THE MIDTERMS MINUTE: California’s Battleground Races!

MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.pngThe Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th.

This is it folks. The 2018 Midterm Elections are almost here and the outcome will change our country for decades to come. And with that weight on our shoulders, let’s take a minute to remind ourselves of something: The primaries are over. The candidates are set, and we can feel good knowing that many new progressive faces are among them. The disagreements and in-fighting amongst the left will always be there, but right now, we have to focus on the bigger picture.

Now is the time to volunteer, get out the vote, canvass, call, text and email while keeping the most vulnerable among us in mind, especially those who face Republican imposed barriers to casting their vote on election day. Democrats across the country, spanning the left side of the political spectrum, need to win and they need to win big to overcome gerrymandering. There is just no other way to look at this.

So take a moment today to figure out how you are going to make a difference in these historic and critical midterm elections. Whether it is helping people get registered, volunteering to drive people to the polls, helping someone get the necessary form of ID, canvassing and calling on behalf of candidates, or all of the above. We all have a role to play and I know none of us want to wake up on November 7th and feel like we should have done more.

For the next two months, in every show, we are going to highlight the battleground races in the U.S. Senate and House so that you know where your help and donations are needed most. You can also view all of our spotlight segments and every battleground race at THE MIDTERMS MINUTE H.Q..

We’re starting with CALIFORNIA where there is actually still one race impacting the heart of the Democratic party.

U.S. SENATE: The way California’s elections work, Senator Diane Feinstein is facing a fellow Democrat this November. Kevin de Leon is a State Senator who is laser-focused on Medicare for All and tried to get it through the state Senate. Feinstein opposed it. In a surprise twist, De Leon is the one who secured the California Democratic Party endorsement.

U.S. HOUSE: As for U.S. House seats, there are six California districts with Republican incumbents where Clinton won in 2016. Two of those are open seats. They are all considered battleground districts, with four considered toss up races according to the Cook Rating.

CA-10th - In California’s 10th district, Democrat Josh Harder is facing Republican incumbent Jeff Denham. This is a diverse district and the race is being called a toss up. The Latino voter turnout, which usually plummets in midterm elections, is critical here.

CA-25th - In California’s 25th district, Democrat Katie Hill is facing Republican incumbent Steve Knight. This race is also considered a toss up and Latino voter turnout here is again key.

CA-39th - In California’s 39th district, which includes Orange County and part of Los Angeles, a long time Republican incumbent is not running for re-election. The Democrat in this race is Gil Cisneros and he faces Republican Young Kim. This race is considered a toss up, but the demographics have shifted dramatically in this district, meaning conservative Orange County may not carry as much weight this time around.

CA-45th - In California’s 45th district, Democrat Katie Porter is facing Republican incumbent Mimi Walters. This is a white collar suburban district and this race is currently rated as leaning Republican.

CA-48th - In California’s 48th district, Democrat Harley Rouda is facing Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher. This district is also considered white collar suburban, but this House race is considered a toss up.

CA-49th - In California’s 49th district, Democrat Mike Levin will be facing Republican Diane Harkey in November. The district is currently leaning Democratic.

Again, all of these Republican-held districts were won by Clinton in 2016 so they are obviously winnable with the right organizing and get-out-the-vote efforts.

IMPORTANT DATES: To vote in the California Midterm Elections, you need to be registered to vote online, or have your physical application postmarked by, Monday October 22nd. Absentee ballot requests must be received by October 30th. Early voting dates vary by locality.

As for your own state, it’s never too early to check registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s important dates and voter ID laws at as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in the general election.

So, if making the Blue Wave a reality in November is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting Democrats in battleground races across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.








Swing Left (Help flip districts from anywhere) 

Red to Blue (DCCC program to flip seats) 

When We All Vote (Michelle Obama’s initiative) 

Voter Circle (friend-to-friend outreach tool) 

Vote Forward (mail letters to unlikely voters)

Volunteer for Democrats 

Abroad? Phone bank for Democrats  

Let America Vote (voting rights focus) 

Justice Democrats “Justice Dialer”

Brand New Congress GOTV Dialer 

National Democratic Redistricting Committee 

Easily donate to candidates with on your mobile browser. 

“15 Ways to Help a Campaign Win Their Election” (Political Charge) 

CALIFORNIA BATTLEGROUNDS (Note: List may vary by org or outlet):

Important Dates: Must be registered/post marked by October 22nd (more info)

Local Action: California Democratic Party

Push Left! U.S. Senate - Kevin de Leon (D Safe Seat)

Flip CA-10th: Josh Harder 

Swing Left:

Flip CA-25th: Katie Hill 

Swing Left:

Flip CA-39th: Gil Cisneros 

Swing Left:

Flip CA-45th: Katie Porter 

Swing Left:

Flip CA-48th: Harley Rouda 

Swing Left:

Flip CA-49th: Mike Levin 

Swing Left:

Sources: Ballotpedia; NBC News; Swing Left



Posted August 31, 2018; Researched & Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1209: Being part of the solution (How to argue your values)


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