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Roundup of Tuesday's most interesting primaries and moments

GOP races set stage for midterm elections
GOP races set stage for midterm elections 00:40

As primary season heats up ahead of what are sure to be contentious midterm elections in November, Tuesday night netted some significant wins, and losses, in four states. 

West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina all held closely-watched primaries that, by and large, President Trump interpreted as a big win for the GOP, six months out from November. Republicans are vying to keep control of both chambers of Congress, even as Democrats have the public's favor in the generic ballot. (For a blow-by-blow account of Tuesday's primaries, check out CBS News' live blog from earlier.)

Looking at the races more closely, however, the story line is a little more complex. Here are some of the biggest winners and losers in key races from Tuesday night. 

Trump accuser wins uncontested primary

Rachel Crooks, who claims Donald Trump sexually harassed her in 2005, won in an uncontested Democratic primary for the Ohio statehouse. If the 35-year-old Crooks wins against her Republican opponent in November, she will be the first Trump accuser to win elected office after Mr. Trump's ascendance to the presidency.

Crooks says she was a 22-year-old receptionist at Trump Tower in 2005 when Mr. Trump kissed her "directly on the mouth" against her will. Mr. Trump denied the claims when they surfaced shortly before the 2016 election. 

More women are expected to run for elected office in 2018 than ever before, a sea change many are attributing to the "Me Too" movement encouraging women to speak up about experiences of sexual harassment and abuse. 

Don Blankenship allays GOP fears by losing West Virginia race

The loss of convicted former coal baron Don Blankenship in the West Virginia GOP Senate primary was a sigh of relief for Washington Republicans, who feared Blankenship could lose to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November and put a blight on the party with comments about "Cocaine Mitch" McConnell's "China family." McConnell's campaign tweeted out a photo of the majority leader, superimposed into a promo for the Netflix series "Narcos," the story of cocaine drug lord Pablo Escobar. "Thanks for playing, Don," the tweet said.

Blankenship attributed his loss largely to a tweet Mr. Trump sent the day before the primary, urging West Virginians not to vote for him.

First sitting congressman this cycle loses his seat 

Three-term incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina's 9th District narrowly lost his rematch Tuesday with a Southern Baptist pastor in a GOP primary campaign focused on their evangelical Christian credentials and loyalty to President Trump. Pittenger is the first sitting member of Congress to lose his seat so far in the 2018 election cycle. 

Two years ago, the Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte's First Baptist Church lost by just 134 votes to Pittenger, a wealthy land developer. This time, Harris came out on top by a slightly wider margin, and Clarence Goins of Fayetteville finished third.

Self-described outsider Mike Braun takes Indiana race

Indiana voters made it clear on Tuesday night — they want someone who isn't entrenched in Washington, D.C. Republicans chose businessman and former state representative Mike Braun over Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, in a costly primary race. The race became like a contest for who could be the most like President Trump, and Braun won that contest, capturing 41 percent of the GOP vote, compared with Rokita's 30 percent and Messer's 29 percent. 

Braun's brother, Steve Braun, also ran Tuesday night, but lost his bid to Jim Baird to be the GOP nominee to take Rokita's seat in the 4th District.

Mike Pence's older brother might be joining him in Washington

Greg Pence, the older brother of Vice President Mike Pence, swept the field Tuesday night in his primary with four other GOP contenders. Pence took nearly 65 percent of the vote for the seat once held by his brother. The next-closest candidate, Jonathan Lamb, took nearly 24 percent of the vote. 

Greg Pence, a 61-year-old Marine veteran and mall owner, will face off against Democrat Jeannine Lake in the heavily Republican 6th District this November. 

One theme became clear Tuesday night — the Republican Party is Mr. Trump's party, and those who best align with him, and are able to carry his message effectively, have Republicans' votes. But losing Mr. Trump's confidence, as Blankenship did, can be costly.

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