Tuesday was a a good night for female candidates.
In Pennsylvania, the state’s all-male congressional delegation is poised to gain several female additions, as women swept to House Democratic primary victories in a number of Democratic-leaning and contested districts.
In Nebraska, another woman — a Bernie Sanders-style liberal the party fears could harm its chances of winning back the House this fall — narrowly defeated a top Democratic recruit for a battleground congressional seat.
There were also closely watched statewide primaries in the four states that voted Tuesday. Pennsylvania Republicans picked their nominees to face two targeted Democrats: Sen. Bob Casey and Gov. Tom Wolf. And Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador failed to overcome the struggles of GOP House members running in statewide primaries so far this year in his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, losing to Lt. Gov. Brad Little.
But Tuesday’s contests were dominated by crucial primaries that will play an important role in the battle for control of the House next year. Pennsylvania was ground zero in that effort: Democrats are hoping a newly redrawn congressional map and a spate of retirements will lead to a handful of pickups in November and get the party closer to the 23 seats it needs to regain control of the chamber.
In one Pennsylvania battleground congressional district, Democrats spurned a long-time moderate prosecutor who admitted he was out of step with primary voters — instead nominating a candidate with the backing of EMILY’s List, the powerful group that works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights.