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There were few surprises in the latest “Super Tuesday” primary elections. In California, Democrats avoided being left off the November ballot, and in New Jersey, Democrats predictably won across the board, although Sen. Bob Menendez was dogged by an unknown challenger, who received 40% of the vote, having no big money backers or major endorsements.

In California, Democrats are hopeful they’ve avoided the potential nightmare of being locked out of winnable House races due to the state’s unique primary system that allows the top two candidates of any party to advance.

But many of those races remained undecided as of Wednesday morning, and there are many more ballots to count.

It wasn’t cheap for Democrats to keep control, and control by the Dem establishment is leading to some backlash.

National Democrats spent over $7 million in an effort to ensure they had a candidate reach the general election in three House districts in California held by Republicans. Their decision to not take their chances in the state’s “top two” system — in which the top finishers in nonpartisan, open primaries face each other in November — appears to have been a wise investment.

It was still uncertain early Wednesday whether a Democrat would secure the second slot in the race against Representative Dana Rohrabacher. But the party’s decision to intervene in the seats held by Representatives Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, Republicans who are retiring, paid off: The Democrats angered some of their own activists but appeared likely to advance candidates in both districts.

Perhaps the biggest news of the night was that female candidates continue to “roar” like Helen Reddy (sorry, young folks, Google her).

Following a trend that’s been clear throughout 2018’s primaries, Tuesday was another big night for female candidates, some of whom took steps toward breaking their states’ gender barriers.

In South Dakota, Republican Rep. Kristi Noem won the primary and is now likely to become the state’s first female governor. In Iowa, Democrats Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer could become the state’s first female House members. And in New Mexico, Democrat Deb Haaland’s win puts her on track to become the nation’s first Native American congresswoman.

However, women didn’t win everywhere.

The Year of the Woman hits a snag

Democrats have celebrated their class of candidates as a triumph of diversity, with liberal women leading the charge in congressional races. But the primaries on Tuesday also highlighted the party’s more traditional instincts where powerful executive offices are concerned: In three important governor’s races, Democrats passed over female and minority candidates to nominate well-funded, well-known white men [in Iowa, Alabama, and California].

But in some cases, we now have women running against women.

In New Mexico, Deb Haaland won the 1st Congressional District, putting her in great position to become the first Native American woman elected to Congress. Democrats were also cheered by the GOP’s nomination of die-hard conservative Yvette Herrell in the sleeper Democratic target of NM-02.

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders power seems to have ebbed.

[Pete] D’Alessandro, [Vermont Sen. Bernie] Sanders’ top aide in Iowa during the 2016 caucus, finished a distant third to Eddie Mauro, a former teacher, and Cindy Axne, a former state government official on Tuesday night, according to CNN’s projection.

Sanders, who is cautious with his endorsements, went above and beyond for D’Alessandro. He backed his former aide in January, traveled to Des Moines for a rally in February and wielded the power of his sizeable email list to raise money for D’Alessandro.

So much for Bernie, how about Trump? Well, Alabama shows that Republicans should be careful about saying anything against Trump.

Alabama Rep. Martha Roby is headed to a Republican runoff to save her seat after failing to top 50% in Tuesday’s primary.

Roby, whose criticism of Trump over the “Access Hollywood” tape in 2016 earned her a primary challenge, will face Bobby Bright — a former Democratic congressman who is now running as a Republican — in the head-to-head matchup on July 17.

Meanwhile, Democrats are hopeful they can benefit from anti-Trump fervor in Missouri.

Democrats, in response to Trump’s presidency, have flipped a sizable 42 state legislative seats since the President took office in January 2017, the latest of which came in Missouri on Tuesday night.

Democrat Lauren Arthur, a state representative, led Republican Kevin Corlew, also a state representative, by close to 20% with all precincts reporting. The swing is significant given the district in suburban Kansas City backed both Trump in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012. Additionally, the Republican who stepped down from the seat earlier this year won reelection in 2016 by over 20 percentage points.

However, Fox News says Trump did well Tuesday.

The results in Tuesday’s primaries in eight states are an early indication that President Trump’s “America First” agenda and accomplishments are winning the support of the American people. This is good news for Republicans running in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. . .

In California, it will be hard for Democrats to point to evidence that a blue wave is coming in November. In congressional districts 39, 45 and 48 – all key pieces of the puzzle for a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives – Republican candidates received over 50 percent of the vote in the “jungle primary” system.

With Democrats clinging to a meager 3 percent advantage in generic ballot polling averages, picking up the 23 House seats necessary to win a Democratic majority looks like it will be more difficult than expected.

So, it looks like the “Blue Wave” might be drying up. Must be Global Warming?

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Filed in: 2018 Midterms Tagged in:
Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.

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