Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho and Oregon primaries

By Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes, Ji Min Lee and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:47 a.m. ET, May 18, 2022
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8:47 a.m. ET, May 18, 2022

Here are the takeaways from Tuesday's primaries in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and more

From CNN's Eric Bradner, Dan Merica and Gregory Krieg

Pennsylvania made headlines in Tuesday's primaries. These are six takeaways from the state and other races from the night:

Tight Senate primary in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania continued counting ballots in its Republican Senate primary Wednesday morning, where Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and retired hedge fund executive David McCormick are locked in a neck-and-neck battle. The final outcome could be delayed in part by a printing error in Lancaster County that officials there said left about 22,000 ballots unable to be read by scanners.

Conservative Kathy Barnette ran as a Trump heir, seizing on grassroots Republican antipathy toward Oz. And though Barnette is third in the race as the last ballots are counted, she appears to have sapped the celebrity doctor of needed votes.

It's a dynamic unique to Republican primaries: Trump is such an all-consuming force in the GOP that when the Trump-endorsed candidate and those looking to take Trumpism even further aren't the same person, it gives space to a less Trump-inspired candidate like McCormick.

And it's a significant reason that the race remains too close to call.

An election denier could have power over Pennsylvania's 2024 election

In state Sen. Doug Mastriano, Pennsylvania Republicans have nominated for governor a leading voice advancing Trump's lies about election fraud — raising the possibility that someone who already attempted to overturn voters' will in 2020 would have power over the election machinery of one of the nation's most important presidential battleground states in 2024.

The Trump-endorsed Mastriano will face Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who has consistently defended Pennsylvania's election process and 2020 results, in the race to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The burned bridges of Madison Cawthorn in North Carolina

Despite a late assist from Trump, Rep. Madison Cawthorn could not survive his series of scandals — or the GOP's efforts to turn him into an example for other far-right figures. He was ousted from his western North Carolina congressional seat by state Sen. Chuck Edwards.

The tactics behind the scorched-earth approach of Cawthorn's intra-party critics were key to his defeat. Sen. Thom Tillis and other top North Carolina Republicans didn't just vocally denounce Cawthorn — they identified and rallied around a single opponent in the eight-candidate field.

What it means to be a top Democratic recruit is changing

On Tuesday night, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a 6-foot, 8-inch, bald, tattooed former mayor known for wearing shorts and hoodies, ran away with the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary. In North Carolina, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley largely won the primary field and could become her the state's first Black senator.

Their wins are part of a change within the Democratic Party, where what constituted a good recruit in cycles past meant someone who looked a lot more like the people Fetterman and Beasley beat.

Far-right Idaho gubernatorial candidate falls flat

Idaho Gov. Brad Little easily fended off an effort to unseat him by his own lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin.

Outside groups get modest return on big Democratic House primary bet

Outside groups showered moderate Democratic candidates in spending ahead of races in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Oregon in a bid to overrun progressive outsiders and blunt the left's recent momentum in House primaries.

But with almost all the votes in, the returns on those investments appear to be mixed. A pair of targeted progressive candidates in North Carolina lost badly, while Summer Lee, a state representative from Pennsylvania vying to become the first Black woman elected to Congress from the commonwealth, was in a tight race with her moderate rival in Pittsburgh's 12th District.

The implications of Tuesday's results will also weigh on next week's blockbuster runoff in Texas, where Jessica Cisneros is trying to unseat moderate incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar, another big-time beneficiary of outside money organizations.

Read the full report here.

12:46 a.m. ET, May 18, 2022

CNN Projection: Incumbent Sens. Crapo and Wyden will win their primaries

In Idaho, incumbent Mike Crapo will win the Republican primary for his Senate reelection bid, CNN projects.

And in Oregon, incumbent Ron Wyden will win the Democratic primary for his Senate reelection bid, CNN projects.

12:20 a.m. ET, May 18, 2022

CNN Projection: Brad Little will win the Idaho GOP gubernatorial primary

From CNN's Rachel Janfaza

Idaho Gov. Brad Little leaves the house chambers after he delivers his State of the State address at the state Capitol building on January 10 in Boise, Idaho.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little leaves the house chambers after he delivers his State of the State address at the state Capitol building on January 10 in Boise, Idaho. (Otto Kitsinger/AP)

Idaho Gov. Brad Little will win the state’s GOP gubernatorial nomination, CNN projects, fending off a primary challenge from his own lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin.

Boosted by his fundraising advantage, a slew of endorsements and name recognition, Little now maintains a chance at a second term in office.

Little and McGeachin have been involved in a power struggle as McGeachin has tried to use Little’s absences from the state to enact her own, more conservative policy agenda.

Last May, McGeachin signed a ban on mask mandates in Idaho. And, in October, she expanded an executive order to ban schools and universities from being able to ask for proof of vaccination against Covid-19 and took steps to send the state's national guard to the US-Mexico border.

Little repealed each change made in his absence. 

But McGeachin’s posturing against Covid-19 safety measures did enough to catch the attention of former President Donald Trump, who endorsed her bid in November 2021.

Little, for his part, has touted his conservative record on tax cuts, economic growth and a trip last fall to the US Mexico border. The Republican governor also in March signed a bill modeled after the Texas law that bans abortions after about six weeks, becoming the first state to follow the controversial Texas statute that allows private citizens to enforce the restrictions with lawsuits.

12:09 a.m. ET, May 18, 2022

No results tonight, Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidates say

The GOP Senate primary race continues to be close with razor tight margins and some candidates told supporters to not expect results tonight.

"Right now we have tens of thousands of mail-in ballots that have not been counted, that are going to need to be counted beginning tomorrow... unfortunately we are not going to have resolution tonight, but we can see the path ahead, we can see victory ahead and it's all because of you," David McCormick said while addressing his supporters from his campaign headquarters.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a former TV show host, also noted that a final result will not come in tonight.

"We're not gonna have a result tonight. When all the votes are tallied, I am confident we will win," Oz told his supporters.

Oz, McCormick and Kathy Barnette are all vying for the nomination.

12:08 a.m. ET, May 18, 2022

Craig Greenberg will win the Democratic primary for mayor in Louisville, CNN projects

From CNN's Rachel Janfaza

Craig Greenberg acknowledges the crowd after winning the Democratic primary for Louisville mayor in Louisville, Kentucky on Tuesday, May 17.
Craig Greenberg acknowledges the crowd after winning the Democratic primary for Louisville mayor in Louisville, Kentucky on Tuesday, May 17. (Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/AP)

Craig Greenberg, who survived a shooting attempt at his campaign headquarters in February, will win the Democratic primary for mayor in Louisville, Kentucky, CNN projects.

Greenberg, an entrepreneur and community leader, ran on a platform that prioritized public safety, justice, affordable housing, strengthening education, jobs and making Louisville “greener.” He defeated a crowded field including community organizer Shameka Parrish-Wright, Jefferson District Court Clerk David Nicholson and pastor and community organizer Timothy Findley.

 “Thank you Louisville!” Greenberg wrote with a photo on Twitter Tuesday.

In February, Greenberg was the target of a shooting in the city's Butchertown neighborhood, Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Chief Erika Shields said at the time, adding that although there were no injuries in the incident, a round did appear to strike Greenberg's clothing.

Greenberg and his staff were gathered for a morning meeting in his office at campaign headquarters when a person walked in.

"We asked if we could help him. And he pulled out a gun, aimed it directly at me and opened fire," Greenberg told CNN's John Berman on "New Day," at the time. "I was fortunate that one of my brave teammates slammed the door shut. They were able to throw some desks on top of the door and the suspect fled. So, we are very blessed to be here today. All of us on the team are."

11:40 p.m. ET, May 17, 2022

Pennsylvania's fiercest Democratic House primary goes down to the wire

From CNN's Greg Krieg

A campaign sign for Pennsylvania state Rep. Summer Lee is seen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 17.
A campaign sign for Pennsylvania state Rep. Summer Lee is seen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 17. (Jeff Swenson/Getty Images)

More than 110,000 votes have been counted so far in the Democratic House primary in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District.

The margin, as of 11:27 p.m. ET: 862 votes.

That's the size of Pennsylvania state Rep. Summer Lee's lead, with an estimated couple thousand more still to come. The night began with her leading moderate rival, Steve Irwin, jumping out ahead in the early count. But with each new wave of Election Day results, Lee, a progressive endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, crept closer and closer.

The stakes of this open-seat race, in a safe Democratic district centered in Pittsburgh, grew as the campaign wore on and outside groups, especially as a pair of pro-Israel groups took their spending in support of Irwin to over $3 million.

In an interview with CNN days before the election, Lee said the torrent of outside spending — and similar, but so far more successful efforts tonight in North Carolina — was meant to "send a very specific message: not just that we're trying to win an election, but we're trying to destroy you, we're trying to depress voter turnout and we're trying to discourage voters."

11:43 p.m. ET, May 17, 2022

CNN Projection: Kotek will win Democratic nomination for Oregon governor

Tina Kotek, right, crosses her fingers while speaking to supporters in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday.
Tina Kotek, right, crosses her fingers while speaking to supporters in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday. (Craig Mitchelldyer/AP)

Former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek will win the Democratic nomination for governor in Oregon, CNN projects.

11:31 p.m. ET, May 17, 2022

In victory speech, Mastriano rejects the notion his views are "extreme"

From CNN's Melanie Zanona and Liz Turrell

Doug Mastriano speaks at his election night party in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on May 17.
Doug Mastriano speaks at his election night party in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on May 17. (Michale M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Doug Mastriano, the GOP nominee for Pennsylvania governor, rejected the notion that his views are extreme during his victory speech at his election night headquarters in Chambersburg after Republicans have sounded the alarm that he isn’t electable in November. 

“I repudiate that. That is crap,” Mastriano said. “That is absolutely not true. The (Democratic) party, which the media stands for and advocates for — they’ve gone extreme.”

Mastriano then proceeded to rail against Covid-19 restrictions and promised to abolish “all mandates” on day one; touched on culture war issues like critical race theory and trans athletes participating in sports; accused his Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro of having an extreme position on abortion; and made multiple references to faith and freedom throughout his speech. 

Mastriano, who was wearing a tie etched with the words “With God, all things are possible,” also weaved in a number of religious references into his speech; a Christian rock band played earlier in the night.

The Trump-backed Mastriano also has been a major proponent of 2020 election lies and has made “election integrity” a centerpiece of his campaign.

“There is a movement here that is going to shock the state this November,” Mastriano told the enthusiastic crowd.

If Republicans were hoping for a pivot to the middle now that Mastriano is their nominee, this speech was not it.

11:26 p.m. ET, May 17, 2022

Lamb backs Fetterman in primary night statement: "I will do everything I can to help Democrats win"

From CNN's Brian Rokus

Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb said Tuesday that he will vote for John Fetterman in November and “do everything I can to help Democrats win.”

Lamb was particularly hard on questions around Fetterman’s electability during their debates.

“I hope that John has a speedy recovery from his stroke and from today’s surgery, and that he can return to the campaign trail soon,” he said.