4 winners and 3 losers from the June 12 primary elections
The June 12 primary elections in Virginia, Nevada, Maine, and South Carolina kept many of 2018’s narratives alive and well, with women scoring important wins in Democratic primaries and Trump critics facing the wrath of their Republican base and losing at the ballot box.
Democrats nominated strong candidates for House races in Virginia, where they have a chance to pick up as many as four seats in their bid to retake the chamber, and saw their preferred candidate overwhelmingly approved in the important Nevada Senate race against vulnerable GOP incumbent Dean Heller. Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) lost his primary election after President Trump came out against him on election day.
Oh, and Democrats secured another special election win in Wisconsin, having successfully stopped Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to block the elections from happening at all and then coming out on top in one of the contests on Tuesday.
So without further ado, your four winners and three losers from the June 12 primaries.
Winner: Wisconsin Democrats
After two Republican state lawmakers stepped down to take spots in Walker’s administration, the Wisconsin governor decided to just not call special elections as state law seemed to clearly demand. His lawyers cooked up a farcical literal reading of state law to justify the decision, but Democrats — led by former Attorney General Eric Holder — intervened, the state courts laughed off Walker’s case as absurd, and so the elections were called.
That was the first part of the liberal win, and the second part came on Tuesday, when Democrats prevailed in one of those special legislative elections. Caleb Frostman won in Senate District 1, where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 17 points in 2016.
That followed the January special Wisconsin Senate election of Democrat Patty Schachtner, who came out on top in a district that Trump had also won by 17 points. Walker said at the time it should be a “wake-up call” for Wisconsin Republicans.
But Tuesday didn’t look much better for Scott or his party in the Badger State. Wisconsin is an important battleground in 2018, after Trump’s unexpected victory there in 2016. Walker is back on the ballot, with Democrats gunning to finally topple him, and Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is seeking her first reelection.
You don’t want to speculate too confidently off special elections, but Democrats in Wisconsin have to feel good about what they’ve seen at the ballot box lately.
Loser: Mark Sanford
If there’s one thing you don’t want to see on election day, it’s a tweet from the president of the United States endorsing your primary challenger. But that’s precisely what happened to Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) at 4:12 pm.