Obscure Candidate Could Help Save GOP House Seats

Politico: “Republicans in this heavily Democratic state long ago abandoned almost any hope of winning the governorship, but getting shut out in California’s primary — where the top two finishers advance, regardless of party — could depress turnout and lead to devastating losses in House races statewide. In a warning to Republicans in April, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote that Cox advancing to the November ballot ‘will be vital for keeping the Republican majority.'”

“Trump’s endorsement of Cox, a wealthy businessman who previously ran unsuccessfully for House and Senate seats in Illinois and, briefly, for president in 2008, was the culmination of weeks of effort by Republican leadership, including endorsements from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).”

Volatile Race for Second Spot for California Governor

A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll in California shows Gavin Newsom (D) leading the gubernatorial race with 21%, but with the race between John Cox (R) and Antonio Villaraigosa (D) for second place unpredictable and volatile.

“With the second slot up for grabs and a substantial bloc of undecided voters two weeks from the election, Newsom’s campaign has unleased a barrage of ads in an attempt to manipulate the primary vote. The strategy aims to influence who he’ll face in the general election, with Cox — a conservative out of step with California’s left-leaning voters on many issues including immigration policy — among his top choices.”

A wildcard: 39% are still undecided.

Newsom Is Target In California Gubernatorial Debate

Los Angeles Times: “The candidates running to become California’s next governor aggressively clashed in the most contentious and consequential face-off of the campaign Tuesday night, trying to make the case that they are best suited to lead the state as voters begin receiving ballots in the mail. Democrat Gavin Newsom took the stage with a target on his back as the clear front-runner. And the attacks grew deeply personal as the candidates were asked about marital infidelities Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had while they were in office. Newsom had an affair with a close friend’s wife who worked for him when he was mayor of San Francisco.”

San Francisco Chronicle: “For much of the 90-minute session, it was five against one, with the former San Francisco mayor fielding nonstop attacks from the other candidates looking to finish in the top two and advance to the November election to replace termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown.”

California GOP Worries About Getting Shut Out

“For anyone wondering about the state of the Republican Party in California these days, consider this: There may be no Republican candidate for governor or United States senator on the state’s ballot this November,” the New York Times reports.

“That dispiriting possibility is beginning to sink in for California Republicans, against the backdrop of a divisive debate among its candidates and leaders on how the embattled party can become competitive again in a state where Ronald Reagan was elected twice as governor and that Richard M. Nixon called home.”

“If Republicans fall short in capturing one of those two November slots next month, which members of both parties say is a strong possibility, it would apparently be the first election where there was no major party candidate for both the Senate and governor races since 1914.”

GOP Ad Targets Affairs of Newsom, Villaraigosa

Sacramento Bee: “An independent campaign committee supporting Republican businessman John Cox in the state’s gubernatorial race has launched a television advertisement playing off the #MeToo movement by comparing Democratic candidates Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa with high-profile men who have been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.”

“Newsom and Villaraigosa both admitted during their first mayoral terms to having affairs, and both publicly apologized. But it is misleading to equate consensual romantic relationships with allegations against other powerful men who have been accused in numerous cases of serial sexual harassment and misconduct.”

Newsom Surges In California Governor’s Race

A new Public Policy Institute of California poll finds Gavin Newsom (D) has surged ahead in the gubernatorial race with 28%, followed by John Cox (R) at 14%, Antonio Villaraigosa (D) at 12%, Travis Allen (R) at 10%, John Chiang (D) at 6% and Delaine Eastin (D) at 5%.  A quarter of likely voters are still undecided.

In the U.S. Senate race, Sen. Dianne Feinstein continues to lead Kevin de León (D) by double digits, 42% to 16%, among likely voters, with 39% undecided.

Top Republican Drops Race for California Governor

“Doug Ose (R) dropped out of the race for California governor, citing a crowded field of candidates and lack of fundraising needed to defeat Democrats, who are leading in the polls,” the Sacramento Bee reports.

Said Ose: “There’s no money, and if you don’t have enough money, you can’t communicate a message.”

He added: “There’s nobody willing to invest in a statewide Republican campaign to the level that needs to be done. The people that have traditionally written $25,000 checks are now writing $1,000 checks because they don’t see a path for a Republican to win.”

Democrats In Close Race for California Governor

A new Public Policy Institute of California poll in California finds Gavin Newsom (D) and Antonio Villaraigosa (D) in a close race among likely voters in the gubernatorial primary, 23% to 21%, with 24% undecided.  Fewer would vote for Democrat John Chiang (9%), Republican Travis Allen (8%), Republican John Cox (7%), Democrat Delaine Eastin (4%), or Republican Doug Ose (3%).

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) continues to lead Kevin de León (D) in a U.S. Senate primary, 46% to 17%.