The GOP Wave Cometh
The Republican wave is picking up steam in
districts all over the country.
Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) has suddenly emerged as one of this year’s most vulnerable incumbents.
The freshman lawmaker, now in a fight for political survival against former Rep. Doug Ose (R), was never going to cruise to reelection in his perennial toss-up district. But an unfavorable climate for Democrats has made his climb that much harder.“Ami Bera’s had a target on his back for two years. He’s known this was going to happen,” said Sacramento-based Democratic strategist Steven Maviglio. “It’s always been a swing district,” reports The Hill.
California’s 7th District has become the third most expensive House race in the country, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Candidates have spent nearly $5 million, while outside groups like the Chamber of Commerce and American Action Network and the national party organizations have poured in more than $7 million.
Earlier this month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee even pulled a $2.8 million ad reservation from the race to fill retiring Rep. Frank Wolf’s (R-Va.) open seat, which Democrats once viewed as a pickup opportunity in northern Virginia, to instead use the funds in Bera’s district.
Even with high Democratic turnout for President Obama’s reelection in 2012, Bera only defeated then-Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) by a slim margin of 51 percent to 49 percent.
“We’ve been preparing for a close race in this district for a long time,” said Bera campaign manager Danny Kazin, noting that “in 2012, it was one of the closest races in the country.”
Kazin argued that Bera would be able to turn out enough voters despite the nature of the midterm cycle, pointing to the higher-than-expected turnout in the primary where Bera won 47 percent of the vote compared to 40 percent in 2012. California’s primary system pits all candidates, regardless of party, against one another and the top two advance to the general election.
“There was a lot of talk how low turnout would be in the primary,” Kazin said. “We got more votes in the primary that he’d gotten before.”Republicans have tried to turn that message against Bera. Earlier this month, the National Republican Congressional Committee ran an ad slamming Bera for voting against every spending proposal during consideration of the House GOP budget resolutions in 2013 and 2014.