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Offbeat The Latest: Polls begin closing as 8 states hold primaries

03:40  06 june  2018
03:40  06 june  2018 Source:   msn.com

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FILE - In this May 23, 2018, file photo, Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox address supporters at the Sacramento County Republican Party headquarters in Sacramento, Calif. Tuesday's primary election will set the stage for November races for governor, Congress and the Legislature, but it will also test whether the state's vanishing Republicans have enough remaining influence to avoid another shutout at the statewide polls. Cox has the backing of President Donald Trump in his bid to qualify for a two-person runoff this fall. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this May 23, 2018, file photo, Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox address supporters at the Sacramento County Republican Party headquarters in Sacramento, Calif. Tuesday's primary election will set the stage for November races for governor, Congress and the Legislature, but it will also test whether the state's vanishing Republicans have enough remaining influence to avoid another shutout at the statewide polls. Cox has the backing of President Donald Trump in his bid to qualify for a two-person runoff this fall. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

WASHINGTON — The Latest on primaries being held Tuesday in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota (all times local):

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8:10 p.m.

Polls have begun closing in the eastern half of the United States as eight states hold primaries ahead of the November midterm elections.

Races were called at closing time Tuesday for candidates running unopposed in New Jersey, Alabama and Mississippi, and they advanced to the general election.

With primary elections across California and seven other states on Tuesday, the political battlefield will soon be set for the first midterm elections of Donald Trump's presidency.

With the possibility of a Democratic wave on the horizon, the elections will test voter enthusiasm, candidate quality and Trump's influence as each party picks its nominees to face off in November.

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10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is urging Californians to vote Republican in the state's gubernatorial and congressional primaries.

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  Analysis: California’s open primaries are a cautionary tale about political reform The system hasn’t live up to proponents’ promises, but its unintended consequences are roiling Tuesday’s contestsFormer Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa chats with constituents May 11 in San Francisco. The primary for the California gubernatorial race is especially intense for Republican John Cox and Villaraigosa, whom polls show to be in a tough fight for a slot on the general election ballot.

Trump tweeted Tuesday: "In High Tax, High Crime California, be sure to get out and vote for Republican John Cox for Governor. He will make a BIG difference!"

The president also plugged California's GOP congressional candidates, specifically naming Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the No. 2 House leader, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

Trump tweeted: "Keep our country out of the hands of High Tax, High Crime Nancy Pelosi."

Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, hopes to reclaim the speaker's gavel if her party regains control of the chamber in November.

Trump also encouraged voters in Mississippi to "get out and vote" for Sen. Roger Wicker. In a tweet, Trump said Wicker "has done everything necessary to Make America Great Again!"

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9:25 a.m.

For years sidelined on the national political fringe, California has lurched to the center of the fight for control of Congress.

Every June 5 primary you need to know about, including voting times, briefly explained

  Every June 5 primary you need to know about, including voting times, briefly explained There are primaries in eight states on Tuesday. Here’s what to watch for, and what time voting ends.Democrats are eyeing states such as California and New Jersey as major opportunities for taking back the House of Representatives, and a pair of new governors — Kay Ivey of Alabama and Kim Reynolds of Iowa — are engaged in their first races to hold on to their spots. Meanwhile, states like South Dakota and New Mexico are picking new governors as their current ones run up against term limits. And voters in Montana will scrutinize the slate of Republican candidates vying to face off against Sen. Jon Tester this fall. It’s sort of like Super Tuesday, but for 2018.

No state will be more consequential to the success or failure of a prospective blue wave this fall. Before then, Democrats must avoid self-inflicted wounds in Tuesday's so-called jungle primaries that feature a swarm of candidates who could cannibalize their own party's chances. Republicans face the embarrassing prospect of failing to nominate any candidates in Senate and gubernatorial races.

California tops a list of eight states holding primary contests on Tuesday.

With the possibility of a Democratic wave on the horizon, the elections from Montana to Alabama to New Jersey will test voter enthusiasm, candidate quality and President Donald Trump's influence as the 2018 political battlefield begins to settle.

'It's Trump's party now' and Republicans could pay in November .
<p>U.S. Representative Mark Sanford is the latest Republican to learn a tough lesson - challenging President Donald Trump can be political suicide.</p>The South Carolina Republican congressman's upset loss on Tuesday to a primary opponent who questioned his commitment to Trump, along with a recent setback for Trump critic Martha Roby in Alabama and the Senate nomination of a controversial anti-establishment Trump supporter in Virginia, reinforced the degree to which loyalty to Trump has become a party litmus test.

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