On Tuesday, the last special election before Election Day in the nation takes place in Ohio, and four states are holding primary elections — Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Many analysts seen the race for retired Rep. Pat Tiberi’s seat in Ohio’s 12th District as a possible harbinger of what’s to come in November. Voters will be deciding between Democrat Danny O’Connor and Republican Troy Balderson.
Democrats will need to flip 23 Republican-held districts in order to take control of the House of Representatives this fall.
Ohio special election
Voters in Ohio’s 12th District will be filling the seat left vacant by Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi with Democrat Danny O’Connor facing off against Republican state Senator Troy Balderson. The winner of the special election will serve out the remainder of Tiberi’s term until January.
This isn’t a place where Democrats should be competitive, CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe points out. Mr. Trump won the 12th District by 11 points in 2016. Now, a 31-year-old Democrat has tightened the race for an open House seat that the GOP has held since the early 1980s.
O’Connor rallied his volunteers Monday. He’s facing Balderson, a state senator, who acknowledged “It’s going to be a tight race.” Balderson has earned endorsements from Mr. Trump and Vice President Pence.
Mr. Trump stumped in Ohio last week before heading to New Jersey for a working vacation, where he told the state’s supporters that they’re the “real elite.”
He praised Balderson for being the “total opposite” of O’Connor and derided the Democrat as a “Nancy Pelosi Liberal” who is “weak on crime and borders.
Salvanto: No “bellwether” out of special election
CBS News’ Elections and Surveys Director Anthony Salvanto reports that no single district on Tuesday is considered a “bellwether” – whatever ultimately happens on election night will not foretell November.
He adds that there’s already been a string of special elections in which Democrats have over-performed. Ohio’s 12th district shares a lot of the characteristics of places that are competitive in November, so it will be widely and correctly seen as a test case if it is close, or if the Democrat manages to pull an upset win.
Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET.
Kansas Secretary of State and Trump ally Kris Kobach is hoping to defeat incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
Kobach previously served as the the vice chair of the president’s controversial “voter fraud” commission, which has since been disbanded over states’ concerns that the commission was demanding states hand over voter data, leading to several lawsuits against the panel. Kobach was endorsed by Mr. Trump on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s election, calling him a “fantastic guy” who will be “strong on crime, border and military.”
Moderate State Senator Laura Kelly is the likely Democratic nominee for governor.
CBS News rates Kansas’ 2nd and 3rd congressional districts as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in November.
Polling places open at 8:00 a.m. ET and close at 8:00 p.m. ET
In Michigan, incumbent Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is running for re-election. She will run in the general election against former West Point graduate and Iraq veteran John James or businessman Sandy Pensler.
In the gubernatorial race, there are three Democratic candidates vying for their party’s nomination — Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed, and Shri Thanedar. Meanwhile, there are four Republican candidates but the two who have emerged as the frontrunners: State Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley.
Mr. Trump endorsed Schuette via tweet saying he will be a “fantastic” governor. Calley rescinded his endorsement of then candidate Trump during the 2016 presidential election after the “Access Hollywood” tape was published.
CBS News also rates Michigan’s 8th and 11th congressional districts as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in November’s midterm elections.
Hillary Clinton recorded a robocall ahead of Tuesday for Haley Stevens in Michigan’s 11th, endorsing Stevens’ experience as chief of staff for the auto bailout during the Obama administration.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET in Michigan
Missouri has one Senate primary election on Tuesday night — incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is expected to run against Republican State Attorney General Josh Hawley. Mr. Trump stumped for Hawley late last month, calling him a “great young man” and urging supporters that Missouri needed him in the Senate “badly.”
McCaskill meanwhile is one of 10 Democratic U.S. senators trying to defend their seats in states that Mr. Trump won in 2016.
Polls throughout Missouri open at 7:00 am ET and close precisely at 8:00 pm ET
In Washington, incumbent Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell is expected to easily win re-election in the fall.
CBS News rates Washington’s 8th Congressional District as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in the November midterms.
Like California, Washington uses a top-two jungle primary system — regardless of party affiliation, the top two candidates move on to the general election.
Washington state votes by mail-in ballot with drop boxes and voting centers closing at 11 p.m. ET