JUST IN: Votes Tallied; GOP Darling Devin Nunes Gets Worst News Of His Career


Tuesday was primary day in California. There’s a significant difference in that state’s primaries versus other states’ primary elections, though; rather than there being a guarantee that a member of each major party will be on the general election ballot, any voter can support any candidate and the top two contenders advance, regardless of party affiliation. Thus, Democrats in California had to make it into that top two if they wanted to hold onto their chances of flipping certain GOP-held seats in the state.

One such seat is the spot in the House of Representatives held by controversial GOP Rep. Devin Nunes. Although Nunes is one of an increasingly smaller group of GOP members of Congress whose positions aren’t seemingly assuredly on the chopping block, if he had hoped to dismiss any and all chance of losing his seat to a Democrat on Tuesday his hopes were dashed.

His chief Democratic challenger Andrew Janz successfully advanced to the general election, finishing with 32 percent of the vote to Nunes’ 58 percent.

Although that’s obviously a big gap, and if it persists to the general election, Nunes will go on to serve another term, it’s not necessarily impossible for Janz to overcome. For one, he will be able to consolidate Democratic support going into November, when Democrats hope to retake a majority in one if not both houses of Congress.

Secondly, he has already proven an ability to run a competent campaign, having raised nearly $2 million as of mid-May, The Los Angeles Times notes. Nunes, for comparison, has been able to raise some $5 million.

Thirdly, helping along Democratic ambitions is the fact that earlier this year, the analysts behind Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics changed their rating of Nunes’ seat from “safe Republican” to “likely Republican.”

Going forward, Nunes himself can certainly count on hearty support from the president and his allies; as one example of this, Trump daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump will be helping lead a fundraiser for the House Intel Chairman later this month.

It’s in his role as House Intel Chairman that he has perhaps been most able to endear himself to the Trump camp. In that role, he has relentlessly pursued claims of misconduct at the Department of Justice that have stemmed from Republicans’ response to the Russia investigation. He has earned plenty of detractors for his questionable methods in the process, but he has proceeded anyway.

In conjunction to Nunes’ possibly secure spot in the House, it’s hardly as though the majority of his Republican colleagues can hold onto similar hopes. Besides the fact that a number of prominent Republicans, like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, are retiring this year, there are a whole host of Republican-held House seats rated as “toss-ups” by the aforementioned prominent analysts behind Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

Just how easily Democrats will be able to turn the general tide towards their party this November remains to be seen. If they’re able to to take control of one of both houses of Congress, they will be able to put up a major roadblock in the path to the implementation of Trump’s agenda.

Featured Image via Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call