COSTA MESA (CBSLA) — Longtime republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat Harley Rouda were neck-and-neck for the House seat in the 48th Congressional District Tuesday night.
The seat has been held by republicans since the district was formed in 1992 and was one of the 23 democrats needed to gain control of the House.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Stacey Butler was in Costa Mesa, where the Rohrabacher camp was holding its election night gathering. The mood was somber as supporters in the longtime republican stronghold felt a shift.
Rohrabacher, addressing supporters, suggested big money was to blame for the unusually close race.
“This race represents David versus Goliath,” Rohrabacher said. “They have spent $20 million trying to defeat me. I am very confident we can overcome that. The importance of this is that was $20 million less they had to spend on other vulnerable republicans across this country. So I am very pleased that we have managed to at least make it a better fight or more event fight in other areas.”
“I still have total faith in the people down here, total faith in the American people and I have faith in President Donald Trump,” he continued, adding: “We will save America.”
CBS2/KCAL9’s Michelle Gile was in Newport Beach with Rouda supporters, energized by late-night numbers and hopes of turning the tide in Orange County.
She reports there could be as many as a half-million mail-in ballots in the race, possibly delaying the release of the final results.