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Endorsed Republican secures spot in California race

08 June 2018

Jewish voters were instrumental in the California primaries and can help Democrats win in November, Democratic congressional candidate Mike Levin said after his second-place finish on Tuesday allowed him to advance to the general election.

The state's long-suffering GOP advanced businessman John Cox to the November governor's race, engineered the recall of a Democratic state senator and held its ground, at least for now, in a string of contested congressional races that could figure in the fight for control of the House. While California is a largely Democratic state, Democrats anxious of being left off the general election ballot in key races in Orange County, a Republican stronghold. The Republican nomination of Donald Trump, despite his tepid support from Republican elected officials and his frequent breaks from Republican orthodoxy, defied the scholarly consensus about how "party elites" are supposed to have sway over their voters. Trump tweeted Wednesday, hailing what he called "the Trump impact".

Trump won three of the four big seats Democrats are targeting in New Jersey, so the party was wary of advancing candidates who might not be able to have some crossover appeal.

That remains to be seen, as voters in seven other states went to the polls. But so far neither party appears to have suffered any major setbacks. Yesterday marked the most crowded primary day of the 2018 election, with eight states voting on candidates for Congress, governorships, and more.

"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.

Democratic women again won in Tuesday's election, and they stand poised to make history.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who stepped in a year ago when Robert Bentley resigned (becoming the state's first female governor), beat out Tommy Battle, state Sen. In New Mexico's gubernatorial race, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham won a three-way Democratic primary - easily defeating two male rivals: state Sen.

The race drew huge attention nationwide, especially given how solidly Democratic California has been, but it is unclear whether the high stakes will spur voters to cast ballots.

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. "I think this is becoming a traditional midterm where the party controlling the White House is going to lose seats".

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National Democrats spent more than $US7 million ($9.1 million) trying to curb and fix the damage inflicted by Democrats attacking each other in districts opened by retiring Republican Reps.

The number of those who say they "strongly approve" of Trump has improved as well, moving from 22 percent to 26 percent. David Young will face Democrat Cindy Axne, who won 58 percent of her party's vote.

Rep. Martha Roby, a five-term congresswoman from Alabama, is paying the political price of withdrawing her support for Trump in 2016 after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape in which he seemingly bragged about assaulting women.

Democrats and Republicans are both spinning the results.

Despite being targeted for voting previous year to repeal the ACA and cut Medicaid funding, several Republican incumbents performed well at the polls in California. The exception: Republican Rep. David Valadao's Fresno-area district.

Long-term Republican incumbents Frank LoBiondo in the 2nd District and Rodney Frelinghyusen in the 11th both served 24 years each in the House before deciding to not to run for re-election, making those seats attainable for Democrats for the first time in years. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, which has opened the door to Democrat challengers. In the two with retiring members, the Democrats are favored. The second spot remained up for grabs.

And in Central California, the House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican, qualified for the general election ballot as well. Hugin, a Republican, describes himself as "pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, and [a strong supporter of] equal pay for equal work" who believes we "need to fix our immigration system in a comprehensive and compassionate way".

Party members had been anxious they might get shut out of key House races.

Endorsed Republican secures spot in California race