Jun 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Tuesday night's primary tides show cracks in the system

A voter

Voting in Kentucky. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

There are plenty of votes left to be counted, but a few trend lines from Tuesday's primary elections are worthy of your time:

  1. The AOC-backed Justice Democrats showed considerable strength.
  2. President Trump's endorsement wasn't worth its weight in gold.
  3. The absentee balloting process will require a reset in expectations.
  4. America needs young people to step up as polling workers.

The big picture: The U.S. is less than five months from an election, and the lasting visual from last night was the crowd of Black voters pounding on the doors of a polling center, let in only because of a judge's emergency injunction.

In New York's Democratic primaries, 16-term Rep. Eliot Engel is trailing middle school principal Jamaal Bowman, who was backed by AOC.

  • "In 2018, Dem voters showed an unprecedented desire to nominate women. In 2020, we're witnessing another sea change in desire, this time towards Black candidates," tweeted Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
  • 14-term Rep. Carolyn Maloney has a narrow lead, although she said it should widen.

Between the lines: The New York races might not be called today because of absentee ballots, which are in huge demand because of COVID-19.

  • Expect a similar trend in November, and don't be surprised if there isn't a winner on election night, or even the day after.

In North Carolina's Republican primary, President Trump suffered a surprise defeat in the race to fill the seat vacated by his chief of staff Mark Meadows.

  • The loss was only the second endorsement in a Republican primary where Trump came out on the losing end.
  • As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported today, Trump was persuaded into the endorsement by Meadows' wife, and the decision angered House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The bottom line: If you're young and healthy, now would be a very good time to step up as a poll worker.

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