SPOTLIGHT

How Not to Interpret Tonight’s Primary Results

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif.
©2014 Richard A. Bloom
Scott Bland
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
June 3, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

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 »
WITH NAT SEC TEAM
Trump and Pence to Camp David Friday
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS
PERFORMED YESTERDAY
Boozman Recuperating After Heart Surgery
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) "underwent heart surgery Tuesday and was recuperating in a northern Virginia hospital. He was expected to be hospitalized for three to five days. Doctors operated on Boozman, 66, for several hours, fixing a problem with his aorta." He underwent emergency heart surgery in 2014.

Source:
FROM STATEMENT
McConnell: “No Good Neo-Nazis”
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
NO FORMAL LEGISLATIVE EFFORT
CBC Members Call for Removal of Confederate Statues from Capitol
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are reviving calls to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol following the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia." Rep. Cedric Richmond, the group's chair, told ABC News that "we will never solve America's race problem if we continue to honor traitors who fought against the United States." And Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said, “Confederate memorabilia have no place in this country and especially not in the United States Capitol." But a CBC spokesperson said no formal legislative effort is afoot.

Source:
LONGTIME TRUMP AIDE
Hope Hicks Will Be Interim WH Comms Director
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

Hicks "will serve as the interim White House director of communications and will help the president find a permanent person for the job, according to a senior administration official."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login