October 6, 2022

Republicans just lost a pivotal California seat in stunning upset

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Yesterday was the Super Tuesday of the 2018 primaries, and if it’s any indication of what’s in store for the midterms come this November, Trump has a lot to worry about. In California particularly, Democratic turnout was exceptionally strong.


Because California uses what’s referred to as a “jungle primary,” in which the top two candidates regardless of party affiliation advance to the general election, it’s possible that in some races one of the two major parties could be completely shut out.

That was the narrative for the last few weeks surrounding the nation’s most populous state. Republicans were growing increasingly electrified over the prospect of shutting Democrats out of highly-contested races, hoping that vote share would be split among the record numbers of Democratic candidates. In congressional districts like California’s 39th, 48th, and 49th – all potential pick-ups for Democrats in districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 – Republicans hoped beyond hope that Democratic infighting would lead to shut outs.

Not only was that not the case, as Democrats are expected to advance to the general in all three of those districts once all the votes are tallied, but the only race to sustain an unexpected shut out occurred against the Republican Party.

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In California’s Assembly District 76, a Republican failed to make it into the top 2 in a district that had been represented by the GOP, instead advancing two Democrats – Elizabeth Warren (no relation to the Massachusetts Senator) and Tasha Boerner Horvath – to the general election in November.

The incumbent, Rocky Chávez, chose instead to run for outgoing Rep. Darrell Issa’s seat in California’s 49th district. He ultimately came in sixth place, garnering only 7.8 percent of the vote.

The seat is especially pivotal given that it will help Democrats defend their supermajority in the California state Assembly.

It’s fitting in this election cycle that instead of events working out for Republicans eyeing a win on a technicality, they fell victim to that very fate. Of course, a state assembly seat is going to be the least of their problems come November.

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Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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