Sunday, March 04, 2018

DCCC Busy Clearing The Field In California-- Emilio Huerta And Christina Prejean Are Out


Emilio Huerta and his very special mother, Dolores Huerta

I'm pretty sure David Valadao is, by the numbers, the most endangered incumbent running for reelection this year. His Central Valley district, CA-21, stretches from the suburbs south of Fresno, through Hanford and Corcoran, Coalinga and Delano down to the east side of Bakersfield. The district is over 72% Latino and Obama won it with 52% in 2008 and with 55% in 2012. Hillary beat Trump 55.2% to 39.7% and the 2016 PVI (D+2) is now D+5. The only other D+5 district occupied by a Republican is FL-27, where Ileana Ros-Lehtinen finally had the good sense to announce her retirement and get out of the way of the inevitable. I'm thinking some of the newly redrawn Pennsylvania districts are in the category too, but it's too soon to tell exactly.

So why is Valadao still even in this seat? Simple and clear: a series of pretty weak Democratic opponents, handpicked by the DCCC numbskulls, and unbelievably low voter turnout (a function of bad Democratic candidates and an unbelievably incompetent DCCC). All congressional districts have approximately the same number of people. In 2012 every single Minnesota district had over 300,000 people turn out to vote. On the same day Valadao's district had just 93,532 voters. Now, that's a contrast! How about the other Central Valley districts? These are the voter turnouts for 2012 and 2016 congressional race for each of the 6 districts that make up the Central Valley:
CA-09 (Jerry McNerney)-188,389--- 184,377
CA-10 (Jeff Denham)- 193,060--- 211,305
CA-16 (Jim Costa)- 109,956--- 124,681
CA-21 (David Valadao)- 93,532--- 118,124
CA-22 (Devin Nunes)- 159,009--- 210,135
CA-23 (Kevin McCarthy)- 195,578--- 216,188
That's why Valadao is still in office. Last cycle Emilio Huerta was the Democratic candidate. Valadao beat him. First Huerta barely won a spot in the primary and was then beaten by Valadao-- in this blue district-- 56.7% to 43.3%. Valadao spent $2,806,588 to Huerta's $648,918. The DCCC gave up on Huerta quickly, having spent just $27,195, but Pelosi's superPAC put in $1,751,651, towards the end, when it was already too late. The NRCC and Ryan's SuperPAC responded with just $155,795.

This cycle, the DCCC has been wringing it's collective hands over the district. Huerta got in again and his locally powerful family cleared the field quickly. The DCCC's attitude was the he couldn't win but they had no one to go up against him. So far this cycle Valadao has raised $1,346,307 and Huerta has taken in just $94,814. It was looking like Valadao could actually win in a wave election in a blue district!

The DCCC jumped in last week and, gently, persuaded Huerta to withdraw over the weekend. Several California members of Congress-- Ted Lieu, Jim Costa, Zoe Lofgren and Pete Aguilar, from what I've heard-- pressured him, "respectfully," one told me, to get out of the race. Ben Ray Lujan tried to paint a smiley face on it with a statement to the media: "Emilio Huerta and his family have made immense contributions to the Central Valley and our country as a whole. Every hardworking Californian owes them a debt of gratitude for their advocacy on behalf of families, children and our progressive values nationwide."

The DCCC has lost previously with establishment candidates John Hernandez, president of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Amanda Renteria, an EMILY's List corporate Dem from DC. This time there are strong rumors that the DCCC is importing TJ Cox, who was gaining traction against Josh Harder, the corporate Dem the DCCC is hoping to run against Jeff Denham.

Footnote: by Friday someone seems to have talked Christina Prejean into dropping out of her short-lived attempt to win the already crowded CA-49 primary in southern Orange County/northern San Diego county.
 Prejean's departure from the race is probably good news for Doug Applegate since she was also a military veteran in a heavily veteran district. Applegate is already the frontrunner.

You'll have to click on the image to read this poll

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At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the desire to win, but I'd rather the voters made the primary decision instead of corrupt Party leaders.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Enzo Pontrelli said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...



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