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Five takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries: Alsobrooks and Hogan go head-to-head in Maryland’s Senate race


(WASHINGTON) – Voters went to the polls in Maryland, Nebraska and West Virginia on Tuesday to set up some key ballot measures.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks won the Democratic nomination in the Senate race in Maryland, while Republicans in West Virginia nominated candidates likely to take over one of the Senate seats and the governor’s mansion.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump sailed to victory in their respective primaries as restlessness continued at their respective bases.

Here are five takeaways from Tuesday night’s results:

Machine wins over money in contentious Maryland Senate primaries

Alsobrooks won the Democratic Senate primary in Maryland, defeating Rep. David Trone in one of the most consequential nominating contests of the year.

The race marked a battle between local machines and money. Alsobrooks had the support of many prominent Maryland politicians, while Trone, the wealthy founder of Total Wine & More, won the support of congressional leaders while dumping tens of millions of his own dollars into his campaign.

While Trone’s money could help him blanket the airwaves and deliver lots of mail-in ads to voters’ homes, some voters who spoke to ABC News in Maryland said they supported Alsobrooks because they trusted her endorsers, including people like Rep. Jamie Raskin, D.

In the end the machine won with more ease than expected.

With 46% of the estimated vote, Alsobrooks won by about 10 points, a stunning victory for a candidate facing such a massive spending deficit.

Now Alsobrooks will try to make history. Maryland has never elected a black senator, and only three black women from any state have served in the Senate.

But first she will have to defeat popular former Gov. Larry Hogan, who won Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary. Although Maryland is one of the bluest states in the country, his candidacy makes the race competitive — with nothing less than control of the Senate at stake.

“On November 5, 2024, we are going to beat Larry Hogan, keep Maryland blue and keep our Senate under Democratic control – spread the word,” Alsobrooks wrote on X.

Hogan sails through the primaries – now comes the hard part

Hogan, who won more than 60% of the primary vote and counted about two-thirds of the estimated ballots, is a popular former two-term governor who left office in 2023 with impressive approval ratings. It remains to be seen if he can replicate the formula that sent him to the governor’s mansion.

His first two statewide campaigns were fueled by support from Republicans, independents and disaffected Democrats.

While his popularity makes the race immediately competitive, he will have to duplicate his past coalition to actually defeat Alsobrooks, who will likely benefit from a draft out of the top of the ticket as Biden carries the state by more than 30 points in 2020 won.

Republicans point to his record of electoral success and suggest he has as good a chance as ever.

“For eight years, Governor Hogan delivered results for Maryland by reaching across the aisle. Marylanders know they can trust Governor Hogan to keep their communities safe and deliver results in Washington,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines.

Still, Hogan is now entering a presidential year for federal office with Senate control and a contentious White House race on the line, potentially limiting his crossover appeal.

A campaign event in Baltimore County on Monday drew both Republicans and independents enthusiastically for Hogan. But as his campaign was preparing, a voter approached Hogan’s team to tell them they wanted Trump to take power in Washington before he walked away.

Protest votes stick for Trump, Biden

Trump and Biden won primaries in Maryland, Nebraska and West Virginia. But warning signs remained for both men.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who dropped out of the Republican Party’s Republican primary more than two months ago, won about 20% of the vote in Maryland and Nebraska, though she only got about 10% in West Virginia, one of the Trump voters of the country. -friendliest states.

The results were consistent with other recent primaries in which Haley has built support, especially in the suburban areas that cost Trump in 2020.

On the Democratic side, about 10% of Maryland voters backed “uncommitted” in an apparent protest vote over Biden’s handling of the Gaza war. And Jason Palmer, a little-known candidate who won the primaries in American Samoa, got about 11% of the vote in West Virginia.

Biden is haunted by the war between Israel and Hamas and by discontent over U.S. support for the Israeli military, which has erupted openly in protests on college campuses across the country. However, polls show that the war in Gaza is one of the top motivating issues for young voters.

Republicans get their man in West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia won the Republican Senate primary, making him the overwhelming favorite to take the seat of retiring Sen. Joe Manchin, D.

Justice shifted handily with Rep. Alex Mooney, who had positioned himself as the true conservative in the race compared to Justice, a former Democrat who switched parties in 2017.

Justice received the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and former President Donald Trump, giving him enormous institutional support. Mooney was backed by the anti-tax Club for Growth, who had promised to spend millions in support of their candidate but ultimately didn’t invest that much after Justice became the leading favorite.

The governor is expected to win in blood-red West Virginia in November, likely giving Republicans an easy turn in their quest for Senate control.

“Thank you, West Virginia, for your support and confidence in me. I am truly humbled and will work every day to win in November so we can flip the Senate and deliver on our America-First agenda!” Justice wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won the GOP primary for the chance to replace Justice in the governor’s mansion. That primary, which also looked more like a coronation in the Republican bastion, turned into an ugly battle over culture war issues like transgender rights.

AIPAC-backed candidate defeats Capitol Hill police officer Jan. 6

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has spent heavily in the 2024 cycle so far, scored a victory in a contentious Democratic House primary in Maryland.

State Sen. Sarah Elfreth won the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District, fending off a crowded field that included Harry Dunn, a police officer who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

An AIPAC-affiliated super PAC spent more than $4 million on her behalf, though it said it was not explicitly involved in blocking Dunn, who had also expressed support for Israel. However, the race turned combative after Dunn called for AIPAC’s extensive involvement, often boosting the group’s support for Republican candidates this year.

Elfreth is expected to win handily in November. Retiring Rep. John Sarbanes, D, won reelection in 2022 by about 40 points.

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