Primary day: Five things to watch for
Voters in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah head to the polls today for primaries and primary runoffs.
Though no major Senate contests are on the ballot in these states, there are still plenty of interesting subplots. Here are five that are worth watching.
More incumbents going down?
Tuesday’s primaries could see yet more incumbents falling in newly drawn districts. The most likely victims would appear to be Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.).
Rangel is, of course, the big one. After 42 years in Congress, the former Ways and Means Committee chairman is in perhaps his toughest race yet against a field that includes state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who would be Congress’s first Dominican-American member. (For more, see Paul Kane’s great piece today.)
Velazquez faces a challenge from New York City Councilman Erik Dilan, who is backed by Brooklyn Democratic power broker Vito Lopez in a district that took in large swaths of Brooklyn.
Lamborn, meanwhile, is an interesting case. While most primary challenges result from members not being sufficiently conservative or liberal (depending on the party), Lamborn is one of Congress’s most outspoken conservatives. Yet he still got a challenge from wealthy businessman Robert Blaha, who has spent $750,000 of his own money on the race. The best part of the primary: It has rekindled a bitter rivalry between Lamborn and his predecessor, former congressman Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), who recently called Lamborn a “knucklehead.”
One incumbent who is not likely to lose today is Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). The six-term incumbent is well on his way to a seventh term, according to late polling.
The win would be a triumph for Hatch, but a big win would be an even bigger triumph, especially given how big a target he was at the beginning of the cycle. Hatch has run a very good campaign, in contrast to Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) in 2010 or Sen.
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