That sound you heard last night is the fork being stuck in the California GOP, effectively wiped off the map in the 2018 midterms as all 7 congressional districts in formerly red Orange County now belong to Team Blue.
California Democrats completed their sweep of the congressional delegation in Orange County on Saturday as Gil Cisneros defeated Young Kim, a Republican, to capture a fourth seat in what had once been one of the most conservative Republican bastions in the nation.
The victory by Mr. Cisneros, a philanthropist, was declared by The Associated Press. It completes what has amounted to a Democratic rout in California this year. Democrats set out to capture seven Republican-held seats where Hillary Clinton defeated President Trump in 2016, including four in Orange County. They won six of them.
Representative David Valadao, from the Central Valley, is the only Republican who survived the Democratic onslaught in those seven districts, according to The Associated Press. His margin has shrunk as mail-in votes have continued to be counted. The deadline for counting those votes in California is Dec. 7.
With Mr. Cisneros’s victory, Democrats now control all four House seats in Orange County — the birthplace of Richard M. Nixon and modern-day conservatism. The party also won supermajorities in the California Assembly and Senate, while the party’s candidate for governor — Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor — easily turned back a Republican challenge. Democrats control every statewide elected position in California.
Before this election, the 53-member California congressional delegation included 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans. Assuming Mr. Valadao keeps his lead, after this year’s midterms it will be 45 Democrats and eight Republicans.
Mr. Cisneros and Ms. Kim were competing for the seat left open after Representative Ed Royce, who has represented the area since 1993, decided not to seek re-election. Mr. Cisneros won by about 3,500 votes, receiving 50.8 percent of the votes cast.
And it's still possible that Valadao loses to Democrat TJ Cox as Valadao's lead has been cut to under 2,000 votes. It's entirely possible that the Republican GOP delegation, a massive group compared to just about any other state at 14, will be 7 by the time January rolls around. That would be just 13% of the state's delegation, a smaller percentage than Democrats have here in Kentucky (17%), Ohio (29%) or Indiana (22%).
If the Democrats are toast in the Rust Belt, then the GOP is on the slab in California, and there's no real reason to think they're coming back anytime soon. Pollster Stan Greenberg:
At first, the results looked like something of a stalemate. The Republican Party retained and even strengthened its hold on the Senate. President Trump’s approval rating was at 45 percent, one percentage point below his percentage of the popular vote in the 2016 election. Analysts said that Mr. Trump still knew how to get Republicans “excited, interested and turn them out” and that he had “deepened his hold on rural areas.”
In the days that followed, though, it became clear that Democrats had made substantial gains. Analysts I trusted concluded that this was because suburban and college-educated women issued “a sharp rebuke to President Trump” that set off a “blue wave through the urban and suburban House districts.” At first, I also believed that was the main story line.
But the 2018 election was much bigger than that. It was transformative, knocking down what we assumed were Electoral College certainties. We didn’t immediately see this transformation because we assumed that Mr. Trump and the polarization in his wake still governed as before.
First of all, Democrats did not win simply because white women with college degrees rebelled against Mr. Trump’s misogyny, sexism and disrespect for women. Nearly every category of women rebelled.
These conclusions are based on Democracy Corps’ election night survey for Women’s Voice Women’s Vote Action Fund and a study of the exit polls conducted for Edison and Catalist.
Yes, House Democrats increased their vote margin nationally among white women with at least a four-year degree by 13 points compared with the Clinton-Trump margin in 2016. But Democrats also won 71 percent of millennial women and 54 percent of unmarried white women (who split their votes two years earlier). In 2018, unmarried white women pushed up their vote margin for Democrats by 10 points. In fact, white women without a four-year degree (pollster shorthand for the white working class) raised their vote margin for Democrats by 13 points.
Overall, white women split their vote between Democrats and Republicans, but it is clear which way they are moving. Interestingly, the white college women who were supposed to be the “fuel for this Democratic wave” played a smaller role in the Democrats’ increased 2018 margin than white working class women, because the former were 15 percent of midterm voters and the latter 25 percent.
Yes, white women made up 40% of the 2018 vote, but moving that needle from a 4-5% Trump win to an even split turned the overall election into a full 2% swing in favor of the Dems, and that turned this from 20-25 Dem seats to 40.
The other big move to Dems: No national third party candidates stealing Dem votes among men. In 2016, men voted 52%-41% for the GOP and nearly ten percent voted for a third party candidate. In 2018, that went to 51%-47%. That also made a huge difference.
Dems can win in 2020 by huge margins if voters keep dropping Trump.