This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California senators advanced three immigration-related bills Tuesday, including a proposal to fund legal aid for immigrants in the state who face deportation.
- What has each member of California's congressional delegation said about President Trump's executive order on immigration? Find out your representative's position here.
- California's congressional Democrats came out forcefully against Trump's immigration directives over the weekend, while Republican members of Congress held their fire.
You can find our December news feed archive here.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released a list of top targets looking ahead to the 2018 elections, and California's Republican delegation is a big part of it.
Of the 61 Republicans Democrats are looking to unseat nationwide, seven are Californians:
- CA-10: Jeff Denham (R-Turlock)
- CA-21: David Valadao (R-Hanford)
- CA-25: Steve Knight (R-Palmdale)
- CA-39: Ed Royce (R-Fullerton)
- CA-45: Mimi Walters (R-Irvine)
- CA-48: Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa)
- CA-49: Darrell Issa (R-Vista)
All of these lawmakers represent districts carried by Hillary Clinton in the general election, with Valadao's district voting for Clinton over Trump by double-digit margins. Many of them seemed to win despite Trump in 2016, out-polling him by at least several percentage points.
Issa and Denham won by the closest margins of the group, with Issa eking out a 51-49 win over Doug Applegate, who has already said he'll run again in 2018. Denham overcame two-time challenger Michael Eggman by less than five percentage points.
Denham, Issa and Valadao were also among the top spenders in California on a per-vote basis in the November election, spending well above $30 per each vote they received.
In a memo, the Democratic committee noted Trump's low approval ratings and the fact that few presidents in history have seen their party gain seats in Congress during the first midterm elections.