Virginia battle highlights U.S. Congress primary elections in 5 states

John Warren and Henry Mc Master head to runoff

As Morning Joe talked about Congressman Mark Sanford's defeat last night in the SC primaries, Joe Scarborough called it the latest sign that the Republican Party has become completely subservient to President Donald Trump. Trump endorsed Arrington, a first term state legislator.

As results came in Tuesday, Sanford told a crowd in suburban Charleston: "I've always been a realist and at this point, based on the numbers I see, I'm going to lose this race".

With 48 percent of the vote in, it's starting to look like Arrington could win the GOP nomination without a runoff.

The race between Sanford and Arrington provides the latest test of just how willing Republican voters are to stomach congressional criticism of Trump.

That was a reference to Sanford's surprise disappearance from the state as governor, which he later revealed was to continue his affair with an Argentine woman. "Two years later he votes with Trump maybe 95 percent of the time, 87% percent, says one or two things about Trump that people don't like".

A few hours before polls closed, Trump tweeted that Sanford was "nothing but trouble" and "very unhelpful to me". In his remarks Tuesday night, he said: "I stand by every one of those decisions to disagree with the president".

In another big Virginia race, Republican Corey Stewart - once a state chairman to Trump's presidential campaign who was sacked for protesting the Republican National Committee - won the Republican primary to face Democratic Sen.

When I woke up this morning, I flipped on Morning Joe only to hear the results of the South Carolina GOP primary for the 1st Congressional District. She has served in the Statehouse since 2016.

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On the Democratic side, voters also face a choice between political experience and newcomer perspective.

Some of the other notable races were taking place in Virginia, where Democrats are seeking to capture some of the 23 Republican seats they would need to reclaim the majority in the U.S. House.

Trump also tweeted his endorsement of Adam Laxalt, Nevada's attorney general, just after noon Pacific time. Former Rep. Cresent Hardy is the Republican frontrunner in a six-person race, while former Rep. Steven Horsford is expect to win the Democratic nomination after incumbent Ruben Kihuen announced he wouldn't seek reelection in response to sexual misconduct allegations.

The district could go to a runoff thanks to ex-Democrat Dimitri Cherny, who has 3 percent of the vote. One is Sen Heidi Heitkamp's seat in North Dakota.

Also on Tuesday, voters nominated challengers to two of this year's most vulnerable Senate incumbents. In the years after Ron Paul's 2008 dark horse presidential run, he and then-governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson (along with, of course, Rand Paul) were often identified as the heirs apparent to the libertarian wing of the GOP.

Interest in the race pushed voter turnout by Tuesday afternoon to a higher level than the 2016 Nevada primary, according to Nevada Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley.

As expected, North Dakota Republicans chose Rep. Kevin Cramer to challenge Democratic Sen.

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