The new districts don’t have numbers yet, so I’m sure people will assign different ones than mine. I count 17 seats that are potentially competitive.
Potentially competitive Democratic seats (Likely Democratic)
Steve Cooley, the Republican AG candidate in 2010, won five of these districts. In the 6th, CD-53, Meg Whitman got 45% of the vote, as did 2010 Republican congressional candidates. Cooley was certainly a strong candidate, but he didn’t get 50% of the vote statewide. While his numbers are good, they certainly aren’t impossible. If Cooley can win a district in a year that Republicans didn’t do that well in California than it’s winnable.
Of course, some of these districts will have Democratic incumbents that will push their district from Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic. Just remember that when it comes to looking at the Republican seats.
David Dreier could run in the new Hispanic majority San Bernardino district that likely won’t have any other incumbent running. Rancho Cucamonga is in here and Dreier won that area 60%-40% in 2010. Gary Miller won Chino 60%-40%. So the district really isn’t as unfriendly as people are making it out to be.
Potentially competitive Republican seats (Likely Republican)
CD-45 Bono Mack
Bill Lockyer was the only Democrat to win CD-45. No Democrat won CD-2 in 2010. Brown was competitive in both districts, although Bono Mack’s district is more Republican than it was in 2010 when she won it 55%-45%.
Competitive Republican seats (Lean Democratic)
This seat is centered on Riverside and has no incumbent. Whitman got 47% here and Republican congressmen got 48% in 2010. Neither side has a clear candidate, although the district is carved up from Gary Miller and Ken Calvert.
Competitive Republican seats (Lean Republican)
CD-19 is one of three Central Valley seats that look very competitive. This is the most Republican of them, so I put Denham here. Bilbray’s district consists of some of his current district, some of Duncan Hunter’s and some of Susan Davis.
CD-47 Lo. Sanchez
By mixing in parts of Denham’s district with those of Cordoza and Costa these two become more competitive. Costa won on a recount in 2010. Capps’ district now has a lot of inland Republican areas like Paso Robles and Atascadero and she’ll be challenged by Abel Maldonado. Maldonado ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010 and won this district. Sanchez’s current district is gerrymandered to give her only the few Democratic areas in Orange County. There are so few that almost any map would make this district a toss-up.
The map makers didn’t do either of these guys any favors. They took out heavily Republican suburbs in both these districts. Lungren’s district makes sense. The district now consists of only Sacramento County suburbs. Gallegly’s district makes less sense. They took out Simi Valley and Moorpark at the last minute and put in Malibu. This put in areas outside Ventura County in, while taking out part of the county and giving it to a district that is more than a mountain range away. Not only are the areas excluded Republican leaning areas, but they’re also where Gallegly’s base is.
Safe Democratic (Republican seats)
This Hispanic majority district sort of replaces David Dreier’s district, so I gave it that number. Democrats are lined up for this seat. That’s understandable. They’ll win it.