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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
For the first time in nearly 22 years, Republicans took back a California congressional seat. Notably, approximately 80% of the voters in the District – California’s 25th (or CA-25) – are in the predominantly blue Los Angeles County. The rest are in Ventura County.
Republican Congressman-elect Mike Garcia, a decorated Naval Officer and fighter pilot, and defense industry executive, defeated Democratic State Assemblywoman Christy Smith. Although votes are still being tallied, Smith had already conceded. With 82% of the precincts reporting as of this writing, Garcia was leading Smith by 9.8%, down from nearly 12% at the close of Election Day. Pursuant to the recent voting changes and impact of the pandemic, the State-mandated Official Canvass Period runs until June 12, 2020.
The CA-25 seat became vacant when former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill resigned following a sex scandal and potential ethics violations. Hill was allegedly having an affair with a male legislative staffer, which gave rise to a House ethics probe. Additionally, she admitted to engaging in “throuples” repeatedly with her husband and a 22-year female campaign staffer. Multiple eye-opening photos that were released corroborated the throuple. Without a hint of irony, Hill had been known for calling out sexual misconduct by others.
As a historically Republican district that was beginning to trend toward Democrats, many saw this as a bellwether for the November elections. Both Democrats and Republicans went all-in with endorsements in the race to fill the vacancy in CA-25. While the former congresswoman was mired in scandal, Smith managed to escape any fallout against the party and was poised to win the race. That was until she was caught mocking Mike Garcia’s military service. Los Angeles County’s three-month extension of the Wuhan Virus stay-at-home order may have also contributed to Garcia’s win.
Once Garcia won, many in the biased mainstream media were quick to downplay its significance and insist that it is not a bell-weather of things to come. Arguments abound about how this election was full of extenuating circumstances, primarily because of abnormal or unpredictable voter turnout pattern arising from the pandemic’s current “new normal”.
While that may be true to some extent, I see this result as a rebuke of the platform of today’s Democrats, which is increasingly moving toward the radical left, including the way in which they have approached the response to the pandemic. One could easily argue that every day American voters were affronted, if not outraged, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi loaded the $2.5 billion relief bill with hundreds of millions earmarked for interests unrelated to the nation’s economic recovery and well-being of the citizens suffering from the unprecedented Wuhan Virus job losses and business closures, or when she appeared on national TV and for 12 minutes discussed the gourmet ice cream flavors stashed in her $20,000+ designer-grade refrigerator/freezer while thousands of Americans waited in mile-long vehicular food bank lines to provide for their families during these incredibly trying times.
Presumptive 2020 Democrat presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden had throughout his almost 50-year long political career been considered a centrist. However, between his platform’s path to citizenship for 11 million illegal aliens, his embrace of the “Green New Deal”, support for late-term abortions until birth, and much more, it is clear that his positions and policies are father to the left than any other presidential nominee in modern American history.
Moreover, there is credible evidence that Biden seems to be in a state of cognitive decline and could potentially be replaced by someone even more progressive. The 116th Congress is considered to have the most progressive Democrat delegation in history, in no small part thanks to “The Squad”: four freshman congresswomen who espouse and express socialist, radical, at times anti-American and even some openly anti-Semitic views.
The 2018 midterm elections were regarded as a “blue wave” of some proportion, wherein Democrats picked up a net of 40 Congressional seats and gained the majority in the House of Representatives. Despite historical trends that showed midterms typically benefitting the party other than the one holding the Presidency, Democrats nevertheless chose to portray this as a rebuke to President Trump, which apparently emboldened their inherent radicalism and empowered them to blatantly express their extreme views. Once in charge, Democrats went so far as to investigate and try to impeach President Trump with only flimsy and ultimately unsupportable accusations, which in turn resulted in Trump’s approval rating rising to its highest level since February 2017.
Following draconian lockdown policies that were largely called for and imposed upon the populace by Democrat leaders, and with incidents like Christy Smith’s mocking of a decorated military veteran, November election results are almost certain to be impacted by a continuation of the radicals coming home to roost. There are numerous data points indicating the possibility, if not likelihood, of a Republican wave in November.
Hypothetically applying CA-25’s 9.3% shift (from November 2018 to the 2020 special election) to all other congressional districts, Republicans would gain a whopping 63 seats, in line with the unprecedented 2010 Republican wave. They only need a net 17 seats to retake the chamber.
In 2016 Trump received only 43.6% of the vote in CA-25. Unlike others before him, Mike Garcia bucked the conventional wisdom that Republicans running in swing districts or districts that Trump lost in 2016 should put some daylight between themselves and the President. Rather, Garcia boldly embraced Trump, and the President gladly reciprocated, endorsing and repeatedly tweeting support for the Congressman-elect, which clearly had a positive impact on the results.
Garcia’s win in CA-25 may be a harbinger of even more success up and down the ballot around the country for a variety of reasons. If the economy starts to recover in time for the November elections, Republicans could juxtapose this and his track record of unprecedented successes (prior to the pandemic) with increasingly fringe Democrat elected officials, candidates and policies, shine a spotlight on others in the party who had previously been considered moderates, and the declining faculties of Party leader Joe Biden.
President Trump could then outperform the expectations of many by winning all the States he captured in 2016, as well as adding at least some of the following: Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia, simultaneously helping to keep or deliver into Republican hands some of the more challenging Senate seats. In short, if this seat is a true bell-weather Trump and Republicans will win “YUGE” in November.