries and a Senate primary for John McCain. The five-term Republican won by 24 points against a conservative challenger in 2010, and he faces another one in another tumultuous election year. His opponent this time, former state Sen. Kelli Ward, has a supportive super PAC that just invested $600,000 in a TV and digital ad campaign criticizing the incumbent on immigration, Wall Street, and foreign policy. The winner faces Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, whose Senate bid led to the state’s most interesting House race.
Tonight’s results in Alaska and Wyoming should be a mostly sleepy affair, and not just because they will roll in late. The sheer plethora of races two weeks from now will provide a jolt worth waiting for.
— Kyle Trygstad