New Progressive PAC Targets 8 Key House Races in California

New Progressive PAC Targets 8 Key House Races in California

Mr. Valadao and Mr. Duarte declined interview requests, but Republican pollsters, strategists and consultants in California said changing demographics and new efforts to reach voters of color had shifted the balance of power in their favor. They point to Mr. Valadao’s narrow victory in 2020, as well as victories by minority candidates like Reps. Young Kim and Michelle Steel that same year. Others say the presidential race is also likely to drive up Republican turnout.

“It will be close, but Valadao will win,” said Cathy Abernathy, a Republican campaign consultant in Kern County. “And he will most likely win because Trump is on the ballot.”

The Republican voter base is also growing in the Central Valley districts represented by Mr. Valadao and Mr. Duarte, according to registration records from the California Department of State, representing a net increase of several thousand voters in both districts from September 2022 to February of this year – and exceeded the narrow lead to victory in these positions in the 2022 races.

“I think this is a little bit contrary to the typical narrative that people of color are more progressive in their thinking,” said Rachel Hernandez, a Riverbank city council member who is running for mayor. Instead, she added, “What we’re seeing in the Central Valley is that the Latino community is voting for more conservative candidates.”

Ms. Hernandez added that this is not an irreversible trend for now, but a warning sign for Democrats to pay attention to the nuances of the Latino electorate. She advocated for many of the same tactics that Battleground California says it plans to use: crafting a message for the needs of a specific community and working with staff and volunteers who represent the community.

“My volunteers, for example, were actually all young women until this weekend,” Ms. Hernandez said. “Young, college-aged Latina women who came up to me because they said, ‘Wow, this is like our campaign.’”

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2024-05-01 14:53:52