California primaries

Feinstein to Face Democratic Challenger in California Senate Race
State Sen. Kevin de León advanced to November

State Sen. Kevin de Leon will challenge Democratic Sen. DIanne Feinstein in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:49 a.m. | Sen. Dianne Feinstein will face fellow Democrat, state Sen. Kevin de León, in her bid for a fifth Senate term. The intra-party fight could turn the California Senate race into a contest over the direction of the Democratic Party. 

Feinstein was projected to finish first in the crowded primary Tuesday night, although her challenger was initially unclear. Republicans and Democrats compete on the same ballot and the top two vote-getters advance to the general election. Thirty-two candidates qualified for the ballot, and the second-place finisher remained undetermined as of Wednesday morning.

Uncertainty Lingers in Critical California House Races
Democratic nominees remain unknown after initial primary results

Democrats are targeting 10 GOP-held seats in California. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats will keep a close eye on California county registrars over the next few days as uncertainty remains in several House races. But initial results show Democrats could avoid a general election shutout in some of their top targets.

The Associated Press has yet to call the second-place finishers in seven of Democrats’ 10 GOP-held targets in the Golden State, with mail-in ballots yet to be counted, and a voter roll debacle that threw even more chaos into vote-counting.

The Battle for the House Hits the Shores of Southern California
Orange County districts are a new midterm battleground

Will a blue wave hit California? Democrat Harley Rouda is one of the candidates hoping to flip a GOP-held seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. — The battle for control of the House has landed in California, and it’s partly because of voters like Deborah and Wyatt Carr.

Deborah, 69, was not registered with a party, and Wyatt, 73, was a longtime Republican. Both voted for Hillary Clinton and for their GOP congresswoman, Mimi Walters, in 2016.

Democratic Poll: Mike Levin Ahead in California’s 49th District
Levin and Republican Diane Harkey lead the field in survey

Democrat Mike Levin is running in California’s 49th District (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

A Democratic poll shows a tight contest in the crowded race for California’s 49th District, with Democrat Mike Levin narrowly ahead of Republican Diane Harkey .

The district is one of three in Southern California where Democrats are concerned about possibly being shut out of the general election. Under the state’s primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot with the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advancing to November. With multiple hopefuls on both sides, the concern is a split in the Democratic vote could allow two Republicans to get through.

Rep. Steve Knight: The Most Vulnerable Republican in California?
Some operatives say so, but SoCal congressman says he has a plan to win

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., walks through the rows of vendors set up at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival in Simi Valley, Calif., on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PALMDALE, Calif. — While walking into Target here recently, Bob and Deidre Murphy noted that Republican Rep. Steve Knight’s 25th District is “a little pocket” of conservatism in Los Angeles County.

“I think that’s going away though,” Bob said. Deidre added, “It is.”

Even in California, Democratic Women Must Overcome Political Hurdles
Traditional barriers and a unique primary system challenge candidates

California Democrat Katie Porter, who is running in the 45th District, speaks at an event in Laguna Woods on May 19. The California primary is on June 5. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

NEWHALL, Calif. — Diane Trautman remembers a time when “hardened attitudes” existed toward female candidates in Southern California, including the notion “that women don’t have the brain power or the stamina … to really be effective leaders.”

Fast forward to the present.

Could Negative Campaigning in California Primaries Dampen Democratic Energy?
Hard feelings hit crowded Golden State contests two weeks out from the primary

Dave Min and Katie Porter, both Democrats running for California’s 45th District, participate in the DEMOC PAC’s candidate forum in Irvine on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

IRVINE, Calif. — When some volunteers and organizers arrived Tuesday night at the University Synagogue, they found some orange and red pieces of paper on the chairs in the auditorium.

“NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ALERT” read the paper in bold black letters. “The Dave Min campaign is running attack ads against multiple other Democrats! IS THIS WHAT ORANGE COUNTY WANTS?”

‘That Danger Is Real’ — Democrats’ Final Push to Avoid Shutout in Key California Races
Democrats are especially concerned about being locked out in three key races

Democrat Harley Rouda, who’s running in the 48th District, speaks with supporters during his campaign rally in Laguna Beach, California, on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — As supporters for Democrat Harley Rouda chanted while cars drove by on the South Coast Highway on Sunday, Carol Nohra Crane could be heard sharing a concern with her friend: that two Republicans would advance past the June 5 primary in the 48th District.

“I think it’s all about getting the vote out, because there is a valid concern because it is a Republican district, typically,” said Crane, 54, a friend of Rouda’s who’s volunteering with the campaign. “So we just have to get out of the top two.”

DCCC Takes Sides to Avoid Shutout in Crowded California Primary
Democrats are targeting Dana Rohrabacher, backing Harley Rouda

Harley Rouda, Democratic challenger to GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, has been added to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file Photo).

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is taking sides in a crowded California primary in the 48th District, backing businessman Harley Rouda, in an attempt to avoid a nightmare scenario of being shut out of the November ballot.

Rouda was added to the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program on Friday, giving him additional access to committee resources. The move is also evidence that Democrats are stepping up the effort to coalesce around one candidate.

314 Action Launches Mail Campaign for Keirstead in California
The group is spending $280,000 on a mail campaign

Marchers, including Bill Nye the Science Guy, center, lead the March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group backing Democratic scientists running for office is launching a mail campaign to boost stem cell researcher Hans Keirstead ahead of California’s June 5 primary.

314 Action will spend $280,000 on a mail campaign to educate voters about Keirstead, a neuroscientist and CEO of a biomedical company, according to an announcement provided first to Roll Call. The mailers will drop eight times throughout May and target more than 57,000 likely voters. The campaign will also attack Realtor Harley Rouda, one of the other top Democrats in the race.