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Primary results show promising signs for Democrats' chances in midterms

08 June, 2018, 10:17 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Katie Hill said Mr Trump's election prompted an 'awakening'

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.

Cox beat out Antonia Villaraigosa, the former L.A. mayor, who immediately implored Californians to get behind Gavin Newsom, the state's far-left lieutenant governor.

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.

That said, Republicans showed more strength than expected, given that in 2016 Trump had lost to Hillary Clinton in all of the districts on the target list, and it may still be hard for Democrats to make big congressional gains in California.

Iowa, once a classic blue-leaning battleground state (it went for Obama handily in 2008 and 2012), is moving toward the GOP and particularly Trump because of its high concentration of conservative white working-class voters and its small minority population.

"Republicans won some talking points, but in the long run Democrats retain a big advantage in California", said political scientist Jack Pitney, who teaches at Claremont McKenna College.

In one unequivocally good piece of news for the state's GOP in this election, voters overwhelmingly opted to fire Josh Newman from his state Senate seat in Orange County. Neither party immediately appeared to suffer major setbacks.

"Many more Republican voters showed up yesterday than the Fake News thought possible", Trump tweeted.

"The Democrats just spent $10 million trying to shut us out and they didn't shut us out", he told reporters.

Their fears of an electoral catastrophe in November have been eased by declining concern among voters about the direction of the country and rising approval ratings for President Donald Trump, who continues to dominate the daily news cycle by embracing polarising issues such as immigration and the racially fraught topic of football players kneeling for the anthem.

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. With state officials still processing votes by mail - an increasing proportion of the California's ballots - the picture remains hazy.

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Nationwide, Democrats need to flip 23 congressional seats to re-take control of the House.

In Iowa, a state that has never elected a woman to the House, Democrats Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne finished ahead of male challengers in two Republican-held districts considered competitive this fall.

"The worry is that with so many enthusiastic Democrats running for Congress, the Democrats will split up the Democratic vote and you'll end up with one or two Republicans in the top two slots", said Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

In Alabama, four-term Republican Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a runoff election next month after failing to win 50 percent of her party's vote.

If Grisham wins, she would be the state's second Latino state executive.

Rep. David G. Valadao was another bright spot for Republicans.

Democrats and Republicans are both spinning the results.

It was a different story in MS, where 66-year-old Gladys Cruz wasn't sure which Republican she would support in the state's Senate primary, but she wanted whoever won to firmly support Trump.

And for the second consecutive election, there will be no Republican on the U.S. Senate ballot in the fall, after Sen. He notched about 30 percent in a large field, though the second-place finisher remained unclear.

Even though some races were too close to call, Ryan Costello, a retiring Pennsylvania Republican, came out of the GOP conference this morning saying his party was optimistic at where they stood for the general election.

A key Senate race took shape in the heart of Trump country as well. Steve Poizner, who served as the state's Republican insurance commissioner from 2007 through 2010, ran for his old job without a stated political party preference. He's one of the most prominent backers of a ballot initiative that would repeal recent increases in gasoline and diesel taxes, which is likely to qualify for the November ballot.


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