The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a conservative super PAC backed by Republican members of Congress, is taking steps to defend GOP members of Congress — particularly in the deep blue state of California — and prevent a potential Democratic takeover of the House in 2018.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the CLF launched four additional offices in California in 2017 to defend Representatives Mimi Walters Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Steve Knight, and Ed Royce, who serves as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
On Monday, however, Rep. Royce announced he was retiring from Congress.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 8, 2018
Of particular concern to the CLF are ads and protests from the left and progressive groups targeting Republicans for their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Democrats need 24 seats nationwide to take Congress and restore the Speaker’s gavel to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). At least seven of the most vulnerable seats are in California, where Republicans represent districts that voted for Hillary Clinton.
California’s own left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer announced on Monday that he would forego a campaign for U.S. Senate or for Governor of California, and would instead donate $30 million towards election efforts to replace the Republican majority in the House.
Democrats still have an uphill climb, however: in most states, Republican victories in the wave election of 2010 — which was also a Census year — led to the drawing of congressional districts in ways that favored the GOP.
Demographic changes — especially the drift of college-age and female voters to the Democrats — have undone some of that geographical advantage, but Republicans remain cautiously optimistic that they can hang onto power.
On the Senate side, Republicans have only eight seats at risk, while Democrats have 25 — ten of which represent states where Donald Trump won in 2016.