California’s 45th Congressional District, which covers inland Orange County, has sent a Republican to the House of Representatives every election since it was created in 1983. Two-term incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters of Laguna Beach, who lives just outside the district, won her 2016 election by 17 percentage points.
However, in this summer’s primary, Walters earned just about 51% of the vote while the rest was split between four Democrats and a candidate with no party preference. UC Irvine law professor Katie Porter, a former protege of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), took the second spot. Republicans’ registration advantage in the district has fallen from 15 percentage points to seven in the last four years.
Porter, more progressive than the Democratic candidates she defeated in the primary, is leading Walters by seven points, according to a recent poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.
The district’s voters are most concerned with healthcare, immigration, the economy and gun laws, according to the IGS poll. Following is a review of their positions.