Sunday, December 03, 2017

Why Democrats Interested In Taking Back The House Should Be Overjoyed Kevin de León Is Running For The Senate, Boosting Likely Latino Participation


The DCCC can't get anything right. When Pelosi appointed Rahm Emanuel chairman in 2005, he implanted his DNA deep in its structure and it has presided over the destruction of the congressional Democratic Party ever since as one pathetic Pelosi-appointment after another chaired the committee and stuck closely to Emanuel's losing script of recruiting Republican-lite candidates-- often actual Republican candidates superficially pretending to be Democrats. Rank and file members finally rebelled against Pelosi last year and demanded a chance to elect the DCCC chair and a suite of regional vice chairs. Pelosi had no choice but to acquiesce if she was going to hold onto her own role as Leader. But then no one ran against her pathetic nominee, vapid and incompetent New Mexico closet case Ben Ray Lujan. As far as the regional vice chairs, there's been no sign of life in any of them except for the West Coast's Ted Lieu. (Lujan made sure that Texas, the second most important state for a Democratic takeover in the House, doesn't even have a regional vice chair.)

Lieu's bright spot, California, can reasonably provide 7 of the 24 seats the Democrats need to win back from Republicans this cycle and Lieu-- unlike the DCCC in general-- has been scrupulously neutral in the primaries, offering support to all the Democratic candidates running in the state's jungle primary. Friday's L.A. Times included a piece by American Prospect editor Harold Meyerson pointing out that "nearly one-third of the congressional districts represented by Republicans that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016 are in the Golden State, and if the Democrats are to regain the gavel in the House, they’ll need to win most of those districts. A passel of Democratic challengers have already announced they’re running against the Republican incumbents, and thousands of activists from such groups as Indivisible have begun mobilizing voters. The outcome of these elections, however, will be determined not only by the appeal and resources of the candidates, the mobilizations on their behalf, and President Trump’s unpopularity. A host of other factors-- California’s top-two primary system, the likelihood of viable Latino candidates for governor and U.S. senator, the probability of a gas-tax repeal initiative, and the efforts of Democratic candidates for statewide office to win Republican voters-- will likely play a crucial role in deciding the congressional contests the Democrats need to win."
Midterm elections are invariably about turnout: The party that does the better job of getting its voters to the polls is usually the winner. That will present a massive obstacle to California Republicans next November, inasmuch as their membership has so shriveled in recent years that they can no longer field competitive candidates in statewide races. What compounds their challenge is the state’s bizarre jungle primary, in which the top two finishers, regardless of party, advance to the November runoff.

That means that potential Republican voters a year hence (if recent polls are even marginally accurate) will likely be confronted with two Democratic candidates for governor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, incumbent Dianne Feinstein and State Senate President Kevin de León. These are not choices that will spur many Republicans to bother going to the polls, which could have a significant effect on the GOP’s efforts to hold its embattled congressional and state legislative seats.

Compounding the Republicans’ challenge will be the probability of heightened Latino turnout. Trump’s broadsides against fictitious “Mexican rapists” and his heightened efforts to deport people in the country illegally have understandably bestirred California Latinos. Should these factors not suffice, however, the 2018 gubernatorial and senatorial contests will also see the first serious bids by Latino candidates-- Villaraigosa and De León-- in modern California history. (Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s campaign for the Senate in 2016 was perfunctory and underfunded.)

Their campaigns will be anything but identical: Villaraigosa is already campaigning for Republican votes against the more liberal Newsom, while De León is clearly running to Feinstein’s left . But the likelihood that both will appear on November’s ballot is almost certain to boost Latino turnout to record levels for a midterm election. That doesn’t augur well for Republican members of Congress in districts with growing Latino populations (and virtually every one of California’s 53 congressional districts has a growing Latino population).
Goal ThermometerSo which are the 7 most winnable California districts? If my predictions about a massive wave are borne out-- and the Tax Scam vote really helps make a wave into a tsunami-- these are the seats the Republicans can expect to give up. The best challengers are listed on the Blue American California congressional page you'll reach by clicking on the ActBlue thermometer on the right. Please consider contributing whatever you can to any-- or all-- of these excellent candidates.
CA-49, Darrell Issa
CA-25, Steve Knight
CA-39, Ed Royce
CA-21, David Valadao
CA-48- Dana Rohrabacher
CA-10, Jeff Denham
CA-45- Mimi Walters
Extra credit for extraordinary circumstances:

CA-22, Devin Nunes
CA-50, Duncan Hunter
CA-23- Kevin McCarthy

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At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dems need to do some serious voter registration.


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