House Republicans got a big break under California’s new primary system Tuesday, after Democrats failed to get a candidate into the general election for Rep. Gary Miller’s (R-Calif.) swing district. Under the new system, the top two candidates in an open field make the general election, regardless of party. So while Miller (27 percent) and Dutton (25 percent) split up about half the vote, four Democrats on the ballot split up the other half into smaller pieces. The result: The seat will stay Republican this fall.
It was hardly the only race where the state’s congressional delegation got a little shaken up though. The new primary system, combined with a citizen-drawn redistricting map, has put many of the state’s incumbents into tough races.