Speed Reads

2018 elections

California Democrats avert lockouts in all but 1, maybe 2 of 53 House primaries

Democrats went into Tuesday's California "jungle primary" — where the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation — nervous that the scrum of viable Democratic candidates in must-flip House districts could shut them out of key races in November. Democrats were most worried about three Orange County seats — the 39th, 48th, and 49th congressional districts — and it looks like a Democrat made it to the general election in each race. In fact, a Democrat looks likely to appear on the ballot in all 53 House districts except maybe the 8th and 10th, where a Democrat and Republican are neck-and-neck for second place.

"By Wednesday morning, the party was most worried about a lockout in the 10th congressional district, in the Central Valley, where investor Josh Harder was clinging to second place by less than 1,000 votes," David Weigel explains at The Washington Post. "That race had combined all of the DCCC's danger signs — a second credible Democrat (Michael Eggman, who had run and lost the district twice), two female candidates, and a Republican who entered the race late and attracted some voters unhappy with Republican Rep. Jeff Denham over his support for immigration reform."

The Republican Party, which didn't field candidates in every district, was most concerned about being locked out of the races for U.S. Senate and governor. Their fears were well-founded in the Senate race, where former state Senate President Kevin de León (D) appears to have earned a berth to challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), but Republican businessman John Cox, endorsed by President Trump, easily beat former Los Angels Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) for the second spot on the gubernatorial ballot, behind Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).