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Rep. David Trone

Will Trone’s big spending prove decisive in Maryland?

It’s primary day in Maryland and Nebraska. Here are the top storylines we’re tracking.

Which Democrat will take on Hogan: How far does $60 million in spending during a primary get you? We’re about to find out.

The tense Democratic primary campaign between Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks will come to an end today.

Trone has blanketed Maryland with TV and radio ads — plus a tidal wave of mailers — claiming he’s more electable than Alsobrooks. Alsobrooks, for her part, boasts the support of a majority of top statewide officials. Gov. Wes Moore, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) are among Alsobrooks’ key surrogates.

Alsobrooks has raised nearly $7.8 million through April 24. Her campaign has spent nearly $5.9 million. That’s one-tenth of Trone’s spending.

Trone has officially loaned his campaign more than $54 million as of three weeks ago, per FEC records, but the final total is even higher.

The race has turned nasty in its closing weeks as worries mount that either candidate will be locked in a tough general election battle with popular former GOP Gov. Larry Hogan. What was once seen as an easy win for Democrats has some in the party fearing that the DSCC may be forced to divert significant money to defeat Hogan.

Key to Trone’s appeal is that he can pour his own substantial resources into the race, meaning Senate Democratic leaders could steer funds to Ohio, Montana and other races as they try to save their majority. No one has ever spent as much money on a primary as Trone has this year — ever. And with a family fortune estimated as $2 billion-plus, he could spend tens of millions more on the general election.

We’ll note that some Maryland Democrats are privately cautioning that we might not know the final result tonight if the results are close, which we expect them to be. Unless Trone wins in a romp.

Can Harry Dunn make it to the general election? Former U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn has been a revelation in his first run for office. Dunn has raised more money than some Senate campaigns, but he faces a tough challenge in Maryland’s 3rd District Democratic primary.

State Sen. Sarah Elfreth is Dunn’s foremost opponent and is benefiting from millions of dollars on TV ads paid for by AIPAC’s super PAC. Elfreth also boasts endorsements from local labor organizations and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Dunn has national appeal thanks to his stirring testimony in front of the Jan. 6 committee about his work protecting the Capitol. But we’ve also reported on a 2011 domestic dispute involving Dunn and his then-wife that resulted in his suspension from the force.

Who will succeed Trone in the House? Trone is leaving behind his competitive seat in Maryland’s 6th District. Two main Democrats are the frontrunners in the primary: State legislator Joe Vogel and April McClain Delaney, the wife of former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.).

What will Don Bacon’s margin look like? In Nebraska’s toss-up 2nd District, incumbent GOP Rep. Don Bacon is facing a right-wing primary challenge from MAGA candidate Dan Frei. Bacon is expected to win, but it will be interesting to see what his margin of victory is. Democratic state Sen. Tony Vargas, who lost narrowly to Bacon in 2022, is waiting for a rematch in November.

— Max Cohen and John Bresnahan

Presented by AARP

AARP knows older voters. 

We’ve made it our business to know what matters to people 50 and over—like we know that protecting Social Security and supporting family caregivers are among their top priorities. Learn more from our polling in Pennsylvania.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.