Tuesday, June 18, 2013

CA-36: A Strong Republican Challenge

Republicans look like they'll have very strong recruits in CA-3, 7, 25, and 26. That continues here. Assemblyman Brian Nestande will challenge freshman Democrat Raul Ruiz. There's two ways to look at this district. It's the most Republican district Democrats hold in California. Because Barack Obama won the district more narrowly than he won nationally, the district has a Republican PVI of R+0.3. So it should be the easiest district for the GOP to recapture. And that may be the case since it's a mid-term. Not only did Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina win the district, but Tony Strickland, who lost the controller's race by nearly 20 points, won it too.

The other way to see it is that Ruiz actually beat Barack Obama in the district, something no other Democrat in a competitive district did. Was this a fluke? A poor campaign by Bono Mack? Or is Ruiz that strong a candidate?

The NRCC is trying to sell fluke. They cite a poll that shows Nestande leading by 3%. I don't know who Harper polled for but they are a Republican firm. So Nestande's total may be skewed. Still, I'd expect Ruiz to be leading by 8-10% at this point. So this one should be close.

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