In the decision of the primaries across the country where eight States participated, Establishment favorites won. Despite much of the attention going to the unique top-two primary system in California, the results in the remaining seven States was also significant. Take, for example, Alabama where the incumbent Martha Roby looked headed for a run-off after facing a primary challenge due to her refusal to support Donald Trump. Roby negated her endorsement in 2016 after the release of Access Hollywood tape that resulted in her running almost twenty points behind her opponent as a result. The expectation is that she will face former Democratic Congressman Bobby Bright. The difference from the 2010 general election where Roby beat Bright is that this time the latter has campaigned as a vocally pro-Trump Republican.
In New Jersey, Senator Jeff Van who is a conservative Democrat won despite the challenge of the opponents and other critiques who viewed him as insufficiently progressive. The national Democrats had recruited Van Drew to run the South Jersey seat which Donald trump had reclaimed in 2016 after being held by Barrack Obama for two terms. Van Drew was supposed to take over from retiring Republican Frank LoBiondo.
Non-partisan political analysts favored Democrats to win the seat in November while Democrats’ preferred candidates still emerged winners in primaries in several others the state with competitive seats. However, in the Garden State, there was one scare for the Democrats. Robert Menendez who is the incumbent senator had ad an underwhelming performance after the corruption allegation raised against him. The result of that case leaves Menendez vulnerable to his competitor businessman Bob Hugin who is self-funding and has already used $8,000,000 on the campaign.
In another State where the expectation for the Senate is likely to be very high, the Republicans picked a nominee that will offer the needed competition. In Montana, the auditor of the State Matt Rosendale won a crowded duel narrowly against Russ Fagg who is a retired judge. By the time 56% of the precincts were reporting, Rosendale was leading by 34% against 29% although he had a massive influx of support from significant groups. He will be facing two-term Democratic incumbent Jon Tester in November in a State won by Donald Trump in 2016 by 20%.The most interesting of all happened in Iowa where Bernie Sanders preferred candidate finished at a disappointing third position Pete D’Alessandro, a close advisor to the senator of Vermont in his presidential campaign, could not beat Cindy Axne although Sanders had recorded a television ad on his behalf. Axne will be facing the incumbent David Young in November.