Democrats Avoid Catastrophe, Probably

It looks like California Dems won’t be locked out of any key House races.

Dems live to surf another wave.Phase4Studios/Shutterstock

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The “Dems in Disarray” headlines will have to wait another week, at least. As of Wednesday morning, it looks like Democratic candidates will appear on the general election ballot in every competitive California congressional race.

The biggest storyline heading into Tuesday’s primaries was whether Democrats would get locked out of the November ballot in key House races because of the state’s convoluted top-two primary system. Under this so-called “jungle primary” arrangement, all candidates run in a single primary and the top two finishers advance to the general election, regardless of party. The state is home to seven Republican-held congressional districts that Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 presidential election, and Democrats were in danger of getting bumped from the top two spots in five of them.

For months, the party appeared to be a victim of its own enthusiasm—the huge number of Democratic candidates in those districts threatened to split the Democratic vote, which could have meant that two Republicans would advance to the November contest. But in the final weeks, national groups, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, spent millions to avoid this scenario. A few Democratic candidates also dropped out of their races, hoping to consolidate the field.

In the end, those efforts paid off. Although the vote tallies won’t be final in California for another week or so, Democrats appear to have clinched a general election spot in all seven districts.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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