Republicans appear to have defended every U.S. House seat they won in California in 2020, despite determined Democratic efforts to take them back.
The last undecided race in the nation, the contest in the newly-created 13th district in the Central Valley, Republican farmer John Duarte appeared to hold a narrow lead of several hundred votes over Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), such that some analysts were ready to call the race.
In 2018, Democrats succeeded in flipping seven of the seven Republican-held congressional seats in California where Hillary Clinton (D) won more votes than Donald Trump (R) in 2016. They were aided by the fact that Trump’s tax law, which cut taxes for many Americans (primarily in the middle class, contrary to President Joe Biden’s constant refrain), also limited the exemption for the state and local tax deduction (SALT) to $10,000.
That had the effect of raising taxes on wealthy homeowners in high-tax, Democrat-run states.
However, the Republican Party bounced back in 2020, thanks in part to the party’s embrace of ballot harvesting techniques.
In 2020, Republicans won back four of those seven seats — two in Orange County, one in the Central Valley, and one in Ventura County. They defended those seats in 2022, and appear to have won in the new 13th.
Democrats still hold Rep. Josh Harder’s seat in the Central Valley’s 9th district, and they narrowly defended two seaside Orange County seats. The Democratic Party now controls every district along the Pacific Coast for the first time since the late nineteenth century, before Washington state had achieved statehood.
However, the seats Republicans defended will likely help a local, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), become Speaker of the House.