Democratic Rep. Katie Porter will win re-election in California’s 47th congressional district, CNN predicts, after facing a tougher-than-expected race against Republican Scott Baugh.
Porter’s victory in Orange County’s coastal district gives Democrats another seat in the House of Representatives in the next session – they had won 212 seats as of Friday morning. But that won’t change CNN’s forecast that Republicans will control the chamber in January. Five house races that could affect the partisan composition of the chamber next year are not being called by CNN as of Friday morning.
Porter, a former law professor, appeared to be among the best-placed incumbents in California after her fierce interrogations of Wall Street titans and Trump administration officials due to her exceptional fundraising skills and nationwide popularity within the Democratic grassroots the 2022 cycle will go to congressional hearings.
Porter, who was first elected during the 2018 “blue wave,” was widely viewed as a potential successor to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein should she decide to retire, especially after Porter has a war chest of more for her re-election campaign this cycle had amassed more than $20 million. But amid a difficult political climate for Democrats, she was forced to spend much of that money. California’s new election process also added a complication to the congresswoman: after the new congressional card scrambled the seats in Orange County, Porter had to run in a new district that still included her hometown of Irvine, but where she put herself about two-thirds of the way voters in the district.
Baugh, a former minority leader in the California State Assembly, said clearly that he was not afraid of Porter’s campaign money. He ran on a platform of small government and “terminating bloated government programs that have outlived their usefulness” – while attempting to allay voter concerns about inflation and crime. He also said he opposed drilling off the California coast.
Baugh argued that Porter was “working to dismantle our capitalist economy, punish taxpayers, and increase the reach and power of the federal government,” while hailing a future built on “lower taxes, more freedom, and strong borders.”
As a former chair of the Orange County GOP, Baugh lost a 2018 bid to run for Congress from a district other than the one Porter was running for that year.