THE TARNISHED GOLDEN...

THE TARNISHED GOLDEN STATE. You've already heard that Brian Bilbray defeated Francine Busby to keep Duke Cunningham's seat in the Republican column. I'm with Byron York in finding fewer portents here than others have, but Mike Crowley makes a strong case for a deep, impenetrable gloom. Silver lining? This may lower expectations for Democrats in November.

Elsewhere in the Golden State, Phil Angelides beat former eBay executive Steve Westly for the Democratic Party's gubernatorial nomination. I've written on the virtues of Angelides before, but few to none of them were on display during this primary, which was so vicious and low that Markos blamed it for depressing Democratic turnout in the Busby race. I don't know if I buy that, but I don't know a Democrat in California whose enthusiasm and optimism for the upcoming fight against Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn't dampened beneath all the vigorously slung mud. As proof, Angelides is that rare non-incumbent who's entering the general with more voters disapproving than approving of him. Bright prospects indeed.

Additionally, Rob Reiner's universal preschool initiative looks headed for defeat. That's a shame -- of all the primaries and elections on tap yesterday, none of them would have done one-tenth the good of universal preschool. Unfortunately, Reiner and his initiative became embroiled in scandal, and California voters, long-weary of ballot initiatives, yawningly rejected the thing. Schwarzenegger, some will remember, really entered politics on the strength of his after-school programs initiative. Reiner, long considered a potential gubernatorial candidate, is probably finished after the defeat of his.

For more on yesterday�s results, be sure to check out Midterm Madness.

--Ezra Klein

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