This is a big night for primary results, with elections today in 11 states. South Carolina and Virginia will be the first polls to close at 7 p.m. Eastern, and that’s when we will start live-blogging results on FDL Elections. The 11 states and their closing times are listed here. Don’t forget to vote!
The big race is the Democratic Senate primary runoff in Arkansas between Bill Halter and incumbent Blanche Lincoln. The election has become a flash point about accountability, the direction of the party and anti-Washington anger. FDL has a page dedicated to the race.
The other two big Senate elections are the Republican primaries in Nevada and California. Here is a summary of the three major Senate contests. Swing State Project has a good look at the dozens of interesting races to watch this evening.
In addition to the primaries, I’m also going to focus on several important ballot initiatives in California.
Today might be the last time voters in California get to elect their party’s official nominee in a primary if they vote yes on Prop. 14. The so-called top-two primary, if approved, would take away the ability of parties to select their nominees for the general election. It would produce a runoff election system with a long gap between the primary and the general. The measure could produce a host of problems and will likely make running for office even more expensive, which is probably why the California Chamber of Commerce supports it.
Prop. 15 would be a small step toward public financing of elections in California. It creates a pilot program for the Secretary of State races but more important, makes it easier to adopt public financing laws. It is a tiny step to curb the political power of corporate money, so no surprise—the Chamber opposes it.
Prop. 16 is a pure disgusting power grab by Pacific Gas & Electric, and the utility has spent millions on it. If Prop. 16 passes, it would become harder for local entities to form municipal utilities, by creating a two-thirds vote requirement. It is a move by PG&E to protect it against competition from local “public options” for utilities. Again, the California Chamber of Commerce is supporting this corporate profit protection measure.