Nope, no blue wave in California. GOP actually better poised for gains because of the Trump wave

Well, the big blue wave didn't turn out quite as Democrats thought it would.

The press is reporting they avoided panic, given that most of their candidates secured spots on the top-two on the November midterm ballot.  Whoop-de-doo.  That's not a blue wave, and it's certainly not victory.  Instead, what we saw were signs of Republican strength in a state written off as solid blue, with bigger than expected margins for the GOP that all the Trump-haters out there in the establishment could forecast.  We also saw a significant rejection of Democratic Party organizational favorites, which is a sign that voters are tired of their lockstep voting practices.  A third thing we notice is that heavy television spenders, such as Paul Kerr and Sarah Jacobs, didn't make it.  This, remember, was what Hillary Clinton did instead of going to Wisconsin.  It still fails.

With contested races, we can expect a lot more ads flooding our airwaves as the November midterms approach.  We can also expect Democrats to fight hard, given that California is the linchpin of their master plan to retake Washington.

But there are more bright spots on the Republican side than the Democratic.  For one thing, they have opposition, something they never expected.  California, remember, is supposed to be the solidest of all blue states.  Yeah, sure.  And two, President Trump is popular.  This election shows that he has coattails, and voters aren't ready to give up on the Trump experiment, which is actually going so well.

Three, and this is a goody, with Republicans on the ballot, Democrats will have to fight an issues campaign.  Advantage, Republicans.  It means that Democrats in both state and federal races are going to be pinned down and forced to answer questions they don't want to answer about illegals, the gas tax (very potent), Obamacare, the GOP tax cut, green excesses, the high cost of housing, the bums ruining the quality of life in cities, and the bullet train.  Once Democrats reveal their true positions, they aren't going to find themselves at an advantage.  It certainly isn't going to help the large numbers of moderate-type Democrats who were in some of the top-two spots in the downwind races (they will squirm), and it really won't help the Bernie Sanders-style leftists in similar spots, who will be completely open about their positions.

Here are some more reasons for optimism from various races:

Governor's race: Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox.  First good thing: Antonio Villaraigosa, who was running on a cater-to-illegals identity-politics ticket, didn't make it.  The great Latino wave everyone keeps seeing out there as taking over still hasn't happened.  Good thing, because maybe he will have to run on issues instead of appealing to ethnic solidarity.  Then there's the fact that he was beaten by Republican Cox.  Yes, the analysts say Cox can't possibly win, given that Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one on voter registrations.  But Cox, who embraced President Trump openly and won his endorsement, came out strong in his second-place finish.  He wasn't supposed to place at all.  When he started out, the analysts said there was no chance.  He's still got a bank of Republicans to take votes from, from the candidacy of Travis Allen, and if he energizes them, they will come.

Among the high Democratic registration numbers, there are disgruntled Democrats, particularly about the illegals.  Cox has a chance, and in the Age of Trump, there can be surprises.

Here's another thing: Newsom is no prize.  He seems to have an enthusiasm deficit, given that only "hundreds" showed up to his victory party.  Matt Drudge is already running unflattering pictures of him on his front page, and he looks like a wimp.  Newsom started his campaign early, and apparently that was his only advantage.

Senate: Looks as though it will be Dianne Feinstein and extreme leftist Kevin de León.  It probably was a case of Republicans wanting to keep de León at bay, given that he's another part of the extreme-left California statehouse machine.  Republicans for a long time have been sighing and voting Feinstein, and they probably did it this time, too.  Silver lining: A total unknown Republican named James Bradley, with supposedly no chance to win, did place a very close third to de León.  I know I never heard of him, and I had several Republicans to choose from on the ballot.  That Bradley did as well as he did does show strength.

Ed Royce's seat, Orange County: Young Kim, a Korean-American Republican endorsed by the retiring Royce, a popular congressman nobody wanted to see go, handily took the first spot.  Yes, indeed, there is an Asian wave, and much to Democrats' surprise, it's led by Republicans, just as I suspected.

Devin Nunes: Beat his challenger Andrew Janz, a political novice, handily on the tallies and will face him again in November.  With numbers like his, so much for the canard that Nunes is no longer in a safe seat, as cognoscenti such as Larry Sabato forecasted.

Dana Rohrabacher's seat: Dana, of course, by a huge margin.  Voters love the guy.  Surfin' congressman, can't beat it.  Two Democratic unknowns split the ballot, with half each of what Rohrabacher got.  He will have a fight on his hands if the Dems unite, but cripes, he's done so well, why are voters going to change?

Darryl Issa's seat, San Diego County: Lots of obnoxious characters in this one, with saturation advertising.  Neither of the top two culprits, Sarah Jacobs and Paul Kerr, made it.  They were the Democratic Party's darlings, with all the loud, noisy endorsements.  Voters rejected that.  Instead, it was an unknown lefty lawyer named Mike Levin who took the second slot, despite Jacobs trying to convince voters she too is a left-wing extremist in her ads.  Voters who want that will go for a left-wing lawyer every time, not a novice with Daddy's cash.  And in the first place?  In this district everyone said was a goner in the blue wave quest?  Republican Diane Harkey, someone I have never heard of, but hey, Year of the Woman, right, Democrats?

Image credit: J.D. Lasica via Flickr, Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0.

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