An early analysis of election results in the California primary by the San Bernardino Sun has found that a “red tide” of votes for Republicans overcame the “blue wave” of votes for Democrats, enabling the GOP to win the Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles.
The Sun reported Thursday:
If there’s a blue wave on Nov. 6, it will have to sweep over the red tide that flowed into the Inland Empire during California’s primary.
Republican candidates did very well in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, giving a boost to the GOP in a region where Democrats have made steady progress and providing a counter-narrative, at least locally, to predictions of a Democratic landslide in the general election.
“Republicans did well in those districts relative to their 2016 performance,” said Rob Pyers, research director for the nonpartisan California Target Book, which studies state legislative races.
“But when you look at the results from the 2014 primary, the results look flat,” he said. “The GOP has been in a steep decline in the Inland Empire over the past four years, though, so even remaining above water in some of these districts will be perceived as a win … Given (Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom’s) relatively weak showings in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties, I’m wondering if that is going to cause turnout issues and create an additional opening for Republicans.”
The Inland Empire suffered deeply during the recession, but has roared back over the past several years. As a haven for middle class families and a region where long commutes are enlivened by talk radio, it is fertile ground for conservative candidates.
One of the most promising candidates is Kimberlin Brown Pelter, who faces a tough but not impossible challenge in her effort to unseat Democrat Raul Ruiz in the 36th district.
Others who did well on Tuesday included former Breitbart News contributor Tim Donnelly, who won the right to challenge Rep. Paul Cook in an all-Republican general election in the 8th congressional district, and Sean Flynn, who nearly beat incumbent Democrat Pete Aguilar in the 31st district and will face him in November.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.