California braces for possible political earthquake

The Republicans:

The big question: how large DONALD TRUMP looms in the party.

Races to watch: GOP Reps. YOUNG KIM and DAVID VALADAO are facing close primaries in swing districts with pro-Trump candidates nipping at their heels.

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The national relevance: “A loss by either would be a disaster for Republicans,” as Dems see the battleground seats as potential pickup opportunities, Lara Korte, Alex Nieves and Ally Mutnick write in their curtain-raiser this morning. “[JOE] BIDEN won both of those districts in 2020 — running up a 13-point margin in Valadao’s seat. Democrats are targeting both districts and would much rather face [their opponents] than the two incumbents, who have large campaign accounts and known crossover appeal.”

The Democrats:

The big question: whether “tough on crime” politics is making a comeback among Democratic voters. Write Lara, Alex and Ally: “Concerns about the rising rates of homicide, assault and property crime have put an uncomfortable spotlight on California’s Democratic leaders, who in recent years have favored policies that reduce sentencing and aim to lower the population of overcrowded prisons.”

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