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Republican in the Lead for Waxman’s Seat

June 5th, 2014 - 12:56 pm


Welcome to Bizarro World:

California’s 33rd Congressional district has long been considered one of the Democrats’ most valuable stretches of real estate, but in Tuesday’s open primary Republican Elan Carr was the top vote-getter among a field of 18 candidates vying for a chance to advance to the general election.

Carr jumped to an early lead as the Democrats split the vote in the race to succeed longtime U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman. State Sen. Ted Lieu, who finished in second place, will face off against Carr in the November election. Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, a former DreamWorks executive with strong backing from Hollywood studio heads, finished in third place. Early returns showed author Marianne Williamson, a favorite among industry progressives, neck and neck with public radio host Matt Miller for fourth place. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Carr received 21.5 percent of the vote ahead of Lieu’s 19 percent and Greuel’s 16.8 percent. Williamson finished slightly ahead of Miller with 12.9 percent of the vote to his 12 percent.

OK, maybe not exactly Bizarro World. California has an open primary, where all the candidates from every party compete in one big pool. The Democrats were highly fractured between several strong candidates, while the lone Republican could still garner barely more than one-fifth of the vote.

Don’t expect him to garner much more than that against Lieu in November.

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This may not mean much, but it does present an interesting if only marginally exploitable weakness. If you can split the Republican vote between, say, a Republican and a Libertarian, and get 8 or 9 strong candidates vying for the Democratic ticket, you could, in theory, get a race to be R v. L in a system MEANT to make it eternal D v. D.

That might be hedging somewhat conservative (hah) depending on how much a Libertarian can steal from the Democrats. I'm not sure. Conventional wisdom for years has been that there was a stealable margin, but the party heads have been on a tirade against Libertarians since they realized they were a major problem for holding the "social issues" Democrats. And Democrats are nothing if not susceptible to in-grouping.Or I may be being too generous on the other hand. It may not be too hard to get that many candidates in a place that is, after all, Democrat central, but I couldn't dream of how Republicans would orchestrate it. It would have to happen by serendipity, in all probability, which the Democrats would not typically allow to happen.

Still... hmmm...
39 weeks ago
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