Democrats need to gain 23 seats to win the House in midterms. They have been touting the fact that there are 10 competitive seats up for grabs in California, seven of which were carried by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE in 2016, and are currently held by Republicans. Of those, four are in the traditional Republican stronghold of Orange County, where demographic shifts purportedly favor Democrats. Making the opportunity more ripe, two of those four Orange County races are open seats with the retirement of Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceBottom line Bottom line California was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success MORE and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation Dozens of Sacramento students remain in Afghanistan after US pullout, district says Seven San Diego-area families evacuated from Afghanistan after summer trip abroad MORE, two powerful House committee chairmen.
This week’s wild jungle primary, where the top two vote getters move on to the general, was supposed to be about the huge fields of Democrats vying for a rising tide of disgusted voters ready to send President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE a rebuke. The only fear was that they might split the vote and be shut out of the runoff despite commanding powerful anti-Republican majorities.
That is a very shallow and self-serving conclusion to draw. The best predictor of the November results is to aggregate the Republican versus Democratic votes into a two-party contest. What the coverage has almost universally ignored is that there was no commanding blue wave of voters for the Democrats to unify and win in November. In fact, in nine of the 10 competitive races in California, the Democratic candidates were squabbling over decidedly inadequate pools of available voters, and the Republicans maintained their traditional majority advantages.
Here are the final results in those 10 races from Tuesday’s primary elections. In the 4th district, Republican Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockThe right fire to fight fire — why limiting prescribed burning is short-sighted Hillicon Valley: House advances six bills targeting Big Tech after overnight slugfest | Google to delay cookie phase out until 2023 | Appeals court rules against Baltimore Police Department aerial surveillance program California Democrats clash over tech antitrust fight MORE won with 52 percent of the vote, and the GOP on the whole earned 59 percent. In the 10th district, Republican Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamBottom line Bottom line Business groups breathe sigh of relief over prospect of divided government MORE won with 38 percent, and the GOP earned 52 percent. In the 21st district, Republican David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoMcCarthy-allied fundraising group helps Republicans who voted to impeach Trump Pro-impeachment Republicans outpace GOP rivals in second-quarter fundraising Cheney, Kinzinger are sole GOP votes for Jan. 6 select committee MORE won the race against Democrat T.J. Cox with 64 percent of the vote. In the 22nd district, Republican Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesLIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package Biden faces unfinished mission of evacuating Americans Nunes sues MSNBC, alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him MORE won with 58 percent, beating three Democrats and two minor party candidates with a combined 41 percent.
In the 25th district, Republican Steve Knight won with 53 percent, beating three Democrats with a combined 47 percent. In the 39th district, Republican Young Kim won with 22 percent beating a field of 16 candidates, and the GOP earned 54 percent. In the 45th district, Republican Mimi Walters won with 53 percent, beating three Democrats and a minor party candidate with a combined 47 percent. In the 48th district, Republican Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherNow someone wants to slap a SPACE Tax on Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, et al 'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Former Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building MORE won with 30 percent, beating a field of 15 candidates including a challenge from a popular former Orange County Republican Party chairman, and the GOP earned 53 percent.
In the 49th district, where Issa holds his seat, there was a toss-up, and Diane Harkey won 26 percent. beating a field of 15 candidates, and the GOP earned 48 percent, while four Democrats combined for 50 percent with the highest, Mike Levin, getting 17 percent. In the 50th district, Republican Duncan HunterDuncan HunterTrump denies Gaetz asked him for blanket pardon Gaetz, on the ropes, finds few friends in GOP Trust, transparency, and tithing is not enough to sustain democracy MORE won with 49 percent, the GOP earned 64 percent, and the highest performing Democrat got 16 percent.
With the clarity that only election results can produce, only one district in California appears like a possible flip. Even that is far from certain. The much vaunted rising blue wave of voters assembling to sweep the Democrats to victory in November turned out to be a blue mirage. If the path to winning the next majority runs through these 10 districts in California, it looks like the Republicans will hold the House, and the Democrats will be wandering in the political desert for another cycle.
Dan Palmer is a Republican donor and conservative political strategist. He served as executive director of United We Stand, planned the potential transition of Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails The Memo: Like the dress or not, Ocasio-Cortez is driving the conversation again Ocasio-Cortez defends attendance of Met Gala amid GOP uproar MORE, and supported the campaigns of Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Top Democrats tout California recall with an eye toward 2022 Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race MORE and Donald Trump. You can find him on Facebook @RealDanPalmer.