Democrats could be making a risky bet by running against the new GOP tax bill in next year’s midterms, especially if voters notice fatter paychecks come springtime. But the minority party is confident opposition to the new law will pay off in California.
Democrats believe their path to the House majority winds through the Golden State, where the June “open” primary figures to serve as a bellwether of sorts for the November midterm elections. Of the two-dozen Republican districts Hillary Clinton carried last year, seven are in California. If Democrats can’t pick off a sizable chunk of them, it’s unlikely they can retake the lower chamber from Republicans.
It’s a much more difficult task than one might imagine. While California has become synonymous with liberalism, Republican incumbents have shown durability. Last year, though voters in the state came out in record numbers and Clinton became the first Democrat since 1936 to win the GOP stronghold of Orange County, many of them split their tickets in those seven districts, backing Republican congressional candidates even as they opposed Donald Trump.