Voters in Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, Washington State, Kansas and Ohio head to the polls on Tuesday to once again test the resolve of former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement, with many key races from coast to coast to set the tone for the future of the Republican Party.
In Missouri, former Gov. Eric Greitens faces Attorney General Eric Schmidt in the GOP Senate primary, which also features Reps. Billy Long (R-MO) and Vicki Hartzler (R-MO). Greitens, who has presented himself as the true MAGA candidate, was the first candidate nationally to pledge to oppose Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell no matter who is elected. His anti-establishment aggressiveness has drawn fierce opposition from the likes of McConnell and other establishment foes such as former George W. Bush aide Karl Rove, but Schmitt has tried to position himself similarly—despite the support of major mega- donors connected to McConnell. Conservative aligned with Trump. The battle for Trump’s endorsement culminated Monday with an endorsement by Trump of just “ERIC” — with the former president not specifying either — and both claim his endorsement meant them. Whoever wins will say a lot about the future of the party and could set the tone for the beginning of the end for McConnell either way, as even Schmitt came out against McConnell late in the race after Greitens’ lead.
Out in Arizona, Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has shocked the GOP establishment with a brash campaign, while the establishment has been quick to pressure Karrin Taylor Robson. The race pitted Trump against his former vice president, Mike Pence, who campaigned for Robeson the same day Trump held a rally with Lake. Lake appears to have broken out in the polls domestically, suggesting that her support for Trump and her aggressively counter-establishment style could win the day — and a loss for Robson would be a serious setback for the establishment wing of the GOP. In the Senate primary, similarly, a similar type of race is playing out with Trump-endorsed Blake Masters taking a huge lead over his primary rivals as Republicans look to November to try to oust Sen. Mark Kelly (D- AZ) in this crucial match.
Meanwhile, Michiganders will choose who will take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with Tudor Dixon the favorite to seal the deal in Tuesday night’s primary after surging in the polls thanks to a late endorsement from Trump in the last days of the campaign. Dixon will have to work to unify the party after a boring primary and challenge the increasingly competitive Whitmer in November, and she has a tough road ahead of her, but many of Dixon’s allies believe she can pull it off. Michigan voters will also decide the fate of Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in early 2021.
In Washington state, two Republicans are running for representatives. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) – also face doomsday. If any of those three fall Tuesday night, it bodes even worse for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), whose Wyoming primary is just two weeks from now on August 16.
Meanwhile, Ohio voters have a statewide election, and there could be some interesting developments there. Kansas, too, is set to select a GOP candidate for governor to take on Gov. Laura Kelly (D-KS) – a Democrat and a top Republican target this year.
Polls close in Ohio at 7:30 p.m. ET, at Michigan, Missouri and Kansas at 8:00 p.m. ET, in Arizona at 10:00 p.m. ET and in Washington State at 11:00 p.m. ET.
Follow here for live updates as results roll in from across the country.
UPDATE 8:27 p.m. ET:
With 2 percent reporting in Kansas in the GOP primary for governor, Trump-endorsed Derek Schmidt is leading by a large margin with 74.4 percent of the vote. He’s cruising there.
UPDATE 8:25 p.m. ET:
With 3% now reporting in Michigan, Tudor Dixon has widened her lead to nearly 10,000 votes and has 46.8% to Rinke’s 23.1%.
UPDATE 8:16 p.m. ET:
Early polls are now in Michigan’s GOP primary, with 1 percent declaring, and Trump-endorsed Tudor Dixon is big. She’s at 46.1 percent and Kevin Rinke is second at 31.1 percent – a 15 percent lead for Dixon – and while it’s still early, this is a strong start for her.
UPDATE 8:10 p.m. ET:
State officials say turnout in Missouri today is extremely low:
.@MissouriSOS says that of the state’s 4 million registered voters, he expects fewer than 1.2 million to cast ballots during today’s primary. Hear why he thinks it’s tonight @fox4kc, @FOX2now, @KPLR11 and @kolr10kozl. #moleg #Primary Election #Elections2022 #vote #MOSen https://t.co/AC69DloQF6
— Emily Manley (@EmilyManleyTV) August 2, 2022
Update: We are currently at about 17% attendance for @GreeneCountyMO here on election day.
If you haven’t cast your 🗳, you have plenty of time to get to your polling place by 7️⃣:0️⃣0️⃣ 🅿️Ⓜ️❗️
To find your polling location, use this link:https://t.co/L8jlLdmBY5
— Greene County Clerk’s Office (@greenecovotes) August 2, 2022
The August primaries are drawing to a close! If you haven’t already voted, make plans to go to a polling place by 7 p.m. to make your voice heard. As of 4 p.m., 21% of voters in the county have cast their ballots. https://t.co/MGZlN1IDI6#election2022 #2022 election results pic.twitter.com/TeylireLqs
— STLCO Election Committee (@StLouisCoVotes) August 2, 2022
How this affects the race remains to be seen, but it is interesting that despite the intense national political interest and millions of dollars spent, turnout was so low.
UPDATE 8:04 p.m. ET:
Early votes are coming in from Missouri – less than one percent of voters – and Schmitt has an early lead of 276 votes to Greitens’ 134.
UPDATE 8:01 p.m. ET:
According to former President Donald Trump’s team, in addition to his general endorsement of “Eric” in Missouri, he has several endorsements on the line tonight, including several major federal and state endorsements across the country. Are the folowing:
Arizona-01 David Schweikert
Arizona-02 Eli Crane
Arizona-05 Andy Biggs
Arizona-08 Debbie Lesko
Arizona-09 Paul Gosar
Arizona-Attorney General Abe Hamadeh
Arizona-Governor Kari Lake
Arizona-Secretary of State Mark Finchem
Arizona-Senate Blake Masters
Arizona-State Senate-07 Wendy Rogers
Arizona-State Senate-09 Rob Scantlebury
Arizona-State Senate-10 David Farnsworth
Arizona-State Senate-27 Anthony Kern
Arizona-State Senate-29 Janae Shamp
Kansas-01 Tracy Mann
Kansas-02 Jake LaTurner
Kansas-04 Ron Estes
Kansas-governor Derek Schmidt
Kansas-Sen. Jerry Moran
Michigan-governor Tudor Dixon
Michigan-01 Jack Bergman
Michigan-02 John Moolenaar
Michigan-03 John Gibbs
Michigan-04 Bill Huizenga
Michigan-05 Tim Walberg
Michigan-09 Lisa McClain
Michigan-10 John James
Michigan-State House-36 Steve Carra
Michigan-State House-43 Rachelle Smith
Michigan-State House-51 Matt Maddock
Michigan-State House-63 Jacky Eubanks
Michigan-State House-71 Kevin Rathbun
Michigan-State House-79 Angela Rigas
Michigan-State House-88 Mick Bricker
Michigan-State House-99 Mike Hoadley
Michigan-State Senate-17 Jonathan Lindsey
Michigan-State Senate-22 Mike Detmer
Missouri-03 Blaine Luetkemeyer
Missouri-06 Sam Graves
Missouri-08 Jason Smith
Washington-03 Joe Kent
Washington-04 Loren Culp
UPDATE 8 p.m. ET:
The polls have closed in Missouri, Michigan, Kansas and Ohio. Results are expected immediately in each.