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13 January 2018, 02:17 | Erica Roy
Democrats face the hour of truth against Donald Trump
But Democrat Doug Applegate, a retired Marine colonel, nearly beat Issa in the closest Congressional race of 2016, losing by six tenths of a percentage point. Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton carried his district ― an increasingly diverse enclave of residents ― by 9 percentage points in the 2016 election. Royce won reelection previous year by double digits even as Hillary Clinton was carrying the district by 52 percent to 43 percent - a major shift to Democrats after Mitt Romney won it by four percentage points in 2012.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a controversial GOPer inside and outside of his state who was considered one of 2018's most vulnerable Republican's up for re-election, has chose to call it quits. Democrat Douglas Applegate, who lost to Issa by only a little more than 1,000 votes in 2016, is running again. Democrats are eyeing the seat as a potential pickup opportunity in the midterm elections later this year.
"We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats' battle royale: black and blue, and broke", said Rep. Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. In 1934, Democrats picked up seats as Franklin Delano Roosevelt dealt with the Great Depression and, in 2002, Republicans made gains as President George W. Bush rallied the country after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
After Democrats flipped three other seats in special elections around Georgia, Republicans must be getting nervous.
On the Senate side, Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are retiring.
However, Republicans see a silver lining in the sheer number of Democratic challengers in some of these races.
Most congressional forecasters have rated the seat as leaning toward Republicans, however, based on Royce's strong declarations that he would seek another term this year. Democrats have sought guarantees from Republicans that they would not stack the legislative committees.
A handful of voters sued over the other disputed election, a 73-vote squeaker in the Fredericksburg area where 147 voters mistakenly received the wrong ballots. The state allows the top two vote-getters - regardless of party affiliation - to advance to the general election.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hired local organizers in both Royce and Issa's districts in February 2017, and opened a regional office in Orange County for the first time in April.
Passing an infrastructure bill in the Republican-controlled Congress to improve US infrastructure like roads, airports, ports and railways, will likely require support from the Democratic party in the Senate where Republicans only have a slender majority. But he became best known in Washington for turning the Oversight Committee into something like an Inquisition. Associated Press Writer Jonathan J. Cooper in Sacramento contributed.
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