Key races to watch in the June 4 primaries in New Jersey, DC, Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico

(WASHINGTON) – Voters in New Jersey, South Dakota, New Mexico, Montana and Washington, D.C. will cast ballots Tuesday in the presidential and primary elections.

These are some of the final primaries and caucuses of the 2024 cycle.

But with President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump as their respective parties’ presumptive nominees, the key races to watch will be the Senate primaries in New Jersey and Montana, as well as a House race in New Jersey featuring a well-known family name in view. in scandal.

Here are some of the top things to watch during the June 4 primaries:

Montana Senate Primary Elections

In Montana, Senate primaries will take place ahead of what is expected to be one of the key upper chamber races that could determine the balance of power in the Senate in November.

Incumbent Sen. Jon Tester is one of two Red State senators seeking to keep their seats in places where Trump won the presidency in 2020. Tester is running against long-shot candidate, Navy veteran Michael Hummert in the Democratic primary.

On the GOP side, Tim Sheehy is expected to earn the nomination against former Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson and environmental contractor Charles Walking Child. Sheehy will not run against Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, the 2018 Republican Senate candidate who dropped out in March, less than a week after joining.

Democratic Senate primaries in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the Democratic primary initially looked action-packed, as Rep. Andy Kim entered the race to take on indicted Sen. Bob Menendez — followed by the state’s first lady, Tammy Murphy, who initially had the most Democratic support behind her. consolidated.

When Murphy dropped out, Kim became the front-runner and was seen as heading to the Senate, but Menendez filed Monday to run as an independent, which could change the race in the fall.

Menendez’s entry as an independent will likely siphon votes away from the Democratic nominee in November’s general election, giving Republicans a glimmer of a chance to flip a seat that Democrats must win to keep the Senate.

Menendez is the subject of an ongoing corruption trial in which he is accused of accepting cash, gold bars, luxury wristwatches and other perks from New Jersey businessmen in exchange for official favors on behalf of the businessmen and the governments of Egypt and Qatar. Menendez has denied any wrongdoing and previously called the prosecutor “overzealous.”

If Kim wins the November race, he would be the first Korean American elected to the U.S. Senate.

New Jersey’s 8th Congressional District Race

In New Jersey’s heavily Democratic 8th Congressional District, another Menendez faces an uphill battle to keep his seat.

On Tuesday, Democratic voters will select their candidate — and almost certainly the district’s next representative — in a primary that will feature first-term Rep. Robert Menendez Jr. must compete against two challengers. The grave threat from Robert Menendez comes from Ravi Bhalla, a civil rights attorney and two-term mayor of Hoboken, a modest but influential commuter city across the Hudson and Manhattan.

All eyes will be on the fact that the elder Menendez’s independent bid weakens his son’s position in what looks to be a tight race.

While Senator Menendez faces criminal corruption charges, Bhalla has attacked the younger Menendez as a beneficiary of cronyism from the state’s influential Democratic party.

Businessman Kyle Jasey is also participating in the Democratic primaries.

First election after Trump’s conviction

Tuesday’s election is the first since Trump’s guilty verdict on all 34 charges in his hush-money trial — although many votes were cast early or by mail before last week’s jury decision.

While a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that half of Americans, 50%, think former Trump’s guilty verdict was correct, Tuesday will be the first time people respond with their ballots.

A Haley ‘protest vote?’

On Tuesday, retired Republican candidate Nikki Haley will participate in the Republican presidential primaries in New Mexico. Haley will not be present for the votes in New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana. DC had its Republican presidential primary in March, which Haley notably won.

Haley has often received a fair percentage of the vote in some presidential primaries even after withdrawing, although she may have received early votes or voted by mail in some states.

How Haley performs in New Mexico could be notable, considering this is the first election after Trump’s guilty verdict in his hush money trial. Still, a large portion of the votes she receives will likely be early or mail-in votes before the verdict.

She recently received a large percentage of the vote in the Republican primaries in Indiana (22%), Maryland (21%), Washington (19%), Nebraska (18%) and Arizona (18%).

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