WASHINGTON – CLF and National Republicans notched a major victory in CA-25, dramatically widening the path to retaking the House Majority and showing how Republicans can continue to win in the suburbs. The win came after Congressional Leadership Fund spent $700,000 in the race targeting swing voters and turning out the vote for Mike Garcia (more here).

In case you missed the news, here’s what folks are saying about our win:

“Garcia’s win appears to tilt electoral fortunes back in the GOP’s favor” 

ABC News:  Garcia’s win appears to tilt electoral fortunes back in the GOP’s favor, with Republicans casting the race as the end of the 2018 blue wave. A GOP strategist argued that Democrats’ momentum is ‘stifled’ and the Republicans are seeing evidence of an energized and engaged electorate on par with 2016.” (Kendall Karson, ABC News, 5/13/20)

“Giving the GOP a sense of momentum”

McClatchy: “Republicans are taking a victory lap after their candidate in a special election flipped a congressional seat previously held by Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, giving the GOP a sense of momentum after losing seven California seats two years ago.” (Kate Irby, Fresno Bee, 5/13/20)

“It should force the entire political world to take a step back and question the assumptions that are being made about the current political atmosphere.”

CNN: Anytime a Republican wins a seat previously held by a Democratic incumbent that the Democratic presidential nominee won by 7 points, it should force the entire political world to take a step back and question the assumptions that are being made about the current political atmosphere. (Chris Cillizza, CNN, 5/14/20)

“Now, Republicans have a green light to go bigger strategically with an expanded list of competitive districts”

Roll Call: “Until now, the GOP’s House strategy for November has focused on the 30 Democratic-held seats that President Donald Trump carried in 2016. Now, Republicans have a green light to go bigger strategically with an expanded list of competitive districts — districts that Trump didn’t win but where a Republican candidate with the right résumé and skills just might.” (David Winston, Roll Call, 5/14/20)

“The fact that a Republican could perform at this level in what amounts to a Democratic district will likely worry national Democrats, regardless of their public spin.”

Roll Call: “Now, Republicans have a green light to go bigger strategically with an expanded list of competitive districts — districts that Trump didn’t win but where a Republican candidate with the right résumé and skills just might. Even if the final result turns out to be closer, the fact that a Republican could perform at this level in what amounts to a Democratic district will likely worry national Democrats, regardless of their public spin.” (David Winston, Roll Call, 5/14/20)

Republicans “would and should feel great about winning a Clinton-won seat.”

Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “Republicans of course would and should feel great about winning a Clinton-won seat in a special… They haven’t had a pickup in CA in two decades despite some close calls.” (Kyle Kondik, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, 5/8/20)

“House GOP super PAC CLF and the NRCC painted Smith as being responsible for teacher firings, while giving herself a pay raise – a message that their internal polling said broke through.”

POLITICO: “This is a seat HILLARY CLINTON won by 7 points in 2016, and one the GOP thought they’d have a tough time getting back, so for the moment, this is a good thing for the GOP. It’s the first California seat they’ve flipped from blue to red since 1998. MIKE GARCIA, the Republican congressman-elect, was a fighter pilot with no voting record, and he was running against CHRISTY SMITH, a state lawmaker. House GOP super PAC CLF and the NRCC painted SMITH as being responsible for teacher firings, while giving herself a pay raise — a message that their internal polling said broke through. THE NRCC was up on TV, and CLF ran a digital campaign, and a mail push to get people to return their ballots. CLF only spent $700,000 in this seat. Last cycle, they routinely spent millions of dollars on special elections with mixed results.” (Jake Sherman,POLITICO, 5/14/20)

Smith will “begin the fall race with higher negatives” after “CLF aired ads accusing her of laying off teachers.”

The Cook Political Report: “Smith will also begin the fall race with higher negatives than when she launched her bid. In addition to Garcia’s attacks on Sacramento, CLF aired ads accusing her of laying off teachers and raising her own pay while on the Newhall School Board. Smith will need to raise money to reset the narrative, all while chairing a joint legislative committee on emergency preparedness.” (David Wasserman, The Cook Political Report, 5/14/20)

CLF’s “financial support for Garcia” “proved useful in the end.”

CBS News: “The financial support for Garcia, who consistently tied with or slightly lagged behind Smith’s fundraising, proved useful in the end. The House Republican campaign arm spent $1 million on an ad buy in April, the Congressional Leadership Fund spent $600,000 on ads and anti-Smith mailers, and the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of California spent nearly $1 million to support Garcia through field staff and targeted mailers.” (Aaron Navarro, CBS News, 5/14/20)