Unlike other states where legislatures draw new lines, California has a redefining commission of five Democrats, five Republicans and four independents. But the Republican redistricting-centric faction rejected the new frontiers stacked in favor of the Democrats and recommended that the Commission take the side.
“California’s ‘independent’ redistribution commission is creating hugely distorted congressional lines to compete with radical Jeromenders in Illinois and Maryland,” said Adam Kinkait, executive director of the National Republican Reconstruction Foundation. “These new draft maps ignore the communities of California in their desperate attempt to save Nancy Pelosi’s majority.”
Despite California’s majority democratic vote, the state will be at the center of an interim process that includes many of the places that have been flipped back and forth in recent cycles. In 2020, Republicans reclaimed four of the seven House seats that Democrats transferred to their column in 2018.
As many Republican incumbents, including delegates Mike Garcia, David Valdav and Michelle Steele, move their districts to the left, there may be difficult paths to secure those seats. The changes could be challenging for Garcia, who won by just 300 votes in a close contest in 2020, and for the moderate Republican Vladivostok, who has long had a chance of registering in the Democratic Central Valley.
Democrat Representative Katie Porter’s Orange County seat is gaining some traction as a rising progressive star and encouraging large-scale fundraising. For the second time, Democrat Mike Levine encouraged last-minute changes in his San Diego area district, which significantly prevented him from turning right.
The seat of Republican Representative Devin Nunes is set to become more democratic – as predicted in the draft maps, which were dropped shortly before Nunes announced he was stepping down to run former President Donald Trump’s media campaign. While the current position of Democrat Josh Harder is highly challenging, political observers expect Harder to move to the newly created and friendly seat.
Two longtime House Republicans, deputies. Ken Calvert and Tom McClintock could see that their seats were too challenging, though not enough to push them into the battlefield.
Potential democratic gains could be offset by the state losing a House seat due to stagnant population growth. Representatives. Lucille Royball-Alert and Alan Lowendel were dragged to a shared seat in South Los Angeles County, and both have announced they will retire rather than seek re-election. A Democrat may fill the new seat located in Long Beach.
“This cycle is going to be a big challenge for Democrats, and the loss of one seat is going to come almost from the Democratic side,” Mitchell said.
The maps governing the state legislature, approved Monday, are likely to defend a majority of Democrats who have exceeded a two-thirds majority for years. As many members are drawn to the same areas, they will also provoke conflicts with those in office and state legislators, unlike members of the House, will have to live in their districts.
The only step left in drafting the new map is for the Commission to send it to the Secretary of State, who has until December 27 to do so. The deadline for candidates to run in the state’s first-two, all-party race on June 7 is March 11.
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