Fox: Democrat-Heavy Race for Governor Could Save GOP Seats

Villaraigosa and Newsom (Getty)

Joel Fox of California’s “Fox & Hounds” political blog has suggested the possibility that a Democrat-versus-Democrat contest in California’s 2018 governor’s race could end up helping some Republicans retain their seats.

“Just a theory here, but if the top-two primary delivers a Democrat vs Democrat final in the November election for the top job in California, might that lower Democratic voters turnout to help some Republicans?” Fox suggested in a Wednesday post.

As Fox notes, and Breitbart News previously reported, Democrats hope to win in seven of the fourteen California districts that are represented by Republicans in Congress, but where Hillary Clinton won in November. The targeted Republicans are Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10), Rep. David Valadao (CA-21); Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25), Rep. Ed Royce (CA-39), Rep. Mimi Walters (CA-45), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), and Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49).

California’s “jungle primary” allows for the top two vote-winners to compete against each other in the general election, regardless of political party. Based on the high concentration of powerful Democratic names in the running for the November 2018 general election, there is a high probability two Democrats will end up competing against each other.

The top two names in the race, so far, are Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Fox notes that “it would be ironic if the Republicans held those seats because an all-Democratic gubernatorial race kept less engaged Democratic voters away from the polls,” considering there were fewer Republicans voting in last year’s Democrat versus Democrat senate race. Yet, Fox also pointed out that during non-presidential election years, Republicans tend to show up at polls more strongly than Democrats.

Paul Mitchell from Political Data told Fox he believes a Democrat-versus-Democrat ticket would result in a drop in Republican turnout, even if seven seats are at risk.

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