Live Results: Two Congressional Special Elections and Nebraska Primaries

May 12, 2020

Two congressional vacancies will be filled via special election Tuesday. In addition, Nebraska is holding its scheduled primary election.  Follow live results below, beginning at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, after polls close in Nebraska and Wisconsin.

California District 25

The more competitive of today's two special elections will be for this Los Angeles-area seat that has been vacant since former Rep. Katie Hill (D) resigned last year.  Hill had been serving in her first term, after defeating incumbent Republican Steve Knight in the 2018 midterms. It was one of seven GOP-held seats in the state that Democrats flipped that year on their way to taking control of the House.

Knight's attempt at regaining the seat he held for two terms was unsuccessful as he finished third in the top two primary.1 1If a candidate had received a majority of the vote in the primary, that person would have been elected. Democrat Christy Smith, a member of the State Assembly, finished first with 36% of the vote. Republican Mike Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot, was second with 24%. Across the large 12-person field, however, the vote was pretty evenly split between the two parties.  Most analysts see the race as a toss-up.

Regardless of the outcome of today's election, both Smith and Garcia will be on the ballot again in November, vying for a full two-year term. Turnout may be the ultimate driver in both cases. A standalone special election often yields lower turnout, in which case the most reliable voters - older, white Republicans - may make the difference.  However, in November, a much higher Democratic turnout associated with the presidential election is expected.  Of course, nobody really knows how this will play out in an election conducted during the pandemic.  The vast majority of ballots are expected to be cast by mail, with some in-person polling places open.

The first results are expected after 11:00 PM Eastern Time.  However, as is often the case in close California elections, we may not know the winner for many days.  If Garcia wins, it would be the first GOP pick up of a Democratic-held House seat in the state since 1998.

Wisconsin District 7

Tuesday's other special election takes place in Wisconsin's largest congressional district by area. The 7th district covers much of the northern part of the state and has been vacant since former Rep. Sean Duffy (R) resigned his seat in September.  The special election pits Republican state Senator Tom Tiffany against the Democratic nominee, Tricia Zunker, the president of the Wausau School Board.

This is a conservative district; Duffy won reelection in 2018 by 22 points.  As such, Tiffany is expected to prevail, keeping the seat in GOP control. Polls close at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

Nebraska Primaries

The Cornhusker State holds its presidential and congressional primaries Tuesday.  The most closely-watched race will be for the Democratic nomination in U.S. House District 2.  The winner will meet the incumbent Republican, Rep. Don Bacon in November.  Bacon will be seeking a third term; both his prior wins were by two points or less in this highly-competitive Omaha-area district. District 2 is also likely to get a lot of attention in the presidential race, as its electoral vote is seen as a toss up.  

Polls close at 9:00 PM Eastern.

In the Democratic presidential primary, Joe Biden is expected to get most of the state's 29 pledged delegates. He is currently about 550 delegates short of the 1,991 needed to clinch the nomination.

There are other contested primaries for congressional races; none are associated with a race expected to be competitive in November.  There is also a GOP primary for president; Donald Trump long ago clinched renomination.

More Nebraska Results >>

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