George Soros-backed candidates for district attorney in Sacramento, San Diego and Alameda counties lost to their conservative opponents in midterm elections on Tuesday, handing the "Open Society" billionaire a handful of embarrassing defeats in the most progressive state in the US.
Soros and several other like-minded donors - the American Civil Liberties Union, for example - poured millions into four DA races across California in hopes of electing reform-minded DAs. Instead, the judges running against Soros's candidates won by comfortable margins.
Conservative Sacramento incumbent Anne Marie Schubert won with 64% of the vote.
Incumbent Republican Summer Stephan received 64% of the vote in San Diego.
And Alameda County incumbent District Attorney Nancy O’Malley also won her race with 60% of the vote.
In each case, Soros's team had thought the incumbents were vulnerable to a challenge given the supposed anti-Republican backlash caused by Trump.
Another Soros-backed candidate, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton, won, but may face a runoff in the November general election if she fails to win more than 50% of the votes in a recount that is ongoing, according to the Daily Caller.
Since 2014, Soros has spent more than $2.7 million in DA races in California alone, helping more liberal candidates catch up with their conservative counterparts. And since 2014, he has spent some $16 million in 17 races in other states, with his candidates winning 13 of them.
The losses in this cycle were so bracing, that Michael Smolens, a columnist with the San Diego Tribune, questioned whether "these are mere speed bumps or is the political pendulum swinging against Soros and his progressive coalition?"