California Democrats Secure Ballot Spots In Key Races

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Progressive California lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom and Trump Republican John Cox took the top two spots in California's "Jungle Primary", which advances the top two candidates from any party to the final election in November. But in the seven districts won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and now represented by Republicans in Congress, there will be a Democrat on the November ballot in all of them.

California's unusual primary puts all candidates on one ballot and allows the top two finishers in a race - regardless of the party - to advance.

John Cox, a Republican businessman backed by President Donald Trump, commanded 26 percent of the election night vote tally - to Newsom's 33 percent.

Recognizing the high stakes in California, Trump sought to energize his supporters in a series of tweets praising his preferred candidates. The statistics are staggering for Democratic strategists and their "blue wave" theory.

Iowa, once a classic blue-leaning battleground state (it went for Obama handily in 2008 and 2012), is moving toward the GOP and particularly Trump because of its high concentration of conservative white working-class voters and its small minority population. Neither party immediately appeared to suffer major setbacks.

Trump weighed in on the results Wednesday, tweeting "many more Republican voters showed up yesterday than the fake news thought possible", adding that the "Dems are easy to beat".

This will continue the long pattern of Southern California politicians hitting their career ceiling when they get into leadership within the state Legislature.

Apart from California, voters also cast ballots Tuesday in Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.

Ivey, who stepped into the governor post after the resignation of Robert Bentley previous year, will seek a full term in November. Nationwide, Democrats must clinch at least 23 seats from Republicans to wrest control of the House of Representatives.

Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, in the 2nd, and Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor, in the 11th. The favorite of Washington Democrats will take on GOP Assemblyman Jay Webber in one of several New Jersey races Democrats view as possible pickups. Dianne Feinstein, getting 44 percent of the vote. On Tuesday, she only wound up with 39 percent of the vote and will face off against former Rep. Bobby Bright, who finished with 28 percent, or about 10,000 fewer votes.

Roby was the first member of Congress to withdraw her endorsement of the Republican president in 2016 after he was caught on video bragging about grabbing women's genitals.

In New Mexico, Democratic Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham won her party's nomination in the race to succeed the departing Republican governor, Susana Martinez.

"Republican leadership has fueled a supercharged American economy and delivered results for New Jersey families", Martin said.

Replacing him with Chang keeps Senate Democrats below a two-thirds supermajority needed to pass tax and fee increases.

The race highlighted the struggles of Democrats to wrangle an unwieldly list of candidates to rally behind a single contender. Thanks to redistricting, a Democratic and Republican House incumbent were forced to face off, and the Republican won. For the most part, it looks like November will see another conventional midterm election, featuring establishment candidates from both corporate parties. Jon Tester, one of the most vulnerable senators in the nation. 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.

Assuming preliminary results hold, both Democrats and Republicans fought to a virtual standstill on Election Day, avoiding the nightmare scenarios that political insiders had been fretting about for months.

A key Senate race took shape in the heart of Trump country as well.

A Republican hasn't been elected to any of the statewide constitutional offices or the U.S. Senate since 2006.