Today, voters in Maine head to the polls to vote in the Maine primary for state elections. Additionally, voters in Alabama and Texas are headed to the polls for a second time in certain contests that had led to runoff elections.
The marquee race of the night is the Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff, where former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville and former Attorney General and Senator Jeff Sessions made the runoff election to take on Democratic Senator Doug Jones. The winner of the Republican primary is heavily favored to win the seat in November, as polling, including Senator Jones’ internal polling, has shown the incumbent trailing either of the candidates.
In Texas, the Democratic primary runoff to take on incumbent Republican Senator John Cornyn has heated up in recent weeks, with former TX-31 nominee and veteran MJ Hegar facing late momentum from Texas State Senator Royce West. Both candidates have received endorsements from influential groups, with Hegar receiving endorsements from EMILYS List, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and Brady PAC, and West receiving endorsements from the Congressional Black Caucus, Carol Mosley Braun, Democracy for America, and 5 of his primary opponents who did not secure slots in the runoff. Additional races of interest include the Democratic primary in TX-24, where progressive groups have endorsed Candace Valenzuela over frontrunner Kim Olson in an open seat race in a district that President Trump carried by only 6 points in 2016, and the Republican primary in TX-13, where former White House physician Ronny Jackson, who has received President Trump’s endorsement, is facing off against Josh Winegarner to succeed retiring Representative Mac Thornberry in this safely Republican district.
Finally, Maine is holding its state primaries as well. There is a mildly competitive Republican primary in Maine’s Second District to challenge incumbent Democratic Representative Jared Golden, and former State House Speaker Sara Gideon faces some competition for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collin. This will be Maine’s second election utilizing a ranked choice voting method, and the first presidential general election where it will be used. Under ranked choice voting, voters rank their candidate preferences. If their preferred candidate receives the fewest votes in a round, they are eliminated and your vote is allocated to your second choice candidate, which continues until one candidate can reach a majority of the vote.
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