Thursday, May 31, 2012

CA-33: An NPP with a Shot?

The Commission made a number of odd choices, with some benefitting Republicans and other benefitting Democrats. CA-33 is the district where Democrats got the biggest gift. Ten years ago Democrats tacked on Palos Verdes peninsula into an Orange County district. Yes, it was somehow possible to do that. The Peninsula is the most Republican area in the county south of Santa Clarita. The Commission wouldn't do something like that, would they?

It turns out they could. They restored the Peninsula to the district but removed Torrance. If you know the area then you know that Torrance is the business and shopping center of the South Bay. They've carved the heart out of the district. What do they do? They connected the district with Santa Monica by using a small strip of land, Dockweiler Beach, where no one lives. I can come up with no explanation other than they wanted to draw a district for Henry Waxman.

Meg Whitman lost the district by 14 points. While that sounds like a lot, Whitman lost CA-47 by 10 points and CA-41 by 12. Both are considered competitive this year. Of course they are both open seats and Waxman is a heavyweight incumbent. Half the district is brand new to Waxman and the Republicans in that half of the district despises him. I don't use that word lightly. Republicans dislike Henry Waxman more than any Democratic congressman in the LA area. But there aren't enough Republicans for that to matter.

Here's the twist of Top Two. There's only one Republican in the race, lightweight Chris David. I've met Chris. He seems like a good guy and I think he's pretty smart. His last FEC report showed he's raised $8,848 for the entire cycle. That's a ridiculously small number. Of course, I've postulated that it doesn't matter. Republicans will see "Republican" on the ballot and vote for him. Usually, yes.

There are two alternatives to David for Republicans, Libertarian Steve Collett and independent Bill Bloomfield. Could Republicans be enticed to go with Bloomfield or Collett. Bloomfield has put $1.1 million of his own money into the race and Collett has funded his campaign with $211k of his bank account. If there's one district where Republicans don't vote Republican, this'll be it.

If Bloomfield makes Top Two, his status as "No Party Preference" could give him a shot. Check in after Tuesday if he does.

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