Speed Reads

it's primary season!

Primary season kicks off in earnest on Tuesday with races in 4 states

Tuesday will mark the biggest day of the 2018 primary season so far as elections for Senate, House, and governors' seats kick off in four states, FiveThirtyEight reports. The closely watched races in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, and North Carolina will narrow the field ahead of November's elections, when Democrats hope a blue wave will wrest control of Congress from the remaining defending Republicans.

One particularly thorny race will take place between three Republicans battling to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia. President Trump won the state with 68 percent of the vote, although Don Blankenship, recently released from jail after violating safety standards that resulted in a deadly mining accident, could throw a wrench in the potentially easy pick-up for Republicans. On Monday, Trump tweeted in favor of Blankenship's Republican foes: "Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!"

In Indiana there are a number of interesting races, including six Democrats running in the 2nd Congressional District, the appearance of Vice President Mike Pence's brother in the GOP race for the 6th Congressional District, and another promising pick-up opportunity for the Republican who comes out on top in the primary to take on Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

In Ohio, the race for Gov. John Kasich's (R) vacated seat is the one to watch, with both parties seeing hard-fought battles to become the official nominee. In the Democratic race, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray is leading, with an endorsement from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), while former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich has received the support of Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) Our Revolution.

Finally, in North Carolina, where there are a handful of congressional races, the 9th District is the "more interesting on the Republican side," FiveThirtyEight writes, with pastor Mark Harris facing Rep. Robert Pittenger in a rematch of a 2016 election he lost by just 134 votes. Read more about all the races, and what to expect tomorrow, at FiveThirtyEight.