It’s down to the wire in the midterm elections, and some Republican candidates for Congress in battleground Orange County districts are campaigning hard — for a proposition on the state ballot.
In a year when polls point to enthusiasm and energy on the Democratic side, California Republicans are hoping an unpopular state gas-tax increase is what will motivate their base to get off the couch — and maybe expend some gas — to get to the polls.
That was evident in the final days leading up to Tuesday’s election, with candidates spending their precious final hours speaking at rallies for Proposition 6, which asks voters to repeal the state gas tax hike passed last year.
Poll numbers show the race for the House seat in California’s 45th Congressional District in a dead heat — but in the tony suburban housing tracts where Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) went knocking on doors Monday afternoon, it was all enthusiastic supporters who greeted her.
Using a voter information app, Walters was focusing her eleventh-hour efforts on getting likely supporters to the polls.
“We’ve got, let’s see…” Ray Martin, 65, said, going through the adults living in the house. “We’ve got five, you’ve got five.”
In Costa Mesa, busloads of volunteers from the Westside of Los Angeles arrived on Monday to canvass for Harley Rouda, the Laguna Beach Democrat vying to unseat Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in the 48th Congressional District, which has long been owned by the Republicans.
"This is the first time I've come out to canvass since 1964 and the Fair Housing Act," said Lucie Hinden, 70, of Beverlywood. Her Democratic congresswoman, Karen Bass, is considered a shoo-in, so she came south where she might make a difference. "We were looking for very tight races."
You can't get much tighter than this one, according to polls. Rohrabacher has the advantage of many more registered Republicans in the district. But dislike of President Trump is high, and Rouda has run a stronger campaign against Rohrabacher than the incumbent has experienced in his 30 years in Congress.
You're registered, and election day is almost here. Now what? Here are some answers to your voting questions:
What if I go to to the polls and I'm not on the list?
The poll worker will help you. They can look up if you're registered to vote in a different location. You can also request a provisional ballot, which you'll fill out the same way as a normal ballot. Request a receipt for your provisional ballot and check back a few days later to make sure it was counted.
With fewer than 24 hours before polls open, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) spent Monday afternoon stumping with Democrat Gil Cisneros, who’s locked in a tight battle with Republican Young Kim to replace her former boss Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).
Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was feeling optimistic about Democrats’ chances of netting the 23 seats they need to take back control of the House. If they succeed, Schiff is widely expected to take over as chair of the committee tasked with investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
“We’re not taking anything for granted,” Schiff said, but laid out his priorities as the committee’s chair if control of the House flips. Reviving the investigation into Russia’s election meddling is at the top of the list, Schiff said, and also probing whether Russia has financial leverage over President Trump through his business interests.
They’ve held hundreds of rallies including a massive gathering on the National Mall, appeared with Trevor Noah and other late-night television hosts, and challenged elected officials to face-to-face debate.
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes is beloved by his supporters in this rural Central Valley district where GOP registered voters safely outnumber Democrats. But that hasn’t stopped 71-year-old Patty Lennon from working to unseat him over the last year.
The retired kindergarten teacher on Monday was one of dozens of volunteers helping to coordinate and train canvassers making a final push for Democrat Andrew Janz. Like many Janz supporters there, she said Nunes had lost his way and is playing into President Trump’s hands at the expense of his constituents.
“I don’t see it as a Republican or Democrat thing,” she said, decked in a yellow traffic vest and jeans. “I see it as doing what is best for the Valley. People thought we needed a change in 2016, and I think we need that change for seat 22.”
On Nov. 6, rides on L.A. Metro’s six rail lines and 2,200 buses will be free from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Eliminating the $1.75 fare for a day will cost the agency an estimated $600,000, officials said.
Metro will also offer a free one-way ride on its bike-share system, which has stations in Venice, Echo Park and downtown Los Angeles. Users should enter the code 1162018 to waive the $1.75 fee.
The nation’s two largest ride-hailing companies, Lyft and Uber, are also offering discounts and subsidies to some voters through partnerships with voter turnout organizations.
Democratic candidates are raising staggering sums of money, driven mostly by increased enthusiasm by donors on the left and aided by ActBlue, the online fundraising platform for progressive candidates.
It’s especially pronounced in California, where the GOP is badly diminished after more than two decades of decline brought about by political and demographic changes.
U.S. House candidates are making their final pushes across California one day before the midterms. Here are six competitive races to pay attention to:
25th Congressional District: Rep. Steve Knight vs. Katie Hill
39th Congressional District: Young Kim vs. Gil Cisneros
45th Congressional District: Rep. Mimi Walters vs. Katie Porter
48th Congressional District: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher vs. Harley Rouda
49th Congressional District: Diane Harkey vs. Mike Levin
50th Congressional District: Rep. Duncan Hunter vs. Ammar Campa-Najjar