The midterm primary season continues today with California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Be sure to check out our preview looking at redistricting, important races to follow, and key counties to watch tonight. As always, you can find the most up-to-the-minute election results at results.decisiondeskHQ.com.
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- A quick one-week break in primaries is over and we’re back with races in seven states today. Focus is directed primarily toward California, where San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin faces a recall election fueled by opponents of his progressive policies. Despite Boudin’s best efforts to dismiss the recall campaign as Republican-led, 83% of donors to the campaign are from Democratic-registered voters or no-party-preference voters; and 78% of pro-recall donations are local, whereas over half of anti-recall money is coming from out of state. The most recent poll in this race, conducted by Change Research from May 26-29, found 56% of voters in favor of the recall, 32% against. At the state level, incumbents Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Alex Padilla are expected to advance to the general election in November. Remember, California has an unusual primary system by way of the Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, which mandates that all candidates are listed on the same ballot and only the top two vote-getters — regardless of party preference — move on to the general election in November.
- Democrats will be eyeing several down-ballot races in California. Starting with the 27th congressional district, Democrat Christy Smith is looking to challenge GOP incumbent Mike Garcia for the third time, but retired U.S. Navy officer Quaye Quartey is making a name for himself as a Democratic alternative for voters in what is expected to be one of the party’s top pick-up opportunities in November. Rep. Karen Bass is running for mayor of Los Angeles, and her open seat in the 37th district has induced a fight between several prominent local Democrats in a race that may produce an all-Dem general election. Down in Orange County, Young Kim is viewed by many as an emerging star within the GOP, but her district (CA-40) has been drawn almost entirely new to her, and she could lose one of the top 2 spots to more conservative candidate Greg Raths. The race to succeed Mayor Eric Garcetti in LA has come down to Congresswoman Karen Bass and free-spending Billionaire businessman Rick Caruso. Bass has drawn endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Cory Booker, and several local politicians, but holds just a 2-point advantage over Caruso in a recent poll from Berkeley IGS.
- Beyond California, there aren’t too many interesting races. One to watch is the Democratic senate race in Iowa, where former Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer is considered the favorite, but had to go to court over questions about her nominating petitions in order to be placed on the ballot. Her opponent, retired Navy Admiral Michael T. Franken, raised over $1 million in the most recent reporting period, compared to Finkenauer’s $650,000. On the Republican side, long-time incumbent Chuck Grassley is expected to defeat State Senator Jim Carlin.
- United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly survived a vote of no confidence from within his own Conservative Party on Monday. The Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II — a celebration of the monarch’s 70-year reign — captured the eye of the public and British media over the weekend, directing attention away from the UK’s state of political disarray. However, Monday morning came, and chaos returned as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced an expected vote of no-confidence. The vote — triggered by a growing faction of displeased policymakers amidst record inflation rates in the UK, as well as the controversy surrounding the parties Johnson hosted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — was far worse than he or his allies expected. A staggering 41% of MPs within Johnson’s own party voted to oust him from leadership (211 voted in favor of Johnson, 148 against him). Nevertheless, Johnson expressed determination to continue his leadership, “I will lead you to victory again and the winners will be the people of this country”, he said in a statement released by a party official. Less than three years removed from his party’s landslide win in the 2019 general election, Boris Johnson is now firmly in survival mode, and few British Prime Ministers who faced no-confidence votes remained in office for very long.
- A federal judge has blocked the use of Louisiana’s proposed congressional maps with only one majority-Black district and ordered the legislature to draw a remedial plan by June 20. Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards said Monday that he will soon call the Republican-dominated Louisiana legislature into a special session to draw new congressional boundaries with a second majority-Black district. Edwards vetoed the proposed map back in February, arguing that it violated the Voting Rights Act because Louisiana’s population is around one-third black and it was possible to draw a second majority-Black district, but he was overridden by the legislature on March 30. Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has appealed the court’s decision, and a more conservative judge could put the original map back in place.