Home>Articles>Political Analysts Say CA-25 Race Between Republican Mike Garcia and Democrat Christy Smith a ‘Toss-Up’

Mike Garcia. (Photo: Facebook)

Political Analysts Say CA-25 Race Between Republican Mike Garcia and Democrat Christy Smith a ‘Toss-Up’

Both parties view the race between Smith and former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia as a ‘nailbiter’

By Katy Grimes, April 13, 2020 11:16 am

The congressional race in CA-25, is now considered a much closer toss-up than previously thought. Both the Cook Political report and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved CA -25 from “lean Democratic” victory to “toss up.”

The 25th congressional district seat is currently vacant after explicit photos of then-Rep. Hill were leaked, and it was revealed she had “a long-term sexual relationship with a female campaign staffer,” and Hill and her husband were involved in a “throuple” threesome relationship with the young staffer. Hill, who has since resigned from Congress, claimed to be a victim of “revenge porn,” and an abusive husband.

“California, during a pandemic, would be an unlikely place and time for a GOP upset,” The Cook Political Report says. “After all, Republicans haven’t picked up a seat in the state since 1998 and most voters aren’t enamored with President Trump’s handling of the crisis. In fact, Trump’s approval rating has barely budged since November 2018, when Democrat Katie Hill ousted GOP Rep. Steve Knight by seven points in California’s 25th district.”

Assemblywoman Christy Smith (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“But a month out from the May 12 all vote-by-mail special election to replace Hill, both parties view the race between Democratic state Assemblywoman Christy Smith and Republican former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia as a nailbiter.” The Cook Political Report is a non-partisan newsletter that analyzes American political campaigns.

“Top-two primary results generally decent for Democrats, but a May special election held amidst uncertainty of the pandemic could give Republicans a chance to make up a little ground in California,” Sabato reported. “Crowded primaries on both sides produced the major party nominees that both national parties wanted: state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D) and former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia (R). Garcia had the more competitive path to advancing, as he had to dispatch former Rep. Steve Knight (R), who Hill beat by about nine points in her decisive 2018 victory. National Republicans seemed to prefer Garcia, a fresh face with an attractive biography, over Knight. Guest columnist Niles Francis took a close look at the district right before Super Tuesday.” Sabato’s Crystal Ball is a nonpartisan political analysis and handicapping newsletter run by the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The CA-25th is located in northern Los Angeles County. Following the 2018 congressional slaughter where California lost seven House races, the district has trended blue. “Four years after voting for Mitt Romney, it voted for Hillary Clinton 50 percent to 43 percent and registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans 38 percent to 32 percent,” the Cook Political Report said.

Mike Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot and Santa Clarita native, is getting the full support of Trump Victory, the joint field effort between the Trump campaign and the RNC to help elect Republicans up and down the ballot.

Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) is also campaigning to replace now-disgraced Democratic Representative Katie Hill. The special election will take place May 12th in an “all-mail ballot election” because of a recent executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Garcia says “Smith is as far left as Katie Hill. She’s a Socialist like Katie Hill, trying to paint herself as a moderate.”

“This district has seen this movie before, and they’re not buying it.”

Garcia has received the endorsement of Club for Growth PAC. “Mike Garcia is not only a patriotic American and former fighter pilot, but also a conservative who understands the importance of constitutionally limited government and free market policies,” David McIntosh, Club for Growth PAC President said. “This seat is the first important pick-up opportunity for Republicans in 2020 and I can think of no one better than Mike to start a red wave.” 

“Club for Growth PACs supports conservatives in key elections across the country. In 2018, Club for Growth PACs won 85% races in the election while maintaining 8.9% overhead.”

Trump Victory is going all out for Garcia. In addition to Garcia’s virtual townhall events, Trump Victory holds Trump Talk, which allows supporters to make calls from the comfort of their own home, everyone with a laptop and a phone can be their own Trump Victory field office – allowing anyone in the country to make calls into CA-25, Samantha Zager, Regional Communications Director reports.

“We’ve hired Trump Victory staff in California, and until May 12, our California Trump Victory team is turning all volunteer efforts toward the special election in CA-25,” Zager said. “After transitioning our entire ground game to a virtual operation within 24 hours, our California Trump Victory staff is working hard to virtually train new volunteers to continue to make voter contacts. That means every day we’re bringing new volunteers into the fold, training them as staff, and making even more voter contacts to spread the word about the upcoming special election in the 25th Congressional District.”

“We were able to make that virtual transition within 24 hours because we have the existing infrastructure in place,” Zager said. “After spending over $350 million on our data operation over the course of the last several cycles, our campaign is built on data and technology so the pivot was seamless.”

“Meanwhile, Joe Biden took four days to set up a camera in his basement, Democrats around the country are touting peer-to-peer texting like it’s something new, and the Democrat Party is broke and lacks unity. They couldn’t catch up with us even if they tried.”

Garcia did well in the March 3rd California Primary Election, where Democrat Christy Smith received 31.6% of the vote, Republican Garcia received 23.9%, and former Rep. Steve Knight, also Republican, received 19.1%, making this hotly contested race a nail biter. Knight has since endorsed Garcia.

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