That’s called a nail biter, folks.
With Democrats managing to retain control of the US Senate following this weekend’s count, all eyes have turned to the US House of Representatives – and to California, which ended up changing the balance of power in Congress and the political direction of the US Senate country could determine.
With 218 House seats needed for a majority, Republicans had secured 212 and Democrats 204 by Sunday, according to the Associated Press. But 19 races stayed too close to call them – including 12 in California.
In three Golden State contests Sunday night, the contestants were within 3 percentage points of each other, according to CalMatters’ live scores tracker. Other gaps weren’t much larger: In the Central Valley, for example, Republican Rep. David Valadao was about 5 percentage points ahead of his Democratic challenger, Rep. Rudy Salas.
The three closest races are:
- The matchup between Democratic Rep. Katie Porter and Republican Scott Baugh in Orange County.
- The race between Republican Ken Calvert and Democrat Will Rollins for a district that includes Coachella Valley and Riverside County.
- And the contest between Republican farmer John Duarte and Democratic Congressman Adam Gray for a newly created district anchored in Modesto.
Although the Democratic Party’s stronger-than-expected national performance suggests that predictions of a Republican “red wave” were largely overblown, the party is unlikely to swap some of the GOP-held California congressional seats if current election trends continue, Nate said Cohn, the New York Times political analyst chief, tweeted Saturday.
Regardless of which party ends up taking control of the House of Representatives, it’s a Californian’s turn to take the helm: either current Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from San Francisco, or Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield.
The election could also baffle Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose path to higher office could be hampered by results that appear to contradict his repeated claims that the Democratic Party is “overwhelmed by narratives,” argues the Wall Street Journal columnist, James Freeman.
Here’s a quick rundown of other California election updates:
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California is poised to elect the most diverse legislature ever
Though ballots are still being counted in some of California’s most competitive general election, it appears voters have elected a record number of women and LGBTQ people to the state assembly and senate — a milestone that could translate into other policies as well, reporting from Sacramento, CalMatters’ Ariel Gans and Sameea Kamal. California is heading for at least 43 out of 120 female lawmakers — a record — and could elect as many as 52. Meanwhile, eight open LGBTQ candidates win their races – putting California on track to be the first state to achieve proportional LGBTQ representation in the legislature – and up to 14 could be elected.
- Susannah Delano of Close the Gap, a political advocacy group working to empower Democratic women, said more women lawmakers could lead to an increased focus on reproductive health care, equal pay and family economics issues.
- Samuel Garrett-Pate of Equality California, a political advocacy and civil rights group supporting LGBTQ+ candidates: “There is a lot of work for us to achieve full equality. It’s not that easy just to pass through civil rights protections. It’s hard work that takes a long time, but we know that we can make greater progress when we have more (LGBTQ) people in the room to help with these decisions.”
State prepares for a week of strikes
Welcome to Strikesgiving Round Two: At least three strikes will take place across California over the next week as burnt-out and frustrated workers attack the picket lines:
- start today Up to 48,000 UC academic staff — including teaching assistants, postdocs and graduate students — are expected to go on strike across all 10 UC campuses, a move that could cause some classes, grading and lab work to grind to a halt in weeks before final exams . The four striking unions — which have filed 23 complaints of unfair labor practices against UC — are pushing for significant wage increases, improved childcare benefits, better health care and public transit tickets, among other things. “We teach the courses, grade the papers, and conduct the cutting-edge research that has earned UC its reputation as the best public university in the world,” unions told the Los Angeles Times. UC said in a statement that it “negotiated in good faith,” proposing contracts that are “generous, responsive to union priorities and recognizing the many valuable contributions made by these employees.”
- On Tuesday, Fast-food workers across California are scheduled to strike outside restaurants including Starbucks, Chipotle and Jack in the Box to protest companies’ efforts to qualify a 2024 referendum to pass new legislation establishing a State Council to regulate wages and working conditions in industry. According to advocacy group Fight for $15 and a Union, McDonald’s employees across the country are also planning to protest outside the company’s Chicago headquarters to show their solidarity with California workers.
- Next Monday and Tuesday, 21.-22. November, More than 21,000 registered nurses will go on strike at 21 Kaiser Permanente facilities across Northern California to demand more hiring and training, minimum staffing policies and improved job protections. “We are chronically understaffed, which means patients are waiting longer for care,” Cathy Kennedy, president of the California Nurses Association, said in a statement. “This is unacceptable and unconscionable when Kaiser made more than $14 billion in the first two years of the pandemic.” Kaiser told the Sacramento Bee that since 2021 she has hired about 3,300 additional nurses and is “committed to hiring hundreds more.” “. The proposed industrial action comes not long after thousands of Kaiser mental health workers walked out of work for 10 weeks.
In some hospitals, the capacity for influenza outbreaks will be increased
An early wave of flu and other respiratory illnesses has forced some San Diego hospitals to set up overflow tents in their parking lots to handle the influx of patients — a scene reminiscent of that at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials say the rising stress in hospitals and clinics – particularly those treating children – is the latest indication California could face a flu, COVID and respiratory syntactic virus “triple disease” this winter, a common one Cause of pneumonia in infants. Although there is no vaccine for RSV, health experts are urging eligible residents to get updated flu and COVID vaccinations as soon as possible.
- dr Zoey Goore, a pediatric clinician at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville, told CapRadio: “All of the children hospitalized with flu complications haven’t had a vaccine this year.”
Although the overall coronavirus picture in California remains positive, cases and hospitalizations are spiking in some regions, including Los Angeles County. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said her office will again strongly recommend face masks if current trends continue, the Los Angeles Times reports.
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