5 Things You Should Know About The California Primaries
1. JERRY BROWN SEEKS TO MAKE HISTORY
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown coasted through California's top-two primary and will run for an unprecedented fourth term in November. His first eight years as governor were before voters implemented term limits, allowing him to run again in 2010 and this year. He has led by wide margins in public opinion polls and has more than $21 million in his re-election account.
2. REPUBLICANS FIND REASON FOR OPTIMISM
Democrats hold all eight statewide offices and have wide majorities in both houses of the Legislature, but Republicans found reason for hope in Tuesday's primary. Former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari, a social moderate, was leading in the race to challenge Brown in November. Strong GOP candidates were emerging in a handful of statewide races, including for secretary of state and controller.
3. CONGRESSIONAL INCUMBENTS SAFE - FOR NOW
All current members of California's congressional delegation made it through the primary, but many of them will face extremely tough races in the fall. Two Democrats, Ami Bera near Sacramento, and Scott Peters in San Diego, are top priorities for Republicans to knock off. Others are facing unexpected challenges from their own party.
4. BREAK-AWAY MOVEMENTS FADE
Voters in three far Northern California counties were lukewarm to forming a 51st state named Jefferson. While a majority of voters were favoring the measure in Tehama County, Del Norte voters were against it; Siskiyou residents rejected the idea of rebranding their county as the Republic of Jefferson.
5. WHAT ELECTION?
Precincts throughout the state were dead zones on Tuesday, with the majority of voters casting ballots by mail and very few others bothering to show up at the polls. The previous low for a gubernatorial primary was 33.3 percent in 2010, and projections for Tuesday's turnout were well below that. The record low for a California primary was 28.2 percent in 2008, but the presidential primary had been moved to March that year, taking the biggest race off the ballot.