Friday, July 4, 2014

CD-07: GOP Pick-Up More Likely Than Before

How is it possible that the Seventh Congressional District would end up in Democratic hands?

In 2012, the Obama GOTV outperformed expectations, and the Republicans' base of operations, from technology to GOTV, failed to meet let alone surpass this juggernaut. The Organizing for Action movement actively put Ami Bera in place to defeat former CA Attorney General Dan Lundgren.

This surprising upset please many liberals, of course, enough that an anti-Lundgren attacker crowed about his defeat on the Huffington Post.

CD-07 (Sacramento region)

While Democrats plotted the proper steps to take swing districts, Republicans were not laying any groundwork for holding onto key seats.

In 2014, US Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken signed up to take back Lundgren's seat, along with Igor Berman and Doug Ose.

Rep. Doug Ose (ret.)

Ose prevailed, and will face endangered Democratic incumbent Ami Bera in the general election this November.

Dr. Ami Bera
Bera, like a number of California Congressional Democrats, is playing safe and centrist in Congress, paying attention to the possibilities of another upset this year. Dr. Bera just declined his Congressional pension, a gesture which more lawmakers, Dem and GOP, might want to consider as Washington discusses the fiscal insolvency of our nation's annual budgets and national debt.

How good are Ose's chances for an upset?

With the anti-incumbent mood stronger than ever, plus a more forward-thinking and attentive National GOP conference (RNC Chairman Reince Preibus declared that they have not written off California just yet), Ose will have more funding and campaign efforts behind him.

While Ose was not the Tea Party backed candidate with endorsements from US Senator Rand Paul (that was Berman), Ose's prior legislative and campaign experience may assist him for a win against Bera.
Rep. Ose during his previous tenure in office (C-SPAN)
Still, Bera in a Dem-leaning district won by ten thousand votes against Lundgren. Do the general voting demographics offer any hope for Ose to win?

As of 2011, Democratic registration topped Republican votes by barely one percent. President Obama did win this district by six points in 2008, but Prop 8 passed by more than ten points. Still, other statewide races favored Democratic candidates by double digits in 2010, so Republicans face more of an uphill battle regarding demographics and prior voting patterns.

Ose is pro-growth, pro-limited government, does not support amnesty for illegal immigration, and recognizes the concerns with water rights in Northern California. He has also blasted Obamacare as a job-killer which has done nothing to make health care affordable or accessible. With the Affordable Care Act in full effect (aside from Obama's unconstitutional executive orders), voters may feel more inclined to vote out Dems who support this law (or at least identify with it).

If the CA GOP 2014 GOTV works hard, and Ose makes a strong case without alienating Tea Party affiliates and moderates, Ose can take back CD-7 for the GOP. The fact that a retired House Rep would run again speaks to the urgency of keeping the House in GOP hands and stalling a liberal-progressive agenda which has done more harm than good for this country, and particularly California.

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