Five hot Senate primaries on the summer calendar


US CongressStates with a primary battle in the works get two political advertising seasons. And although issues of candidacy have been decided in many locations, there are still five states with an intramural Senate battle on the table.

They all happen to involve the Republican Party.

Capitol Hill news outlet Politico shined a spotlight. And the lucky states are:
* Utah (6/26): Capitol Hill veteran Orrin Hatch came very close to avoiding a primary battle at his party’s state convention, and is said to be dipping liberally into his massive campaign warchest to make sure he survives a strong challenge from former state legislator Dan Liljenquist. Mormon Utah loves Mitt Romney, and Mitt Romney has endorsed Hatch – but after watching Dick Lugar’s ouster by the Indiana Republican Party, Hatch is expected to leave nothing to chance.

* Texas (7/31): Kaye Bailey Hutchison’s retirement opened up a seat, and the failure of any one candidate to snag 50% or more of the vote in May has produced a two-way battle featuring Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Solicitor/Tea Party favorite General Ted Cruz. Cruz is said to be getting ample financial support from PACs, including that of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).

* Missouri (8/7): Businessman John Brunner and former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman are said to be the leaders in the race to claim right to run against wounded Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. A third candidate, Todd Akin, has to hope that the other two damage each other enough to allow him to sneak through to victory.

* Wisconsin (8/14): Democrat Tammy Baldwin is running to keep the seat being vacated by Herb Kohl in the Democratic column. Four Republicans are battling for the right to face her in November. As Politico put it, “Tommy Thompson has the recognized name, former Rep. Mark Neumann has the support of the right, hedge fund manager Eric Hovde has his wealth and Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald has the legislative badge of carrying Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda.” Politico notes that there is no consensus as to who is in the lead at the moment.

* Arizona (8/31): Jon Kyl is retiring. Rep. Jeff Flake has the Washington political pedigree, and his opponent, Wil Cardon says that is his problem. And according to Politico, there is no shortage of outside organizations that are helping Cardon say it.