There are no more open toss-up districts. So I’m going to discuss some of the juicer campaigns. We have incumbents to talk about! So off we go to Frank’s current stomping grounds and my home state: California. So I am going to look at an almost certain Democratic pick-up, California District 25, and then the promising District 10.
California has a top two primary system. This creates some interesting general election contests. While this system was sold as a way to increase voter turn out, it doesn’t. It was supposed to make politics less partisan, it hasn’t. In fact, in a general sense, Top-Two Primary System Hasn’t Worked as Proponents Promised.
California District 25 (CA-25)
I start with the most vulnerable incumbent — Representative Steve Knight. Knight is known for his being conservative but not too conservative. Oh, and telling off his constituents after realizing that Congress-critters don’t have total power over the US government. He also has a fairly dismal record of working well with others, but at least he shows up for work.
He is facing challenger Bryan Caforio, an attorney originally from Los Angeles. Caforio seems to have one main flaw: he is new to the district. Otherwise he doesn’t seem capable of putting a single foot wrong. The Democrats have been active in getting voter registration figures up. This California District went from a 14,000 deficit (PDF) to a 5,000 advantage (PDF).
Caforio is stapling Trump all over Knight who keeps trying to duck questions about his party’s presidential nominee. Back in June, Caforio polled 6 percentage points down. A month later, he polled 8 points ahead of Knight in California District 25.
This means that this race is probably already over, even though no ballots have dropped. It should be an easy pick-up for the Democrats.
California District 10 (CA-10)
The current serving Representative in California District 10 is Republican Jeff Denham. He has been around since 2010, when he got the dubious distinction of getting dishonorable mention in CREW’s Most Corrupt Report. Otherwise, he has been a fairly conservative politician who works somewhat well with others. Outside of that he hasn’t done much to distinguish himself or make himself look bad.
He is facing, for the second time, a Democrat by the name of Michael Eggman. This is where sometimes looking stuff up on candidates will yield bizarre results. Michael Eggman is something of a stereotypical California dad. Well, he has had frosted tips. Regardless, he is definitely bringing up Trump.
There has been one poll done in the race by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research. It was done back in July and found Eggman losing by 7 percentage points. However, Eggman had little name recognition at that time. What’s more, the fundamentals of this California district are distinctly Democratic — 7 point advantage for a generic Democrat versus a generic Republican. Eggman’s problem is getting his name out there. And since he has less than a million dollars on hand, that might be difficult.
This may be a keep for the Republicans but hey, frosted tips can do wonders for a man!