December 2, 2023
Voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho, and Oregon all head to the polls Tuesday to select their nominees in both GOP and Democrat primaries in what is thus far this year perhaps the biggest election night yet. Center-stage is Pennsylvania’s GOP U.S. Senate primary, where celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz – with former President Donald […]

Voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho, and Oregon all head to the polls Tuesday to select their nominees in both GOP and Democrat primaries in what is thus far this year perhaps the biggest election night yet.

Center-stage is Pennsylvania’s GOP U.S. Senate primary, where celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz – with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement – aims to secure the nomination and advance to the general election. Both Oz and businessman David McCormick, who despite his Wall Street history has run one of the most America First campaigns this cycle, have spent north of eight figures bashing each other to smithereens in a brutal ad campaign. Kathy Barnette, the author and conservative commentator whose powerful personal story has captivated voters, has surged into the top tier in the final weeks of the campaign, giving both of the big spenders a run for their money. Who wins between Oz, McCormick, and Barnette, will have major implications for the future of the GOP, for the party’s chances in the general election in Pennsylvania, and whether the GOP has a shot at retaking the U.S. Senate majority in these upcoming midterm elections in November.

The winner of that primetime primary is likely to face Democrat Lt. Gov John Fetterman in the general election, assuming Fetterman can swat away primary opponents, including Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), even after suffering a stroke that has left him hospitalized in the final days of the campaign.

In addition to many key congressional primaries as well, voters in Pennsylvania will also select nominees in both parties for governor. On the Democrat side, Attorney General Josh Shapiro is a shoo-in and looks to make his general election bid formal on Tuesday night. On the GOP side, divisions remain despite a last-second endorsement of state Sen. Doug Mastriano from Trump. Mastriano, a deeply-flawed candidate with a messy history on the issues, has relied on a divided field to poll well ahead of the rest of his opponents. Other Republicans, most prominently former Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), have waged a desperate campaign in an attempt to hold him off.

In North Carolina, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) appears to be coasting into the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate – something that just a few months ago was no sure thing. However, Budd, with Trump’s endorsement, has rallied late in the spring to a commanding lead in the polls representing a generational shift inside the GOP towards outsider candidates like him and J.D. Vance in Ohio, who won his primary a couple of weeks ago. Several down ticket congressional primaries are up for grabs, too, most notably whether Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) can hold off a primary challenge, and some open seats will test Trump’s endorsement there as well.

In Oregon and Kentucky, Democrat infighting in their primaries could potentially be the story of the night, and other races loom large there possibly. In Idaho, GOP Gov. Brad Little faces GOP Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in a primary. Trump endorsed McGeachin, another test of the former president’s strength inside the party, especially in a deep red state like Idaho.

Follow along here for live updates as the results pour in from across the country. The polls begin closing in parts of Kentucky at just 6 p.m. ET and the rest of the state at 7 p.m. ET. In North Carolina, the polls are open until 7:30 p.m. ET, and in Pennsylvania until 8 p.m. ET. In Idaho, the polls close at 10 p.m. ET, and in Oregon most of the polls close at 11 p.m. ET though some in areas that follow Mountain Time close at 10 p.m. ET.

UPDATE 1:48 a.m. ET:

It is very possible that a sitting vulnerable Democrat House member may lose his primary out in Oregon:

UPDATE 1:38 a.m. ET:

Oz is up by close to 3,000 votes now, but McCormick’s camp is still very confident the remaining mail is more than enough to make that up–the cushion McCormick is expected to get in the mail is very likely to overcome this.

UPDATE 1:02 a.m. ET:

Oz’s lead is about a thousand votes, but many are noting McCormick will more than likely make up for it in the outstanding mail votes. Inside Elections analyst Ryan Matsumoto estimates that McCormick will net several thousand votes his way out of the remaining mail votes.

McCormick campaign adviser Jeff Roe also tweeted that the remaining mail votes indicate that McCormick will win and defeat Oz:

UPDATE 12:53 a.m. ET:

It is unlikely that there will be a clear result this evening in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary, but again even despite the mirage of a slight Oz lead as people go to bed across the country the outstanding mail votes could decide this race on Wednesday and it is likely headed to an automatic recount. Given McCormick’s performance in the mail so far, if that holds at the margins he has hit so far–anywhere between 9 and 11 percent–McCormick is certainly more likely than Oz to easily finish this race victorious.

UPDATE 12:40 a.m. ET:

With another batch from Delaware County where McCormick is winning, McCormick has cut Oz’s new lead down to just about 600 votes. Sources with team McCormick say they are however very confident in victory, even with Oz up on the scoreboard right now, given what’s remaining in the mail and other places.

UPDATE 12:25 a.m. ET:

As expected, Oz has taken a slight lead according to the New York Times of about 700 votes. However, according to MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, 35,000 mail votes remain–and McCormick leads by 9 percent over Oz in those. Assuming McCormick holds that clip, or even half of that, in remaining mail, he has more than enough to make up that difference and more:

But, again, this is razor thin and anything could happen.

UPDATE 12:10 a.m. ET:

Kathy Barnette, who has no path to the nomination anymore as the race is down to the leading McCormick and trailing Oz, delivered an impassioned speech earlier in the evening during her watch party where she thanked her staff and supporters and although she said she was not conceding, she choked up onstage. “I’m not conceding,” she said. “I just want to take this time to just say thank you.”

UPDATE 12:02 a.m. ET:

McCormick has now expanded his lead to about 1,500 votes.

UPDATE 11:54 p.m. ET:

McCormick keeps hanging on and his lead is more than a thousand votes again.

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UPDATE 11:53 p.m. ET:

More from Oz’s comments in which he did not concede the election tonight:

UPDATE 11:52 p.m. ET:

Oz, in remarks in Newtown, Pennsylvania, projected less confidence than McCormick but did say he thinks he will win. “I’ll talk to you later,” he concluded remarks to supporters after saying he does still believe he will be the next senator from Pennsylvania.

UPDATE 11:50 p.m. ET:

It appears as though another Trump endorsement, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in Idaho, has lost her GOP primary bid against incumbent Gov. Brad Little. It was a long shot always, but it hurts Trump’s record:

With Cawthorn’s loss in North Carolina, this one in Idaho, a looming likely loss in Pennsylvania for Oz, and Trump’s loss in Nebraska’s GOP primary for governor, the former president now has at least three maybe four losses on his record in this 2022 GOP primary cycle.

UPDATE 11:45 p.m. ET:

McCormick’s lead is less than a thousand votes now, but again the thousands of mail-in votes not yet counted–which are breaking significantly his way–means even if Oz takes a slight lead tonight when those mail votes are counted tomorrow it looks like McCormick will probably come out in front. Though anything can happen here it’s very fast moving.

UPDATE 11:40 p.m. ET:

McCormick, in a speech to supporters in Pittsburgh, projects confidence his campaign will be victorious:

UPDATE 11:38 p.m. ET:

McCormick is hanging on to a lead north of 2,000 votes, and what remains to be counted tomorrow are many mail votes. McCormick is leading in mail votes by anywhere from 9 to 11 percent, so he seems like he will hold on but this is going to be very close in the final calculus and probably will be within that 0.5 percent margin between McCormick and Oz which triggers an automatic recount though all of that remains to be seen.

UPDATE 11:24 p.m. ET:

McCormick’s lead is back up to more than 2,500 votes but this is absolutely going to the wire and probably to a recount. McCormick’s camp is extremely confident that what remains are more McCormick votes than Oz votes, but this might not be decided tonight.

UPDATE 11:14 p.m. ET:

With 92 percent in according to the New York Times, McCormick is still leading Oz but now by less than 2,000 votes.

UPDATE 11:10 p.m. ET:

With 91 percent in according to the New York Times, McCormick has a lead of just under 3,000 votes or about 0.3 percent. He is hanging on for now.

UPDATE 11:08 p.m. ET:

Oz may take lead over McCormick here pretty soon, but be careful reading too far into that:

Depending on what’s still out, McCormick has been over-performing expectations everywhere. Either way, if Oz finishes in front somehow or McCormick ekes it out, this is probably in recount territory no matter what.

UPDATE 10:55 p.m. ET:

Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary is probably headed to a recount however this ends, but McCormick still leads:

UPDATE 10:52 p.m. ET:

The Washington Post says 99 percent of votes are counted, and McCormick is still leading by more than 4,000 votes.

UPDATE 10:50 p.m. ET:

With 86 percent reporting according to the New York Times, McCormick is hanging on to a 6,000 vote lead which is slightly tightening but his 31.8 percent is still better than Oz’s 31.2 percent. This is coming down to the wire.

UPDATE 10:36 p.m. ET:

A huge batch of votes just came in and now with 80 percent reporting McCormick has expanded his lead again to a full percent and about 8,000 votes again. McCormick, at 32 percent, leads Oz’s 31 percent.

UPDATE 10:34 p.m. ET:

As McCormick continues to lead, PredictIt betting odds have completely flipped against Oz and now McCormick is the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Still not done yet, but team McCormick is privately very confident right now.

UPDATE 10:23 p.m. ET:

McCormick is actually winning in the Election Day votes as well:

UPDATE 10:19 p.m. ET:

McCormick still leads but this race is super close with Oz and may end up in recount territory:

UPDATE 10:16 p.m. ET:

Another Trump endorsement has won in North Carolina:

UPDATE 10:14 p.m. ET:

With 66 percent reporting, McCormick is hanging tough with an approximately 8,000 vote lead and 32.1 percent compared to Oz’s 30.9 percent.

UPDATE 10:07 p.m. ET:

With 64 percent reporting, McCormick still leads by more than 8,000 votes and has 32.1 percent compared to Oz’s 30.8 percent.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m. ET:

With 59 percent now in in Pennsylvania, McCormick continues to maintain a lead over Oz. Leading by approximately 8,000 votes, McCormick’s 32 percent is better than Oz’s 30.6 percent.

Barnette, meanwhile, according to Wasserman of Cook Political Report no longer has a pathway to the nomination:

UPDATE 10:00 p.m. ET:

The polls have now closed in Idaho and the most eastern parts of Oregon. Results in those places should be coming in soon.

UPDATE 9:59 p.m. ET:

Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement conceding he lost–but he did not endorse Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) in the general election in his statement.

“While I’m disappointed by the election results tonight, I’m proud of the race we ran,” McCrory said. “We told the truth, championed conservative principles and results, and made character and achievement central to our message. I’ll continue to advocate for the kind of Republican party that believes in truth, integrity, vigorous debate, character and achievement. I still believe in that party, and that our obligation to the next generation is more important than the next election. I look forward to participating in that conversation in the future.”
It remains to be seen if he will support the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate there.

UPDATE 9:57 p.m. ET:

With 53 percent of the vote in now, McCormick keeps increasing his lead which now stands at more than 11,000 votes. McCormick’s 32.3 percent is more than 2 percent more than Oz’s 30.2 percent. now.

UPDATE 9:55 p.m. ET:

The AP has now called the GOP governor primary in Pennsylvania for Mastriano:

UPDATE 9:52 p.m. ET:

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With 45 percent reporting, McCormick is hanging tough up 2 percent over Oz. McCormick is at 32 percent with Oz at 30 percent.

UPDATE 9:49 p.m. ET:

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has lost his primary, according to Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report:

In addition to being a loss for Cawthorn, of course, this is Trump’s first loss of the night–and means it is after his loss in Nebraska’s primary for governor last week his second loss of the year.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m. ET:

With 41 percent now in, McCormick has increased his lead to more than 9,000 votes and leads Oz by more than 2 percent. McCormick’s 32.1 percent is more than Oz’s 29.9 percent–and Barnette has yet to seriously materialize, down at 22.9 percent still.

UPDATE 9:40 p.m. ET:

In Pennsylvania’s all-important 8th congressional district, Republican Jim Bognet has a huge lead. Bognet, who is backed by Trump, is about double his primary opponent Mike Marsicano right now with 18 percent reporting.

UPDATE 9:38 p.m. ET:

With 37 percent in now, McCormick continues to lead by about 8,000 votes with 31.8 percent to Oz’s 29.6 percent. Barnette is down at 23 percent still.

UPDATE 9:32 p.m. ET:

With 32 percent in, McCormick still leads with 32.1 percent. Oz has 29.5 percent and Barnette has 23 percent. It’s still early, but McCormick is way outperforming the polls so far.

UPDATE 9:29 p.m. ET:

It is looking bad now for Cawthorn in North Carolina, and the controversial young congressman may lose his primary:

UPDATE 9:27 p.m. ET:

Another Trump endorsement wins in North Carolina:

UPDATE 9:25 p.m. ET:

With 25 percent reporting, McCormick’s lead is shrinking but he is hanging on for now. At 31.4 percent, he leads Oz’s 28.8 percent. Meanwhile, Barnette is down at 22.9 percent.

UPDATE 9:17 p.m. ET:

While no news organization has called it yet, Dave Wasserman from Cook Political Report says that Doug Mastriano–the pick Trump endorsed late in the primary–has won the GOP nomination to be governor of Pennsylvania:

UPDATE 9:14 p.m. ET:

With 15 percent in now in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary, McCormick is holding his lead at 32.2 percent over Oz’s 27.4 percent. Barnette is still down at 21.2 percent.

UPDATE 9:10 p.m. ET:

With 11 percent in now in Pennsylvania’s Senate GOP primary, McCormick is holding a 6 percent lead over Oz. McCormick’s 32.3 percent is six points better than Oz’s 26.3 percent, while Barnette is struggling down in third with 21.3 percent.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m. ET:

There are some signs that at least some voters are voting for both Mastriano and McCormick:

UPDATE 9:06 p.m. ET:

In the GOP primary for governor in Pennsylvania with 10 percent reporting, Trump-backed Doug Mastriano now leads with 25.2 percent. Bill McSwain is in second with 20.9 percent and Lou Barletta is third with 20.1 percent.

UPDATE 9:03 p.m. ET:

With 10 percent now reporting in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary, the race is tightening a little bit but McCormick is still out front with 32.5 percent. Oz is in second with 25.9 percent and Barnette is in third with 20.7 percent.

UPDATE 9:01 p.m. ET:

An update on Trump endorsements: Since Rep. James Comer (R-KY) won his primary unopposed, Trump went six for six and won every race he endorsed in in Kentucky. He still has a lot on the line in both Pennsylvania and North Carolina as well as in Idaho later on tonight.

UPDATE 8:58 p.m. ET:

With 8 percent now reporting from Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary according to the New York Times, McCormick is hanging on in the lead with 32.4 percent to Oz’s 24.3 percent. Barnette is still in third with 20.3 percent.

UPDATE 8:55 p.m. ET:

Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has won the Democrat primary, per the Associated Press:

UPDATE 8:51 p.m. ET:

With 7 percent in in Pennsylvania per the New York Times, McCormick is holding steady nearly double digits over Oz with Barnette in third. McCormick has 32.4 percent, Oz has 22.9 percent, and Barnette has 19.2 percent. Barnette is only leading one county, Montgomery County, which is just outside Philadelphia. It’s still early, so expect this to tighten.

UPDATE 8:48 p.m. ET:

In North Carolina, two more Trump-backed GOP House members have fended off primary challengers:

UPDATE 8:35 p.m. ET:

With 5 percent reporting in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary, McCormick still leads–now with 33.4 percent compared to Oz’s 21.9 percent. Barnette is in third with 20.3 percent.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m. ET:

Another Trump-backed candidate won in Kentucky:

UPDATE 8:26 p.m. ET

With 4 percent reporting according to the New York Times, McCormick is holding a double digit lead over Oz. McCormick’s 36.4 percent leads Oz’s 23.3 percent. Barnette, meanwhile, is in third at 17.3 percent.

UPDATE 8:22 p.m. ET

Another update on the Cawthorn situation in North Carolina–he is performing really strongly in Election Day votes versus early votes where he did poorly:

UPDATE 8:18 p.m. ET:

On the Democrat side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman appears to be coasting to the nomination and Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report says he already won:

Fetterman is literally in a hospital right now recovering from a stroke, a late breaking story that threw a curveball into an otherwise uneventful Democrat primary even though Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) was running against him. No news organizations have called this one yet, but it seems to be a lock. Fetterman is an avowed socialist and will give whoever the GOP ends up nominating a good fight in November.

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UPDATE 8:14 p.m. ET:

Oz is leading in the early Philadelphia County returns, but McCormick has the early statewide lead for now.

UPDATE 8:10 p.m. ET:

It’s worth noting those first Pennsylvania Senate GOP primary results are from Allegheny County, where McCormick is expected to do very well. Some early results from Northampton County on the other side of the state also have McCormick leading there too. It’s still very early, so this race will tighten big time as other counties begin reporting.

UPDATE 8:07 p.m. ET:

The very first results are coming in in Pennsylvania. With 1 percent reporting according to the New York Times, David McCormick has a huge lead. McCormick, at 42.6 percent, is way ahead of Mehmet Oz’s 22.7 percent while Kathy Barnette is at 15.6 percent. It is still very early here so expect this to tighten and change significantly.

UPDATE 8:05 p.m. ET:

An update on Cawthorn’s situation–Wasserman says it is looking good for young flashy congressman at this point:

UPDATE 8:03 p.m. ET:

In North Carolina’s 13th congressional district GOP primary, Bo Hines–the Trump-backed pick–has a healthy lead so far but it is early. With 23 percent reporting according to the New York Times, Hines has 30.9 percent–close to a double digit lead–and leads by about 1,500 votes.

UPDATE 8:00 p.m. ET

The polls have closed in Pennsylvania, where the banner race of the night–the U.S. Senate GOP primary–is, and results there are expected imminently.

UPDATE 7:54 p.m. ET:

It is worth noting that the open U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina that Budd just won the nomination for and is easily the favorite over Beasley in November’s general election is being vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). Similar to in Ohio a couple weeks ago, where the outgoing Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) saw the GOP primary for his seat won by another outsider J.D. Vance, this seems to be the beginning of major changes to the Republican Party–and the U.S. Senate–in 2022.

UPDATE 7:52 p.m. ET:

On the other side of the aisle, Democrat Cheri Beasley has wrapped up her primary and will face Budd in November in the critical swing state of North Carolina:

UPDATE 7:51 p.m. ET:

The polls were not closed for even 20 minutes before the Associated Press made the official call for the Trump-backed Ted Budd, who is now the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate:

This was clearly a landslide, or blowout, election victory for both Budd and Trump.

UPDATE 7:49 p.m. ET:

Meanwhile, in the 11th district, Cawthorn might be in a bit of trouble:

UPDATE 7:47 p.m. ET:

With 11 percent reporting according to the New York Times, Budd has a commanding lead over McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). Budd has 57.8 percent to McCrory’s 25.5 percent while Walker has just 8.7 percent.

UPDATE 7:40 p.m. ET:

Ted Budd has taken a huge lead in the very early results, and Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has already called the race for him:

News organizations have yet to call it, but it seems like Budd is as expected coasting to victory. This is another win for Trump, and more importantly was not always as sure a thing as it turned out to be in the last few weeks. As recently as late winter or early spring, Budd was trailing in the polls or even with his opponents. Trump’s early endorsement, as well as a strong campaign from the conservative outsider, seem to have generated significant momentum for him and propelled him to way out in front in this critical race. Budd is likely to face Democrat Cheri Beasley in the general election.

UPDATE 7:36 p.m. ET:

Another Trump endorsement, Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), won his primary:

UPDATE 7:34 p.m. ET:

One to watch closely in North Carolina is the primary challenge that Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing. He’s endorsed by Trump, but has been dogged by a series of attacks in recent weeks. The primary runoff thresholds also, per some experts, benefit him:

UPDATE 7:31 p.m. ET:

Another Trump endorsement, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), has won his primary:

UPDATE 7:30 p.m. ET:

The polls have now closed in North Carolina, where the GOP U.S. Senate primary is set to be the banner race but several down-ticket primaries matter as well. Results should be coming very soon and if the polls showing Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) significantly leading huge over former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory are right a call should be imminent.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m. ET:

Those 26 Trump endorsements on the line on Tuesday night are as follows, according to Trump’s team:

Idaho-Governor: Janice McGeachin
Idaho-Senate: Mike Crapo
Idaho-01: Russ Fulcher

Kentucky-Senate: Rand Paul
Kentucky-01: James Comer
Kentucky-02: Brett Guthrie
Kentucky-04: Thomas Massie
Kentucky-05: Hal Rogers
Kentucky-06: Andy Barr

North Carolina-Senate: Ted Budd
North Carolina-03: Greg Murphy
North Carolina-05: Virginia Foxx
North Carolina-07: David Rouzer
North Carolina-08: Dan Bishop
North Carolina-09: Richard Hudson
North Carolina-10: Patrick McHenry
North Carolina-11: Madison Cawthorn
North Carolina-13: Bo Hines

Pennsylvania-Governor: Doug Mastriano
Pennsylvania-Senate: Mehmet Oz
Pennsylvania-08: Jim Bognet
Pennsylvania-10: Scott Perry
Pennsylvania-11: Lloyd Smucker
Pennsylvania-13: John Joyce
Pennsylvania-14: Guy Reschenthaler
Pennsylvania-16: Mike Kelly

UPDATE 7:21 p.m. ET

The polls have closed in Kentucky, and several of Trump’s endorsed candidates have already won. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won his primary easily:

So did Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY):

In total, Trump has 26 endorsements on the line nationwide on Tuesday night.

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