Has the National Republican Congressional Committee decided to abandon endangered Orange County Republican Rep. Mimi Walters? It sure looks like it.
Per the New York Times’ Alex Burns, Republican “strategists said several other incumbents must recover quickly or risk losing funding, including Representatives Peter Roskam of Illinois and Mimi Walters of California, who represent white-collar suburbs near Chicago and Los Angeles, respectively.”
But according to D.C. insiders, the decision has already de facto been made to dump Walters, who new– albeit controversial– polling from the University of California-Berkeley shows losing by seven points.
Theoretically, Walters could turn that deficit around and the national GOP could use ad time reserved to try to bolster her, but the greater likelihood is they would focus on other candidates to try to keep losses to 20 to 22 seats total in November.
California Republicans are struggling this cycle, due to the GOP tax reform bill effectively raising taxes for many Golden State residents, and the Trump presidency putting off more women and minority voters than standard GOP standard-bearers (PPIC puts Trump’s overall approval among likely voters in California at a staggeringly low 37 percent).
A loss of four GOP seats in California seems all-but guaranteed, but the number could easily rise to seven or more seats depending on how the next few weeks play out.
Of note, while the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court seems to have motivated otherwise unenthusiastic traditional Republicans to come out and vote for their candidates nationwide, in California, PPIC polling showed that “74 percent of likely voters view[ed] the choice of the next Supreme Court justice as very important to them personally.” 76 percent said they did not want to see Roe v Wade overturned, a virtual certainty with Kavanaugh’s confirmation, including 53 percent of Republicans. So, in the Golden State, the Kavanaugh confirmation might play against House Republicans, even if it helps save them elsewhere.
Either way, the probability is that Walters is toast. And if strategists are confirming to the New York Times of all publications that she’s on the verge of being “triaged,” it’s safe to bet she already has been.