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WASHINGTON — It’s another Primary/Runoff Tuesday, with Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah all holding contests today. Here are the seven storylines we’re watching:
1. Who wins the GOP race in NY-11 — the candidate Trump has endorsed, or the candidate who is more like him?
This primary in Staten Island/Brooklyn pits current GOP congressman (Dan Donovan) against the ex-congressman who used to represent the district before serving seven months in prison for tax fraud (Michael Grimm). President Trump has endorsed Donovan, but Grimm is temperamentally much more similar to Trump than the low-key Donovan. In 2014, during his tenure in the House, he threatened on live TV to throw a local news reporter off a balcony, warning: “I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.” A NY1/Siena poll in early June showed Grimm leading Donovan by 10 points, 47 percent to 37 percent. Democrats believe a Grimm victory gives their frontrunner, Max Rose, a better chance to win this district, which the Cook Political Report has as Lean R.
2. Can Bernie Sanders’ guy win Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary?
The 2018 primaries haven’t been a good cycle for candidates endorsed by either Bernie Sanders or the political group his movement spawned, Our Revolution. Maryland’s gubernatorial race gives them perhaps their best shot at winning a wide-open race, with the Top 2 candidates being Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Ben Jealous, whom Sanders has backed. Either Baker or Jealous will have a HARD time beating incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is a popular Republican governor in a blue state. Both Baker and Jealous are African American, and if either wins in November, he would become the nation’s third elected African American governor (after Doug Wilder and Deval Patrick).
3. Does McMaster win his runoff in South Carolina? And if so, how competitive could his general election race get?
'Earlier this month, South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster got forced into a runoff against John Warren after failing to get 50 percent of the vote — McMaster got 42 percent to Warren’s 28 percent. President Trump campaigned on Monday for McMaster, who was one of Trump’s earliest backers in 2016. But if he wins, McMaster could find himself in a surprisingly competitive general-election race against the Democratic nominee, James Smith.
4. Is the Bush family name a liability in Colorado?
Democrats and Republicans have competitive fields competing to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in this increasingly blue state. In the Dem race, the top candidates are Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and former Denver chief financial officer Cary Kennedy – with Polis being the overall frontrunner. And the GOP race has turned into a referendum on the Bush family in the Trump Era, as NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald writes. The top candidates are state Treasurer Walker Stapleton (a cousin to Bush 41 and Bush 43) and former state Rep. Victor Mitchell, who has attacked Stapleton for his ties to the Bush clan.
5. Is Mitt Romney headed for a coronation in Utah?
The likely answer is “yes.” The former GOP presidential nominee faces state Rep. Mike Kennedy in the Senate GOP primary in Utah — after Romney failed to win at the state party’s convention in April. But Romney is expected to cruise to victory.
6. Do Democrats get their preferred candidates in three key congressional districts?
In the Democratic race to challenge vulnerable GOP Rep. Mike Coffman in CO-6, it’s DCCC-backed Jason Crow (a military veteran) versus progressive Levi Tillemann… The top Democrats running to face vulnerable GOP Rep. John Faso in NY-19 are attorney Antonio Delgado, businessman Brian Flynn and former Army intel officer Pat Ryan… And the Dem frontrunner to take on vulnerable GOP Rep. Mia Love in UT-4 is Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, who faces nominal opposition.
7. And can longtime New York Democrats survive primary challengers from younger opponents from the left?
Finally, New York Democratic members of Congress Carolyn Maloney (in NY-12) and Joe Crowley (in NY-14) are getting primary challenges from, respectively, Suraj Patel and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
As Washington debates civility, Trump sounds off on Democrats and Maxine Waters, Justin Trudeau, comedians and even Laura Bush
Yesterday, we wrote that civility starts at the top – with the president of the United States. Well, here was Trump in South Carolina yesterday campaigning for Gov. Henry McMaster
- On Democrats: “This has become the party of Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi. They don't mind crime, want open borders.”
- On Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “I say Justin, what's your problem, Justin?"
- On comedian Jimmy Fallon: "Jimmy Fallon calls me up, and he's like a nice guy. He's lost, he looks like a lost soul."
- On comedian Stephen Colbert: “What a low life, what a low life.”
- On comedian Jimmy Kimmel: “No talent.”
- On former First Lady Laura Bush’s Washington Post op-ed criticizing Trump’s separation policy (sarcastically): "We very much appreciated Laura Bush's lovely letter."
And as our colleague Dafna Linzer points out, here were Trump’s remarks over Twitter yesterday:
- On Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.: “Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!”
- On Harley-Davidson: “Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse - be patient!”
- On Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.: “Why is Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), perhaps in a near drunken state, claiming he has information that only he and Bob Mueller, the leader of the 13 Angry Democrats on a Witch Hunt, knows? Isn’t this highly illegal. Is it being investigated?”
- On the FBI and Justice Department: “The hearing of Peter Strzok and the other hating frauds at the FBI & DOJ should be shown to the public on live television, not a closed door hearing that nobody will see.”
Child separations “should have never happened"
A dispatch from NBC’s Cal Perry, Joy Ann-Reid and Daniella Silva from Tornillo, Texas: “An emergency manager at a Texas detention facility housing hundreds of migrant children in a tent encampment said Monday that the separation of families resulting from President Donald Trump’s policies ‘should have never happened.’ ‘This shelter would not have been necessary without the separations,’ the emergency manager, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was concerned for his safety, said during a media tour of the facility. ‘The crisis was a result of the decision to separate the kids. The separations should have never happened.’”
“He added: ‘The process is flawed and it harmed the children. I would like to never do this mission again.’ NBC News was part of a group that went into the Tornillo detention facility and saw firsthand what life was like for unaccompanied and separated children. Cameras and cellphones were not allowed inside. The facility holds 326 kids aged 13 to 17. Most are boys, but the facility also holds 14 girls in separate tents. Of the children held there, 117 children are from Honduras, 40 are from El Salvador, 162 are from Guatemala and three are from Mexico. Four others include one Romanian teen and one Nicaraguan.”
Trump threatens taxing Harley-Davidson amid tariff debate
Harley-Davidson, the American motorcycle manufacturer, said Monday “it would shift some production of its bikes overseas to avoid stiff retaliatory tariffs imposed by the European Union in response to Mr. Trump’s trade measures. The company said the move ‘is not the company’s preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the E.U. and maintain a viable business in Europe,’” the New York Times writes.
Well, Trump is now hitting back at Harley-Davidson, threatening to tax the company. “Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand. That was long before Tariffs were announced. Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse,” he tweeted, adding: “When I had Harley-Davidson officials over to the White House, I chided them about tariffs in other countries, like India, being too high. Companies are now coming back to America. Harley must know that they won’t be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax!”