As the midterm primary season draws to a close, a handful of states are gearing up to hold the last few elections before the country turns its eyes fully to November.
Three more states — Massachusetts, Delaware, and New Hampshire — still have September primaries that will help determine who will duke it out in November on behalf of the Democrats and Republicans. The final primaries will tie a bow on a contentious primary season, allowing both parties to shift their focus to Nov. 8.
Massachusetts is set to hold its midterm primaries on Tuesday, and Delaware and New Hampshire will hold their races the following week on Sept. 13. Two final states, Rhode Island and Louisiana, aren’t slated to hold their primaries until Election Day, meaning the primary season is effectively finished after Delaware and New Hampshire close the polls.
Here’s what to watch for as the last few primaries play out:
Democrats eye pickup opportunity with governor’s seat in Massachusetts
Democrats are eyeing the governor’s seat in Massachusetts as a possible pickup opportunity after GOP incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker announced he would not be seeking reelection.
The open seat gives Democrats a chance to flip the seat from centrist control in the largely liberal state, with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rating the race as solidly Democratic.
State Attorney General Maura Healey is the de facto Democratic nominee after three of her primary challengers dropped out of the race, and she is likely to face Republican Geoff Diehl in the November election. Diehl, a former state lawmaker, has largely been viewed as the GOP front-runner after being endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Delaware likely to see 2020 rematch for lone House seat
The race for Delaware’s at-large House seat is effectively already decided, as only one Democrat and one Republican are running in their respective primaries.
Incumbent Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) is set to face Republican Lee Murphy, setting the stage for a rematch after the two faced each other for the same seat in 2020. The race is rated as solidly Democratic, giving Blunt Rochester an advantage as she vies for reelection.
Republicans battle to face Maggie Hassan as she seeks to hold on to Senate seat
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) could face a tough reelection battle in November, as the one-term incumbent is viewed as one of the more vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection.
Hassan could have an advantage heading into the November election because no GOP candidate has been able to emerge as a clear front-runner ahead of the Sept. 13 primary. As a result, the incumbent has also enjoyed higher fundraising numbers than the Republican candidates.
However, whoever emerges from the Republican primary, which includes state Senate President Chuck Morse and retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc, could benefit from President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings among state voters.
New Hampshire Democrats brace for reelection bids in toss-up House races
Two New Hampshire Democrats, Reps. Chris Pappas and Ann McLane Kuster, are both bracing for reelection challenges in the state’s two House districts, both of which are rated as Democratic toss-ups.
Both Republican primaries feature crowded fields of candidates without clear front-runners in either district. Democrats have attempted to infiltrate their influence in the GOP primaries, attempting to boost far-right candidates over more centrist ones in the hope that it will be easier to defeat them in November.