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High California Gas Prices Rattle Democrats Ahead of Midterms

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Ms. Steel said she opposed abortion rights except to guard the health of the mother and for instances of incest but didn’t answer directly when asked twice if she supported exceptions for rape. A spokesman, Lance Trover, later said she did support that exception. The congresswoman missed the vote to certify the 2020 election because she said she had tested positive for the coronavirus; within the interview, she said she didn’t know the way she would have voted. Ms. Steel also said she didn’t know if Mr. Biden won legitimately; Mr. Trover later noted that she has said that she believed he did and that she maintained that position.

Scott Baugh, a former chairman of the Orange County Republican Party and former Republican leader within the State Assembly, is taken into account the leading candidate to challenge Ms. Porter. In an interview that began in his S.U.V., which he said had cost $140 to replenish, he called Mr. Biden “our legitimate president.” Nonetheless, Mr. Baugh declined to say whether he would have voted to certify the 2020 election, citing concerns about “irregularities.” Election officials have said there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a task within the end result of the presidential race.

As Mr. Baugh made his way through a wealthy, marina-adjacent neighborhood, he appeared way more animated when sounding traditional Republican notes on fiscal restraint and the economy. The candidate insisted that amid inflation and high gas prices, local independent and Republican voters who opposed Mr. Trump had already returned to his party’s fold.

“They’re not completely happy with the direction of the country,” he said.

At a campaign rally for Ms. Porter near the ocean, Heather Dodd, 54, seemed conscious about those dynamics.

She said she also frightened that Democrats were unenthusiastic, and he or she fretted over the effect on Tuesday’s turnout and in November. Voters were venting frustration on the president over global problems, like gas prices, which Mr. Biden can’t single-handedly control, she said.

“People’s expectations are usually not reasonable,” she said. But, she said, lots of her more conservative neighbors in Sunset Beach didn’t appear to share her view.

“Everybody’s complaining,” she said of gas prices. “It’s over $6.50 in our neighborhood.”

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