Dem 51
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GOP 49
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California Super PAC Will Spend $35 Million to Beat Five House Republicans

New York is not the only blue state where Democrats will be trying mightily to pick up some House seats. California will be another. Republicans have 12 House seats in the Golden State, but five of them are in districts that Joe Biden won in 2020. They will all be targeted. Here is the list of Republican House districts and the incumbents in California sorted by PVI:

District PVI Incumbent Targeted?
CA-22 D+5 David Valadao (R) Yes
CA-13 D+4 John Duarte (R) Yes
CA-27 D+4 Mike Garcia (R) Yes
CA-45 D+2 Michelle Steel (R) Yes
CA-40 R+2 Young Kim (R) Yes
CA-41 R+3 Ken Calvert (R) No
CA-03 R+4 Kevin Kiley (R) No
CA-23 R+8 Jay Obernolte (R) No
CA-48 R+9 Darrell Issa (R) No
CA-05 R+9 Tom McClintock (R) No
CA-01 R+12 Doug LaMalfa (R) No
CA-20 R+16 Kevin McCarthy (R) No

Some of the incumbents won by tiny margins. Rep. John Duarte (R-CA) won by only 584 votes last time. With a more Democratic electorate in 2024, he is in deep doodoo. The others ran largely on their personal biographies, not their loyalty to the Republican Party. In a presidential year, especially if Donald Trump is on the ticket, that will be tougher.

In some of the races, the Democrats already have a candidate. For example, against Michelle Steele, the Democrats will run Garden Grove City Council member Kim Bernice Nguyen. She has a good chance since Democrats outnumber Republicans by 6 points in once-conservative Orange County, and since there is a sizable Vietnamese-American population in the district. She is going to run on abortion, as will most of the others.

If the Democrats can regerrymander (is that a word?) New York and pick up the five House districts that Biden won in California, they could gain as many as 7-8 seats on that alone. If they can hold all their other seats, that would be enough to gain a bare majority in the House in Jan. 2025.

That said, Republicans got a bit of good news in California yesterday (though they presumably wouldn't say that publicly). Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) is not running for reelection because she is trying for a promotion to the Senate. This will create an open seat in CA-47, a competitive district with a PVI of D+3. Two former Republican occupants of the seat, Harley Rouda and Scott Baugh, have filed to run for it. A nasty primary was expected. However, Rouda just suffered two intraparenchymal hemorrhages, a form of a stroke. He has decided that as a result he is not able to continue his campaign and will focus on his recovery. This eases Baugh's path to make it into the top two and thus into the general election. Porter beat Baugh by 3 points in 2022, but in 2024 it will be an open seat. Porter has endorsed state Sen. Dave Min (D) but activist Joanna Weiss (D) is also running in the all-party primary. Along with the five Republican districts discussed above, this one will be a real barn burner.

Rouda is not the only former or current member of Congress to be struck with brain disease. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) has announced that she has Parkinson's disease. She says she will continue to serve while getting treatment. Her district is D+6 and she won in 2022 53% to 47%. (V)

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