Top of the ballot: Change is back

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D) should start updating his resume, the Reid family has a few things to celebrate in Nevada and Prop 14 passed in California, clearing the way for two people to ... appear on the same ballot after a primary.

What's old is new again

Former Gov. Terry Branstad won a comfortable victory in last night's Republican gubernatorial primary, setting up a general-election contest with Culver.

Having taken a comfortable 50 percent of the vote in the primary, Branstad should have little trouble consolidating his base and mounting an aggressive campaign against the first-term Democrat.

Culver is considered one of the most endangered governors in the country. A recent Public Policy Polling survey had Branstad leading the Democrat 52 to 37 percent among Iowa voters.

The former four-term governor is billing himself as a change agent. "To those businesses struggling to make the next payroll; to workers hunting for good work, for good jobs; to those communities fighting to stay alive; to those families hoping for a better education for their kids, I say, change is coming," Branstad said Tuesday night.

Reid 'em and weep

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wasn't the only member of his family celebrating Tuesday.

Reid's son Rory, chairman of the Clark County Commission, secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Nevada. He'll face former federal Judge Brian Sandoval (R) in the general.

Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) became the first incumbent governor in Nevada history to lose reelection in his party primary. He was burdened by low approval ratings and personal scandal.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid gets to face Republican Sharron Angle in November. Of the three front-runners for the GOP Senate nod, Angle raised the least in the first quarter of this year.

Sure, that can pick up, and she'll have the support of outside groups. But Reid has to be pleased he avoided a better-funded challenger.

Two for one

California voters passed Proposition 14 with 54 percent of the vote Tuesday, dramatically altering how party nominees will be picked in the next cycle.

Known as the open primary measure, it will give every voter the same ballot in primary elections for most state and federal offices, except the presidential race, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The two candidates with the most votes would advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

Supporters of the measure said it will give voters more choice — the same practice is used in Louisiana — but opponents said they plan to fight it in court.

One downside: It may make campaigns more expensive, although that sounds hard to imagine after Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman burned through more than $100 million in the GOP gubernatorial primary.