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Gov. Henry McMaster will win GOP primary for South Carolina governor

People vote during the primary election at the Downtown Reno Library on June 14. (Jason Bean/Reno Gazette Journal/USA Today Network)

Five states are voting today, with primary races in South Carolina and Nevada being the most important in terms of the national political environment.

Since you can’t watch all of them, CNN’s Chris Cillizza put together a cheat sheet with an hour-by-hour breakdown of where to look. (All times are eastern.)

7 p.m.: Polls close in South Carolina. In the 1st District, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace was outspoken in the immediate aftermath of January 6, 2021, about former President Donald Trump’s culpability. 

“I believe that every accomplishment that Republicans and the President had, and I was a big supporter of the President over the last four years … but I believe that those accomplishments were wiped out,” she said at the time. Mace has since worked to walk away from those criticisms, and has drastically outraised her Trump-endorsed opponent primary challenger, Katie Arrington.

In the 7th District, Rep. Tom Rice was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump over January 6. The former President has endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry against Rice, but the field is crowded and it’s possible that the pro-Trump vote will fracture.

 8 p.m.: Polls close in Maine and Texas’ 34th District. This will be a quiet primary night in Maine, as most incumbents and major-party challengers for the major offices are unopposed. The big House race in the state will be for Democratic Rep. Jared Golden’s 2nd District. Republican Bruce Poliquin, a former member of Congress, is the favorite to win the nomination tonight.

In Texas, the special election to replace Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who resigned this past spring to take a job at a law firm, is intriguing. Republicans have coalesced behind Mayra Flores, who is also the party’s nominee for the general election — under new, slightly more Democratic-friendly lines — in November. Dan Sanchez is the leading Democratic candidate for the special election, but even if he wins, he won’t keep the seat in the fall: Democrats have already nominated 15th District Rep. Vicente Gonzalez for that spot. 

All candidates, regardless of party, are appearing on the same ballot. So if no candidate gets 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters advance to an August runoff. Republicans have made gains in recent years among Hispanic voters, particularly in places like South Texas. 

 9 p.m.: Final polls close in North Dakota. North Dakota may well be one of the sleepiest states politically this year, with little action expected in the conservative bastion. Republican Sen. John Hoeven should sail through his primary, while Rep. Kelly Armstrong is running unopposed in the GOP primary in the state’s at-large congressional district. 

10 p.m.: Polls close in Nevada. Republicans will pick their nominees for Senate and governor in the Silver State, with both races expected to be major targets in the fall.

In the Republican Senate primary for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt is the favorite, thanks to his endorsement from Trump and his name identification from his 2018 run for governor. Sam Brown, a retired Army captain, has the state party’s endorsement and has been surprisingly competitive with Laxalt in fundraising.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo carries the Trump endorsement in the GOP gubernatorial primary and is seen as the frontrunner. Former Sen. Dean Heller, who built a reputation for moderation, has gone full MAGA, but now appears to be an also-ran. Former boxer Joey Gilbert, who was seen on the US Capitol steps on January 6, but has said he didn’t enter the building, has the state party’s endorsement. Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak is seen as one of the most endangered incumbents in the country.

The Point: Voters are voting! After the last few days of January 6 committee hearings, we shouldn’t take it for granted.

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