Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA-52) could perform an odd trick over the next few months: lose his primary but win the general election. How? California’s all-party primary offers a tempting opportunity to compare candidates ahead of the general election, but the Golden State has a track record of spitting out very different results in June and November.
— In 2012, nearly every Democratic House candidate matched against a Republican in California improved on their party’s primary vote share in the general election. (See the results in graphical form here.) That includes 8 districts, like Rep. Mark Takano‘s (D), where Democrats got less than half of the primary vote but went on to win the general. Takano got 59% in CA-41 after he and another Democrat combined for just 46% in the primary — leading some forecasters in DC and California to downgrade Takano’s chances after he won the nomination.
— The 2012 results confirm the trend from California’s previous two all-party primaries, in 1998 and 2000. In those years, Democrats improved their standing in 66 House races between primary and general, while Republicans only did it 17 times — mostly by marginal amounts in seats that were safely Democratic.
— Young people and especially Latinos are far less likely to turn out in California’s primaries, pushing the results away from what they look like with a full electorate in the fall. It’s the same effect that hurts Democratic performance in midterms versus presidential elections.
That’s not to say California Dems like Peters shouldn’t be worried about November; he and others will have tough races. But no one should use Tuesday’s primary results to write them off. Even though they match up potential opponents early on, all-party primaries are not as useful for comparing candidates as they seem.
— Scott Bland
What We're Following See More »
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."
The Clintons will retain their Secret Service "code names from the last time they lived in the White House. Hillary Clinton is EVERGREEN and Bill ClintonEAGLE. Donald Trump is MOGUL, according to reports, and Melania Trump MUSE. The vice presidents get code names, too: Mike Pence is HOOSIER—a little on the nose—and his wife HUMMINGBIRD. Tim Kaine is DAREDEVIL, somewhat ambitiously. His wife's? To be determined."