In 2016, California's 14 Republican-held congressional districts returned all GOP incumbents to the House of Representatives. However, majorities in seven of those districts chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for president. The districts were located in places long associated with rock-ribbed conservatism: The High Desert, Orange County, interior San Diego County and the Central Valley. Our Blue State/Red District series investigates those seven red districts, the challenges shaping their destinies and the policy rifts between congressional representatives and their constituents. Our reporters spoke to residents, both Republican and Democrat, to learn which issues they consider important as well as which may be flying under the radar - but could have profound effects on American politics.
>Election analysis from CDT advisory board member Steve Phillips.< Latinos are now the largest nonwhite racial group in America. They are among the fastest-growing sectors of the population (Asian Americans are actually the fastest-growing segment of the population). There are 58 million Latinos in the country, and many of them are young citizens, with 66,000 Latinos turning 18 (voting age) every month. This group is more than large enough to transform the political balance of power in key states and in the country as a whole. Most immediately, Latinos now have the numbers to swing key races that will determine control of the United States Senate.
The stakes are high in this year's midterm elections: control of the U.S. House. For Democrats to reclaim power, they must forge a path through California, home to 39 Democratic-held seats and 14 Republican-held ones. The party considers 10 districts here to be battlegrounds and can't win the House without winning at least a few of them.
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