No one expected Republicans to have a chance in a district that covered Fairfield, Vacaville, and Davis. Yet the commission tacked on rural Republicans in CA-3.
CA-47 is a similar gift. No one expected Republicans to have a shot in a Long Beach district. In a Republican gerrymander, they'd take parts of Orange County their districts didn't need and put them with parts of L.A. County. The Republicans would've included the Gateway cities, areas that are Democratic but get some Republican votes. Long Beach is more Democratic, but not nearly as Democratic as Compton.
The district has enough Republicans where a Republican could win, as Steve Cooley did by 5.5 points in 2010. John McCain didn't win the district. The source of this is Redistricting Partners and they miscalculated. If you enter the district into Dave's Redistricting App you'll get a 58%-39% Obama win. Cooley was the only one to win the district in 2010, so while it's an opportunity for the GOP, any candidate will be an underdog. It might not be that much of a gift.
The race has 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats, but no Democrat is expected to take much of Alan Lowenthal's vote. He'll sail to November. The real race is between Gary DeLong and Steve Kuykendall. DeLong got the state party endorsement but despite a close vote he didn't earn it from the county. He has been recognized by the NRCC, but that status is overblown in a primary. Any candidate who raises enough money is included in the Young Guns. They aren't supporting him in the primary.
DeLong is using that monetary achievement to his advantage and is reaching area Republicans. He argues that Republicans need someone who can fundraise, because it'll take a lot of money to win it and you can't count on the NRCC. Kuykendall has been very active in the district, but his fundraising numbers have lagged far behind DeLong's. Kuykendall is hoping that name recognition from his 1999-2001 stint in congress will make up for the money deficit. A poll from last October supported this, but it was taken over 7 months before election day and was commissioned by Democrat Lowenthal. Candidates put out internal polls because they want to send a message, not because they want to enlighten people or be accurate. In this case Lownethal was trying to keep former state senator Joe Dunn out of the race. Dunn never entered the race.
On June 5 it should come down to Kuykendall and DeLong for 2nd place and DeLong looks to have an edge.