California Democratic Party special counsel, Coby King, left, with former party Chairman John Burton. Photo: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Democrats have one goal in 2018: win the House back. But California's 39th district is a case study in what can go wrong when the national party gets involved in local races.

The Democratic divide: The DCCC backs Gil Cisneros, one of six Democratic candidates. The California Teachers Association (the state's largest teachers union with 325,000 members who've spent millions on races in the past) announced its support for Mai Khanh Tran today. And the Bernie Sanders-aligned Our Revolution PAC backs Andy Thorburn.

Why this matters: Democrats could be locked out of the general election in CA-39 altogether — and one step further from winning the House — if Democratic energy and resources are divided among three candidates in a state with a top-two primary system.

  • Yes, but: It is valid for the national party groups to try to get some candidates to drop out of crowded primaries to increase their challenges. They're just not unified.

The problem: The DCCC has already been criticized for elevating Cisneros over Tran — a California pediatrician endorsed by EMILY's List — for the perception that they "encourage all women to run and to speak up, and on the other side they prefer self-funded millionaires over any women [in the race]," Tran's campaign manager told ABC News.

What they're doing: The DCCC is running a new TV ad campaign today through May 14 in CA-39, which is considered the most competitive in the state to replace retiring Rep. Ed Royce. The ads attack two second-tier Republican candidates, instead of other Democrats, likely as a way to split the Republican votes so no two GOP candidates earn higher votes than Democratic candidates.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

The top-selling drugs in the U.S. in 2019

Data: IQVIA, company financial documents; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The 10 highest-selling drugs in the U.S. last year gave away more than $23 billion in rebates to insurance intermediaries, but still netted almost $58 billion in sales.

The big picture: The U.S. drug pricing system is filled with confusing numbers, and many entities profit off the flow of drugs, but pharmaceutical companies retain a vast majority of the proceeds.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

America's flying blind on its coronavirus response

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A month after the Trump administration changed how hospital data is reported, the public release of this data "has slowed to a crawl," the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: This is the latest example of how the world's wealthiest country just can't get it together.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pandemic plunges U.K. into "largest recession on record"

The scene near the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England in the City of London, England. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom slumped into recession as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: Per an ONS statement, "It is clear that the U.K. is in the largest recession on record." The U.K. has faired worse than any other major European economy from coronavirus lockdowns, Bloomberg notes. And finance minister Rishi Sunak warns the situation is likely to worsen.