Several GOP operatives in California alleged that the deep blue state’s congressional elections in 2024 could make or break the GOP’s control of the house in 2024 and determine whether House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is able to keep his newfound leadership position.
Many conservatives give credit for the GOP’s control of the House stemming from the 2022 midterms, as well as McCarthy’s leadership, to the seats that California Republicans were able to secure over the last two cycles.
However, keeping both the House and McCarthy’s speakership could hinge on congressional wins in California, and Republican strategists in the state believe that they may not only retain their 12 congressional seats but also grow their majority next year.
“There’s no dispute — the road to the majority runs through California,” California state Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher told the DCNF. “Speaker McCarthy has been a great partner in making sure our candidates are well positioned to win their races, not just on the congressional level, but up and down the ballot.”
Although Republicans were disappointed in the lack of the anticipated “red wave” in the 2022 midterms, California Republicans were able to retain all 11 incumbent seats and gain one with Rep. John Duarte, making five pick-ups over the last two cycles. Additionally, McCarthy secured the gavel after a lengthy process, dealing with several Republican holdouts.
In a mid-August press call McCarthy indicated that his ability to retain his speakership status depends primarily on whether the California Republicans can hold their seats in 2024, and he attributed the House’s four-seat majority to those wins.
“Is my future as Speaker dependent on holding the five seats we picked up in California? Yeah. We have our entire majority because we won in California. We picked up those House seats over two cycles,” McCarthy said. “We’ve elected more women as Republicans … Hispanics as Republicans … [and] black Republicans.”
Other California Republicans agree with McCarthy’s prediction for the upcoming election. Mike Vallante, a Republican strategist based in California and director of America First Policy Institute’s Center for Election Integrity, said, “In 2022 the Republican wave never occurred but the Republican wins were waiting in California that made him Speaker…The same scenario is likely in 2024.”
California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Patterson also acknowledged California Republicans’ role in delivering seats for the House majority and boosting McCarthy’s speakership bid, saying the party will strive to continue that success in 2024.
“Republicans will grow our majority and re-elect Speaker Kevin McCarthy thanks to our exceptional House Republican Members and candidates in California,” National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesperson Ben Peterson told the DCNF. “While Democrats are failing Californians with historic inflation, skyrocketing gas prices and exploding crime, these Republican leaders are playing offense and running on a strong record of results.”
“The presidential race is so tumultuous that who knows what will happen in four months, six months or a year,” said Vallante. “The two runaway leaders for both parties right now might not be the eventual nominees. That’s why the freshmen, and really anyone in a competitive seat, need to do their homework every day. They can’t rely on coattails, especially here in California for a Republican.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.