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Analysis: No, Democrats haven't shown they're going to win the House

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© Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Image: Jeff DenhamDenham isn't out of the woods yet.

By Jonathan Allen, NBC News
WASHINGTON

The lesson of Tuesday night's primaries for Democrats: They still have a lot of work to do if they want to win control of the House in November.

They managed to avert the total disaster of getting "locked out" of general election contests in California, where candidates of all parties compete against each other in primaries and the top two vote-getters advance to the final round.

But they didn't look particularly impressive in doing it.

In several of the state's most competitive districts — the kinds of races Democrats will have to win if they are to take charge in the House — Republicans collected more than half the vote.

And in this moment of constant chatter about an "enthusiasm gap" benefiting Democrats in November, California provides a rare barometer for the general election, both because the two parties match up head-to-head in its primary system and because a significant chunk of the nation's swing districts are located in the state.

In the 10th District, which is rated as a "tossup" by the Cook Political Report, GOP Rep. Jeff Denham — one of the top Democratic targets in the country — grabbed just 38 percent of the vote.

Normally, that would be dead-man-walking territory for an incumbent, and cause for the other party to start popping champagne corks. But another Republican, Ted Howze, siphoned 14 percent of the vote. Together, he and Denham accounted for 52 percent.

Republican Rep. Steve Knight, whose 25th District is on all the lists of most-likely to swing, picked up 53 percent of the vote Tuesday against four Democratic rivals.

That doesn't mean Democratic nominees Josh Harder and Katie Hill can't beat Denham and McKnight in their respective districts in November. But the Republican majorities on Tuesday do serve as a reminder that the GOP holds the political high ground in the battle for the House.

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Politics - U.S. Daily News: Analysis: No, Democrats haven't shown they're going to win the House
Analysis: No, Democrats haven't shown they're going to win the House
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