5 takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries in Ohio, Indiana | national news
May brings the first Senate primaries of the year. Ohio votes on Tuesday, followed by a near-weekly stream of contests that will shape the midterm battle for control of the chamber. By the end of the month, general election matches in nearly half of this year’s most competitive races will be set.
Republicans only need a net gain of one seat this fall to win the Senate, and so far much of the intrigue surrounding the May primaries has been on the GOP side. Former President Donald Trump endorsed all four Senate contests in the May ballot — Ohio (May 3), North Carolina (May 17), Pennsylvania (May 17) and Georgia (May 24). Even before the results came in, those primaries cemented his hold on the party due to the way nearly every GOP candidate tried to appeal to him — in some cases, turning into almost unrecognizable versions of him. themselves.
Trump’s support played out differently in each state. In Ohio, it could help blunt the biggest attack on “Hillbilly Elegy” author JD Vance – the candidate’s past criticism of Trump. The former president’s support for Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania may have less immediate impact, especially since voters may have already associated the two Republican celebrities. Trump weighed in on the North Carolina primary nearly a year ago, but his support for U.S. Representative Ted Budd hasn’t erased GOP ground. In Georgia, however, his commitment to Herschel Walker likely kept other top Republicans out of the running, leaving the former NFL star with what should be a relatively easy path to the Republican nomination at the end of the month. .
Democrats say this month’s messy and costly GOP primaries will leave Republican candidates bruised ahead of the general election. (Democrats also have a crowded primary in Pennsylvania, but it hasn’t attracted the level of spending or vitriol like the GOP contest.)
After seeing Republican candidates race to the right in an attempt to win their party’s leadership, Democrats are hoping to make the general election matchups a stark contrast between the candidates. But that becomes more difficult to do if the national environment continues to work against the party. President Joe Biden’s approval rating was 41%, with 54% disapproval, in the latest CNN average of recent national polls. Democrats know Republicans will tie them to him, which is one reason a number of them broke with the White House over lifting Title 42, a Trump-era public health authority. which allows border authorities to send migrants back to Mexico or their country of origin. .
Senate contests are increasingly becoming nationalized matters, so while the quality of nominees matters (see No. 10 on this list), Democrats face a daunting challenge to retain their Senate majority, no matter what. be the Republicans emerging from these May primaries.
CNN’s ranking of Senate seats most likely to flip sees a few changes this month, all in favor of Republicans. But the states holding the May primaries remain in the same positions this month. The ranking is based on CNN’s fundraising and advertising reports and data, as well as historical state and candidate performance data.