The following results in the California primary reflect totals as of 7 AM on Wednesday.
- Newsom 33.3%
- Cox 26.2%
- Villaraigosa 13.5%
- Feinstein 43.8%
- deLeon 11.3%
In most races, top-two produced the same result as a closed primary: a Republican and a Democrat. Contrary to the hopes of supporters of the procedure, it usually did not lead to the nomination of more centrists. Villaraigosa was to the right of Newsom, but he had little appeal to Republicans and moderate independents.
Clarification: 459 Leg and Cong races under top two since ‘12. Only CD 31 in ‘12 was two Reeps in a Dem seat. The fear is overblown. @markzbarabak https://t.co/7DYliXrHLG— Garry South (@GarrySouth) June 5, 2018
Top-two did not generally change outcomes, but it did change tactics.
- Newsom wanted Cox to finish second, figuring that he would be easy to beat in November. In TV ads and text messages targeting Republican voters, he “attacked” Cox’s ties to Trump, thereby trying to motivate Trump supporters to vote for him.
- In the Rohrabacher district, Democrats successfully tried to prevent a shutout by attacking Republican Scott Baugh. They also did robocalls supporting another Republican in hope of siphoning GOP votes from Baugh.
- Democrats tried to cull the herd: they discouraged certain candidacies in hopes of consolidating support and avoiding shutowns.