“Voters in 12 states cast ballots Tuesday in contests that will determine the fate of a Senate incumbent in Arkansas, decide the matchups for high-stakes races in Nevada and California and settle a nasty gubernatorial primary in South Carolina,” the AP forecasts.
The Washington Post: “As voters head to the polls Tuesday for a crucial set of primary elections, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds antipathy toward their elected officials rising and anti-incumbent sentiment at an all-time high. The national survey shows that 29 percent of Americans now say they are inclined to support their House representative in November, even lower than in 1994, when voters swept the Democrats out of power in the that chamber after 40 years in the majority.”
“The poll also finds growing disapproval of the 'tea party' movement, with half the population now expressing an unfavorable impression of the loosely aligned protest campaign that has shaken up politics this year.”
ARKANSAS: “Earlier primaries indicated that voters are willing to fire Washington incumbents -- regardless of party,” the AP writes. “The centrist [Sen. Blanche] Lincoln, a two-term senator, may be next.”
Reuters: “A victory by [Lieutenant Gov. Bill] Halter, who has been backed by unions and liberal groups, would be a stinging defeat of the Democratic establishment, including President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, who is from Arkansas and helped Lincoln get elected in 1998 and campaigned for her last week.”
CALIFORNIA: “GOP voters will decide two of the most-watched political contests in the nation -- and whether to nominate women for the first time as Republican candidates for governor and U.S. Senate,” the San Francisco Chronicle says.
Per the L.A. Times, Sarah Palin recorded a robocall on behalf of Carly Fiorina.
GEORGIA: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution table-sets today's runoff to replace resigned Rep. Nathan Deal: "Tom Graves, a real estate developer and former state representative from Ranger, is competing for the job against Lee Hawkins, a Gainesville dentist and former state senator. Both are Republicans. The winner will fill the remaining months of Rep. Nathan Deal’s unexpired term. Deal, a Republican who held the seat for about 18 years, resigned in March to focus on his race for governor." But this election doesn't end there: "Graves and Hawkins are also gearing up for the July 20 GOP primary, which will determine who competes in the Nov. 2 election for the next term in office."
NEVADA: The Las Vegas Review-Journal also tees up the Senate candidates’ election-day activities in Nevada and, for Sen. Harry Reid, Washington D.C.
Talking Points Memo sums up Sue Lowden’s chances in the primary this way: “Simply put, the chickens have come home to roost for what may be one of the worst-run Senate primary campaigns of this cycle.”
SOUTH CAROLINA: Politics Daily’s Walter Shapiro parachutes into the GOP gubernatorial contest. “As the front-runner in Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial primary, 38-year-old Nikki Haley is writing the most improbable political success story of 2010. In a state defined by church, flag and family, the once little-known state legislator is transcending such barriers as her Indian-American heritage (her parents are Sikhs who emigrated from the Punjab in 1963).”
“But in the final two weeks leading up to Tuesday's four-candidate primary, Haley has faced down the worst accusations that can be hurled at a married woman politician -- unproven public charges of adultery. Smear attacks like this are supposed to prove fatal in a state that has elevated dirty politics to an art form. But even when a Republican state senator called her a ‘raghead,’ the immediate reaction appeared to be not secret nods of agreement but public embarrassment.”
A new ad from South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster “seeks to undo the work” Rep. Gresham Barrett has done explaining his vote in favor of the Wall Street bailout, Politico writes. “In a race now defined by sexual and racial slurs, it's a pretty straightforward political shot, and a mark of a dynamic that, for now, has offered the front-runner, Nikki Haley, a moment of respite as her rivals battle for second place.”
VIRGINIA: The Richmond Times-Dispatch previews the five races to watch, five GOP primaries, including in VA-1, 2, 5, 8, and 11.
CQ Politics writes: "The most competitive primary is in northern Virginia's 11th district, where businessman Keith Fimian has been hammering county supervisor Pat Herrity for voting for a budget that narrowly increased property taxes in the county that includes most district residents. In the 5th district, state Sen. Robert Hurt has come under fire for his 2004 vote for a budget, supported by then-Gov. Mark Warner (D), that increased some taxes. ... Backers of Rep. Tom Perriello (D), who's seeking a second term, hope that some conservative anti-tax voters will shun Hurt and vote instead for a right-leaning independent in the fall. ... Democrats expect Hurt and Rigell to win but they're ready to pounce on a plurality-vote or close victory as a sign of weakness."