Andrew Gillum explains his victory

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum will win the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida, CNN projects, scoring a major victory for the party's progressive wing while taking another step toward becoming the state's first black chief executive.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 5:00 PM
Updated: Aug 29, 2018 5:08 PM

After Tuesday night's primaries, Republicans feel good for two reasons: They have the best possible nominee in the Arizona Senate race and are running against the most liberal Democrat in the Florida governor's race.

Arizona

Arizona Republicans did the national GOP a favor by nominating Martha McSally for the Senate seat left open by the retiring Jeff Flake. Her solid win over Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio -- neither of whom had a prayer of winning in the fall -- gives the Republicans a solid chance to hold a seat Democrats are counting on to take control of the US Senate.

President Donald Trump showed tactical awareness by leaving the Arizona senate race alone (despite an early tweet of good tidings for Ward), and McSally benefited from Ward and Arpaio squabbling over who loved Trump more. Trump had good things to say about McSally late in the race and would certainly enjoy working with her more than he does Flake, who has feuded with the President since Trump took office.

The race took an ugly turn in its closing days, in the wake of Sen. John McCain's passing. Ward embarrassingly suggested the McCain family timed an announcement of his decision to end treatment for brain cancer to hurt her candidacy, and then tweeted that "political correctness is like a cancer." Ward joins Roy Moore and other Steve Bannon-backed candidates in the dumpster that is the former Trump strategist's plan to take over the US Senate. Bannon collected more nutty candidates than a squirrel prepping for winter and Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, buried them during the primary season.

McSally played it just right, touting her pro-Trump agenda voting record (almost 98% support) without beclowning herself with outrageous statements and conspiracy theories the way Ward did. Arpaio, who received a pardon from Trump last year, handled the McCain/Trump situation fairly when he said that McCain was a "patriot" but that Trump was his "hero." That's a reasonably stated position, which further showed voters just how classless Ward really is.

The general election race between McSally and Kyrsten Sinema (D) is a must-win for Democrats who need to flip both Arizona and Nevada to have a chance of winning Senate control. McSally seemed to feel her nomination coming as the primary closed, releasing an ad contrasting her military service as a fighter pilot after 9/11 with a picture of Sinema wearing a pink tutu while protesting US military action against Osama bin Laden. Arizona voters respect the military, and McSally will portray Sinema as a liberal who is weak on national security.

Florida

Trump, again, showed the power of his endorsement in the GOP primary for Florida governor. Congressman Ron DeSantis enjoyed Trump's support and easily defeated Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to become the nominee for governor. Trump's record in GOP primaries is clear -- he moves votes. Putnam toiled for years after leaving Congress in 2010 to lay the groundwork for this gubernatorial run and saw his best laid plans upended by an endorsement from Trump, the undisputed GOP kingmaker in this primary season.

The gubernatorial race in the fall features Republican DeSantis versus surprise Democratic nominee Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, who emerged from a crowded primary. Gillum was a Bernie Sanders-endorsed progressive who relied on young liberals and African-American voters to win.

We have a true Trump vs. Sanders proxy war in November in the Florida governor's race, with many Republicans breathing a sigh of relief that the more moderate (and female) Gwen Graham did not prevail in the Democratic primary. For all the talk of a blue wave in 2018, DeSantis earned roughly 400,000 more primary votes than Gillum as Republicans turned out more raw votes than did the Democrats.

Florida is also home to a critical US Senate race, with Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson facing outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R). This race is a money sponge for Democrats, who are pouring resources into an underperforming incumbent and will feel compelled to do so throughout. Republicans are bullish on Scott's chances and believe a win here locks Democrats out of the possibility of controlling the Senate. Every dollar Democrats throw at Nelson's campaign is one they'd much rather have in a state like Arizona, where they are on offense.

One thing is for sure: it would have been wise to buy a television or radio station in Florida in the recent past.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 954230

Reported Deaths: 15474
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1298902003
Lake638781106
Allen54326765
Hamilton44326448
St. Joseph42368592
Elkhart33998491
Vanderburgh30740451
Tippecanoe27012251
Johnson23862420
Hendricks22576343
Porter21943348
Clark17657231
Madison17628387
Vigo16465285
Monroe14637193
LaPorte14493241
Delaware14291225
Howard14058274
Kosciusko11562137
Hancock11022168
Warrick10793179
Bartholomew10730171
Floyd10584209
Wayne10169230
Grant9271206
Morgan9000160
Boone8507112
Dubois7823124
Dearborn776391
Henry7749134
Noble7510101
Marshall7452129
Cass7244118
Lawrence7080154
Shelby6701111
Jackson666386
Gibson6233107
Harrison613287
Huntington608397
Montgomery5903106
DeKalb587591
Knox5589105
Miami554889
Putnam547668
Clinton540566
Whitley534054
Steuben506570
Wabash492792
Jasper487763
Jefferson478992
Ripley463477
Adams448868
Daviess4267109
Scott413065
Clay398358
Greene396892
White396158
Wells393285
Decatur391297
Fayette383380
Posey364341
Jennings358857
Washington336847
LaGrange327375
Spencer323037
Randolph320290
Fountain320156
Sullivan311349
Owen289764
Starke287565
Fulton282356
Orange279259
Jay260038
Perry256353
Carroll247129
Franklin244938
Rush238930
Vermillion237751
Parke222421
Tipton214255
Pike214041
Blackford172934
Pulaski170351
Crawford148519
Newton147046
Benton144716
Brown136646
Martin130618
Switzerland127810
Warren116116
Union99511
Ohio80911
Unassigned0494

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1393696

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1544531574
Cuyahoga1364632341
Hamilton991581326
Montgomery682681161
Summit571661051
Lucas51927869
Butler48223663
Stark42502983
Lorain32263539
Warren30544338
Mahoning27651643
Clermont26123297
Lake24920422
Delaware22656147
Licking20886246
Fairfield20833223
Greene20708275
Trumbull20465516
Medina20236290
Clark18277332
Richland16793236
Portage16501231
Wood16002209
Allen14459261
Miami14091261
Muskingum13019155
Wayne12306244
Columbiana12094242
Tuscarawas11297271
Marion10960150
Pickaway10675129
Scioto10618127
Erie9905171
Ross9685177
Lawrence9005125
Hancock8667143
Ashtabula8533187
Belmont8301188
Geauga8294156
Jefferson7785175
Huron7598131
Union745351
Washington7451126
Athens712965
Sandusky7003135
Darke6906137
Knox6876122
Seneca6551137
Ashland6095115
Auglaize598788
Shelby5867104
Brown579072
Mercer566790
Crawford5603117
Defiance5587101
Madison552571
Highland551782
Fulton544583
Clinton537681
Logan521987
Preble5131111
Putnam4915107
Guernsey489464
Williams471582
Perry466254
Champaign456664
Ottawa444684
Jackson438763
Pike402645
Morrow400551
Coshocton398069
Fayette385253
Adams373675
Hardin369470
Gallia357858
Henry332969
Holmes3328111
Van Wert323271
Hocking312570
Wyandot286858
Carroll268252
Paulding248843
Meigs225542
Monroe193449
Noble174942
Morgan171229
Harrison161941
Vinton143119
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 69°
Angola
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
A weak cold front brings slightly cooler air to the region Tuesday.
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