Voters in five states are going to the polls on Tuesday in some of the states that were battlegrounds in 2020 — and will be again in 2024. And abortion faces its first test at the ballot box since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, as Kansas voters decide whether abortion should be constitutionally protected.
With former President Donald Trump’s influence looming large in some of Tuesday’s primaries, a CBS News poll released Tuesday showed that for Republicans, a Trump endorsement is a plus for that candidate, and even more so among Republicans who say they “always” vote in Republican primaries, most of whom identify as MAGA Republicans.
In Arizona, former President Donald Trump has rallied for his allies in the Senate, governor and secretary of state races. Arizona was one of the key battleground states that went for President Joe Biden in 2020. After the election, some Republicans in the state tried to overturn the results, with a plan to send a slate of phony alternate electors who supported Trump to Congress for the Electoral College certification, rather than the voters won by President Biden.
In the Republican primary to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in November, Trump has backed Blake Masters, who has a comfortable lead according to two polls ahead of the primary.
For governor, former TV news anchor Kari Lake and lawyer Karrin Taylor Robson are in a tight contest for the GOP nomination that repeats a dynamic between Trump and former Vice President MIke Pence. Trump has backed Lake, while Pence, along with term-limited sitting Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, have backed Taylor Robson. Last month, Trump and Pence held dueling rallies for Lake and Robson on the same day.
Trump has also backed a challenger to state House Speaker Rusty Bowerswho testified in June at a House Jan. 6 committee public hearing. Bowers is term-limited out of that position but is running for state Senate. Days before the primary, the Arizona GOP voted to formally censor him for his testimony, a culmination of the frustrations many far-right members have with Bowers’ past refusal to support Trump-backed attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
This year, Bowers helped block a bill, introduced by Secretary of State candidate and current state Rep. Shawnna Bolick, to empower the legislature to choose its own electors, regardless of how the people voted. For his actions of him, the former president lashed out against him, calling the Speaker a “RINO coward,” and endorsed his opponent of him, former state Sen. David Farnsworth.
CBS News projects that Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who has been leading the crowded field, wins the Republican nomination for the open Senate seat in Missouri. Eric Greitens, the former governor who resigned in 2018 and has faced allegations of domestic abuse, led early in the race, but an $11 million ad blitz by two anti-Greitens groups chipped it away.
On the eve of the primary, Trump issued a kind of split endorsement in the race, throwing his support behind “ERIC.” Both Eric Schmitt and Eric Greitens quickly claimed they’d won his backing.
In Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Cori Bush, who is unseated a longtime incumbent in 2020, is facing several challengers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch endorsed both Bush and her opponent Steve Roberts, writing that “too many deeply personal issues are likely to dominate voters’ decisions in ways that would not necessarily be swayed by an editorial endorsement.”
Meanwhile, three of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are facing Trump-backed primary challengers. Trump posted Tuesday on Truth Social to urge Republican voters to “knock out impeachment slime.”
In Michigan, Rep. Peter Meijer, a freshman Republican in a swing district centered around Grand Rapids, Mich., is in a tough race against John Gibbs, a former Trump-era Housing and Urban Development official.
In the race to take on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, CBS News projects Tudor Dixon will win the Republican nomination. Dixon, backed by Trump, had been seen by Republican strategists as the strongest candidate to take on Whitmer. Among the Republicans Dixon defeated was Ryan Kelley, who was arrested in June related to his participation in the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.
“Now we have the opportunity to truly hold Gretchen Whitmer accountable for the pain she has inflicted on every one of us in the past three years,” Dixon said at her election night watch party in Grand Rapids, Mich., referring to the lockdowns of schools imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And in Washington, the top two vote-getters will advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the 3rd District and Dan Newhouse in the 4th District both face the risk of being shut out because of Trump-backed challengers.
For the first time since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, a state is voting on whether the right to an abortion may be constitutionally protected. In 2019, Kansas’ state Supreme Court ruled that abortion is protected in the state constitution’s bill of rights. Voters are deciding whether to allow the constitution to be amended in order to ban abortion rights.
In other words, a “yes” vote for the amendment would enable an abortion ban to be passed.
A “no” vote on the amendment means abortion rights would be preserved.