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After a ten year hiatus, California's Congressional races are exciting again.

From 2002 to 2010, both parties largely ignored California as they fought for control of the House of Representatives.  During this time only one seat, the 11th District, shifted party control.  Credible primary challenges to incumbents were rare, and while open seats could produce some excitement, incumbent retirements were not very frequent.  For years, California was one of the least interesting states for election watchers.  However, this has all changed with the creation of the Independent Redistricting Commission and the introduction of the top-two electoral system.  

California's Congressional lines, once drawn up by both parties to protect incumbents, were completely scrapped and redrawn.  Now, several members of Congress are vulnerable to opponents both within their party and in the opposition.  Additionally, two pairs of incumbents found themselves pitted against each other.  Several incumbents, encouraged by age and their desire to avoid tough challenges, decided to retire; others have chosen to stay and wage their first tough reelection in years or even decades.  

The top-two system further complicates things.  Under the new electoral system, all candidates will face off on one ballot in the June 5th primary (early voting began weeks ago); the two highest vote-getters, regardless of party will advance to the general election.  This guarantees that there will be a number of Democratic versus Democratic and Republican versus Republican races in November, where candidates will need to appeal to independents and the other party for votes.  The top-two also allows candidates to try and prove their viability in the primary; an underdog who preforms well on June 5th could inspire more support and donations, while candidates who do poorly could see their aid dry up.  Even in races where the primary is only a dress rehearsal for the main event in November, it is still critical for candidates to preform as well as possible.  

What follows is a guide to the Congressional elections in California.  (I previously wrote a guide in April, but have completely rewritten it line-by-line, updated it, and changed some ratings.)  Because some of the most interesting races will be between members of the same party I've rated how competitive the race is on a five ★˜… scale instead of which party is favored (though I say that too).    

A ★˜…  race is not competitive at all, absent a huge gaffe or scandal.  For the most part I don't provide much detail about these races since there isn't much to say about them.

A ★★ race has the potential to be competitive, but has one candidate who is heavily favored.  

A ★★★ race is competitive, with at least two candidates having a reasonable chance to win, but one candidate is still the clear favorite.

A ★★★★ features a very competitive race.  One candidate has the edge but faces at least one opponent who has a good chance to pull off an upset.  

A ★★★★★ race is reserved for the most competitive races in the state.  These are the elections where millions will be spent from both inside and outside the district, blood and tears will be spilled, and careers will be made or destroyed.  

I don't have any mathematical or scientific formula for rating these races: they're based on my opinion of how competitive the race is.  However, I look at all pre-primary fundraising reports as well as independent expenditures.

Also, a big shout out goes to David Jarman and the rest of the Daily Kos Elections team for their great California Cheat Sheet, which I make heavy use of in analyzing these races, and to Meridian-Pacific, whose maps I link to.

Now let's go off to the races!  

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California's 1st Congressional District: OPEN, Redding, Chico.
President: Obama 42%, McCain 53%
Governor: Brown 37%, Whitman 53%
Senate: Boxer 31%, Fiorina 58%
★★★★ (was ★★★ in April ratings)

Two well known Republicans face off on June 5th, with the distinct possibility only one of them will make it to the general.  The Republican establishment, including the retiring incumbent Wally Herger and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, largely backs State Senator Doug LaMalfa.  LaMalfa has been an effective fundraiser, having $233,000 left over after spending $204,000 leading up to the primary.  Furthermore, Citizens for Prosperity and Good Government has spent $52,000 in support of LaMalfa.  

The other prominent Republican is LaMalfa's predecessor in the State Senate Sam Aanestad, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat fellow Congressional candidate Able Maldonado in the 2010 Lieutenant Governor primary.  While both LaMalfa and Aanestad are solid conservatives Aanestad has been running to LaMafa's right, criticizing him over taking millions of dollars in farm subsidies.  Aanestad has fewer influential GOP endorsements, but he does have the backing of the Sacramento Bee and Congressman  Tom McClintock who represents 35% of the district.  Aanestad's fundraising has been very weak compared to LaMalfa's, but a personal loan has given him the resources to compete here.  As of late May, LaMalfa outspent Aanestad $204,000 to $197,000.  However, while Aanastad has almost no cash left for the rest of the primary LaMalfa has over $204,000 on hand.  

The race has gotten very heated in recent weeks.  A website attacking Aanestad and falsely challenging his credentials as an oral surgeon has dominated the headlines in the district: the site (which is no longer up) said it was from a minor candidate who has denied having anything to do with it.  Aanestad's camp claims that LaMalfa is behind and is violating the law by refusing to disclose independent expenditures and committing conspiracy to improperly disclaim a campaign website.   The LaMalfa campaign denies any involvement, but Aanestad claims that through subpoenas they have found LaMalfa's chief-of-staff registered and paid for the site.  Whether voters will be moved by the controversy remains to be seen, but Aanestad has filed a complaint over it and is working to keep this story in the news.  Aanestad also recently made headlines when he claimed that President Obama was a Muslim; he has since said Obama was raised as a Muslim and is now a Christian.  LaMalfa also recently picked a fight with the Obama Administration over high speed rail, which should play well with Republicans in the district.  

Several other minor candidates are running with 2010 Democratic nominee Jim Reed looking fairly likely to consolidate the Democratic vote and win a general election spot: should Reed make it to November he would have an almost impossibly uphill climb in this very red district.  However, the district is Republican enough that LaMalfa and Aanestad could both make it to the general.  The only poll that has been publicly released, a mid-April LaMalfa internal, shows Aanestad and Reed battling for second place.  For now LaMalfa looks like the frontrunner due to his greater establishment support and the fact that he and his allies have outspent Aanestad.  Still, Aanestad looks like he may have a chance, especially after the website controversy.

California's 2nd District: OPEN, Eureka, Petaluma, Novato.
President: Obama 71%, McCain 25%
Governor: Brown 64% Whitman 30%
Senate: Boxer 62%, Fiorina 29%
★★★★

This very liberal district features a competitive race to succeed retiring incumbent Lynn Woolsey.  Democratic Assemblymember Jared Huffman is virtually assured to have a spot in the general election; he is the best known candidate in the race, has the support of Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congressman Mike Thompson (who represents 44% of the district), Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and many labor groups, and the largest remaining warchest.  Huffman also has the endorsements of most of the area's major papers.  Huffman is talking up his experience and his ability to get things done.  Given that Huffman is expected to easily reach the general election, the real contest on June 5th will be to see who is Huffman's opponent.

The race for second place is largely a battle between businesswoman Stacey Lawson and author and longtime liberal activist Norman Solomon, with Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams having an outside chance to win.  (All these candidates are Democrats).  Solomon is portraying himself as a liberal foil to President Obama; he has called for green jobs, cuts to military spending, a tax on Wall Street, and the end of the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans.   Solomon has the endorsement of the Pacific Sun, a local magazine.  (EDIT: This originally identified the SUn as online only.  Thanks to Alibguy for the correction.)  Adams is touting her experience on the Marin County Board of Supervisors and her gender.  Lawson has spent far more money than any of her opponents ($494,000 to Huffman's $270,000, Solomon's $183,000, and Adam's $36,000) and has the support of both Emily's List and many Democratic donors.  Lawson is emphasizing her business experience in large part to appeal to independents and Republicans.  

That business experience is being attacked by Solomon and Adams; they are criticizing her for her old company's financial troubles while she was in charge.  Adams is further seeking to turn Lawson's business background against her by airing an ad comparing her to 2010 GOP Gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman.  Solomon is also, attacking Lawson as a carpetbagger and a member of the richest one percent of Americans (referring to her as a one percenter).  Lawson has fired back at Solomon over the mailer, calling its contents lies and distortions.  Lawson's voting record is also being attacked by Solomon and Adams: Lawson did not vote in most recent elections including the 2008 Presidential race.  (Lawson claims that her ballot got lost after she mailed it from India, though acknowledges she has a poor voting record.)  Lawson is also being criticized for taking down blog posts she once wrote at the Huffington Post about her personal spiritual journey.  Lawson has called the posts deeply personal and irrelevant to the campaign, while Adams and Solomon say she is trying to scrub away part of her past.  By contrast, Huffman has rarely been targeted by any of his foes nor has he attacked.        

There are several other Democrats in the race, including Petaluma Vice Mayor Tiffany Renee, but none are expected to advance very far.  (Though one minor candidate Andy Caffrey made some headlines by promising to light up a joint on the capitol steps if elected.)  Two Republicans are running; Daniel Roberts has actually spent over $100,000 in this race and has a small chance to get to the general, though having the area's small GOP vote split will probably stop him.  Lawson and Solomon look like they have a reasonable chance to secure a general election spot with the underfunded Adams possibly able to sneak in, and Roberts having an outside chance.  

In a general election Huffman will be the favorite but not a shoo-in.  Against Solomon he would likely pick up most of the GOP vote and enough independents that may prefer the more moderate (but still very liberal) Assemblymember.  Solomon has criticized Huffman for accepting donations from oil companies and a winery with labor violations in the past: he would likely bring up these issues in the general election as well as paint Huffman as too close to the establishment.  Against Lawson Huffman will probably have a tougher time; she will have enough money to make this race competitive and is likely to do well among the GOP and independents due to her business background and the perception she is the most moderate candidate in the race.  Against anyone else Huffman should have no problem winning.  Ultimately, Huffman is the favorite going into November especially if Lawson is not his opponent.  

California's 3rd Congressional District: John Garamendi (Democrat, represents 23% of the district), Davis, Yuba City, Fairfield.
President: Obama 55%, McCain 42%
Governor: Brown 50%, Whitman 43%
Senate: Boxer 45%, Fiorina 46%
★★★★

John Garamendi saw his reelection complicated by redistricting: he lost most of his safely Democratic district for a much swingier one, and he has attracted a credible Republican foe.  Colusa County Supervisor Kim Dolbow-Vann is the only Republican to raise any real money in this race and she actually has a small cash-on-hand lead over the incumbent of $169,000 to $132,000.  (Though part of this is due to Garamedi outspending her by over 2-1.)  National Republicans are touting Vann; the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has designated Vann a contender in its Young Guns Program and NRCC Pete Sessions recently held a fundraiser for her.  

Garamendi is still the favorite so far.  While the district was close in the 2010 Senate race it still gave Jerry Brown a 7% margin of victory, and Democrats have a nine-point registration advantage.  The incumbent should also be helped by Presidential level turnout at the area's major university UC Davis.  However, this one should be worth keeping an eye on.

California's 4th Congressional District: Tom McClintock (Republican, represents 71% of district), Roseville, Placerville, Lincoln.
President: Obama 43%, McCain 54%
Governor: Brown 38%, Whitman 55%
Senate: Boxer 32%, Fiorina 59%

California's 5th Congressional District: Mike Thompson (Democrat, represents 26% of district), Vallejo, Napa.
President: Obama 70%, McCain 26%
Governor: Brown 63%, Whitman 31%
Senate: Boxer 61%, Fiorina 31%

California's 6th Congressional District: Doris Matsui (Democrat, represents 81% of district), Sacramento.
President: Obama 68%, McCain 29%
Governor: Brown 66%, Whitman 28%
Senate: Boxer 59%, Fiorina 32%

California's 7th Congressional District: Dan Lungren (Republican, represents 77% of district), Elk Grove, Ranch Cordova, Citris Heights.
President: Obama 51%, McCain 46%
Governor: Brown 49%, Whitman 44%
Senate: Boxer 42%, Fiorina 49%
★★★★★

Dan Lungren won a tough race last cycle against Democratic physician Ami Bera, and Bera's back for a rematch in a tougher district for Lungren.  Bera has consistently out-raised the incumbent (though Lungren's fundraising increased in the first quarter of 2012) and now has a $1,163,000 to $930,000 cash-on-hand lead even after outspending him.  

Both parties will spend heavily to secure this seat.  Democrats have been targeting Lungren over Medicare, charging him with trying to change the program while opposing more taxes for the rich.  Local Republicans were also hit by a scandal where voters saw their party registration switched to the GOP without their knowledge.  Bera may have a very slight lead here given how much Lungren underperformed in a friendlier GOP district, but given that neither party has a big advantage in this district he cannot take this for granted.  Conservative groups spent heavily here in 2010 to save Lungren and there is a good chance they will do it again.  For now, this race looks like it will be one of the hardest fought in the state.      

California's 8th Congressional District: OPEN, Victorville, Barstow.
President: Obama 42%, McCain 55%
Governor: Brown 36%, Whitman 52%
Senate: Boxer 32%, Fiorina 57%
★★★★

This heavily Republican and mainly San Bernardino based-district features a crowded race between ten Republicans, two Democrats, and one well-known independent.  If there is a frontrunner it's probably Republican Assemblymember Paul Cook.  Cook's fundraising has been decent and independent groups have spent a combined $204,000 on him, giving him a good financial edge in the race; altogether Cook and his supporters have spent $320,000.  Cook also has the endorsement of former Governor Pete Wilson, several GOP member of Congress, and the San Bernardino Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspapers.  

San Bernadino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt has the advantage of representing about half of the district.  His fundraising hasn't been particularly good but he also has a PAC, Jobs Opportunity and Freedom, on his side.  Altogether, Mitzelfelt and his PAC allies have recently spent $121,000 for him or against Cook.  

Ryan McEachron has a good profile as mayor of Victorville, the largest city in the district.  McEachron has barely raised any money but a personal loan allowed him to spend $102,000, not overwhelming but enough to compete.  McEachron has received some publicity for his public opposition to building a Planned Parenthood center in Victorville.  

Self-funder Phil Liberatore, an anti-IRS crusader, is the race's top spender, having dumped $353,000 of his money in.  Liberatore, who lives far away from the district, lost a 2010 GOP primary to Gary Miller 49%-38% for a district that includes none of this one.  (Interestingly, Gary Miller is running in a district that includes none of the old CA-42 either).  Liberatore has the endorsement of well-known Arizona sheriff Joe Arapio and has been airing ads.  If Liberatore slips into a competitive general election he could have some problems: between his two campaigns he has amassed $785,000 in campaign debt.  

A number of other GOP candidates are running, none with much money but given how crowded this race is one can sneak into the general.  They include Gregg Imus the chief-of-staff to local ultra conservative Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, Victorville City Councilor Angela Valles, Hesperia City Councilor Bill Jensen, and a bunch of other random GOPers.  Two Democrats are in the race; given how huge the GOP field is, one of them could reach the general.  Complicating things further is the candidacy of former Assemblymember and Republican-turned independent Anthony Adams.  Adams voted for a Democratic-led tax increase in 2009 and survived a recall vote over it before leaving the Assembly.  His fundraising has been incredibly weak but given his name recognition and the crowded field he'll have his chance to reach the general.

Cook probably has the edge since he has the best combination of money and name recognition.  But this race is far too unpredictable to make any sure predictions.  Voters will at least have a much more clear choice in November when there are only two names on the ballot.  

California's 9th Congressional District: Jerry McNerney (Democrat, represents 50% of district), Stockton, Lodi, Antioch.  
President: Obama 56%, McCain 41%
Governor: Brown 51%, Whitman 42%
Senate: Boxer 47%, Fiorina 45%
★★★★

Jerry McNerney is no stranger to tough races, and it looks like he'll be in for another in 2012 in a Democratic-leaning district.  Ricky Gill, a 25-year-old recent law school graduate, has become one of the GOP's fundraising stars after out-raising the incumbent for several quarters.  (McNerney has more cash on hand now due to Gill needing to spend it to secure his general election spot).  Gill has tapped into the Indian-American community to raise money as well as his family's business ties.  The GOP seems excited about him: he was one of the first twelve candidates nationwide to reach the top level of the NRCC's Young Guns program.  

Gill has been hammering home the idea that San Joaquin County deserves its own Congressman and that McNerney, who lived in the Bay Area until recently moving to Stockton, has not represented the area well.  Gill has also attacked McNerney over his vote against free trade and has talked up his own agricultural background and support for charter schools.  McNerney has fought back, saying unlike the 25 year-old he has actual life experience and knows the area well.  Due to the Democratic lean of the district and his experience winning tough elections McNerney should have the edge; it's also unclear whether Gill's youth will be an asset or a liability.  Still, this one could be close.    

California's 10th Congressional District: Jeff Denham (Republican, represents 38% of district), Tracy, Turlock, Modesto.
President: Obama 50%, McCain 47%
Governor: Brown 43%, Whitman 49%
Senate: Boxer 39%, Fiorina 52%
★★★★

Jeff Denham only represents a portion of the new 10th district and faces a potentially strong challenger from former astronaut and Democrat Jose Hernandez.  Hernandez has made the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)'s Red to Blue list of top candidates, and has had some fundraising success; while he still trails the incumbent in cash by a large amount Hernandez's $367,000 should be enough to run a real race.  (Denham has $1,022,000 on hand).  

Chad Condit, the son of former Democratic Congressman Gary Condit (best known for his involvement in the 2001 Chandra Levi scandal) is also in the race as an independent.  Condit's fundraising has been incredibly small but he has been boosted by $52,000 from icPurple, a PAC dedicated to electing independents in California.  Condit and his supporters have been heavily canvassing and phone banking while Hernandez has been skipping forums and hasn't been walking precincts.  This has led some local observes to speculate that Condit may have a shot to beat out Hernandez for the general election spot against Denham.  However, national Democrats and their allies aren't spending money to boost Hernandez or take down Condit; this is probably a sign that they feel good about Hernandez's chances of reaching the general election.          

This could be a tight race, but Denham starts out with the edge.  He has a history of winning in Democratic leaning districts while in the state legislature, and Hernandez's past comments calling for the legalization of undocumented immigrants may not be helpful.  However, Hernandez looks like he will be able to prove a stiff challenge to the incumbent and has the profile to pull off an upset.

California's 11th Congressional District: George Miller (Democrat, represents 46% of district), Richmond, Concord.
President: Obama 69%, McCain 28%
Governor: Brown 61%, Whitman 34%
Senate: Boxer 60%, Fiorina 34%

California's 12 Congressional District: Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, represents 86% of district), San Francisco.  
President: Obama 84%, McCain 13%
Governor: Brown 78%, Whitman 16%
Senate: Boxer 76%, Fiorina 14%

California's 13th Congressional District: Barbara Lee (Democrat, represents 77% of district), Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro.
President: Obama 87%, McCain 10%
Governor: Brown 84%, Whitman 11%
Senate: Boxer 83%, Fiorina 11%

California's 14th Congressional District: Jackie Speier (Democrat, represents 77% of district), San Mateo, Daly City, Redwood City.
President: Obama 73%, McCain 24%
Governor: Brown 66%, Whitman 28%
Senate: Boxer 66%, Fiorina 27%

California's 15th Congressional District: Pete Stark (Democrat, represents 47% of district), Hayward, Pleasanton, San Ramon.
President: Obama 67%, McCain 30%
Governor: Brown 60%, Whitman 35%
Senate: Boxer 59%, Fiorina 34%
★★★★

Pete Stark has long been accustomed to easy wins but a series of strange comments has complicated his reelection bid against another Democrat.  Stark's troubles started at a candidate forum where he accused his opponent, Alameda County prosecutor and Dublin City Councilor Eric Swalwell, of taking bribes.  After Stark was challenged to provide evidence he eventually apologized.  In a separate incident, Stark falsely accused a conservative newspaper columnist of donating to Swalwell, and confused the local-bankrupt solar company Solyndra with a separate company.  All this has made Swalwell's argument that Stark is not fit for office all the more credible.  

Swalwell has the endorsements of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Bay Area Newsgroup, and has attracted national coverage for his run against Stark.  Stark is also being criticized for his infrequent visits to the district and for living in Maryland full time.  The fact that half the district is new to him makes Stark's problems even worse: many voters are getting a first impression of him they may not like.  Since Stark's most recent outburst he has done little campaigning.  

Still, Swalwell has a tough hill to climb in order to unseat the incumbent.  Stark has far more money than Swalwell, with $467,000 to $51,000 on hand.  Stark has the endorsements of state Democrats and unions, and was given a boost when President Obama backed him.  Stark also has local supporters who have praised his record of bringing money to the district and those who admire his reputation as a liberal fighter.  

Stark and Swalwell are all but guaranteed to advance to November.  How well Swalwell does on June 5th will be a good clue to his overall chances: if he is close to Stark despite having spent only a little money so far that is very good news for him.  If Stark is comfortably over 50% it may be a sign he is withstanding his recent bad publicity.  The anti-incumbent SuperPAC the Campaign for Primary Accountability has stated it plans to get involved in the general election, which could give Swalwell a financial shot in the arm he needs as he attempts to rally independents, Republicans, and angry Democrats into a coalition.  For now, Stark's massive cash advantage and powerful allies likely give him the edge, but he is in real danger of being unseated after 40 years in office.  

 California's 16th Congressional District: Jim Costa (Democrat, represents 24% of district), Fresno, Merced.
President: Obama 57%, McCain 40%
Governor: Brown 50%, Whitman 42%
Senate: Boxer 43%, Fiorina 47%
★★

Jim Costa had an unexpectedly tight race in 2010, encouraging Republicans to find strong challenger.  However, all the names the NRCC was thinking of passed and the GOP frontrunner is now lawyer Brian Whelan.  The NRCC is taking a look at Whelan by adding him to the first level of their Young Guns program.  However, it doesn't look like he'll have the resources to make this competitive, with Costa leading him in cash-on-hand $222,000 to $39,000.  Unless Whelan can raise a lot more, he's unlikely to have much of a shot here.  

California's 17th Congressional District: Mike Honda (Democrat, represents 50% of district), Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Fremont.
President: Obama 69%, McCain 28%
Governor: Brown 61%, Whitman 33%
Senate: Boxer 63%, Fiorina 29%

California's 18th Congressional District: Anna Eshoo (Democrat, represents 56% of district), Los Gatos, Campbell, Palo Alto, Mountain View.
President: Obama 70%, McCain 27%
Governor: Brown 60%, Whitman 35%
Senate: Boxer 61%, Fiorina 32%

This is my district: it includes the headquarters of NetFlix, Facebook, Google, and a ton of other influential companies.  But no competitive Congressional elections.

California's 19th Congressional District: Zoe Lofgren (Democrat, represents 84% of district), San Jose, Gilroy, Morgan Hill.
President: Obama 68%, McCain 29%
Governor: Brown 60%, Whitman 33%
Senate: Boxer 61%, Fiorina 31%

California's 20th Congressional District: Sam Farr (Democrat, represents 94% of district), Santa Cruz, Monterey, Salinas.
President: Obama 71%, McCain 26%
Governor: Brown 63%, Whitman 31%
Senate: Boxer 61%, Fiorina 31%

California's 21st Congressional District: OPEN, Hanford, Delano.
President: Obama 52%, McCain 46%
Governor: Brown 47%, Whitman 44%
Senate: Boxer 39%, Fiorina 50%
★★★

Republican Assemblymember David Valadao looks like he has the clear advantage to take this swing district.  Valadao represents a similar Assembly district and has a strong $495,000 on hand and the luxury of not needing to use it to secure a general election spot.  The NRCC looks excited about him, naming Valadao one of their twelve Young Guns nationwide.  

Two Democrats are facing off to take on Valadao.  Fresno City Councilmember Blong Xiong is the choice of national Democrats and he has dramatically outspent his opponent Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Head John Hernandez $124,000 to $13,000.  Xiong, who aims to be the first Hmong American in Congress, has been touting his immigrant status in order to appeal to the district's large Hispanic population.  Hernandez has been emphasizing his ties to Hispanics in the district and job creation while painting Xiong as out of touch with the district and for not always being a Democrat.  Hernandez has the endorsement of the Bakersfield Californian and some local electeds; however, Xiong's superior spending should carry him through the primary.

The June 5th battle has drained Xiong's cash, leaving him only $26,000 on hand.  Valadao enters the race in a strong position and will play up the area's urban-rural divide to attack Xiong.  (Fresno is not in the district, complicating things further for the Democrat).  High-speed rail will be a big issue in the district, with Valadao very against the project.  National Democrats have taken an interest in Xiong, with them naming him to their emerging races category of Red to Blue.  Xiong may also be able to continue to tap the Hmong community nationwide for cash as he has done in the past.  Still, between Valadao's superior name recognition, cash advantage, and the potential for an urban-rural divide hurting Xiong, (and the small possibility that the weaker Hernandez makes it through the primary instead) this race looks like the GOP's to lose.  

California's 22nd Congressional District: Devin Nunes (Republican, represents 77% of district), Tulare, Visalia, Clovis.
President: Obama 42%, McCain 55%
Governor: Brown 35%, Whitman 59%
Senate: Boxer 30%, Fiorina 63%

California's 23rd Congressional District: Kevin McCarthy (Republican, represents 81% of district), Bakersfield, Lancaster.
President: Obama 36%, McCain 61%.
Governor: Brown 33%, Whitman 58%.
Senate: Boxer 26%, Fiorina 64%

California's 24th Congressional District: Lois Capps (Democrat, represents 64% of district), San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria.
President: Obama 56%, McCain 41%
Governor: Brown 46%, Whitman 46%
Senate: Boxer 45%, Fiorina 46%
★★★

Lois Capps saw her Democratic district transformed into a much more evenly divided one but looks likely to survive due to her main Republican opponent's problems.  Abel Maldonado, a former Lieutenant Governor and local State Senator, was initially highly touted by the national GOP.  However, he has had a rough campaign so far; his fundraising hasn't been great, he lost the endorsement of the Santa Barbara County GOP to his more conservative rival Chris Mitchum, and the state party chose not to make an endorsement in the race.  Probably worst of all, the IRS recently announced that Maldonado owes them $4 million dollars in taxes for his family business.  

Before he can face Capps, Maldonado must defeat Mitchum on June 5.  Mitchum is the son of actor Robert Mitchum and is known for starring in some very violent and sexually explicit films until the 90s.  Mitchum, who was featured in such films as Lethal Cowboy, Real Men Don't Eat Gummy Bears, and Dark Mission: Evil Flowers, (see his IMDB profile if you think I'm kidding) has very little money ($24,000 on hand after spending $14,000), and recently withdrew a $100,000 loan he gave to his campaign, possibly a sign he's not feeling good about the race.  Still, Mitchum has been vocally attacking Maldonado for voting to raise taxes while owing money to the IRS.  A Mitchum win looks unlikely, but with so many conservative Republicans upset with Maldonado for his moderate reputation an upset is possible.  

During all this, Capps has been building up her warchest ($1,093,000 to Maldonado's $322,000) and has been airing positive ads spotlighting her work for the district.  Despite Maldonado's problems the GOP is still likely to target the district (though if Mitchum is their candidate all bets are off) but she looks far more secure than she did at the start of the cycle.            

California's 25th Congressional District: Buck McKeon (Republican, represents 77% of district), Santa Clarita, Palmdale.
President: Obama 49%, McCain 48%
Governor: Brown 39%, Whitman 52%
Senate: Boxer 37%, Fiorina 54%

California's 26th District: OPEN, Ventura, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks.
President: Obama 56%, McCain 41%
Governor: Brown 46%, Whitman 47%
Senate: Boxer 45%, Fiorina 47%
★★★★★

Democrats are preparing to face Republican State Senator Tony Strickland in the general election.  But first, they must get their preferred candidate Assemblymember Julia Brownley through the June 5 primary.  Brownley faces three underfunded Democrats who threaten to split the vote enough to allow Republican-turned-independent Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks to take their spot in the general election.  Parks has emphasized her independence, refusing to say which party she would caucus with and is rejecting special interest money.  She also has some views that may appeal to Democrats and independents such as calling for closing the corporate tax loophole and being pro-choice.  Democrats and their allies have spent significant amounts of money to boost Brownley and prevent Parks from reaching the general election; Brownley and her allies have outspent Parks and her supporters at icPurple $1,306,000 to $192,000.  

Parks has been making the Democratic attacks against her a campaign issue, with her constantly bringing up the negative mailers and accusing Democrats of lying about her when they say she is really a conservative Republican.  (DrPhillips documented one town hall where she did this).  The anti-Parks mailers have become a big issue, with many calling them over the top and speculating they may backfire.  Parks has been advertising on cable, including one famous ad where she randomly declared her favorite ice cream flavor was rocky road.  Parks has the endorsements of the Los Angeles Times and the Ventura County Star, which should give her a boost.    

Whoever makes it out of the June 5 primary will face Strickland, who has $724,000 on hand to Brownley's $217,000 and Parks' $32,000.  While the district has a slight Democratic lean, Strickland looks like he would give Brownley a stiff challenge.  If Parks is his opponent she may be able to unite Democrats, independents, and some Republicans to win; however, her low fundraising and weak campaign apparatus (her campaign headquarters are at her house) would likely make her the underdog against Strickland.  This race will be one of the most important in the state on June 5 to see if Parks or Brownley makes it to the general, and should remain competitive through November especially if Brownley is in the race.

California's 27th Congressional District: Judy Chu (Democrat, represents 13% of district), Pasadena, Alhambra, Cleremont, Upland.
President: Obama 61%, McCain 35%
Governor: Brown 55%, Whitman 39%
Senate: Boxer 53%, Fiorina 39%

California's 28th Congressional District: Adam Schiff (Democrat, represents 37% of district), Burbank, West Hollywood.
President: Obama 70%, McCain 26%
Governor: Brown 63%, Whitman 30%
Senate: Boxer 63%, Fiorina 29%

California's 29th Congressional District: OPEN, The East San Fernando Valley.
President: Obama 74%, McCain 23%.
Governor: Brown 68%, Whitman 24%
Senate: Boxer 67%, Fiorina 24%

Los Angeles City Councilmember Tony Cardenas faces minimal opposition here and should easily take this seat.

California's 30th Congressional District: Brad Sherman (Democrat, represents 58% of district)/ Howard Berman (Democrat, represents 20% of district), The West San Fernando Valley.
President: Obama 66%, McCain 31%
Governor: Brown 57%, Whitman 36%
Senate: Boxer 56%, Fiorina 36%
★★★★ (was ★★★★★ in April ratings)

Democratic incumbents Howard Berman and Brad Sherman are locked in an expensive death match to take this seat that should last all the way to November.  Berman, the former and perhaps future House Foreign Affairs Chairman, only represents 20% of the district but he has most of the state Democratic establishment behind him.  He boasts the support of Governor Jerry Brown, both US Senators, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and most of the state's House Democratic delegation.  Berman has most of the Hollywood establishment behind him, the backing of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, and President Obama's implicit support.  

Brad Sherman has fewer prominent endorsements, but he does enjoy the backing of former President Bill Clinton, who endorsed Sherman to thank him for supporting Hillary Clinton's 2008 race.  Sherman also has more union support than Berman due to Sherman's protectionist views, and the support of more local electeds than Berman.  Sherman also has the advantage of representing 58% of the district and is seen as far more visible in the area than Berman.  

Both incumbents share similar views on most issues, though the two are trying to draw contrasts.  Sherman has emphasized his vote against the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP, also known as the bank bailout), and his presence in the district.  Berman has talked up his greater influence in Congress and his ability to work across part lines.  (An ad starring actresses Betty White and Wendie Malick also praises Berman for his fighting for the humane treatment of animals.)  Both candidates are arguing over which one of them has delivered most for the area.  

Sherman has a huge $3,005,000 to $821,000 cash-on-hand lead, though Berman has outspent him leading up to the primary.  Berman's allies have formed a SuperPAC to support him, the Committee to Elect an Effective Central Valley Congressman.  The group has spent $475,000 to help Berman but they may be doing more harm than good; their ads have been widely criticized for amateurish quality.  Sherman hasn't had a completely smooth campaign either: in an odd incident his campaign sent out two different mailers, with one photo-shopping his mother out.  Sherman and his staff have offered contradictory explanations of why this happened.  

While there was some talk of Republican Mark Reed taking a general election spot this looks very unlikely: several Republicans are running which should split the GOP vote enough to allow both incumbents to advance.  Sherman is seen as having the edge in the race due to his greater presence in the area, (Sherman also has released several internal polls showing himself firmly ahead, with no response from the Berman campaign) but Berman cannot be counted out.  (For what it's worth a recent USC online poll showed Sherman leading 32%-24% in the primary).  Both candidates will be working hard to win over Republicans and independents; Berman has several prominent GOPers on his side including former LA Mayor Richard Riordan, district attorney Steve Cooley, and county supervisor Mike Antonovich.  However, Sherman's anti-TARP vote will also hold some appeal to conservative voters.  This race will likely be competitive until the very end and will likely be one of the most expensive in the nation.  

California's 31st Congressional District: Gary Miller (Republican, represents 0% of district), Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Redlands.
President: Obama 56%, McCain 41%
Governor: Brown 49%, Whitman 41%
Senate: Boxer 46%, Fiorina 44%
★★★★

Very few incumbents run for reelection in an area they've never represented, but Gary Miller's a go-getter.  The Orange County based Miller moved into the Inland Empire in order to avoid a tough race against fellow GOP incumbent Ed Royce, and now must defeat a local State Senator in the primary and a prominent Democrat in November.  

Republican State Senator Bob Dutton is Miller's main obstacle on June 5th.  Dutton has played up his local roots and has the endorsements of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the San Bernardino Sun as well as a number of colleagues from the legislature.  Dutton also has the help of a SuperPAC founded by his father, which has spent $69,000 on him.  

What Miller lacks in local ties he more than makes up in money.  Miller, the preferred choice of national Republicans and big groups like the NRA, US Chamber of Commerce, and California Republican Party, has outspent Dutton by a massive $433,000 to $45,000, with Dutton still having far less money left over than Miller.  The National Association of Realtors has also sided with Miller, who has a background in real estate and construction, and is more than putting its money where its mouth is.  The group has spent an eye-popping $802,000 to support Miller; altogether, Miller and his allies have outspent Dutton and his supporters $1,238,000 to $114,000.  Dutton's too established to completely count out but it's fair to say a Dutton victory would be one of the greatest upsets of the night.  

Waiting in the general election is Democratic Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar.  Aguilar does face a challenge from Congressional Oversight Council Justin Kim, but the better-known and better-financed Aguilar should have no problem beating him.  Aguilar's fundraising has been decent though not overwhelming; he reports $102,000 on hand compared to Miller's $855,000 (Aguilar spent $212,000 to secure a place in the general election).  Aguilar also has a SuperPAC on his side, Restoring Our Community, which is financed by the California Credit League and a local Native American tribe.  Restoring Our Community has so far spent $160,000 on Aguilar.

Democrats seem excited about Aguilar and have added him to their Red to Blue list.  In the general election Aguilar will likely hammer home his local ties compared to Miller, while Miller will probably bring up Aguilar's support for a controversial Occupy Redlands resolution calling for campaign finance reform.  The general election fight started early when Aguilar's campaign posted outtakes from a Miller ad and added negative commentary to portray the incumbent as out of touch; the Miller campaign later posted the outtakes on their own site as well.  The district leans Democratic and Aguilar will start out as the favorite.  However, Miller and his well-funded allies will fight hard for this seat, and it should be competitive all the way until November.  

California's 32nd Congressional District: Grace Napolitano (Democrat, represents 17% of district), El Monte, West Covina.  
President: Obama 62%, McCain 35%
Governor: Brown 57%, Whitman 35%
Senate: Boxer 55%, Fiorina 35%

California's 33rd Congressional District: Henry Waxman (Democrat, represents 50% of district), Beverly Hills, Redondo Beach.
President: Obama 64%, McCain 33%
Governor: Brown 55%, Whitman 40%
Senate: Boxer 55%, Fiorina 39%

California's 34th Congressional District: Xavier Becerra (Democrat, represents 51% of district), Downtown Los Angeles.
President: Obama 77%, McCain 19%
Governor: Brown 76%, Whitman 16%
Senate: Boxer 75%, Fiorina 16%

California's 35th Congressional District: Joe Baca (Democrat, represents 61% of district), Pomona, Ontario, Fontana.
President: Obama 64%, McCain 32%
Governor: Brown 57%, Whitman 33%
Senate: Boxer 56%, Fiorina 34%
★★★ (was ★★ in April ratings)

Joe Baca faces a well-known fellow Democrat but starts out as the favorite.  State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod has represented much of the area already and is making an issue over the fact that Baca does not live in the new district.  This isn't the first time the Baca family and McLeod have faced each other; in 2006, McLeod narrowly defeated Baca's son for a State Senate seat, and there has been tension between the two ever since.        

With only a Green on the ballot Baca and McLeod will face off in November. Both will be working hard to appeal to Republicans by emphasizing their bi-partisan records.  Both Baca and McLeod are well known in the area, and a McLeod upset isn't impossible.  However, Baca looks like he will have the clear advantage; McLeod's fundraising has been consistently poor (though Baca’s hasn’t been great either), and Baca has the endorsement of the state Democratic establishment including both US Senators.  Baca has outspent McLeod in the lead up to the primary $151,000 to $22,000, perhaps hoping that a weak showing for McLeod will discourage donors from supporting her.  McLeod does have slightly more money than Baca after his spending spree and if her fundraising can pick up (or if outside groups spent on her) she may be able to neutralize Baca's financial advantage.  So far though, Baca looks like the clear favorite to return to Washington.  

California's 36th Congressional District: Mary Bono Mack (Republican, represents 75% of district), Helmet, Palm Springs.
President: Obama 50%, McCain 47%
Governor: Brown 43%, Whitman 49%
Senate: Boxer 42%, Fiorina 49%
★★★★

Mary Bono Mack once again faces a credible challenger in her GOP leaning but competitive district.  This time her challenger is Democratic doctor Raul Ruiz, who has made his opposition to Medicare changes a major part of his campaign.  National Democrats have added Ruiz to their Red to Blue list and Ruiz has been raising a good amount of money.  Still, Bono Mack has a $592,000 to $386,000 cash-on-hand lead over her challenger.

There are no other names on the ballot, so both will meet again in November.  However, both are taking the June 5th primary seriously; Ruiz hopes to preform well to showcase his viability, while Bono Mack hopes to prove that she is the clear favorite.  Bono Mack has outspent Ruiz in the lead up to the primary $188,000 to $57,000 and has aired an ad to boost her chances.  The incumbent is also working to link Ruiz to national Democrats, saying a vote for Ruiz is a vote for Nancy Pelosi.  Ruiz is a formidable challenger and has a good chance to win, but Bono Mack should not be underestimated.  

California's 37th Congressional District: Karen Bass (Democrat, represents 63% of district), Culver City, Central Los Angeles.
President: Obama 84%, McCain 13%
Governor: Brown 79%, Whitman 15%
Senate: Boxer 79%, Fiorina 14%

California's 38th Congressional District: Linda Sanchez (Democrat, represents 49% of district) Whittier, Norwalk, Lakewood.
President: Obama 61%, McCain 35%
Governor: Brown 57%, Whitman 35%
Senate: Boxer 55%, Fiorina 35%

California's 39th Congressional District: Ed Royce (Republican, represents 31% of district), Chino Hills, Buena Park, Fullerton.
President: Obama 47%, McCain 49%
Governor: Brown 38%, Whitman 54%
Senate: Boxer 37%, Fiorina 55%
★★

Ed Royce is the heavy favorite to win reelection in this Republican district.  However, Hacienda-La Puente School Board member and Democrat Jay Chen has raised a surprising amount of money, with $342,000 on hand.  Chen is emphasizing the fact that he is not a member of the unpopular Congress and is attacking Royce over his 2006 vote against reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act.  

While Royce and Chen are all but guaranteed to face off in November Royce has spent heavily in the primary $465,000 to $42,000, perhaps hoping that a poor showing for Chen will discourage Democrats from taking another look at him.  Royce also has over $2 million dollars left over.  Chen is surprisingly resilient and may be worth keeping an eye on, but Royce looks like he should still easily win reelection.  

California's 40th Congressional District: Lucille Roybal-Allard (Democrat, represents 56% of district), East Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Downey.
President: Obama 77%, McCain 19%
Governor: Brown 73%, Whitman 19%
Senate: Boxer 72%, Fiorina 18%

California's 41st Congressional District: OPEN, Riverside, Moreno Valley.
President: Obama 59%, McCain 38%
Governor: Brown 52%, Whitman 40%
Senate: Boxer 49%, Fiorina 42%
★★★

Democrats are favored to take this new Riverside County seat, but a strong GOP candidate could make things interesting.  The Democratic candidate will be Riverside Community College Board Trustee Mark Takano, who ran a close race against Republican Ken Calvert in 1992 but lost badly in the GOP landslide of 1994.  Takano looks like he'll have a good shot in this Democratic leaning district (and it looks like the homophobic attacks Calvert threw at him in 1994 won't be repeated).

However, the GOP has found a good candidate in five-term Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione.  Tavaglione has a reputation as a moderate and has the endorsements of Democratic Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge and the Press-Enterprise.  Tavaglione also leads Takano in cash-on hand $391,000 to $273,000.  Takano should still win in this Democratic district, but Tavaglione looks like he'll have the resources to make this a competitive race until November.          

California's 42nd Congressional District: Ken Calvert (Republican, represents 42% of district), Corona, Murrietta.
President: Obama 43%, McCain 54%
Governor: Brown 35%, Whitman 56%
Senate: Boxer 32%, Fiorina 60%
★  

California's 43rd Congressional District: Maxine Waters (Democrat, represents 72% of district), Inglewood, Hawthorne, Torrance.
President: Obama 75%, McCain 22%
Governor: Brown 69%, Whitman 24%
Senate: Boxer 68%, Fiorina 23%
★  

California's 44th Congressional District: Janice Hahn (Democrat, represents 16% of district)/ Laura Richardson (Democrat, represents 47% of district), South Gate, Compton, Carson.
President: Obama 81%, McCain 16%
Governor: Brown 77%, Whitman 15%
Senate: Boxer 76%, Fiorina 16%
★★

Janice Hahn is the clear favorite to defeat Laura Richardson in this incumbent versus incumbent match-up.  Since arriving in Congress in 2007, Richardson has been distracted by a number of ethics inquiries against her, including recent charges that she forced her Congressional staff to do campaign work for her on tax-payer time, and that she abused a wounded pregnant veteran working in her office.  Richardson also has amassed a huge campaign debt: Forbes recently published a story of the politicians with the most debt, and Richardson was the only non-Presidential candidate featured.  

Despite only representing 16% of the district Hahn should easily prevail.  She has the endorsements of the district's major papers, the state Democratic Party, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and a number of unions.  Hahn has been successful in attracting prominent African Americans despite facing an African American incumbent: one African American activist who months ago called Hahn a traitor for running in this district even endorsed her.  

Richardson does have the endorsement of Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emmanuel Clever as well as donations (if not endorsements) from most CBC members.  Still, her fundraising hasn't been great.  While Hahn only leads Richardson $87,000 to $78,000 in cash-on-hand, Hahn outspent her $148,000 to $73,000 leading up to the primary.  Hahn and Richardson are the only candidates on the ballot and will meet again in November, but the June 5th primary should still be worth watching.  If Richardson can preform well it may be a sign she can't be counted out; a poor performance from her will be seen as further evidence she's in trouble in November.  

California's 45th Congressional District: John Campbell (Republican, represents 62% of district), Tustin, Irvine, Mission Viejo.
President: Obama 46%, McCain 51%
Governor: Brown 34%, Whitman 59%
Senate: Boxer 33%, Fiorina 60%
★★

John Campbell should easily win in this Republican leaning district, but he does face a credible Democratic challenger.  Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang has a decent $213,000 on hand, though he trails Campbell's $986,000.  Kang's task on June 5th will be to prove he's viable, which won't be easy given that Campbell outspent him $128,000 to $22,000.  Campbell and Kang will meet again in November.

California's 46th Congressional District: Loretta Sanchez (Democrat, represents 69% of district), Anaheim, Santa Ana.
President: Obama 58%, McCain 39%
Governor: Brown 50%, Whitman 40%
Senate: Boxer 49%, Fiorina 40%

California's 47th Congressional District: OPEN, Long Beach, Garden Grove, Westminster.  
President: Obama 58%, McCain 39%
Governor: Brown 50%, Whitman 42%
Senate: Boxer 50%, Fiorina 42%
★★★

This new district favors Democratic State Senator Alan Lowenthal, a longtime fixture in Long Beach politics.  However, the GOP looks like they will have a strong candidate who can pull off an upset.  Long Beach City Councillor Gary DeLong is known as a social liberal and fiscal conservative and has been a good fundraiser.  The NRCC has talked up DeLong and has made him a contender on their Young Guns List.  To face Lowenthal, DeLong must first defeat former Assemblymember and one-term Congressman Steve Kuykendall, who lost reelection in 2000.  After losing a 2004 Assembly race Kuykendall has been out of the public eye but he hopes his name recognition will carry him to victory on June 5th.  Name recognition may be all he has going for him; Kuykendall's fundraising has been incredibly weak ($40,000 spent leading up to the primary, and barely any cash left), and DeLong has a long list of endorsements.  A recent controversy where DeLong was accused of using his government email for the campaign in violation of state law may help Kuykendall but unless the primary was already close its probably too little too late.  

In a DeLong-Lowenthal general election Lowenthal will start out well known but at a financial disadvantage; even after spending to win the primary DeLong leads in cash-on-hand $319,000 to $237,000.  DeLong is already attacking Lowenthal for being a part of the very unpopular state legislature; Lowenthal is framing his service as proof he can get things done.  Lowenthal will be the favorite but DeLong looks formidable enough to surprise.  

California's 48th Congressional District: Dana Rohrabacher (Republican, represents 61% of district), Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach.
President: Obama 46%, McCain 51%
Governor: Brown 35%, Whitman 58%
Senate: Boxer 34%, Fiorina 58%

California's 49th Congressional District: Darrell Issa (Republican, represents 44% of district), Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad.
President: Obama 49%, McCain 48%
Governor: Brown 37%, Whitman 55%
Senate: Boxer 36%, Fiorina 56%

California's 50th Congressional District: Duncan Hunter Jr. (Republican, represents 39% of district), Escondido, Lakeside.
President: Obama 39%, McCain 58%
Governor: Brown 31%, Whitman 61%
Senate: Boxer 28%, Fiorina 63%

California's 51st Congressional District: OPEN, National City, El Centro.
President: Obama 65%, McCain 32%
Governor: Brown 58%, Whitman 31%
Senate: Boxer 57%, Fiorina 32%
★★★ (was ★★ in April ratings)

After three unsuccessful runs for this seat, Democratic State Senator Juan Vargas looks like he'll get his victory this year.  Vargas does not have a clear path to Washington; he faces fellow Democrat and former State Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny, who should advance with him to the general given the number of Republicans splitting the GOP vote here.  However, Vargas looks like the favorite: he has the support of the California Democratic Party and is heavily backed by labor.  Vargas's fundraising hasn't been incredible, with him having only a $67,000 to $44,000 cash-on-hand lead over Ducheny; however, this comes after Vargas outspent her $138,000 to $57,000.

Vargas has a reputation as a conservative Democrat, which he reaffirmed recently when he was the critical vote in blocking an abortion bill in the legislature.  Ducheny is attacking Vargas over this, pointing out that the bill could have given Imperial County the abortion providers it lacks.  Ducheny has also been working to portray Vargas as too close to special interests.  Vargas has fought back, attacking Ducheny for paying her husband's consulting firm with her campaign money, portraying it as a way for Ducheny to funnel contributions to herself.  After Ducheny criticized him for skipped debates Vargas has turned the issue around, sending out mailers saying he won't debate unless the leading GOP candidate is included.  (This is probably Vargas attempting to appeal to GOP voters for the general election).  Ducheny may have a chance to pull off an upset in November but given Vargas' endorsements, financial advantages, and greater appeal to GOP and independent voters due to his conservative record, he looks like he'll win this seat.      

California's 52nd Congressional District: Brian Bilbray (Republican, represents 40% of district), La Jolla, San Diego.
President: Obama 55%, McCain 43%
Governor: Brown 43%, Whitman 50%
Senate: Boxer 42%, Fiorina 49%
★★★★★

Brian Bilbray will once again face a tough fight from Democrats after being redistricted to a tougher district.  Two prominent Democrats, former Assemblymember Lori Saldana and former San Diego City Councilmember and current Port Commissioner Scott Peters are waging a nasty fight for the right to take on Bilbray.  

A number of controversies have come up between the two candidates; Saldana is accusing Peters of calling for social security cuts in an interview, while Peters is arguing he has a stronger record of preserving benefits.  Saldana is also attacking Peters for not releasing his taxes, voting against a city living-wage ordinance for years, and for bearing a responsibility in the city's current pension problem.  Peters is going after Saldana for accepting gifts from special interests and not backing Chelsea's Law, a bill that increased penalties and tracking for violent sex offenders.  Saldana is defending her opposition to Chelsea's Law by saying she did not think it could be enforced, but the family of Chelsea King, the murdered girl the bill was named for, recently joined in criticizing Saldana for her vote.  Peters appears to be the more moderate candidate of the two: she is backed by the Progressive Change Committee while Peters is supported by the more moderate New Democratic Coalition.  Peters has the endorsement of the U-T San Diego for the primary; the paper, while critical of Peters' role in the city's pension problems, praised him for getting things done while in office.

Financially, the race between Peters and Saldana isn't at all close.  Even before Peters loaned his campaign over $1.25 million dollars he was heavily out-raising and outspending her; now Peters has outspent Saldana by a massive $1,149,000 to $162,000, with Peters' remaining cash-on-hand a hefty $370,000 to $26,000.  Saldana has been getting some air support from Progressive Kick, which has spent $69,000 against Peters and aired an ad where Peters appears to call for making Medicare cuts.  There hasn't been any recent public polling, especially since Peters started spending his own money to win; Peters is probably the favorite due to his heavy spending but he could be in trouble if Saldana's attacks resonate.  

Waiting for the winner is Bilbray.  For a short time, GOP self-funder John Stahl looked like he could at least be a thorn in Bilbray's side during the primary, but Stahl has barely touched the $500,000 he lent himself.  About the only attention Stahl has received in the entire campaign is for an ad he filmed in a military cemetery in violation of federal regulations.  Bilbray has $786,000 on hand to face the winner of the Democratic brawl, and both parties and their allies will likely spend huge sums to win here.  Democrats probably can't win the House without winning districts like this one, and this should be a real fight all the way until the end.  

California's 53rd Congressional District: Susan Davis (Democrat, represents 37% of district), El Cajon, San Diego, Chula Vista.  
President: Obama 61%, McCain 36%
Governor: Brown 52%, Whitman 40%
Senate: Boxer 51%, Fiorina 40%
★              

Disagree with my ratings?  Did I make a mistake?  Did I leave something out?  Please let me know in the comments!

For another perspective on California's Congressional races, see Alibguy's diary here.  

And for my early May look at the Assembly, see here and here.  For my guide to the State Senate, see here.

Originally posted to Darth Jeff on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Kucinich on Norman Solomon (CD 2 race) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, Larsstephens

    Just yesterday Kucinich came out here to help Norman.  Hoping some other youtubes come out of his stumping for Norman cause he is so right on!  

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    My thought is that Norman is closest to the positions of Lynn Woolsey of the top runners in CD2 and "when" he wins that slot in the primary....all the support now going to Adams, and the further left non viable candidates will be his.  

    "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

    by leema on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:58:24 AM PDT

    •  This district has a lot of resource issues (3+ / 0-)

      where a skilled Representative can make a strong positive difference in terms of water issues, protecting the coasts and the environment, while also representing the needs of our ag interests, who are often steamrollered by regulations meant to address problems in the central valley or elsewhere that don't really make sense in the north coast region.  I can't speak for all the voters, but for me personally, this is the key issue in this race.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:32:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ugh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Jeff

      No thank you. Huffman sounds great for this district.

      Keeper of the DKE glossary. Priceless: worth a lot; not for sale.

      by SaoMagnifico on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 03:09:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you're not a progressive and like your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tommypaine

        politicians taking money from AT&T PG&E etc...then Huffman is your man.   (he did just that in the state assembly...which also might be why he thought PG&E nuclear power plants sitting on   faults needed more information.  sigh.  

        ntl  Huffman is a good mechanic and would be a step up for many districts...but for our district he would be a step backward.     Huffman is decidedly to the right of Lynn Woolsey...why should we go further in that direction?    

         I for one am not enamored of rule by the 1%.

        "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

        by leema on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 04:55:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kucinich is a douche, Solomon is not (0+ / 0-)

        The left needs a sensible progressive who isn't a grandtanding primadonna.  Solomon should be the #1 priority for progressives.  You can shake a bush and a dozen Huffman corporate DiFi clone Dems will fall off.  

        Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

        by tommypaine on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:07:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is CD44 really considered a black district? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    While I suppose it may have been one in earlier years, even by CVAP it's only 27% black non-Hispanic and 49% Hispanic. How have Hahn and Richardson been doing as far as attracting Hispanic voters?

    Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic supporter of Obama and Occupy. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

    by fearlessfred14 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:22:28 AM PDT

    •  Not sure; we'll find out tomorrow (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think either candidate has a huge cross-racial appeal among Latinos so I'm guessing they'll just break with the rest of the district (for Hahn).

      22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

      by Jeff Singer on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:36:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Richardson won't get many Latino votes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff

            When she first ran in a special election after the passing of Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald she ran a racially divisive campaign against State Senator Jenny Oropeza, who would have been a much better Representative. I don't know how many rank-and-file voters remember that race but I would expect that the Latino activists would be against Laura Richardson. Richardson is such an embarrassment that I can't imagine her winning or even coming close. Janice Hahn might not be the best politician in L.A. County but she's a lot better than soon-to-be former Rep. Richardson.

           Hahn has cross-racial appeal to Blacks. Her father was the legendary Kenny Hahn, longtime County Supervisor representing much of the Black community in 20th century L.A.

        Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 53, new CA-30

        by Zack from the SFV on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 11:15:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  CA-25 (4+ / 0-)

    It looks like you're not following that race at all. It's probably the most competitive Republican-held seat in the state now. You need to catch up if you're going to present yourself as someone who knows something. Even the local CBS-TV affiliate is ahead of you now.

    The biggest issue in the district is the CEMEX  mine; it trumps everything, even party affiliation. And McKeon is on the wrong side of the issue. Republicans are flocking to Democrat Lee Rogers just on that alone. But on top of it, McKeon has incited a local Republican Party civil war by running his wife for the Assembly district against a well-liked local Republican. The party is split down the center: McKeon supporters and McKeon detesters. I've been out to the district and I've been writing about it on my blog. Here's a post from yesterday: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/... I'd give it five stars. Oh... and so does both internal and public polling. Here's one from the Antelope Valley Press last week: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/...

    •  I'll believe that when I see (7+ / 0-)

      some real polling on the issue, though CA-25 is doubtlessly trending Democratic very quickly. Your attitude could be better though. And I quit reading your blog post as it got into a rant about a Steve Israel and how conservative and worthless national Democrats and their auxiliary organizations are.

      "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 Jun 04, 2012 at 09:24:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm (6+ / 0-)

      You might be right this could be a potential upset, We'll get a better picture of this tomorrow

      I read your blog post and I will say you don't really do the DCCC justice
      Lets start with examples you give of former chairs. All the Democrats you mentioned represented very Republican turf

      Gene Taylor: R+20 (McCain won about 2/3 of the vote here I don't believe a Dem Presidential Candidate has won here since the 1950''s!)

      Rick Boucher: R+11 McCain got 59% of the vote

      Ike Skelton: R+14 John McCain defeated Barack Obama 61% to 38%

      Now you can see how Republican friendly these seats are, so its no surprise as to why NRCC wasn't afraid to spend lots of money to defeat these Democrats.

      When we look at the R chairs we see that they actually are on much safer territory.

      Paul Ryan: R+1 Obama only narrowly won this seat

      Buck McKeon: The new maps make it about R+3 with a narrow win for Obama

      Neither Ryan nor McKeon represent very blue(Demcratic Turf) so its no surprise the DCCC is being cautious in investing here. If Ryan and McKeon where in 60% obama seats then it would be different and I'd bet the DCCC would go all out to defeat them.

      Now should Lee Rogers do well and make a decent showing in the top 2, I'd expect the national dems to help him out for the general election in November

      “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”- President Eisenhower

      by lordpet8 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:00:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  About how I feel (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV

        If there's a surprise tomorrow I bet national Dems will get involved but for now it doesn't look like they think this is winnable.  We'll see tomorrow but I still feel good keeping CA-25 at one star.

        22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

        by Jeff Singer on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:30:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If Rogers does well tomorrow I'll reevaluate... (4+ / 0-)

      But for now I'm fine keeping it where it is.  I just think it's too red and while I'm glad Rogers is running, he doesn't look to be strong enough to take advantage of any McKeon problems.  His fundraising has very very meh so far; I have to think if there was a groundswell of anger at McKeon people would be donating to his main challenger.

      If Rogers does well or McKeon does poorly and I have egg on my face tomorrow I'll take that.  But for now I'm pretty confident McKeon will easily be reelected.  

      22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

      by Jeff Singer on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:40:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The effect (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lordpet8, Darth Jeff, bumiputera

    Having read the very interesting summary of the position, I think I have an idea how the new system will work.

    Except in districts which are very strongly for one party, the candidates most advantaged will be those with a competitive level of support in their own party and cross over support from other voters.

    It seems that CA will be less likely to elect either social conservatives or economic liberals. The balance point, where most elected politicians will stand, would be economic conservatives who are social liberals. It might not work that way, if applied to all states, but it seems a good fit for the preferences of elite groups in California.

    There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

    by Gary J on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:26:16 AM PDT

  •  CA-30: You wrote that both Boxer and Fiorina (6+ / 0-)

    got 56% in this district.

    Besides that, this was easily the most informative and engaging article I've read on DK in a long time.

  •  Great description of the 2nd district (6+ / 0-)

    I really like it and agree with your description and summary! Huffman definitely will make it into the top two. He has not however sent my family any direct mail at all, even though he has money and could definitely send some if he wants. I'm assuming it's because he thinks he's going to be in the top two.

    Solomon though is clearly not taking any chances and has been bombarding my family with mailers. Solomon's campaign slogan is clever I think with sunflower seed packets with his name on them. Lawson though has only sent a few mailers to my house because she seems to be targeting the Humboldt County area (when I was up there for a few days in late April, all I saw were Lawson ads on the radio and television.) Solomon though has been going very negative on Lawson. One clever mailer was Jeopardy themed but Solomon went too far in my opinion for criticizing Lawson for being a member of the 1%. There are lots of members of the 1% who care about the 99% so that's an invalid criticism (unless the member of the 1% seems to not care at all about the 99%.)

    The only quibble I have is about the Pacific Sun. They are online but they are also a paper magazine too. My family picks it up every week and my former math teacher actually runs their trivia column. I've had two letters featured in the Pacific Sun too, one is about redistricting: http://www.pacificsun.com/...

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

    by Alibguy on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:37:43 AM PDT

  •  Btw (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks alot for posting a link to my diary in yours!

    Also, I drove along I-80 about a week ago through the 3rd district and saw a few big Vann signs at some farms and one or two big Garamendi signs. The votes should come in for Garamendi in the Davis area though instead of the rural farming areas.

    Also, I spent time in Mono County in the new 8th district and saw a few signs for McEachron and alot for John Pinkerton (D). Mono County at first may feel Republican but it's actually Democratic leaning due to Democrats moving in from the Bay Area. I actually stopped in Tahoe on my trip to get lunch and talked with the cashier and she used to live 5 miles from me and her brother went to my high school.  

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

    by Alibguy on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:48:38 AM PDT

    •  I thought the Mono County Dems (5+ / 0-)

       moved there from Los Angeles.

          The biggest city in Mono is Mammoth Lakes, a top ski resort favored by Southern Californians. I thought the NorCal skiers preferred Tahoe and also western slope Sierra ski areas.

          It is true that Mono and also Alpine counties are more Democratic than they used to be. I wish that Inyo County would follow their lead. I love the Eastern Sierras and deserts of those areas.

      Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 53, new CA-30

      by Zack from the SFV on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:47:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ditto (4+ / 0-)

        The vast majority of people I've spoken to in the Mammoth Lakes & June Lake area came there from the LA Basin. Politically Inyo County behaves in ways that are basically identical to eastern Kern County. There are some surprising associations like the community college district &  labor for Inyo County is based in Bakersfield.

        ex-SSP. What would Machiavelli do?

        by hankmeister on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:26:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tahoe is more of a bay area resort (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darth Jeff, Zack from the SFV

          But Mono County has its Democratic roots. This town called Lee Vining has a store called Whoa Nelly which has environmentally low impact flush toilets and a few other environmental signs around.

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

          by Alibguy on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:10:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lee Vining is great (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darth Jeff, bumiputera

               That little town is the Gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake and the best part of Yosemite, the high country around Tuolumne Meadows.

                 I believe they have waterless urinals at the Tioga Gas Mart, home of the Whoa Nelly Deli, but the main reason to go there is the great food, generous portions and reasonable prices there. You might not expect to find gourmet food in the middle of nowhere, but you can get buffalo meatloaf and lobster taquitos among other offerings there.

                 Lee Vining is an environmentalist town partially because of the long struggle to save and restore Mono Lake. The Mono Lake Committee information center in a historic building in the middle of town is the place to learn about this unique lake. The Mono Lake story is one of the great successes of the environmental movement in California.   See Mono Lake Committee  for more details.

                 It isn't summer unless I get to spend at least a week in that area...

            Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 53, new CA-30

            by Zack from the SFV on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:55:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I went there for the first time (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zack from the SFV

              On a Senior class trip for the end of the year. Whoa Nelly is a really nice deli and their sandwiches are really good. I also noticed that the atmosphere with the people in the deli seemed Democratic leaning. I heard a bit about the Mono Lake struggle though and I can see why Lee Vining would definitely be an environmental town.

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

              by Alibguy on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 08:46:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Glad to link it! (0+ / 0-)

      I really liked it and it's always good to see another view (CA-21 is a seat where there seem to be a lot of differing perspectives).  

      22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

      by Jeff Singer on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 02:43:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CA-33, used to be CA-36. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    my office was in CA-35, now also in CA-33.  Like a political tsunami washed through the west la south bay area.  35 and 36 are now far far away...

    already voted by mail for waxman.

    Who names their pony Monty?

    by bubbanomics on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:14:38 AM PDT

  •  oh yeah, baybee! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, mungley

    we need these for every state!

    Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

    by Cedwyn on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:21:45 AM PDT

  •  CA-21 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV, Darth Jeff, bfen

    Very good analysis of that race. The Democratic party gets an "F" for recruitment in that race and I blame Dean Florez for it. Even if it had turned into a knock down, drag out between the Parras & Florez that would have been better than the train wreck that is before us now.
    I am very curious to see the returns for this race. They are going to be a good barometer of the influence of the Kern (Hernandez) & Fresno County (Blong) Democratic parties over their voters.

    ex-SSP. What would Machiavelli do?

    by hankmeister on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:44:18 AM PDT

  •  LOL! Tipped and Recced for the Title Alone. nt. (4+ / 0-)

    "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

    by Aspe4 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:11:47 AM PDT

  •  chance for stunning upset in new 8th district (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, Darth Jeff
    This heavily Republican and mainly San Bernardino based-district features a crowded race between ten Republicans, two Democrats
    If the 2 Democrats split the Democratic vote somewhat evenly and likewise for the Repubs, the D's may each poll higher than the R's and we would end up with 2 D's on the ballot come November! Repub heads will explode with angst!

    Jackie Conaway is the official Democratic party endorsed candidate and will probably receive most of the Democratic votes. John Pinkerton is the other Democratic candidate, you can read more about him at his website here.  A vote for him will make the best chance of getting both Pinkerton and Conaway on the ballot for the general election.

  •  Thank you for the analysis, these are great! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, MichaelNY

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:36:35 AM PDT

  •  The Fresh Congressman of Bel Air (5+ / 0-)

    would be none other than the incomparable Henry Waxman.  :)  And hopefully still will be after this election.  

    Check out my new blog: http://socalliberal.wordpress.com/

    by SoCalLiberal on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:55:40 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for the important info (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevenaxelrod, Darth Jeff

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 11:04:49 AM PDT

  •  Will the 46th district ever get rid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    of Dana Rohrabacher? I only saw one sign up for him in the last election. He doesn't even have to try.

  •  Good job. Thanks. (3+ / 0-)

    The comments on my Congressional district, the 41st, where Mark Takano (D) is running against John Tavaglione (R), were informed and accurate.

  •  Thanks for the writeup (3+ / 0-)

    I'd disagree with the Bono Mack listing, anything more than two stars is unrealistic, and I suppose a case could be made that McKeon should be two stars.

    I'm looking forward to the 26th's primary just being over so the DCCC stops trying to slit our throats there.

    Similarly the low substance noise in the 52nd is music to Bilbray's ears, so good to be done with that.

    #1 rooting interest though is Solomon.  Having a genuine progressive representing a progressive district would be nice.

    Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

    by tommypaine on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:45:03 PM PDT

    •  CA-36 was a tough call (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      I'm certainly open to moving it back depending on Tuesday.  For now I feel okay about Ruiz since it looks like he's running a good campaign, but keeping a close eye on this one.  

      22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

      by Jeff Singer on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:08:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CA52 (3+ / 0-)

    There was a non-scientific poll by IVN after Peters' TV ads appeared that showed no change from the previous two scientific polls.  Saldana is still in second place, beating Peters solidly.  All three polls also show Saldana in a statistical dead heat with Bilbray in the general.

    Peters has been bombarding voters with huge quantities of mailers - 19 to date, as a matter of fact.  This is more than any one of the other races combined (except for the mayoral race, at 28 total pieces).  Voters have been noticing, and even some non-wonky ones think it's over the top.

    It is important to note that the U-T endorsed two candidates in this race: Peters and Bilbray.  The owner of the U-T, Doug Manchester, is a far-right hotel developer who dumped tons of cash into the Prop 8 campaign.  So I'll let that endorsement speak for itself.

    It is very frustrating to hear the "Peters has more money so he's going to win" trope over and over.  There is no indication what so ever that he will win, or is even remotely in the lead.  San Diegans have not forgotten his lousy leadership on City Council for eight years; his record is an albatross around his neck.  Hell, ask Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina how much money it takes for an unpopular candidate to win an election.

    Well, we'll see tomorrow.  But one thing for sure is while Saldana's bank account may be light, her boots on the ground army of volunteers largely makes up for it.  The Peters campaign has had to resort to paid precinct walkers and phone bankers.  Saldana also actually outraised him by about $30k last quarter, if you don't count his personal loan.

    Don't write off Saldana - she's in the lead, always has been, and she has frequently surprised CW in San Diego with her grassroots power.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:58:46 PM PDT

  •  Impressive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, MichaelNY

    Takes a goodly amount of work to go thru competitiveness of 53 districts.

  •  question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    wonder if the ballot layout with the top-two will mess with results much

    for example, the top-two candidates are listed as "Party Preference: (x)" on every line as opposed to just listing their party. It seems a bit clogged.

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:11:58 PM PDT

  •  Where'd you get that??! CA-52 (0+ / 0-)

    Saldana and two other women legislators did not vote for Chelsea's Law because the prevention (tracking offenders) was not funded in the bill.  Enforcement without funding is not unlikely it is impossible.  Meanwhile people will assume that Chelsea's Law solved a problem.  After all, our legislature would never promulgate a meaningless bill, right?  Instead of prevention we got a false sense of security.  Now it's campaign season.  With all the bloviating in San Diego from Nathan Fletcher about how he saved the world with Chelsea's Law; and the most shameless campaign by Peters against Saldana (even trooping out the victim's family for his campaign) it's easy to believe that Chelsea's Law solved a problem.  The prevention part of the law was not funded.  Fletcher brags that there have been 19 convictions under the new law.  How many of those offenses could have been prevented if the law was not a mere facade of prevention?  Pete-Fletch are not saying.  Is it irresponsible, cynical, fraudulent for legislators and candidates to wield, flak, boast, claim, attack opponents, politicize victims with millions in mailers and sinister websites?  Ick.  It sure doesn't seem respectable.

  •  From CA-08, it is amazing how much of my mail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, Zack from the SFV

    has consisted of fliers from GOP candidates who fail to mention any party affiliation.  Not that it really matters out here, but it would be nice if it were declared.  Today it was two pieces of mail from Liberatore.  You'd think they were trying to hide something.

    Paul Cook seems to be pretty popular way out here in the desert where he is using his Marine Corps background to draw funds from the retirees.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:35:32 PM PDT

    •  Maybe they're all playing for Dems and indies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29

      Could help them stand out from the pack if they gobble up enough of those votes.  

      22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

      by Jeff Singer on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:46:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not all voters get the same fliers (3+ / 0-)

      If you are identified as a Dem voter, you can expect GOP candidates to send you a tailored flier with no party affiliation shown and mention of support for environment or education. Both sides do this.

      The insidious fliers are the slate or "voting guide" fliers that promote a Dem candidate in a prominent race that has no hope of going GOP (Obama for Pres, or Feinstein for Senate) and then promoting GOP-friendly votes for propositions and down-ballot races. I assume that both sides do this when the opportunity is there,  but I only see what comes to our house.

  •  Are you at all concerned in the 31st (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    That since there are 4 Dems and only 2 R's that, Aguliar doesn't make the runoff?

    •  I'm not too concerned (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico, MichaelNY

      Aguilar's the only credible candidate running (Justin Kim may have a good future but he's still unknown) and he doesn't seem to be taking this for granted; he and his allies have spent upwards of $300,000 dollars in recent weeks.  If there was another credible Dem or a Linda Parks like figure I'd be more worried but I think Aguilar's a safe bet to make it to the general.  

      22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

      by Jeff Singer on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 02:38:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, lets assume (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff

        It is a breakdown of 55%  R's and 45% D's  Augliar gets 60% of D vote, if Miller and Dutton spilit R vote evenly they get. I guess that is just paranoid.

        •  Possible but I don't think Dutton will do well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zack from the SFV

          I also think Aguilar will do a bit better than 60% given how much he's outspending everyone and how well known he is.  

          If there is a nightmare scenario like this I'm guessing Dems will bankroll a repeal of the top two in 2014.  

          22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

          by Jeff Singer on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 03:39:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a very small chance it would happen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darth Jeff

            Regardless of that, neither Dutton nor Miller look like a good fit for the district. So I could see this being a decent pickup in 2014 if by chance they both weasel their way in this year.

            “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”- President Eisenhower

            by lordpet8 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 03:53:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it is a possibility (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darth Jeff, Zack from the SFV

          I was talking to a friend about this who shared you concerns
          This are the points he said

          Well that's the thing-- I worry because the Dems are SO fragmented, it will be Miller-Dutton to the general.

          2 Latino Dems (Aguilar +1 Latina), An African American Woman, and a young API guy.

          And the Latina and AA woman have both run for state leg office before / held local office.

          "The other Dems did cost effective shit, because they couldn't compete against Aguilar as much

          They did bi-lingual ballot statements, while he didn't do any

          Though at the same rate the Republicans aren't perfect either.
          So, in my mind, we have the GOP Senate Leader, who has gotten a lot of press and name rec from his office, and who has years in Rancho Cucamonga, but not as much money, going against Miller, who has the massive warchest but no name rec

          “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”- President Eisenhower

          by lordpet8 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 03:51:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. Thank you. Great diary. (3+ / 0-)

    We are really happy to be in CA-47.
    Here's hoping we get decades of Democratic representation.
    Our old district has been Rohrabacher's for far too long.

    Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

    by mungley on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:27:21 PM PDT

  •  This is the most interesting election in ages (3+ / 0-)

    So much going on and so much unpredictability. There is a lot to watch tomorrow night.

    26, Male, CA-24 (new CA-26), DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:49:15 PM PDT

  •  Do you know of a voting guide for judges? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, MichaelNY

    I always go cross eyed when I see that list.

    (I'm in the 33rd district)

    And thanks for this great write up; I'm glad somebody is paying attention.

    •  I'd recomend your local news for judges (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSPAN Junkie, MichaelNY

      To my knowledge there are no guides for judges by local newspapers often go into some good detail about who each judge is and why they're running.  Depending on how much you like your local editorial board the newspaper endorsements can be useful too.

      Hope this helps and thanks for the praise!

      22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

      by Jeff Singer on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 07:21:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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