A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
It’s another key week for primaries ahead of November’s midterms, with voters in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, and Connecticut set to choose their party’s candidates on Tuesday (August 9) followed by Hawaii on Saturday (August 13).
In Wisconsin, much focus will be on the outcome of the Republican gubernatorial primary to determine who will challenge Democratic incumbent Tony Evers in November. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Tim Michels and is holding a rally this evening for the construction executive, who entered the race in April. Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, is supporting former frontrunner Rebecca Kleefisch, who also has the backing of former Badger State Governor Scott Walker and influential Senator Ted Cruz. Polls suggest the race between Michels and Kleefisch will be tight, with former Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson and State Rep. Timothy Rathun trailing the leading contenders.
In the Senate race, the focus is on the Democratic primary, with incumbent Republican Ron Johnson viewed as vulnerable in November. Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes looks set to easily win the nomination to challenge Johnson in the fall after his three leading challengers ended their campaigns within days of each other.
In Minnesota, Republican Scott Jensen is all but certain to win his party’s nomination after securing the Republican endorsement at a statewide convention in May. Polls suggest a close race in the fall between Jensen and incumbent Democrat Tim Walz. During the first debate between the pair earlier this week, Jensen challenged Walz over his response to the unrest provoked by the killing of George Floyd in 2020, his handling of the pandemic, and rising inflation. The issue of abortion is likely to be another hot topic come November, with Walz and his running mate Peggy Flanagan already having sought to capitalize on Jensen and his running mate Matt Birk’s opposition to abortions, even for rape survivors.
There will be interest too in the Democratic primary in the state’s 5th Congressional District, where DFL-endorsed incumbent Ilhan Omar is facing a challenge from moderate Don Samuels. There’s also a special election in the 1st Congressional District, where Republican Brad Finstad is favored to defeat Democrat Jeff Ettinger in the race serve the remaining months of the term of late GOP Congressman Jim Hagedorn.
Lastly, keep an eye out for the primary in Vermont’s sole Congressional seat, where the two leading Democratic candidates are women, making it highly likely that, come November, the state will make history by sending its first female representative to Congress.
A general election takes place in Kenya on Tuesday (August 9) and most interest will be in the presidential race, where the leading candidates are current Vice President William Ruto and veteran opposition figure and former prime minister Raila Odinga. Current President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is stepping down at the end of a second five-year term, has broken with his deputy and instead thrown his support behind Odinga in what is expected to be a close race that may head to a subsequent run-off vote. Both candidates have announced running mates from Kenyatta’s Kikuyu ethnic group, the country’s largest. A disputed election remains a concern. Widespread violence following the 2007 elections led to Kenyatta and Ruto being charged by the International Criminal Court, though the cases ultimately collapsed. The fact that the margin of victory this time around is likely to be narrow is once again raising fears of the prospect of post-election violence amid a cost of living crisis that has already seen protesters take to the streets.