News broke earlier today and then followed up by an official statement by Congressman Darrell Issa, that he will not be seeking re-election in 2018. Issa was first elected to Congress in 2001. He has won re-election easily for most of his years in Congress. With re-districting and changes in demographics, his seat has become one of the most vulnerable seats in Congress.
He barely won re-election in 2016. He only won re-election because his district after re-districting incorporated parts of South Orange County, a wealthy Republican stronghold.
Orange County is the last vestige of Republican control in a large population center in California, and some believe that Orange County will soon turn blue.
Many see this as a move the Orange County could be going blue especially since Issa’s announcement comes on the heels of another Republican Congressman, Ed Royce, from Orange County announcing he will not seek re-election.
There is no doubt in my mind that Democrats are energized to go after Trump. Orange County did go for Hillary in 2016 but Orange County Republican Congress members, for the most part, won pretty easily in 2016.
Orange County Republicans did vote for Trump overwhelmingly in the 2016 primary because for the most part; the election was over. All the candidates, including the last two, Cruz and Kasich were out. Yet, Cruz and Kasich were still on the ballot. Who received more votes between them? It was Kasich, not Cruz.
Orange County Republicans are more traditional business/establishment, middle of the road Republicans. Cruz brand of Republicanism wasn’t as popular in this area as it was in other parts of the country. Where Kasich’s brand of Republicanism wasn’t very popular among Republicans throughout the country.
Republicanism in Orange County is more moderate and more focused on economic instead of cultural and social issues.
So has Orange County turned more blue. Yes, primarily in North Orange County but South Orange County is still a strong Republican stronghold.
So the question is, will Trump bring down Republicans that should have won re-election because voters don’t feel energized to come out and vote especially those Republicans that see the GOP tax plan, which limited SALT deductions, as a tax increase on them simply because they live in high-taxed California.
So will Trump bring down Republicans in Republican-controlled areas of Orange County? I’m not sure it is to early to tell but with Issa not running for re-election, it might be a much harder task for Republicans to hold onto the seat.
The already declared Republican candidate seeking to replace Issa is Diane Harkey. She is the highest elected Republican in the State. She represents all of Issa’s district and much more as the Chair of the Board of Equalization. She currently represents approximately 9.5 million people in Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego County.
Breitbart News can confirm that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called Harkey on Wednesday to discuss her running for the seat. A source told Breitbart News that Harkey has the support of McCarthy and the support of outgoing Congressman Issa.
If she makes it to the general election, which I anticipate that she will, she might be the only candidate capable of keeping the seat in GOP hands.