Boehner to CA RNC Delegation: CA is in Play for Congressional Seats

Aug. 28, 2012

By Brian Calle

TAMPA– Democrats in California have such a strong voter registration advantage in the state that most political onlookers write-off California’s statewide electoral contests as hopelessly destined to go blue. That is not an unreasonable conclusion considering that registered Democrats make up about 43 percent of the electorate whereas Republicans account for just over 30 percent of voters statewide, according to a May report released by the California Secretary of State’s office.  But California is in play—and in a big way— at least in its congressional districts, according to speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner.

Boehner spoke to several hundred members of the California delegation to the Republican National Convention at a brunch event in St. Pete Beach Tuesday morning. He told the audience that California congressional races are relevant in 2012 and he has invested resources for those races in Golden State.

Boehner and his colleagues believe there are opportunities for GOP victories. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, echoed those sentiments and told me that the money is funding a new, robust communication and outreach strategy for Republican congressional races in California. He said it is “something you don’t see in California and something you haven’t seen from the Republican Party in California before.” It is a program “you would find in swing states like Ohio and Florida,” McCarthy told me.

The cost of the program, McCarthy estimated, will be around $4 million. Some of the money for the effort has been funded by Boehner and the National Republican Congressional Committee, McCarthy said.  And 14 members of the California GOP house delegation have been touring the state to promote and raise campaign cash.

“Some of the members,” Mr. McCarthy told me, believe “this is the most the [California Republican congressional] delegation has ever worked, together. “

This outreach program is meant to have an impact in races like California’s 26th congressional district race  which has Republican Tony Strickland in a tight contest against Democrat Julia Brownley.

While it would be farfetched to predict a Romney-Ryan win in deep blue California, but Boehner, McCarthy and the NRCC are betting that congressional races are in play for the GOP in California, especially with an influx of cash and a new ground game. If they are right, California could help Republicans preserve or extend their majority in the House of Representatives.


Tags assigned to this article:
CA GOPcongressJohn BoehnerKevin McCarthy

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