One of the big stories going into tonight, though, wasn’t former President Trump’s influence — it was just how much Democrats meddled in GOP races, elevating the candidacies of more extreme GOP candidates in the hopes that they’d be easier to defeat in the general election.
In the Illinois Republican gubernatorial primary, Democrats got their preferred candidate, as state Sen. Darren Bailey easily won. The thought was that Bailey, as the more conservative candidate in the race, would face a steep uphill battle against incumbent Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, given Illinois’s blue hue. But Democrats might later regret having backed Bailey as much as they did.
In Colorado, meanwhile, this strategy didn’t pay off for Democrats. Neither state Rep. Ron Hanks in the GOP Senate primary nor businessman Greg Lopez in the GOP gubernatorial primary ultimately prevailed. Nor did Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who was arguably the highest-profile election denier running in Colorado. Peters was banned from managing the elections in her home county, but still sought the Republican nomination for secretary of state. (She lost handily to former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, who accepts the 2020 election result.)
On that note, some of the night’s biggest election deniers, like Peters, Hanks and Lopez, did not win their primaries, but by our count, 15 candidates who either denied or questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election still won their Republican primaries tonight.
Finally, another big story going into tonight was the potential number of incumbents who could find themselves on the chopping block. For instance, there were two incumbent-versus-incumbent battles in Illinois tonight thanks to redistricting, and in the Democratic-leaning 6th District, it was Democratic Rep. Sean Casten who ultimately prevailed, adding another loss to progressives’ record with Rep. Marie Newman’s defeat. (It should be noted, however, that progressives easily won in the new Illinois 3rd, an unexpected result, and their preferred candidate looks likely to prevail in Illinois’s 1st, as well.) Meanwhile in the Republican primary in Illinois’s 15th District, the Trump-backed Rep. Mary Miller handily defeated Rep. Rodney Davis.
It wasn’t just because of redistricting, though, that incumbents were in danger. Most notably in Mississippi’s runoffs, Rep. Michael Guest faced a strong challenge from Michael Cassidy, who launched a bid against Guest for his vote to create a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Guest ultimately prevailed tonight, but the same cannot be said of Rep. Steven Palazzo, who had been embroiled in scandal. Palazzo lost to Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.
Here are a few other key races we were watching tonight that have not yet been called:
- In Oklahoma’s 2nd District Republican primary, we have most of the votes, but things are still too close to make a final projection about which two candidates will advance to an August runoff from this extremely crowded race. State Rep. Avery Frix leads with nearly 15 percent, followed by former state Sen. Josh Brecheen with about 14 percent and Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee with 13 percent.
- In Illinois’s 7th District, incumbent Rep. Danny Davis was fending off a challenge from Kina Collins, who positioned herself as the more progressive candidate. But the race was close: With 71 percent of the expected vote reporting, Davis was leading Collins, 52 percent to 46 percent.
- The race was much closer in Illinois’s 11th District Republican primary, where former Trump administration official Catalina Lauf had about 29 percent of the vote, barely leading a crowded field of six total candidates, with about half of the vote in. The winner of the primary will aim to unseat the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Bill Foster.
- Finally, the Republican primaries in Illinois’s 13th and 14 Districts remain too close to call. The race in the 13th is especially close, with nonprofit president Regan Deering slightly ahead of former federal prosecutor Jesse Reising, 35 percent to 33 percent, with 60 percent of the expected vote counted. Whoever wins will face former Biden administration staffer Nikki Budzinski in the general election. Meanwhile in the 14th, Kendall County Board Chair Scott Gryder has more of a sizable lead over Kendall County GOP Chair Jim Marter, 31 percent to 24 percent, with 74 percent of the expected vote in.
Here’s one last look at how all the election deniers and questioners on today’s ballots fared.
How Big Lie supporters are doing tonight
Senate, House, gubernatorial, attorney general and secretary of state candidates who have either denied or questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election, and their results in Republican primaries in Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma and Utah, as of 11:17 p.m. Eastern.
|CANDIDATE||OFFICE||BIG LIE POSITION||% REPORTING||VOTE SHARE||STATUS|
|Ron Hanks||CO Sen.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||82%||44.8%||✗ Lost|
|Greg Lopez||CO Gov.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||82||46.7||✗ Lost|
|Tina Peters||CO SoS||🚫 Denied legitimacy||81||27.0||✗ Lost|
|Jennifer Qualteri||CO-01||🚫 Denied legitimacy||40||100.0||✓ Won|
|Lauren Boebert*||CO-03||🚫 Denied legitimacy||99||64.4||✓ Won|
|Ken Buck*||CO-04||❓Raised doubts||91||74.8||✓ Won|
|Robert Lewis||CO-04||❓Raised doubts||91||25.2||✗ Lost|
|Doug Lamborn*||CO-05||🚫 Denied legitimacy||83||49.7||✓ Won|
|Dave Williams||CO-05||❓Raised doubts||83||31.6||✗ Lost|
|Rebecca Keltie||CO-05||❓Raised doubts||83||12.6||✗ Lost|
|Erik Aadland||CO-07||🚫 Denied legitimacy||88||47.9||✓ Won|
|Laurel Imer||CO-07||🚫 Denied legitimacy||88||15.7||✗ Lost|
|Lori A. Saine||CO-08||❓Raised doubts||59||19.9||✗ Lost|
|Peggy Hubbard||IL Sen.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||71||24.1||Trailing|
|Matthew “Matt” Dubiel||IL Sen.||❓Raised doubts||71||12.7||Trailing|
|Robert “Bobby” Piton||IL Sen.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||71||9.1||Trailing|
|Jimmy Lee Tillman II||IL Sen.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||71||5.0||Trailing|
|Darren Bailey||IL Gov.||❓Raised doubts||80||55.0||✓ Won|
|Gary Rabine||IL Gov.||❓Raised doubts||80||6.1||✗ Lost|
|David Shestokas||IL AG||❓Raised doubts||69||21.4||✗ Lost|
|Eric Carlson||IL-01||❓Raised doubts||68||40.6||Leading|
|Geno Young||IL-01||🚫 Denied legitimacy||68||14.5||Trailing|
|Ashley Ramos||IL-02||🚫 Denied legitimacy||54||27.8||Trailing|
|Niki Conforti||IL-06||❓Raised doubts||77||11.5||Trailing|
|Scott R. Kaspar||IL-06||❓Raised doubts||77||6.9||Trailing|
|Robert “Rob” Cruz||IL-06||❓Raised doubts||77||5.8||Trailing|
|Chad Koppie||IL-08||🚫 Denied legitimacy||60||13.2||Trailing|
|Catalina Lauf||IL-11||❓Raised doubts||56||28.9||Leading|
|Mark Joseph Carroll||IL-11||❓Raised doubts||56||21.1||Trailing|
|Susan L. Hathaway-Altman||IL-11||❓Raised doubts||56||12.3||Trailing|
|Mike Bost*||IL-12||🚫 Denied legitimacy||4||100.0||✓ Won|
|Terry Martin||IL-13||❓Raised doubts||56||8.6||Trailing|
|James T. “Jim” Marter||IL-14||🚫 Denied legitimacy||74||24.0||Trailing|
|Jack Lombardi II||IL-14||🚫 Denied legitimacy||74||14.2||Trailing|
|Jaime Milton||IL-14||🚫 Denied legitimacy||74||10.2||Trailing|
|Mary Miller*||IL-15||🚫 Denied legitimacy||99||57.6||✓ Won|
|Darin LaHood*||IL-16||❓Raised doubts||76||66.3||✓ Won|
|Michael Rebresh||IL-16||🚫 Denied legitimacy||76||8.2||✗ Lost|
|Lee Zeldin||NY Gov.||❓Raised doubts||44||43.6||✓ Won|
|Andrew Giuliani||NY Gov.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||44||23.0||✗ Lost|
|Markwayne Mullin||OK Sen. (special)||🚫 Denied legitimacy||96||43.8||Leading|
|Jackson Lahmeyer||OK Sen.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||96||26.4||✗ Lost|
|T.W. Shannon||OK Sen. (special)||🚫 Denied legitimacy||96||17.4||Trailing|
|Nathan Dahm||OK Sen. (special)||🚫 Denied legitimacy||96||12.0||Trailing|
|Luke Holland||OK Sen. (special)||❓Raised doubts||96||11.2||Trailing|
|Joan Farr||OK Sen.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||96||5.8||✗ Lost|
|Scott Pruitt||OK Sen. (special)||🚫 Denied legitimacy||96||5.0||Trailing|
|Adam Holley||OK Sen. (special)||🚫 Denied legitimacy||96||0.5||Trailing|
|Mark Sherwood||OK Gov.||🚫 Denied legitimacy||97||13.3||✗ Lost|
|Avery Frix||OK-02||🚫 Denied legitimacy||87||14.7||Leading|
|Johnny Teehee||OK-02||❓Raised doubts||87||13.0||Trailing|
|John Bennett||OK-02||🚫 Denied legitimacy||87||11.3||Trailing|
|Wes Nofire||OK-02||🚫 Denied legitimacy||87||6.3||Trailing|
|David Derby||OK-02||🚫 Denied legitimacy||87||5.5||Trailing|
|Dustin Roberts||OK-02||🚫 Denied legitimacy||87||4.9||Trailing|
|Pamela Gordon||OK-02||🚫 Denied legitimacy||87||3.0||Trailing|
|Frank D. Lucas*||OK-03||🚫 Denied legitimacy||59||61.1||✓ Won|
|Wade Burleson||OK-03||❓Raised doubts||59||30.6||✗ Lost|
|Tom Cole*||OK-04||🚫 Denied legitimacy||64||69.8||✓ Won|
|James Taylor||OK-04||🚫 Denied legitimacy||64||27.0||✗ Lost|
|Stephanie Bice*||OK-05||🚫 Denied legitimacy||59||68.3||✓ Won|
|Chris Stewart*||UT-02||🚫 Denied legitimacy||84||72.1||✓ Won|
|Burgess Owens*||UT-04||🚫 Denied legitimacy||56||60.4||✓ Won|
Candidates marked as having “denied legitimacy” of the 2020 election either explicitly said Donald Trump’s loss or the 2020 election itself was illegitimate or, if an elected official, took legal measures to try and overturn the election. Candidates marked as “raised doubts” have questioned the fairness of the 2020 election or made references to “election integrity” but have not explicitly said the election or Trump’s loss was illegitimate.
SOURCES: NEWS REPORTS, CAMPAIGNS, ABC NEWS