WASHINGTON | The Latest: Polls close for Minnesota, Wisconsin primaries

WASHINGTON | The Latest: Polls close for Minnesota, Wisconsin primaries

WASHINGTON  — The Latest on primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin (all times local):
9:05 p.m.

Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is advancing to the November general election after facing no opposition from her own party.

She faces a tough re-election bid against one of two loyalists to President Donald Trump who are seeking to run against her. Baldwin is the only Democrat in a statewide office of importance in Wisconsin, and outside groups have already spent millions on television ads attacking her.

Baldwin’s campaign has played up her work on moderate and core Wisconsin issues, including her buy-America plan that Trump supports and her work with Republican Sen. John McCain on lowering drug costs.

The Republicans battling to run against her are political outsider Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir. Polls show their race to be very close.
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9 p.m.

Polls have closed for primary elections in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Polling places across the two states shut their doors at 9 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. Local election officials are now counting the votes. Results will trickle in over the coming hours.

Primaries in both states included races for governor and Senate, and both Senate seats were on Minnesota’s ballot because of a special election to finish Al Franken’s term.

Key House races included the Wisconsin primary for the seat that currently belongs to House Speaker Paul Ryan and a Minnesota seat being vacated by Democrat Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress. Ellison is running for state attorney general amid domestic abuse allegations from an ex-girlfriend. He denies them.
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8:40 p.m.

Small-business owner Matthew Corey has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Connecticut and will face an uphill battle against Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy.

In Tuesday’s primary the Manchester Republican defeated Dominic Rapini, a national accounts manager for Apple computers.

Corey is a U.S. Navy veteran and owner of a Hartford pub and a window-washing business. He earlier unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Rep. John Larson.

Corey has called for more investment in small businesses in low-income communities. He’s also supportive of apprenticeship programs, corporate tax reform and a tax credit for home school parents.

As of July 25, records show Corey had raised about $31,000 in campaign funds compared with nearly $13.5 million for Murphy.
There was no primary on the Democratic side.
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8:30 p.m.

Businessman Ned Lamont has won the Democratic nomination for Connecticut governor, defeating Bridgeport mayor and ex-convict Joe Ganim.

Lamont’s victory comes 12 years after he defeated U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in a Democratic showdown, only to lose the general election when Lieberman ran as an independent. That race was seen as part of a national referendum on the Iraq War.

Lamont has said he’ll “save Connecticut” from President Donald Trump’s policies, whether it’s the weakening of environmental standards or abortion access.

Lamont says he’ll bring a businessman’s approach to solving the state’s fiscal woes. He supports unions and a higher minimum wage.
Ganim was elected Bridgeport mayor in 2015 despite serving seven years in prison for public corruption.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy decided against running for a third term.
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8:05 p.m.

Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has won Vermont’s Democratic Senate primary but is expected to turn down the nomination and support the state’s Democratic candidates, as is his practice.

In Tuesday’s balloting, Sanders defeated little-known candidate Folasade Adeluola (foh-LAH’-shah-day ah-DAY’-loo-hoh-lah), who says she believes Vermont needs a full-time senator.

Sanders is thought to be considering a presidential run in 2020. He already is on Vermont’s November ballot as an independent.
Under Vermont law he cannot appear on the November ballot as both a Democrat and an independent.

In his U.S. Senate races, in 2012 and 2006 he declined the nomination but accepted the formal endorsement of the state’s Democratic Party.

Four little-known candidates were seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.
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8 p.m.

Sen. Chris Murphy is advancing to the November election after sailing through the primaries without facing a challenger from his Democratic Party.

The first-term senator from Connecticut will face the winner of a two-man Republican primary featuring small-business owner Matthew Corey and Apple computer executive Dominic Rapini.

Polls in the state closed at 8 p.m. Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin are also holding primaries Tuesday.

Murphy’s campaign has raised about $13.5 million, an amount that far exceeds the fundraising of each of his GOP rivals.

Murphy was first elected in 2012 and became a prominent advocate for gun control following the shooting massacre that year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown that killed 20 first-graders and six educators. He has gained a higher profile lately through his outspoken criticism of the policies of President Donald Trump.
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7:30 p.m.

Early figures show voter turnout in Connecticut’s primaries is low despite the large number of candidates vying to become their party’s nominee in November.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says turnout was around 15 to 16 percent with 153 of Connecticut’s 169 towns reporting as of about 3 p.m. Tuesday. That figure doesn’t include the major cities.

Merrill says she ultimately expects about 20 to 25 percent of the state’s roughly 1.2 million registered Democrats and Republicans will vote, similar to past primaries. Polls close at 8 p.m.

Unaffiliated voters are not able to vote in Connecticut’s primaries.
The Republican primary for governor is expected to be particularly close, given that five candidates are vying for the nomination. Merrill predicts the winner could take as few as 20,000 votes.
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7 p.m.

The polls have closed in Vermont, where voters were picking nominees for governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House.

Vermont and three other states, Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin, are holding primaries Tuesday.

In Vermont, Republican Gov. Phil Scott is facing a challenge from Springfield businessman Keith Stern.

Four Democrats are seeking the party’s nomination to run for governor. They include a former utility executive who, if elected, would become the nation’s first transgender governor, and a 14-year-old boy who is taking advantage of a quirk in state law that does not require gubernatorial candidates to be registered voters.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is appearing on the Democratic ballot, even though he’s already registered to run in November as an independent.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch is also facing a primary challenge.
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5:20 p.m.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says no major problems have been reported across the state as voters cast their ballots in the primary.

The commission says statewide turnout figures for Tuesday’s elections are not available yet.

Wisconsin is among four states holding primaries Tuesday. Connecticut, Minnesota and Vermont are the others.

In Milwaukee, the Journal Sentinel reports that election officials are projecting turnout to be 25 to 30 percent of the city’s registered voters, which is about 75,000 people. The turnout is about 10,000 more than the 2014 gubernatorial primary.

Democratic voters are choosing among eight candidates to challenge Gov. Scott Walker in November. Republican voters are deciding between Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
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2:25 a.m.

Democrats are fighting to beat back Republican gains across the Midwest as the 2018 primary season roars through Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Tuesday’s primary contests for governor, the Senate and the House will test the strength of President Donald Trump’s fiery coalition against the energy of the Democratic resistance among working-class voters.

Meanwhile, accusations of domestic violence involving the Democratic National Committee’s deputy chairman, congressman and attorney general candidate Keith Ellison, could undermine the “blue wave” in Minnesota.

In all, four states including Vermont and Connecticut will host elections on Tuesday as the 2018 primary season nears its final chapter.

Democrats appear particularly motivated in Wisconsin, where eight candidates want the chance to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker. In Minnesota, former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants his job back.

By Associated Press