The Midterms: California

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

Today, we look at California and its 53 Congressional districts which currently favors the Democrats 40-13.  However, two of those 13 GOP seats are open races.


Most of the action will be at the Congressional level, but there is an open gubernatorial race and Diane Feinstein seeks another term in the Senate.  In that race, she faces a fellow Democrat since California uses a top two primary system regardless of party.  Expect the Chinese Communist spy lover to win another term.

In the gubernatorial race, Gavin Newsom, the Lt. Governor and former mayor of San Francisco, has been having wet dreams of being Governor since before he was a mayor.  He faces Republican businessman John Cox on the GOP side who has the support and endorsement of Trump.  Unfortunately, we are talking about California here and anything favored by Trump is likely disregarded.  Cox is expected to lose in this liberal mecca and keeping it under 10 points could be considered a victory for the GOP.

In those Congressional races, Democratic hopes to retake the House run through a few select states and California is one of them.  The first race of interest is in the 10th District where GOP incumbent Jeff Denham faces Josh Harder on the Democratic side.  Available polling shows a tough race for Denham in this district based in the northern San Joaquin valley.  However, Denham has been targeted before, most recently in 2016, when he managed a 17-point victory.

Another often targeted Republican is David Valadeo in the 21st District and perhaps other Republicans can take a cue from him on how to win in heavy Latino population districts elsewhere.  Realizing they have little chance of unseating him, the DCCC has canceled a considerable ad-buy while the NRCC is reserving some time for the final week of the campaign.  They tried attacking Valadeo for voting with Trump “99% of the time,” but those attacks fell on deaf ears.


Devin Nunes is being opposed by Democrat Andrew Janz who has the support of several Hollywood moonbats.  Nunes is Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and has been instrumental in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax being perpetrated on the country by the Democrats.  Although the Fresno Bee has endorsed Nunes for every recent election, this year they are throwing their support behind Janz.  Thus far, the Democratic attacks against Nunes coupled with his recent attacks on the media have put him at an average of an 8.8 advantage in available polling.

This is an important race since Nunes has been quite instrumental in looking into so-called deep state operatives attempting what amounts to a bureaucratic coup against Trump.  Keeping Nunes in office and Republicans in control of the House is vitally important to keep that coup from coming to fruition.

Here’s a rarity for you:  Republican Justin Fareed actually has a chance of victory against freshman Democratic incumbent Salud Carbahal in the 24th District.  A surprise GOP victory here would go a long way in thwarting Democratic wishes of taking back the House come 2019.

Another Republican regularly targeted is Steven Knight in the 25th District, but this time he is on the offensive.  A ballot question this year may be the saving grace for him.  His opponent is Katie Hill, a California state legislator, who voted to increase California’s gasoline tax.  Proposition 6 would repeal that increase and Knight is hoping that this will motivate conservative voters in the District. We do have available polling information showing a close race, but Knight should prevail in this northern LA county-based district that also includes Ventura County.


Moving to the open 39th District that covers parts of LA, Orange and San Bernardino counties, the seat is being vacated by Republican Ed Royce.  On the GOP side is Yung Kim opposed by Democrat Gil Cisneros.  Charges of sexual harassment dominated this race with the GOP side doing the accusing.  They arise out of allegations by a woman named Melissa Fazli involving Cisneros at the DNC Convention in Philadelphia.  In the primary, many of his Democratic opponents said the charges could not be ignored.  Cisneros became the Democratic candidate to succeed Royce in the primary and now those Democratic critics have gone silent.

Regardless, Cisneros and Fazli have since met and Fazli has agreed to cease the allegations against him.  This one is a tough one to prognosticate with polls all over the place.  At the height of the allegations, Cisneros looked like a goner with this seat being retained by the GOP.  Since Fazli dropped the allegations and conservative groups have ceased running ads of that nature, Kim has been touting her credentials as a bipartisan candidate who is not a patsy for Trump.  Without an incumbent running, this has become a legitimate swing district.  One should not be surprised if Cisneros emerges the victor.

One GOP incumbent who seems in legitimate danger of defeat is Mimi Walters in the 45th District.  The Democrats and their candidate Katie Porter have been hammering Walters over her support for Trump’s tax bill.  Realtors in particular, fearing the cap on property tax deductions will hurt their business, have gone all in for Porter.  Still and all, available polling shows a close race with Walters trailing by only 1.4 points despite the headwinds she faces in this Orange County-based seat, once a GOP bastion in southern California.  Incumbency should count for something and I am not ready to put this one in the Democratic column.


In the 48th, GOP incumbent Dana Rohrabacher has repeatedly been accused of being Vladimir Putin’s greatest defender in Congress.  Recently, he endorsed Gracey Larrea-Van Der Mark for a school board seat in Huntington Beach.  Since then, YouTube videos have surfaced of Larrea-Van Der Mark expressing beliefs about a Holocaust hoax.  Democratic hopes are high here and polling shows the GOP incumbent down by a precarious 2.6 points.  His days may indeed be numbered and if he emerges victorious, it will be a very close race indeed.

Republican incumbent Darrel Issa is vacating the San Diego area 49th District which features Democrat Mark Levin taking on Diane Harkey for the Republicans in an opportunity to succeed him.  Democrats are feeling good about their prospects here and have cut advertising back dramatically.  In 2012, this district went to Romney with 52% of the vote but swung to Clinton in 2016 with 51% of the vote.  That is too huge a swing to ignore.  Surprisingly, Trump has waded in to support Harkey.  Perhaps he hopes to fire up the base with his endorsement, but some polls show Trump particularly unpopular in this district.  Knowing the move risky, the day after the endorsement, Harkey fired off a Tweet noting her endorsement from… a fire department, not Trump.  With some reliable polling in this District, Harkey may be too under water at this point to keep it in GOP hands.

The race in the 50th District is one hell of a race.  Republican incumbent Duncan Hunter was recently indicted for alleged campaign finance violations; namely, he used campaign funds for personal expenses.  To his credit, he saved Paul Ryan the embarrassment of removing him from committee assignments by voluntarily leaving them until the charges are resolved.  Hence, the Democrats believe they have the chance to take this district.


However, Hunter is not going down without a fight.  He has attacked his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar as being part of an Islamic terrorist plot to infiltrate the government and Congress.  Campa-Najjar’s grandfather, who died 16 years before he was born, was part of the Palestinian terrorist group that killed Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.  While the Democrats are crying foul over alleged xenophobia and Islamophobia, the accusations seem to have hit a chord.  As a result, Hunter actually sports a 5.5 advantage in polling thus far which, when coupled with incumbency, is good news for the GOP.

If the Democrats are willing to engage in fear-mongering, it is nice to see the GOP responding in kind, even from an indicted incumbent on spurious charges.  Quite frankly, voters care little about the nuances of campaign finance law.

In the end, this writer sees two seats flipping for the Democrats in 2018- Mimi Walters in the 45th and the open seat in the 49th.  At the start of this cycle, I believe the Democrats were looking for more gains out of California than these two seats.  This has to be seen as a small victory for the GOP keeping damage to a minimum.

After this entry, the numbers stand as follows:

US Senate 44-28 Republican, US House 120-113 Republican and Governors 25-11 Republican.

Tomorrow: Maine


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