California in spotlight as United States voters cast ballots in primaries

Why New Jersey’s primaries hold the key to Democrats’ hopes of a House majority

After votes in 21 states, including California and seven others that held primaries on Tuesday, Democrats have avoided potential pitfalls and secured general-election candidates in many Republican-held districts who have compelling biographical stories and political profiles that party leaders hope will have broad appeal in a nation that tends to vote for change at this stage in the electoral cycle. Two years into his presidency, Trump's core base has shown little signs of erosion, prompting Republican candidates to position themselves as strong supporters of Trump's agenda. "Even Fake News CNN said the Trump impact was really big, much bigger than they ever thought possible", Trump wrote.

Republicans and Democrats alike appear to have escaped calamity in a crucial day of coast-to-coast primary battles as they fight to shape the political battlefield for the fall.

California voters faced a slew of local tax and bond measures in this week's election and more will be coming in November, but in proposing them, local officials avoid mentioning escalating pension costs as the major reason they need more revenue.

Mike Levin is running to represent the Democrats in Southern California's 49th Congressional district. Dianne Feinstein and state Sen.

In New Mexico, Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham won the Democratic Party's nomination in the race to succeed outgoing New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican.

Senate contests are mostly getting overlooked Tuesday, but vulnerable Democratic incumbent Jon Tester of Montana will learn who he'll have to contend with this fall.

Once upon a time California was a Republican redoubt, sending the likes of Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan to the White House.

Cox finished second to Newsom in the race for governor.

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California is key to Democrats' hopes of gaining a majority in the 435-seat House, which would require flipping 23 seats. Meanwhile, in Alabama, Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby was forced into a runoff to save her seat, after she took political heat for refusing to endorse President Trump when the "Access Hollywood" tape surfaced, saying, "I can not look my children in the eye and justify a vote for a man who promotes and boasts about sexually assaulting women".

The fear among Democrats was that a glut of enthusiastically blue candidates would split the vote in some key races, allowing Republicans to run unopposed in November. The measure would have required a one-time, two-thirds majority vote in the Legislature on how program money is spent, which could have given Republicans a greater say in the process.

An election worker drops a ballot into a ballot box at the Registrar of Voters office in San Diego, California, U.S., June 5, 2018.

In L.A. County's only GOP-held congressional district, Katie Hill, a 30-year-old nonprofit executive, beat out fellow Democrat Bryan Caforio, an attorney making his second bid for the office, to earn the second spot on the November ballot against Rep. Steve Knight, R-Santa Clarita.

"He's the president of the United States", Cox said. "Even though Democrats might have looked divided and and spread across multiple candidates in California, they'll be united against Trump and his party in November".

The governor's race was one of many drawing attention to California. In South Dakota, Iowa and Alabama - three states that have never elected a woman as governor - Republican women won nominations and are favored in November.

Dozens of Republican congressmen are retiring nationwide this year, including California US Reps. Fred Yang, who conducted the poll with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, told NBC, "I think this is becoming a traditional midterm where the party controlling the White House is going to lose seats".

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