Up next on the 2022 Primary Election Calendar for Tuesday, June 7th, are Iowa, California, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. With a 50-50 split Senate in play and one of the worst economies we’ve ever seen, the Republicans are working overtime to take back control, and every state counts.
Out of all the states to watch on Tuesday, Iowa will be under the political microscope as the hawkeye state will have all eyes on it. Meanwhile, in California, Republicans are looking to flip more House seats in their bid to control Congress.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN IOWA
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), the 88-year-old Congressman, is expected to win his primary over challenger Jim Carlin. Iowa’s Democratic primary, however, which will determine Grassley’s general election opponent, is where much of the attention will be focused.
Three candidates are gunning for Grassley’s seat in November: former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, retired Navy Adm. Michael Franken, and physician Glenn Hurst.
Finkenauer is the most likely candidate to run against incumbent Grassley in the general election. In 2018, she became the second-youngest woman ever elected to the House, beating a Republican to do so. She has raised over $3 million during her Senate campaign.
Who Are The Iowa Trump-Backed Candidates?
Days away from Tuesday’s primaries, former President Donald Trump is unleashing an avalanche of support for major Iowa Republican candidates, endorsing Gov. Kim Reynolds, making official his already announced backing of U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, and voicing his approval for two congressional candidates.
Reynolds, who began a five-day campaign tour of the state Thursday, acknowledged Trump’s endorsement of her re-election campaign Sunday. “It’s an honor to have his support,” she said.
In a statement on Truth Social, Trump called Reynolds a “strong leader and a fantastic governor,” praising her support for Congress’ ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and for defending the Second Amendment.
“A fifth-generation Iowan, Kim is fighting hard to Create Jobs, Cut Taxes, Eliminate Needless Regulations, and Protect the Livelihoods of our Great Farmers and Ethanol Producers,” Trump wrote. “Kim Reynolds is an America First Conservative and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”
Trump also endorsed U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, who represents Iowa’s U.S. House District 1 in Congress and is seeking election to the newly redrawn District 2 seat, and he advocated for the re-election of U.S Rep. Randy Feenstra in Iowa’s 4th House District, calling him an advocate for “Conservative Values.”
None of the three face opponents in the primary election.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN CALIFORNIA
There won’t be much going on in California for the GOP, where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans 2-1. Republicans have failed to win a statewide election since 2006.
While it is not likely any significant political swing will happen in California, if Republicans can pick up a few more seats in the deep blue state, it could help inch closer to flipping the House in November.
Democrats lost four House seats to Republicans in 2020, but still hold a large majority of the state’s overall delegation by a margin of 42-10 (with one seat vacant).
Who Are The California Trump-Backed Candidates?
Former President Trump endorsed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Saturday night, but the endorsement did little to increase support for the House minority leader among the MAGA crowd.
Trump sent out a statement on Truth Social, his social media platform, late Saturday night endorsing McCarthy and calling him “an outstanding representative for the people of California.”
“In Congress, Kevin is a tireless advocate for the people of Bakersfield and the Central Valley,” Trump said. “He is working incredibly hard to Stop Inflation, Deliver Water Solutions, and Hold Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi Accountable for their catastrophic failures and dereliction of duty … Kevin McCarthy has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”
Donald Trump has also officially endorsed Kevin Kiley for Congress.
Kiley, a Rocklin assemblyman, is vying with Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, also a Republican, and Democrats Kermit Jones and David Peterson for the seat.
On Saturday, Trump released a statement saying, “No one has fought Gavin Newsom harder than Kevin. He doesn’t wait for the fight, like the do-nothing RINO’s who have watched California get absolutely destroyed by the radical maniacs in Sacramento.”
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN NEW JERSEY
Republicans will be closely watching two races where candidates backed by former President Donald Trump and running as “America First Republicans” are vying to take down more moderate Republicans.
New Jersey’s more moderate Republicans, Chris Smith, and Tom Kean Jr. are expected to win their primaries, according to northjersey.com. Moderate Republicans are typically favored in New Jersey, a state that is heavily Democratic, but a win by Trump-backed Republicans could signal a major shift in the party’s direction.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN NEW MEXICO
New Mexico’s Tuesday primaries will largely be focused on statewide races for attorney general and a Republican nominee to challenge Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in November. Five Republicans have qualified for the primary election, but only one will go head-to-head with current Democratic Governor Grisham.
Challengers for two congressional seats, one held by Democratic Rep. Melanie Stansbury and the other by Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell, will be held on Tuesday as well.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN MISSISSIPPI
There are no Senate seats being voted on in Mississippi on Tuesday, and little action is expected in House primaries in the state that holds just four seats, three of which are controlled by incumbent Republicans who are not expected to lose their races.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN MONTANA
For the first time since 1993, the state will have two House seats, after one was added to account for Montana’s growing population.
Ryan Zinke, Trump’s former Interior Department secretary, technically is in an open race for the new seat. The former Navy SEAL is widely considered the de facto incumbent since he twice won elections for the state’s other House seat before stepping down in 2017 to join the Trump administration.
According to CTPost.com, Zinke’s opponents in the GOP primary include former state Sen. Al “Doc” Olszewski, an orthopedic surgeon and hard-line conservative who has tried to paint Zinke as a “liberal insider.”
Three Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination: public health advocate Cora Neumann, Olympic rower, and attorney Monica Tranel and former state Rep. Tom Winter.
In the state’s other district, first-term Rep. Matt Rosendale, who has Trump’s endorsement, will look to fend off three Republican primary challengers.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN SOUTH DAKOTA
Voter turnout is expected to be low, but that does not mean there are no important races here. In the battle for the party’s gubernatorial nomination, Gov. Kristi Noem faces Steve Haugaard, the Sioux Falls attorney and former state House Speaker. Trump-backed Noem, who is considered a potential White House prospect, is favored to win the GOP nomination.
U.S. Senate race:
John Thune (R), seeking his fourth term in the United States Senate, faces a pair of challengers from within his own party. However, no well-known challenger has emerged in Thune’s reelection bid. One of his opponents, Mark Mowry, was among the crowd that demonstrated near the Capitol on Jan. 6.
In the House, Republican state lawmaker Taffy Howard is trying to unseat GOP Rep. Dusty Johnson in the state’s lone district. Johnson touts his conservative voting record while keeping an ability to work across party lines, but Howard has tried to paint him as a foot soldier for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.