Key House races in California may be undecided for days

California Republicans see ray of hope in Democratic bastion | The Wichita Eagle

Surprises Surface in the California Primary Elections | john cox | Steve Bailey | Gavin Newsom

As polls projected, Newsom jumped out to a big lead in the initial results Tuesday night. In fact, indicators have moved the other direction over the past several months.

"Hi Dorothy, it's Mike Levin, Democrat for Congress - this is not a recording, it's really me", he said, as volunteers around him called John and Judy and Ellen and Laura asking them about their primary-day plans. As of Wednesday morning, it looks like Democratic candidates will appear on the general election ballot in every competitive California congressional race.

Republicans avoided their own nightmare scenario in California, with GOP businessman John Cox claiming second place in the gubernatorial primary.

That possibility has created a fascinating dynamic in the closing weeks of the California campaign as Democratic outside groups have been forced to make triple-bank-shot spending decisions - attacking some of their own candidates in the hopes of ensuring a single strong Democrat emerges for voters today. In a crowded and competitive race - and there are many - it's possible that two candidates from the same party advance to the runoff in some districts, leaving the other party with no candidate on the November ballot.

"I definitely think Donald Trump in that election was an awakening for us", said Katie Hill, who is running as a Democrat in a seat held by a Republican for the last 25 years.

The fight for the House centers here in the three battleground districts touching Orange County - where vacant seats, a weakened incumbent and changing demographics have fueled both hopes of a blue wave and intense gamesmanship to make it happen. Republicans face the embarrassing prospect of failing to nominate any candidates in Senate and gubernatorial races.

He has tried unsuccessfully multiple times to qualify an initiative that would expand the California Legislature a hundred-fold by adding neighborhood-level representatives in each Senate and Assembly district.

Rohrabacher, who has been in Congress for almost three decades, has become a polarizing figure on his home turf. National Democrats and progressive groups have spent almost $200,000 propping up lesser-known Republican candidate John Gabbard in a ploy to splinter Republican votes for Baugh, who is closing in on that second spot in the primary. Two Democrats were in the chase in Rohrabacher's district for the second spot on the ballot in November, Hans Keirstead and Harley Rouda. Four of them are completely or partly in Orange County, once known as a Republican fortress.

He says he's running as an independent Republican in a state with roughly 900,000 more Democrats than Republicans.

For Republicans, a California shutout is most likely in the governor's race.

It means that Sen.

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Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein seized her party's nomination for another term, as widely expected. Still, Feinstein enters in a very strong position, winning 1.2 million more votes than De León Tuesday night.

There are five New Jersey GOP House seats targeted by national Democrats and establishment Democrats got their picks in a couple on the list.

And in New Mexico, former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Debra Haaland, a tribal member of Laguna Pueblo, won her primary and could become the first Native American woman in Congress if she wins this fall. The second spot remained up for grabs. He underperformed in his Democratic primary, finishing with just 62 percent of the vote.

On the other hand, Democrats could be shut out in a handful of House races, which would be a massive blow to the party's fight to claim the House majority this fall.

It's important to remember that this year may be different than past potential wave years, because it's not all headed in the same direction. Cox has failed on several occasions to get his proposal on a state ballot, but the efforts put him on the political map, and he is running on a platform to end Brown's $52 billion gas tax increase and end the "sanctuary" laws of the state aimed at protecting some immigrants living in the country illegally from deportation.

Sean Spicer, 42, a San Diego resident who works in marketing, also said he voted because it's a civic duty — though he doesn't like California's top two primary system and said it is showing its shortcomings this year.

While Republicans would likely have a hard time winning either the governorship or a Senate seat this fall, party leaders are anxious all-Democrat ballots would depress GOP turnout, hurting more competitive down-ballot races.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Martin disagreed. One GOP incumbent has already lost a primary and others have been denied promotions for the nomination to the Senate or for governor in Indiana, West Virginia and Idaho. Under the current setup, the top two vote-getters advance regardless of party affiliation, meaning Democrats are not guaranteed a place on the ballot in November.

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.

But her district went for Trump by 30 points, and she drew a primary opponent. She'll face former Rep Bobby Bright, whom she defeated in 2010.

The retirements of long-serving Republican Reps. He's a former Democratic member, who voted for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. It's unclear who their challengers will be.

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