Report: Two California House Seats Could Flip to Republicans in Orange County

Huntington beach face mask (App Gomes / AFP / Getty)
App Gomes / AFP / Getty

Two congressional seats in Orange County that Democrats won in 2018 could flip back to the Republicans, according to the Los Angeles Times.

California races are notoriously difficult to call, especially if they are close, because the overwhelming majority of voters send their ballots in by mail — even in a normal year.

Add to that the practice of “ballot harvesting,” in which party operatives are permitted to deliver unlimited numbers of mail-in ballots, and the combined effect creates great uncertainty.

Nevertheless, the Times suggests that two of four seats may have flipped:

In a rare bright spot for California’s beleaguered GOP, two Republican challengers are within striking distance of unseating two Orange County Democrats who were elected to Congress during the 2018 blue wave.

In both races, the Republicans are slightly ahead, but the margins are thin enough that it could take a while before final numbers are available.

Two years ago, Democrats flipped four seats blue, bringing Gil Cisneros (District 39), Katie Porter (45), Harley Rouda (48) and Mike Levin (49) into office. Democrats held all seven of the county’s seats during the 116th Congress.

As of Wednesday morning, county Supervisor Michelle Steel was clinging to a slender lead over Rouda, and former state Assemblywoman Young Kim was leading Cisneros.

The once-reliably Republican county also chose Joe Biden over Donald Trump — just as it chose Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016.

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). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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