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National Govt & Politics
Primaries for Congress go coast-to-coast today
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Primaries for Congress go coast-to-coast today

Primaries for Congress go coast-to-coast today
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Primaries for Congress go coast-to-coast today

This is the biggest day of Congressional mid-term primaries of the 2018 election year, as eight states - highlighted by California's 53 U.S. House districts - hold primaries for the 2018 mid-term elections, the key politcal battleground for the control of Congress under President Donald Trump.

"If you want to be safe, you must go out and get the Democrats the hell out of office," the President said at a campaign rally last week, as he continues to press members of his own party to get out and vote in 2018, knowing that the loss of control of one - or both houses of Congress - could cause him a lot of headaches.

Here are some story lines to look for on Tuesday night:

1. Signs of which party is more enthusiastic. In the first months of the Trump Adminstration, Democrats were clearly more excited about getting out and voting in special elections. The "Blue Wave" is one of their favorite terms, as they talk big about winning back the House. But there are some polling numbers of late which show Republicans rallying around the President, as the generic ballot on which party should control Congress has tightend as well. Also heartening for the GOP is that Mr. Trump is solidifying his support within the Republican Party. That could make more a much more competitive mid-term than maybe the Democrats have been dreaming about in recent months.

2. All time zones covered tonight. From the Atlantic Ocean, to the Gulf of Mexico, to the Midwest, the Mexican border, the Canadian border and the Pacific Ocean, it's an eight state parlay of races to watch for the Congress on Tuesday. Going from East to West - New Jersey, Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, and the big one, California. 85 seats in the U.S. House are spread out over those eight states, but 53 of them are in California, making that the late night, Pacific Time focus. I won't recommend staying up late for the California results, but it might be mandatory in November. The other warning is that mail in ballots in California keep those numbers active for days after the election as well.

3. California's "Top Two" primary system. It's important to remember that California is a different animal when it comes to picking candidates for the general election ballot. Instead of separate primaries for each party, everyone is thrown into the same race, and the top two finishers - regardless of party - qualify for the November election. In the House races, that has both parties worried that a divided field might allow one party to grab both slots - that's become a big concern for Democrats in some southern California districts. Three races seem to be the ones to watch for Democrats worried about not getting into the top two, in the 39th (open GOP seat), 48th (seat of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher R-CA), and 49th districts (Rep. Darrell Issa R-CA) in the U.S. House, where a lot of money is being raised and spent by Democratic challengers - but there may be too many of them, and that has Democratic activist worried.

4. Will there be any incumbent surprises? Most of the time, the primaries are simply the battlegrounds to set up key showdowns in Congress for the November elections. So far this year, only one sitting House member has been defeated - Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) has that dubious distinction. In 2016, five incumbents lost, while it was four in 2014. So, one might think that there is someone in the House right now who doesn't realize that their seat is in limbo. Overall, the "casualty list" stands at 54 sitting members of the House who won't be back in January, 37 are Republicans and 17 are Democrats. In the Senate, it's three GOP Senators who won't be returning. If you've been following along with me in recent years, you know that I have been arguing for some time that turnover in Congress is much higher than people realize. To me, it was notable that one Republican said exactly that last week on Twitter (even if our figures differ).

Read More

News

  • Who will sit on the Iron Throne when “Game of Thrones” ends its run later this year? You can -- well, sort of. >> Read more trending news  A student at a Kentucky welding school built a 200-pound replica of the Iron Throne as a wedding gift for his wife, WLKY reported. He is also renting it out, the television station reported. Michael Hayes is a student at the Knight School of Welding in Louisville. He and his instructors spent nearly 110 hours over two months to craft the throne, which includes 400 swords, WLKY reported. The school funded the project, which cost $7,000. The throne is not made of iron or steel, but aluminum, otherwise “it would pretty much stay wherever it sat,' Hayes told the television station. Hayes said he made the throne as a wedding gift for his wife, Kacie Hayes. 'The show is one of the first things my wife and I bonded over,” Michael Hayes told WLKY. “It's a really important thing to us.” >>  Social media reacts to season premiere of ‘Game of Thrones’ The throne was a centerpiece at the Hayes’ wedding, and the couple struck a pose similar to ones by “Game of Thrones” characters Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. 'Besides the awesome fact that my wife pretty much does look like Daenerys, especially when she's in her get-up,” Michael Hayes told WLKY. “It made it all the more awesome when I could see her sitting in the throne and doing her thing. It's just been awesome.” Hayes said if you want to rent the throne, email him at mqhayes1@yahoo.com, WLKY reported.
  • “I am in the middle of the expressway with a donkey,” an Illinois deputy said Wednesday, agitated as she called for backup. >> Read more trending news  The Cook County Sheriff’s deputy was not referring to a driver on I-90. She was seeking help after a real donkey escaped from a trailer shortly before noon, WBBM reported. Body cam footage showed the deputy trying to coax the donkey, named Dusty, to the side of the road, away from vehicles barreling down the interstate, the television station reported. “Come here, come here, sweetie,” the deputy told the donkey. She then radioed her dispatcher, telling officials that “You wanna call the state or something, somebody lost their donkey, county,” WMAQ reported. >> Two donkeys found mauled to death in Louisville According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Twitter account, Dusty, was safely returned to his owner.
  • An Australian man rescued his 14-month-old son Friday, after the child was dragged away from his bed by a wild dingo, 9News Australia reported. >> Read more trending news  The toddler was sleeping inside a camper on a remote area of Fraser Island in Queensland when two of the wild dogs entered the vehicle. One of them bit the child’s neck, Radio New Zealand reported. Paramedic Ben Du Toit said the dingo began dragging the child into the bush, 9News Australia reported. 'The parents awoke with the toddler crying and heard the crying getting further away from the campervan,' Du Toit told the network. The child’s father ran outside and rescued the boy from the jaws of the dog, CNN reported. The boy suffered two deep cuts to the top of his neck and minor cuts to his scalp, Radio New Zealand reported. He was airlifted to a hospital for treatment and was in stable condition, CNN reported. 'If it wasn't for the parents and their quick thinking and fighting off the dingoes, he probably would have had more severe injuries,' Lifeflight pilot Frank Bertoli said at a news conference.
  • A Texas woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to stealing $1.3 million from the Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo, using the money to finance vacations and two motorcycles, WFAA reported. >> Read more trending news  D’Ann Elizabeth Wagner, of Fort Worth, was a bookkeeper for the rodeo, the television station reported. She was sentenced in Tarrant County District Court. According to prosecutors, Wagner used a PayPal account on the rodeo’s website she set up and was linked to her personal information, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. PayPal issued a debit card to manage the money, which Wagner used for her personal use, the newspaper reported. Investigators found more than 11,000 transactions between January 2014 and March 2017, totaling more than $1.3 million. She used the money for vacations and gambling, bought two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and made other unspecified purchases, WFAA reported. “This defendant stole more than six times the minimum threshold for this first-degree felony charge,” Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Brooke Panuthos said in a statement. “She had 11,000 chances to stop her criminal behavior and stop stealing from employers who trusted her. She showed no conscience and no remorse for her actions.”
  • A Michigan man accused of intentionally shooting his 2-year-old son in the face was arraigned in court Thursday, MLive reported. >> Read more trending news  Michael Christopher Glance, 32, is charged with three counts each of assault with intent to murder and felony firearms, the website reported. He is being held in lieu of a $10 million bond, WILX reported. The incident occurred in Blackman Township on Tuesday, the television station reported. It happened while Glance allegedly was arguing with Nicole McCarthy, the boy’s mother, MLive reported. “For whatever reason, Mr. Glance decided to take his anger out on his 2-year-old child that day,” Jackson County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kati Rezmierski said in court. During an argument between the couple, Glance allegedly held a pistol to his son’s temple and pulled the trigger, Rezmierski said. The gun did not fire, she said. McCarthy took the boy to her car and put him in his car seat, MLive reported. She was getting ready to leave when Glance allegedly came out of the couple’s home with a shotgun and fired at their son, according to the website. The child was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition, WILX reported.
  • City council members in a Denver suburb voted to approve a name change for a neighborhood that has been called Swastika Acres, KDVR reported. >> Read more trending news  Cherry Hills Village City Council members Tuesday voted unanimously to change the subdivision name to Old Cherry Hills, the television station reported. Swastika Acres was named decades before the symbol was adopted by the Nazis, KDVR reported. However, the subdivision’s name is only apparent in real estate closing documents, according to the television station. “Some buyers are savvy enough to read the documents and really dig in and understand what their legal description of their property is,” Cherry Hills Village councilman Dan Sheldon told KDVR. “That’s the only way you’d know.” According to Sheldon, the subdivision name derived from the Denver Land Swastika Company, which divided the land into plots at the turn of the 20th century. “There was nothing wrong with (the name) at that time,” Sheldon told KDVR.