California’s Primary Election Is Today

Welcome to Super Tuesday.

California and 14 other states are casting ballots for presidential nominees and many down-ballot races today, on the busiest day of the primary season.

California, which used to hold its primaries in June, switched in 2020 to holding primaries in presidential election years in March in the hope of increasing the state’s influence on the national outcome. But that part of the primary is a little anticlimactic this year, with President Biden and Donald Trump already on glide paths to secure their parties’ nominations. (You can follow nationwide Super Tuesday results and the latest developments here.)

What’s likely to be more interesting this time are the many other races and questions on the California ballot.

Voters will have their say on State Assembly and State Senate candidates, and on a ballot measure championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that would finance mental health treatment in the state. And congressional races in the state could help determine control of the U.S. House, where Republicans now have only a seven-seat majority.

California’s delegation currently has 40 Democrats, 11 Republicans and one vacant seat. And 10 of the 74 most competitive House races in the nation are in California, according to the Cook Political Report, including several in the Central Valley and Orange County.

The two top vote-getters in each race today, regardless of party, will compete in the general election — effectively a runoff — in November. This CalMatters tool lets you find your district and see whether it has a competitive race.

The most-watched race in the primary, though, is the statewide one for the U.S. Senate seat that was held for more than three decades by Dianne Feinstein. Many observers had been expecting Representatives Adam Schiff, Democrat of Burbank, and Katie Porter, Democrat of Orange County, to come in first and second today and then face off in November, but Steve Garvey, a former professional baseball player who is running as a Republican, is now a serious threat to overtake Porter for second place.

Now, for how you can vote in the primary election:

The state has sent vote-by-mail ballots to all 22 million registered voters, so if you are among the 83 percent of eligible Californians who are signed up to vote, you should have received yours by now. Completed ballots can be handed in at secure drop-off locations no later than 8 p.m. today, or they can be returned by mail, with a postmark no later than March 5.

Or, as always, you can vote in person. Find a polling place near you.


What are the best California movies? “Chinatown”? “Vertigo”? “La La Land”?

Tell us which movie you would put on a California movie list and why. Email us at CAtoday@nytimes.com. Please include your full name and the city in which you live.


California has many popular attractions and famous vistas, from the wide beaches of Los Angeles to the sloping streets of San Francisco. But the state’s thousands of square miles of terrain also contain many lesser-known destinations with beautiful views and interesting cultural attractions worthy of exploration.

Chelsee Lowe, a writer and a Central Valley native, recently rounded up California’s most underrated destinations for the travel magazine Travel & Leisure. Written from the perspective of a lifelong Californian, her guide spotlights 10 locations that are often overlooked and that offer something special, including picturesque views, outdoor activities and local culinary specialties.

First on the list is San Luis Obispo, which has seaside views, rolling hills and many vineyards offering wine tastings all just three hours from Los Angeles by car. Lowe also recommends Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra Nevada, which is known for its ski slopes, but offers scenic hiking trails in the summer as well.

The list includes locations across the state, but be prepared to do some driving. “Getting there is half the fun,” Lowe wrote. See the full list here.


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Maia Coleman and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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