Friday, November 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

2 Calif. districts key to Dems’ Congress hopes

elias column sig

By
From page A11 | June 18, 2014 |

With memories of last fall’s federal government shutdown and several national debt default crises already faded from the public mind, national Democrats no longer appear to believe they have a realistic chance of retaking control of the House of Representatives from the Republicans who wrested it away from them unexpectedly almost four years ago.

But they might still gain some ground in a few places. Democrats harbor that hope primarily because every poll shows most Americans – even about half those who call themselves Republicans – assign primary blame for government gridlock to the GOP.

To take control and make San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi speaker again, Democrats would need to win back 17 seats now held by Republicans. That’s probably not going to happen. Because of gerrymandering in many states, Democrats have no chance in the vast majority of the 235 districts now held by the GOP.

But they still could improve their numbers. Democrats have identified 24 so-called swing seats where Republicans won close elections last year, and two of their most prominent pollsters say they are ahead in 17 of those. If they won all those – not likely – and hung onto every seat they now hold, they could rid themselves of Speaker John Boehner. Not realistic.

Every Democratic scenario for making progress in the House, though, requires wins in two of the three California districts among those 24 swing seats.

In one of those three, Republican David Valadao’s 21st District, Democrats don’t have much realistic hope. Even though voter registration is about even in that Visalia-centered district, Valadao is favored by a 50-40 percent margin over just about any Democrat, say the Democrats’ own surveys.

But Democrats are in much better shape in the district now held by retiring Republican Gary Miller and on Jeff Denham’s Central Valley turf.

In Miller’s 31st District, covering much of San Bernardino County, Republican Paul Chabot won the June 3 primary but it’s still too close to call who he will face in November, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, Republican Lesli Gooch, a policy specialist, or Democrat activist Eloise Gomez Reyes. Before Miller pulled out, the Public Policy Polling firm had him trailing 51-39 percent when voters were asked to compare him with just about any Democrat.

Democrats have a 41-34 percent voter registration edge in the district, with another 20 percent giving no party preference (Democrats have lately won majorities among these undeclared voters in most places). Miller had the good fortune to face a fellow Republican in his last election, after he and state Sen. Bob Huff topped a fractured list of Democrats in the 2012 primary.

Polling numbers suggest the district is the Democrats’ to lose.

Denham, whose 10th District encompasses Modesto, Manteca and Tracy, beat Democrat Jose Hernandez, a former astronaut, by 53-47 percent in 2012, a margin of about 11,000 votes out of 209,000 cast. The Public Policy Polling survey currently shows 37 percent of district voters approve his performance in office, even with the 37 percent who disapprove. He trailed by four percentage points when the poll asked voters whether they’d vote for Denham or a Democrat, without naming any possible opponent.

He carried the day June 3 with nearly 59 percent of the vote against a pair of Democrats. Now the opposition has a name and face in Democrat Michael Eggman.

Of course, everything can change in any political race. So even though Democrats look in good shape in those districts, primary election results deciding the candidate finalists may speak loudly about the eventual outcomes. Time, as they say, will tell the tale.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at tdelias@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Giving thanks, ‘even in this broken world,’ on Thursday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano Turkey Trot draws 2,600 to college

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Il Fiorello schedules olive milling day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Early Black Friday shoppers take advantage of deals

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Eagle Scout project adds floating docks at Rockville Park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

‘Guardian angel,’ community join to give man home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US celebrates Thanksgiving with parades, turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Tons of marijuana seized in Central California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Gorilla death prompts San Francisco Zoo changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Health agents still unpaid after plan’s rollout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California Burger King employee finds $100,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Families asked to host visitors for pope’s US trip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Researchers discover ‘pre-cancers’ in blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
35 arrested in Oakland after protest march

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

A glance at Ferguson: Then, now and the future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
For some, location of Brown’s hands irrelevant

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Ferguson gives thanks after a quiet night

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Colorado mastodon bones show ancient warmer Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Queen of crime writing PD James dies aged 94

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola aid dogged by coordination lags in Guinea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Taliban attack rocks upscale Kabul district

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Small quake rattles California wine country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Harvard admissions, then and now

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
 
What it costs to fight the Islamic State

By Walter Pincus | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Movies just another course on Thanksgiving

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Poor health is no excuse for not behaving like a caring person

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

Horoscope for Nov. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

Week in preview: Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Prison theater transforms Colombian inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Singer John Mayer among ‘Late Late Show’ subs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′ doesn’t work

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

Review: ‘Madagascar’ spin-off hatches family fun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Talking songs with She & Him

By Kim Durbin | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Nov. 28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

 
Cosby testimony describes accuser’s spiked story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

College notebook: Many happy returns for Arizona’s Bondurant

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sherman’s big night leads Seattle past 49ers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Rookie quarterback Carr is Raiders’ silver lining

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
US cities urged to keep price tags down for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Eagles roll over Cowboys 33-10 for NFC East lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
5 investigated in FIFA WCup bid corruption probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Johnson shines in Detroit’s 34-17 win over Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Signups for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

No. 9 UCLA must overcome Stanford for Pac-12 title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Kia’s ‘Soulful’ first electric car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Automakers aim to drive away car computer hackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

3 Reasons holiday shoppers will spend cautiously

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Deanna L. Haines

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Esther Ringler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

‘Chipper’ Douglas Lee Anderson Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9