Washington Democrats have since the start of the midterm cycle worked tirelessly to flip a handful of California congressional seats seen as key to a House takeover in November.
But the party is still facing challenges going into next week’s primaries — and even the possibility of being shut out in some races — despite spending big and wrangling behind the scenes.
“National Democratic groups are spending anywhere from $6 million to $7 million to drag damaged candidates to the starting line for a runoff against a formidable Republican,” Jesse Hunt, a National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman, told Fox News on Wednesday about the races. “This is not a position of strength for what they have described as their most focused area of the House battlefield.”
In California’s primary system, the top two finishers advance to the November election regardless of party. But the large field of Democratic candidates in several of these races threatens to split the vote, in turn allowing at least one Republican to advance to the general election.
The Democratic Party establishment has tried for months to winnow its candidate field to avoid that scenario — particularly in races for four seats representing Orange County where Hillary Clinton in 2016 became the first Democratic presidential nominee since the mid-1930s to win.
Meanwhile, more than $8 million in so-called “outside money” has reportedly been spent on three of the races, much of it by Democratic groups, targeting seats held by GOP Reps. Darrell Issa, Dana Rohrabacher and Ed Royce.
Democrats, led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, will need to win 23 House seats this year to take control of the chamber, and California is key to that plan.
But early Democratic efforts to reduce their California rosters — including purported promises of future support to low-tier candidates — have yielded only limited success.
Read the rest at: Democrat Madness