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California House 2024: Key Races to Watch, Including Valadao’s Seat

U.S.California House 2024: Key Races to Watch, Including Valadao’s Seat

California’s battleground races for the House of Representatives are pivotal again this election year, and Tuesday’s primaries could provide more clues about which party will win control of Congress in November.

In one Central Valley district, Republicans could even lock up a seat in Tuesday’s election because of a Democratic intraparty fight and California’s open primary rules.

California, the nation’s most populous state, is expected to have 10 of the 72 most competitive House races in the country, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. Republicans currently have a narrow 219-213 majority in the House.

In the past few election cycles, races in several of those California districts have been decided by a couple thousand or even a few hundred votes. Some districts have changed hands multiple times since the so-called blue wave of 2018, when Democrats won seats in the state that were once considered solidly Republican.

California is now considered a perennial battleground, where both parties must spend heavily every election cycle.

“It’s because of the volatility of the party balance, with these House races going back and forth,” said Raphael Sonenshein, the executive director of the Haynes Foundation, a political science research nonprofit in the Los Angeles region.

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