Here are four takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries:
Trump won as Wisconsin’s GOP establishment collapsed
Michaels’ victory was the end of an era in Wisconsin: Gleefish was backed by former Gov. Scott Walker, who built a political machine that won three gubernatorial races.
Michaels is now the latest Republican to partially embrace Trump’s electoral refusal to win a statewide primary in one of the most competitive states on the map.
In a debate, Michaels left the door open to trying to secure President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Wisconsin, saying “everything is on the table.” Kleefisch falsely called the 2020 election a “fraud” but also acknowledged that the state’s certification of the results could not be undone.
Michaels ran against now-Democratic Governor Tony Evers
Vermont Dems pick Palint for House seat
Sen. Palint, backed by Bernie Sanders, defeated Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, a moderate candidate backed by retired Sen. Patrick Leahy.
Palint will enter the November general election as the heavy favorite to win the seat.
A former schoolteacher, Palint had the support of other leading progressive groups and politicians. Gray drew the support of moderate state leaders, including Leahy, who stopped short of offering a formal endorsement but said he voted for him. Former Vermont Govs. Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin also supported Gray.
But in a race that offered few significant policy differences between the leading candidates, Palin’s victory in claiming the progressive mantle — endorsed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and neighboring Ed Markey of Massachusetts — may have helped her among primary voters. Should lean more left than the average Vermont Democrat.
The Wisconsin Senate race is set
The Wisconsin Senate general election has been a delicate process for weeks. But on Tuesday night, it began in earnest.
Republican Senate. Ron Johnson easily won his primary for re-election, while Democratic Senate candidate and Wisconsin lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes defeated the Republican in his bid.
Johnson vs. Barnes’ race will be one of the most closely watched campaigns of the 2022 cycle. He faces a Republican who has drawn the ire of Democrats for his ties to former President Donald Trump and who has espoused a string of conspiracy theories against a Democrat who holds many progressive positions that Republicans trust more than most Wisconsin voters.
Although Johnson and Barnes are political adversaries, they have already begun using similar language to define the other, calling each other “out of touch,” extreme, and out of tune with state voters.
Omar survives a surprise nail bite
Samuels ran as a pro-police critic of Omar’s calls to “take back the police.” Samuels and his wife sued the city of Minneapolis to force it to increase its police staff to the 741 officers required by the city’s charter.
The momentum, widely seen as a long-term challenge, built after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey endorsed Samuels last week. He was supported by unions, several suburban mayors and moderate DFL leaders. His close call could inspire another attempt to unseat Omar in 2024.