Video: Surprise in California?

Earlier today, I predicted that John Garamendi would sail to victory in the special election to replace Ellen Tauscher in California’s 10th Congressional district. Chuck Todd isn’t anywhere near as pessimistic (or sanguine, depending on your perspective) about David Harmer’s chances. Todd predicts Garamendi will win, but only just — a surprising result from a district that went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama last year. Pick it up at about 3:45 if you want to skip to the discussion of CA-10:

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If Harmer comes within single digits of Garamendi in CA-10, it will be a major moral victory for Harmer and the GOP. He has so little name recognition that Garamendi’s campaign mistook him for a completely different David Harmer in one of their campaign commercials, an embarrassing moment for the Democrats. Garamendi, after all, won state-wide elections in California, as insurance commissioner and Lieutenant Governor.

Todd says this district isn’t as liberal as some suspect. Well, elections results speak for themselves:

  • 2008: Obama beats McCain, 64-33
  • 2006: Feinstein wins, 65-30
  • 2004: Boxer wins, 60-36

What about in Congressional races? Ellen Tauscher had no trouble holding the seat:

  • 2008: Tauscher, 65-31
  • 2006: Tauscher, 66-33
  • 2004: Tauscher, 66-34
  • 2002: Tauscher, 75-24

In fact, one has to go all the way back to 2000 to find a margin of victory inside of single digits for Tauscher. California conducted a controversial redistricting effort after that, which made CA-10 a lot more secure for Tauscher, as the election results since showed.

If Harmer somehow wins this seat, which Todd seems to think is possible, then the Democrats have good reason to run scared in 2010, especially the Blue Dogs.

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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on February 04, 2023