House Republicans target 100,000 California voters with primary day text program

House Republicans target 100,000 California voters with primary day text program
© Hill Photo illustration/Garrett Evans

National Republicans are looking to boost turnout in Tuesday's pivotal California primaries with texts targeting GOP voters in key districts.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is targeting 115,000 Republican voters who have either not turned in their vote-by-mail ballots or need to vote on election day. Voters began receiving text messages last week and will receive one more on Tuesday to remind them to vote.


The NRCC announced last week that it would roll out a series of digital ads and the text message program as part of its final push in the state. An NRCC official provided The Hill with additional details of that program.

Voters will receive a text message that reads "ELECTION ALERT: Today is Primary Day! Turn in your ballot or vote on-person before 8pm tonight to help California Republicans." They'll also be sent a link to a program that helps find their polling place, and they can text back and forth with a party official if they have questions.

The text program targets voters specifically in California's 39th, 48th and 49th congressional districts, which are home to important, yet unpredictable races.

The unpredictability is largely thanks to California's "jungle primary" system in which the top two candidates advance to a general election, regardless of party affiliation. That creates the possibility that two candidates from the same party could move on to a general election, shutting out the other party entirely.

That scenario is possible in all three districts.

In the 39th, home to retiring Rep. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceMystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp House panel advances bill to protect elections from foreign interference MORE (R-Calif.), a divided Democratic field has raised the specter of a shutout. There, Republican former Assemblywoman Young Kim is seen as the favorite for the top spot. But there's a crowded race for second that includes two Republican candidates and two Democratic candidates.

There's also the possibility that two Republicans advance in California's 48th, where Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherGeorge Papadopoulos launches campaign to run for Katie Hill's congressional seat The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa Ex-GOP lawmakers are face of marijuana blitz MORE (R-Calif.) is running for reelection. Two Democratic candidates are expected to jockey with another Republican for the other spot alongside Rohrabacher.

The 49th Congressional District is the most unpredictable in the state, where either party could conceivably be shut out in the race to replace Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaDuncan Hunter to plead guilty to campaign finance violations Why the GOP march of mad hatters poses a threat to our Democracy Elijah Cummings, native son of Baltimore, gets emotional send-off from Democratic luminaries MORE (R-Calif.).

House Democrats have spent in all three districts to attack Republican candidates in the hopes of keeping them off the general election ballot.