Republicans show signs of strength in California House elections

With the final results of the midterm elections still uncertain, signs of Republican strength are showing up in California, a state widely known for one-party Democratic rule.

California’s heavy use of vote-by-mail means that races could remain uncalled for weeks, but Republicans are encouraged by the early returns, the Washington Examiner reported. 

California Republicans hopeful

Orange County Democratic Rep. Katie Porter appears to be in danger of losing to Republican Scott Baugh, and Democrat Mike Levin, in neighboring San Diego County, is also vulnerable.

President Biden had campaigned for Levin, whose district Biden won by double-digits, days before the midterm elections. Democrats had feared a red wave that didn’t show up in most of the country on Election Night.

Another close race is in California’s Central Valley, where Republican John Duarte and Democrat Adam Gray are nearly tied in a fight for a Democrat-leaning open seat.

“Wow! California may very well be the deciding factor in giving Republicans the House majority — or at least enough seats to have the ability to govern,” Carl DeMaio, chairman of the grassroots PAC Reform California, told the Examiner.

“Not only are we breaking even, we are likely to add not just one seat but maybe more.”

Republican strength in blue states

Much remains unclear, given the state’s extremely dilated voting process, but California Republicans’ wins appear to be limited to congressional districts. Uber-progressive governor Gavin Newsom handily won re-election.

Local Republicans insist California isn’t a lost cause, although they say the party’s gains could have been bigger this year with more turnout.

“There is a lot of blame that can go around. At the same time, there is a lot of opportunity here in California,” said Mark Meuser, Republican candidate who lost to Senator Alex Padilla.

It’s likely that Republicans have already flipped the House with their strong showing in deep blue New York, where Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, chair of the Democrats’ campaign committee, got dumped by voters in the Hudson Valley in a huge upset.

Republicans flipped three other House seats in the state and came within five points of unseating Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul.