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Takeaways from Last Night's State Primaries

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | June 6, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | June 6, 2018 |


Primary night in several states last night didn’t produce a lot of exciting headlines, but there’s at least one solid victory out of the races: Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky — the guy who gave a lenient sentence to rapist Brock Turner — has been ousted in a recall effort.


Otherwise, Democrats seemingly avoided potential disaster in California by putting a Democrat on the November ballot in all the House races (some votes are still outstanding, but it looks good for Democrats). I had hoped, however, that people like Devin Nunes and Dana Rorhbacher — in deeply red districts — would face stronger challenges from Democrats, but they did not. Nunes will unfortunately probably win in a cakewalk against Democratic challenger Andrew Janz in the fall. Rohrbacher faces a stiffer challenge, but it’s uphill for the Dems. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome also won his primary for Governor in California, and he’s the easy favorite against Trump-backed Republican, John Cox.

In either respect, the Dems are at least in a position to win back as many as 7 House seats in November, and the Issa seat is one that we’re very much targetting:

Elsewhere, in Alabama, GOP Representative Martha Roby will face a run-off in a heavily Republican district, failing to cross the 50 percent threshold because some of her supporters abandoned her after she abandoned Trump after the Access Hollywood tape two years ago. That tells you all you need to know about deep red parts of the country: They’re still very much in Trump’s pocket.

Meanwhile, NJ Senator Robert Menendez did win his Democratic primary and will probably win a close race in November against the Republican, but the race was closer than Menendez (or the Democrats) would have liked because of Menendez’s corruption trial (which ended a few months ago in a hung jury). He’s up for four or five points against his GOP opponent in polls, but it won’t be a cakewalk.

Overall, it wasn’t that exciting a night, because most of the states where primaries were being held are solidly blue or solidly red, and for the most part, the people expected to win did so, and the candidates that their respective parties pushed generally won (although, not in all cases). It should be noted, however, that women continue to perform very well, especially among Democrats:

I will say that Jason Kander — a potential Presidential candidate in the 2020s — had a good night, too, though he was on no ballot. He’s been pushing voter registration and voter reform since Trump’s election; he’s got a Crooked Media podcast; and he’s gaining a lot of national fame (he’s also a stupendously nice and brilliant guy). He’s at least partially responsible for the 40-point swing of Lauren Arthur in a Missouri state Senate special election, flipping another seat at the state level for Democrats.

Kander has been hustling in local races for the last year and a half, and he’s a future Democratic star (in fact, it’s one of the people Obama suggested was the future of the party last year). Keep an eye on him. Most of you probably know him by now, but if not, this is the ad that nearly won him a Senate seat in 2016 against an incumbent Republican in the red-state of Missouri.