Voters in seven states are hitting the polls on Tuesday to decide the outcome of some extremely competitive and bitter primary races.
In Delaware and New Hampshire, insurgent candidates running with Tea Party support are looking to upset establishment-backed contenders in Republican Senate primaries. Some pretty big conservative names have waded into the highly-anticipated match-ups.
Both Christine O'Donnell, who is taking on U.S. Rep. Mike Castle in the First State, as well as Ovide Lamontagne, who is facing off against State Attorney General Kelly Ayotte in the Granite State, have been endorsed by conservative kingmaker Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
Sarah Palin has also injected herself into a handful of today's races. The former Alaska Governor has offered her seal of approval to O'Donnell, aligned herself with the establishment in backing Ayotte, and also has endorsed Brian Murphy in Maryland, who is competing against former Gov. Bob Ehrlich for the Republican nomination for the state's governorship.
Primary action is also set to go down on Tuesday in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, as well as in Washington, DC.
Here's a rundown of the hottest September 14 primary fights:
Delaware's Republican primary for Senate is too close to call as voters take to the polls on Tuesday to decide the race between establishment candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Castle and Tea Party-backed contender Christine O'Donnell. HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports on the latest dispatch of numbers out on the bitter match-up: The new survey from automated pollster Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows "a real possibility of a major upset," with Tea Party conservative Christine O'Donnell holding a three-point advantage (47% to 44%) over Congressman Mike Castle that falls within the poll's margin of error. PPP says the race is now "too close to call." O'Donnell's candidacy has been endorsed by the likes of Sarah Palin and conservative superstar South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint. ;however, some big names on the right seem less than enthused with the GOP hopeful’s campaign. Specifically, the top dogs at Tea Party organizing group FreedomWorks, Chairman Dick Armey and President and CEO Matt Kibbe, said on Monday those chose not to endorse O'Donnell because they have doubts over whether she can win.
Heading into Tuesday’s primary election in New Hampshire, former State Attorney General Kelly Ayotte leads conservative challengers Ovide Lamontagne and Bill Binnie in the race for for the state's Republican nomination for Senate. According to a survey released by Public Policy Polling on Sunday night, Ayotte is ahead of Lamontagne and Binnie by a margin of 37 percent to 30 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Despite Ayotte’s frontrunner status, some have speculated that while unlikely, Lamontagne could pull out an upset win on Tuesday night. The conservative contender has garnered support from the Tea Party and at the end of last week secured the endorsement of Sen. Jim DeMint. Sarah Palin endorsed Ayotte as one of her 2010 “mama grizzlies” earlier this year.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is facing-off against former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann for Wisconsin's Republican gubernatorial nomination on Tuesday night. With the backing of the state GOP, Walker has consistently polled ahead of Neumann over the course of the primary campaign. The winner of the gubernatorial primary will face off against presumptive Democratic nominee Tom Barrett in the state’s general election. With Democratic incumbent Gov. Jim Doyle's decision against seeking a third term, the race for Wisconsin's governorship is considered toss-up come November.
There's no telling whether Republican establishment pick Rick Lazio or Tea Party-backed Carl Paladino will come out on top in New York's GOP gubernatorial primary election on Tuesday night. According to a Sienna poll released over the weekend, Lazio leads Paladino by a razor thin margin of 43 percent to 42 percent as voters prepare to hit the polls. Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg explains, "A heavier than normal Republican turnout upstate will likely hand the nomination to Paladino, who leads upstate 53-32 percent, while a heavier than normal downstate suburban turnout will likely make Lazio the Republican nominee, as he leads there 55-30 percent. Lazio also leads 53-33 percent in New York City, which traditionally produces a smaller vote than any region in a Republican primary." Whichever GOP hopeful emerges the winner of the election fight will likely have a difficult time running competitively in the Empire State's general election against presumptive Democratic nominee state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The bitter primary set to culminate shaped up to be a an extremely tight match-up despite controversy that has swirled around Paladino's candidacy. Earlier this year, the conservative contender found himself in hot water after a batch of eyebrow-raising messages he sent online to friends and coworkers surfaced: These emails run the gamut from your standard email chain smut to greatly disturbing racist imagery. Many of the latter type of emails targeted President Obama and his wife Michelle.
Former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich wants his old job back, but he’ll have to overcome a primary challenger from conservative candidate Brian Murphy to have a shot at achieving the goal in the Old Line State in the general election. Ehrlich is considered the favorite over Murphy, who is running with the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. If Ehrlich proves successful in his electoral pursuit on Tuesday night, he will go on to face Democratic incumbent Gov. Martin O'Malley, who unseated him from his gubernatorial post in 2006. The AP recently reported on the primary fight: Ehrlich has been looking beyond Murphy to a matchup with his Democratic nemesis, hammering the incumbent for successfully pushing a variety tax increases in the November 2007 special session. Ehrlich has argued that they have hurt small businesses and hampered Maryland's efforts to bounce back from the recession. ... Murphy, meanwhile, is criticizing Ehrlich on some of the same issues the former governor is attacking the Democratic incumbent — raising taxes while failing to scale back spending. Murphy is running to the right of the former governor by highlighting his opposition to abortion, pledging to take a strong stand against illegal immigration and vowing not to increase taxes or fees.
MA-04: Democratic Congressional Primary: While LaRouche activist Rachel Brown faces extremely unfavorable odds at unseating Democratic incumbent Rep. Barney Frank going into Tuesday’s primary, the match-up has landed in the headlines from time to time over an unusual run-in the pair had last year. The AP reports, "Questioned at a town hall last year about the "Nazi policy" of health care reform, Frank told the speaker who made the comment that talking to her was "like arguing with a dining room table." Fast forward to this year, the questioner, Rachel Brown, is challenging the 15-term Democrat's re-election bid. Brown said her exchange with Frank inspired her to run against him in the Democratic primary in the state's 4th Congressional District." MA-09: Democratic Congressional Primary: Democratic incumbent Rep. Stephen Lynch's vote health care reform, as well as his support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, reportedly spurred Mac D'Alessandro to launch a long-shot primary campaign to unseat him. Lynch has downplayed any speculation that he faces a tangible threat from his opponent on the left. Nevertheless, he also avoided debating D'Alessandro at all costs, only agreeing to participate in one 15-minute debate over the course of the campaign. MA-10: Democratic Congressional Primary: An internal poll released several months ago showed Robert O'Leary holding a small edge over primary rival Bill Keating in the race to fill outgoing Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt’s House seat. Delahunt has signaled he intends to vote for O’Leary, but stopped short of making an official endorsement of the congressional hopeful's campaign. With the longtime incumbent’s decision to retire, there is a tangible opportunity for Republicans to flip the seat red come November. MA-10: Republican Congressional Primary: Hotline on Call reports that the strength of the "Scott Brown effect" will be put to the test as Republicans fight to capture Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt's 10th district House seat: "We'll find out in this GOP primary just how much pull the state's junior senator has. Brown has endorsed state Rep. Jeff Perry (R), a social conservative, while ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) has campaigned heavily for ex-Treas. Joe Malone (R)." The Boston Globe notes that while Perry has received a wave of GOP endorsements prior to Tuesday's primary, Malone has taken aim at his congressional opponent "with his shifting statements about a subordinate’s illegal strip searches of two teenage girls when Perry was a police sergeant in Wareham in the early 1990s."