Blue Wave Now Ebb Tide For Calif. Dems

Nearly 100,000 cast early votes in New Mexico

Nearly 100,000 cast early votes in New Mexico

Primaries in eight states bolstered Democrats' hopes for a "blue wave" in November, but President Donald Trump put his own spin on the races, declaring Wednesday "the Trump impact" had delivered a "great night" for Republicans. But in the seven districts won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and now represented by Republicans in Congress, there will be a Democrat on the November ballot in all of them.

Trump strongly endorsed San Diego businessman John Cox's drive to finish second to Newsom in the state's top-two primary and thus win a spot on the November ballot. Because of its primary system, in which the top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party, Democratic operatives were concerned that the party could get shut out in places it needs to compete in this fall.

The results of Tuesday night's "Jungle primaries" in California are encouraging for Republicans, including a long-shot gubernatorial candidate, says a longtime political observer. Mr. Trump said on Twitter Wednesday morning. But so far neither party appears to have suffered any major setbacks. "The political pundits just don't get what is going on out there - or they do get it but refuse to report the facts!"

California has some of the highest gas prices in the nation, and the tax, which went in to effect past year, is a rare issue in California that seems to bring Democrats and Republicans together.

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. Female Republican governors in Alabama and Iowa will vie for their first full terms in November after succeeding men who resigned. The Democrats controlled both chambers for the first two years of Obama's presidency, but Republicans won the majority in the House in the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans were in danger of getting locked out of the November ballot in the contest for governor.

Proponents in California said it would encourage more independent voters to participate in primaries and it would lead to more moderates winning elections, because candidates would not have to woo their liberal or conservative party extremes to win primaries. In seven key California House races - now Republican-held districts that voted for Hillary Clinton - Democrats were able to secure a place on the ballot and a shot at flipping them in November. Nationwide, Democrats must clinch at least 23 seats from Republicans to wrest control of the House of Representatives.

In Missouri, a special election for a Republican-held state Senate seat encapsulated Tuesday's polarized politics and successful female showings in one scale-shifting vote.

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

In the central state of Iowa, Democrat businessman Fred Hubbell will represent his party in the governorship race against incumbent Republican Kim Reynolds, who took over the reins after former governor Terry Branstad was appointed the USA ambassador to China.

"It's hard to say, because California is a Democratic state", she said, before adding, "But we can try". There will be no Republican candidate in the other big statewide race, for U.S. Senate. Democrat Gil Cisneros, a multimillionaire lottery-winner, will face off against Republican state assemblyman Young Kim in the suburban Los Angeles-area 39th district where Republican Ed Royce isn't running again. Those are districts that are, even if Democrats don't win this year, looking more and more likely to turn blue. There are four districts in particular that they were targeting, and in all of them Democrats advanced candidates national Democrats see as the strongest candidates. Early turnout figures indicate those efforts helped Democratic candidates draw significantly more voters than they did during the last midterm primary, in 2014, and the picture is likely to improve as the final votes are counted.

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

The outcome ensures several vulnerable Republican-held seats are still in play, including seven that 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won.

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