California Primary Today: Voters to Decide Shape of 2018 Midterm Elections

VotedVoters will head to the polls Tuesday in the California primary, which will not only determine the final matchups in several key statewide races, including the race for governor, but will also set the framework for the overall battle for the U.S. House nationwide.

Democrats are targeting at least seven, and as many as ten, congressional districts in the Golden State, hoping that widespread opposition to the Trump administration will draw their voters to the polls. However, Republicans have seen a surge in voter enthusiasm lately, thanks to the conservative pushback against California’s “sanctuary state” laws. In addition, a glut of Democratic candidates in otherwise winnable districts has given Republicans new hope.

California’s primary is a “top two” or “jungle” primary, in which all of the voters may choose from all of the candidates, regardless of party. The top two finishers qualify for the general election ballot — again, regardless of party. In 2016, that meant an all-Democrat final for the U.S. Senate election between eventual winner Kamala Harris and then-Rep. Loretta Sanchez. But in 2018, it could mean that Democrats fail to qualify for the November ballot in some districts, simply because they are splitting their vote among too many independently viable choices.

Voters will also be determining the fate of State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), who voted to raise the gas tax last year by 12 cents per gallon and now faces a recall election. While many other legislators also voted for the gas tax hike, Newman is from a swing district where Republicans believe they can mount a successful challenge.

Typically, more than two-thirds of California voters submit their ballots by mail, but for the rest, polls will open at 7 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time and close at 8 p.m. Turnout is expected to be low, though that may not be the case in November.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Early California presidential primary could backfire and help Republicans

As reported by the Washington Examiner:

California has done it again: rescheduled its presidential primary so that it will vote earlier in the presidential selection process. Instead of voting in early June, at the end (or just about the end: Utah voted later last time) of the primary and caucus system, California will now vote in March. Of course that may not be early enough to make California the central focus of presidential politics. In the 2008 cycle it voted in February, and even then 33 states voted earlier or on the same day.

Which is not to say that California has not made a difference in selecting presidential nominees. Voting in June, it provided narrow but decisive victories for Barry Goldwater over Nelson Rockefeller in the 1964 Republican primary and for George McGovern over Hubert Humphrey in the 1972 Democratic primary. From those results, and from Ronald Reagan’s success in the 1966 Republican gubernatorial primary and the 1966 and 1970 general elections for governor, some (including me, at the time) drew the conclusion that California was partial to the (arguably) extreme candidates of both parties, and would tend to tilt their nominations in that direction.

There was a certain tension between that idea — that California was somehow at the leading edge of both conservative and liberal politics — and that it was a reasonable bellwether of national opinion. In support of the latter view, however, you could cite data that showed California voting very much like the nation as a whole in presidential general elections, generally not varying as much as 5 percent off the national Democratic and Republican percentages (more in 1968, when George Wallace took 14 percent of the national vote but won only 7 percent in California).

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