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Politics Podcast: Incumbents Struggled In The June 7 Primaries

On Tuesday, seven states held primary contests — California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew breaks down what the results in those states mean.

Overall, more moderate candidates were able to win against challengers from the right (Republicans) and left (Democrats), although there was a sizable protest vote in some instances.

Contests in California served as a test of the strength of progressive appeals in a very blue state’s big cities. Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled in a landslide, and former Republican Rick Caruso advanced to the Los Angeles mayoral general election alongside Democratic Rep. Karen Bass. There were a couple surprises throughout the night, notably in Iowa, where once-rising Democratic star Abby Finkenauer lost the Senate primary to Mike Franken. The question, of course, remains whether a Democrat has any chance of winning a statewide election in a state that has swung decisively to the right.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.

Sarah Frostenson is FiveThirtyEight’s former politics editor.

Geoffrey Skelley is a senior elections analyst at FiveThirtyEight.

Nathaniel Rakich is a senior editor and senior elections analyst at FiveThirtyEight.