You know we have entered strange political times when not insulting women nor being a jerk are the best a former state Republican Party executive director can come up with about Rep. Mimi Walters (R-All of the 45th U.S. Congressional District Except the Parts Where They Hold Town Hall Meetings with Constituents).
That bit of knowledge was thrown down by none other than Jon Fleischman, better known for his longtime conservative blog The Flash Report. It came in a Politico story about California Republicans being reenergized by the close victory of brand spanking new Congresswoman Karen Handel (R-Georgia).
So what, other than party and plumbing, does Handel have to do with Walters?
Well, the Democratic Party smells blood in the Orange County congressional districts of Republicans Walters (R-Irvine), Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and Darrell Issa, whose Vista-based district actually straddles OC and San Diego County. The Dems’ feeling, which is accompanied by an infusion of cash from the home office, stems from the GOP failing to make inroads with a growing Latino population and Hillary Clinton becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate in forever to carry Orange County.
What Fleischman is quick to point out is that only Issa experienced a nail biter, and that while Royce, Walters and Rohrabacher experienced smaller margins of victory than in elections past, they were still significantly wide margins.
“You’re talking about voters who went to the ballot box, voted for these members of Congress … in the year that Hillary was actually on the ballot,” said Fleischman of the 2016 national election. “So why would these people, two years later, not vote for the incumbent they voted for?”
Handel is among four GOP winners in special elections since Trump was elected. The Dems are 0-4.
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Having voted for Walters but written in "Vin Scully" for president, Fleischman observed, "The people’s objections to Trump aren’t political, they’re personal … Mimi Walters hasn’t been insulting to women. Mimi Walters isn’t a jerk.”
His political polar opposite, UC Irvine political science professor, longtime Orange County election watcher and former Weekly Man Bites Dogma columnist Mark Petracca, agrees with Fleischman, not about Mimi's jerkiness but prospects for the donkey party.
“I actually don’t think the Democrats running for Congress have as good a chance as everybody thinks they do," Petracca told Politico. "… They’re closer than they were 20 years ago. But they’re still not there yet.”
Of course, the "experts" had it all wrong about Trump, so who knows? I mean, other than Putin.