CA governor race: Newsom, Cox head to November election

Will blue wave take California for primaries

California was the Big Kahuna of June 5 primary states.

The deep blue state enjoys a system that selects the top two qualifiers for the general election ballot by most votes garnered.

"The polling data points to a repudiation of Donald Trump and to the benefit of Democrats", says Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

Democrats will likely also play up Trump's support for Cox - including election-day tweets. Even so, he notes that the generic ballot has tightened and says, "There could be a wave and Dems could still fall short, due to structural disadvantages and the Democrats' 23-seat deficit". But so far neither party appears to have suffered any major setbacks.

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

"They're all going to have Democrats running (in the general election), which is better than they expected", Michael Cohen, director of the Political Management Program at George Washington University, told AFP. "I don't think Donald Trump drove our gasoline prices to $4 a gallon and instituted a gas tax that people hate".

Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker won his primary contest as did New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat who faced federal bribery charges a year ago. Female Republican governors in Alabama and Iowa will vie for their first full terms after succeeding men who resigned.

California Democrats, Cox argued, have been so focused on the president that they've made their state's cost-of-living unaffordable. With state officials still processing votes by mail - an increasing proportion of the California's ballots - the picture remains hazy. He later ran for president in 2008 and fought unsuccessfully to get into Republican debates before dropping out, but his name appeared on the ballot in several states.

And in the race for California's 53 seats in the US House of Representatives, the slate of candidates featured a plethora of novice Democrats looking to make a statement against Trump.

If Democrats pick up only a seat or two - or even gain nothing - in the state and thus fail to win back the House, it would be a huge setback for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's hopes of becoming speaker again and could lead to her ouster as the top Democrat in the House.

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But the picture was murkier in California, home to the races most likely to help the Democrats capture a majority in the fall midterms. If she wins, it would be Feinstein's fifth term in Congress.

Representative Martha Roby of Alabama withdrew her endorsement of Trump weeks before the election, following the Access Hollywood Tape.

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. If Grisham wins, she'll be the second Latina to become the state's executive, after Martinez.

The primary results were foreshadowed in a January PPIC survey. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, which has opened the door to Democrat challengers.

In California, 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.

In two of the three Southern California districts, Democrats were coming in second place behind Republicans, but the races were too close to call early Wednesday, leaving Democrats at risk of being locked out.

"Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker won his primary contest as did New Jersey Sen". In the two with retiring members, the Democrats are favored.

Democrats feel particularly good about results in the 49th district, which encompasses parts of San Diego and Orange Counties.

Also, Republicans were also concerned they might get shut out for the two big statewide offices - governor and U.S. Senate. He notched about 30 percent in a large field, though the second-place finisher remained unclear. "In deep-red Alabama, the Republican [gubernatorial] primary will nearly certainly determine the general election victor", notes The New York Times.

Party members had been anxious they might get shut out of key House races. Other tasks, including a protection of vulnerable congressional districts, seemed more pressing.

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