Fierce race in California could decide control of US House of Representatives

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s House elections are in a series of premature races that may decide whether Republicans take the lead or Democrats stay in power.

Uncertainty remains in about 12 of the state’s 52 House elections, as millions of votes are yet to be counted Wednesday across the nation’s most populous state. The strength was in the Los Angeles area and the Central Valley Farm Belt.

In Southern California, Democrats Katie Porter and Mike Levin ran a tight race. President Joe Biden’s A late-night campaign swing on their behalf. East of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Ken Calvert trailed Democrat Will Her Rollins by 12 points, but he received less than one-third of the expected votes. I did.

In the Central Valley, Republican Rep. David Baradao, who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump, won 54% of the vote so far in his campaign against Democrat Rudy Salas, but he won most of the vote. had not yet been counted. Four years ago, Valadao failed to run for re-election. After witnessing a sizeable lead evaporate as late-arriving mail-in ballots on Election Day were tallied. He regained his seat in 2020.

If Democrats beat Calvert and win other contests that are leading or slightly behind, this year 2018 echoes, When the Republicans won the seven Republican-held California seats en route to retaking the House.

But if Calvert persists and the Republicans oust Porter and Levin and get a vacant seat in Central California, the scenario goes something like this. Similar to 2020, When Republican House candidates stole four seats in a state where registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by almost two to one.

“It’s hard to say whether California is a political vanguard or an island,” said Thad Coosar, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, because voting is still taking place in key elections. increase.

If Democrats can retain Porter and Levin’s seats and oust Calvert, “this red ripple across the country will become a reverse blue ripple,” he added.

More broadly, California largely followed liberal trends on Election Day. Republican Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Alex Padilla were easily re-elected, and voters overwhelmingly supported them. Abortion rights enshrined in state constitutions And the legislature remained firmly in the hands of the Democrats.

Democrats also appeared to be well positioned to take control of all positions statewide. I haven’t won.

The slight potential for change reflected the political climate in the country, where predictions of a Republican “wave” sweeping Congress into firm Republican control had not materialized. Republicans were nearing a small House majority Control of the Senate will be decided in a close race between Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.

After spending over $24 million to win a third term, Porter’s loss is surprising. She is a star of the party’s progressive wing, a prolific fundraiser with a national following, and is frequently mentioned as a future US Senate candidate.

With about half the votes, she was effectively tied with Republican Scott Boe. relentlessly criticized her for soaring gasoline and food prices In closely divided coastal districts with conservative streaks. Porter stepped up to protect reproductive rights after the Supreme Court overturned his Roe v. Wade decision.

Calvert, the longest-serving Republican on the California legislative delegation, was first elected in 1992.

His support from Trump has gone to newly reshaped neighborhoods, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, including liberal Palm Springs, which is home to many transplanted Los Angeles residents and LGBTQ voters. posed a challenge.

In a well-established constituency in San Diego County, Levin engaged in a bitter rivalry with Republican Brian Marriott. Bryan Marriott also focused on a top voter concern nationwide: the pocketbook issue. Biden campaigned on his behalf just days before Election Day.

california republican Believed that up to five congressional districts in the state could change their ways — Very likely to give Republicans the gavel of the House in midterm election years, when voters usually punish the party that holds the White House. He is expected to succeed Congressman Pelosi.

Democrats hoped to regain the four surrendered seats in 2020 and increase their dominance in state legislative delegations. Republicans hold just 11 of her 53 seats in the state, which will drop to her 52 next year as California’s once-boomful population growth stalls.

One of the closest races was for the Free Seat, the 13th District of the Central Valley, which has a strong democratic tendency and a large Latino population. But the most likely voters tend to be white, older, wealthy homeowners, and working-class voters, including many Latinos, are inconsistent in their votes. Duarte and Democrat Adam Gray were nearly evenly matched.

In the Democratic-leaning neighborhood north of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Mike Garcia led Democrat Kristy Smith by 15 points for the third consecutive time. Garcia won the previous two.