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The Election Deniers Dominating The Primaries In Colorado

Rep. Lauren Boebert may be the most well-known “Big Lie” supporter running in the Colorado primaries, but she’s far from being the only one. Transcript Kaleigh Rogers: Back in March, I flew…

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Trump Attacked His Own Security Detail on Jan. 6, Top White House Aide Testifies

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21 Republican Primaries And A Special Election To Watch On June 28

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What Abortion Safe Haven States Can Do

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24th triggered immediate bans on abortion in several states, which had put in place laws primed to shutter abortion clinics within…

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The Political Consequences Of Overturning Roe v. Wade

In Part 1 of this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion. Which states now have abortion bans in place, how have Americans across the political spectrum responded, and how could this decision impact the 2022 midterm elections?

The crew also analyzes two other notable opinions recently released by the Supreme Court: the ruling on a gun law in New York that has significant implications for gun control in five other states and a ruling on prayer in public schools.

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The Fall of Roe May Save Democrats in the Midterms, at Least in the Suburbs

This article is part of The D.C. Brief, TIME’s politics newsletter. Sign up here to get stories like this sent to your inbox.

For decades, while conservatives were patiently waiting for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, they were busy undermining it. In Congress and in statehouses, they pushed policies to make it harder to secure legal abortions, efforts that helped to widen the gap between the two major parties. And yet during the same time, most Americans settled into a complacent state in which they assumed Roe was settled law, even among those whom Republican Presidents appointed to federal benches.
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Well, on Friday, conservatives finally got their wish. The proverbial dog caught the car—and, at least politically, may come to regret it. Americans are still digesting the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling and its potential far-reaching consequences that could stretch from reproductive rights to personal relationships and marriage equality. But there will be no dodging this topic on the campaign trail.

It’s still early, and Election Day is a relatively distant 19 weeks away. But quick polling conducted in the days since the Supreme Court struck down the 1973 precedent shows political problems for Republicans, who otherwise seemed on a glide path toward November. Historically, the party that holds the White House has a dismal showing in its first test with voters; only the Sept. 11 attacks spared an incumbent President that insult back in 2002. President Joe Biden’s job approval numbers are among the worst since World War II, inflation is a persistent irritant to the electorate, and high gas prices are hitting everyone. Put another way, Republicans would have to really try to mess up their hand.

Yet on abortion rights, Democrats seemingly have an advantage on a topic dominating the news and likely to remain top of mind as almost every state will be forced to revisit its abortion policies. A record number of voters say abortion will be the issue that determines their vote this year, according to Gallup, and recent polls suggest a jump in interest in the midterms that seem to favor Democrats. Yet the threat of apathy and exhaustion is real, and sustaining outrage is hard work.

One group in particular may have outsized sway: college-educated women who determine the outcomes in the swingy suburbs. Many came to regret their support for Trump in 2016, and went back to supporting Democrats in the following two elections. Now they are none-too-happy with the Dobbs ruling. A significant 71% of college-educated white women support abortion rights, a recent NPR poll found, and they are a must-win bloc for Democrats’ longterm prospects.

Even before the Supreme Court issued its ruling, the number of Americans who told Gallup pollsters that they identified as “pro-life” was at its lowest level since 1996. A near-record 55% of those surveyed said they identified as “pro-choice” and, in a first, a majority—52%—said abortion was morally acceptable. Over decades of polls, Gallup has found increasing support for abortion, and even in the last year, support for abortion rights has grown across every single demographic group.

Since Friday’s ruling, voters seem to have doubled down. An NPR-Marist poll over the weekend found 56% of all adults opposed the decision and 53% of independents said the same. And in a reason for Republican alarm, 66% of suburban women said they opposed it, alongside 70% of white women who graduated from college.

The same NPR-Marist survey found, among all registered voters, 48% of Americans said they would vote for the Democrat running for Congress, a slight edge over the 41% who said they’d vote for the Republican. Those numbers track with the same survey’s results a month before the 2018 elections that swept Democrats into power. (Keep in mind, when it comes to which party controls the House, gerrymandering has rendered many of these voters’ opinions unimportant as competitive districts are tough to find in many states.)

In short, if Democrats can sustain the intensity around this topic, they may defy history and a Biden drag and dodge an electoral disaster. They’ve been laying the groundwork for this moment for months, and further stepped up focus groups and polling after a draft of the ruling leaked in early May. EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL—the big three abortion-rights groups—plan a $150 million blitz on the topic heading into the fall.

Republicans, however, are far from despondent. Their base loved the ruling: it carries 75% support among white Evangelicals, 84% of those who voted for Donald Trump in 2020, and 54% of white working-class men, according to NPR’s polling. GOP strategists have long argued that abortion fires up a small but dedicated part of the electorate, the volunteers who knock on doors and make phone calls. The emerging strategy appears to be to cast Democrats who support abortion rights as extremists; in New Mexico, where Democrats control the legislature, the GOP nominee for governor says he’s pro-life but is pledging only to ban “late-term and partial-birth abortion that the current governor supports.” (New Mexico stands to become a destination for abortion services as many other states in that region ban it altogether.)

Then there’s the economy. Everyone is feeling the pinch. Systematically, Democrats are simply hemorrhaging their voter rolls. An Associated Press analysis finds that more than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party in the last year, a shift that is especially pronounced in the suburbs. If that trend holds, it could mean tens of thousands of suburban voters who were sour on Trump may have migrated back to the GOP, enough to potentially determine control of Congress.

What’s unknown is if the new abortion landscape might prompt those same voters to swing back into the Democratic fold. To that end, it’s worth listening to what suburban women are saying, especially the white ones with college degrees.

For Republican candidates, there will be little room to hide, especially if Democrats prove successful in painting the GOP as the party of extremism. Democrats will also have to address what comes next in a post-Roe world. Until recently, millions of swing voters had little expectation that Roe could really be struck down after so many years of hard-won durability. The surprise arrived and remade the political landscape. It’s now up to both parties to figure out how to read the new terrain.

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Abortion Is About to Dominate American Politics Like Never Before

In overruling Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court held that women no longer have a constitutional right to abortion. In Dobb’s v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court ruled that the issue of abortion is left entirely to the political process. What will this mean?

At first glance, this restores the law to what it was before 1973 when Roe v. Wade was decided. Each state will determine for itself whether to protect abortion rights or whether to outlaw some or all abortions. It is expected that over half the states will prohibit all or virtually all abortions.
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Before 1973, women desiring abortions who had financial resources would travel to places where abortion was legal or find a friendly doctor to perform a safe, illegal abortion. Poor women and teenagers without resources faced the cruel choice between an unwanted child and an unsafe abortion. Women of color suffered much higher rates of death and illness from illegal abortions.

We are sure to see all of this again. But there are also ways that the situation is much different from 50 years ago. Abortion has become a political issue in a way that it was not before Roe v. Wade. Conservative politicians who have been railing against abortion rights for decades are not going to give up this political issue. There likely will be far more aggressive enforcement of prohibitions of abortions than occurred prior to 1973. Expect to see doctors and women prosecuted for violating state laws prohibiting abortion much more frequently than occurred prior to Roe.

Conservative politicians will look for new forms of restrictions, such as a proposed Missouri law that would prohibit a woman from leaving the state to obtain an abortion. Some states will adopt laws to eliminate forms of birth control that take effect after conception, such as IUDs and the morning after pill. There will be regulation of medical procedures, such as in vitro fertilization, with some states likely to adopt laws requiring all embryos to be implanted. All of this will lead to litigation and the Court will have to decide if there are any constitutional limits on the states or if the matter is truly entirely left to the political process.

Read More: Abortion Access After the End of Roe

At the same time, medically induced abortions now are possible and account for almost half of all abortions. This will make it harder for states to prohibit abortions as pills can be sent across state lines. States that outlaw abortions will make consuming these pills a crime, though enforcement will be difficult. Also, there will be much more organized efforts to raise money to help women in states where abortion is illegal to have access to the procedure.

Abortion will come to dominate our political process like never before. State judicial elections—and 39 states have some form of judicial election—will focus on abortion because state judges can protect rights under state constitutions. Elections for state legislatures and city councils and for members of Congress often will focus on abortion rights more than ever before.

With a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, there will be renewed efforts at passing a federal law protecting a national right to abortion. But it seems unlikely that Democrats can overcome a certain Republican filibuster in the Senate. And the next time there is a Republican President and a Republican Congress, they are sure to try and pass legislation outlawing all abortions in the United States, with Republicans perhaps more likely to be successful in changing the rules of the filibuster to adopt such a law.

Someday, when there is a liberal Supreme Court, it likely will overrule Dobbs and again recognize a constitutional right to abortion. But in the years and perhaps decades until that happens, abortion will be the defining political issue for the U.S.

It is unclear what that will mean for our political system. Will those who favor abortion rights mobilize in a way that makes a political difference? And if so, where and what difference will it make? For decades, especially out of a desire to overrule Roe, Republicans in elections have emphasized judicial appointments. Now will Democrats do this?

The central question in the abortion debate is who should decide. Roe v. Wade held that it is for each woman to decide for herself whether to terminate a pregnancy. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization says it is for the legislatures and the political process. The only thing that is certain is that the implications—for women’s lives and for our society—will be enormous and for a long time to come.

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Reactions to the End of Roe Reveal Divisions Between Religious Leaders

Friday was a day of ecstasy or agony for the many Americans for whom abortion is an important issue. The Supreme Court handed down a decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, the foundational case on which a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy was established. For some people of faith, it was the triumphant end to a long, hard fight against what they considered a key human rights violation upon the most vulnerable. But not for all of them. Plenty of those who practice a religion mourned the rollback of what they consider a vital legal protection for women, especially the most vulnerable.
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According to the Public Religion Research Institute, 43% of Americans who “identify strongly” with their religious identity do not believe Roe v. Wade needed to be overturned. There’s a wide variability within the ranks, however. A majority (56%) of U.S. Catholics believe abortion should be legal, but only 30% of Catholics who attend mass weekly. Similarly, 60% of mainline protestants favor abortion being legal, but only 30% of white evangelical protestants. A slight majority of Muslims and a large majority of Jews also believe abortion should be legal in most cases.

Read More: Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Undoing Constitutional Right to Abortion

The bulk of the work overturning Roe has been undertaken by Christian organizations, but not all Christian organizations are opposed to abortion. Both sides of the debate rapidly released statements after the decision. CatholicVote President Brian Burch set the tone for many of those in the anti-abortion camp: “Catholics and pro-life advocates across the country celebrate today’s landmark Supreme Court decision as the ‘dawning of a new day in America’—a long-awaited first step toward the full protection of American women and children,” he wrote. “A dark chapter in our nation’s history has finally been closed.” Burch pointed to technological advances that he said have shown that the “humanity of children in the womb has become plain and undeniable.”

But Jamie L. Manson, president of Catholics for Choice, took aim at the church for its stance. “The unconscionable Supreme Court decision to end the constitutional right to abortion is the culmination of a decades-long religious crusade—spearheaded by the U.S. Catholic bishops—to take away a woman’s most fundamental freedoms, namely her ability to control her own fertility and determine her own destiny,” said Manson in a statement. Many progressive Christians believe abortion has become a recruiting tool to win over churchgoers to the Republican party, and Manson alluded to this infiltration of politics into matters of faith, saying the “ruling gives right-wing leaders unfettered license to codify fringe religious beliefs into civil law.” President Joe Biden, a Catholic, bemoaned the overturning of Roe, “a decision with broad national consensus that most Americans of [most] faiths and backgrounds found acceptable and that had been the law of the land for most of the lifetime of Americans today.”

While the different attitudes among people of the same faith towards abortion are partly aligned with their politics, and partly with how serious a role their faith plays in their life, they also reflect a genuine theological disagreement among scholars as to what their sacred texts say—or can be interpreted to be saying—about when human life begins. Those who are anti-abortion tend to point to Psalm 139:13, which talks about God forming a person when they are being “knit together in the womb.” Those who support abortion rights point to Exodus 21:22, in which the law allows a person who causes a woman to have a miscarriage to be merely fined rather than face the more serious consequences for murder. Muslim scholars have similar arguments about the Quranic view of when life begins.

Read More: The Fight Over Abortion Has Only Just Begun

These divisions are evident in other religious traditions as well. A Palm Beach synagogue filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida in June claiming that the restrictive abortion regulations set to go into effect in July violate the State Constitution’s right to freedom of religion. The suit claims that in Jewish law, “abortion is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman.” Not every synagogue is of the same mind, however. While the National Council of Jewish Women held a virtual vigil on the day of the ruling, to “hold space for pain and consider the road ahead,” more conservative communities were jubilant at the Supreme Court’s move. “Agudath Israel has long been on record as opposing Roe v. Wade’s legalization of abortion on demand,” said the umbrella organization for orthodox Jewish groups. “Informed by the teaching of Jewish law that fetal life is entitled to significant protection, with termination of pregnancy authorized only under certain extraordinary circumstances, we are deeply troubled by the staggering number of pregnancies in the United States that end in abortion.”

Many of those who had been campaigning on this issue on either side used the Supreme Court’s decision as a chance to rally their supporters. “The issue of abortion has now been turned over to the states, many of which have either implemented or are considering some of the most abhorrently permissive pro-abortion proposals ever,” said Brent Leatherwood, the acting president of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), which filed an amicus brief in the Dobbs case. “A consistent, convictional pro-life witness is needed now more than ever in state legislatures and local communities. So let us rejoice that we live in a nation where past injustices can still be corrected, as we also roll our sleeves up to save preborn lives, serve vulnerable mothers, and support families in our communities.”

For Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, the ruling was a warning that social and racial inequities were about to be worsened. “Whatever our opinions on abortion, surely we can agree that jailing a woman or a health care provider for exercising their moral judgment in the moment is wrong. These punitive measures will be aimed disproportionately at Black, Brown, Native and Asian women, LGBTQ people, immigrants and low-income people—compounding the injustice,” she said. “In the aftermath of today’s unjust ruling, we must come together and bear one another’s burdens. We must do everything in our power to ensure that pregnant people who face immediate risk to their health and freedom are respected and protected.”

Others took a more fire and brimstone view about the effect of the ruling. “An ominous cloud still hangs threateningly over our nation,” wrote Phil Ginn, the President of the arch-conservative Southern Evangelical Seminary. “Not only did the Dobbs ruling fail to abate this storm cloud, but rather it perhaps has even given rise to the need for a warning of a tornado, the magnitude of which threatens to strike even at the very core of who we are as Americans.” Ginn went on to warn that “the reality of the present may be even more scary than the world of Roe” that “violence will spread like wildfire” and that “if you dare to speak up for the unborn, you will not be safe even in your home.”

But even among the more evangelical branches, Ginn’s views were an outlier. “Laws are critical, but they cannot change the fact that tomorrow there will still be many women who will face an unplanned pregnancy—afraid, unprepared and unsure of what to do and where to turn,” said one of the the ERLC’s chief campaigners for the anti-abortion cause, Elizabeth Graham. “The Church has a significant opportunity to serve and support these women in crisis and their preborn children in their time of need.”

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9 Democratic Primaries To Watch In Illinois And New York

By the end of the day on Tuesday, 29.5 states — why do you always have to make things difficult, New York? — will have held their 2022 primary elections. But we still have to get through Tuesday first! On June 28, voters in Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma and Utah head to the polls (or mail in their ballots) for primaries; Mississippi and South Carolina will also hold runoff elections; and Nebraska will even be holding a special election.

There are dozens of races to watch, so we’ll be bringing them to you in two parts, starting with all the Democratic primaries of note on the ballot this week. And there’s truly something for everyone: an incumbent running against an incumbent. Several progressive-versus-moderate skirmishes. The cryptocurrency industry trying to pick sides. Multiple chances to elect new female, nonwhite or LGBT candidates to Congress. Let’s dive right in!

Kina Collins campaigns in Chicago
There are a number of progressive vs. incumbent battles in Illinois on Tuesday, including in the 7th District, where 31-year-old activist Kina Collins (pictured on the left) is taking on 13-term Rep. Danny Davis.

Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune / Tribune News Service via Getty Images


Races to watch: 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th and 17th congressional districts

Polls close: 8 p.m. Eastern

At least one, and possibly as many as three, Democratic incumbent U.S. representatives from Illinois will go down in defeat on Tuesday. The one guaranteed loss will come in the 6th District, where two incumbents — Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman — are vying for the same seat. After redistricting radically redrew the Chicago suburbs, Newman (who currently represents the 3rd District) found her home placed in the new 4th District — but a plurality of her current constituents live in the new 6th, so that’s where she decided to run for reelection. (Members of Congress do not have to live in the district they represent.)

Casten is in the opposite situation; he lives in the new 6th, but only a fraction of his current constituents have stayed there with him. In all, 41 percent of the new 6th District are Newman constituents, while only 23 percent are Casten constituents, which (ironically) gives her the appearance of home-field advantage. 

However, among people likely to vote in a Democratic primary, Newman’s advantage isn’t as large. Thirty-six percent of 6th District residents who voted for President Biden in 2020 are Newman constituents, while 28 percent are Casten constituents. And a lot of those Newman constituents might not even be big fans of hers. Newman got to Congress in 2020 by primarying former Rep. Dan Lipinski, a conservative Democrat. And according to local analyst William Xin, the parts of her old district that are in the new 6th actually voted for Lipinski in that primary.

Both Newman and Casten have very liberal voting records, but in the primary Newman is again positioning herself as the more progressive option. For example, Casten has long prioritized climate change and has been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, but only Newman supports the Green New Deal. And while Casten has a perfect rating from abortion-rights groups, Newman has contrasted her personal experience of getting an abortion in the 1980s with Casten’s past vote for “anti-choice” Republican President George H.W. Bush.

Meanwhile, Casten’s supporters have attacked Newman for a bribery scandal that emerged out of her 2020 campaign. According to the Office of Congressional Ethics, there is “substantial reason to believe” that Newman offered one of her opponents a job in her congressional office in exchange for dropping out of the campaign (which he did), a potential violation of federal law. Casten has the financial advantage, too: He’s raised $3.2 million for his campaign, while Newman has taken in just $1.5 million

Amid all the mudslinging, this is still an unpredictable primary, though. The most recent poll we have is from over a month ago; it gave Casten a 36 percent to 27 percent lead, but it was also sponsored by the Casten campaign. Given that internal polls are usually too good to be true for their sponsors, this race is best thought of as a toss-up.

Two other Chicago-area districts feature the type of Democratic primary we are more accustomed to: a single incumbent vs. a progressive insurgent. There are no public polls in either race, but the tea leaves suggest that the more serious challenge is probably in the 7th District, where 31-year-old activist Kina Collins is taking on 13-term Rep. Danny Davis. Davis has previously courted controversy with comments praising anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, but he defeated Collins handily in their first primary tangle in 2020, 60 percent to 14 percent. 

Unlike in 2020, though, Collins is going into election day with a financial advantage: Not only has she outraised Davis $613,417 to $459,186, but perhaps more importantly, she had outspent him almost 4-to-1 as of June 8 (however, Davis still had plenty of money in the bank at that time that he may have deployed since). The progressive group Justice Democrats has also spent $290,000 on Collins’s behalf. 

Over in the 8th District, businessman Junaid Ahmed has raised an even more impressive $1.1 million — but his opponent, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, has reeled in a whopping $6.5 million (and he’s been spending it too). Another sign that Ahmed faces an uphill battle: Only one major progressive group, Our Revolution, has stuck its neck out for him, while at least three (Justice Democrats, Indivisible and the Sunrise Movement) have endorsed Collins in the 7th, suggesting they may sense a better opportunity there. 

The remaining Democratic primaries to watch in the Land of Lincoln are open seats — including two safely Democratic seats where the primary will effectively determine their next representative. First up is (appropriately) the 1st District, a majority-Black seat on the South Side of Chicago. The seat has a storied past: In 1928, it became the first district outside the South to elect a Black representative, and for almost two decades hence the 1st District’s representative was the only Black member of Congress. The district has had a Black representative ever since, and that streak will almost certainly continue with its new representative in 2023.

The only question is who it will be. The open seat has attracted what feels like every ambitious politician on the South Side — 17 Democrats in all — and at least five of them have a legitimate chance of winning. Business owner and nonprofit leader Jonathan Swain is the top fundraiser, with $543,199; Chicago Alderman Pat Dowell is not far behind ($531,812) and entered the race with a ready-made campaign operation thanks to her prior campaign for secretary of state. Meanwhile, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership CEO Karin Norington-Reaves snagged the endorsement of the district’s retiring incumbent, Rep. Bobby Rush, and has benefited from over $800,000 in super PAC spending, and longtime state Sen. Jacqueline Collins entered the race with the backing of several powerful Chicago and Springfield powerbrokers.

But the campaign has arguably most revolved around businessman Jonathan Jackson, the son of civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson and brother of former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who represented part of this district until his resignation due to scandal in 2012. Jackson has the benefit of not only his family name, but also the endorsements of major progressive figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution. Two outside groups with ties to the cryptocurrency industry have also spent more than $1 million to help him get elected.

While each of these things may have downsides as well as upsides (for example, Norington-Reaves has tried to tie Jackson to the unpopular “defund the police” movement, and the cryptocurrency money drew attention to his failure to disclose his personal finances), Jackson will need only a small but vocal plurality in order to win in such a crowded field. And he might get it: A May internal poll from the Collins campaign listed Jackson in first place, with 19 percent, albeit within the margin of error.

The other safely Democratic open seat is also a majority-minority district — but in contrast to the 1st District, this one is brand new. The 3rd District was redrawn to be plurality-Hispanic, giving Chicago two predominantly Latino seats for the first time. As a result, for the first time, Illinois will almost certainly elect a second Hispanic representative, joining 4th District Rep. Chuy García.

Though there are four Democrats in the running, this primary is really just another progressive-versus-moderate showdown between state Rep. Delia Ramirez and Chicago Alderman Gilbert Villegas. Ramirez enjoys the support of a laundry list of progressive powerbrokers — Sanders, García, Sen. Elizabeth Warren — while Villegas has stressed the need to “reach across the aisle…to get things done.” 

And the money is flying: Villegas has raised $949,927, while VoteVets (Villegas is a Marine Corps veteran) and Democratic Majority for Israel have combined to spend more than $1.1 million either for Villegas or against Ramirez. For her part, Ramirez has raised $616,213 and benefited from $1.6 million in outside spending from the likes of the Working Families Party and Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC. There hasn’t been a public poll since March, so either side could plausibly notch a win here.

Finally, Illinois Democrats will also pick nominees to go up against Republicans in a pair of competitive open seats. The primary doesn’t look all that competitive in the 13th District, where virtually the entire Illinois Democratic establishment (Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Cheri Bustos) has lined up behind former Biden administration staffer Nikki Budzinski. Her sole competitor, financial advisor David Palmer, has raised a respectable amount of money ($208,300), but it’s still nowhere near Budzinski’s $1.7 million haul.

A moderate pragmatist who earns bipartisan praise, Budzinski should be a strong candidate for Democrats in their quest to flip this downstate seat from Republican control. It was radically redrawn to favor Democrats (spurring incumbent Republican Rep. Rodney Davis to seek reelection elsewhere), but with a FiveThirtyEight partisan lean1 of D+7, it still has the potential to be competitive in a Republican-leaning midterm.

Illinois’s most hotly contested House seat this fall will likely be the 17th District, a D+4 open seat in rapidly reddening northwestern Illinois. And some of the six candidates running in the Democratic primary, like Army veteran and Rockford Alderman Jonathan Logemann, have explicitly run on the argument that they are the most electable in the general election. Others, though — namely former state Rep. Litesa Wallace, who is endorsed by Our Revolution and Indivisible — haven’t been afraid to embrace progressive platform planks like the Green New Deal and single-payer health care. Former television meteorologist Eric Sorensen has also prioritized climate change in his campaign and has argued for the need for more “climate communicators” in Congress. Both Wallace, a Black woman, and Sorensen, who would be Illinois’s first openly gay congressman, would also add to the diversity of the House if elected.

The most recent poll of the primary — an internal survey from Wallace’s campaign — showed Wallace and Sorensen at the head of a fractured field, with 22 percent and 19 percent respectively. However, there are a couple reasons to give the edge to Sorensen here. First, of course, internal polls are often biased in favor of their sponsor. But second, that poll is almost two months old at this point, and Sorensen has had the financial advantage. He has raised ($450,665) and spent ($311,032) more than any other Democrat, and 314 Action — a group dedicated to electing more scientists to Congress — has also spent $615,160 on Sorensen’s behalf.

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Gov. Kathy Hochul debate
The New York governor’s race initially looked like it might be competitive, but polls suggest that Gov. Kathy Hochul should easily win the Democratic primary.

Craig Ruttle / Pool /Getty Images

New York

Races to watch: Governor, lieutenant governor

Polls close: 9 p.m. Eastern

New York was originally supposed to have a lot more primaries today, but its U.S. House primaries were rescheduled for Aug. 23 after a court struck down the state’s first pass at a congressional map, a strong partisan gerrymander drawn by Democratic legislators. (A new map was drawn by a neutral expert in late May, but one month wasn’t enough time to organize and pull off a smooth election.)

But statewide primaries remained a go for the original primary date of June 28, and at the top of the ballot is the Democratic primary for governor. When former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned last August amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment, his lieutenant, Kathy Hochul, became the first female governor of New York — but multiple other ambitious New York politicians started eyeing the job, too. In October, Attorney General Letitia James announced she was running; in November, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Tom Suozzi declared their own campaigns.

But Hochul moved quickly to solidify her position. Her campaign claimed to have raised $10 million in her first three months in office, and she landed plum endorsements from EMILY’s List and the chair of the New York State Democratic Party. Trailing in the polls, James made the fateful decision in December to drop out of the race, relieving Hochul of her strongest rival but also potentially consolidating her opposition.


On paper, Williams had a lot to gain from James’s withdrawal. Both are progressives (although Williams is more of an activist outsider while James has played nice with the party establishment), while Hochul and Suozzi are moderates. Without James in the race, Williams is also the only candidate left who hails from vote-rich New York City, which cast 58 percent of the vote in the 2018 Democratic primary for governor. (Upstate New York,2 where the Buffalo-born Hochul is expected to perform well, cast 33 percent, while Suozzi’s base of Long Island cast 10 percent.) Finally, Williams, who would be New York’s first elected Black governor, is also the primary’s only nonwhite candidate. 

However, it hasn’t come together for Williams, who has openly contemplated dropping out, too, amid his wife’s cancer diagnosis, a sparse campaign schedule and virtually empty campaign coffers. For his entire campaign, he has raised only $520,859 — a paltry sum in a state as expensive as New York. (By contrast, Hochul had raised $33.2 million as of June 13.) For his part, Suozzi had raised $9.8 million as of June 13, but he hasn’t attracted any high-profile endorsers that would help him distinguish himself from Hochul. The latest poll, conducted June 15-20 for WHEC-TV and WNYT-TV by SurveyUSA, gave Suozzi 18 percent and Williams 11 percent. But Hochul was still way ahead of them both, with 54 percent.

Instead, the real drama in New York may be in the lieutenant governor primary. Although the three candidates are each aligned with one of the three gubernatorial candidates, New York voters choose their party’s governor and lieutenant governor nominees in separate primaries, and then they run as a ticket in the general election. This has the potential to create an awkward situation not only in the fall campaign, but for the next four years in Albany.

Former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, whom Hochul tapped to replace herself after becoming governor, started off as the presumed front-runner — but just two months ago, he was arrested on bribery charges and resigned from office. Consequently, Hochul appointed then-Rep. Antonio Delgado to be her new number two, but the legislature had to change the law in order to allow him to take Benjamin’s place on the ballot. 

As a result, Delgado has had to play catch-up to progressive activist Ana María Archila (who is aligned with Williams) and former Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna (who is aligned with Suozzi). While Delgado has the most money (including $2 million transferred from his congressional campaign account), it is not the same overwhelming advantage that Hochul has, and Archila has tried to broaden her appeal beyond just Williams supporters. She has held more campaign events and earned more endorsements than Delgado, including some (like Rep. Nydia Velázquez) who have endorsed Hochul. And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also thrown her weight behind Archila, which she hasn’t done for Williams. (For her part, Reyna has barely campaigned apart from Suozzi, so her fate seems tied to his.)

Despite a glut of gubernatorial polls, there is no public polling of the lieutenant governor’s race, so Delgado could still very well win this based on the strength of Hochul’s coattails. But if not, Archila has pledged to be a more proactive and disagreeable deputy than Hochul would like, holding her feet to the fire from the left or even taking official actions that Hochul might disagree with. No matter who wins, though, he or she will stand out in a different way: Delgado, Archila and Reyna would all be the first Hispanic person elected to statewide office in New York.

While that’s it in terms of Democratic primaries worth your attention (sorry, Colorado, Oklahoma and Utah), there’s even more action on the Republican side of the aisle. Meet us back here at this time tomorrow for our preview of more than 20 Republican primaries of consequence, and then again on Tuesday night as we live-blog the results.

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