What California’s Political Crystal Ball Tells Us – POLITICO

Every two years, the primaries provide a wonderful opportunity to look ahead and take a look at the results of the fall elections. This crystal ball moment comes courtesy of the California front-two main system. Add up the overall Democratic vote and the overall Republican vote in each House primary, and you get a pretty solid picture of what the general election will look like — with the Democratic vote typically serving as the party’s floor in November.

In 213 California congressional races from 2012 to 2020 that featured a Democrat and a Republican, the median race saw Democrats gain 2.1 percentage points from the overall primary, while Republicans lost half a point.. In total, the Democrats won in nearly two-thirds of the races. If you just look at 2012-2018 — a reasonable thing to consider, since the 2020 presidential nominating contest pushed Democratic engagement to an unusual and unbalanced degree against Republicans in that year’s primary — Democrats improved from Primary to General in 74% of races. The median gain for Democrats in those years was 3.3 points, while the median decline for Republicans was 1.6 points.

Given these facts, here’s what the 2022 California primaries told us about the 2022 general election. — with the caveat that there are still a handful of votes left to count in a few state jurisdictions:

– Battleground Orange County may fire all incumbents. It wouldn’t be unprecedented for any of the four battleground districts touching Orange County to flip — but it would have to be a big change from the primary. Republicans won 57% and 59%, respectively, in the primaries for Reps. Michelle Steel and Young Kim’s districts. Democrats, meanwhile, broke through the majority bar in Rep. Katie Porter’s and Rep. Mike Levin’s districts.

Keep an eye out for GOP Rep. Ken Calvert. Let’s start this one with a caveat: Nothing about the political environment so far this election cycle suggests that Democrats should be competing to unseat Trump +1 districts, like Calvert’s CA-41. And yet the 15-term Republican congressman faced talk through 2021 and early 2022 over GOP challengers, then he got just 52.8% combined with the other Republican. in the June election. Democrat Will Rollins, the former federal prosecutor who stepped forward through November alongside Calvert, tried to kick off the race in nonpartisan terms, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

— Rep. Mike Garcia lives on the razor’s edge again. One of 2020’s closest House races could head in that direction again – with the same cast of characters, too. Garcia, the Republican incumbent, and two other GOP candidates collectively secured a dangerous 50.4 percent in the primary. Democrat Christy Smith has already lost twice to Garcia, but is back for another try in November.

– Representative of the GOP. David Valadao has already done the hardest part. The congressman saw Republican competition (some of which was bolstered by interference from Democrats) after he voted to impeach Donald Trump last year, though he will face a tough race against the lawmaker. State Democrat Rudy Salas in the fall. However, Valadao and the other Republicans obtained nearly 55% in the primary. The Democrats overcame a bigger primary deficit to beat Valadao in 2018, but that was of course a completely different political environment. Salas has his work cut out to close the gap in November.

What does all of this mean for the country as a whole? Good question! Even though California looks less promising than other places, Republicans can still ride an election spree — that’s exactly what they did in 2014. And some of these districts could defy historical precedent, too. strong as it is, under pressure from a large GOP political environment. Or, it’s possible it means we’re overestimating what the beautiful political environment really means for the GOP on the ground.

Luckily, we soon have another data point to help us sort it all out: Washington State’s multiparty primaries in August. Stay tuned.

Send all your electoral advice and information to:[email protected] Where @PoliticoScott.

Days until Maryland primaries: 14

Days to Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington primaries: 28

Days before general election: 126

Days until World Cup 2022: 138

Days until 2024 election: 854

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