California GOP views Trump more as a blessing than a curse

Sam Oh, a GOP campaign consultant working on two key Orange County congressional races this cycle, said internal Republican polling shows that voters in his party and on the Democratic side are energized to vote, so the growing number of independents across the state will determine the outcome of a half-dozen targeted congressional races. Democrats flipped seven GOP-held House seats in California in 2018 to gain a 45-to-7 delegate majority, and Republicans are focused on shifting at least some of them back this year.

“We’re seeing people fed up with the status quo, especially here in California,” Oh told RealClearPolitics. “[California Gov.] Gavin Newsom’s numbers rose during the pandemic, but you’re starting to see those numbers dip again because people aren’t happy with the way he’s handled the wildfires, the way the state is dealing with blackouts.”

Lanhee Chen, the director of domestic policy studies at Stanford University who served as the policy director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, expressed similar feelings about the political climate for Republicans right now across the state.

“You’ve got a very animated base of [GOP] support in California,” he said. “I’ve been actually surprised in some ways just how energized Republicans in California are for the president, and I think that will end up helping some down-ballot Republicans.”