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Democrats Have A New Strategy To Win House Seats In CA

| by Lauren Briggs
President Obama speaks to a joint session of CongressPresident Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress

In an attempt to flip some seats currently occupied by Republicans, the Democratic Party is sending some Washington D.C. senior staffers to California to fight for 2018 victories in the House of Representatives.

Democrats are targeting seven Republican seats in counties such as Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego, as well as some other traditionally GOP-dominated areas in Nevada, Oregon and Washington, reports The Los Angeles Times.

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"Democrats are on offense across the map -- including in districts that have not seen a serious challenge in a long time, if ever -- and many of those targeted seats are in California," Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, who is on the committee overseeing the move, said in a statement, according to The Times. "Moving out west is one of the improvements that we're making at the DCCC in order to maximize gains in the midterms."

The decision to move staffers comes after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton beat President Donald Trump in Orange County, which is known for consistently voting for Republicans.

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Trump's win, predicted by few polls and pundits, "fired up" the Democrats, said Princeton University statistician Sam Wang, who said it would take "an extreme event" for the left to win back Congress any time soon, according to the Associated Press.

Matt Grossmann, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University, said that the amount of momentum that the Democrats can muster depends on how successful Trump and the GOP are at achieving policy change.

"Politicians sometimes think that they made promises and their voters want them to keep them, but the historical pattern is the opposite -- that public opinion moves against the direction of policy change," Grossmann told AP. "So the more Donald Trump is successful -- and the Republican Party is successful -- in moving policy to the right, the bigger the backlash is likely to be."

With 14 months to go until California's primaries, several Democratic candidates are already challenging incumbent Republicans. But in order for the new staffers to be successful, they will need to find good candidates and figure out ways to connect with voters, veteran campaign consultant Darry Sragow told The Times.

"The political landscape of California is littered with bodies of operatives from other places who thought they could come in here and achieve amazing results and they never do because they don’t understand the place," he said, adding that the staffers will also need to examine voting trends and determine whether or not any of those seats are likely to flip.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Associated Press via Business Insider / Photo Credit: Lawrence Jackson/Wikimedia Commons

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