Capitol Weekly, one of Sacramento’s most credible news sources that reports on political and policy goings-on in the Golden State, has bestowed their “Singin’ Those Golden State Blues” award for the worst week in California politics to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, tagging him with the ultimate responsibility for the failure to pick up even one of nine Congressional seats in California that were competitive.
National Republicans played in only four of those races, losing them all. And Republican candidates in five others seats who narrowly lost received no meaningful financial support from the NRCC whatsoever.
Capitol Weekly, in bestowing the dubious honors on McCarthy, said, “And, it’s Friday, meaning that we look back to see who had the worst week in California politics – who is Singin’ Those Golden State Blues. Our pick: Bakersfield congressman and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. After two hotly-contested California congressional races were decided this week, California’s Democratic delegation to the House will actually increase by one seat.”
Their analysis concludes, saying, “So, depending on how you spin it, McCarthy either A) wasted good money trying to pick up seats that were predictably blue; or B) didn’t spend enough to pick up seats that could have been had with a bit more support. Neither option is good, and we’re guessing that the results are giving Mr. McCarthy plenty of heartburn.”
In an earlier analysis of the NRCC’s terrible performance in California this election cycle, Breitbart News Network noted the close losses in nine different seats.
CA-3 – Incumbent Democrat John Garamendi, former Lt. Governor of California, beat back a strong challenge from termed-out conservative Assemblyman Dan Logue in this district north and west of Sacramento. Logue got 47.4% of the vote.
CA-7– Incumbent Democrat Ami Bera, who narrowly defeated GOPer Dan Lungren two years ago, was narrowly re-elected over former Republican Congressman Doug Ose, who ended up with around 49.6% of the total vote. The NRCC played big here.
CA-9 — Former U.S. Marshall Tony Amador gave incumbent Democrat Jerry McNerney a run for his money in this northwestern Central Valley seat, garnering 47.9% of the vote with zero help from the NRCC.
CA-16 — Five-term incumbent Democrat Jim Costa won re-election to his Central Valley seat by significantly less than a thousand votes: Another race where virtually any assistance from national Republicans would have flipped the outcome. GOP dairyman Johnny Techerra ended up with 49.3%.
CA-24 — Congresswoman Lois Capps stopped the surge of her GOP opponent, Chris Mitchum (son of famous actor Robert Mitchum). Mitchum got 48.4% of the vote, without any appreciable support from Capitol Hill.
CA-26 — Freshman Democrat Julia Brownley narrowly defeated GOP Assemblyman, former prosecutor, and war veteran Jeff Gorrell in a razor-close race (51%-49). The NRCC engaged here, though not as much as in some other seats.
CA-31 — Out the gate, the “spin” was that the GOP couldn’t hold the seat of retiring Rep. Gary Miller. Turns out it was a self-fulfilling prophesy. Republican Paul Chabot was beat out by Democrat Pete Aguilar by only two and a half points, as the NRCC took a complete pass on this race.
CA-36 — GOP Assemblyman Brian Nestande carried the GOP torch against freshman Democrat Raul Ruiz. The NRCC played modestly in this seat, where Nestande ended up with 46.2% of the final vote.
CA-52 — One could argue that electing Republican Carl DeMaio to replace freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters was the NRCC’s top priority in California. The national committee dumped millions into this high-profile race, but fell short with DeMaio garnering 48.4% of the vote.
No doubt many folks were responsible for the targeting decisions made in all of these California races — but McCarthy, who is extremely engaged in such political matters and is the highest ranking national GOP figure in California — was singled out for Capitol Weekly’s top honors.