California's June 7 primary excitement is in down-ballot battles.

Gov. Gavin Newsom scarcely campaigned before the June 7 primary. Alex Padilla, whom Newsom appointed less than two years ago, should easily pass.

With California's flagship elections lacking drama, people may have trouble motivating themselves to vote in lesser contests that might affect Congress and state criminal justice legislation.

After Newsom beat back a recall, Republican political consultant Kevin Spillane said, "The gubernatorial election seems like an afterthought."

Low-intensity mood threatens to reduce June turnout to regular voters and diehard partisans, benefiting Republicans. The acrimonious election for Los Angeles mayor might counteract that.

One in ten people who are registered to vote in the state live in Los Angeles, and the vast majority of them are Democrats.

Low voting participation contrasts with California distributing ballots to all 22 million registered voters. These votes may go unopened by presidential election voters.

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California's June 7 primary excitement is in down-ballot battles.