LOS ANGELES — Two years ago, Democrats celebrated the Republican Party’s seven seats in California, demonstrating that the party is increasingly capable of competing here and in swing regions across the country.
But this year, even if Joseph R. Biden Jr. flooded President Trump in California, the Republicans still grabbed four of those seats. The loss shocked Democrats and contributed to the thin fringe that the party will occupy in the House of Representatives in January this year.
This shift proves the competitiveness of seats, especially in Orange County, which was once the bastion of the conservative Republican Party and has been steadily advancing the Democratic Party for the past 20 years.
There are many reasons for the Democratic Party’s losses, including the unique Californian forces and the complexity of the campaign during the pandemic. But in any case, they reflect the power of the Republican attacks. Some are false or exaggerated. The Democrats are socialist parties, allocate funds for the police, and abolish private health insurance.
This attack played an important role in Mr. Trump’s re-election strategy, and this attack was carried out to a large extent under the leadership of Mr. Trump, when parts of California were subjected to street protests to clean up Some of the abuse of power by the police have turned into tattered protests. The local TV station reported a lot of robbery and confrontation with law enforcement agencies.
“Republicans are hovering around the necks of Democrats. We are all socialists or communists. We all want to pay for the police.” said Harley Rouda, a Democrat from Orange County, who Defeated by Michelle Steele, a Republican member of the Orange County Supervisory Committee. “I think that as a political party, we have not done enough to refute this narrative. We won in 2018 because people like me-moderates-changed the radical Republican seat and took back the House of Representatives.”
Republicans say that the Democratic Party’s attempts to portray itself as a moderate have been weakened by the party’s shift to the left and demonstrations.
The leader of the California Republican Party, Jessica Milan Patterson, said: “It’s very easy for us to make comparisons.” She said that the protests were “everywhere. It looked like a war zone.”
Nonetheless, the election result is the result of a combination of factors, especially in a campaign against a deadly pandemic, especially among the polarizing figures who dominate the political debate by Mr. Trump.
Democrats said they were also harmed by a national policy formulated by the party that avoided door-to-door canvassing activities during the pandemic. Presumably, this will not be a factor in 2022.
Democratic representative TJ Cox said: “The number one problem in our campaign was that we did not draw lots. He represented the San Joaquin Valley and lost to the Republican David Valadao, who took office in 2018.” He said it was like playing for a football team that was told “they could not pass.”
Christy Smith, a Democrat from northern Los Angeles County, failed to win an area occupied by her party in 2018. She said that her adherence to public health guidelines is not good for her. (Katie Hill, a Democrat who won in 2018, resigned after being accused of improper relations with staff.)
Ms. Smith said: “We can’t participate in forums or city halls.” “This is my favorite way of campaigning.”
California frequently fights Covid-19, which has caused devastation in an area skewed by the Republican Party, where the public has always despised the mask-wearing rule and despised the state’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom).
“Everyone is worried about Covid,” said Sam Oh, a Republican adviser to two Republican winners, Young Kim and Ms. Steel. “However, we are trying to find a way to provide small business owners with a way to sustain their lives. This is very important, and the Democratic Party knows nothing about it.”
Analysts said that Republicans recruited strong candidates, which is always the most critical task in the election. These include Ms. Steele and Ms. Kim (who will be one of the first Korean-American congressmen), and former military pilot Mike Garcia (Mike Garcia), who won a special election in May to replace Ms. Hill, and then Defeat Ms. Smith. November.
Democrats set their goal in 2018 on the seven seats occupied by the Republican Party and won all of them, thereby halving the number of Republican congressional delegations in California. That sweep shows that Democrats are invading areas that were once Republican states, and provides a road map for how the party can compete in swing regions across the country.
But this time Republicans succeeded in winning moderate voters, especially themes that resonated among moderate voters like Orange County: high taxes, intrusive government, and law and order. Democrats say that the debate on the national stage hurts them, especially among Latino and Asian American voters.
“I think we underestimated the strength of the attack,” said Dan Cena, the first Hispanic executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The combination of national socialist information and criminal information has caused thousands of deaths in places like California.”
Ms. Smith said she was frustrated trying to campaign in an environment where “Republicans are so stubbornly insisting on false narratives,” and Democrats have never known how to solve it. She said: “We have never done anything.”
For California Republicans, victory is a rare piece of good news for parties that have been in decline in the state. Oh said: “We now have a blueprint showing that these truly dynamic candidates can run for presidential candidates in a polarized environment and win.” “We are in an incredibly good position and full of expectations.”
Mr. Newsom is facing a recall campaign, which may be a potential sign of this shift, in large part because of his handling of the pandemic, although it is unlikely that he will be deposed and received by the Republican Party. Replace, but it is certainly not impossible. This is how Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor in 2003.
Ms. Patterson said: “California is at a turning point.” People are realizing what the Democratic Party is doing here. This is about what the California Democrats have been doing and the referendum the governor has made in the state. “
Republicans argue that the results here and across the country are strong evidence that many voters are rejecting the policies advocated by leftist Democrats.
Torunn Sinclair, press secretary of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said: “The Democrats said they will get 10 to 15 seats in the House of Representatives.” “Obviously they are missing something. It must go back to what people don’t want. These ultra-left policies. “Universal Medical Insurance”, allocates funds for the police.
For the 2018 Democrat winner and 2020 Republican winner, the California hub has a narrow margin of victory.
“These areas-including me-are hard to flip,” said Representative Katie Porter, the Orange County Democrat who won in 2018 and was re-elected in 2020. “This is one of the Republican areas. They have always been. Very competitive game.”
Democratic strategist Darry Sragow said that the state Republicans have not lost everything in 2020. “But it’s hard to say that they will be better off,” he said. “These congressional districts have always been Republicans until the Democratic Party elects them until 2018.”
The four losing Democrats are all talking about seeking to re-match in 2022, but as part of the once-in-decade redistribution of districts before the next election, the districts will be re-divided. Both sides said the game will be tight again.
“This is a pause,” said Mr. Cox, a Democrat from San Joaquin Valley. “But please keep in mind that if we don’t conduct live battles, our loss is less than 1%. Therefore, due to these factors, we become a little bit surprising.”