Women Candidates Dominated in June 5 Primary Elections: Reason Roundup - Hit & Run

Women Candidates Dominated in June 5 Primary Elections: Reason Roundup - Hit & Run

Responding to President Donald Trump's polarizing policies and the potential for Democrats to retake control of Congress this November, voters in eight USA states took to the polls on Tuesday in one of the most highly anticipated midterm primary elections in recent history, turning out victories for a number of women, pro-pot candidates, and prominent California Democrats. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, easily advanced the general election, with business executive John Cox coming in second.

Strong Democratic candidates backed by the party won their primaries in each district - long-time state senator Jeff Van Drew in the 2nd, and former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor Mikie Sherill in the 11th. From being a classic battleground state for years with most recently a distinct Democratic advantage (Obama carried it by 8.5 points in 2008), Iowa was suddenly more Republican than Texas.

The state's handful of competitive House races - more than a half-dozen Republican-held seats may be in play - 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.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pointed to a recall election in which Republican assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang was elected to the state Senate by a landslide, while the incumbent Democrat, Josh Newman, was ousted after voting for a 12-cents-per-gallon gas tax. That allows the possibility of two candidates qualifying from the same party - and neither from the other.

Many pundits believe Cox doesn't have much of a chance in November because there are so many more Democrats in the state of California than Republicans.

Across the country Tuesday night, Democrats got good news in their effort to take back the House. Party operatives don't expect 2018 to match 2016 in terms of turnout, but need the electorate to look more like a presidential year than a typical midterm. With state officials still processing votes by mail - an increasing proportion of the California's ballots - the picture remains hazy. Dianne Feinstein, getting 44 percent of the vote. And I think that we're - you know, all of these races have become sort of flashpoints in this entire tussle over control of Congress.

Voters on Tuesday also went to the polls to choose candidates in primaries in Iowa, Mississippi, Alabama, Montana, South Dakota and New Mexico. "So much for the big Blue Wave, it may be a big Red Wave", he tweeted on Wednesday morning, hailing what he called "the Trump impact".

Republicans have been in a tailspin for years in California, where a diversifying population has grown increasingly Democratic in its leanings.

In the attorney general's race, where Republicans also managed to avoid a shutout, incumbent Xavier Becerra leads retired judge Steven Bailey, who placed second, by 20 percentage points. Deciding is hard (as we saw during the 2016 Republican presidential nomination contest) in expanded, networked parties because there's nothing even remotely like a formal hierarchy.

"They bought it, they own it", state Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte said. The party faithful chose the person who arguably fit their profile best-Lieutenant Governor Newsom and businessman Cox. "A lot of us felt it was necessary to take a seat at the table".

But Democrats have neither a president nor a clear leader who can send that kind of signal. Both parties have candidates running in 14 of the 15 state senate races. Jon Tester, one of the most vulnerable senators in the nation. The two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, face off in the November general election.

For Republican politicians, openly disavowing Trump has consequences.

But, despite the large number of Democratic candidates who split the vote in some districts, it appears to be on track to put Democrats on the November ballot in each of those races, although final results are not yet known and might not be for several days.

There are now seven Republican lawmakers - from Rep. Jeff Denham in the northern San Joaquin Valley to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in Southern California - who occupy House seats in districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

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