CA governor race: Newsom, Cox head to November election

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Orange County Democrats Hope Asian American Influx Will Shore up Blue Wave Nick de la Torre Associated Press 4 Jun 2018 Newport Beach CA

And in the gubernatorial race, we'll have a battle between fairly traditional, establishment-backed nominees in Democrat Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor, and Republican John Cox.

California moved in 2012 a so-called "jungle primary" that promotes the two candidates with the highest number of votes onto the final ballot, regardless of party - a shift state leaders hoped would winnow out fringe elements of both parties and promote less polarizing candidates.

"Great night for Republicans!" In his speech on election night, Newsom described Cox as "a foot soldier in Trump's war on California". Party Republicans strongly support the tax law that Mr. Trump signed past year, though it is more of a drag than a lift among voters overall, the new Journal/NBC News poll shows. "It's kind of sad when they tout it as a victory just to get a candidate on the November ballot". The GOP wants to saddle Democrats who run the state with responsibility for rising crime rates, growing income inequality, high taxes and immigration problems.

Overall, it was a big night for women, as female candidates for governor advanced, including Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico and Republican Kristi Noem in South Dakota.

If you look at the cumulative GOP percentage of the vote in California's seven battleground districts, Republicans held their own.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to retake the 435-seat House in November and have benefited from a playing field largely in the suburbs of major cities, where polls show swing voters, especially educated white women, are more likely to reject Mr Trump's conduct in office. The favorite of Washington Democrats will take on GOP Assemblyman Jay Webber in one of several New Jersey races Democrats view as possible pickups. On Tuesday, she only wound up with 39 percent of the vote and will face off against former Rep. Bobby Bright, who finished with 28 percent, or about 10,000 fewer votes.

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"They know who we are, and they don't like us", former state Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim lamented in 2010, after Democrats made a clean sweep of eight statewide contests.

It may be as close to good as the state's second biggest political party can hope for in California in 2018. And New Jersey has four competitive House races going on this year.

In New Jersey, Republican Steve Lonegan, who was critical of Trump in 2016, lost a congressional primary after his opponent used footage of Trump criticizing the candidate in his ads.

Replacing him with Chang keeps Senate Democrats below a two-thirds supermajority needed to pass tax and fee increases. In three highly watched races, Democrats were able to get their desired candidate on the ballot.

Republican businessman Bob Hugin claimed the Republican nomination to face Menendez this fall.

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While support for the Dems has surged across the state since Donald Trump was elected President, there were fears that having too many candidates on the ballot in some districts would splinter the vote, allowing Republicans to take the top spots. Splitting of the Democratic vote could have led to two Republicans running in the general election. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, and the district where Republican Dana Rohrabacher is facing challenges from the left and the right.

Democrat and venture capital executive Josh Harder held a narrow edge in a central California district over Republican Ted Howze, a long-time local government official.

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

In the House races, Democrats are focusing on seven districts now in Republican hands that voted for Clinton in 2016 and could flip again this year.

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

In Montana, Democrat Kathleen Williams beat two men with much deeper campaign pockets to advance to a key November race against an incumbent House Republican.

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