Tuesday, May 12, a special election will be held to fill the seat of the United States House of Representatives elected by the former Democratic Rep. Has been abandoned from California.
The race, considered a roll through Cook political reportis being watched closely, partly because of the circumstances that led Hill to leave Congress, and partly because the race is widely seen as an example of how the coronavirus pandemic will affect the November elections. It is also an opportunity for the Republican Party to recapture one of the seats that Democrats successfully turned around in the 2018 interim sessions.
Whoever wins the race – Democrat Christy Smith or Republican Mike Garcia – will serve the remaining eight months of Hill’s term. Smith and Garcia will face each other again in November in this year’s general election race.
Polls close at 11 p.m. ET. Vox achieved live results in collaboration with Decision Desk. However, as the race will largely be via mail-in voting, it may take several days for a winner to emerge.
Hill became the U.S. representative for California District 25 in 2018 after defeating Trump’s fiery former ally, Steve Knight, by less than 3 percent in 2018. She resigned from Congress last October after nude photos of her were released through the conservative blog RedState and after admitting she had a consensual relationship with an employee.
While Tuesday’s poll was fairly sparse, available studies show a race that is extremely close.
A survey of 500 of the likely voters in the district was conducted by 1892 Mid-March Garcia, a former fighter pilot, showed 43 percent support for the 39 percent support to Smith – currently a California state representative – with 10 percent of likely voters undecided. Since the poll’s margin of error is 4.38 percent, Smith could actually have taken the lead.
That poll was conducted for California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a shelter-at-home order on March 19, forcing both campaigns to abandon traditional retail policy techniques such as knocking, personal meet-and-greets and fundraising events. It is not clear what effect this has had on polling, nor is it clear what effect reduced personal voting will have.
While Newsom given an enforceable title Friday orders mail-in ballots for the November general election to be sent to all registered voters in the state, Tuesday’s special elections will be held through a combination of mail-in and personal voting.
Mail-in ballots were not overwhelmingly returned, according to a memo from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which said that 50,191 Republicans (45 percent) had returned their ballots on Friday, compared to 39,230 Democrats (35 percent) and 16,528 (15 percent). unaffiliated voters.
The special election race is likely to be a promise for this fall’s general election
Given that the race will be ridden again in November, the one who wins will likely have a small seated advantage if he has to face again in a few months.
As it is expected to be close by, the race is seen as a national bell this fall. With her win, Hill overturned a chair held by Republicans since 1993, putting Democrats in control of the United States House of Representatives.
Democrats are expected to retain control of the chamber after the November elections. But a solid Smith victory may indicate that a new blue wave is imminent this fall, as Republicans hope a Garcia victory could mean that their party could regain several of the House seats it won in the midterm elections. 2018 had lost.
Because of this, the race caught the attention of national politicians. President Donald Trump accused Democrats of trying to “steal elections” in a tweet Saturday after the National Republican Congressional Committee sent a “call to arms” to House Republicans, asking if they want to lift hell over the race.
Governor @GavinNewsom of California does not leave restaurants, beaches and shops open, but he is installing a voting booth system in a very Democrat area (post only in ballot papers) because our big candidate, @ MikeGarcia2020, wins a lot. CA25 Rigged Election!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2020
Meanwhile, Smith has been supported by former President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent about $ 1.5 million on the race, while the National Republican Congressional Committee spent about $ 1.7 on supporting Garcia. External groups have dumped about $ 4.3 million into the race, according to a recent OpenSecrets.org report. Two years ago, Hill spent $ 8,342,521 compared to Knight’s $ 2,582,818.
Aside from the race’s partisan commitment, elections are closely monitored for pandemic campaign tactics that can scale up to more national races. The candidates debated calling video conferencing and both shifted to telephone banking instead of knocking on the door.
“We switched from being able to recruit and waving street signs and going out to events with Mike, such as meet-and-greets and stuff, to all phones,” Marian Salazar, a volunteer for the Garcia campaign, NPR said.
Smith’s campaign followed a similar playbook, ensuring that employees and volunteers were equipped with pandemic-related resources for those who reached them over the phone.
“We made sure that all of our callers, when making contact, are equipped with information on how to connect to state resources, the domestic violence hotline, mental health services or connect people to their nearest food pantry,” Smith to NPR.
Regardless of who wins Tuesday, the two candidates will continue to campaign until fall to compete for seat control for the next two years.
Hill resigned last fall after acknowledging a consensual relationship with a female employee
The race, with all its Covid-19 related complications, is more complicated due to Hill’s shadow.
A democratic rising star, 32-year-old Hill, was expected to defend her seat in November after a narrow but significant victory over Knight. Hill was part of a conference class with a record number of women. As reporter Michelle Ye Hee Lee noted in the Washington PostShe was one of the first openly bisexual people to serve in Congress, and was one of the “Big Six” first-term members of Congress to fulfill important leadership roles.
About midway through her freshman term, Hill resigned after conservative outlet RedState reported that she and her husband had been involved in a relationship with a female campaign worker, starting in 2017 and ending after Hill moved to Washington in 2019.
The site posted photos said to portray the women together, with the staff member’s face, which was not mentioned, blurred. In one of the images, a woman identifying RedState as Hill is naked.
RedState then reportedly published texts between the employee and Hill’s husband, Heslep, referring to abuse in the relationship, reporting that Hill had been involved in a longstanding affair with her congressional legislator, Graham Kelly, that caused her husband to divorce to ask.
Hill said in a statement to the Post last October that “allegations that I have been involved in a relationship with Mr. Kelly are absolutely false” and that she “was saddened that the deeply personal matter of my divorce was being brought out and My ex’s vengeful claims now relate to the lives and reputation of unrelated parties. “
Then in one separate statement to votersHill acknowledged a relationship with the female campaign worker and said she knew it was “inappropriate, but I made it happen despite knowing better.”
The statement supported the executive and included a request that the public respect her privacy, but also reject the manner in which the relationship came to light. “Spreading intimate photos with the intention of publishing them is a crime and the perpetrator must be punished for the full law,” she said, adding that she had informed Capitol police about the leakage of the photos.
below The Revenge Pornography Act in WashingtonIntroduced in 2014, it is illegal to harm someone by distributing nude photos of that person without permission, and perpetrators can receive up to three years’ imprisonment. Such laws, now on the books in more than 30 states, are an answer to a very real problem: according to a 2016 study, one in 25 Americans has fallen victim to “revenge porn”. (Heslep did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.)
In announce her resignationHill added that after leaving her office, she would work to stop revenge porn. “My struggle will be to defeat this kind of exploitation that affects so many women and prevent countless women and girls from running to the office,” she said.
The circumstances surrounding the former legislature’s departure led to an investigation of the standards held by men and women in public functions, as Vox’s Li Zhou explained at the time:
Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican legislator who is prosecutors Suppose he deals with five matters, including one with his own employee, is still in office.
Hill’s uproar over these accusations highlights the double standard that men and women have long faced when it comes to handling their sexuality: Not only were nude photos used to shame Hill – a tactic used overwhelming against women – the punishment she faced was much more severe than that of many of her male counterparts.
This is not to say that Hill should not have resigned himself, but that others making similar allegations – such as Hunter – should face similar consequences. Another example put forward for comparison is President Donald Trump, who is still in office after more than one 20 allegations of sexual misconduct brought against him.
These double standards were not fully taken into account, nor was there any concern that the way Hill’s photos were distributed would discourage young women from leaving the office. But they do mean that Hill won’t run to her old seat, and Smith or Garcia will soon be representing the people of California’s 25th district.