The big news to come out of the June 2 primaries was that voters in Iowa’s 4th congressional district rejected controversial nine-term Republican Rep. Steve King. When an incumbent loses a primary race, it is always consequential, of course – in one way or another. King’s defeat was a great story to run with on a morning where the left-wing media needed something to distract from the fact that Democratic Party presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has still not quite secured his nomination.
It is no big deal, of course, that Biden remains around 100 delegates short of the 1,991 required to secure the nomination. The former vice president swept the seven states that went to the polls on Tuesday. At this point, his status as President Donald Trump’s 2020 challenger is in no doubt, barring some unanticipated development. Still, Trump’s haters in the media would have loved to have celebrated Biden’s unofficial coronation on the morning of June 3 – if only to give the stumbling Democrat some additional publicity.
Rep. Steve King was the big takeaway, then. With a long history of what could, at best, be described as racially insensitive remarks, Republicans finally managed to get rid of him. King had become such an embarrassment – and a certain liability – that his party cut him off entirely and threw everything behind Iowa state Sen. Randy Feenstra.
King’s ouster is a win-win for Republicans: Even in a district that Trump carried easily in 2016, the incumbent might well have been abandoned in November – by both his party and his constituents. Democrats could have picked up a seat that would otherwise have been viewed as safe for the Republicans. Feenstra’s primary victory now means Republicans will almost certainly retain the seat.
Crucial Senate Battles
More big news came out of Iowa: While Republican Senator Joni Ernst easily won her primary, as was expected, the Democrats’ candidate of choice to try to unseat her in November also scored a fairly decisive victory. Theresa Greenfield beat out four competitors to set up a Senate race the party sees as key to gaining control of the chamber.
In Montana, Sen. Steve Daines easily secured his primary, and Governor Steve Bullock swept to victory on the Democratic side. Democrats see this matchup – like Iowa – as vital to their hopes of winning a Senate majority.
As erstwhile presidential candidate Bullock prepares to vacate the Montana governor’s mansion, though, Republicans see an opening: The brash and popular Greg Gianforte secured the chance to succeed Bullock and will face off in November against current Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney. In light of the ruinous reaction to the Coronavirus outbreak, gubernatorial races could – and should – take on a greater significance, come November.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.