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Voters Turned Out In 8 States For Primary Elections


All right. So of course there were all kinds of - there was all kinds of focus on the state of California. But let's broaden this out and talk about the primary results outside of California with NPR congressional reporter Kelsey Snell. Hey, Kelsey.


MARTIN: All right. Other big takeaways from all the races?

SNELL: Well, one of the big takeaways that we've been talking about week after week after week is that women are doing very well in Democratic primaries and in Republican primaries. There seems to be a trend that voters want new faces, and they want women. And it's something that the Democrats are possibly better positioned to provide for them. They have a lot more women candidates. But that means that at the end of the day, there will be more women in Congress next year.

MARTIN: What about Donald Trump, President Trump? What was his influence in these races yesterday?

SNELL: Yeah, that's another trend that we have been seeing in a lot of races in Republican districts is that it doesn't help Republicans to be against this president. That was particularly obvious in Alabama with Congresswoman Martha Roby, who has now been forced into a runoff after she pointedly said she wasn't going to vote for the president. She spent a lot of time in recent months trying to bring herself closer to him, but voters there have her now in a runoff, like I said, with somebody who used to be a Democrat, somebody who voted for Nancy Pelosi for speaker once. So this is an odd position for her to be in.

MARTIN: What are the issues that people are talking about? I mean, you have been out talking to voters in some of these states where these primary elections were held. What drew people to the polls do you think?

SNELL: Yeah. I was out in California, one of the places I was last week, talked to dozens of voters. And Republicans and Democrats alike all mentioned health care. That may have fallen out of some of the national conversation as we think of it, but it is at the top of their minds. Something that's not at the top of their minds is Russia. They just didn't bring it up as the thing that's bringing them to the polls for the most part.

MARTIN: The Russia investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller.

SNELL: Yeah. They're more worried about local issues like building bridges and if somebody is going to be able to advocate for environmental issues and make sure that they, you know, have the tax situation that they're interested in. So this has not really been as much about these big national political conversations that we're seeing on TV and in other places in these older voters' minds, at least yet. Things could change. This is a primary, not the general.

MARTIN: Right. All right. Kelsey Snell, she covers Congress for NPR. Thanks, Kelsey.

SNELL: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.
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