Wisconsin win, big lead in California raise GOP spirits

by WorldTribune Staff, May 13, 2020

Republicans were elated on Tuesday as Trump-backed candidates rolled to special election victory in Wisconsin and to a big lead in a long-held Democratic congressional seat in California.

Tom Tiffany, left, and Mike Garcia

In Wisconsin, GOP candidate Tom Tiffany won by 14 points in the state’s 7th Congressional District.

In California, Republican Mike Garcia built up a 12-point lead in the Los Angeles area’s 25th Congressional District.

“The sizable victory gaps in two key House special elections Tuesday buoyed the GOP and President Trump, who have been looking for signals of how the coronavirus will impact the elections,” Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard noted, adding that the strong GOP showings “also suggest that the 2018 GOP hangover that made Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaker might be over.”

President Donald Trump tweeted: “Big Congressional win in California for Mike Garcia, taking back a seat from the Democrats. This is the first time in many years that a California Dem seat has flipped back to a Republican. Also, Tom Tiffany beat his Democrat rival BIG in Wisconsin. Two great Congressional WINS!”

With Trump’s backing, Tiffany rolled to victory over Democrat Tricia Zunker, who was endorsed by party heavyweights Cory Booker, Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren.

Tiffany and Zunker are expected to face each other in the regular fall election in November, but Tiffany, who will replace the retired Rep. Sean Duffy, is expected to win again.

In California’s 25th, where election officials are still waiting for mail-in votes to be counted, Garcia was leading 56 percent to 44 percent over Democrat Christy Smith. The seat was recently held by Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned in disgrace. Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016.

While Garcia was bolstered by Trump’s backing, Smith received the endorsement of former President Barack Obama.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh said his group invested in both the Wisconsin and California races, and he said the wins indicate that the coronavirus and the 2018 midterms didn’t hurt.

“These election results show that in the midst of a global pandemic, this level of voter turnout shows pro-growth, pro-deregulation policies trounce the big-spending power-grabbing agenda put forward by Pelosi’s Democrats,” McIntosh told Bedard.

“Just as the Trump administration’s initial rollback of regulations before the pandemic helped spur a 3 percent economic growth rate, another round of major reform of federal regulation will be key to reigniting our economy. Last night’s victories demonstrate that voters agree,” McIntosh added.

Greg Mueller, the CEO of CRC Advisors and a GOP communications consultant, said: “This is no longer 2018. Democratic momentum has been stifled. The GOP base is energized, and the energy is similar to 2016. Conservative, pro-growth candidates trounced traditional liberal, big-government Democrats. Pre-election Democrat spin that the California race would be close and that President Trump and his handling of a pandemic would be a drag in these two races was torpedoed.”

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