Orange County, California: Key Battleground for 2018 Midterm Elections

Orange County flag (Orange County Archives / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Orange County Archives / Flickr / CC / Cropped

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) told donors on Saturday that Orange County is one of the key battleground regions in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

Speaking at the Orange County GOP’s annual Flag Day fundraiser on Saturday, Nunes — who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — sounded off on the importance of receiving support from Republican donors in the region, which is seen as critical in the fight against the Golden State’s Democratic stronghold.

“It is so critical for us to win here and keep winning here,” Nunes, who was the event’s keynote speaker, said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A usually-strong Republican California enclave, Orange County is now at risk of turning blue. The 2016 presidential election was the first since 1936 that the county went to a Democrat, Hillary Clinton.

In February, the Democrats launched an assault on 20 Republicans whose seats are seen as being at risk during the 2018 midterm elections. Four of those seats are wholly or partially in Orange County, and belong to :Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA-39), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49), Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA-45), and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48).

Republicans have similarly launched a campaign against at least four California Democrat Congressmen who they plan to target and defeat next year. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)’s “top offensive targets” are Reps. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove, 7th district), Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara, 24th district), Scott Peters (D-San Diego, 52nd district) and Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Springs, 36th district).

On Saturday, a crowd of protesters stood outside the GOP’s Flag Day celebration:

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times about Saturday’s protesters, Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) said, “They’re pathetic. There were almost none.” He reportedly added, “There’s a couple million people in the surrounding communities and to have those few tells you the real momentum of this movement has really died. The same has been happening at our office where they come every Tuesday. There’s less every week.”

Rep. Rohrabacher reportedly said, “They don’t want me to talk to my constituents more; they want me to talk to them.” He added, “They don’t represent my constituents. None of them represent my constituents. … They are a political organization asking me to pay homage to them. Forget it.”

Keeping in line with tradition, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher whipped out his guitar for a tune. The theme of Saturday’s song was reportedly “fat bureaucrats.”

During his speech on Saturday, Nunes reportedly said the mainstream media was in part to blame for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) being shot during practice for the Congressional baseball fundraiser last week by a die-hard Bernie Sanders supporter. Three others were also injured in the attack.

“You could almost see this coming when it happened last week because the level of civil discourse has reached a point that I’ve never seen in my time in office,” he said, according to the Times. “What you’re seeing is a political party not willing to accept what happened in the last election. Hopefully it’s a warning sign and hopefully the media will get back to at least pretending to do some real investigative work.”

In February, Rohrabacher’s 71-year-old staffer, Kathleen Staunton, was reportedly knocked unconscious by anti-Trump protesters as she attempted to leave her office.

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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