The Fix: primary

Did billionaire's spending sway the Mass. Senate primary?

Did billionaire's spending sway the Mass. Senate primary?

Did billionaire Tom Steyer's spending on the Massachusetts Senate Democratic primary influence the final outcome Tuesday night?

That question is hard to answer, even though the candidate he backed -- Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) -- ended up defeating Rep. Stephen F. Lynch in the race to succeed Sen. Mo Cowan (D).

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Saxby Chambliss's (GOP) primary concerns

Saxby Chambliss's (GOP) primary concerns

Sen. Saxby Chambliss's (R-Ga.) decision to publicly break with Grover Norquist last week has momentarily turned him into one of the top targets of the 2014 GOP primaries.

To a surprising extent, really.

In fact, even before Chambliss said in a local TV interview that he wouldn't be bound by Norquist's pledge to not raise taxes, a few members of the state's House delegation -- including Reps. Paul Broun and Tom Price -- were moving toward challenging him in a primary, as was former secretary of state Karen Handel.

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Lamontagne and Hassan win primaries in New Hampshire governor’s race

Updated at 10:10 p.m.

Former Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne (R) will face former state senator Maggie Hassen (D) in the open New Hampshire governor’s race after both sailed to primary wins Tuesday.

Lamontagne, an attorney who lost a 2010 Senate primary to now-Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and was also the state GOP’s gubernatorial nominee in 1996, easily dispatched former state representative Kevin Smith, taking 69 percent of the vote with 53 percent of precincts reporting.

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Rep. Cicilline wins primary in Rhode Island

Rep. Cicilline wins primary in Rhode Island

Embattled Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) has easily survived a primary scare, winning a rematch of his 2010 primary and setting the stage for a marquee House race this fall.

With 74 percent of precincts reporting, Cicilline led businessman Anthony Gemma 61 percent to 31 percent. In the general election, he will faceformer state police superintendent Brendan Doherty, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination.

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Rep. Bill Pascrell defeats Rep. Steve Rothman

Updated at 12:14 a.m.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) defeated Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) in their primary Tuesday, scoring a big victory in a new district after the two incumbents’ districts were combined under the state’s new redistricting map.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Pascrell led Rothman 60 percent to 40 percent.

Pascrell had the endorsement of former president Bill Clinton, while Rothman got the late backing of President Obama. It is one of several races this cycle pitting a supporter of Hillary Clinton against an Obama supporter, but the first in which Obama himself has gotten involved.

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Dewhurst and Cruz headed for runoff in Texas Senate race

Updated at 7:58 a.m.

The Texas Republican Senate primary is headed for a runoff, after Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst fell shy of 50 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Dewhurst will face former state solicitor general Ted Cruz, a favorite of the tea party, in the July 31 runoff. The winner of that runoff will be a heavy favorite to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), after Democrats failed to land a top-tier recruit.

With 57 percent of precincts reporting, Dewhurst led Cruz 46 percent to 33 percent. Seven other candidates split the vote enough, though, to push the two into a runoff, according to AP.

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Texas primary: Does Ted Cruz have a shot?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is very likely to be the clear first-place finisher in tonight’s GOP Senate primary in Texas.

But if Dewhurst fails to get 50 percent of the vote and the race goes to a runoff, it’s a (mostly) new ballgame.
U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz greets supporters at The Tea Party Express rally at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on May 6. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)

In Texas, the race to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) is all about the GOP primary, after Democrats’ prized recruit — former general Ricardo Sanchez — crashed and burned early in the race.

The GOP contest so far has been a bit of a jumbled mess, and Dewhurst’s top tea party competition, former state solicitor general Ted Cruz, has been badly outspent in a crowded field that includes former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert.

Still, Cruz appears to be the top threat to gain a two-man runoff with Dewhurst, and even if he finishes far behind Dewhurst today, it’s hard to count him out in the July 31 runoff.

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Mitt Romney: Unstoppable in New Hampshire?

Mitt Romney: Unstoppable in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire is at the center of the 2012 Republican presidential race today, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry travels to the state to formally file as a candidate for the first-in-the-nation primary and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul also make campaign stops in the state.

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New Hampshire and Nevada in standoff over presidential contests

New Hampshire and Nevada in standoff over presidential contests

Nevada’s Republican Party and New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner are in standoff over the dates of their respective presidential nominating contests.

Gardner issued a statement Wednesday afternoon urging Nevada to move its caucuses from the announced date of Jan. 14 to Jan. 17 — in order to allow New Hampshire to set its contest for Jan. 10 and avoid a December primary.

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Afternoon Fix: New Hampshire threatens December primary

New Hampshire is talking about December, Barney Frank is firing back at Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain got Jack Kimball and Allen West had a good quarter.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.!

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Iowa likely to pick Jan. 3 for caucuses; all eyes on New Hampshire

Iowa likely to pick Jan. 3 for caucuses; all eyes on New Hampshire

Updated at 3:24 p.m.

Iowa’s Republican Party has tentatively set its 2012 presidential caucuses for Jan. 3, avoiding holding the contest in December, according to two state central committee members.

A.J. Spiker said members of the central committee agreed to the date on an informal conference call Thursday night.

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Presidential votes in 2011? Probably not

Ever since Florida moved its primary to Jan. 31, the talk has been that the 2011 GOP nominating contest might begin in December.

And in recent days, as South Carolina has moved its primary to Jan. 21 and Nevada set its caucuses for Jan. 14, it seemed the likelihood only increased that Iowa and/or New Hampshire would hold their contests before the New Year.

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South Carolina sets primary for Jan. 21, advancing GOP primary calendar

South Carolina sets primary for Jan. 21, advancing GOP primary calendar

South Carolina has set its primary date for Jan. 21, likely pushing up the GOP presidential race to start shortly after New Year’s or even earlier.

The Palmetto State is the first of the four states holding early contests to select its date. Now all eyes are on New Hampshire, whose decision on its primary date will determine when Iowa and Nevada will set their caucuses.

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Perry disputes hunting camp story; opponents pounce

Perry disputes hunting camp story; opponents pounce

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign says a Post report that his family’s hunting camp went by a racially insensitive name is inconsistent and incorrect.

The Post’s Stephanie McCrummen reported Sunday that Perry, early in his political career, brought friends and supporters to a West Texas hunting camp his family leased that was called “Niggerhead.”

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As Florida moves to January, New Hampshire threatens December primary

As Florida moves to January, New Hampshire threatens December primary

The 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest will begin in January or earlier, but its exact kick off is still up in the air and likely won’t be known on Friday.

Florida put the map in flux this morning after a commission officially chose Jan. 31 for its primary date. That runs afoul of Republican National Committee rules by leapfrogging the four states the RNC has permitted to precede the others.

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Explaining the GOP presidential primary calendar

About a month ago, we here at The Fix wrote a primer on what the presidential nominating calendar might look like in 2012. Today, with the Saturday deadline for states to set their contests fast approaching, we thought it was worthwhile to revisit that primer. Below is an updated version, including the questions that will be answered in the coming days.

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Nebraska GOP frontrunner takes a few steps back

Nebraska GOP frontrunner takes a few steps back

The Nebraska Republican primary was supposed to be a coronation for state Attorney General Jon Bruning. Instead, it has revealed some significant holes in the political armor of the man many GOPers expected to beat Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson next year.

Four years after he stepped aside for former governor Mike Johanns in an open Nebraska Senate race, Bruning finally got his chance — and a golden one at that.

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Florida moves toward January primary

Florida moves toward January primary

(Updated at 12:24 p.m. with comment from Iowa and New Hampshire GOP leaders)

Florida state House Speaker Dean Cannon (R) says his state is likely to set its primary for Jan. 31, which would probably have have the effect of pushing the presidential primary process up one month to begin shortly after the New Year.

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Rick Perry’s problem with primetime

Rick Perry’s problem with primetime

All eyes were on Rick Perry last night to see if he could recover from an uneven performance in the last Florida debate 10 days ago.

What he did was turn in another uneven performance — or more accurately, a largely solid first half, followed by some pretty rough moments in the second half.

At the end of the night, it did little to put to rest the idea that he’s not quite ready for primetime. Or at least, primetime debates.

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