Republicans held their own in the primary, but it's uphill to November

Frederick Owens
June 8, 2018

Arthur's election marks the 42nd state legislative seat flipped from Republican to Democratic control since Trump's election, in addition to a governorship and two congressional seats that flipped to Democrats in special elections.

John Cox, a Republican candidate for governor, recieved the backing of Donald Trump, but that support could hurt him in the winner-take-all race in November. And because Republicans have slipped behind no-party-preference voters in California - they're about a quarter of the electorate now - there was a real big fear among Democrats that they could just miss out on this top-of-the-ticket race. Democrats feel that way in a country led by Donald Trump. Trump tweeted Wednesday, hailing what he called "the Trump impact".

Voters cast ballots in eight U.S. states for key primary elections on Tuesday, with all eyes on California, where the outcome could swing the balance of power in Congress. Democrats in the country's most populous state are battling to ensure they come out on top in several congressional districts that voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

The margins are even more pronounced among voters living in competitive states and congressional districts, with more than 50 percent of them signaling their support for a candidate who serves as a check on Trump. Neither party immediately appeared to suffer major setbacks. At least two of their best pickup opportunities in southern California may take days to be decided, but Democrats avoided being blocked from the ballot in the vast majority of the state's top battlegrounds.

"Many more Republican voters showed up yesterday than the Fake News thought possible", Trump tweeted.

"A lot of them are running in pretty competitive primaries but in districts that are ultimately not going to be that competitive in the general election", said Jennifer Lawless, the director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University in Washington, D.C. Female Republican governors in Alabama and Iowa will vie for their first full terms after succeeding men who resigned.

Long-time California Democrat Sen. She'll face Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in November.

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Former Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom was unopposed in his race to be re-elected to the California State Assembly. The governorship race will be fought over between two USA house members, Democrat Michelle Grisham and Republican Stevan Pearce.

Levin starts out as the favorite because the Democratic candidates scored more votes more than Republicans combined in the district that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill got the nod to run for a House of Representatives seat opened by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen's retirement (she'll face GOP state Rep. Jay Webber in the general election). And in South Dakota, the moderate Republican Dusty Johnson, a former chief of staff to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, won the Republican nomination for the at-large U.S. House seat; he'll probably avoid putting the seat at risk against Democrat Tim Bjorkman, whereas a further-right nominee might have made things more interesting. If Grisham wins, she'll be the state's second Latino state executive. "It is more about getting Republicans to cross the line and vote Democrat".

It was a tight race in California's 48th district.

National Democrats spent more than $7 million trying to curb and fix the damage inflicted by Democrats attacking each other in districts opened by retiring Republican Reps.

And for the second consecutive election, there will be no Republican on the U.S. Senate ballot in the fall, after Sen. He outlasted challenges by two fellow Democrats - 29-year-old Sara Jacobs, who conducted foreign affairs work during the Obama Administration, and retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, who almost defeated Issa in 2016.

Republican Rep. Mimi Walters easily advanced to the November election in her Orange County district that has been targeted by Democrats. "In deep-red Alabama, the Republican [gubernatorial] primary will nearly certainly determine the general election victor", notes The New York Times. Hugin, a Republican, describes himself as "pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, and [a strong supporter of] equal pay for equal work" who believes we "need to fix our immigration system in a comprehensive and compassionate way".

But Trump still lords over the party that he has reshaped, and loyalty to the president is key. Other tasks, including a protection of vulnerable congressional districts, seemed more pressing.

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