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I was surprised as probably many to hear that Joe Baca lost his reelection against fellow Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod in heavily Democratic CA-35, where - because of the Democratic nature of this district - those two Democrats advanced from the new Top-2-primary in California.

That made me think, I will share my thought below the fold.

I remember that Baca did not run in the district he resided in and which was designed to be "his" district, which was in fact CA-31, a swingier district with only a slight Democratic lean that included his residence of Rialto. Even though Democrats like McLeod had already expressed interest in running in CA-35, he finally decided and announced, that he would run in the "easier" (because more Democratic) district CA-35 and leave CA-31 so this swing district became open.

We all know, what happened in CA-31 because of that open field. Two Republicans ran in the primary, state sen. Bob Dutton and carpetbegging Rep. Gary Miller, while there were multiple Democrats with a lower profile ran. These Democrats split the Democratic vote between them, so that Miller and Dutton finished first and second in the Top-2-primary and this Democratic-leaning district was assured a Republican Representative even before the General election campaign began.

Am I mean to assume that the Democratic field would not have been so splintered if a sitting Congressman like Baca had run there? That at least he would have been able to draw enough Democratic votes in the Top-2-primary that he would have advanced to the General election?
We will never know whether Baca would have been able to defeat Miller (oder Dutton) in the General Election, when he wasnt even able to handle McLeod (who had massive support from Bloomberg's PAC though). But at least we would have had a fighting chance instead of ceding this promising district without a fight.

Bitter irony that Baca chose the "comfortable route" by switching districts only to find out, that this route wasnt that comfortable after all...

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Comment Preferences

  •  I didn't even notice that! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, NM Ward Chair

    Joe Baca lost? Hali-farking-luia!

    This is the best news of an already great day.

    But, yes. I'm bitter that I had only two Rethugs to choose from in my lame-o district.

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 09:40:35 AM PST

  •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, MichaelNY, Rolfyboy6

    I live in CA-31. Aguilar was a terrible candidate. Baca would have made a big difference.

  •  are there indications (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, NM Ward Chair

    that the new primary system was introduced in CA by the GOP to make trouble because it couldn't win head-on anymore, or are they taking advantage by gaming a well-meant idea that wasn't thought out?

    •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Rolfyboy6

      That is absolutely the reason that Republicans pushed for a top-two primary. They knew that the Dems have a much deeper bench in the state and so it is more likely for the Dems to splinter the votes among 3-5 candidates leading to the two Rethugs ending up with the top two spots. I think it actually happened in a couple of races this year.

    •  rather than the GOP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      i would adjust that statement to say that the interests who own the GOP funded the initiative in hopes of maintaining an influence after the GOP falls below 2/3.

  •  Well deserved... (4+ / 0-)

    loss for Baca. I think local Democrats took it into account when making up their mind.

  •  Ooops, I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, CF of Aus

    didn't see your diary, and then independently arrived at the same conclusions in the live digest. I retroactively went back and gave you a shout-out in the digest, if you haven't already seen. Nice work!

    Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

    by David Jarman on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 11:56:35 AM PST

  •   McLeod (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    was aided so much by that Bloomberg money dump. But I think you're right, Baca could've won.

    Off topic:
    But I read McLeod has 10 children, 27 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren!

  •  Redistricting+Top Two=screw Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    The intent of both of these two so-called REFORMS led by mostly Republicans was to decrease the power of Democrats in the state. HA HA, great to see the super-majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

    But, we do have to acknowledge that this blood-letting between Democrats in the general election is pretty mind boggling. The one I watched more closely was the Berman-Sherman one in the San Fernando Valley where I used to live.

    Washington State also has a TOP TWO system, and I'm just getting acclimated to the politics here. In my new district, CD6, ONE Democrat ran in the primary-- Derek Kilmer. For those of you who haven't checked him out, derekkilmer.com (some of the last photos there are mine). Also on facebook. Opposing him in the primary was a set of 5 Republicans and 1 Indy(in this state, btw, voters do not register by party--creating an interesting problem):
    Congressional District 6 - U.S. RepresentativeCounty Results & Map
    Candidate    Vote    Vote %
    Jesse Young(Prefers Republican Party)
    18,075    11.17%
    Eric G. Arentz Jr.(Prefers Independent Party)
    4,101    2.53%
    Derek Kilmer(Prefers Democratic Party)
    86,436    53.41%
    Bill Driscoll(Prefers Republican Party)
    29,602    18.29%
    David (Ike) Eichner(Prefers Republican Party)
    7,966    4.92%
    Stephan Andrew Brodhead(Prefers Republican Party)
    1,387    0.86%
    Doug Cloud(Prefers Republican Party)
    14,267    8.82%

    Kilmer advanced into the general with Republican Bill Driscoll as an opponent and EASILY won the election by over 16 points...they are STILL counting the votes, so it could be more. I've never been too keen on the CDP/LACDP picking their favorite candidate as the progressives too often end up on the short side of that stick, but it may be the preferable way to go considering the Redistricting+Top Two which DEFINITELY puts Dems on a collision course.

    On Baca, the blue dog. I know the party considers them to be better than Republicans. But, REALLY? When you need them most, you can't count on them to not crony up with the lobbyists and Republicans and tip the vote the wrong way.

  •  slightly OT, but Berman-Sherman debacle also (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    cost us a CA seat.
    I recall shortly after the new CD lines were settled and incumbents were divvying up the new CD's, Rep. Waxman tried to intermediate between them to get one to move a couple hundred miles to a new CD (I forget which one) that hadn't been "claimed" by a Dem incumbent Congressman.
    Obviously neither blinked, and both stubbornly dug in their heels.

    •  you are mistaken; no lost seat (0+ / 0-)

         What happened was that Waxman tried to get Brad Sherman to run in the Ventura County seat (CA-26) which was won by Assemblymember Julia Brownley for a Democratic pickup of that seat (now held by retiring GOP Rep. Elton Gallegly.) Sherman won the south and west SFV seat (CA-30) beating Howard Berman by over 20%. The new CA-29 in the northeast SFV was won by L.A. City Councilmember Tony Cardenas. That was the successor to Berman's old CA-28, where Howard didn't run because it is now way too Latino to elect another Jewish (or any non-Latino) Representative.

            Berman should have retired. He had a distinguished 40 year career in elective office with 10 years in the Assembly and 30 years in the House. Nobody stays forever in Congress except John Dingell and Charlie Rangell. I hate to say it, but it is clear to me that Howard Berman is an asshole. Waxman is his BFF dating back to their student days at UCLA which is why he was pushing so hard for his buddy.

      Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 54, new CA-30

      by Zack from the SFV on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 11:14:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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