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Wednesday, June 06, 2018


No House lockouts

by Tom Sullivan

Democrats this morning seem to have survived the state's top-two primary without a single lockout in the seven Republican-held districts they hope to flip in November. That is, in none of the contested districts will there be two Republicans on the fall ballot. Except in two statewide races, The Los Angeles Times characterized the primaries looked like traditional primaries:

The candidates who succeeded were largely staunch defenders of either liberal or conservative principles -- moderation was not the big winner in California on election night.

And yet backers of the top-two primary, who in 2010 took a wrecking ball to the idea that spots on the November ballot should be reserved by political party, seemed to envision consensus-building candidates who could bridge the partisan divide.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will be the Democrats' gubernatorial candidate in the fall. The former San Francisco mayor will face Republican John Cox, a Trump-backed candidate who moved to California after half a dozen failed bids for office in Illinois.

California ballots will still be coming in for days. After a printing error bumped nearly 120,000 voters off the voter rolls in Los Angeles County, they'll be counting provisional ballots for days. The county registrar estimated 1,530 precincts of the 4,357 in Los Angeles County were affected.

Watch for David Dayen to post comments on Herbert Lee, a losing candidate running as a Democrat in Orange County's CA-39. Dayen teased it in a tweet storm night.

In New Mexico, Democrat Deb Haaland won her 1st Congressional District primary putting her on track to be the first Native American woman to hold a seat in Congress. Thanking her volunteers and donors, Haaland called the election ""victory for working people, a victory for women, a victory for Indian country, and a victory for everyone who has been sidelined by the billionaire class." Two other Native Americans serve in the U.S. House, both men from Oklahoma, reports Huffington Post.

In New Jersey, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez won his primary less handily than he should have. Menendez was "severely admonished" in April by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting gifts from a donor. His trial last year on criminal corruption charges ended in a hung jury and charges being dropped. First-time candidate. Lisa McCormick, an unknown publisher of community newspaper with no money and no endorsements, won nearly 40 percent of the vote last night:
"I thought maybe she'd get 25 percent of the vote as a protest vote against Menendez," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "That's not unusual. Forty percent is what you'd expect to see in a contested primary."
Slate observes Menendez did only slightly worse in his last general election in 2012.

Dave Weigel notes that a couple of the GOP winners in New Jersey House districts at the moment are not exactly poised to run hard: In Alabama, incumbent Republican Rep. Martha Roby faces a July runoff against former Rep. Bobby Bright, a former Democrat. Analysts credit Roby's anti-Trump comments in 2016 for weakening her support among party regulars:
“Martha Roby committed political suicide the day she said Donald Trump wasn’t qualified for political office,” said David Ferguson, a Republican strategist.

But Bright has his own baggage: a vote for Pelosi as speaker of the House from 2009, at the beginning of Bright's one and only term in Congress as a Democrat. Roby attacked Bright over the vote when she beat him in a general election eight years ago, and the charge can only be more potent in a Republican primary.
Once again, it was a good night for women, except maybe in Mississippi: Democrats Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne could become Iowa's first female House members in IA-1 and IA-3. Cook's ranks IA-1 a GOP toss-up and IA-3 "lean Republican."

Republican Rep. Kristi Noem won her gubernatorial primary in South Dakota, positioning her to be the state's first female governor.

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For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.