Sunday, November 15, 2020

Just Two More Congressional Races Left To Call In California-- One District Held By A Democrat And One Held By A Republican



Officially, there are 3 uncalled congressional races in California-- CA-21 in the northern Central Valley, CA-25 in the northern part of L.A. county and part of Ventura County and CA-39 in northeast Orange County with bits of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. But... there really are just two races left, and both are incredibly close.

New Dem Gil Cisneros, the lottery winner who bought a seat in 2018 with $9 million of his winnings, didn't want to spend much of his own money and not many people wanted to donate to him... and he lost to Young Kim, the woman he beat two years ago. AP called the race late Friday. So far, Biden is beating Trump in Orange County 811,916 (53.51%) to 674,231 (44.44%)

Cisneros, a pointless New Dem, was a waste of a seat. His ProgressivePunch grade is "F" and there isn't a reason in the world for anyone to vote for him other than knee jerk Democrats. That wasn't enough this year, even though Hillary beat Trump in CA-39 by about 8 and a half points in 2016. Of the 4 Democrats elected in the 2018 anti-red wave, the two progressives were re-elected and the two rich, reactionary "ex"-Republicans lost. Cisneros' district has an even PVI so it should have been easy to hold by a halfway decent incumbent. Katie Porter's seat is much trickier (PVI is R+3) but she's a great congresswoman and her constituents love her. She won by 7 points. Levin's district has a PVI of R+1 and he has been an outspoken champion of the Green New Deal and won reelection by about 6 points. The other loser, like Cisneros, Rouda, a right-of-center New Dem who contributed money to Romney when he ran against Obama, lost by a bit over 2 points in a difficult R+4 district. The DCCC and Pelosi's PAC spent $9.5 million, $840 on Katie Porter, $135 on Mike Levin and $2.6 million on Cisneros (who conceded on Twitter).

So, that leaves one Democrat-- a New Dem actually-- and one Republican in races still too close to call: TJ Cox and Mike Garcia. Cox's district has a PVI of D+5 and should be an easy hold for a decent candidate (which he isn't) and Garcia's district's PVI is even, although the Democrats have a registration advantage and, again, a decent Democrat should win there-- which Christy Smith is about as far from being as anyone could imagine.

Absentee ballots being counted now in CA-21 heavily favor Cox and Valadao's election night lead has been cut in half. As of Friday, just 2,065 votes (50.6% to 49.4%) separate them and Cox still has a decent shot at reelection. It's one of the most pitifully low-turn out districts in the country but perhaps more people would vote if there weren't always being asked to pick the lesser of two evils. In 2018, the race wasn't decided for weeks of counting, surprising everyone when Cox ousted Valadao (57,239) to 56,377 (49.6%). Cox raised $4,798,088 to Valadao's $3,721,619. The DCCC and Pelosi's PAC kicked another $7 million into the race. There is no real telling who's going to win this time but the absentee ballots need to be stronger than they've been for Cox to pull this one off.

CA-25 is another sad district with two dreadful candidates, neither of whom should be anywhere near Congress. Christy Smith isn't a real Democrat and Garcia is a Trumpist imbecile. But it's one of the closest races in the country, just 104 votes separating the two of them. On Friday Garcia was leading by 219 votes so it looks like Smith will win if there are enough absentees to be counted, something that is unclear now.

By the way, New York has 7 uncalled congressional races. We'll get to that mess soon.

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