Primary elections underway in seven states: Live updates

Primary elections underway in seven states: Live updates

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Voters in Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah head to the polls Tuesday in a slate of primaries that highlight the many fissures in both political parties that continue to define a contentious 2018 primary season.

South Carolina and Mississippi are holding runoff elections, and New York state is holding its primary election for federal offices on Tuesday, meaning the high-profile battle between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon will have to wait until September.

Key gubernatorial races Tuesday include Colorado, where an openly gay Democratic multi-millionaire and a cousin of the Bush family are hoping to out-duel a crowded field of challengers, and Maryland, where two well-connected African-American Democrats are vying for the chance to defeat one of the nation's most popular governors in GOP incumbent Larry Hogan.

Kevin Hagen/APFormer Rep. Michael Grimm arrives ahead of his sentencing for aiding in filing a false tax return, at federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York, on July 17, 2015.

Over 50 U.S. House seats are at stake in November in the states voting Tuesday, and Democrats are eyeing a number of swing seats in both central and upstate New York, as well as Salt Lake City-based seat held by GOP Rep. Mia Love, one of the few sitting African-American Republicans in Congress.

The marquee race in South Carolina is the Republican runoff election between sitting Gov. Henry McMaster and businessman John Warren. While McMaster has the backing of President Trump, Warren is making the case that he can best implement the president's agenda in the state.

Polls in South Carolina close at 7 p.m. EST, polls in Maryland, Mississippi, and Oklahoma close at 8 p.m. EST, polls in Colorado and New York close at 9 p.m. EST, and polls in Utah close at 10 p.m. EST.

10:58 p.m. - Jealous emerges from crowded field in Maryland Democratic primary.

Former NAACP CEO Ben Jealous is the projected winner of the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Maryland, receiving 39.3 percent of the vote at the time the race was called.

Jealous defeated Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and a host of other Democratic candidates with a progressive campaign platform that included medicare-for-all, free tuition at public colleges in the state and the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. Jealous will face popular incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November. - ABC News' Adia Robinson

10:52 p.m. - Oklahoma approves medical marijuana

Oklahoma voted Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana, with 56.6 percent of voters approving State Question 788 when the Associated Press projected it would pass. The law makes it legal for Oklahoma adults to grow, sell, and consume marijuana for medical purposes, but doesn’t list specific qualifying conditions for which doctors may prescribe cannabis for their patients. As such, some opponents of the measure are concerned that this law will provide too much latitude to physicians and will ultimately pave a path towards legalizing recreational marijuana in the future.

In this deep-red, Bible Belt state, legalization has been an especially divisive issue among religious Christian voters, including Sen James Lankford, R-Okla., who has been vocal in his opposition to State Question 788. But in what appears to be a victory for the state’s progressives, the Sooner State is now the 30th in the nation where marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes. - ABC News' Meena Venkataramanan

10:48 p.m. - Trump: 'Democrats are in turmoil'

The president tweeted again, writing that "Democrats are in Turmoil," while calling it "A BIG NIGHT!" for Republicans.

The Democrats are in Turmoil! Open Borders and unchecked Crime a certain way to lose elections. Republicans are for Strong Borders, NO Crime! A BIG NIGHT!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018

10:38 p.m. - Romney cruises to victory in Utah

As expected, former Republican presidential nominee and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win Utah's Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, the AP has projected.

In the race to succeed retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Romney defeated state Rep. Mike Kennedy who had defeated Romney in a vote at the Utah Republican convention in April, forcing the primary.

There were grumbles in Utah earlier in the year that Romney was a carpetbagger, with the Utah GOP chair going so far as to say Romney was "essentially doing what Hillary Clinton did in New York"

10:10 p.m. - Trump tweets congratulations to Donovan, McMaster

President Trump is up and tweeting about tonight's results, specifically on the result in New York's 11th Congressional District.

Tremendous win for Congressman Dan Donovan. You showed great courage in a tough race! New York, and my many friends on Staten Island, have elected someone they have always been very proud of. Congratulations!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018

Donovan survived a primary challenge from former congressman and convicted felon Michael Grimm.

Trump also congratulated South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, who won a runoff election against businessman John Warren earlier this evening.

Congratulations to Governor Henry McMaster on your BIG election win! South Carolina loves you. We are all proud of you and Peggy! @henrymcmaster

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018

9:55 p.m. - Shocker in NYC as Crowley loses

Shortly before 10 p.m. eastern time and we have a huge upset on our hands.

28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders organizer, has defeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, the 4th ranking Democrat in the House and an often speculated about as a replacement for Nancy Pelosi and the next Speaker of the House if the Democrats take back the majority.

G. Ronald Lopez via Zuma PressCongressman Joe Crowley addresses the audience at a prayer vigil and rally on immigration on June 22, 2018, in the Bronx borough of New York City.

This is the biggest congressional primary update since Eric Cantor was shocked in 2014.

The 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez, who parents are from Puerto Rico, garnered attention in recent weeks for this campaign video that went viral.

9:40 p.m. - Donovan wins in State Island race, Bush cousin projected winner in Colorado GOP gubernatorial primary

In one of the most closely watched races tonight, incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan beat back a primary challenge from ex-congressman Michael Grimm. The two sparred viciously during the primary, with Grimm even accusing Donovan of trying to get him a presidential pardon in exchange for dropping his primary challenge.

The Associated Press has also projected that Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton wins GOP primary to advance to race for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's open seat.

9:30 p.m. - Tinder campaigning in NYC?

Our friends at FiveThirtyEight are currently talking about how Suraj Patel in NY-12 has spent $5000 on Tinder-banking as a campaign tactic, and now the public is weighing in.

New York Democrat Suraj Patel spent $5,000 on Tinder-related campaigning ahead of Tuesday’s primary, campaign finance data shows.

The $5,000 “advertising” payment disclosed in June was made to Match Group LLC, which owns the dating websites Match.com and OkCupid as well as the mobile dating apps Tinder and Hinge.

Patel, 34, is challenging Democratic incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney in New York’s 12th District primary.

Last week, The New York Times profiled Patel’s Tinder campaign strategy, which was quickly panned on Twitter and mocked by New York news outlets.

The strategy involved swiping right — Tinder lingo for “liking” — on Tinder users based in Patel’s affluent New York district then sharing a campaign pitch to users who reciprocated the “like.” Patel, 34, used his brother’s photo for his Tinder profile.

“Hi (name). Are you into civic engagement?” is one message Patel and campaign volunteers would send to Tinder matches, according to the Times’ story.

9:15 p.m. - McMaster projected winner in South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster will win the South Carolina Republican gubernatorial runoff, the Associated Press is projecting.

Businessman John Warren managed to increase his vote count from 27.8 percent two weeks ago to 46.4 percent in the runoff, at the time of the Associated Press call, but it wasn't enough to eclipse McMaster's total.

McMaster will now face Democratic state Rep. James Smith in November's general election.

9:00 p.m. - Polls close in Colorado and New York

We're moving along at a steady pace now, and the polls are now closed in Colorado and New York.

The governor's race in Colorado and a number of messy House primaries in New York State are the contests to watch.

In New York City, four Democratic incumbents are facing significant primary challengers: Yvette Clarke, Carolyn Maloney, Joe Crowley and Elliot Engel.

And of course, we'll be keeping an eye on the goings-on in New York's 11th Congressional District, where Rep. Dan Donovan is facing ex-congressman and ex-con Michael Grimm in a race where President Trump has loomed large.

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein has more on tonight's key races.

8:30 p.m. - The Bush name looms large over Colorado's GOP gubernatorial primary

As Colorado voters creep up on the 7 p.m. MST deadline to submit their ballots for the Colorado gubernatorial nominees, close observers are wondering if "Bush" will prove to be a four-letter word in the state, ABC News' Jeff Cook reports.

Republican candidate Walker Stapleton's family ties to George Herbert Walker and George Walker Bush have been under attack all campaign long from his opponents, especially competitor Victor Mitchell. President Trump, who polls highly in the Centennial State among Republicans, has continued to clash with the Bush family since Jeb challenged him for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Stapleton has distanced himself from the Bush family brand and aligned his policies with the current White House, but is it a label he can shake? Will it matter to Colorado Republicans and the state's more than 1 million unaffiliated voters who are now eligible to vote in a primary?

8:00 p.m. - Polls close in Maryland, Mississippi and Oklahoma

The polls are now closed in Maryland, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

The biggest race of the night out of these three states is the Democratic primary in the Maryland governor's race.

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous and Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker have risen to the top of a crowded field in the race to take on popular GOP incumbent Larry Hogan.

Jealous has hit the campaign trail with a slew of prominent Democrats, including Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, while Baker has the backing of locally prominent leaders like Sen. Chris Van Hollen and former Maryland Governor and presidential candidate Martin O'Malley.

We'll have to wait until after 9 p.m. eastern to get results in the state, as three Baltimore precincts that opened late this morning extended their hours, according to local election officials.

In Oklahoma, whoever advances on the Republican side in the gubernatorial race becomes a clear favorite in November to succeed GOP Governor Mary Fallin. The state's Lieutenant Governor, Todd Lamb, is running amidst a crowded field that includes nine other Republicans.

7:30 p.m. - A rundown of tonight's runoffs

Not all primaries are created equal, as was the case in Mississippi and South Carolina today where voters returned to the polls for runoffs, three and two weeks, respectively, after the first round of voting.

In South Carolina, where polls are already closed, notable runoffs are taking place in the Republican gubernatorial primary, Democratic primaries in the 2nd, 4th and 7th congressional district and Republican primary in the 4th congressional district.

In the first round of voting, Gov. Henry McMaster led the way in his primary, but fell less than 8 percent short of winning the nomination outright. Businessman John Warren captured nearly 28 percent of the vote to advance to today's runoff.

In the 2nd and 4th Congressional District Democratic races, the leading candidates finished no more than 2 percentage points apart. In the 2nd district, Democrats Annabelle Robertson and Sean Carrigan were separated by just over 600 votes, while less than 300 votes separated 4th district Democrats Doris Turner and Brandon Brown.

Mississippi's Democratic Senate primary was nearly as close: The race to take on Sen. Roger Wicker moved to a runoff after Howard Sherman and David Baria were separated by less than 1 percent. An additional Mississippi runoff is taking place in the 3rd congressional district Republican primary.

7:00 p.m. - Polls close in South Carolina

We have our first poll closing of the night in the Palmetto State, which is holding runoff elections after the first round of primary voting earlier this month.

Key races to watch are the GOP gubernatorial primary, and the GOP primary in the state's 4th Congressional District, where Rep. Trey Gowdy is retiring.

6:45 p.m. - Some Colorado independents' primary votes might not count

For the first time, Colorado’s growing population of unaffiliated voters are able to vote in the state’s primary elections on Tuesday.

But some of their votes might be nullified.

In 2016, Colorado voters passed Proposition 108, allowing independent voters to vote in the primary elections. Now, they can request a party’s ballot before the election. If they don’t, they’ll be mailed all parties’ ballots but are instructed to fill out just one.

ABC News' Meena Venkataramanan reports.

6:00 p.m. – One hour from polls closing in South Carolina

We're one hour away from the first poll closing of the night in South Carolina.

The key race to watch is the runoff election for governor between the incumbent, Henry McMaster, and his challenger, businessman John Warren.

Susan Walsh/APPresident Donald Trump speaks during a rally for Republican Gov. Henry McMaster at Airport High School in West Columbia, S.C., June 25, 2018.

This seems like the perfect opportunity to revisit President Trump's visit to the state Monday night, where he railed against illegal immigration and unleashed a barrage of insults in yet another classic Trump-style campaign rally.

ABC News' John Parkinson and Jordyn Phelps have more on the President's rally last night.

5:25 p.m. – Computer glitch means up to 80,000 Maryland voters have to cast provisional ballots

As many as 80,000 Maryland voters will have to cast provisional ballots in Tuesday's primary election due to a computer glitch.

That number is four times as many voters as state officials initially announced, according to the Baltimore Sun. Those provisional ballots will not be counted until July 5, which could have an effect on our ability to get a projection in some key races in the state tonight.

"In our sense of urgency to inform the public given the close proximity of the primary election, the numbers that were initially reported did not accurately reflect the total scope of the people impacted," a statement released Monday by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) read, "Upon further review and analysis, we discovered that the initial data provided did not include all those impacted and that the number of potentially impacted voters is approximately 80,000."

4:30 p.m. – Maryland governor's race highlights strategic split for Democrats

The crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary in Maryland has largely coalesced around two candidates: former NAACP President Ben Jealous and Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker.

Both are prominent African-American leaders vying to unseat popular GOP incumbent Governor Larry Hogan, but the strategy behind their bids represents a larger divide within the Democratic Party.

Jose Luis Magana/APFrom left, Democrat Ben Jealous raises the hand of his running mate Susie Turnbull while Sen. Bernie Sanders waves during a gubernatorial campaign rally in Maryland's Democratic primary in downtown Silver Spring, Md., June 18, 2018.

The campaigns of Jealous and Baker, though they'd both dispute the narrative, demonstrate a strategic divide in how Democratic campaigns operate in the Trump era, and bring into focus a key question facing a party eager to wrest away control of not just governors' seats across the country but also the U.S. House and Senate.

Is harnessing the liberal discontent and anger of the so-called "resistance" the best way to build a "blue wave" to sweep Democrats into power, or will a premium on local support and the backing of prominent local figures prove more effective?

ABC News' John Verhovek reports.

2:15 p.m. – Trump exploits new divisions in driving immigration debate: ANALYSIS

It was one of the most turbulent weeks of a chaotic presidency. Searing images and sounds of children separated from their families overwhelmed the Trump administration’s policy edicts, forcing a rare retreat from a president who rarely gives ground, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein writes.

But if one battle was over, accompanied by a breezy declaration from the president that he had “solved that problem,” the larger war waged by President Donald Trump had barely begun.

Trump has used the days since announcing a change in family-separation policies at the border by reverting to and reinforcing sharply divisive rhetoric around an issue he knows well as a potent political force.

1:35 p.m. – Progressive challengers highlight immigration in bids to unseat NY incumbents

New York City voters head to the polls today in unusually heated primary elections in two congressional seats where progressive challengers to Democratic incumbents are honing in on recent immigration controversies as they make their case to voters.

One of those candidates, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an insurgent challenging one of the House of Representatives' most powerful Democrats in New York's 14th Congressional District, left her home district and traveled to West Texas on Sunday to protest the separation of immigrant families.

G. Ronald Lopez via Zuma PressCongressman Joe Crowley addresses the audience at a prayer vigil and rally on immigration, June 22, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez, 28, has attracted increasing attention in her bid to unseat fourth-ranking House Democrat Rep. Joe Crowley, who has represented the district for 14 years and is believed to harbor aspirations to be speaker, should Democrats retake the House.

ABC News' Lee Harris has more on these races.

12:45 p.m. – South Carolina runoff a battle to be the 'Trumpiest' candidate

Moments before the polls closed in South Carolina on June 12, President Donald Trump tweeted out a sharp criticism of incumbent GOP congressman Mark Sanford and endorsed his primary challenger. Just a few hours later, Sanford lost the election.

As the Republican Party continues to move in the direction of Trump, more and more races have evolved into battles to become the ‘Trumpiest of them all’ – including next Tuesday’s gubernatorial runoff in the Palmetto State.

After failing to earn over fifty percent of the vote in the June 12 primary, incumbent South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is headed to a runoff against second-place finisher, businessman John Warren.

ABC News' Meena Venkataramanan has more on this key race.

10:30 a.m. – Teacher salaries key issue in Oklahoma this cycle

Of the Republican candidates for governor in Oklahoma, two of the three front-runners said in an April debate hosted by radio station KOKC that they would not have signed the revenue and teacher pay raise package. Signed in March by Governor Mary Fallin, who is not running for re-election, the legislative package raises taxes on products including gas and diesel to fund an on average $6,100 increase in teacher salaries, ABC News' Adia Robinson reports.

The measure prompted a nine-day teacher walkout in the state, amid similar teacher strikes in other states including West Virginia and Arizona. Teachers sought on average $10,000 increase in teachers’ salaries.

Sue Ogrocki/AP, FILEOklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who is running in the Republican primary for Governor, listens during a Board of Equalization meeting in Oklahoma City, Feb. 20, 2018.

Alberto Morejon, an Oklahoma 8th grade US history teacher, said that teacher pay and education funding is a hot topic going into the gubernatorial primaries. Morejon was instrumental in this April’s teacher walkout in the state, creating the Facebook group “Oklahoma Teacher Walkout--the Time is Now!,” which many teachers used to get updates before, during, and after the walkout.

“At the time it was cool to say that stuff,” Morejon said about the statements from Republican candidates. “Now they’re wishing they didn’t say it,”

In the April debate, businessman Kevin Stitt that the state has “to pay teachers what market is,” but called the current revenue sources unsustainable. He added that he wouldn’t have signed the bill without reform, citing the divide between legislators and teachers.

Todd Lamb, currently Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor who is now running for governor, gave the revenue and teacher pay raise package an “F in reform.” He added that he’s opposed to tax increases and touted his 65% plan, which would require 65% of education dollars spent in the state to be spent in classrooms. Currently, he claimed, on average less than 45% of education dollars go directly to classrooms.

8:00 a.m. -- Both parties look to settle squabbles Tuesday

Need to catch up on all the key races today?

ABC News has you covered. Read about all the key races at stake Tuesday across the seven states voting today HERE.

ABC News' John Verhovek, Roey Hadar, Jeffrey Cook and John Parkinson report.

6:00 a.m. -- The Note: Seekers of second acts in Tuesday’s primaries

It’s a primary day for seekers of second acts, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein writes this morning in The Note, ABC News' daily political newsletter.

From Chelsea Manning to Michael Grimm to Mitt Romney, Tuesday night will write another chapter in the long storybook of political comebacks.

Romney is heavily favored to win the Republican nomination for Senate in Utah, and ultimately replace Sen. Orrin Hatch at the end of his term.

Romney has been working to overcome skepticism over his loyalty to President Donald Trump. He has gone far enough in Trump’s direction to provoke skepticism over whether he will be a truly independent voice.

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