With vote counting largely completed now in both Sacramento and Fresno Counties, two Congressional races in California that had remained too close to call have now been decided, with two Democrat incumbents narrowly edging out their Republican challengers to win re-election.
In the Sacramento County-based 7th congressional district, first-term Democratic Congressman Ami Beri has won re-election by 1,432 votes, defeating former GOP Representative Doug Ose. In the Central Valley, in the 16th district, five-term incumbent Democrat Jim Costa bested dairyman Johnny Tacherra by just 1319 votes.
With the results now conclusive in all of California’s Congressional races, it appears that a national wave that saw Republicans pick up eight U.S. Senate seats and a dozen House seats has stopped at the border of the Golden State, where Democrats actually picked up the seat of retiring Republican Congressman Gary Miller.
>All in all, there were nine different competitive U.S. House races up and down the state that were all close contests, though the National Republican Congressional Committee targeted only four of those races, raising serious questions about whether some or all of the other five races, including the razor-close race between Costa and Tacherra, could have been won by the GOP had it allocated financial resources differently.
With a national Republican tide and an ultra-low voter general election turnout in California, which looks to be around only 40%, this year was probably the best opportunity for GOP pickups in House races. The higher turnout in the 2016 Presidential election will make it more difficult for Republican challengers in these competitive seats.