subscribe: Posts | Comments      Facebook      Email Steve

Keep your eye on these three Congressional districts in California



California is a big state, 800 miles north-to-south and 500 miles wide. Politically, the common wisdom is that the Coast is blue and inland is red. This is true, but there are pockets of blue inland and bastions of red on the coast.

There are 14 Republican members of Congress from California (plus 38 Democrats). There was a lot of pressure on these Repubs to vote against killing Obamacare, even in red districts, but in the end, all caved, and sided with Trump/Ryan. The GOP list follows, below; I include also the percentage by which each won in 2016.

The Coast, from the Oregon border down to L.A., is solidly blue, but below L.A. you come to Orange and San Diego counties. These are reliably conservative: white, Christian, older, affluent, with many retired military people. Their elected representatives naturally reflect their constituencies.

Of the fourteen Republicans, eleven appear immune to challenge by Democrats. Their 2016 pluralities ranged from Kevin McCarthy’s 69.2% to David Valladao’s 56.7%. It would appear to be futile for Democrats to invest in these districts in 2018.

Of the remaining three Republicans, two barely survived the 2016 election. Darrell Issa—one of the most violent Hillary bashers in the Congress, and that’s saying a lot—got only 50.3% of the vote in his Orange County district; it was the closest congressional race in the country.

Far to the northeast and inland, in the northern San Joaquin Valley city of Turlock, Jeff Denham did only slightly better, with 51.7% of the popular vote. A third Republican, Stephen Knight, was safer, with 53.1% of the vote in his north L.A./Ventura County district, but that is not insurmountable for a Democrat.

Issa is particularly vulnerable. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that his poll numbers fell by ten points following Trump’s election, and [his] support for President Donald Trump is likely one of the reasons…”. In another Union-Tribune article, following Thursday’s vote, the paper wrote about the violent reaction against Issa’s vote in his home town, noting that “speculation over what this vote means for Issa’s political future had already begun before Republicans celebrated in the White House Rose Garden.”

Jeff Denham also seems like he’s in trouble due to his support of Trumpcare. He was one of the infamous Republicans who heard plenty from their constituents during an April town meeting, where chants of “Do your job!” came from a “rowdy crowd.” Denham, the local Fox News affiliate reported, “struck a decidedly centrist posture, saying he’d work to protect…the Affordable Care Act.” But he voted to kill it. Many of the suburban voters in his district, some 100 miles east of San Francisco, work in the Bay Area, including Silicon Valley; they are likely to hold him to account. On Friday, his home town newspaper, the Turlock Journal, reported that a large number of comments on [Denham’s] Facebook page were condemning his actions.” Meanwhile, the nearby Modesto Bee, the biggest paper in the region, slammed Denham’s vote, accusing him of lying, and charging that “Denham…can’t cover up harm he’s done by voting to repeal ACA.”

Knight, in the 25th, also could face problems. Los Angeles and Ventura counties are pretty Democratic; the 25th is therefore an anomaly. An increasing percentage of Hispanics (35.3% and rising) comprises the population. The district hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1990, but the Republican winning percentage has been steadily dropping for years, from a high point of 74.6% in 1998 to Knight’s 53.1% last year. The Los Angeles Times called Knight possibly “California’s most endangered Republican,” and despite Knight’s narrow victory last year, there are now 3,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the district.

Republicans won the vote on repealing Obamacare by four votes, 217-213, meaning if three votes had shifted, the measure would have gone down. If Democrats can take these three districts—the 49th, 10th and 25th—next year, it’s likely they’ll pick up other Republican districts across the nation. That’s not enough for Democrats to take back the House—the current numbers are 238 Republicans and 193 Democrats. But it may be enough to keep other radical tea party bills from passing.


Jeff Denham – 10th district, Tracy/Manteca, 51.7%

Ken Calvert – 42nd district, Corona, 58.8%

Paul Cook – 8th district, Yucca Valley/Victorville, 62.3%

Duncan Hunter- 50th district, San Diego, 63.5%

Darrell Issa – 49th district, San Clemente/Oceanside, 50.3%

Steve Knight – 25th district, northern LA/Ventura, 53.1%

Doug LaMalfa – 1st district, Redding/Chico, 59.1%

Kevin McCarthy – 23rd district, southern San Joaquin Valley, 69.2%

Tom McClintock – 4th district, Sierra Foothills, 62.7%

Devin Nunes – 22nd district, Fresno/Tulare counties, 67.6%

Dana Rohrabacher – 48th district, Huntington Beach/Costa Mesa, 58.3%

Edward Royce – 39th district, Fullerton/Yorba Linda, 57.2%

David Valadao – 21st district, Fresno/Kern/Tulare counties, 56.7%

Mimi Walters – 45th district, Riverside County, 58.6%

Leave a Reply


Recent Comments

Recent Posts