Two final Republicans are holding the line on the Pacific Coast — Congressman Don Young in Alaska and Jaime Herrera Beutler, who represents the Third Congressional District in Southwestern Washington.
If both are eliminated in the General Election, the entire West Coast — where it touches the Pacific Ocean — will become Democrat-controlled congressional districts.
There are 21 congressional districts in the contiguous United States that border the Pacific Ocean, and just one in Alaska for a total of 22. All but Young and Herrera’s districts are now in Democrat hands.
Herrera Beutler and Don Young are a generation apart, but they share similarities in that their districts are Pacific Ocean-facing, Northwest, working class, Republican, and also Indian Country.
In addition, Young and Herrera Beutler are facing candidates who ran against them in 2018, and they are both feeling the targeted money-driven attacks of the National Democrat political action groups, which see both seats as vulnerable.
Herrera Beutler is running against Democrat Carolyn Long, the same candidate who challenged Herrera Beutler in 2018. Herrera Beutler beat Long 53% to 47%.
Coincidentally, that’s the same percentage that Don Young beat Alyse Galvin by in 2018.
This primary season, 135,726 voters in Washington’s Third Congressional District voted for Herrera, while 95,875 voters picked Long in the state’s nonpartisan primary.
Meanwhile, Young won 51,972 votes in his August primary, with 16,000 votes peeled off for competitors John Nelson and Gerald Heikes. Republicans run a semi-open primary in Alaska and only exclude voters who are registered members of other parties.
But in the Democrat primary, Galvin busted through with 53,258 votes, with nearly 9,000 choosing one of her two competitors.
There are still more Republican votes out there for Young than Democrat votes for Galvin, but the race is considered tight.
Herrera Beutler’s opponent is focusing on Medicare for all, and an anti-Trump platform.
Young’s opponent Galvin, however, is trying to appear more Republican than the Dean of the House himself. She’s backed by Nancy Pelosi and the Alaska Democratic Party, and has tried to avoid taking controversial stands, but has the support of the Democratic establishment.
Young and Herrera Beutler have worked together on legislation that passed and was signed into law that made it possible for Indian Reservations to operate distilleries. Young was an original cosponsor of HR5317, which removed archaic laws that prohibited such commercial activity on reservation land.
Although both Young and Herrera Beutler are having to defend their seats under attack from national Democrats, both are considered to be in the safe zone for Republicans. But neither campaign appears to be letting down their guards as they run through the Election Day tape.