Longtime Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein easily clinched a place in the election to extend her term in the Senate, but her competition is still up in the air as the "jungle primary" remains open. In the “jungle primary” system, the top two candidates from any party move on to the general election.
Here's how they stand
With two thirds of districts reporting early Wednesday morning, Feinstein, 84, garnered 43.5 percent of the vote, state Sen. Kevin de León was in second place with 11 percent, and Republican businessman James P. Bradley trailed with 9 percent of the vote.
Whoever takes second place will face Feinstein in the general election, and if de León stays ahead of Bradley, it will be a Democratic shutout of Republicans for the U.S. Senate seat.
Bradley appeared optimistic early Tuesday, tweeting, "With everyone active we can take first place not second. Feel the MAGA power!"
Feinstein failed to obtain the endorsement from the California Democratic Party, and although De León also missed the threshold, he shocked many by obtaining more votes than the incumbent for the endorsement.
Many have painted the race on the Democratic side as analogous to the Hillary Clinton primary battle against Bernie Sanders, with de León standing in for the idealistic far left alternative to the establishment liberal candidate.
A poll from a week before the election showed Feinstein firmly in control of the race with 36 percent of likely voters, with de León at 11 percent, and Bradley trailing at 7 percent.
One wrinkle that might make a difference in the tight race is a report that errors in balloting led to 118,000 names being left off the voter rolls in Los Angeles County.
De León noted the discrepancy on his social media account, and used it to encourage his supporters to show up at the polls.
Over 100,000 voters were accidentally left off voter rosters in Los Angeles County. If this is you STILL GO VOTE.… https://t.co/vFeQF4kQ6k— Kevin de Leόn (@Kevin de Leόn) 1528253164.0
Shutout avoided in California governor's race
Elsewhere in the primary elections in California, former San Francisco Mayor and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom easily won the top spot in the election for governorship. Republicans narrowly avoided a shutout in the election, and seized the No. 2 spot for John Cox.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was disappointed in his campaign to become the second Democrat on the ballot.
However, Democrats likely welcome the news — fighting a Democratic challenge would have cost the party millions, while it's widely expected that Newsom will easily defeat Cox in the increasingly liberal coastal state.