Eight states held primary elections Tuesday, and returns indicate Democrats have a good shot of avoiding their worst fears in battleground California.
The results will play a major role in whether Republicans can defend their congressional majorities and stop Democrats from flipping the 23 seats needed to take the House. Just three of the states that held primaries on Tuesday — California, New Jersey and Iowa — will determine in large part whether Democrats in November can pick up the red seats they need to win a House majority.
California is one of the keys to Democrats' ambitions: The party is targeting as many as 10 Republican-held seats there. The state's primary system, which sends the top two candidates regardless of party to the general election, threatened to dash the party's hopes in some swing districts where several Democrats ran and split the vote.
While NBC News has not yet projected the two general election participants in the California swing districts, early results suggest Democrats could get a candidate into all of their targeted House general elections in the state.
The most populous American state started the process of selecting a new governor, as well. Liberal Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom won the gubernatorial primary, while John Cox, a businessman backed by President Donald Trump, will face off against him.
On the Senate side, Republicans picked a nominee in Montana, one of the GOP's top targets this year. State auditor Matt Rosendale is projected to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, according to NBC. Tester faces re-election in a state Trump won by about 20 points.
Here are some key results from Tuesday's primaries. (Note: As a high proportion of California voters cast absentee ballots, some races may not be decided for a few days).
In the closely watched Montana Senate race, vulnerable incumbent Tester ran unopposed among Democrats. On the Republican side, state Auditor Rosendale is projected to defeat former judge Russ Fagg, according to NBC News.
Trump won the state by about 20 percentage points in 2016. The president has repeatedly targeted Tester, in part for his role in the withdrawal of the president's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, White House physician Ronny Jackson.
Tester has voted with Trump's priorities less often than his Democratic colleagues running for re-election in other red states have. For example, he voted against the confirmations of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel.
GOP Rep. Martha Roby, running in Alabama's 2nd District primary, failed to garner 50 percent of the vote and was forced into a runoff with ex-congressman Bobby Bright, a former Democrat, the AP said. The runoff will take place in July.
Roby may have taken a hit from her reluctance to support Trump in a state where the president is popular. In 2016, she pulled her endorsement from Trump after the revelation of the "Access Hollywood" tape in which the president bragged about touching women without their consent.
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., won his primary, The Associated Press said. He earlier got a boost from Trump, who said the senator "has done everything necessary to Make America Great Again."
"He has my total support," the president wrote in a tweet.
Mississippi last had a Democrat in the Senate in 1989, according to the AP.
Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., won a contested primary for governor, according to the AP. If she wins in the red state, she would become the first woman to be its governor. She will face Democratic state Sen. Billie Sutton.
In New Mexico's potentially competitive 2nd District, attorney Xochitl Torres Small won the Democratic primary, according to the AP. State Rep. Yvette Herrell emerged on the GOP side, the AP said.
The seat was vacated by Republican Steve Pearce, a conservative Freedom Caucus congressman who ran unopposed in the GOP gubernatorial primary. He will face Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham in the gubernatorial race.