Offbeat Republican lawmakers point to positive signs after California election night

06:05  07 june  2018
06:05  07 june  2018 Source:   cnn.com

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Both parties were touting a good night in California a day after the so-called "jungle primaries," where Republicans and Democrats were able to advance candidates to the general election in several key districts.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California , the House Democratic leader, called the tax bill a scam Eleven of the 12 Republicans were from California , New Jersey and New York, states that would be hit The House passed the Republican tax plan on Tuesday. However, lawmakers will have to vote

Rep. Jeff Denham talks with constituents during a casual © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images Rep. Jeff Denham talks with constituents during a casual "Coffee and Conversation"

Both parties were touting a good night in California a day after the so-called "jungle primaries," where Republicans and Democrats were able to advance candidates to the general election in several key districts.

California's unusual primary puts all candidates on one ballot and allows the top two finishers in a race -- regardless of the party -- to advance.

Democrats, hoping for a blue wave in November, feared they may not break into the top two spots in several Republican-held districts, but it appeared Wednesday they managed to advance in multiple races, with others still too close to call.

California's top two primary could be a disaster for Democrats. It could be for Republicans as well.

  California's top two primary could be a disaster for Democrats. It could be for Republicans as well. You're going to hear a lot about something called the "top-two" primary in the lead up to California primary. Tuesday's contest in the Golden State has been described as a potential "disaster" for Democrats in their march to pick up a net gain of 23 House seats and the majority in November. And while that could eventually be the case, the truth is we have so little data as to be almost totally in the dark when looking at these races, and a look at the little data that is available suggests that such fears are probably overblown.

Republicans have fared far worse in recent special congressional elections compared with previous elections . Republican margin of victory. Five of the eight special elections arose because Mr. Trump selected the sitting Republican lawmaker there for a position in his cabinet.

Experts and lawmakers worry the president’s hostile stance toward congressional oversight and Democrats’ flailing response are undermining the separation of powers and could have long-term implications for the democracy.

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Meanwhile, Republicans in districts won by Hillary Clinton, also managed to stay on the November ballot in key districts as well, in addition to securing a general election spot in the gubernatorial race.

Even though some races were too close to call, Ryan Costello, a retiring Pennsylvania Republican, came out of the GOP conference this morning saying his party was optimistic at where they stood for the general election.

"Democrats were expecting one result out of California, but actually results out of California were more positive for Republicans than anything else," he told reporters Wednesday. "Who expected the no. 2 gubernatorial candidate to be Republican, and that the Democrats thought they were going to fill the top two spots in some of those seats. They didn't."

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By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. Many lawmakers , though, have criticized the idea that the House’s procedures must be dictated by federal judges. But Rouda, who, like Slotkin, is vulnerable in 2020, believes Republicans would face more political risks

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What Tuesday's primaries set up, though, was a test of Republican power to back up the Trump administration. Democratic operatives see the race for the House as the best opportunity they have to rebuke the President before the 2020 election and are hellbent on flipping seats from red-to-blue.

There are currently seven Republican lawmakers -- from Rep. Jeff Denham in the northern San Joaquin Valley to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in Southern California -- who occupy House seats in districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pointed to a recall election in which Republican assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang was elected to the state Senate by a landslide, while the incumbent Democrat, Josh Newman, was ousted after voting for a 12-cents-per-gallon gas tax.

"A Democrat just got recalled in California, a Republican got elected. It was over a simple issue," McCarthy said in a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Key House races in California still undecided -- and may be for days

  Key House races in California still undecided -- and may be for days Democratic hopes of wresting control of the House of Representatives were hanging in the balance early Wednesday morning, as many votes remained uncounted in California's most competitive congressional races. It may, in fact, be days, if not more than a week, before all the votes are tallied in three of the mostly closely watched races in the country: California-39, California-48 and California-49. Those districts, which are held by Republicans but were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, are key to Democratic hopes of notching the 23 seats that they need to win back the House.

"Great night for Republicans !" tweeted Trump. "Congratulations to John Cox on a really big number in California . Because of the massive outpouring of Democratic candidates in the wake of Trump's election in Democrats preserved virtually all of their opportunities on Tuesday night in California .

After a Tuesday night dinner with former campaign aides, during which he expressed a sense of horror at the Republican race, Mr. Romney made a But already, a handful of senior party leaders have struck a conciliatory tone toward Mr. Trump. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California , the House

McCarthy, who placed first in his own California primary Tuesday night, went on to highlight that in November, voters will have the option to repeal the gas tax in a ballot initiative -- a move that Republicans see as a winning issue for GOP candidates across the state this fall.

Denham, who faced a tough primary fight in the 10th District, told CNN last night's results were good for his party -- even though he didn't get the majority of the vote, having been at the top with 37.7%.

When asked whether Republicans are worried they'll lose its majority in November, Denham said no.

"Across the state we performed very well," he said. "Republicans ended up winning in all of the seven seats they were trying to target ... my numbers are well above we thought they would be and the Republican almost made it in the general election in my race as well, so I'd say Republicans that were very motivated given tax cuts and the economy ... that's something that's playing well in my community."

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Stivers told reporters Denham lost votes because some Republicans supported his Republican competition, Ted Howze, who got 14.4% of the vote.

Analysis: No, Democrats haven't shown they're going to win the House

  Analysis: No, Democrats haven't shown they're going to win the House Following a fresh round of bellwether votes, the party still hasn't shown it can win the districts they need to take control of the House.They managed to avert the total disaster of getting "locked out" of general election contests in California, where candidates of all parties compete against each other in primaries and the top two vote-getters advance to the final round.

At this point , moderates are just a handful of signatures away -- five Republicans to be exact, assuming all Democrats in the House also sign it -- from being able bypass the committee process and leadership and force a vote on a package of immigration bills on the floor.

In the days after the Republican governor’s stunning loss last month — the end of eight years of one-party Mr. Vos became the first official to publicly suggest that Republicans consider reining in the authority Lawmakers , not the governor, would control the majority of appointments on an economic

"The Democrats just spent $10 million trying to shut us out and they didn't shut us out," he told reporters. "I think there were a lot of Jeff's friends trying to help get the second Republican through. I'm not worried about Jeff at all."

Rep. Ben Ray Luján, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told CNN Wednesday that taking over GOP districts in California, especially in the primary, was always going to be a challenge.

"We never said that this would be easy," he said, touting the DCCC's efforts to invest early and big in the state. "This is just the first part of what's going to be an important aspect of being able to win the House back. So I'm really encouraged."

"We knew would have to fight for every inch, and we knew we would have to continue to do that," he added.

Despite all the remarks from Republicans, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats did well on Tuesday night.

"From the heartland of America to the coasts, American voters sent the Republican Majority a powerful message of rejection of the GOP's relentless efforts to destroy health care and reward the special interests," she said in a statement. "California has advanced an extraordinary set of battle-tested and diverse Democrats to the November ballot."

CNN's Tal Kopan contributed to this report.

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