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An Uphill Battle in California

Democrats in California dodged one bullet yesterday when every one of the state’s congressional races in districts that stood some chance of flipping from red to blue ended up with a Republican facing off with a Democrat in the general election. The fear had been that the number of Democratic challengers in most of these districts would split the vote, leading to a runoff between two Republicans in the general election. That didn’t happen in any of the seven districts in play.

Despite this Democratic “victory,” the likelihood of flipping more than one of the districts is still a long shot. Only in District 49, Republican Darrell Issa’s old district composed of southern Orange County and Northern San Diego County, did the Democratic candidates actually win a majority of the votes and then, just barely (50.6%). The front runner was still the Republican, Diane Harkey, who beat her nearest competitor, Democrat Mike Levin by 8.4%, but the remaining Republican candidates behind Harkey only added another 22.8%, totaling 48.3%, which is behind the Democrats by a couple of points.

Republican candidates won in each of the other six districts and, in each one, the total votes for all Republican candidates was greater than the total votes for all Democratic candidates. It was close in some districts: in the Central Valley’s District 10, where Jeff Denham is the Republican incumbent, the Democrats trailed by 4.2%, in District 25, north of L.A., where Steve Knight is the incumbent Republican, the Republicans tallied 4.9% more votes than the Democrats. Republican Ed Royce retired from his office in Orange County’s 39thdistrict, but Republican Young Kim narrowly beat Democrat Gil Cisneros. The Republican total for that district was 0.3% greater than the Democratic total.

In South Orange County’s District 45,  Republican incumbent Mimi Walters appears to have the safest road to reelection, except for Republican David Valadao in the San Joaquin Valley’s 21stdistrict where he got 64% of the vote. As the only Republican in the primary in her district, Walters achieved 53.2% of the vote, compared to 19.9% for her nearest challenger, Democrat Katie Porter, and the Democratic total was only 44.4%. The race was somewhat closer in coastal Orange County District 48, where long-time incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher obtained 30.3% of the vote compared to 17.3% for his nearest competitor, Democrat Harley Rouda (who still is less than 100 votes ahead of his rival Democrat, Hans Keirstead). The Republican total in district 48 was 53%, while the Democrats together garnered 46.1% of the vote.

Democrats have an uphill battle on their hands to win formerly solid Republican districts from their incumbent opponents or new Republican challengers. In all of these districts, registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats, so enthusiasm and get out the vote campaigns will have to squeeze every available Democratic vote from the districts’ residents – or recruit new Democratic voters and independents between now and the general election.

Reader Comments (4)

I have literally no idea why anyone in California would want to elect more Democrats. They’e turned the state into a third-world, dysfunctional, bankrupt hellhole. California has gone from being a beacon of positive progressivism to a symbol of chaotic perversion. It’s no wonder that half the people in the state want to leave.

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark Wheeler

Rich people moving in, poor people moving out.

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCasey Dorman

6.1 billion budget surplus right now.

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCasey Dorman

Your state is well noted for its accounting gimmicks and understated debt. California is operating like a typical third-world country.....a small but powerful economic elite and an underserved, destitute serf class. Your middle class is being siphoned off by neighboring states. Really, who wouldn’t want to leave a state where basic communication is hindered by the fact that tens of millions of people don’t speak the same language?

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark Wheeler

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