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As turnout distribution goes, I've used a hybrid of 2004 and 2008 numbers, as we can't be sure how turnout will be. All of these benchmarks are formulated on the narrowest path to a win, some candidates can and will do better than the benchmarks suggest, I'm just demonstrating where strengths and weaknesses lie. It also shows how important it is for candidates each all parts of a district. The first column shows estimated percentages that each county or city might turnout in. The other columns are the actual numbers

  Bera Lungren
Cirtrus H. 9.78% 48.00% 52.00%
Elk Grove 18.10% 58.00% 42.00%
Folsom 10.34% 39.00% 61.00%
Rancho Cordova 7.48% 57.00% 43.00%
Unincorp. 54.30% 49.00% 51.00%
  100.00% 50.10% 49.90%
Most of the district is unincorporated and the unincorporated areas are mixed in terms of partisanship. Bera's performance in the unincorporated area will be contingent on how strongly he performs in the CDPs like Arden-Arcade, Carmichael and Florin, the first two can be somewhat swingy, while Florin is more of a darker Blue, but he needs to win them all to hit the benchmark. CDPs further out, like Fair Oaks, Gold River and Orangevale are more Republican leaning, but Bera needs at least low 40s there. The rurals make up a smaller portion, but will give Lungren big numbers that could make the difference in a close race. Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova are must win incorporated cities for Bera, with Citrus Heights being one where he must stay close.
  Hernandez Denham
San Joaquin 22.47% 51.00% 49.00%
Stanislaus 77.53% 50.00% 50.00%
    50.22% 49.78%
These benchmarks are required for Hernandez to pull off a narrow victory. Denham seems vulnerable, taking only 47% of the vote in the primary. Hernandez will probably win the San Joaquin portion, but Stanislaus is where most of the race will be. It's a county that Obama very narrowly won in 2008 and voted for Clinton twice. The key to Hernandez winning is getting good numbers in Modesto. He'll have to win a lot of Chad Condit's votes, which I'm assuming included a lot of Democrats. And judging from the fact that Republicans sued pointlessly to keep Hernandez from listing his occupation as Astronaut on the ballot, I think they take him seriously as a challenger.
  Capps Maldonado
Santa Bar. 53.37% 53.00% 47.00%
SLO 45.66% 48.00% 52.00%
Ventura 0.97% 60.00% 40.00%
  100.00% 50.78% 49.22%
Capps can and probably will do better than this, but these are all only benchmark that demonstrate narrow wins. If you look at her previous wins in the district that is almost exactly the same as this one over a decade ago, you'll see that she had a very high floor in San Luis Obispo County. Rather or not that will happen this time around, it's not clear, since she hasn't represented some portions of the county for years.
  Brownley Strickland
Camarillo 7.19% 39.00% 61.00%
Fillmore 2.46% 60.00% 40.00%
Moorpark 5.47% 39.00% 61.00%
Ojai 2.91% 60.00% 40.00%
Oxnard 19.12% 62.00% 38.00%
Port Hueneme 1.96% 56.00% 44.00%
San Buenaventura 22.73% 56.00% 44.00%
Santa Paula 5.17% 58.00% 42.00%
Thousand Oaks 19.80% 40.00% 60.00%
Unincorporated area of Ventura County 13.19% 41.00% 59.00%
  100.00% 50.17% 49.83%
These baselines are fairly good for Brownley, since she can outperform most of them by a few points, particularly Oxnard. It is important to note that Strickland didn't carry this district in his run for Controller in 2010, he lost it by three points. The races that he has actually won were all in legislative districts that included Simi Valley. Only a small portion of Simi is in CA-26, which I added into the unincorporated column due to it's small percentage and it's a part of the city that leans Democratic.
  Takano Tavaglione
Jurupa Valley 10.34% 46.00% 54.00%
Moreno Valley 18.10% 55.00% 45.00%
Perris 7.48% 60.00% 40.00%
Riverside 54.30% 49.00% 51.00%
Unincorp. 9.78% 44.00% 56.00%
    50.11% 49.89%
Takano has room for better performance in Moreno Valley, Perris and Riverside. Jurupa Valley, which is a new city that is a mashup of several unincorporated areas is in Tavaglione's district, along with part of the city of Riverside. There is plenty of straight ticket voting that happens in Moreno Valley and Perris, which will be a big help to Takano.
  Peters Bilbray
Coronado 3.69% 35.00% 65.00%
Poway 9.59% 36.00% 64.00%
San Diego 86.72% 53.00% 47.00%
    50.71% 49.29%
The race is decided mostly by San Diego proper, which is a good thing for Peters. Just 53% in the city proper would off-set large margins in Coronado and Poway. With the presidential race and the mayoral race in which Bob Filner has a very good chance, Peters has a lot of back up as far as base turnout goes and can focus on more of the swing areas of the city where he needs to post good numbers. Out of all the California seats that are competitive, I think this one is most likely to flip, just because the benchmarks are highly obtainable.

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