Democrats avert California debacle, gear up for midterms

Primary ballots mailed; unaffiliated voters to participate for first time

Seven of these districts are in California, with the highest concentration in the longtime Republican outpost of Orange County.

The president's endorsement "despatched a powerful sign to Republicans throughout California that John Cox was their candidate", Matt Shupe, Cox's marketing campaign supervisor, instructed ABC Information in a press release.

In the race for Governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom's first-place finish over a field of 27 candidates was expected.

In Tuesday's contests, voters could have selected two Republicans in several key House races, and they could have picked two Democrats to compete in this fall's gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

The governor's race was one of many drawing attention to California, a state not accustomed to being a national political battleground. But its handful of competitive House races - more than a half dozen Republican-held seats may be in playa - have made it hotly contested territory in the fight over control of the House, drawing big money and the spotlight on the biggest primary night of midterms.

A general election win by Reynolds would be the first time Iowa elected a woman as governor. Dianne Feinstein will be pitted against state Sen.

Neither party immediately appeared to suffer major setbacks.

"The "top two" primary forces people to develop these complicated strategies that in another state would seem extremely odd", Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, told KABC.

Democrats need to gain 23 districts nationally to take the gavel in the House, and a key part of that strategy is expanding their 39-14 advantage in the home state of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

DeJear defeated former Iowa National Guard intelligence analyst and two-time congressional candidate Jim Mowrer to earn a place on the November ballot opposite GOP Secretary of State Paul Pate. The favorite of Washington Democrats will take on GOP Assemblyman Jay Webber in one of several New Jersey races Democrats view as possible pickups.

After an endorsement from Donald Trump last week, Cox, a successful businessman from IL, is polling in second placed as of last Thursday with 20% support, successfully seeming to consolidate the Republican vote. In two of those districts, Republicans Congressmen stepped down for what appears to be fear of a Trump backlash. If Grisham wins, she'll be the state's second Latino state executive.

Women are likely to become governors for the first time in Alabama, Iowa and South Dakota, according to Gender Watch 2018, a project of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. Haaland, for example, served as state party chair before running for Congress.

And in New Mexico, former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Debra Haaland, a tribal member of Laguna Pueblo, was making a bid to become the first Native American woman in Congress.

If there was any doubt that the Republican Party was now the party of Donald Trump, Tuesday's results in a deep-red Alabama congressional race should put it to rest. The jury deadlocked, but Republicans hope to use Menendez's legal troubles to tar other Democrats like Sherrill across the state. And he's facing a well-funded Republican this fall, former Celgene CEO Bob Hugin, who coasted in the GOP primary.

Recognizing the high stakes, Trump sought to energize his supporters in a series of tweets praising his preferred California Republican candidates.

"California has a rare opportunity to turn things around and solve its high crime, high tax, problems - along with so many others. He will make a BIG difference!"

In the days leading up to the primary, Democratic strategists had anxious that the state's "top two" primary system - in which the top candidates advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation - could end up hurting them this far in several races that could potentially be key in recapturing the House.

Republican help was break up between two candidates previous to the endorsement, however polls present it has coalesced behind Cox. Two Democrats, Harley Rouda and Hans Keirstead, were next, separated by fewer than 100 votes, leaving the race too close to call. In another, Issa's district, Republican Diane Harkey was leading in early returns, as two Democrats vied for the second slot. The second spot remained up for grabs.

Women made a strong showing in Tuesday's primaries, with 41 of 92 female candidates in House and Senate races advancing to the general election, based on preliminary results. He also promised to oppose Trump's immigration policies, and has called for universal preschool, two years of free community college, an end to the cash bail system and gun control.

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