If you don’t reside in states like Georgia, California, or Wisconsin, you may have had no idea that last night’s elections were taking place. There were a variety of local and special elections held last night, including the first round of a special election to replace Rep. Devin Nunes, who recently retired.
In California’s 22nd District, the Republicans won in numbers not seen in years.
The California 22nd Congressional District is a Hispanic-majority district that only went to Nunes by 5 points in 2018 and 8 points in 2020. The last jungle primary (March 2020) saw the GOP win just 56 percent of the vote. On Tuesday evening, Republicans were aiming for around 64 percent of the vote, with a difference of 18 points between the two parties.
Of course, the margins are fantastic for the GOP, but what’s more amazing is that this is a district that is more Hispanic than it was when Republicans were winning it by 15+ points before. If this translates to the general election (and past jungle primaries have shown), it would indicate that the Republican Party’s appeal among Hispanics isn’t limited to the Rio Grande Valley, but rather all across the country.
Meanwhile, in Kenosha Waukesha, Wisconsin, Republicans captured local seats for the first time.
Several Wisconsin school board races were contested in 2017, with critical race theory and indoctrination of children being major issues. Anti-CRT candidates won as a result of these concerns.
Finally, a Georgia House jungle primary brought more good news for the GOP.
But what should we make of the fact that numerous members of the #Resistance are celebrating this result? It is, in reality, a misreading. This was yet another jungle primary, which means despite Mitchell Kaye’s 41.6 percent as a Republican, two other Republicans received 18.5 percent of the vote each. The GOP took 55% of the vote in 2020, so margins increased significantly. Even a one-two point overall swing back towards Republicans might be enough to win or lose in Georgia, which is as close as it gets.
In the end, these are all modest data points, but they track with what we’ve seen in prior elections, including last year’s general election in states like Virginia. There is no evidence that the Democrats are gaining ground. Instead, it appears that Republicans will not only recapture the House of Representatives but also make significant gains at the state level. And, ultimately, those state-level power structures.