Democratic activists have been serious about campaigning early in the 49th and 50th Congressional districts and it would appear those efforts are paying off.
Republican Congressman Darrell Issa is down 10 points in polling pitting him against any generic Democratic candidate. While the three Dems opposing Issa all filed strong third quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission, the incumbent maintains a substantial cash-on-hand advantage.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report recently moved Congressman Duncan Hunter’s 50th District from “solid” to “likely” Republican. Democrats Josh Butner and Ammar Najjar-Campa each raised more money than the incumbent in the third quarter report.
Congressman Darrell Issa is starting to get some big-time GOP love and the campaign contributions that go with it.
From the Times of San Diego:
Vice President Mike Pence headlined a fundraising luncheon in Newport Beach Monday to benefit Rep. Darrell Issa and six other House Republicans targeted by Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.
The luncheon at the exclusive Resort at Pelican Hill benefitted California Victory 2018, a joint fundraising committee for Issa, who represents north coastal San Diego county, and Reps. Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach, Mimi Walters of Irvine, Ed Royce of Brea, Steve Knight of Palmdale, David Valadao of Hanford and Jeff Denham of Turlock.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried all seven districts in last year’s presidential election.
Congressman Issa’s Vista office has been the site of weekly protests for nine months now. Despite efforts to dismiss or have local government intervene in these demonstrations, several hundred people continue to appear along Thibodo Road every Tuesday.
This morning’s action included an appearance by the infamous Trump chicken and a banner plane flyover.
The Quantum Learning Network in Oceanside is the site of a town hall organized by Indivisible on the GOP Federal Budget Proposal (this evening). The Congressman has been invited but isn’t likely to show up.
All three Democratic candidates running against Darrell Issa will appear at a Wednesday (October 18) forum hosted by the San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action. (More info and RSVP here.)
There have also been weekly protests targeting Issa on Thursday afternoons in Encinitas at the corner of El Camino Real and Encinitas Blvd. (More Info)
Rep. Issa’s reputation as a good government crusader took a hit recently as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a updated report on the controversy about whether the Obama White House and the Internal Revenue Service were “targeting” conservative groups because of their political beliefs.
As a recent op-ed in The Hill by Congressmen Sander Levin and Elijah Cummings pointed out, 14 congressional hearings, interviews with 60 current or former IRS employees, and 500,000+ pages of documents failed to find evidence of political motivation in the IRS’ actions:
Republicans immediately claimed this was “the targeting of the president’s political enemies,” as then-Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calf.) said.
Of course, this made for great political theater, but there was just one problem – the Republican claim was completely false.
Here are the third quarter fundraising totals for District 49, via the Orange County Register:
Issa, R-Vista, raised $288,000 in the third quarter and reported $852,000 cash on hand.
Environmental attorney Mike Levin raised $301,000 in the quarter and $916,000 since entering the race, making him the most prolific fundraiser among the Democratic challengers. He has $530,000 remaining in his account.
Lawyer and retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, who came within 0.6 percentage points of beating Issa last year, has a raised a total of $654,000 this cycle and has $263,000 available.
The only candidate in the race to give his campaign money is Rancho Santa Fe real estate investor Paul Kerr. Rather than a loan, he’s fully committed $263,000 of his own funds to his effort and raised $242,000 from others. He has $229,000 remaining.
Congressman Duncan Hunter’s legal troubles continue to undermine his job security in what should be a very safe Republican 50th Congressional district.
When an incumbent has more money going to lawyers than his campaign is raising, the person is in trouble. The prospect of Duncan Hunter out by the side of the road someday picking up trash in an orange jumpsuit is providing a strong motivation for opposition candidates to work hard.
A Justice Department investigation into Hunter’s campaign spending has cost him more than a half million dollars this year. Six DC law firms received payments totaling $134, 794 in the third quarter, while Hunter’s campaign raised a total of $91,446 during the same period.
Here’s a snip on the campaign money in D49, via the Los Angeles Times:
The nonpartisan analysts at Cook Political Report recently moved Hunter’s 50th District from “solid” to “likely” Republican, saying the FBI investigation could drag Hunter down, but Democrats privately acknowledge taking down Hunter will be a tough job unless he is indicted. Hunter’s father previously represented the district, and 42.82% of voters there are registered as Republicans.
Two of Hunter’s half a dozen opponents out-raised him this quarter, though with $504,456 in cash, the congressman still has a substantial financial advantage. As of Sept. 30, Democrat Josh Butner raised $175,146 and had $231,891 in the bank. Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar raised $170,304 and had $202,414 in the bank.
Democrat Pierre Beauregard raised $10,631 and has $3,942 in cash on hand, according to the FEC report. Candidate Patrick Malloy, who opposed Hunter in 2016, received $0 in contributions during Q3, and has raised $867 total in 2017.
Congressmen Hunter and Issa have signed on to the State GOP’s scheme to gain visibility by campaigning for a referendum to roll back the gas taxes and auto registration fee increases passed by the California Legislature to fund infrastructure repair (Since the US Congress apparently is going to sit on its hands).
Everybody in favor of potholes, raise your hands!
From the “I’m reminding you it ain’t over ‘till it’s over” department at the SDFP, here’s a snip about the overall Congressional prospects for 2018.
A CNN poll published this week has Democrats with a 14-point lead on a generic congressional ballot — a statistic used by election analysts to forecast the number of seats a party will win in congressional elections. If the 2018 election were held today, voters would pick a generic Democrat running in their district over a generic Republican by a margin of 51% to 37%.
Here’s Emily C. Singer at Mic.com
That generic ballot number CNN’s poll found is virtually identical to the final generic ballot spread back in 2006, the last midterm election year in which Republicans held the White House and both chambers of Congress.
Democrats led the generic ballot 54% to 39% in early November of 2006, according to CNN’s poll, and President George W. Bush had a 38.5% approval rating, according to the RealClearPolitics average.
Not factored into this optimistic equation are two bits of reality:
- Thanks to legislative gerrymandering, Republicans now have a built-in 6 to 8 point lead nationally in contests for the House of Representatives, before the first ballot is cast.
- Despite Congress having an approval rating less than Genghis Khan, root canals, and cockroaches, Member of the House of Representatives win re-election more than 90% of the time.
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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