Voters in Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, Washington State, Kansas, and Ohio head to the polls on Tuesday to again test the resolve of former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement, with several key races from coast to coast setting the tone for the future of the Republican Party.
In Missouri, former Gov. Eric Greitens faces off against Attorney General Eric Schmitt in the GOP senatorial primary also featuring Reps. Billy Long (R-MO) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO). Greitens, who has portrayed himself as the real MAGA candidate, was the first candidate nationwide to pledge to oppose Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell no matter what if elected. His anti-establishment aggression has drawn fierce opposition from the likes of McConnell and other establishment foes like former George W. Bush aide Karl Rove, but Schmitt has tried to position himself similarly–despite backing from major mega-donors connected to McConnell–as a Trump-aligned conservative. The fight for Trump’s support culminated on Monday with an endorsement by Trump for simply “ERIC”–with the former president not specifying one or the other–and both of them claiming his endorsement meant them. Whichever one wins will say a lot about the future of the party, and could set the tone for the beginning of the end of McConnell either way as even Schmitt came out against McConnell at the very end of the race following Greitens’ lead.
Out in Arizona, Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has shocked the GOP establishment with a brash campaign while the establishment has rushed in to push Karrin Taylor Robson. The race has pitted Trump against his former wingman former Vice President Mike Pence, who campaigned for Robson on the same day Trump held a rally with Lake. Lake seems to have broken out in the polls in the home stretch, suggesting Trump’s backing and her aggressive anti-establishment style might win the day–and a loss for Robson would be a serious setback for the establishment wing of the GOP. In the Senate primary, likewise, a similar type of fight is playing out with Trump-backed Blake Masters taking a huge lead over his primary opponents as Republicans look to November to try to oust Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in this critical race.
Michiganders, meanwhile, will select who will face off against Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with Tudor Dixon the favorite to close the deal in the primary on Tuesday night after she surged in polls thanks to a late endorsement from Trump in the final days of the campaign. Dixon will have to work to unite the party after a bruising primary and challenge the increasingly competitive Whitmer in November, and has a tough road ahead of her, but many allies of Dixon’s think she can pull it off. Michigan voters will also judge the fate of Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in early 2021.
Up in Washington State, two impeachment Republicans–Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)–also face judgement day. If any of these three go down on Tuesday night, that bodes even more badly for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), whose Wyoming primary looms just a couple weeks from now on August 16.
Ohio voters meanwhile have statehouse elections, and there may be some interesting developments there. Kansas, too, is going to select a GOP nominee for governor to take on Gov. Laura Kelly (D-KS)–a Democrat and top target of Republicans this year.
The polls close in Ohio at 7:30 p.m. ET, in 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 along here for live updates as the results pour in from across the country.
UPDATE 8:10 p.m. ET:
State officials say that turnout in Missouri today is extremely low:
.@MissouriSOS says of the 4 million registered voters in the state, he expects less than 1.2 million to cast their vote during today’s primary. Hear why he thinks that is tonight on @fox4kc, @FOX2now, @KPLR11 and @kolr10kozl. #moleg #PrimaryElection #Elections2022 #vote #MOSen https://t.co/AC69DloQF6
— Emily Manley (@EmilyManleyTV) August 2, 2022
Update: We are currently at an approximate ️17% turnout for @GreeneCountyMO here on Election Day.
If you have not cast your 🗳 you have plenty of time to get to your polling location by 7️⃣:0️⃣0️⃣ 🅿️Ⓜ️❗️
To find your polling location, use this link:https://t.co/L8jlLdmBY5
— Office of the Greene County Clerk (@greenecovotes) August 2, 2022
The August Primary Election is nearing the end! If you haven’t already voted, make plans to get to a polling place by 7 p.m. to have your voice heard. As of 4 p.m., 21% of voters in the county have cast their vote. https://t.co/MGZlN1IDI6#election2022 #electionresults2022 pic.twitter.com/TeylireLqs
— STLCO Election Board (@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 that turnout was this low.
UPDATE 8:04 p.m. ET:
The first votes are coming in from Missouri–less than a percent of those cast–and Schmitt has an early lead with 276 votes to 134 for Greitens.
UPDATE 8:01 p.m. ET:
Per former President Donald Trump’s team, beyond his generic “Eric” endorsement in Missouri he has many endorsements on the line tonight including several major federal and statewide endorsements around the country. They are as follows:
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 Tracey Mann
Kansas-02 Jake LaTurner
Kansas-04 Ron Estes
Kansas-Governor Derek Schmidt
Kansas-Senate 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 Smit
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 imminently in each.