Only one Orange County Congressional seat is rated a “toss-up” in the latest University of Virginia Crystal Ball House rating – Michelle Steel (CA-45). The Republican incumbent won the June 6 primary with 49 percent against Democrat Jay Chen (42%).
The other Republican on the list, incumbent Young Kim (CA-40), did not beat her Democratic opponent, Asif Mahmood, but a quarter of the vote was divided with a Trump-like Republican candidate (24%). The seat leans Republican in terms of registration.
Katie Porter (CA-47) beat her expected Republican challenger, Scott Baugh, by 20 points. Her war chest and high-profile in national and California politics gives her the advantage, but this will be a difficult Democratic year and her 52 percent win suggests a close race. It’s rated “lean” Democratic.
Also rated “lean” Democratic is Democrat Mike Levin’s (CA-49) seat, who received 50 percent in the primary against Republican Brian Maryott (19%). The good news for Levin is that more of the district’s voters (63%) are in Democratic leaning San Diego than Orange County. He won 53 percent in San Diego and 44 percent in Orange.
The Crystal Ball lists 21 “toss-up” and 16 “lean” Democratic seats. If Democrats lose 40 seats (1994 – 54 seats lost, 2010 – 64, 2018 – 42), Porter and Levin are likely to be among them.
The four districts were redrawn and have new voters for the incumbent candidates. The figures presented are from county election results as of June 9, 2022.