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

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

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.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.