Dems doing what it takes to win

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On the roster: Dems doing what it takes to win - I’ll Tell You What: Wild, wild west - Newsom got what he wanted, now what? - Disappointing de León gets another crack at Feinstein - Neigh, neigh

After the biggest primary day of 2018 so far, we can report to you what has changed in the landscape for the midterm elections: Absolutely nothing.

Tuesday was Democrats’ biggest test so far with 14 competitive House races, two competitive Senate races and two competitive gubernatorial races all on the ballot. The imperative this week, as it is every week for Democrats, is to pick the right candidates to keep Republicans on defense.

Tuesday was further complicated for the Blue Team because of California’s cockamamie election laws, under which the party could have found itself “locked out” in three of the state’s seven districts where Republican-held seats are at risk. That didn’t happen.

There was also the danger for Democrats that former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would make it into the November runoff with first-place finisher Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, which would doubtless turn ugly. That didn’t happen either.

California Democrats were also concerned that Sen. Dianne Feinstein might be in trouble this fall because of a challenge from former state Senate Majority Leader Kevin de León. But she beat him by nearly 1.3 million votes, with not nearly enough other votes for Democratic candidates to claim credible status in their runoff.

In California and other states Tuesday, the challenge for Democrats was to resist the temptation to which their voters have recently succumbed in Nebraska and Kentucky in recent primaries. The fringe was feeling empowered after a couple of wins and looking for more. And that didn’t happen.

National Democrats might quibble about a couple of picks in the 13 races where they are trying to turn seats from red to blue, but overall they got quality candidates who match their district. You will, for example, be hearing a great deal about Mikie Sherrill, the moderate Navy veteran and former federal prosecutor, who is now teed up to flip the seat representing New Jersey’s 11th District being vacated by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Now, Democrats ought to be a little concerned about turnout on Tuesday. Granted, they did not have much in the way of competitive contests statewide, but they still only managed a slight increase in turnout over 2014. That’s not much of a wave to surf.

But with a poll out today from Quinnipiac University showing that the Democratic advantage in the generic ballot nationwide remains steady at about 6 points, they have plenty of reason to believe that the House is well within reach.

We are about halfway through the primary calendar. So far, Democrats are showing the kind of discipline in picking candidates that ought to make Republicans nervous. It will be a pitched battle for control of the House, to say nothing about the gargantuan fights ahead for individual Senate seats. But Democrats are mostly doing what they need to do to keep the edge.

You will find below race notes on the competitive House races that had primaries on Tuesday so you can get to know the players in this rough-and-tumble game.

New Jersey 2nd District (Lean Democrat)
Incumbent Republican Frank LoBiondo (retiring, first elected 1994)
Republican nominee: Seth Grossman (a former Atlantic County freeholder and Atlantic City councilman)
Democratic nominee: Jeff Van Drew (state senator from Cape May)
2014 election: Republican win, 62 percent

New Jersey 3rd District (Lean Republican)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: Tom MacArthur (elected 2014)
Democratic nominee: Andy Kim (Obama administration national security adviser)
2014 election: Republican win, 54 percent

New Jersey 5th District (Lean Democrat)
Incumbent, Democratic nominee: Josh Gottheimer (elected 2016)
Republican nominee: John McCann (former legal counsel to the Bergen County sheriff)
2014 election: Republican win, 55 percent

New Jersey 7th District (Lean Republican)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: Leonard Lance (elected in 2008)
Democratic nominee: Tom Malinowski (former assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama)
2014 election: Republican win, 59 percent

New Jersey 11th District (Toss Up)
Incumbent Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen (retiring, first elected 1994)
Republican nominee: Jay Webber (state assemblyman and former chairman of the state Republican Party)
Democratic nominee: Mikie Sherrill (former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor)
2014 election: Republican win, 63 percent

Iowa 1st District (Toss Up)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: Rod Blum (elected in 2014)
Democratic nominee: Abby Finkenauer (two-term state legislator)
2014 election: Republican win, 51 percent

Iowa 3rd District (Lean Republican)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: David Young (elected in 2014)
Democratic nominee: Cindy Axne (former state government official and a small-business owner)
2014 election: Republican win, 53 percent

California 10th District (Toss Up)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: Jeff Denham (first elected to the House in 2010)
Democratic nominee: Josh Harder (businessman)
2014 election: Republican win, 56 percent

California 21st District (Lean Republican)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: David Valadao (elected in 2012)
Democratic nominee: TJ Cox (engineer and businessman)
2014 election: Republican win, 58 percent

California 25th District (Toss Up)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: Steve Knight (elected in 2014)
Democratic nominee: Katie Hill (executive director of local homeless charity)
2014 election: Republican win, 53 percent

California 39th District (Toss Up)
Incumbent Republican Ed Royce (retiring, first elected to House in 1992)
Republican nominee: Young Kim (assemblywoman)
Democratic nominee: Gil Cisneros (former Frito-Lay distribution manager, won $266 million lottery jackpot in 2010)
2014 election: Republican win, 69 percent

California 45th District (Lean Republican)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: Mimi Walters (elected in 2014)
Democratic nominee: Katie Porter (UC Irvine law professor)
2014 election: Republican win, 65 percent

California 48th District (Toss Up)
Incumbent, Republican nominee: Dana Rohrabacher (first elected to the House in 1988)
Democratic nominee: Harley Rouda (attorney, and tech entrepreneur, DCCC-endorsed)
2014 election: Republican win, 64 percent

California 49th District (Toss Up)
Incumbent Republican Darrell Issa (elected in 2000, retiring) 
Republican nominee: Diane Harkey (member of five-person Board of Equalization that governs tax assessments)
Democratic nominee: Mike Levin (former Orange County Democratic party executive director, attorney)
2014 election: Republican win, 60 percent 

“The circumstances of a revolution quickened the public sensibility on every point connected with the security of popular rights, and in some instances raise the warmth of our zeal beyond the degree which consisted with the due temperature of the body politic.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 26

Appalachian Magazine: “Lying midway between the Virginia cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg, the community of Bedford is like countless other small towns scattered across the Commonwealth… Sadly, this Virginia small town bears a tragic, yet honorable distinction of having made a greater sacrifice to liberate Europe from Nazi control than any other community in America: proportionally suffering the nation’s severest losses on D-Day. … Though the invasion was a decisive allied victory, it came at a heavy cost. Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy… With a 1944 population of only 3,200 residents, Bedford, Virginia, lost 23 young men in this single campaign, giving it the highest proportional loss of any town in America for the D-Day invasion. Even with the incredibly high causality numbers witnessed throughout the Second World War, such a disproportionate ‘population to KIA ratio’ is unheard of anywhere else in the entire United States.”

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Trump job performance 
Average approval: 
40.6 percent 
Average disapproval: 
53.6 percent 
Net Score:
 -13 points
Change from one week ago: 
up 0.4 points 
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 40% approve - 51% disapprove; Gallup: 41% approve - 55% disapprove; CBS News: 40% approve - 55% disapprove; CNN: 44% approve - 51% disapprove; IBD: 38% approve - 56% disapprove.]

Control of House
Republican average: 
41.8 percent
Democratic average: 48.2 percent
Democrats plus 6.4 points
Change from one week ago: 
Democratic advantage down 0.2 
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 47% Dems - 40% GOP; CNN: 47% Dems - 44% GOP; CBS News: 50% Dems - 41% GOP; Pew Research Center: 48% Dems - 43% GOP; Monmouth University: 49% Dems - 41% GOP.]

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**we now return you to our regularly scheduled political palaver**

This week, Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss the results of California’s jungle primary and what is to be taken away from the outcome. Plus, Dana holds the mailbag as Chris is challenged with some Golden State trivia. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE

LAT: “Gavin Newsom, the favorite of the California Democratic Party's core liberal base, coasted to a first-place finish in Tuesday's primary election for governor and faces a November showdown with John Cox, a multimillionaire Republican hitched to the far-right policies of President Trump. The results mark a stunning defeat for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, representing the fall of a politician who embodied the growing power of the Latino electorate when he was elected mayor in 2005. Villaraigosa conceded late in the evening, urging those who voted for him to give their support to his opponent. … Newsom, 50, a former San Francisco mayor who is currently serving his second term as California's lieutenant governor, will face Cox, 62, an Illinois transplant and real estate investor who ran for the U.S. House and Senate twice in Illinois, failing to reach the primary in all three. In 2008, Cox also launched a campaign for president before dropping out when he failed to gain any traction.”

Noem dispatches rival, expected to cruise in November - AP: “U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem won South Dakota's Republican primary for governor on Tuesday, defeating Attorney General Marty Jackley to emerge as the favorite to become the state's first female governor. GOP primary voters made Noem the only woman South Dakota Republicans have nominated for the state's top job. She advanced to face well-funded Democrat Billie Sutton, a state senator and former professional rodeo cowboy, in the November general election. Noem credited her primary victory in part to traveling around the state and talking about policies that cast a bold new vision for South Dakota. ‘I expect the general election will be competitive as well, but we're going to work hard,’ Noem said. ‘We will start focusing on that tomorrow.’ The governor contest — the highest-profile match up on the ballot — started mostly polite, but soured at the end as the candidates sought to break out in the primary.”

Pitched battle for open New Mexico governorship - KOB4: “U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham will be the Democrat to take on Republican U.S. Rep Steve Pearce in November. The two are vying to become New Mexico's next governor. The three-term congresswoman's victory was called early Tuesday night, beating out former media executive Jeff Apodaca and State Sen. Joseph Cervantes. ‘As your next governor, when it comes to winning the fights that matter most and taking New Mexico in a new direction, as my mother taught me, I won't back down,’ said Lujan-Grisham. Lujan Grisham's campaign received endorsements from an array of labor unions, progressive advocacy groups, and several tribal governments totaling $1.4 million. Job creation will be a major talking point during the six months leading up to the November election with both candidates focused in on bringing more opportunities to New Mexico. … ‘I'm the only one who is going to be in the general election who has run a business and competed with huge international firms and have created jobs,’ Pearce said in a phone interview with KOB.”

Sacramento Bee: “California state lawmaker Kevin de León won second place advancing to the November election against Dianne Feinstein in the U.S. Senate race. The Los Angeles Democrat had 11 percent of the vote and Republican James Bradley 9 percent – a difference of nearly 100,000 votes. The Associated Press called the race for de León early Wednesday. His campaign team expects his second place lead to widen as the state continues to report the results of the primary election. Changes to California election law and an increased reliance on voting by mail mean results in close races could take days or weeks to determine. Feinstein, running for her fifth term, breezed into the top two run off Tuesday with 44 percent support from voters. The veteran senator maintained a commanding lead from the first poll of likely voters released months before the election.”

Menendez survives primary, but GOP has a puncher’s chance - Politico: “The New Jersey Senate seat held by Bob Menendez should be one of the safest for Democrats this year. But Menendez’s legal troubles and the deep pockets of his Republican opponent, Bob Hugin, introduce an element of uncertainty into the equation. Control of the U.S. Senate could depend on the outcome. Menendez survived a six-week federal corruption trial last fall after a jury deadlocked on bribery charges against him. However, the Senate Ethics Committee later determined he violated federal law by accepting and not reporting private jet flights and other gifts from his friend, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. Hugin supported and donated heavily to President Donald Trump’s 2016 election effort and headed a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company that raised prices 20 percent in less than a year on a key cancer drug, parked money overseas and made it harder for companies to produce a generic version of its drugs.”

GOP taps Montana auditor to tackle Tester - Roll Call: “State Auditor Matt Rosendale won the GOP nomination Tuesday night to take on Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in November. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Rosendale led a four-way field with 34 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press. Former district judge Russ Fagg was in second place with 29 percent. Fagg ran with the support of many former Montana elected officials, including ex-Reps. Rick Hill and Denny Rehberg and three former governors. Tester ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Rosendale will now try to unseat the incumbent, who’s never won more than 50 percent of the vote, in a state that President Donald Trump won by more than 20 points in 2016. Tester starts with a significant financial advantage. He ended the pre-primary reporting period with $6.4 million in the bank compared to Rosendale’s $392,000. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Democratic.”


Q Poll: Trump support stays steady, Dems maintain edge on generic ballot
 - Quinnipiac University

Trump signs bill that will expand private care for veterans - AP


“We just kind of do the man-bump type thing. That’s it. And I think he’s pulling me as much as I’m pulling him.” – Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., describing the embraces he shares with the president. Trump recently mocked Manchin, saying the senator is always trying to hug him. 

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Fortune: “The days of being able to fly on any airline with an unusual emotional support animal seem to be coming to a close. JetBlue joined a growing collection of carriers in updating its requirements for emotional support animals. Starting July 1, any passenger who wishes to travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal will need to give the airline an early heads up and file the proper paperwork at least 48 hours in advance. The carrier’s also limiting which emotional support animals you can bring on board. ‘JetBlue accepts only dogs, cats, and miniature horses as emotional support or psychiatric service animals and limits such permitted animals to one per customer,’ the carrier said in a statement. In case that statement wasn’t clear enough to some people, JetBlue listed some of the animals it will not allow on board, including hedgehogs, ferrets, sugar gliders (a type of possum that’s illegal to own in five states), anything with tusks (so, no emotional support elephants), birds of prey, and, of course, spiders and snakes.”

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.