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Fox News Election Brief: Trump, Pence, abortion in spotlight as five states hold primaries Tuesday

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NEVER MISS A MOMENT — Check out our midterm coverage here and follow live election results at the Fox News Election center.

PROXY WAR PRIMARIES — Former President Trump’s immense sway over the Republican Party is once again on the line as five states from the Midwest to the West coast hold primaries on Tuesday. On the ballot in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington are high profile gubernatorial, Senate and House nomination showdowns. Also in the spotlight: three House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Trump over the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol are fighting for their political lives as they face Trump-backed challengers, a proxy war between Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., a member of the so-called “Squad” of diverse, progressive House Democrats, also faces a primary challenge. Read more from Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser: Trump, Pence, abortion, all in spotlight as five states hold primaries on Tuesday

INFLATION NATION — Senate Democrats and Republicans are at odds over how the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will impact the American economy as the midterm elections rapidly approach. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., in a statement to Fox News Digital, claimed, “Democrats will do two things: they’ll say that the U.S. isn’t in a recession and that their new, partisan tax-and-spending spree will reduce inflation. IT’S ALL LIES.” However, Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., suggested the measure will help “give families more breathing room and tackle the climate crisis,” as well as create “good-paying jobs and economic opportunity.” Read more from Fox News’ Kyle Morris: Senate campaign chairs spar over impact of Manchin inflation bill: ‘It’s all lies’

PROGRESSIVE PRAISE — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who for months took heat from progressive Democrats for tanking the Build Back Better agenda, is now being praised by Democrats who demand expansive climate change legislation. Manchin on Wednesday announced an agreement on a reconciliation package that makes large investments in green energy production and health care while raising funds through additional corporate taxes and stricter IRS enforcement. Read more from Fox News’ Thomas Phippen: Green New Deal Democrats change tune on Joe Manchin after $433 billion climate, inflation bill

TAX-AND-SPEND — Vulnerable House Democrats will not say if they support the Manchin-Schumer Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, or if it is wise to raise billions in new taxes during an economic recession. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) revealed in an analysis last week that the Manchin bill, which would spend $433 billion on climate change initiatives, would increase taxes by billions of dollars, including on middle-class earners. Read more from Fox News’ Aubrie Spady: Vulnerable Democrats won’t say if they support Manchin bill, raising taxes during recession

DEMOCRATS DISTANCING? — Democrat Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota revealed that he does not think President Biden should run for re-election in 2024 and that America needs “well-prepared Democrats” instead. Phillips, a moderate Democrat who currently represents Minnesota’s Third Congressional District, is up for re-election this fall. The candidate spoke out against the Democrat president on a radio show Thursday. When asked if he would support a Biden re-election bid, he firmly said “no.” Read more from Fox News’ Aubrie Spady: Dem Rep to Biden: Do not seek re-election in 2024, America needs Dems who will ‘step up’

PLAYING POLITICS — Several top Democrats in competitive Senate races say more needs to be done to get the economy back on track but refused to say if the economy was in a recession, despite the latest GDP number showing the economy contracted for a second straight quarter. The comments were provided exclusively to Fox News Digital on Thursday and followed an announcement from the Commerce Department that the gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, shrank by 0.9% on an annualized basis in the three-month period from April through June. Read more from Fox News’ Kyle Morris and Aubrie Spady: Top Senate Dem candidates react to economic contraction, fall short of calling it a recession

CRISIS INTERVENTION — The timing of the Biden administration’s announcement to complete open segments of the border wall near Yuma, Arizona, could be to “help one of their own,” said Brandon Judd, president for the National Border Patrol Council, as Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., faces a tough re-election fight amid criticism from the GOP over border security and immigration. Kelly for months has been advocating for approval to close those gaps, and celebrated the announcement in a statement Thursday, taking credit for finally being able to “secure a commitment from the administration to get this done,” according to his office. Read more from Fox News’ Thomas Phippen and Andrew Murray: Biden’s AZ border wall move could be to ‘help one of their own’ win re-election, border official says

DEMS ‘BANNED’ TOGETHER — The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted Friday to pass an assault weapons ban, with lawmakers narrowly approving the bill in a 217-213 vote. Eighteen House Democrats considered to be vulnerable in this year’s midterm elections voted in favor of the bill, while two representatives from the party who are facing tough re-election battles — Reps. Henry Cuellar of Texas and Jared Golden of Maine — broke from their party to vote against the bill. Read more from Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie and Kyle Morris: House ‘assault weapons’ ban approved by 18 vulnerable Democrats

WHAT IS A WOMAN? — Several Democrats who are seeking election or re-election in states around the country refused to provide a definition for the word “woman” or offer their thoughts on whether men have the capacity to become pregnant. Fox News Digital reached out to multiple Democratic candidates about the topics and received no responses from the campaigns of Sens. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Senate nominees John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, Tim Ryan of Ohio and Cheri Beasley of North Carolina. Read more from Fox News’ Kyle Morris and Jayme Chandler: Top Senate Democratic candidates refuse to say whether men can get pregnant, or define the word ‘woman’

SQUAD UPSET? — The Democratic primary challenger to far-left “Squad” member Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., is calling her out over her defund the police position, as well as the massive amount of money she has spent on private security despite those calls, ahead of the Tuesday election. In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Democratic Missouri state Sen. Steve Roberts argued voters in the state’s 1st Congressional District were feeling “buyer’s remorse” for electing Bush and vowed to work across the aisle to support policies that citizens in the district were actually concerned about, including crime. Read more from Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie: Primary challenger to ‘Squad’ member Cori Bush blasts her call to defund the police, private security spending

VOTING ON ABORTION Kansas will become the first state in the nation to vote on abortion following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and pro-choice groups and individuals outside the state are spending millions of dollars in contributions in an attempt to influence the outcome of that vote. On Tuesday, voters will cast ballots on the Value Them Both constitutional amendment, which will decide whether elected representatives will have the ability to regulate abortion in Kansas after the state’s Supreme Court previously ruled the 1859 Kansas Constitution grants a “natural right” to abortion. Read more from Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie: Out-of-state donors spending millions to protect abortion in Kansas ahead of statewide vote

CAMPAIGNING FOR THE KEYSTONE STATE — The heated race in the Pennsylvania Senate is under the “Election Spotlight” this week, Fox News Digital’s series that asks candidates in top races to respond to the same set of policy and political questions. Both Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and celebrity physician-turned-GOP-candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz talked to Fox News Digital about issues facing America, including President Biden’s administration, the economy, energy and more. Read more from Fox News’ Aubrie Spady: Dr. Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman square off over Biden performance, economy

AUGUST ACTION — Don’t miss Tennessee’s primary this Thursday – and Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin next Tuesday.