The political arm of House Democrats is undertaking a late push to drive up voter turnout in a handful of marquee California congressional districts where the party now faces the possibility of not even having a Democrat make it onto the November ballot.
The operation from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee includes mailers and digital ads, aimed at registering and turning out the party’s voters in four battleground districts ahead of the June 5 primary.
Each district — all suburbs around Orange County, California — is among the party’s best pickup opportunities this year, and failing to have a general election candidate in any of them would be a significant blow to Democrats’ hopes of winning the 23 seats necessary for a House majority.
“After more than a year of organizing in communities across the state, California Democrats deserve to have a Democrat advance to the general election who they can vote for a Democrat in November,” said Drew Godinich, DCCC spokesperson. “Washington Republicans have attacked California’s environment, health care, and raised taxes on millions of families. California Democrats need to vote in June if they want to be heard in November and finish the task by flipping these California districts blue.”
The get-out-the-vote campaign, which began in mid-April, will run alongside TV ads the DCCC began airing this month. A DCCC spokesman declined to say how much the group was spending on the digital ads, but it is spending more than $1.2 million on the TV ads.
Democrats are concerned that California’s uncommon electoral system — in which the top two vote-getters in a primary advance to the general election regardless of party — will prevent them from winning at least three House seats this fall. The seats – the 39th Congressional District, the 48th Congressional District, and the 49th Congressional District — are each located in the battleground suburbs of Orange County, where a plethora of Democratic candidates in each threatens to split the vote evenly and allow two GOP candidates to move on.
Unlike the group’s TV ads, which are designed to reduce GOP support for Republican candidates, these efforts are meant to boost Democratic registration and turnout.
The DCCC’s digital program will target each of the Orange County districts with ads on websites and social-media services popular with young people, including Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. The program is working in conjunction with DCCC canvassers knocking on doors to turn people out to vote.
The DCCC is also sending get-out-the-vote mailers in the districts, along with another battleground race — California’s 10th Congressional District in the state’s Central Valley – where party leaders are comparatively less worried about losing out on a spot in the general election.
House Democrats — along with outside group allies like the House Majority PAC and Priorities USA — have ramped up their efforts this spring to avoid being locked out of the general election. But they’ve also started on the problem since 2017: Across seven battleground districts in the state, DCCC organizers have registered more than 20,000 voters since February of last year, according to a committee spokesman.