Here’s What the Blue Wave Looked Like in California

Even when they lost, Democrats boosted their performance in tough races.

Charlie Neuman/Zuma

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As of last Monday, California Democrats had flipped 3 of the 10 Republican-held congressional seats they’d targeted in this year’s election. After a week of unhurried vote counting, they’ve now flipped six—including every seat in Orange County. And the final(ish) vote counts confirm just how well their candidates did in these historically conservative districts—even when they lost. On average, the Democratic vote share in these districts jumped from 42 percent in 2016 to 50 percent in 2018.

Democrats increased their vote share in all 10 of California’s hottest races

In districts where Democrats won, their average share of the vote jumped 7.5 percent, to 52.6 percent. In the districts where Republicans held their seats, Democrats boosted their average vote share to 47 percent—a 9.7-point increase since 2016. Some of the biggest increases were in these losing districts: Ammar Campa-Najjar did 11 points better than the last Democrat to challenge Rep. Duncan Hunter. And Andrew Janz increased the Democratic vote share in Rep. Devin Nunes’ Central Valley district by in 15 points.

While these numbers seem to validate the Democratic Party’s decision to focus on flipping these California seats, they also raise some questions as it prepares for 2020: Can it get over 50 percent in the districts where it lost? And can it hold on to the often-narrow wins in the districts it just turned blue? 

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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