What to watch in these key primaries tonight

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What to watch in these key primaries tonight

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The Big Story 

What to watch in these key primaries tonight 

Voters are going to the polls on Tuesday in four states — Nevada, South Carolina, Maine and North Dakota — that will test the influence of former President Trump’s endorsements in key GOP primaries. 

© AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Although the presidential primaries are all completed, states continue to hold congressional and state-level primaries throughout the summer. On Tuesday, the candidates for one major Senate race will be officially set, and a few potentially vulnerable incumbents will try to fend off primary challengers. 


A crowded GOP primary for Senate in Nevada will come to a close on Tuesday for Republicans seeking to challenge incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.). Retired Army Capt. Sam Brown, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Senate in 2022, is the front-runner, having secured Trump’s last-minute endorsement on Sunday. 


But he’s facing two major opponents in former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter, who served during the Trump administration, and former state Assembly member Jim Marchant, who has been a strong backer of Trump’s false election fraud claims. Both Gunter and Marchant tried to position themselves as more loyal supporters of Trump than Brown, who kept his distance at times throughout the race. 


Meanwhile, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) is trying to hold off a primary challenge, including from former state official Catherine Templeton, who has attacked her over various controversies, including allegations of flip-flipping on issues and voting to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). She has Trump’s endorsement, but she will need to reach a majority of the vote to avoid a runoff in a three-way race, as The Hill’s Julia Mueller reports


And Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.) is seeking to avoid an upset in his primary against state Rep. Adam Morgan, who is running to his right as a founder of the state House’s Freedom Caucus. Morgan has the support of far-right House members like Reps. Bob Good (R-Va.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.), but Trump has backed Timmons. 


Elsewhere, two Maine state legislators are opposing each other in a primary to face Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), a moderate Democrat representing a district that voted for Trump in 2020. Trump has endorsed state Rep. Austin Theriault, also a former NASCAR driver. 


In North Dakota, Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R) appears to be the favorite to succeed outgoing Gov. Doug Burgum (R), having secured most major endorsements in the state and support from Trump. But he will face Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller (R), who has Burgum’s endorsement. 


Essential Reads 

Key election stories and other recent campaign coverage:

Former President Trump’s campaign on Tuesday dismissed Hunter Biden’s conviction on federal gun charges as “a distraction” from more serious allegations of corruption. “This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine,” Trump campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt said in a statement.  “Crooked …

Former President Trump is set to address the House Republican conference on Thursday, multiple sources confirmed to The Hill, a meeting that will come exactly two weeks after Trump’s conviction for falsifying business records in the New York hush money case. House GOP Chair Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) advised members that there will be a special GOP Political Conference meeting on Thursday featuring Trump. It is expected to take …

A South Carolina Republican defended former President Trump on Tuesday for repeatedly describing the United States as a declining nation. CNN’s Kasie Hunt pressed Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) on recent comments made by Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D), who jabbed the former president for “whining” about the state of the nation. The former president has often referred to the U.S. as a “nation in decline” and a “failing …

The Countdown 

Upcoming news themes and events we’re watching:

16 days until the first presidential debate 34 days until the Republican National Convention 69 days until the Democratic National Convention 147 days until the 2024 general election 223 days until Inauguration Day 2025 

On Our Watch 

Hunter Biden convicted in federal gun trial 

© AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Hunter Biden became the first child of a sitting president to be convicted of a crime on Tuesday after a jury found him guilty on all three counts he faced in his federal gun trial. 


The three felony charges he faced alleged that he lied about using illegal drugs when applying for a firearm in 2018 and unlawfully possessed it for 11 days. The trial lasted for just over a week, and the jury returned the verdict after deliberating for about three hours. 


A sentencing date was not set. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and a fine of $750,000, but as The Hill’s Ella Lee reports, first-time offenders rarely receive the maximum sentence. 


The conviction comes just over a week after Trump became the first former president to be convicted of a crime after the jury found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his New York case. 


Trump and some congressional Republicans have attempted to tie Hunter’s legal cases to President Biden as part of a broader conspiracy, but they have not found any evidence linking the president to Hunter’s alleged crimes. This includes after months of the House Intelligence and Oversight Committee investigating as part of an impeachment inquiry that the GOP launched on Biden. 


It’s unclear how the verdict will impact the election in the fall.

In Other News 

Branch out with a different read from The Hill:

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos says it’s “very simple” what should be the most pressing question posed to former President Trump and President Biden when they take the presidential debate stage this month: “Who won the last election?” “If you can’t pass that fundamental threshold … then I think that’s all voters and viewers need to know,” he said during a CNN interview …

President Biden’s reelection campaign launched a new program on Tuesday to reach out to seniors through events like bingo and pickleball ahead of November. The program, Seniors for Biden-Harris, will work to mobilize seniors across the country, with a focus on battleground states. For its launch this week, the campaign is hosting a pickleball tournament in Virginia, a bingo night in Arizona, a pancake breakfast in Georgia, …

Around the Nation 

Local and state headlines regarding campaigns and elections:

Former President Donald Trump to hold roundtable discussion in Detroit Saturday (Detroit Free Press
What to know about what Milwaukee allows and bans in the RNC security zone (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What We’re Reading 

Election news we’ve flagged from other outlets:

Utah governor looks to rebound in primary debate after harsh reception at GOP convention (The Associated Press
The next phase in the House GOP power struggle is beginning (Politico
Bob Menendez’s Hail Mary: Just keep running (Axios

Elsewhere Today 

Key stories on The Hill right now:

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said she wants to get back at people who raised a controversy after she and the justice were criticized last month for flying politically affiliated flags at their homes. “You come after me, I’m gonna give it back to you,” Martha-Ann Alito said in the recording of a private conversation at … Read more

What People Think 

Opinions related to campaigns and elections submitted to The Hill:

You’re all caught up. See you next time!