WASHINGTON – Fresh off an election in which the GOP flipped four California congressional districts, the national fundraising arm of House Republicans on Wednesday announced that it wants to compete for four more seats held by Golden State Democrats.
The National Republican Congressional Committee said it plans to target Reps. John Garamendi, Josh Harder, Katie Porter and Mike Levin in the 2022 midterm election.
Republicans are likely to have the advantage in 2022 House races, according to historical trends.
Typically a new president party’s loses House seats in the next election. Currently, Democrats hold 222 seats in the House to Republicans’ 212 seats – a thin majority. The new name on the list is Garamendi, whose district is not usually considered highly competitive.
Garamendi won his election by 9 points over the Republican in 2020, when it was rated “solid Democratic” by nonpartisan race watchers like the Cook Political Report, but congressional lines are being redrawn to reflect new Census numbers this cycle, a process known as redistricting.
Redistricting is a major reason he’s on the list, according to the NRCC, but it’s not the only reason. His winning margins have diminished since 2016, said Torunn Sinclair, spokeswoman for the NRCC.
“(Garamendi’s race was a) single digit race in 2020 and he under-performed the presidential margin in 2020 by nearly 3 points,” Sinclair said. “He is both an under-performing Democrat and on our redistricting watch with California likely to lose a seat in reapportionment.”
Garamendi, a former California lieutenant governor, won his House seat by 17 points in 2018 and 19 points in 2016. Biden won the district by 12 points in 2020.