Impacts and Implications: What the Election of Biden-Harris Means for California
The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris carries large political impacts, implications and consequences for California, not only in Washington and Sacramento, but in congressional districts through the state.
Political analyst Phil Trounstine returns for a Calbuzz conversation about a host of big state political stories that Newsmakers is watching in the wake of the presidential balloting:
Kamala Harris' inauguration as Vice-President will leave her U.S. Senate seat vacant for the last two years of the term she won in 2016, giving Gov. Gavin Newsom the opportunity to appoint a successor, as current A-listers include Reps. Karen Bass and Barbara Lee, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi suffered unexpected losses of at least half-a-dozen Democratic House seats nationally, in an election in which she and her allies boasted they would pick up districts. Amid the political post-mortem, moderates and left-wing members of her party caucus are flinging angry recriminations at her, her leadership team and each others, with some whispering that it's time for her to go.
Republicans won back several of the California House seats that Democrats flipped in the Blue Wave mid-term election two years ago, apparently including two in Orange County, the historic hub of conservatism in the state, which Dems had loudly proclaimed had become their turf; the surprise development suggests the GOP has begun to rebuild, after years in the political wilderness, and strengthens the hand of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield.
Joe Biden stomped Donald Trump, 64-to-34 percent, according to current tallies, but Trump gained at least half-a-million more votes in California than he won here in 2016, an indication that Republicans mounted a credible get-out-the-vote operation that, while no match for the Democrats, nonetheless raises questions for future campaigns about the conventional wisdom that increased turnout singularly benefits Dems.
Dianne Feinstein, California's senior Senator, who was first elected in 1992, has been hit with sharp criticism for her recent performance as the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, with her centrist, bipartisan views viewed as out-of-touch by many in the left-wing of the party, who view her as an obstacle in their push to end the filibuster and increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court, two goals the institutionalist DiFi may not share.
Plus: What went wrong with the pre-election polls, early outlook of the crucial Senate races in Georgia -- and the secret story of political reporters spending the night in a hotel parking lot with a former California U.S, Senator, dressed in his jammies.
Lead image: CNBC.