Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) is one of Trump’s most loyal supporters in Congress, and votes to support the Trump agenda at virtually every possible opportunity. Even in the face of a tight re-election race in a swing district that supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, Walters continues to sing Trump’s praises.
When McClatchy asked Walters what voters in her district thought of Trump, Walters said they “are seeing that the results are exceeding their expectations.”
According to polling data, Walters is out of touch with the people she is supposed to represent in Congress.
The two most recent polls of the district (one from Global Strategy Group and one from Public Polling Policy) show Trump is wildly unpopular, with between 54 percent and 58 percent disapproving of his job performance.
According to McClatchy, it is Walters’ staunch defending and complicit acceptance of Trump that worries voters most.
Many of the Republican voters I spoke with in Orange County had previously voted for Walters but were considering a vote for [Democratic opponent Katie] Porter in November. They were all horrified by Trump’s conduct, confused and angry that a man they consider obviously unfit for office was running the White House. And to a person, they expressed concern that their congresswoman had by and large gone along with Trump and his agenda.
Voters are concerns because Walters has supported the Trump agenda 99 percent of the time. Further, even though she sits on an oversight subcommittee and is in a position to hold Trump and his cabinet accountable for corruption, she refuses to lift a finger to do so.
Walters has a long history of defending Trump. “It is very important that Republicans back the president,” she said in October 2017. “He’s the president of our party. He stands for what we stand for.”
As for results, Walters points to the economy. While the stock market continues to perform well, broader economic data shows Walters and Republicans are prioritizing Wall Street banks over Main Street families.
When Walters sided with Trump to help pass the Republican tax bill, she claimed the bill would “generate significant economic growth.” The bill generated significant growth for an important group for Walters: her top donors.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the “finance, insurance, and real estate” sector, which includes banks, is by far the sector where Walters’ raises the most campaign cash.
In contrast, a mere 5 percent of Walters’ campaign contributions come from small-dollar donations (less than $200).
As workers continue to struggle in a growing economy, Walters is helping to make health care more expensive. Again siding with Trump, Walters voted to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as some of its most popular provisions. And Walters voted for a Republican repeal bill that would have decimated protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
One constituent, a Republican, told McClatchy that Trump represents a “unique threat to the country,” and for that reason he thought he would vote against Walters and for Porter in November.
Election experts previously gave Walters the edge in this race but have since adjusted their expectations to label the race a “toss up.” And voting trends, based on the June primary, show Walters in real trouble.
Despite these warning signs, Walters continues to defend and praise both Trump and the Trump agenda.
“If he wants to come out to Orange County,” she told McClatchy, “I would welcome him.”