Republicans Might Gain House Seats from California

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This winter of the Democrats’ discontent could turn into a wipeout come November in the House of Representatives—including losses from California’s overwhelmingly Democratic House delegation. Republicans currently control 11 House seats from here, with 42 Democrats. The 53 total will be reduced to 52 because the state lost a seat.

As I noted in a previous article, the new redistricting maps could hurt Republicans—unless there is a “strong anti-Biden national tsunami some are predicting.” According to a new analysis by Henry Olson in the Washington Post, that may be what’s about to unfold.

Olson looked at the upset win by Republican Glenn Youngkin in the Virginia gubernatorial race and the near-loss by incumbent Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy in New Jersey last November. He also factored President Biden’s swing downward in approval ratings. The president “won the 2020 popular vote by 4.5 percentage points, but on election day 2021, his net job approval rating on the RealClearPolitics polling average was negative 8 points, a 12.5-point swing in about a year.”

His calculation: A shift of about 12.5 percentage points toward Republicans in all races.

He cautions, “Past is not prologue, and it’s certainly possible that the 2021 results are not indicative of what will transpire in 2022.” Then he concludes, “But if they are, and if Biden does not improve his job approval significantly by the fall, Democrats are looking at a wipeout unlike anything they have seen in a century.”

Let’s plug in that 12.5 percent shift in all the 52 House races coming up in California. I’ll use the numbers from FiveThirtyEight’s “What Redistricting Looks Like In Every State,” just updated on Jan. 31.

All 11 Republican seats would remain in GOP hands, even the five currently leaning Democratic :

  • Rep. Mike Garcia’s new 25th District currently is D+9, in FiveThirtyEight’s format. It’s a 9-point Democratic advantage. But if that is reduced by 12.5 points, it gives Garcia a 3.5-point margin to win and becomes R+3.5.
  • Rep. David Valadao in the 21st District sees D+6 turns into R+6.5.
  • In the 22nd District, recently vacated by Rep. Devin Nunes, D+5 turns into R+7.5.
  • Rep. Young Kim’s 46th District goes from D+5 to R+7.5.
  • Rep. Michelle Steel’s 47th District goes from D+6 to R+6.5.

Turning to Democrats, they retain almost all their seats even if their margins drop by the projected 12.5 points. For example, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who says she’s running for re-election, would see her 12th District go from D+71 to D+58.5, still a substantial margin of victory.

But consider these districts:

  • Rep. Mike Levin’s 48th District would flip from D+2 to R+10.5, a clear Republican gain.
  • Rep. Jim Costa’s 16th District would flip from D+11 to R+1.5, a Republican pickup.
  • Rep. Paul Ruiz’ 36th District would go from D+10 to R+0.5, a narrow Republican flip.
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney’s 9th District could go the same way, from D+12 to R-+0.5.
  • Rep. Ami Bera’s 7th District would go from D+14 to D+1.5, a close margin.

Add it up: Four Democrat districts would flip Republican. And a fifth would be at risk.

Republicans would gain four more seats from California, going from 11 to 15. Democrats would go from 41 to 37.

Further confirmation: Olson said his calculation means nationwide Republicans “potentially netting a 35-seat gain, which would give them their biggest majority since the Great Depression.”

California’s 52 House seats will be 12 percent of the 535 total. And 12 percent of Olson’s 35 gained GOP seats comes to four new GOP seats from California.

It could be a golden election for Golden State Republicans.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

John Seiler


John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. He has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at

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