On Tuesday, June 7, 2022, primaries were held in seven different states. This week, Election Central looks at some of the key takeaways from primary results in four of them: California, Iowa, Mississippi, and New Jersey.
Because California has a strong history of voting for Democratic candidates, primary results here can reveal which messages resonate most strongly with Democratic voters. Current Governor Gavin Newsom easily beat out several challengers to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination. This is noteworthy since Newsom was involved in a recall election less than a year ago. Often, the current governor would run uncontested in the primary.
More than a week after the election, the Los Angeles mayoral race remains too close to call. On election night, businessman Rick Caruso was five percentage points ahead of Representative Karen Bass, though both candidates claimed victory. As late mail-in ballots are counted, Bass seems to have pulled slightly ahead, though many votes remain to be counted. Since neither candidate received more than fifty percent of the vote, they will face a run-off election in November. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin also lost a recall vote. Boudin faced intense criticism for being too “soft” on crime.
In California’s Republican races, Representative Kevin McCarthy won his primary. McCarthy was given a boost last week when former President Trump stated that he felt McCarthy has successfully fought against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other key Democrats in the House of Representatives.
Former U.S. congresswoman Abby Finkenauer started her campaign for Senate as the leading Democrat in the primary race. She enjoyed the support of key Democratic political groups, such as EMILY’s List. She also raised more campaign funds than her opponent by over $1 million. Even so, Finkenauer only received 40 percent of the primary votes. Her opponent, retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Mike Franken received 55 percent and won easily. Franken will face off against current Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in November.
Two incumbent Republican congressmen were unsuccessful in their Mississippi primaries races last week. Representative Steven Palazzo won 31.6 percent of the primary votes in his House 4th District. But because he won less than 50 percent, he will be in a runoff against Mike Ezell, who won 25 percent of the primary votes. Similarly, Representative Michael Guest only won 46 percent of the votes in his primary for Mississippi’s House 3rd district. He will compete in a runoff election against Michael Cassidy, who won 47 percent of the vote in the same primary. Mississippi’s runoff election will be held on June 28, 2022.
Democratic U.S. Congressman Tom Malinowski easily won his primary in the state’s 7th district. He captured 94 percent of the votes. But looking ahead to the general election in November, his seat is considered vulnerable. That’s because New Jersey’s new congressional district maps have increased the number of Republican voters in the 7th district.