Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 29

Welcome to The Heart of the Primaries, Democratic Edition

June 30, 2022

In this issue: Takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries and Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate candidates talk abortion policy

Primary results roundup

Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Utah held statewide primaries on Tuesday. New York held primaries for statewide offices and state House districts, and Mississippi and South Carolina held primary runoffs. The results below were current as of Wednesday morning.

Big story of the night: Casten defeats Newman in IL-06

Illinois’ 6th District: Rep. Sean Casten defeated Rep. Marie Newman and Charles Hughes. Casten received 68% to Newman’s 29%. Three forecasters rate the general election as Lean or Likely Democratic.

Newman represents Illinois’ current 3rd Congressional District and Casten represents the 6th. According to political researcher Frank Calabrese, 41% of constituents in the redrawn 6th come from Newman’s district and 23% come from Casten’s.

Casten was first elected in 2018 when he defeated six-term incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam (R). Newman was first elected in 2020 after defeating Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) in the primary. 

Newman is one of eight House members who sought re-election and lost so far this year. Another, Rodney Davis (R), lost in Illinois’ 3rd on Tuesday in another incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary.  Four primaries featuring multiple incumbents have taken place so far, and two are upcoming.

Other marquee primary results

U.S. House

Illinois’ 3rd District: Delia Ramirez defeated three other candidates with 66% of the vote. Gilbert Villegas was second with 24%. Rep. Marie Newman (D), the old 3rd District’s representative, ran for re-election in the 6th District.

Illinois’ 7th District: Incumbent Danny K. Davis defeated two other candidates with 52% of the vote. Kina Collins was second with 45%. Three forecasters rate the general election as Safe or Solid Democratic.

Illinois’ 8th District: Incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi defeated Junaid Ahmed 71% to 29%. Three forecasters rate the general election as Safe or Solid Democratic.

Illinois’ 17th District: Eric Sorensen defeated five other candidates with 38% of the vote. Litesa Wallace was second with 23%. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) did not run for re-election. Three forecasters rate the general election as a Toss-up or Tilt Democratic.

State executives

New York Governor: Incumbent Kathy Hochul won. Hochul had 66% of the vote. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams was second with 19% and U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi was third with 13%. Hochul, formerly lieutenant governor, succeeded Andrew Cuomo (D) after he resigned last year.

State legislative incumbents defeated

The figures below were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

At least six state legislators—one Democrat and five Republicans—lost in primaries on June 28. Including those results, 121 state legislative incumbents have lost in primaries this year. This number will likely increase: 50 primaries featuring incumbents remain uncalled and 20 in New York will not be held until August.

Across the 26 states that have held state legislative primaries so far this year, 4.6% of incumbents running for re-election have lost, continuing an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Of the 26 states that have held primaries so far, eight had Democratic trifectas, 15 had Republican trifectas, and three had divided governments, with Democrats controlling the governorship and Republicans controlling both legislative chambers. Across these 26 states, there are 3,337 seats up for election, 54% of the nationwide total.

Media analysis

Roll Call wrote about fundraising, satellite spending, endorsements, and more in Illinois’ 6th District primary:

Casten, who flipped a GOP seat in the 2018 blue wave, outraised Newman, hauling in $3.2 million this cycle to her $1.5 million.

Most of the outside money in the race went to oppose Newman, federal election reports showed. The biggest outside spender in the 6th District was the pro-Israel DMFI PAC, which invested more than $500,000, nearly all going to opposition to Newman. Although Casten and Newman have had similar voting records during the 117th Congress, Newman voted against funding for an Israeli defense system known as Iron Dome. 

In the final weeks of the campaign, Casten’s family suffered the death of the congressman’s daughter, and he limited his public appearances. 

Though Newman had fresh experience winning a Democratic primary, the circumstances this cycle were different from 2020, when she alone had the support of abortion rights groups in the effort to unseat Lipinski in the 3rd District. This year, Casten and Newman both were endorsed by such groups as Planned Parenthood.  

Newman faced ethics questions after winning her seat but said those matters were a nonissue on the trail.

Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidates support ending filibuster, codifying abortion rights

Four leading candidates in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate primary called for ending the Senate filibuster to facilitate codifying abortion rights on the federal level. 

The candidates—Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Alex Lasry, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson—spoke at the state Democratic Party convention following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Politico‘s Zach Montellaro wrote that in this primary, “even minute differences among the Democratic candidates — and how fiercely they elevate them — could define the rest of the contest.” 

The filibuster is a tool senators can use to extend debate on a bill or other matter, thereby delaying or blocking action on it. It takes 60 votes to end debate and move forward. Ending the filibuster would mean that a majority party could pass legislation without support from minority party members. The Senate is currently split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) serving as tie-breaker. Click here for arguments for and against the filibuster. 

Nelson also supports expanding the Supreme Court and imposing term limits on justices. Godlewski and Lasry said in May they oppose expanding the court and would consider term limits. Barnes’ campaign said he “recognizes the need for reforms in the court but is prioritizing codifying Roe v. Wade.”

Incumbent Ron Johnson (R) is seeking re-election. 

The primary is Aug. 9.

Working Families Party, firearm regulation advocate endorse in NY-10

The New York Working Families Party (NYWFP) endorsed state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou in New York’s 10th Congressional District primary. Several other candidates in this primary have gotten WFP backing in the past.

In 2020, NYWFP endorsed Niou in her state Assembly race. NYWFP endorsed several other current 10th District candidates in their previous bids for other offices, including U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (who ran in the 17th District in 2020), state Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, state Sen. Brad Hoylman, New York City Council member Carlina Rivera, and former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In other endorsement news, Jackie Rowe-Adams, the founder of gun violence prevention nonprofit Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E., endorsed prosecutor Daniel Goldman. Goldman was House Democrats’ counsel during former President Donald Trump’s (R)  first impeachment. 

10th District incumbent Rep. Jerry Nadler is running in New York’s 12th this year, where he’ll face Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the Democratic primary.

New York’s congressional primaries are Aug. 23.

Chang-Díaz withdraws from Massachusetts gubernatorial primary

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz withdrew from the Massachusetts gubernatorial primary, leaving only Attorney General Maura Healey actively running for the Democratic nomination. Chang-Díaz’s name will still appear on the Sept. 6 ballot due to the timing of her withdrawal.

Politico‘s Lisa Kashinsky wrote that Chang-Díaz “said she would instead be turning her efforts toward supporting a slate of ‘Courage Democrats’ — a group of state legislative and county district attorney hopefuls locked in contested races — who align with her progressive policy values.” Click here for more on the slate of candidates.

Competitiveness data: Arizona

Arizona holds primaries on Aug. 2. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.