Last night several states held their primary voting, with California being the most prominent, both due to the number of high profile races there in 2018, and the state’s strange “jungle primary” system. I keep hearing how the various cable news outlets are interpreting the results, and none of it lines up particularly well with what the numbers actually say. So here’s what actually happened in the races involving Gavin Newsom, Dianne Feinstein, Devin Nunes, and Donald Trump’s new favorite candidate John Cox.
– Before we get into it, please note that not quite all of the votes have been counted yet. None of the results are in doubt, but the margins of victory stated below may end up shifting a bit in either direction. The key takeaway in California last night is that liberal and democratic voters are heavily lining up behind the democratic candidates they think have the best chance to win in the general election. Senate Frontrunner Dianne Feinstein blew out her democratic party primary challenger Kevin de León by more than thirty points. The frontrunner for Governor, Gavin Newsom, blew out his fellow democratic candidate Antonio Villaraigosa by more than twenty points.
– Some in the mainstream media are insisting that Donald Trump is having a good night because his preferred candidate for Governor of California, Republican John Cox, finished just eight points behind Gavin Newsom. But the numbers are misleading, because of how California has all of the Democrats and Republicans run directly against each other in the primary. In last night’s race for Governor, the Democratic candidates received roughly a combined 60% of the vote, while the Republican candidates received roughly a combined 40% of the vote. If both sides fall equally in line behind their own candidate, Newsom will be in line to win by twenty points. Nothing is a given in November, of course. But so much for Trump’s influence having helped the GOP in this race. That flat out didn’t happen.
– Republican incumbent and Trump-Russia scandal jester Devin Nunes received 58% of the vote in his district last night, while his closest democratic party challenger Andrew Janz received 32%. But again, this is misleading. There were three democrats in the race, who received roughly 40% of the vote between them, and only one republican. Considering that this is one of the more republican-leaning districts in the nation, it’s not surprising to see the democrats heading into the general election as the underdog here. It’s an uphill battle due to the conservative demographics. But more criminal dirt will surface about Nunes this summer, and the Democrats can win this race – if they properly get behind Andrew Janz.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report