One of the biggest primary nights of the year is (mostly) wrapped up. It was a pivotal night for Democrats trying to nominate the right candidates to retake the majority in the House of Representatives. Here are the winners and losers from the eight-state primary swing on Tuesday.
House Democratic candidates in California. Barely: It appears Democrats have avoided disaster in three Orange County-area House races that are critical for their path to taking back the House. Democrats are trying to take over the vulnerable Republican-held seats in November, but they risked falling victim to their own base's enthusiasm by dividing the vote among too many candidates. (In California's primary system, the top two vote-getters move on to the general election regardless of party.) With results mostly in, it looks like Democrats will at least finish second in three races — the 39th, 48th and 49th districts, which is enough for them for today.
But: It's not clear that Washington Democrats will get every candidate they wanted through. And it's still possible, as votes continue to be counted, that Democrats will get locked out of another race in which they had hoped to compete farther up the state, in the 10th District.
Dianne Feinstein: One of the California's longest-serving and best-known politicians demonstrated why experience matters in tricky primary elections. The Democratic senator faced a primary challenger from the left, state Senate President Kevin de Leon, after she urged patience with Trump. But Feinstein pivoted to the left, pitching herself as a leader of the Trump resistance in Washington and managed to switch her position on issues ranging from the death penalty to marijuana legalization without taking too much heat from the base. She ended up winning Tuesday by a wide margin; it's not even clear whether de Leon will make it to the general election.
Senate Republicans: In Montana, Republicans nominated their strongest candidate to try to unseat a well-known Senate Democrat this fall. Republicans nominated State Auditor Matt Rosendale over three others to challenge Sen. Jon Tester. Tester could be one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats running for reelection in a state that Trump won in 2016. Trump made Tester a target earlier this year after Tester helped sink Trump's choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Having this primary settled is a relief for Senate Republicans, who originally wanted a candidate whom Trump picked to be his secretary of the interior.
Women running for governor: Republican voters in South Dakota, Alabama and Iowa and Democratic voters in New Mexico all nominated women to lead their state next year — and they all have a solid chance of winning. GOP Rep. Kristi L. Noem won her competitive primary in South Dakota and now has a good chance to be the first woman to lead that state, since the seat is open in November and South Dakota is a fairly Republican state. In Alabama, relatively new Gov. Kay Ivey (R) defended her seat from four other GOP challengers. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) won her primary to try to keep her spot as the first female governor of that state. And in New Mexico, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham will be Democrats' nominee to try to flip that open governor's seat from red to blue. It's the most likely to flip in The Fix's most recent rankings.
Senators who have been accused of corruption: Some of New Jersey's best-known Democrats could not persuade voters there to enthusiastically renominate Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez on Tuesday. Menendez survived a corruption trial last year after the jury deadlocked, and he has proclaimed his innocence and is running for another six-year term. He still won his primary Tuesday, but a low-profile Democratic challenger who did not even file the correct paperwork won nearly 40 percent of the vote.
Republican members of Congress who ditched Trump in 2016: Rep. Martha Roby (R) is a case study in just how loyal Trump voters are to the president. She was forced into a runoff Tuesday with a former Democrat (former congressman Bobby Bright) in her conservative southeastern Alabama district. Operatives say it was entirely because she said she wouldn't vote for Trump for president after the “Access Hollywood” tape was released, nearly two years ago.
Republican turnout in key House races: While they might be vulnerable to losing seats in California, Republicans expected to have the upper hand this November in a handful of House races in New Jersey and one in New Mexico. But it was Democrats who came out Tuesday in a position of strength in many of those battles. As The Post's David Weigel reports, Republicans picked two little-known, barely funded Republican candidates for an open seat in New Jersey and a Democratic-held one they would like to flip. In two other GOP-held New Jersey districts, Democrats got a couple thousand more voters to turn out over Republicans.
In an open border district in New Mexico, which Democrats think they have their best chance in a decade to flip, nearly 10,000 more voters showed up for the Democratic nominee, Xochitl Torres Small, than for the Republican nominee, Yvette Herrell.
This post has been corrected to include Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who was originally incorrectly referred to as her previous title of Lt. Gov, as one of the women who won her primary Tuesday for governor.