House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said his chances of keeping the speakership after the 2024 midterm elections depends on the GOP winning races in one key state — California.
McCarthy, who was chosen speaker in January following a contentious 15-round voting process, currently holds a tenuous four-seat majority over the House Republican Conference. McCarthy said during a press conference call about the Republican National Committee’s new “Bank Your Vote” strategy in the state that maintaining those seats would be critical to keeping the House in Republican control after the Conference gained new members in California following the 2022 midterm elections.
“Is my future as Speaker dependent on holding the five seats we picked up in California? Yeah. We have our entire majority because we won in California. We picked up those House seats over two cycles,” McCarthy said. He added that the gains were primarily due to Republicans’ fielding candidates from minority communities, saying “We’ve elected more women as Republicans … Hispanics as Republicans … [and] black Republicans.”
“When you look at a seat like Duarte’s or Valadao’s, Biden carried it by 11 and 13 percent,” McCarthy noted, noting Republicans’ efforts to defend seats where President Joe Biden carried a majority of votes in the 2020 election. “We also have seats that Democrats sit in which Trump carried, and we’re going to Bank Votes in those seats, too … Presidential elections change our turnout.”
McCarthy highlighted Republican Rep. Mike Garcia of California’s 27th district, saying, “Mike Garcia won in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, which no Republican had done since 1994 … [These seats] give Republicans a majority but are also very embarrassing to the Democrats.”
The RNC’s effort to turn out Republican voters in 2024 has come to be known as the “Bank Your Vote” strategy, which includes activities like encouraging absentee voting, harvesting ballots, and poll watching.
This comes as a recent survey delivered bad news for Democrats and President Joe Biden as the 2024 campaign cycle looms.
According to a Newsweek tracker poll, Democrats’ pet issues like abortion and the environment are far down the list of what is most important to a majority of Americans.
According to the survey, which was conducted on July 15 and 16 among 1,500 eligible voters, the economy remains, by far, the most important issue, with 60 percent indicating as much — and at a time when gas prices are rising again, food prices remain high, interest rates have skyrocketed leading to far higher mortgage and auto loan costs, and a growing percentage of Americans have seen their buying power decrease under President Biden.
“Most voters—48 percent—said they were worse off now than they were three years ago. A further 29 percent said they were better off and 22 percent said they were about the same,” Newsweek reported, citing its survey results. “Forty-four percent said their financial situation has worsened in the last year, compared to 28 percent who said it had improved and another 28 percent who said it had stayed the same.”
The next three top issues are also not necessarily strong ones for Democrats. According to the survey’s findings, 33 percent said healthcare was the most important, followed by 28 percent who named immigration as their top concern and 24 percent who said it is policing and crime.
Meanwhile, two top issues for Democrats ranked further down on the list.
“Abortion and the environment were tied at 21 percent,” Newsweek noted, citing its survey.
Philip van Scheltinga, director of research at Redfield & Wilton Strategies, which conducted the survey as part of a new partnership with Newsweek, noted that “the nuances of public opinion that we can already see in this first poll” also do not necessarily align with Democratic cultural and social priorities.
“For instance, 62 percent of Americans say they are proud, rather than ashamed, of their country’s history, and 70 percent believe children in schools should be taught to feel proud of their country,” he said.
“At the same time, 57 percent think institutional racism still exists in the United States. These figures indicate a far more complex public opinion landscape than the bipolar one we may be led to believe otherwise exists,” he went on.
“Likewise, we see pluralities saying children should be taught about same-sex couples, but a majority saying children should not be taught that it is possible to change one’s gender, again indicating the public’s tendency not to perceive issues (in this instance, LGBT issues) in the unified, box-like fashion that political activists would perhaps like them to,” he noted further.
On the issue of immigration, Biden’s extremely lax policies — illegal crossings and drug smuggling have both skyrocketed under his watch after he reversed nearly all of former President Donald Trump’s tough enforcement directives — are also losers for him and for his party, according to the poll.
The survey “found dissatisfaction with the U.S. government’s approach to illegal immigration as 28 percent of respondents said they were very dissatisfied and 22 percent said they were dissatisfied,” Newsweek said.
Meanwhile: “Just 8 percent said they were very satisfied with the U.S. government’s approach, while 11 percent said they were satisfied and 24 percent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.”
In response to the question about whether they believed the U.S. had control over its borders, 62 percent of the respondents stated that the country did not, while just 25 percent believed that the U.S. did control its borders, and 13 percent were unsure or did not know.
The Democratic left’s ‘soft-on-crime’ approach is a political loser as well, the survey indicates.