Five States Hold Primaries; All Eyes on GOP Senate Contest in Kansas

August 4, 2020

After a two week break, the primary calendar picks up again Tuesday.  Five states hold congressional primaries; two of those also will finalize their nominees for governor. All eyes will be on the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Kansas. (View Live Results) The choice party voters make may well impact how competitive the November general election is - and, in turn, may be the deciding factor in which party controls the Senate in 2021.

There are a number of other races of interest.  See below for more information on those, as well as links to all the results for each state.

Looking ahead, Tennessee follows with primaries on Thursday. As in Kansas, Republican voters there will also choose a nominee to replace a retiring Senator. That winner will be heavily favored in November. On Saturday, there are a few congressional primaries in Hawaii. Next Tuesday, four states are on the calendar, including the final presidential primary in Connecticut.   

Polls Close (Eastern Time)

Your individual polling place may have different hours. Do not rely on this schedule to determine when to vote. 

8:00 PM Kansas (CT), Michigan (ET), Missouri
9:00 PM Michigan (CT), Kansas (MT)
10:00 PM Arizona*
11:00 PM Washington

Most of Kansas and Michigan are in the time zones with 8:00 PM Eastern Time poll closings. The Washington primary is conducted by mail; the time shown is the drop box deadline.

* Polls close at 7:00 PM local time. The state doesn't participate in Daylight Saving Time, although the Navajo Nation does on tribal lands. 

Results by State

Arizona Kansas Michigan Missouri Washington



Senate: The real action in this race will be in the general election. Incumbent Republican Martha McSally faces a nominal primary challenge. She will meet retired astronaut, Democrat Mark Kelly in November. Kelly is ahead by 11 points in the 270toWin polling average, with several forecasters now rating this 'Leans Democratic'.  

The November election is a special election to complete the final two years of the term of the late John McCain. After McCain's death in 2018, Gov. Doug Ducey appointed John Kyl to fill the seat. Kyl resigned at the end of the year, at which time Ducey elevated McSally to the role.  McSally had just been defeated by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the state's regular 2018 Senate election. 

House: There are five Democrats, four Republicans in the delegation; all are seeking another term. A few incumbents are facing primary challenges, but none appear to be in jeopardy. 

The most competitive general election race is expected to be in the Phoenix area District 6, where Republican David Schweikert is seeking a 6th term. Four Democrats are seeking to challenge the incumbent, including 2018 nominee Anita Malik, who lost by about 10% that year.

All Arizona Results >>

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Senate: Tuesday's 'main event' will be the Republican nomination for this seat. Four-term incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts is retiring. A number of candidates are seeking to fill the seat; the frontrunners look to be Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-1).

Per Politico: "GOP voters will decide between hard-line conservative Kris Kobach and Rep. Roger Marshall as their nominee for an open Senate seat. Democrats haven’t won a Senate race in Kansas in nearly a century.1 1The last Democratic Senator here was elected in 1932. This is the longest such active single-party streak in the country. But both parties think Kobach as the nominee would put the race squarely on the map, stretching Republican resources thinner as they’re already spending to protect a half-dozen vulnerable incumbents.

The Democratic nominee is expected to be State Sen. Barbara Bollier. 

House: There are three Republicans and one Democrat in the four-person delegation. Most of the attention Tuesday will be on the Republican primary in District 2.

District 1: Roger Marshall is foregoing reelection to seek the U.S. Senate nomination. This is a deep red district; the winner of Tuesday's primary will be a prohibitive favorite in November. 

District 2: Freshman Republican Steve Watkins faces a serious primary challenge from state Treasurer Jake LaTurner.  Watkins has faced a number of controversies dating back to the 2018 campaign and was recently indicted on multiple felonies. LaTurner was recruited by Republican officials, and has received the endorsement of many others, including Rep. Ron Estes (KS-4).

The Democratic nominee is expected to be Topeka mayor Michelle De La Isla. As in the Senate race, the choice GOP primary voters make will impact how forecasters see the general election.  Kyle Kondik at Sabato's Crystal Ball tells us that a Watkins win here will lead to a downgrade of Republican chances in November.

District 3: Several Republicans are competing for the chance to deny Democrat Sharice Davids a 2nd term in this Kansas City-area district. Davids defeated incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder by nine points to flip the seat in 2018. At this point, most forecasters see the general election as Leans Democratic.

All Kansas Results >>

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House: The delegation is comprised of seven Democrats, six Republicans and one Libertarian. 

District 3: Justin Amash (MI-3) was elected to a 5th term as a Republican in 2018; he left the party, becoming an independent in 2019, before joining the Libertarian Party earlier this year. He is not seeking reelection. Five are vying for the Republican nomination. The two frontrunners are grocery chain scion Peter Meijer and state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis. The Democratic nominee will be attorney Hillary Scholten. This Grand Rapids district leans Republican, but is on the competitive radar in November.

District 8: Four Republicans are looking to challenge freshman Democrat Elissa Slotkin, who flipped this Lansing-area district by four points in 2018. Donald Trump won the district by 7% in 2016. Forecasters see the general election as Leans Democratic, but it should be competitive.

District 10: Incumbent Paul Mitchell is retiring. This district is in "The Thumb" region, stretching from north of Detroit to Lake Huron. It is a very conservative district; Mitchell won by 25% in 2018, while Trump had a 32% margin two years earlier. The winner of the nomination will almost certainly be the next member of Congress from here.

District 13: Freshman Rashida Tlaib is being challenged once again by Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones. In 2018, Jones beat Tlaib in the Democratic primary for a special election to replace John Conyers, Jr., who had resigned late in 2017. On the same day, Tlaib won the primary for the regular two-year term.  In this safely Democratic district, both easily won on Election Day, with Jones serving in the lame duck session, and Tlaib seated with the new Congress in January, 2019.  

Tlaib is part of 'The Squad' of four progressive female House freshmen, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Oman (MN-5) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-7). She enjoys a large fundraising advantage over Jones heading into the primary.

All Michigan Results >>

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Governor: Incumbent Republican Mike Parson and Democrat Nicole Galloway, who is the State Auditor, are expected to advance to the general election. As Lt. Gov., Parson assumed office in 2018 when Gov. Eric Greitens resigned.  Parson remains favored to win a full term in November, but his polling margin has narrowed. Forecasters generally have the election rated as Leans or Likely Republican.

House: All eight incumbents - six Republicans and two Democrats - are running for reelection. Aside from the suburban St. Louis District 2, there's not a lot to watch here in November. The seven other incumbents each won their 2018 election by 25% or more.  The District 2 primaries are uncontested; incumbent Ann Wagner (R) will seek a 5th term against State Sen. Jill Schupp (D). That contest is rated Leans Republican.

However, there is one primary of note. In District 1, ten-term incumbent Democrat Lacy Clay is being challenged from the left by Cori Bush, a civil rights activist. Clay defeated Bush by 20 points in the 2018 primary, but Bush is back with a more aggressive campaign and the backing of progressive group Justice Democrats. The spending of that group helped Jamaal Bowman oust 16-term incumbent Eliot Engel in the June primary for New York's 16th congressional district.

All Missouri Results >>

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In Washington, all candidates appear on a single ballot. The top two advance to the general election, even if from the same party.

Governor: Incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee is seeking a third term. He shares a primary ballot with over 30 others who would like his job.  Inslee is expected to be renominated and prevail in November, extending the nation's longest active streak of consecutive Democratic governorship. The last Republican governor here, John Spellman, was defeated by Democrat Booth Gardner in 1984.

House: There are seven Democrats and three Republicans in the ten-person delegation. All but Democratic Denny Heck (WA-10) are seeking reelection2 2Heck said he wanted to spend more time with his family. However, he subsequently entered the race for Lt. Governor, when the incumbent decided not to seek reelection.

District 3: Forecasters see this southwestern Washington district as the state's most competitive in November. Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler won a 5th term in 2018 by about 5% over Democrat Carolyn Long, a professor. Long is looking for a rematch.


District 10:  A large field - nearly 20 - is looking to replace the retiring Denny Heck in this district that includes the capital, Olympia. The district came into existence in 2012, as the state gained a House seat after the 2010 census.  Now in his 4th term, Heck is the only representative in the district's short history.  He won by 23% in 2018 and the district is expected to stay in Democratic hands.

The leading candidates, based on fundraising, are all Democrats: State Rep. Beth Doglio, former State Rep. Kristine Reeves and former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. Doglio has been endorsed by leading progressives, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7). The top two Republicans appear to be Jackson Maynard and Nancy Slotnick, although there is some possibility that the GOP is shut out of the general election here.    


All Washington Results >>

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