Thursday, March 15, 2012

California Qualified Candidate Analysis CDs 27-53

Debra Bowen still has yet to post a list of qualified candidates, even though both the filing deadline and extended deadline have passed. Some counties are complete, while others aren't.

The list as I've best been able to determine.

Most of this district is Adam Schiff's but he's moved next door. Judy Chu has her base here. She's shed a lot of Hispanics to the new CA-32. Since yesterday the state party has come out with endorsements. Fiorina lost the district 53%-39%, so it's one that a Republican could break 40% but not win. Judy Chu shouldn't break a sweat. The GOP endorsed Jack Orswell, not fellow challenger Bob Duran. I don't know much about either.

Adam Schiff has a mishmash of districts here. It's one that he shouldn't expect to be seriously challenged. He has three Democratic and three Republican challengers.

This is a new Hispanic district between a Republican Hispanic, David Hernandez, and a Democrat, Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas. There is a second Democrat, Richard Valdez. Hernandez chose to go with "no party preference." That's an interesting choice, as now there's no Republican in the race.

Fun fun fun. There are actually three Democrats here, Congressman Howard Berman, Congressman Brad Sherman, and Vince Gilmore, along with three Republicans, Mark Reed, Susan Shelley, and Navraj Singh. Throw in a Green, Michael Powelson, and there's potential chaos. The Democrats can expect to divide up about 58% of the vote, while the Republicans should get around 40%. If Mark Reed is a strong candidate he should easily get the 30% he needs to advance. So the two Democratic congressmen need to go hard here.

If Reed gets that 30%, then one of the congressmen will win in June and can coast in November. If Reed is denied that 30%, and instead gets 23-25%, then both Sherman and Berman could advance. The Democrats can't count on that happening, so they need to go hard in June.

Whoever is leading will want Reed to do well and ensure that easy race. Whoever is losing will want Shelley to take a lot of votes from Reed, so that he'll have another shot. Do the Democrats try to determine the Republican race or ignore it and go all out?

I'm going to predict both Brad Sherman and Mark Reed get over 30% and go to November.

This is a district that looks okay for Republicans, but it's trending away from the GOP. Unlike CA-21 and 41, the Democrats have the right candidate, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. Republicans have two candidates, Congressman Gary Miller and former senate minority leader Bob Dutton. Dutton is well-respected and some think he's the better candidate. Both the state and national parties have lined up behind Miller, leaving Dutton twisting in the wind.

These are heavily Democratic districts, where the Republican will advance to November and get trounced by Democratic incumbents.

Congressman Henry Waxman is being challenged from a Chinese menu of candidates, 3 Democrats, 1 Republican, a Libertarian, a Green, and an independent. There's enough voters north of the airport to drown out the Republican leaning areas south of it. So while Waxman will win comfortably the primary results should be interesting.

There's, surprisingly, no Republican running here. It's similar to CA-15, where an incumbent is being challenged by a respectable challenger and there are some Republican votes. It'll be interesting to see how Congressman Joe Baca and State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod do in the primary.

This is one of a few races with only two candidates. Rep. Mary Bono has overachieved in her district. There's been only one race she's won by less than 16 points, her 2010 race where she won by 9. That race had an American Independent candidate who took 6% of the vote. And this district is more Republican than her old one. Raul Ruiz is an emergency room physician. I don't want to make light of that since doctors have been elected in the past, but it's hard to see him as a better candidate than Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet. And he didn't make it close. Frankly, I'm underimpressed.

Congressman Ed Royce isn't going to be challenged by Gary Miller, but he is going to be challenged by a Republican, two Democrats, and an independent. They are less formidable.

These are two of the six districts where the no Republican is challenging an incumbent Democrat. Maxine Waters and Lucille Roybal-Allard shouldn't be challenged, but it'll be interesting to see how he vote goes. The Republican Senate candidates in these districts should cumulatively get about 20% of the vote. Will there be 20% less votes in the House race. If not, how will the Republicans vote?

The race is expected to be between Republican Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione and Democratic Riverside Community County Trustee Mark A. Takano. There are two other Republicans and a Democrat who aren't expected to be big challengers.

These are all safe Republican districts where each incumbent congressman has at least one Republican and one Democratic challenger.

The other match-up between sitting representatives. Janice Hahn is going up against Laura Richardson. Like CA-40 and CA-43, there are some Republicans here. I have no idea how they'll vote. The big question here is how hard the two candidates go after votes in June. A candidate can lose 80%-20% and there'd still be an even playing field in November. Of course the narrative would go against a candidate who gets seriously beaten. That could discourage donors and volunteers. With neither Richardson nor Hahn having a lot of cash-on-hand I'd guess they roll the dice.

Loretta Sanchez has a long list of challengers, but the GOP doesn't have a strong one.

This is a Democratic leaning district where the Democrats actually have a good candidate, State Senator Alan Lowenthal. Lowenthal is being challenged by three other Democrats, none of which is expected to do much. The Republican side has three candidates, two of whom are Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong is up against former Congressman Steve Kuykendall. DeLong has done much better fundraising and recently got the state party's endorsement. Kuykendall has been counting on his higher name recognition, but that's only going to last long.

Like CA-29 this is a Democratic Hispanic majority district replacing one that wasn't. Ex-State Assemblyman Juan Vargas would seem to have the advantage over Ex-State Senator Denise Ducheny. Republicans should get around 35% of the primary vote, however. The Democrats need the two Republicans, Michael Crimmins and Xanthi Gionis, to spit that vote enough to let the two Democrats get to November. I don't see that as likely.

There are a number of intriguing races in June. This is the most intriguing to me. Yes, there's the high profile races between two sitting Democratic congressmen. This one, however, is expected to competitive in November. Congressman Brian Bilbray is being challenged by four Republicans. There's Wayne Iverson, co-organizer of the National Doctors Tea Party, and self-funder John Stahl who is affiliated with a number of tea parties. Both will attack Bilbray from the right.

San Diego Port Commission Chair Scott Peters and former Assemblyman Lori Saldaña are two of the three Democrats. Peters is the favorite, but Saldaña can't be underestimated.

Just to make things more complicated, there are two independents, one of whom is former Santee Mayor Jack Doyle. While Doyle is unlikely to get enough votes to advance, he is going to grab votes from somewhere.

There's only two candidates in this district Congressman Susan Davis and Republican Nick Popaditch. The district is 6 points more Republican than Davis' old district, but it's not Republican enough for Popaditch to have a shot. If this were an open seat, there's a chance Popaditch could make it competitive.

To summarize:
Republican districts with Republican competition: CA-1, 8
Democratic districts with Democratic competition: CA-2, 30, 35, 44, 51
Competitive districts with competition: CA-3, 10, 21, 24, 26, 31, 47, 52

There are some districts where there'll be competition to see who loses to a sitting congressman, but those primaries aren't particularly interesting. As it is, that's 14 districts to watch in June. In CA-31, 35, and 52, a sitting congressman could lose. It's likely that one of the two sitting congressmen will lose in CA-30, but the CA-44 competition won't be until November.

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