California's 'top two' primary election tussle

California voters go to the polls Tuesday in the state's top-two primary, where the top two finishers will advance to...

Posted: May 31, 2018 11:43 AM
Updated: May 31, 2018 11:43 AM

California voters go to the polls Tuesday in the state's top-two primary, where the top two finishers will advance to the November ballot.

But with so many candidates running in the most competitive races, there's a chance the vote will be splintered among the Democratic candidates -- creating a scenario where two Republicans could advance to the November ballot. Will Democratic enthusiasm be a blessing or a curse?

We'll find out Tuesday night in these races:

California-39, open seat

The competition for retiring Congressman Ed Royce's seat has turned into one of the most closely watched races this political season. Because of his solid constituent service, the Republican congressman served for 13 terms and proved himself to be a good fit for this racially diverse district, which is about a third white, a third Latino and a third Asian.

His longtime aide and chosen successor, former Assemblywoman Young Kim, has been the strong Republican front-runner from the starting gate. Born in South Korea, she has used her family's immigrant story to connect with voters of all political leanings.

In the battle for the number two spot, two wealthy Democrats, Gil Cisneros and Andy Thorburn, engaged in one of the ugliest political fights California has seen this season. Cisneros, a former Navy officer who won $266 million in the lottery in 2010, accused Thorburn of using a tax haven to set up his company and maximize his profits. Thorburn tried to dampen support for Cisneros, who was chosen for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program, by noting that Cisneros had switched his party registration from Republican to Democratic and by finding fault with some of his investments.

In a strange twist, Cisneros' campaign accused Thorburn's campaign of releasing a fake voicemail with a man purporting to be Cisneros. Later, a Democratic State Assembly candidate -- who had expressed support for Thorburn -- took to Twitter to accuse Cisneros of sexually harassing her, which he denied.

Things got so nasty that the chairman of the California Democratic Party intervened to broker a truce. Another Democrat, pediatrician Mai Khanh Tran, is being backed by EMILY's List and has listed herself on the ballot as "Doctor/Mother/Teacher." While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars battering the two other Republican candidates, Shawn Nelson and Bob Huff, to improve Democrats' odds -- how this turns out is anyone's guess.

California-48, Republican incumbent

The opportunity to take on 15-term Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in this coastal Orange County district drew out a huge pack of candidates, including Rohrabacher's onetime prot-g- Scott Baugh, the former Republican leader of the California State Assembly.

Democrats have eyed this seat for years -- particularly as Rohrabacher's pro-Russia pronouncements and ultra-conservative views seemed increasingly out of step with his more moderate constituents. When Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump here in 2016 by less than 2 percentage points, the party felt it was time to strike.

When it became clear that the large Democratic field might splinter the vote -- producing a Rohrabacher-Baugh race -- several Democrats withdrew. On the Democratic side, the race evolved into a battle between Harley Rouda, a businessman backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hans Keirstead, a neuroscientist who developed innovative treatments for late-stage cancers and spinal cord injuries.

Keirstead won the Democratic Party endorsement, but many top Democrats have concluded that Rouda has a better chance of prevailing in November. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the House Majority PAC have hammered Baugh with negative ads to ensure that Rouda slides into second place. One further source of confusion for voters: Two female candidates, architect Laura Oatman and tech executive Rachel Payne (who had been endorsed by EMILY's List) withdrew, but it was too late to take their names off the ballot. So there will be eight Democrats listed, and the possibility for a major splintering of the vote.

California-49, open seat

It's fair to say that Congressman Darrell Issa was among the most reviled Republicans among Democratic activists in California because of his aggressive pursuit of the Obama administration while he served as head of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

After many protests outside his Vista office, progressive activists were delighted when he decided to retire -- leaving an open seat in a district that straddles parts of San Diego and Orange counties. It was a crowded field from the beginning, with Democratic candidate Doug Applegate, a retired Marine colonel who nearly beat Issa in 2016; environmental attorney Mike Levin; and Paul Kerr, a wealthy real estate investor. They were joined by Sara Jacobs, the telegenic millennial granddaughter of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, who has made the case that it's time to take on the patriarchy in Congress.

Jacobs, who listed herself as an "education nonprofit CEO" on the ballot, is seen as the Democratic favorite here. She brought her own considerable resources to the race, and in the closing weeks, EMILY's list spent a half-million on ads to support her bid.

In addition to the four Democrats, there are eight Republicans on the ballot in the 49th District. Issa endorsed California Board of Equalization member Diane L. Harkey, who Democrats believe is the most vulnerable Republican contender and therefore the one they'd most like to face in November. To that end, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent at least $1 million opposing Harkey's most formidable Republican opponent, state Assemblyman Rocky Ch-vez.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485230

Reported Deaths: 6554
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1006801585
Ramsey43047801
Dakota36254390
Anoka33274384
Washington22065255
Stearns18723201
St. Louis14794262
Scott13273107
Wright12517115
Olmsted1177988
Sherburne871572
Carver771040
Clay690387
Rice670091
Blue Earth593835
Kandiyohi579474
Crow Wing519681
Chisago498445
Otter Tail481870
Benton446190
Winona418049
Mower404131
Douglas392568
Nobles386847
Goodhue385568
Polk342762
McLeod339349
Beltrami337351
Morrison324247
Lyon313044
Itasca312746
Becker310941
Isanti305754
Carlton300149
Steele299711
Pine282016
Freeborn280523
Nicollet258141
Todd247830
Brown244637
Le Sueur235020
Mille Lacs227247
Cass219924
Waseca208917
Meeker207434
Martin189328
Wabasha18623
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15214
Renville149540
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134116
Wadena130920
Faribault122917
Aitkin118933
Sibley117310
Watonwan11728
Rock115714
Kanabec107419
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9438
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8025
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake73718
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68316
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Unassigned47968
Norman4768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40821
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362189

Reported Deaths: 5414
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58146549
Linn20653312
Scott18288207
Black Hawk16249291
Woodbury14961211
Johnson1383473
Dubuque13537194
Dallas1135890
Pottawattamie10765143
Story1021645
Warren555274
Clinton543284
Cerro Gordo533681
Webster518787
Marshall496272
Sioux494369
Buena Vista473236
Des Moines457661
Muscatine451191
Wapello4330108
Jasper416966
Plymouth394577
Lee375352
Marion359069
Jones294154
Henry292737
Carroll285548
Bremer280154
Crawford274735
Boone259630
Washington254147
Benton252854
Mahaska224346
Jackson221438
Dickinson217439
Tama213465
Kossuth208154
Clay193525
Hamilton192042
Delaware188839
Winneshiek188427
Buchanan185129
Fayette185035
Page183219
Hardin181039
Wright179731
Harrison179669
Cedar177923
Clayton168053
Butler166331
Mills163120
Floyd162740
Madison154518
Cherokee153935
Poweshiek153730
Hancock146829
Lyon145841
Allamakee145646
Iowa144423
Appanoose139147
Grundy139030
Jefferson138232
Winnebago138230
Cass134151
Calhoun133711
Mitchell130840
Louisa128241
Union126331
Chickasaw125213
Sac124218
Emmet121240
Shelby121033
Franklin118419
Humboldt117425
Guthrie116528
Palo Alto104921
Montgomery103936
Howard103121
Clarke100520
Unassigned9890
Keokuk98129
Monroe93128
Adair91928
Ida91032
Pocahontas85519
Davis82623
Monona81627
Greene77310
Lucas73821
Osceola70514
Worth6987
Taylor66412
Fremont5919
Decatur5789
Van Buren55918
Ringgold52020
Wayne48821
Audubon4869
Adams3264
Rochester/St. Mary'S
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Austin
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Mild conditions expected this week
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