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Cross posted on http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis.
2012 was a fantastic year for Democrats in California. Obama won 60% of the vote here, Democrats won 2/3 majorities in the State Assembly and State Senate and Democrats gained four U.S. House seats (from 2002-10, they gained only one.) Democrats overperformed expectations by winning all the tossup House seats and winning Assembly seats such as one in formerly Republican leaning Lancaster. Democrats have even more opportunities in 2014 though and can gain three more U.S. House seats if everything goes right. Having everything go right does not happen often but in 2012, most projections showed Democrats gaining two House seats in California but they gained four, winning CA-36 and CA-7 which were previously thought to be Republican leaning tossups. They also performed well in CA-26 and CA-52, two districts with many upscale white voters. These districts voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but in 2010, voted for Whitman in the Gubernatorial so Democrats need to prevent the upscale voters from reverting back to the Republicans in 2014. Also, Democrats need to retain those seats because the base will have lower turnout in 2014 and midterms always have a more conservative electorate. With more resources in 2014 devoted to House races than in 2012 though, Democrats stand a strong chance to retain their wins in 2012 and expand on their 38-15 seat majority of California's Congressional delegation.

Here is an interactive map of California's current congressional districts:
http://www.govtrack.us/...
Here are my last rankings for the 2012 elections: http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/...

Republican held seats:

Lean Democratic (1 seat)

CA-31 Rep. Gary Miller (R) Redlands, San Bernadino, Rancho Cucamonga
Partisan Stats: Obama 57%, Romney 41% (2012 Presidential results by district for California are here)
Obama 56%, McCain 41%
Brown 49%, Whitman 44%
(2008 and 2010 district by district results + demographics are here) http://www.mpimaps.com/...

The 31st district has a strong Democratic lean (even Whitman could not win it,) and it was one of the few districts where the President performed better in 2012 than he did in 2008. It is trending Democratic quickly too with a 49% Hispanic population so why does a Republican represent it? California's top two primary system is the answer. The top two vote receivers regardless of party run for the seat and in the 2012 primary, the top two vote receivers were Republicans. The Democratic field was split and Pete Aguilar (D), the Redlands Mayor was the top Democrat in that race. Democrats are working to convince him to run again and this time, two Republicans will not be the top two vote receivers. Miller does not even have a looming primary challenge. The district's lean should be enough to put Aguilar over the top in the general election if he runs although as Democrats learned in 2012, they can take nothing for granted in this district.

Lean Republican

CA-10 Jeff Denham (R) Modesto, Tracy
Partisan stats: Obama 51%, Romney 47%
Obama 50%, McCain 47%
Brown 43%, Whitman 49%

Democrats nominated Astronaut Jose Hernandez (D) in 2012 and Hernandez lost by only 5 points. Hernandez may run again for this seat but it is difficult to see how 2014 should be more favorable to him than 2012 was. President Obama won the district in 2012 but Denham is popular here and convinced enough voters to ticket split even while Hernandez had strong ads, a strong backstory and strong fundraising. Voters have ticket split for Denham in the past when he represented a State Senate seat that Obama won with 59% in 2008 and even Kerry carried in 2004 so it was not a major surprise. It shows how difficult it will be to defeat  Denham though but since the demographics of the district are changing, Democrats should win here eventually.

CA-21 David Valadao (R) Bakersfield, Kings County
Partisan Stats: Obama 55%, Romney 44%
Obama 51%, McCain 46%
Brown 47%, Whitman 44%

The 21st district is 70% Hispanic, the Hispanic population is growing quickly and the district is trending Democratic. Why does a Republican represent this district? The Hispanic turnout here is very low and the Hispanics in the Central Valley are more likely to ticket split than Hispanics in Los Angeles and Democrats nominated John Hernandez (D) who received little help from the DCCC. The Democratic preferred candidate Michael Rubio (D) declined running due to family concerns. He also resigned the State Senate where he served in 2012 to become a lobbyist for Chevron, taking him out of consideration in 2014. For 2014 though, Democrats need to nominate a better fundraiser than Hernandez and a possible candidate is Fresno City Councilman Blong Xiong (D) who lost the 2012 primary to Hernandez. Other possible candidates include Fran Florez (D). Democrats have been attacking Valadao early seeing an opportunity in this district. The problem for Democrats is that Hispanic turnout in California tends to drop in midterms so whoever they nominate has to turnout Hispanics and prevent Valadao from winning them.

Democratic held seats:

Tossup/Tilt Democratic

CA-36 Raul Ruiz (D) Coachella, Palm Springs
Obama 51%, Romney 48%
Obama 50%, McCain 47%
Brown 43%, Whitman 49%

This seat barely supported President Obama in 2012, Ruiz is a freshman Congressman, this district has a large Hispanic population and the Hispanic turnout should be lower in 2014 so Republicans should be ready to target this seat. They should not underestimate Ruiz though because he overperformed President Obama not against a far right candidate in the mold of Michelle Bachmann but Mary Bono Mack (R), a moderate candidate who had represented the district since the 90s. This indicates that if even Bono Mack cannot hold this seat, how could a far right tea party candidate win it back? Also, with the Hispanic population here growing very quickly, Republicans will be unable to hold this seat long even if they win in 2014.

(Lean Democratic)

CA-07 Ami Bera (D) Sacramento suburbs
Obama 51%, Romney 47%
Obama 51%, McCain 46%
Brown 49%, Whitman 44%

In the 2006 edition of the Almanac of American Politics, a similar configuration to this district was called "safely Republican." In 2012, Dr. Ami Bera won this district against former Rep. Dan Lungren (R), defeating a man who had served as CA Attorney General in the 1990s and had 18 years of experience in the U.S. House. Bera won not only by his strong fundraising skills, he won by courting the new voters in the Sacramento suburbs in a district that was >70% white in 2000 but in 2010 was close to 60% White. Even in the 2010 midterms, this district voted for Gov. Jerry Brown (D). Potential candidates Republicans may consider courting could be vocal Prop 8 supporter Andy Pugno (R) who ran for State Assembly in 2010 or State Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R). The issue for Republicans though is that their bench has weakened recently in the Sacramento suburbs because they lost their State Assembly districts there in the late 2000s. One  possibility is 2012 Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken who expressed interest in running. Emken ran for office twice, first for U.S. House and came in last place in the Republican primary and ran for Senate in 2012, losing by 24 points. She may not be a major threat. A stronger threat may be former Rep. Doug Ose (R) who is also rumored to be eyeing the seat. His more moderate views could help his appeal.

CA-26 Julia Brownley (D) Ventura, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks
Obama 54%, Romney 43%
Obama 56%, McCain 41%
Brown 46%, Whitman 47%

This was one of the most interesting races of 2012 where State Senator Tony Strickland (R) (who I met on January 23rd actually at a panel discussing President Obama's 2nd term,) Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks (I) and State Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D) faced each other in the top two primary. Brownley and Strickland went to the general election and Brownley won by showing Strickland's extremist views on women's rights. Brownley should probably win reelection because she is a good fit for the district and Strickland was an extremely difficult candidate to beat, proving Brownley can handle tough opponents. This race may move into the likely Democratic column soon.

CA-52 Scott Peters (D) northern San Diego
Obama 52%, Romney 46%
Obama 55%, McCain 43%
Brown 43%, Whitman 50%

Peters fought a hard battle to win this seat against Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) even though Bilbray is moderate and well respected in the San Diego area. Also, this district is trending Democratic which should help Peters but the issue for him is that San Diego votes more Republican during midterm races (Bilbray won easily in 2010 and Whitman performed well too.) Republicans however are working hard to beat Peters and potential candidates include San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer (R) and former councilman Carl DeMaio (R). DeMaio  ran for mayor in 2012. While he lost the mayor's race by 5 points, he carried the portion of San Diego in CA-52 56%-43% so he is popular here.

Overall, how does the 2014 cycle look in California 20 months until Election Day? Both parties have opportunities with Democrats hoping to gain Republican held seats where they ran poor campaigns in 2012  and Republicans are hoping to win back seats they lost in 2012 due to changing demographics and poor candidates. What Republicans must worry about though is that even if they prevent Democrats from turning out in 2014 and gain a few seats, California's changing demographics and the Republicans' inability to win over the new demographics mean that in 2016, Republicans could lose those seats again and lose more seats they thought were safely Republican. In 2012, Republicans lost an Assembly seat in Palmdale with a fast growing Hispanic population, despite even Democratic pundits predicting Republicans would hold that seat. In 2016, Rep. Buck McKeon (R) representing Palmdale may face a very close race too, he won only 54% in 2012 against an underfunded challenger despite nearly no pundits predicting a single digit margin for him. Even running Hispanic candidates is not always a solution, Republicans ran Hispanic Abel Maldonado (R) in the 24th district which was a near tie between Brown and Whitman. Maldonado was moderate and well known throughout the district yet he lost by ten points. The Republicans appear to be targeting the 24th district but if their strongest candidate could not win, they are unlikely to win the seat and should target other races. Another plus for the Democrats is that Organizing for Action, the President's campaign arm which helped him win in 2012 but focused little on the House races will be devoting more energy to the House races in 2014 and will be extremely helpful in districts such as California's by helping Democrats register and turnout the new demographics moving into California.

Poll

How many seats will the Democrats win in Cali?

16%11 votes
1%1 votes
4%3 votes
10%7 votes
25%17 votes
20%14 votes
22%15 votes

| 68 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

    by Alibguy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:33:24 AM PDT

  •  For reasons explained (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alibguy, ArkDem14, Gygaxian

    elsewhere, I first only became aware of this guy a couple of days ago:

    Tossup/Tilt Democratic

    CA-36 Raul Ruiz (D) Coachella, Palm Springs
    Obama 51%, Romney 48%
    Obama 50%, McCain 47%
    Brown 43%, Whitman 49%

    But I've gotta say, just by perusing his wikipedia entry he looks totally fucking awesome.

    I see big things in his future. For context, I said the same about Mr. Obama ca. 2003 (but with considerably less enthusiasm - that was more in the spirit of "calling them like I see them" - something I do unfailing no matter how unpopular the message might be . . .)

    •  I'd like to see Ruiz (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alibguy, Roadbed Guy, bythesea

      run for Senate in 2016 if Boxer retires, or in 2018 when Feinstein retires.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:06:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, if we could get somebody like him (0+ / 0-)

        to replace Feinstein, that'd be double fucking great!

        wrt Boxer, I suppose it'd more or less a wash.

        btw, have you heard she's retiring in 2016?  If so, that'd be a real shame . .. ..

        •  I really like Feinstein, for the most part (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KingofSpades, jncca, lordpet8

          She's a moderate Democrat who's very progressive on certain issues that are important to me, and who appeals to wealthy and moderate independents and centrist voters as well as business Democrats, and usually comes on board on any important Democratic policy proposal.

          Anyway, re: Boxer, http://www.biography.com/...

          After winning reelection in 1998, Boxer planned to retire at the end of her second term. She changed her mind, she said, after hearing then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) admonish Democrats for criticizing the George W. Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. "Then I got really fearful for my country," Boxer said. "The greatest thing about our country is that we're free and that we debate and we talk."
          Boxer intended to retire 12 years ago. In 2016 she'll be 76, and I think that, unlike in 2010 where there was pressure for her not to leave an open seat in that environment, they'll be pressure for her to step and let in a new generation of California Democrats to the biggest national stage for the state.

          "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

          by ArkDem14 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:35:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a feeling Feinstein will retire in 2018 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ArkDem14

            She'd be 85 with over 5 decades political service at that point.

            In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

            by lordpet8 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 04:52:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lordpet8

              I was surprised Feinstein ran again in 2012. 2018 and 2016 are going to have a lot of shifting around in California politics. Hopefully Kamela Harris becomes governor in 2018, and folks like Raul Ruiz and Loretta Scanchez having a chance to move up to the U.S. Senate.

              "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

              by ArkDem14 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:07:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  good summary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, lordpet8

    I agree with your race ratings and that Ruiz is the most vulnerable Dem. Denham might be somewhere between lean and likely for this cycle. Dems could potentially beat Valadao, but they would have to do everything right in a district where they have done everything wrong the last two cycles. For now, I think lean R is appropriate.

    A few quibbles:

    1. CA7 was always viewed as a good takeover possibility after Bera was competitive against Lungren even in the 2010 wave in a much redder version of the district. CA52 was more of a surprise, most people saw it as a longshot until the Dems won nearly half of the total primary vote.

    2. I don't know that Strickland was extremely tough to beat. He had name rec and was good at raising money, but he isn't a good ideological fit for an Obama district.

    SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

    by sacman701 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:38:44 AM PDT

    •  He was tough (0+ / 0-)

      Because he came off as more moderate at first in a district which usually votes more Republican downballot than in national races.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

      by Alibguy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:07:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rohrabacher, Issa and Campbell (0+ / 0-)

    I know this might sound like heresy, but I think think there is a possibility that the OC GOP trio of Rohrabacher, Issa and Campbell could be challenged.  

    Heresy, because their top line election numbers still looked good last year and the history of GOP incumbents in the OC.

    But, consider the possibilities ...

    ROHRABACHER

    His number 1 issue - still - based on floor speeches is promoting nuclear energy, which is highly unpopular in OC at the moment with all the troubles with the San Onofre Nuclear plant.  Most of his district would be in the fall-out zone of a Fukisima style problem (San Onofre is the only other plant in the world that is considered a sister of Fukishima) and a candidate who made this a central platform issue could find traction.

    Along with this, he just voted against the VAWA despite passage in a district that includes left-leaning Hunting Beach, Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa.

    Third, Costa Mesa is one of OC's fastest growing communities driven by young, affluent college grads buying homes to work in OC.  

    His district has a strong-hold in Laguna Niguel, but this could be breached!

    CAMPBELL

    The welfare king of the House, the guy has basically passed 1 piece of legislation since 2006 and the cross tabs in his newly formed district went against him in 2012.  His vote margins have steadily decreased year over year and turn-out among D voters in his district is very lackluster.  The votes to usurp him on a campaign of how he has sat in Washington for almost a decade and done nothing to help his district are there if GOTV is good.  Additionally, his new district is more latino every day ...

    ISSA

    His district seems tailor-made to keep a GOPer in power, but it includes the previously-discussed San Onofre and his antics in the public spotlight the last two years could make him more vulnerable in a district that includes left-leaning Encinitas and Dana Point. It will be hard to unseat a congressman who has both San Clemente AND La Jolla in their district, but sometimes notoriety can be a weakness.

    •  doubtful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca

      Romney won Issa's district by 7 and the other two by 12, and Dem turnout is likely to be down in a midterm. Dems might want to look for a serious candidate in Issa's district in 2016, but the other two would likely be out of reach even with a Jim Graves type. They ran a solid if underfunded candidate against Campbell in 2012, and he lost by 17.

      SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:00:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Campbell faced Sukhee Kang (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, Gygaxian

      who was mayor of Irvine, and got 58% of the vote. That's not bad. Granted, Kang was hobbled by more competitive races around him sucking out all the Democratic oxygen from his campaign.

      Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa are not left-leaning. HB, along with Newport Beach, is libertarian (Rohrabacher is pro-pot) and very while Costa Mesa is swingy.

      Issa can be dislodged, but not with Jerry Tetalman.

      Rather than Campbell or Rohrabacher, I would work on defeating Ed Royce in CA-39.

      23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14.

      by kurykh on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:02:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        Humbly, of course.

        Kang - while a great candidate on paper - ran a lackluster campaign.  His website didn't work most of the time, he spent little time beating the streets, his campaign events were dull affairs.  

        Kang seemed to be banking on his reputation and support from the Asian American community, while failing to promote out-reach to the latino community that became a huge part of Campbell's district in the redistricting.

        A look at the cross tabs from Campbell / Kang, I think it's obvious that there was an incredible number of potential D votes left on the table by a campaign that seemed defeatist or uninterested (no offense to any Kang fans.)

        I agree with most of what you said above in your analysis of the various towns in OC, but the cycle-over-cycle margins by which these guys are winning is heading in the D favor.  There are issues in OC that can be leveraged and while I agree that "down year = low democrat" as a rule, there is the chance to catch Repubs off-guard in a cycle year where they think this thing is in the bag.

        •  You're right in that OC is definitely trending Dem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alibguy

          But I do have to say these three, especially Campbell and Rohrabacher, most likely won't fall within this decade. Issa might, but he's loaded and there's no Democratic bench in his district. I would say focus on Royce first, since he's the most vulnerable of the OC GOPers.

          23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14.

          by kurykh on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:50:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  McKeon and Royce (0+ / 0-)

      will fall before Rohrabacher, Issa, or Campbell do.

      •  I disagree regarding Royce (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skaje

        While the demos of Norther OC are changing quite quickly, Royce seems to be have a popularity about him that transends political party.  They only way I see him not being a congressman is if he decides to retire, or if he gets caught up in a big scandal.

        I have high hopes for replacing McKeon though.

        I believe the order in which those Socal districts will fall is:

        Royce (not running or big scandal)
        McKeon
        Issa
        Royce (running)
        Campbell
        Rohrabacher

        Swingnut since 2009, 22, Male, Democrat, CA-49 (home) CA-12 (college)

        by Ryan Dack on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:35:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great rundown (5+ / 0-)

    But several problems need mentioning.

    For CA-21, Michael Rubio was in the state senate, not assembly. That's Rudy Salas, and he might not run for a few cycles since assembly term limits are now 12 years instead of 6. Blong Xiong probably can't win a primary, and Fran Florez is too polarizing. Leticia Perez, anyone?

    For CA-36, there's no GOP primary; it's top-two, so a moderate Repubican can conceivably win. The GOP frontrunner seems to be current assemblyman Brian Nestande, who stepped down (or was ousted) from being assembly GOP caucus chair for voting to close a tax loophole.

    For CA-26, the most probable GOP candidate is assemblyman Jeff Gorell, who managed to hold on in a light blue district due to incumbency and his military background (he was sent to Iraq for a year while in office).

    For CA-52, Carl DeMaio is not moderate at all. The moderate in the 2012 mayoral race was Nathan Fletcher. DeMaio was actually the most conservative candidate.

    23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14.

    by kurykh on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:43:26 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, that's the first time (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordpet8, trumpeter, Skaje

      I've seen Carl DeMaio referred to as moderate. Being gay and being quietly pro-gay rights doesn't make you a moderate. Outside of gay rights, I heard DeMaio described by locals as being to the right of Paul Ryan, or being a gay Paul Ryan.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:08:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I should have (0+ / 0-)

      Made it clearer about the GOP primary in CA-36, what I meant was that it is doubtful a far right candidate could lose in the GOP section of the top two because there are few moderates in the Inland Empire (unless moderate Democrats defect from Ruiz and support the moderate Republican.)

      Also, thanks for catching the CA-21 typo.

      As for DeMaio, good point, he is pretty conservative on a ton of issues but there are a few such as renewable energy where he agrees more with the Democrats.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

      by Alibguy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:15:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Strickland has hinted at running again in CA-26 (0+ / 0-)

      If he gets in again, Gorell would defer to him and Gorell hasn't ruled out running, but did say he wasn't interested in running in 2014.

      26, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

      by DrPhillips on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:20:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  great read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades

    I'd say the Dems come out of the 2014 elections with a 39-14 house advantage.

    In regards to DeMaio, I really don't think he's all that moderate. Sure he's no crazy teabagger but there is a reason why he won the Republican endorsement of over the moderate Nathan Fletcher.

    In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

    by lordpet8 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:04:08 AM PDT

  •  A note (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, ArkDem14, bythesea, jncca

    You said this:

    it was one of the few districts where the President performed better in 2012 than he did in 2008
    The problem is that Obama performed better in 2012 than he did in 2008 in 114 districts (more than 1/4) of the districts we have data for.

    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

    by wwmiv on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:16:16 AM PDT

  •  What? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, lordpet8, trumpeter, bythesea, jncca

    DeMaio isn't moderate, let alone very moderate.  He ran a conservative campaign, even willing to campaign on how he would put a stopper in advancing gay rights.

    "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:34:58 AM PDT

  •  CA-52: Hmm... (0+ / 0-)
    Also, this district is trending Democratic which should help Peters but the issue for him is that San Diego votes more Republican during midterm races
    Just because this area has trended Dem over the years doesn't mean that it's actively trending Dem right now. It, along with most white areas of San Diego County, swung towards Romney by three points, a point more than the national average. La Jolla itself swung really hard towards Romney, although Obama still won it. Romney may have won the parts of La Jolla that aren't influenced by UCSD, though...

    You say that San Diego votes more Republican in midterms, but it's more that San Diego votes more Republican in local, state, and Congressional elections than it does in Presidential elections. A midterm year certainly helps, although this seat doesn't have any huge minority bastions. Still, I'm sure the surfers and young, party types in OB/PB (Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach) and students at UCSD and USD (both of which are in this district, although a small portion of UCSD is in Issa's district)  turn out far more in Presidential years than they do in midterms. I think that if/when Carl DeMaio runs in 2014, we'll see quite a battle and I think the race would be extremely competitive. By the way, I was in the district last week. It's probably my favorite Congressional district.

    (Bilbray won easily in 2010 and Whitman performed well too.)
    Bilbray won a VERY different seat in 2012. A huge chunk of his district ended up in Issa's new seat. CA-52 was mostly made of other districts, not his old one.

    Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

    by IllinoyedR on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:42:13 PM PDT

    •  *Bilbray won a very different district in 2010 (0+ / 0-)

      Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

      by IllinoyedR on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:42:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Although you and I agree in private conversations (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, bythesea, Alibguy, Gygaxian

      about the fact that Peters is the only really vulnerable Democrat in California, I think that this agreement masks the fact that I think that all of the Democrats are less vulnerable than you do.

      Peter's district is D+2. There are only a handful of Republicans that hold districts that Democratic in the entire country.

      Oddly, I think DeMaio is the only Republican that could beat Peters - which is insane given that he's by far the most conservative gay turncoat that could possibly run for the seat.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:51:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  CA-52 (0+ / 0-)

        By no means am I declaring that DeMaio would be favored, but I think he'd be an extremely strong challenger and, in a vacuum, his chances of winning would be somewhere in the 40% range in a fairly balanced national environment with normal midterm turnout.

        By the way, he's not the only Republican who could win the seat. There are, for example, a few Republican members of the San Diego City Council who would be excellent candidates for CA-52.

        Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

        by IllinoyedR on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:57:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  CA-52 downballot (0+ / 0-)

        BTW, few, if any, D+2 districts (and the district was, as you know, only D+1 in 2012) are as Republican down-ballot as CA-52 is. DeMaio cleaned up there, as did Jerry Sanders (and as do the Republican candidates for city council in the district).

        Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

        by IllinoyedR on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:58:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  turncoat? (0+ / 0-)

        I hope you aren't suggesting gay Republicans are traitors...

        20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

        by jncca on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 04:44:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eh? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alibguy, KingofSpades

          I'm pretty sure he means a gay person who works against gay rights. Let's not get too worked up here.

          23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14.

          by kurykh on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 04:53:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said I hope he isn't (0+ / 0-)

            I wasn't saying he for sure was.  I'm letting him respond.

            20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

            by jncca on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:09:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, that's what he meant (0+ / 0-)

            DeMaio touted the endorsement of homophobic ex-Mayor Roger Hedgecock (who boycotted the Pride parade in '86 because he blamed gay people for bringing a devastating "plague" to America and he sued them in the 90's on behalf of "normal people") and won the support of  Prop 8 donors by promising that he "won't push the gay special agenda."
            http://www.calitics.com/...
            If that doesn't make him a turncoat, I don't know what does.

            "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

            by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:27:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Proof: (0+ / 0-)

              "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

              by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:30:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That makes him a conservative, not a turncoat. (0+ / 0-)

              A turncoat is Artur Davis, or Parker Griffith, or Charlie Crist, or Arlen Specter.  

              20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

              by jncca on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:43:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Pandering to homophobes to win their money (0+ / 0-)

                and selling your soul to them by promising to not advance the "gay agenda" and playing right into their narrative about there being one despite being gay himself is being turncoat.  He's somewhat like General Benedict Arnold, who in return for his defection to the British Army, was promised an extremely generous stipend and pension.  Yes, Arnold's case was much more complicated than that, but in that respect, Demaio is like him.

                "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

                by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:52:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No (0+ / 0-)

                  That's absurd.

                  Benedict Arnold switched sides.
                  Carl DeMaio has always been conservative.

                  20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                  politicohen.com
                  Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
                  UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

                  by jncca on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:57:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Internally, he supported gay marriage and whatnot (0+ / 0-)

                    but said he would halt Mayor Sanders push on it.  So he was turncoat on those beliefs on human equality in that he supported it once, but whored himself to homophobes to get their money.

                    "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

                    by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:59:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So yes, he switched sides (0+ / 0-)

                      on openly supporting gay marriage and protections on gay renters and whatnot.  He was pushed, by their money, to closet those beliefs away.

                      "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

                      by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:17:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  You sound like Pete Stark (0+ / 0-)

                  when he called Bush 41's Black Cabinet secretary a "traitor to his race"

                  20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                  politicohen.com
                  Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
                  UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

                  by jncca on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:57:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't know about that (0+ / 0-)

                    but I would say that Clarence Thomas certainly is since he supports  letting segregation  happen on private property if the owner so chooses.

                    Also, imagine a  female politician declares that the woman's place is in the household (think Phyllis Schafly).  That's what Demaio was like for gay people.

                    "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

                    by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:04:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Also, imagine (0+ / 0-)

                      a Jewish candidate who was seeking donations from anti-Semitic interests and in return promising to not push the "Zionist/NWO agenda."  That's what Demaio was for gay people.

                      "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

                      by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:07:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's only a traitor (0+ / 0-)

                        if you think you know what's best for gay people.  I wouldn't consider any of those people to be traitors.  I'd just be puzzled how they could think that way.

                        20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                        politicohen.com
                        Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
                        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

                        by jncca on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:09:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Why is it being traitor? (0+ / 0-)

                          Seeking support from groups and interests based on hate against people like you and playing along with their conspiracy theories to win their support (despite believing otherwise yourself) is traitor to a cause, people, culture, what have you.  Surely you would think so if there was ever a Jewish candidate who was endorsed by Stormfront and spouted their lines in return for their support.

                          "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

                          by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:13:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I wouldn't. (0+ / 0-)

                            Jews are not a cause or a side.  You literally can't be a traitor to Jews because unlike the Continental Army, Jews aren't a single, unified group.  There are Jews for Jesus.  There are ultra-Orthodox Jews who don't want Israel to exist.  There are "self-hating" Jews (I detest that term for the same reason I detest calling DeMaio a traitor).

                            20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                            politicohen.com
                            Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
                            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

                            by jncca on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:21:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think that (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KingofSpades, GloFish, Alibguy

                            this is starting to derail the discussion.  We can debate the semantics of "turncoat" and "traitor" all day, but I think it's very clear that all wwmiv meant was that Carl DeMaio is a gay Republican who is against gay equality to pander to conservatives.  That fundamental contradiction is undeniable, and appalling.

  •  denham, valadao and miller are toast (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lordpet8, Skaje, Ryan Dack

    if not in 2014, then assuredly in 2016, IMO. demographic shifts + same-day voter registration (coming in 2014) is too much for those republicans to withstand for too much longer.

    by the next census, the central valley and inland empire will be a third democratic base.

    •  Miller, definitely. (0+ / 0-)

      Valadao, maybe, but we need a strong candidate.
      Denham, maybe wait until 2016.

      "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

      by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:04:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not Denham (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca, wu ming

      He may have a rougher go of it in 2016 than in 2012, although he'll be more entrenched in the large part of the district that was new to him in 2012. I think Dems will likely flip the seat by 2020, but if I had to bet I would guess that Denham will hold the seat in 2016.

      Valadao will likely be an underdog in 2016 if Dems get their act together. He's about as good a fit as the GOP can get for the district, but it's already too blue and still trending blue at a rapid rate.

      SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 03:03:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A tad optimistic (0+ / 0-)

      Miller is toast unless Democrats screw up again (and I won't put that past them).

      Valadao can be dislodged only by certain candidates. God forbid if Fran Florez runs.

      Denham will take a while. Modesto is quite Republican especially downballot, and as I've stated multiple times, I don't trust the valleycrats to go blue.

      23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14.

      by kurykh on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 04:49:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also (0+ / 0-)

        Denham seems extra popular among voters in his region. His wins in the State Senate had many ticket splitters voting Democratic.

        For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

        by Alibguy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:20:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well Miller will still need a GOPer to primary him (0+ / 0-)

        too, if he wants a repeat of 2012. So even if the Dems splinter off like they did last time, one would still advance to the general if Miller is the sole Republican.

        In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

        by lordpet8 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:00:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  san joaquin county has been shifting fast (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, Alibguy

        stanislaus admittedly less so, although when you look at the under-18 population there, you can see the writing on the wall.

        the biggest wild card IMO is whether the older white valleycrats will become outright republicans as young latinos start boosting the democratic (and dem-voting DTS) numbers in a big way.

        granted, nothing is going to happen without a sustained registration, GOTV and political organizing drive, and quality candidates like hernandez putting some serious off-election time in preparing the ground for their victories, as ami bera and jerry mcnerney did in the past several election cycles. but that is within reach, and pelosi is smart enough to know that her path to speaker runs in part through inland CA.

        •  San Joaquin County (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KingofSpades

          Also had a large minority population which until recently did not have high enough turnout rates. In 2004, Bush won 53% of the vote in San Joaquin County but in 2012, Romney won only 42% and even McCain performed better than Romney in San Joaquin County.

          Stanislaus County actually does not have a very large minority population compared to San Joaquin County.

          For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

          by Alibguy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:16:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  stanislaus county 2011 census (0+ / 0-)

            non-hispanic white: 46%
            hispanic/latino: 43%
            asian: 6%
            multiracial: 4%
            black: 3%
            native american: 2%

            so yes, whiter than san joaquin (which has higher % of asians (16%)  and blacks (8%)), but still majority-minority in terms of population. of the 28% of the county under 18, i would be willing to bet that a significantly larger proportion are "minorities" (an ironic word in contemporary california).

            nearly every county in the central valley has a significant minority population, that is weighted towards the young and growing fast. shasta and tehama county are about the only overwhelmingly white counties left in the valley.

            •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

              That Stanislaus County has a large minority population, just not as large as San Joaquin's where the non Hispanic White population is below 40%

              For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

              by Alibguy on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:48:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The answer to your wildcard is not really (0+ / 0-)

          They're called valleycrats for a reason, and there's no reason for that to change. Their children might register GOP though (hi there, Anthony Cannella). Kentucky and West Virginia serve as prototypes for this group.

          The writing on the wall for Stanislaus is mixed. Using Stockton as a goalpost for Modesto makes little sense since the bluing of Sacramento and San Joaquin counties is mainly due to Bay Area transplants much more so than Latino growth. Stanislaus is like the gap left when the Sacramento, the Bay Area, and Fresno metro areas stopped expanding during the recession. Merced is becoming a college town, which leaves Stanislaus untouched.

          I really think you're pinning too much hope on Latinos turning this area blue, and that's not a good way to strategize or predict trends. Yes, they are overwhelmingly Democratic, but most of them can't vote and those that can don't turn out reliably enough. Optimism is good until it turns into rose-tinted glasses. It's like how a lot of people here on DKE were optimistic about Jose Hernandez when the reality on the ground was much less rosy. Maybe if Cardoza had ran instead....

          23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14.

          by kurykh on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 12:34:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  obama won stanislaus county in '08 and '12 (0+ / 0-)

            just as he did in san joaquin, merced and fresno counties. dems have been steadily picking up voter registration numbers up and down the valley, with the exception of shasta county which has been filling up with white retirees, more in line with the foothills. those new voters in the valley aren't valleycrats; if they were, obama wouldn't be picking up their votes

            kerry lost all four counties in 2004, by about 8-10%. gore lost them in 2000 by about the same margins. bill clinton lost fresno and merced but narrowly won stanislaus and san joaquin counties in 1996, but was given an assist by ross perot pulling high single digit support and splitting the conservative vote (perot also pulled votes from the left in other parts of the state, but in the valley he was assuredly drawing on libertarians and conservatives).

            so something big shifted in 2008, and held steady or increased slightly in 2012. we see it in the new seats dems picked up, in the valley and the inland empire, as well as in the seats they came closer than expected in. that's not speculation, that's data.

            it's not a matter of whether the valley will shift, it has shifted and is shifting today, even in stanislaus county. while the timing of when a given district will hit its tipping point is no doubt heavily dependent upon organizing, GOTV, and recruiting good candidates, the trend in the valley, as in the inland empire and suburban socal, is unmistakable.

            the reason for that shift, in part if not in whole, is demographics.

            •  Stanislaus (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KingofSpades, wu ming

              Stanislaus county is trending blue faster than any other county in the state except Imperial and Merced. It's tied with San Joaquin. Comparing 2004 to 2012, neither of which were wave elections:

              Imperial: Kerry won by 6, Obama by 32, net 26D
              Merced: Bush won by 14, Obama by 9, net 23D
              Stanislaus: Bush won by 18, Obama by 3, net 21D
              San Joaquin: Bush won by 7, Obama by 14, net 21D

              In terms of PVI Imperial has shifted 9.9 points to the Dems, Merced 8.4, Stanislaus and San Joaquin 7.4. For the record, here are the other counties that have shifted 5 or more points to the Dems: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Riverside, Sacramento, San Berdoo, Sutter, Tulare, Yuba. All inland, mostly downscale, heavily Hispanic in most cases.

              SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

              by sacman701 on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:21:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yup (0+ / 0-)

                i think part of the problem is sorting out the difference between wave elections - which 2008 was, at the national level - and long term demographic shifts like what is going on in california right now. there's this assumption that well, 2008 was a fluke and people will swing back in another cycle or two, but this isn't being driven by people swinging between parties, this is a huge demographic and ideological shift related very much to generational replacement.

                people aren't going to recognize the valley, politically, in a decade or so.

    •  Totally forgot about same day registration (0+ / 0-)

      I think this could definitely be helpful in districts that contain college campuses, a few GOP held seats that stick out in my head are CA-39 (CSUF), CA-45 (UCI) and CA-49 (UCSD).

      It may not be huge, but I definitely think it would have an effect.  Perhaps CA-45 and CA-49 will be within reach by 2016.

      Swingnut since 2009, 22, Male, Democrat, CA-49 (home) CA-12 (college)

      by Ryan Dack on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:43:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CA-36: Raul Ruiz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian

    Was a rarity as he won while outperforming Obama.  And the good question is who is there to run against him since Mary Bono Mack has finally dropped the pretense of being a Californian.  A county official, maybe?

    "...and as I learned higher joys, so I learned neither to harm, nor to wish harm upon others." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:08:22 PM PDT

  •  I am curious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jncca

    about what possible definition of 'moderate' fits Brian Bilbray and Carl DeMaio.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 03:07:12 PM PDT

  •  I really respect Raul Ruiz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alibguy

    He gives off a vibe of being unflappably honest (which he may or may not be) and of a local kid "done good". Here's hoping he starts pushing a "Medicare for all" plan sooner or later.

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 12:10:56 AM PDT

  •  Ruiz is not vulnerable (0+ / 0-)

    It is a little known fact, but the registrations numbers for Democrats surpassed that for Republicans in this district.

    http://www.voteinfo.net/...

    The registrations equaled up last year and now the Dems have a 900 person margin at 112,914 registered voters in the 36th CD vs 112,008 for the GOP.  There are about 50,000 independents so, that is a lot of swing voters.  

    But, Mary Bono Mack pretended to be this moderate Republican but voters here finally realized that the empress had no clothes.  She wasn't moderate at all, she wasn't the gay-friendly person that she claimed to be either.  (Palm Springs has a sizable gay population.)  She was revealed as the far-right winger that she was.  She called one of our towns a "cesspool" and joked about it, and she was always either in Washington DC or at with her new husband in Florida.  In fact, within days of losing the election, she put her Palm Springs home up for sale.  

    Ruiz will do far better running as an incumbent.  It is hard to take out an incumbent, but, now that he is in office, he will gain votes just because he is the incumbent.  He will most likely get over 55% of the vote in his first reelection.  It is not uncommon for a new incumbent to gain a sizable reelect number in their first reelection campaign.  

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