California Elections Highlight Busy Primary Day; Seven States Hold Nominating Contests

Tuesday is the busiest day on the primary calendar, with seven states holding contests. Much of the focus will be on California.

On this page, we'll provide an overview of a few races of interest. Use the links below to see all results. Latest poll closing (Eastern Time) appears below the state name. If you are voting in one of these states, check with your polling place as the hours may differ.

California >> Iowa >> Mississippi >> Montana >> 
11:00 PM  9:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:00 PM
New Jersey >> New Mexico >> South Dakota >> Special Elections >>
8:00 PM 9:00 PM 8:00 PM* Mayoral Primaries >>

*Mountain Time Zone locations close at 9:00 PM Eastern

U.S. Senate

California, Iowa, and South Dakota have elections this year. At this point, forecasters see all three incumbents as safe in the general election. There's an unusual situation in California which we discuss below. In the end, however, Democrat Alex Padilla is expected to win a full term. Republican John Thune should easily win a 4th term in South Dakota. Republican Chuck Grassley is favored to win an 8th term in Iowa.

California x2 (All Party)

Incumbent Alex Padilla (D) was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in January 2021, after Kamala Harris (D) resigned to become Vice-President. However, under a new law, Padilla cannot complete Harris' term as an appointed Senator. As a result, there are two primary elections for Senate on Tuesday's ballot. The regular one for the six-year term beginning in January, 2023, and a special primary for the lame duck session after the November elections.

Normally in California special elections, if a candidate gets a majority of the vote in the top two primary, they are elected. That is not the case with this Senate special; the top two finishers will advance to the November 8 general special election regardless of the vote distribution.

Iowa (Democratic)

While the winner will have an uphill battle against Grassley, this primary has become much more competitive. Former Rep. Abby Finkenauer was the early frontrunner, but the momentum may be with retired Navy Admiral Mike Franken. He was the largest fundraiser in the campaign's closing weeks. An early May poll showed the two in a statistical tie. Note that it was a Franken internal poll: while it may prove accurate, caution is warranted. This is Franken's second Senate run, he lost the nomination for the state's other seat to Theresa Greenfield in 2020.

Governor

California, Iowa, New Mexico, and South Dakota governorships will be contested this year. Only New Mexico looks competitive in November. Gavin Newsom (CA, D) and Kristi Noem (SD, R) are both heavily favored to win a 2nd term. In Iowa, Republican Kim Reynolds is also seen as safe by most forecasters.

New Mexico (Republican)

Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham is seeking a 2nd term; she is unopposed for renomination. Five Republicans are seeking to challenge her; the frontrunner appears to be Mark Ronchetti, who was the party's nominee for U.S. Senate in 2020. Most forecasters rate the general election as Leans or Likely Democratic.

U.S. House

California District 22 Special General Election

This first result is for the special general election to fill the vacancy created when Republican Devin Nunes resigned at the end of last year. No candidate received a majority in the April 5 primary, so the top two finishers meet Tuesday. Republican Connie Conway, with 35% of the vote, finished first in the six-person primary field. Democrat Lourin Hubbard received 19%. Regardless of who wins - Conway is favored - that person will only be in Congress until the end of the year. Neither of these candidates is on the primary ballot in any district for a full term.

California Primaries

Almost all of the interesting U.S. House primaries are also in California, where  there are quite a few storylines across the state's 52 districts. As with all California primaries, candidates from all parties appear on a single ballot, with the top two advancing to the general election.

See full overview and results on the California Primary Results page.

Mayor

Los Angeles

Four California cities that are among the nation's 100 most populous will elect a mayor this year. The most notable is in Los Angeles, the nation's second largest city. Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti is ineligible to run due to term limits. There are ten candidates on the ballot. The frontrunners appear to be Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) and businessman Rick Caruso.

As in other California top two primaries, all candidates from all parties appear together on a single ballot. However, unlike the others, the mayoral primaries are officially nonpartisan, so no party designation is provided. In addition, if a candidate gets a majority of the vote, they are elected.

District Attorney

San Francisco Recall Election

District Attorney Chesa Boudin's job is on the line, as voters will decide whether to recall him. For more background, see our overview of Proposition H.

If 'Yes' is declared the winner, Boudin is recalled.

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