California Republicans see ray of hope in Democratic bastion


In the more closely-competed governor's race, the Democrats still enjoy a sizable advantage, as its candidate Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom earned 33.3 percent of the vote against Republican businessman John Cox's 26.2 percent.

In California's "top-two" system for primaries, the two candidates who receive the first and second highest numbers of votes advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation.

"That election was a real slap in the face to a lot of us", Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat running for a House seat in New Jersey now held by a Republican, told Bloomberg.

Californian voters took to the polls on Tuesday, June 5 for one of the most closely watched primaries leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. And California Senator Dianne Feinstein crushed her challenger, State Senate leader Kevin de Leon, who assailed her as too far to the right, by over 30 percentage points. NY has one of the most convoluted election systems in the country, part of which entails holding primaries for federal and state offices on separate days.

While California is a largely Democratic state, Democrats anxious of being left off the general election ballot in key races in Orange County, a Republican stronghold. In those seven districts, the returns aren't all final yet but show a candidate from each made the top two, which means that there will be no guaranteed victory for either party in any of those seven races.

Trump later added his congratulations for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.), the incumbent in California's 48th Congressional District race who won the primary on Tuesday. That's where things get dicier for Democrats, who may not have much margin for error in their quest to take back the House.

"The worry is that with so many enthusiastic Democrats running for Congress, the Democrats will split up the Democratic vote and you'll end up with one or two Republicans in the top two slots", said Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

Much of the day's drama focused on women, who fought to make history in some cases and to avoid disaster in others.

At the same time, GOP Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a runoff in Alabama after speaking out against President Trump.

In Missouri's 17th state senate district, two-term state representative Lauren Arthur beat her Republican opponent by a 19-point landslide in a district Trump won by five points.

In Iowa, 28-year-old state Representative Abby Finkenauer won the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican Representative Rod Blum. If Grisham wins, she'll be the second Latina to become the state's executive, after Martinez. In South Dakota, Iowa and Alabama - three states that have never elected a woman as governor - Republican women won nominations and are favored in November. Republicans hope to use the fallout to tar other Democrats in the state, including several trying to flip GOP House seats.

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

South Dakota: Rep. Kristi L. Noem's (R-S.D.) primary win in the heavily Republican state puts her on the road to becoming the state's first female governor. This model incentivizes both major corporate parties to unite behind moderate, centrist candidates, and reduces the chances of grassroots progressives defeating Democrats who have more corporate funding.

Cox's presence at the top of the ballot could lure more Republicans to the polls in November.

And in Central California, the House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican, qualified for the general election ballot as well. The elections in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, Mississippi and Alabama will shape the midterm battles that will redefine politics in the U.S. in the next few months.