Wall Street Journal

The Scene:

As results from Tuesday’s primaries are filtering in, we will now begin to see whether Democrats’ optimism for a “blue wave” midterm season will prove fruitful. Political aficionados are looking to the California primaries in particular, as California's top-two system allows the top two vote-getters (regardless of party) advance to the general election. These early results will set the tone for the 2018 electoral season.

The Takes:

Berkeley Daily Californian: Annalise Kamegawa wonders if “writers, politicians, and policymakers factored in real people” when drafting new Bay Area infrastructure measures.

  • She thinks that “as they built the plans for expanding BART lines and express lanes, they didn’t seem to make a plan for those commuters who’d have to find other ways of getting to work.”
  • Regional Measure 3, for example, would add roughly $16 in daily tolls to commuters with “very little mention of people like the local bodega owners who cross into Berkeley” each work day.

University of Iowa Daily Iowan: Sarah Watson covers the “record-setting day for turnout” in the Iowa state primaries.Iowans broke the prior turnout record by nearly 50,000 votes, a record “likely due to a host of competitive races and perhaps Democrats being motivated to vote.”

• She quotes a state official who noted that “the real test [of voter turnout] is going to be next year” when Iowa’s new photo-ID requirement takes full effect. While the law’s soft launch allowed voters to either show ID or sign an oath of verification this year, identification will be mandatory in 2019 and beyond.

The Bottom Line:

The next few days will provide the first signs into the 2018 electoral season. Republicans are touting legislative victories, namely major tax cuts, as a reason for voters to maintain Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Democrats, on the other hand, argue that increased polarization and political gridlock warrant leadership changes. Democrats have history on their side, as opposition parties generally make significant gains in midterm elections.