California in spotlight as United States voters cast ballots in primaries

08 June, 2018, 09:51 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Winning isn’t nearly enough for Democrats. They have to dominate

With the Republicans' House majority at risk and their Senate majority so slender that it can not be taken for granted, that push-pull dynamic will shape the coming months of campaigning. Another 60 percent are at least somewhat concerned Russian meddling will affect the outcomes of midterm elections this year.

But Trump's approval ratings among Republicans are near a historical high and remarkable for a president who has so often abandoned GOP orthodoxy on issues and created so much discomfort with his conduct and behaviour. Such a candidate would at least have made for a heck of race.

However, 73% of voters who Strongly Approve of Trump's job performance are more likely to vote this year, compared to 65% of those who Strongly Disapprove of the job he is doing. The elections in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, Mississippi and Alabama will shape the midterm battles that will redefine politics in the USA in the next few months.

That was in evidence again yesterday, another day of validation that the dynamics of American politics have shifted under this president. Republicans were, though, able to keep and improve their majority in the Senate that year. Dianne Feinstein easily outdistanced another Democrat, state Sen.

Due to California's unusual primary system, all candidates appear on a single primary ballot, with the top two vote-getters advancing regardless of party. Due to the peculiar California primary system, in which the top two finishers qualify for the November ballot irrespective of party, Democrats had feared that with multiple candidates in four competitive seats, two Republicans might prevail.

"Donald Trump and the billionaire class should consider this victory a warning shot: The blue wave is coming", Haaland said in a statement.

That appears not to have happened.

Late on Wednesdaty, CNN reported that it could take days before the results in California's primary election are known because in Los Angeles County, "the names of 118,522 voters were left off the voter roster because of a random printing error". Democrat state Sen. Kevin de Leon and Republican James Bradley are now running two and three. If Republicans are on the defensive there, and they are, it could have been worse for them.

Even though the primary didn't make history in the way many anticipated, it did in other ways, from record-setting turnouts to impressive showings by women candidates, younger candidates and minority candidates, including Deidre Dejears, who became the first person of color to be a major party nominee for statewide office in Iowa history.

At the same time they were boosting Rouda, Democrats were busy mucking up the Republican side of the race - first by running ads against Republican Scott Baugh, who was viewed as the biggest threat to finish second behind Rohrabacher, then by boosting Republican John Gabbard, a veteran and businessman, in an attempt to fracture the district's Republican vote. They won't know the answer to that for months.

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On the other hand, Democrats could be shut out in a handful of House races, which would be a massive blow to the party's fight to claim the House majority this fall.

Dan Walters is the founding editor of the "California Political Almanac" and the co-author of a book on lobbying, "The Third House: Lobbyists, Money and Power in Sacramento". But for the first time in years, Texas Democrats seem determined not to let Republicans pick up seats without a fight.

Can Democrats take back the House and Senate?

Way down the ballot, voters in a state senate district that slices through parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties were asked to vote on whether to recall their state senator, Josh Newman, a Democrat. In one, voters favored Hillary Clinton, giving Democrats hope that it could flip in 2018.

So he's willing to endorse candidates who were not strong supporters of his in 2016, as was the case with Cox in California, who didn't even vote for Trump.

That effort failed, because reporters and others online nearly immediately pointed out that Republicans had no problem when Bill Knapp supported Terry Branstad in 2014. Republicans must live with that reality.

But it also sets up the larger narrative as out-numbered Republicans try to further eat into Democrats' dominance going into the fall campaign. In another, Issa's district, Republican Diane Harkey was leading in early returns, as two Democrats vied for the second slot.

The primary results were foreshadowed in a January PPIC survey.

Unions mounted an aggressive campaign to unseat her, which her campaign called payback for her environmental advocacy work.

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