***Live Updates*** MAGA Candidates Center Stage in WV, IN, OH, NC Primaries

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Key GOP primary races will take place tonight in West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina that will feature plenty of “MAGA” candidates, reflecting how much President Donald Trump and his economic nationalist message have taken over the GOP.

Breitbart News Washington Editor Matt Boyle has a preview of the important contests in the four states that Trump carried in 2016.

In West Virginia, controversial candidate Don Blankenship may have a slight lead in the polls against  West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey and former Democrat Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV). Trump has urged voters to vote for either Jenkins or Morrisey to not allow Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to keep his seat. But as Boyle pointed out, Morrissey would most likely be well ahead of Blankenship had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his allies had not thrown their support behind Jenkins. As Boyle noted, Jenkins did not switch his party affiliation until after Obama’s first term and supported Hillary Clinton for president in 2008. The race has dominated headlines as the media are priming to make Republicans answer for Blankenship should he win.

In Indiana, the three candidates running to challenge vulnerable Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) in the fall have embraced Trump in what has been a nasty three-way scrum. Reps. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Todd Rokita (R-IN) are longtime rivals while businessman Mike Braun is the third candidate.

In Ohio’s GOP gubernatorial primary,  Mary Taylor battles former Senator Mike DeWine. In Ohio’s GOP Senate primary, Trump has backed Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) against Mike Gibbons.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. eastern time in West Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio. In Indiana, polls will close at 6 p.m. central time and eastern time.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News throughout the evening for live updates of all of the most important races. All times eastern.

 

11:00 PM:

McConnell gloats, but as Matt Boyle points out, his candidate Jenkins lost:

10:35 PM: AP calls race for pro-Trump Harris:

Pittenger concedes:

10:30 PM: AP calls race for Gonzalez over Hagan.

10:10 PM:

Blankenship Concedes:

 

9:53 PM: CNN Projects Blankenship will finish third in the WV GOP SEN Primary.

9:45 PM: Breitbart’s John Binder, from Ohio, says Hagan closing the gap:

With nearly 50 percent reporting, establishment-backed Anthony Gonzalez lowers with 53 percent and pro-Trump Christina Hagan climbs to 40 percent.

 

9:42: AP calls race for Walter Jones in North Carolina:

Flashback from Breitbart’s Matt Boyle: Exclusive-Rep. Walter Jones Hammers Paul Ryan for Running ‘Closed Shop’ in Speaker’s Office:

 As a registered lobbyist with Wisconsin roots steps up to challenge Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) in a primary later this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan is the one facing the fire for the GOP establishment’s anti-conservative behavior.

Jones, a key ally of President Donald Trump and a change-maker in the House of Representatives, is out with a pair of racy new radio ads ripping his lobbyist primary opponent for various contributions to things of the swamp in Washington—ads that rip Ryan too. Jones has perennially faced primary opponents backed by GOP establishment forces in Washington, DC, because of his aggressively anti-establishment style, but this new one—registered lobbyist Scott Dacey—is already drawing out long-simmering but seldom-mentioned divisions inside the House GOP conference.

 

9:28 PM: AP calls race (OH GOP SEN) for Renacci, whom Trump backed.

9:20 PM: Plenty of Kasich staffers at DeWine victory party:

9:17 PM: West Virginia:

As Breitbart’s Sean Moran points out, “West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey continues to lead at 35.1 percent of the vote, Rep. Evan Jenkins has 28.7 percent of the vote, and Don Blankenship has 20.1 percent of the vote.”

9:15 PM: Breitbart’s Ian Mason notes that pro-Trump challenger Harris still leads Pittenger with more than half of the votes in NC-9:

Half the vote is now in for the Republican Primary for North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District. Conservative challenger Mark Harris is ahead by a slim margin in his bid to unseat incumbent Congressman Robert Pittenger. Harris has run a strongly pro-Trump campaign. He appeared on Breitbart News Sunday last month where he called Pittenger’s support for the omnibus spending bill “disgraceful.” Harris is now ahead by over 1,100 votes.

9:12 PM: From Breitbart’s John Binder in Ohio: “The Christina Hagan campaign says they are slowly closing the gap on establishment-backed Anthony Gonzalez as more Election Day results come in. The race is now at 56 percent for Gonzalez and 38 percent for Gonzalez.”

9:08 PM: Mike Braun vows to “send a message” to Sen. Donnelly (D-IN) and DC in November.

“This fall, we’re going to send a message to Senator Donnelly and the rest of Washington that politics shouldn’t be a career and if we want to change things we need to change the people we send there. I’m going there to get the job done and come back home, and the only people I’ll owe anything to is the voters of Indiana,” Braun said in a statement after securing the GOP nomination for Senate. “From the beginning our message has been pretty simple – we need more outsiders and less career politicians in Washington. More folks that have done something in the real world… Senator Donnelly is just another career politician who has spent nearly his entire career in politics and government. When he’s in Indiana he acts like one of us, but in Washington he votes against us, against President Trump and in lockstep with the Democrats.”

 

9:00 PM: Breitbart’s John Binder with an update on the Hagan campaign from Ohio: 

With 39 of 516 precincts reporting, Christina Hagan comes in at 36 percent while Gonzalez continues leading with nearly 57 percent. Much of Gonzalez’s lead is due to his campaign’s large early vote effort, while Hagan has moved up in the polls as Election Day results come in.

8:56 PM: Indiana Senate:

8:50 PM: West Virginia Update:

In North Carolina, Breitbart’s Ian Mason notes: “Conservative Mark Harris is holding on to a slim lead over incumbent Congressman Robert Pittenger in the Republican Primary for North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District. With 32 percent of the votes in, Harris is more than 800 votes ahead.”

8:30 PM: From Breitbart’s Ian Mason (pro-Trump challenger Harris still leading Pittenger):

With nine percent of precincts reporting, conservative challenger Mark Harris is leading incumbent Congressman Robert Pittenger by more than 600 votes in the Republican Primary for North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District. Pittenger came under fire for his support for this year’s omnibus spending bill and once called President Trump’s call for a wall on the southern border a “euphemism.”

8:25 PM: NBC projects Mike Braun will win Indiana GOP Senate primary:

 

8:20 PM: From Breitbart’s Ian Mason: 

Melanie Leneghan, a township trustee running on an explicitly pro-Trump platform is turning in an unexpectedly strong performance in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District Republican Primary. Early voting has her less than 100 votes down on Ohio State Senator Troy Balderson.

8:15 PM: Fox News calls race for Mike DeWine–looks like he’ll face off against Democrat Richard Cordray in the fall to replace Gov. John Kasich.

8:10 PM: From Breitbart’s John Binder in Ohio:

Hagan’s campaign is looking to make up for their trailing in early voting results with election day enthusiasm from a national media blitz they conducted this past week.

Establishment Ohio gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine is leading conservative Mary Taylor in early voting by about 30 percent. Taylor’s campaign has hinted that election day enthusiasm is on their side.

Christina Hagan’s anti-establishment campaign team continues to say that their strategy is all about their ground game and getting out the vote on Election Day. People close to the campaign tell me this race between Hagan and her establishment opponent Anthony Gonzalez will be extremely close.

Breitbart’s Ian Mason notes that the Gonzalez campaign focused on early-vote turnout and has a 2,400 vote lead.

7:55 PM: Early Results from West Virginia:

7:52: PM: Indiana Update from Breitbart’s Sean Moran:

Businessman Mike Braun leads the Indiana Republican primary at 41.5 percent of the vote, Rep. Luke Messer with 29.3 percent of the vote, and Todd Rokita with 29.1 percent of the vote, with 21.5 percent of precincts reporting their results.

In Ohio, Cordray and DeWine have early leads:

7:50 PM: NORTH CAROLINA: Pro-Trump challenger Harris with early vote lead.

7:45 PM: Breitbart’s John Binder from Ohio:

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is expected to lead his conservative challenger Mary Taylor, but insiders tell me the momentum is with Taylor in the days leading up to the primary election. DeWine has attempted to align himself with President Trump, but his record of supporting amnesty and promoting mass legal immigration in Congress has plagued him in the race.

7:40 PM: West Virginia Senate:

7:30 PM: Breitbart’s John Binder from Ohio:

Here in Ohio’s 16th District, Christina Hagan’s campaign has been working the field. Insiders tell me Hagan needs to win Election Day voters in order to make up for the lead that her establishment-backed opponent Anthony Gonzalez is likely to have in early voting in the district. Ohio’s liberal early voting rules allow for voters to vote for nearly a month before the actual election.

Christina Hagan’s “America First” campaign has been outspent 3-to-1 by Gonzalez’s Chamber of Commerce-backed campaign. In total, there’s been more than a million dollars spent against Hagan by corporate donors and the Ohio Republican establishment.

7:28 PM: INDIANA:

Braun also with an early lead, per the AP:

7 PM: All polls in Indiana now closed:

Vulnerable Dem. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who ran unopposed, issues a “victory” statement, claims  “Hoosiers in every corner of the state showed today that they’re fired up to keep Joe Donnelly in the Senate.”

6:55 PM: Polls close in Ohio at 7:30 PM ET:

6:50 PM: McConnell eyeing West Virginia closely, but he could have avoided his Blankenship problem has his team not supported Jenkins.  Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), always looking for a way to be the Republican who is liked by the media, gets out of the gate first and blames Trump for Blankenship and says he’ll donate to Manchin if Blankenship pulls off the victory.

6:45 PM: May say something about Mike Braun.

6:36 PM: Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor looks for an upset tonight:

6:35 PM: Don Blankenship, who has been blasting McConnell’s “China family” while Blankenship reportedly considering becoming a Chinese citizen in the 1990s, has been angry after Trump asked West Virginians not to vote for him. He told CNN that Trump “will learn a lesson” if he wins and threatened to challenge Trump in a primary if Trump gets in his way.

Blankenship has been telling voters that he is “Trumpier than Trump” even though he has not been talking about economic nationalism for twenty years like Trump had before he decided to run for the presidency.

“He will learn a lesson if I win,” Blankenship reportedly told CNN today. “You shouldn’t blindly go out and endorse or cast doubts or favoritism on anybody unless you actually look at their record and not depend on the people who are running the swamp you are trying to drain.”

According to an interview he did with the New Yorker of all outlets:

We exchanged business cards. He told me to hold on to his for when he’s President. “If Trump gets in my way, I’ll just run against him,” he said.

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