California Republicans Lead in 6 of 7 Districts Lost to Democrats in 2018

ballot harvesting (Alex Edelman / Getty)

California Republicans are hopeful for a comeback in 2020 after early election returns from Super Tuesday showed them leading in six of the seven congressional districts they lost to Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.

The San Francisco Chronicle noted that the overall combined vote for Republican candidates reached a majority in those six districts, and that Republican candidates led in two of them. These districts were targeted by Democrats in 2018 because they had voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 even while re-electing Republicans to Congress.

In one of those districts, the 21st, Republican former congressman David Valadao actually won a majority of the votes cast on Tuesday, far ahead of incumbent Democrat Rep. T.J. Cox.

The Associated Press also noted: “Early returns showed some GOP successes in Orange County, where Republican Young Kim was the top vote-getter, setting up a rematch with Democratic U.S. Rep. Gil Cisneros.”

But two words of caution are in order.

First, California takes a long time to count votes, because ballots submitted by mail on Election Day are still included.

Second, Democrats typically do not ramp up their turnout machine until the general election. In 2018, many Republicans had high hopes after the June primary election — only to find they had lost their seats once Democrats used new and controversial methods, such as “ballot harvesting,” dumping hundreds of late ballots on Election Day.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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