Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

GOP's Biggest Task in Midterms: Firing Up Party Loyalists

GOP's Biggest Task in Midterms: Firing Up Party Loyalists

(In California, the top two finishers advance to the general election regardless of political party, potentially leading to one of the parties being shut out of the November ballot.) That's a real boon to the Democrats' prospects in a state where at least nine Republican-held U.S. House seats are potentially in play.

The Newman recall campaign is the first in California since a failed effort against a Republican state senator in 2008 and the first on the state level anywhere in the nation since 2013, Joshua Spivak, author of the Recall Elections Blog, said in an email.

California was among eight states holding primary contests on Tuesday.

Neither party immediately appeared to suffer major setbacks, yet the winners and losers in California's most competitive races could take days to sort out given the state's unique election laws.

In Montana, the establishment-backed Matt Rosendale, the state auditor, won the Republican Senate nomination; he'll face a slightly uphill but by no means unwinnable race against Democratic incumbent Jon Tester. If the Democrats are going to take back the House, which now appears unlikely, it will be in swing states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and NY.

Feinstein won her party's nomination for another term, as widely expected. "California has advanced an extraordinary set of battle-tested and diverse Democrats to the November ballot".

In the senate race in MS, incumbent Republican Roger Wicker is poised to win another term after winning more than 80 percent of party support.

Around the country, voters in Tuesday's seven other primary states cast their votes in similarly partisan patterns, with Alabama Republican Rep. Martha Roby now facing a July runoff election largely influenced by her public rebukes of Trump. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in the 48th District and Assemblywoman Young Kim in the 39th, both Republicans, are projected to advance in their races, but their opponents are not yet known.


Also in New Mexico, former state Democratic Party chairwoman Debra Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo tribal member, won her primary and could become the first Native American woman in Congress if she wins this fall. "So much for the big Blue Wave, it may be a big Red Wave", he tweeted on Wednesday morning, hailing what he called "the Trump impact". Fox News even salivated over the possibility of two Republicans running against each other in California. That's up from the 7-point lead Democrats held in the same poll in April. 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. But a year ago, they lost the governorship to Democrat Phil Murphy, and could be poised to lose three House seats.

Trump tweeted Wednesday of Cox: "He can win".

Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who has come under fire for his close ties to Russian Federation, captured the lead in a tight race against both Democratic and Republican opponents.

"The important thing", says Dunn, "is that's [Cox] is likely to run a very good race, even if he doesn't win, that will enable Republicans to retain their strength in the California Republican delegation in Congress". Given that California, overall, is a deep blue state, "I don't know how far down the policy rabbit hole Newsome will have to go", said Elizabeth Ashford, a political consultant who has worked for Jerry Brown, the popular governor who is leaving office, and Senator Kamala Harris. Could party actors - politicians, campaign and governing professionals, activists and donors, formal party organizations, party-aligned interest groups, party-aligned media - figure out which candidates to support, and could they then transmit those preferences to voters and convince them to support the party's decision?

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

The governor's race was one of many drawing attention to California.

CORRECTION (June 6, 2018, 11:02 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly described a Republican candidate for the U.S. House seat in South Dakota as the chief of staff to the governor.

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