How House Democrats Could Blow Their Chances in California | NTK Network How House Democrats Could Blow Their Chances in California

How House Democrats Could Blow Their Chances in California

Democrats run the risk of being swallowed up in California’s “jungle primary” system.

By NTK Staff | 06.04.2018 @10:00am
How House Democrats Could Blow Their Chances in California

In at least three congressional primaries being held in California on Tuesday, Democrats run the risk of being shut out of the general election in November, thanks to California’s jungle primary system and a surplus of Democrat candidates.

California state law stipulates that regardless of party, the two top vote-getters in the primary will advance to the general election. A wave of anti-Trump sentiment has prompted an unusually high number of Democrat candidates to run in several districts, and it appears they could be divvying up the liberal vote among themselves, allowing Republican candidates to shut them out of the ballot in November.

One of the districts potentially up for grabs is California’s 8th, which is currently held by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). Hillary Clinton narrowly won the district in 2016, and two Democrats, scientist Hans Keirstead and businessman Harley Rouda, are competing in the primary. But when Republican Scott Baugh, a state assemblyman and chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, jumped in the race, it put those Democrats’ hopes of being a Rohrabacher alternative at risk.

Here are the other two races, according to The Guardian, that Democrats might box themselves out of in California:

In California’s 39th district, an open seat vacated by Republican Ed Royce, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has become the scene of a vicious Democratic civil war. Gil Cisneros, a veteran and lottery winner backed by national Democrats has faced a number of attacks from Andy Thorburn, a progressive businessman backed by a number of outside liberal groups. The back and forth became so heated that a formal truce had to be brokered between the two campaigns for fear that the bitterness would allow a second Republican to make the general election alongside Royce’s anointed successor, assemblywoman Young Kim. Such a result would be a disaster for Democrats in a majority minority seat that Hillary Clinton won by nearly nine points in 2016.

The other seat at risk is the San Diego area seat held by retiring congressman Darrell Issa. Issa won re-election by only 1,600 votes in 2016 while Hillary Clinton beat off Donald Trump by a margin of 7.5%. However, a crowded Democratic primary for the seat has scrambled things with three strong candidates, Doug Applegate, the Democratic nominee in 2016, Mike Levin, an environmental lawyer and Sara Jacobs, the 29-year-old granddaughter of the founder of telecommunications giant Qualcomm. With one Republican, Diane Harkey, likely to make the general election, national Democratic groups have run ads against Rocky Chavez, a Republican assemblyman, to make sure that at least one Democrat is on the ballot in November.

Sign Up

for NTK updates every week.

View Privacy Policy