Democrats pin high hopes on key U.S. primary elections

Primary ballots mailed; unaffiliated voters to participate for first time

Going into Tuesday's primaries, the big story to watch was the key House races in Southern California. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, and the district where Republican Dana Rohrabacher fended off a challenge from the right.

Although a Democrat, Mr. Newman represents a traditionally conservative area and his sin, in the view of many of his constituents, was unforgivable: a vote in favor of an increase in a tax on gasoline, to pay for road repairs and bridges.

In this current political climate, the California governor will likely continue to serve as a de facto leader of the so-called "resistance" against President Donald Trump.

Officials said tabulating final results for the vote may take several days, or even weeks, given that numerous 19.4 million registered voters are casting their ballots by mail. But he quickly began to distinguish himself from Cox, painting the November race as a choice between "a governor who's gonna stand up to Donald Trump and a foot-soldier in his war on California".

Based on 92 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday's statewide primary results, Newsom had 33 percent of the vote and first place while Cox was second with 26 percent. Republicans also nominated a member of Congress, Rep. Steve Pearce, to run for the job. If she wins in November, she would be the first Korean-American woman in Congress.

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.

California's next governor will inherit a state with a $9 billion budget surplus, and a state legislature committed to protecting liberal positions the Trump administration has been working to roll back. If Grisham wins, she'll be the second Latina to become the state's executive, after Martinez.

It was a long way down to Rosendale for Republicans.

Like in California, the seats Democrats hope to pick off in New Jersey are full of affluent, suburban voters.


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In the race for governor, Cox defeated Villaraigosa, who was an early favorite to advance but trailed in recent months despite more than $20 million in spending on his behalf by charter school advocates.

Sanders seems likely to run again in 2020 and is now confronted with a critical question: Is the 2016 magic still there? While she credits some of the increased interest in politics from women to the "Trump effect", she said that many people's understanding of what that means exactly is off.

That's certainly the case for vulnerable Alabama Rep. Martha Roby, a Republican who faces a hard primary challenge after becoming the first to withdraw her endorsement of Trump in 2016. Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina lost to former pastor Mark Harris in May. And New Jersey has four competitive House races going on this year. And while California had Democrats sweating, New Jersey went exactly according to plan. In GOP Rep. Leonard Lance's district, former assistant secretary of state Tom Malinowski held off a progressive opponent. Frank LoBiondo's district, state Sen. Memendez faced federal bribery charges previous year, but the jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared. Bob Menendez. Now free of corruption charges, Menendez' underfunded and unknown challenger Lisa McCormick put up a surprisingly strong showing.

More than half of officials facing recall votes nationwide are unseated and many more resign before a vote, said Joshua Spivak, author of the Recall Elections Blog.

Voters who took part in California's innovative and anti-party "jungle" primary delivered a typical and predictably partisan result in the governor's race.

Democrat Lauren Arthur, a state representative, led Republican Kevin Corlew, also a state representative, by close to 20% with all precincts reporting.

It was a different story in MS, where 66-year-old Gladys Cruz wasn't sure which Republican she would support in the state's Senate primary, but she wanted whoever won to firmly support Trump. Republicans may not win big races, but they remain in the game.

Why does this small seat in Missouri matter nationally?

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