Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Yesterday's Primaries


New Jersey was the disaster last night that no one who follows New Jersey Democratic politics didn't ever think it wouldn't be. It's one of the worst of the party boss corrupt Machine states (both parties). All the contested primaries went to the DCCC/Blue Dog/New Dem garbage candidate. Every progressive lost. That's New Jersey... always. No one expected a Kara Eastman or a Amy McGrath situation, where both of them defeated DCCC-preferred Blue Dogs, respectively in Omaha, Nebraska and Lexington, Kentucky.
NJ-02- Jeff Van Drew- 55.4%
NJ-04- Joshua Welle- 57.2%
NJ-07- Tom Malinowski- 66.8%
NJ-11- Mikie Sherrill- 77.3%
There's no reason to vote out the incumbents for these crappy, meaningless, careerist candidates... other than Trump hatred. So in November... let's take Van Drew. Why would anyone vote for him? Maybe because they want to send the most right-wing Democrat in the state Senate to Congress? Or because they want another NRA ally inside the Democratic caucus? Or another fence-jumping Blue Dog? Certainly no self-respecting progressive is going to vote for Jeff Van Drew. What about Malinowski. Why kick out Leonard Lance for a torture defender?

The only race I was following in Alabama was for the second congressional seat where mainstreamish conservative Martha Roby is in trouble for not be Trumpish enough. She had 4 Republican opponents and needed to break 50% to avoid a runoff. She came in first, but will face former Blue Dog, former congressman, now Republican Bobby Bright.
Martha Roby- 39.0%
Bobby Bright- 28.1%
Barry Moore- 19.3%
Rich Hobson- 7.5%
Tommy Amason- 6.1%
In Iowa there were 3 congressional races worth watching, one to face Rod Blue (IA-01), one to face David Young (IA-03) and one to face neo-fascist Steve King (IA-03). The DCCC endorsed Abby Finkenauer, a fairly useless and lazy, unaccomplished state legislator. Iowa Democrats decided to stick with the DCCC and Finkenauer wound up with 67.0%, even though Thomas Heckroth was a better candidate. In the 3rd district the non-Bernie candidate, Cindy Axne (58.0%) beat out Eddie Mauro (26.4%) and Pete D'Alessandro (15.6%). The good news in Iowa was the nice win for progressive J.D. Scholten who is eager to take on King.
J.D. Scholten- 51.3%
Leann Jacobsen- 32.0%
John Paschen- 16.7%

For all the hand-wringing from Democrats about how the jungle primary could dictate 2 Republicans running against each other in November, the only instances of a party being locked out of the general were both Republicans. Dianna Feinstein and Kevin De León, both Democrats, will face-off in November. And in CA-44, an overwhelmingly blue district, Nanette Barragan and Aja Brown, both Democrats, will be the two candidates in November, the two Republicans in the race having split 17.4% of the vote to be edged out by Brown's 16.7% in the second-place slot.

There is one race that is too close to call where it looks like two Republicans might make it into November-- CA-08. GOP incumbent Paul Cook may face far right extremist Tim Donnelly instead of progressive Democrat Marjorie Doyle, largely due to 2 vanity candidates who drew off 14.4% of the vote.
Paul Cook (R)- 29,403 (41.5%)
Tim Donnelly (R)- 16,024 (22.6%)
Marjorie Doyle (D)- 15,262 (21.5%)
Rita Ramirez (D)- 6,845 (9.7%)
Ronald O'Donnell (D)- 3,343 (3,343 (4.7)
There's a lesson to be learned in CA-25 (Santa Clarita, Antelope and Simi valleys) where Republican incumbent Steve Knight will be up against Katie Hill in November. He ran first with 41,310 votes (52.8%). Katie came in second with 15,833 (20.2%) to fellow Bryan Caforio's 14,305 (18.2%). Caforio, last cycle's candidate, started with far higher name recognition. He lost because he ran the most negative campaign anyone cane ever recall in that district-- negative against Katie. Her campaign was strictly positive. Democrats don't like negative primary battles and Caforio was edged out.

Another lesson-- this one the San Fernando Valley (CA-27)-- where Tony Cardenas, who has been credibly accused of molesting a young woman, won with 67% in a 5-person race.

Also notable, in CA-31, a nice blue district with a D+8 PVI-- and where Hillary beat Trump 57.7 to 36.6%-- an especially bad Democrat, New Dem Pete Aguilar-- came in second to Republican Sean Flynn (45.9% to 45.8%) with a second Democrat, Kaisar Ahmed, drawing off 8.3% of the vote.

And now for the big Orange County races. In the open-seat 39th, where 7 Republicans and 8 Democrats running, the DCCC candidate, Gil Cisneros (the lottery winner who self funded to the tune of-- as of the FEC report from May 5-- $3,552,762) will face off with Republican Young Kim in November. Three Democrats spent over a million dollars each to Kim's $640,925:
Gil Cisneros- $3,894,387
Andy Thorburn- $2,837,630
Mai-Khanh Tran- $1,233,138
As you can see above, money and votes did not match up, which should-- but won't-- cause the DCCC to reassess their strategies and policies.

The Orange County bright spot was CA-45, where the progressive candidate, Katie Porter, beat the New Dem, Dave Min, who also ran a very ugly, negative campaign. Katie will face Trump rubber stamp Mimi Walters in November. Walters took 53.2% of the vote, so this is going to be very tough to win.

The seat that pundits thought was most likely to wind up shutting out the Democrats entirely, didn't come close, where the second-ranked Republican, Scott Baugh, came in 4th. It's too close to call for second place between frick and frack, although Harley Rouda leads Hans Keirstead, both horribly flawed candidates, by less than 100 votes. A recount is likely. This was another heavily self-funded race. As of May 5:
Harley Rouda- $1,130,500
Omar Siddiqui- $764,856
Hans Keirstead- $730,400
Saddest results of all came in CA-49, where Doug Applegate, clearly the best Democratic candidate, was edged out by 2 really bad Democrats Mike Levin and Sara Jacobs. The good news for Democrats in the district is that the Republican with the best chance to win in November, mainstream state legislator Rocky Chavez came in 6th-- and 3rd among Republicans. Levin will face Diane Harkey in November, 2 really bad candidates. There's no reason to vote for Levin except to put a check on Trump.

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At 2:35 PM, Blogger edmondo said...

EVERY Blue Dog beat EVERY progressive in EVERY race. And somehow you think Bernie is going to beat back the corporatists in the DCCC, and the DSCC and the DNC. Dream on.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's 2006 all over again. But I suppose you still won't... never mind. religions are like that. No amount of proof is ever enough.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Edmondo, you don't know what you're talking about, as usual. There was only one Blue Dog running and there wasn't a viable progressive running. In the last couple of months, Blue Dogs-- actual Blue Dogs-- were beaten by progressives. You can't use the comments section of DWT to spread lies. This is your 1 warning

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

DWT is right proof.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger edmondo said...

There was only one Blue Dog running and there wasn't a viable progressive running. In the last couple of months, Blue Dogs-- actual Blue Dogs-- were beaten by progressives. You can't use the comments section of DWT to spread lies.

Van Drew vs Youngblood - Youngblood loses
Cisneros vs Thornburn - Thornburn loses
Levin vs Applegate -Applegate loses
Keady vs Welle - Keady loses
Axne vs Dallessandro - DAllessandro loses

Every progressive lost. It's your website you can lie all you want to. We don't have tobelieve you.

At 2:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great write-up DWT! As always, appreciate the detailed knowledge of candidates and race dynamics.

At 3:44 AM, Anonymous Jim Neal said...

Apologies for any redundancy but I want to add to your very well-written post.

I just read the New York Times'latest assessment of the Orange County congressional races. Political reporters who double-down on some meme pushed by political hacks drive me crazy. Parroting is not reporting.

The Times'authors (Carl Hulse and Jonathan Martin) stated in a June 6th article that primary-meddling by the DCCC was successful in swinging key Congressional races in CDs 39, 48 and 49. There is NO empirical evidence- not a scintilla- to support that narrative other than chest-thumping by Party Elites in Washington. They have been proselytizing disaster for Democrats owing to California's top-two primary system- a voting system by which France elects its president and legislature. No it is not perfect. Nor was the chorus of "the sky is falling" from Washington.

In CA's 39th CD the DCCC endorsed former Republican Gil Cisneros- the $270 million California Lottery winner. Cisnersos finished second behind Republican Young Kim after outspending all candidates as was expected from the get-go. In the 48th CD the DCCC recruited stem cell scientist and biotech entrepreneur Dr. Hans Keirstead to run for the seat, only to abandon him after discredited reports of sexual indiscretions surfaced. The DCCC then endorsed yet another former Republican multi-millionaire, real estate executive Harley Rouda. After 100% of precincts reporting as I write, Keirstead leads Rouda by 45 votes for the second place slot behind GOP incumbent Dana Rohrabacher. Republican Scott Baugh- the target of DCCC opposition spending- is in 4th place with roughly 2,000 votes less than the two Democrats ahead of him. In CD 49, the Democratic candidate having raised the most money- Chelsea Clinton's classmate cum-bundler Mike Levin- finished 2nd ahead of two other Democrats. Republicans Gaspar (5th) and Chavez (6th) finished well behind the pack.

Was the DCCC a factor- or did voters make informed decisions? My hat tip goes to the voters not the DCCC's self-serving hype. The DCCC succeeded best in raising its hockey stick in the air for goals it did not score.

I hope Levin wins and wins big. He owes a big thanks- a giant bear hug- not to the DCCC or Chelsea Clinton or Adam Schiff who endorsed his candidacy. He coasted to victory on the heels of Doug Applegate who came within what- 0.6% of defeating Darrell Issa at a time when nobody would step to the plate. I raise a toast to Doug Applegate- who inexplicably did not receive the DCCC endorsement this cycle and had troubling raising money in his fourth-place finish. The best candidate fell short once again.

At 5:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The easy fix to this problem is to restore the right to write-in in the general election. This was the sole reason I voted against this proposal when it was offered to the electorate. It would have prevented all of the anguished weeping and gnashing of teeth we had to endure for much of the past month, and not exclusively from CA media. It was national.

Restore write-ins, and we can move on to other issues, such as ranked voting and Medicare For All


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