Democrats Reportedly In Danger Of Losing California Special Election
For more than two decades, the Democratic Party has dominated the state of California, but a major opening seems to have appeared for the GOP. According to a new report from Politico, Republicans have a good chance of capturing the state’s 25th Congressional District.
Left vacant by former Democratic congresswoman Katie Hill — who resigned last year amid allegations of inappropriate relationships with staffers — the seat is now competitive. Republican Mike Garcia, a former Naval aviator, is apparently well-positioned to beat state Assemblywoman Christy Smith, the Democratic Party’s candidate.
Private polling reportedly indicates that the race will be very close, which is why Democrats have been lowering expectations and insisting that the November rematch will offer a more realistic picture of the electorate. Republicans, on the other hand, allegedly hope that the district’s uncharacteristically older, less diverse electorate is ready to embrace the GOP.
“We don’t underestimate how much of a Republican-leaning district this could be in May, but that will be a different electorate in November. We don’t get in this to lose a race, but I do think that in November, Christy will be successful,” California Rep. Pete Aguilar said.
According to a Democratic consultant, California’s 25th Congressional District is not as unique as it seems. “It is similar to many of the districts that we won in the fall. This was an anti-Trump response district, and if we’re ebbing in those districts we need to find out why. We can’t just brush it off,” the consultant said.
As Politico notes, the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the district by seven points when she ran against President Donald Trump. Furthermore, polling suggests that the president is as unpopular in the seemingly competitive district as elsewhere in California, with his favorability ratings deep in the negative territory.
Trump recently endorsed Garcia, and now he is weighing in on the race. On Saturday, the president accused the Democratic Party of rigging the election. In a series of tweets, he accused the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, of changing rules to accommodate Smith.
According to Trump and his Republican allies, Newsom was in favor of mail-in voting, but now he has opened polling places, even though businesses are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. “They are trying to steal another election. It’s all rigged out there,” Trump tweeted.
As CBS News reported, Newsom signed an executive order to ensure that every voter in California is automatically mailed a ballot for the November presidential election.