In a segment on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell Wednesday night, host O’Donnell and guest Ron Klain, former senior Obama aide, wrote the eulogy for the Republican Party in California. Narrowly focusing on Tuesday's Senate primary in which incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein was the heavy favorite, the GOP was described as being “wiped out” and Feinstein’s predictable victory as nothing short of “stunning”
O’Donnell was apparently flabbergasted that the “Republican candidate for Senate in California could not get into double digits, 9% in California.” Never mind that the Republican candidate, James P. Bradley, is a little-known political newcomer who was “shocked” that he received even 10% of support in local polls, according to the Sacramento Bee. He has so little name recognition, in fact, that MSNBC could not find a photo of him to display on air, instead showing just a red box next to photos of Feinstein and State Senator Kevin de Leon, his competition.
Nevertheless, Klain felt that the outcome in the Senate race was indicative of a larger trend: “Californians are voting. And what they're voting on is that they don't like President Trump. They don't think he's heading the country in the right direction.” Instead of voting for Republicans or Trump, Californians are giving “a big yes for the Democrats” continued Klain.
Yet, of the seven key Republican districts Democrats are vying to flip, GOP candidates received more than 50% of the vote in six of them and were competitive in all seven, according to MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki. If Californians really are rejecting Republicans, they are not showing it where it counts.
If the Democrats want to take back the House, and if California is any guide, then they have a lot to overcome. MSNBC would rather ignore that reality and instead focus on reinforcing the "blue wave" narrative.
The full transcript is below. Click "expand" to read more.
RON KLAIN: And Senator Feinstein won a stunning win last night. Not as the most liberal or the youngest candidate for the U.S. Senate, but as a strongly anti-Trump candidate. That's a strong message. People are willing to get behind her because she's standing up to Donald Trump.
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: And Ron, the idea that the Republican candidate for senate in California could not get into double digits, 9% in California for senate.
KLAIN: Yeah. I mean, it really is kind of stunning. And, I think it just shows that Trump has attacked California. And Californians are voting. And what they're voting on is that they don't like President Trump. They don't think he's heading the country in the right direction. They think the kind of policies that Senator Feinstein is standing for in the senate, Governor Jerry Brown in the state, now his Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, that's the direction the country should go in. Policies that are inclusive, policies that are building up the economy for the future, policies that are protecting the environment, fighting climate change. You know, Californians are casting a vote. And that vote is, no to Trump, no to what Trump stands for, a big yes for the Democrats.