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While much of the country continues to wallow in primary election angst, California is done with that and forging ahead to the real game in November. California Democrats are seeking to strengthen their grip on the nation's most populous state, while California Republicans, still deep in their sea of electoral misery, desperately flail at any floating object that passes by.

At the congressional level, Democrats are hoping to hold onto their (relatively) massive 2012 gains and even picking off one or two more, while Republicans try to nip off a district or two, knowing that 2016 will be a brutal year for them.

Head below the fold for the first in a three-part series on California's 2014 elections.


Map geeks! Click here for a fancier Google Maps/Fusion Tables version of the map below.

Note: An asterisk (*) indicates an open seat, while a dagger (†) denotes an intraparty race.
Safe Dem Likely Dem Lean Dem Tossup Lean GOP Likely GOP Safe GOP
2, 3, 5,
6, 9, 11*,
12, 13, 14,
15, 16, 17†,
18, 19†, 20,
24, 27, 28,
29, 30, 32,
33*, 34†, 35*†,
37, 38, 40†,
41, 43, 44,
46, 47, 51,
7, 26, 36
1, 4†, 8,
22, 23, 25*†,
39, 42, 45*,
48, 49, 50
34 CDs 1 CD 3 CDs 1 CD 1 CD 1 CD 12 CDs
CD-01 - Inland north: Redding, Chico, Grass Valley
Incumbent: Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale)
08/12 PVI: R+10
2012 PVI: R+9
2012 pres results: 40.3% Obama, 56.6% Romney
2012 cong results: 57.4% Doug LaMalfa (R), 42.6% Jim Reed (D)
Candidates: Doug LaMalfa (R), Heidi Hall (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

Parts of this rock-ribbed Republican district have seethed under tyrannical Sacramento rule and want to break away to form a separate State of Jefferson. Y'know, 'cause if Republicans are tired of their government handouts, it makes sense to demand to secede and form an entity named after a slave-owning founder of the Democratic Party.

CD-02 - North Coast: Eureka, Ukiah, San Rafael
Incumbent: Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael)
08/12 PVI: D+20
2012 PVI: D+21
2012 pres results: 69.0% Obama, 27.0% Romney
2012 cong results: 71.2% Jared Huffman (D), 28.8% Daniel Roberts (R)
Candidates: Jared Huffman (D), Dale Mensing (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Unlike the inland areas, this district is a full complement of ocean and fog, ensuring that it will stay well-hydrated. We all know the importance of staying hydrated and its benefits. Benefits like knowing not to secede from the world's eighth largest economy and voting for Democrats.

CD-03 - Sacramento Valley: Yuba City, Davis, Fairfield
Incumbent: John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove)
08/12 PVI: D+4
2012 PVI: D+5
2012 pres results: 54.3% Obama, 43.1% Romney
2012 cong results: 54.2% John Garamendi (D), 45.8% Kim Vann (R)
Candidates: John Garamendi (D), Dan Logue (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Garamendi has been diligently working the district and has steadily solidified his grip on the area and will dispatch termed-out assemblyman Dan Logue. At least Garamendi has settled down on a job instead of going for another failed run for governor.

CD-04 - Sierra Nevada: Roseville, South Lake Tahoe, Mariposa
Incumbent: Tom McClintock (R-Roseville?)
08/12 PVI: R+10
2012 PVI: R+10
2012 pres results: 39.5% Obama, 57.9% Romney
2012 cong results: 61.1% Tom McClintock (R), 38.9% Jack Uppal (D)
Candidates: Tom McClintock (R), Art Moore (R)
Rating: Safe Republican, Lean McClintock

This is the first (potentially) competitive race on the list. McClintock, a carpetbagger from Ventura County who lives outside the district in Elk Grove, will face a Republican challenger from the left in military officer Art Moore. Moore is a self-described moderate Republican, and his campaign is being advised by Rob Stutzman, a powerhouse Sacramento GOP lobbyist and former aide to Arnold Schwarzenegger. For what it's worth, former congressman George Radanovich has endorsed Moore, so we'll see if this will heat up as it approaches November.

"What? I might actually lose to a moderate Republican?"
CD-05 - Wine Country: Napa, Vallejo, Martinez
Incumbent: Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena)
08/12 PVI: D+20
2012 PVI: D+21
2012 pres results: 69.7% Obama, 27.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 74.5% Mike Thompson (D), 25.5% Randy Loftin (R)
Candidates: Mike Thompson (D), James Hinton (NPP)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Interestingly given his ultraliberal district, Thompson is a Blue Dog and has pro-gun credentials. It's a holdover from his days in representing swingy rural turf, but he has adapted well to his suburban/exurban district.

CD-06 - Capital region: Sacramento, North Highlands, West Sacramento
Incumbent: Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento)
08/12 PVI: D+18
2012 PVI: D+20
2012 Pres results: 69.0% Obama, 28.3% Romney
2012 Cong results: 75.1% Doris Matsui (D), 24.9% Joseph McCray, Sr. (R)
Candidates: Doris Matsui (D), Joseph McCray, Sr. (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

The 35-year Matsui grip on this district continues unabated, forcing ambitious Sacramento-area politicians to look for employment elsewhere.

CD-07 - Sacramento suburbs: Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove
Incumbent: Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove)
08/12 PVI: EVEN
2012 PVI: D+1
2012 Pres results: 50.7% Obama, 46.7% Romney
2012 Cong results: 51.7% Ami Bera (D), 48.3% Dan Lungren (R)
Candidates: Ami Bera (D), Doug Ose (R)
Rating: Lean Democratic

Former congressman Doug Ose wants his seat back, while Bera wants to ensure his transplant-heavy district is ignorant of Ose's existence. The general Democratic trend of the Sacramento suburbs, Ose's brutal primary at the hands of the Tea Party, and Bera's dominant fundraising and cash-on-hand give Bera the edge in this increasingly heated race.

CD-08 - High Desert: Mammoth Lakes, Victorville, Yucaipa
Incumbent: Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley)
08/12 PVI: R+9
2012 PVI: R+8
2012 pres results: 41.7% Obama, 55.6% Romney
2012 cong results: 57.4% Paul Cook (R), 42.6% Gregg Imus (R)
Candidates: Paul Cook (R), Bob Conaway (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

After his 2012 baptism by fire courtesy of the Tea Party, Cook will skate to reelection in his dry desert district.

CD-09 - San Joaquin Delta: Antioch, Lodi, Stockton
Incumbent: Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton)
08/12 PVI: D+6
2012 PVI: D+8
2012 pres results: 57.8% Obama, 40.1% Romney
2012 cong results: 55.6 Jerry McNerney (D), 44.4% Ricky Gill (R)
Candidates: Jerry McNerney (D), Antonio "Tony" Amador (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

McNerney's hold on this district is still somewhat shaky, but it's always a good sign when the Republicans are turning to failed legislative candidates and aren't devoting much attention to the race. McNerney is safe for another term.

CD-10 - Stanislaus: Modesto, Turlock, Tracy
Incumbent: Jeff Denham (R-Turlock)
08/12 PVI: R+1
2012 PVI: D+1
2012 pres results: 50.5% Obama, 46.9% Romney
2012 cong results: 52.7% Jeff Denham (R), 47.3% Jose Hernandez (D)
Candidates: Jeff Denham (R), Michael Eggman (D)
Rating: Likely Republican

This seat is a second-tier target for Democrats, but Eggman's relatively poor fundraising and lackluster primary performance has this seat slipping away from Team Blue's grasp. Denham has a penchant for winning blue-tilting districts and is assiduously locking the district down, so Democrats may have to wait until 2016 to fully pursue this opportunity.

CD-11 - Contra Costa: Richmond, Walnut Creek, Concord
Incumbent: George Miller (D-Martinez)
08/12 PVI: D+18
2012 PVI: D+18
2012 pres results: 67.5% Obama, 29.9% Romney
2012 cong results: 69.7% George Miller (D), 30.3% Virginia Fuller (R)
Candidates: Mark DeSaulnier (D), Tue Phan (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Miller caps off an illustrious 40-year career in the House and hands off the baton to former Republican and progressive(?!) state senator Mark DeSaulnier. This is DeSaulnier's second try after losing to John Garamendi in the CD-10 special election in 2009.

CD-12 - San Francisco
Incumbent: Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco)
08/12 PVI: D+35
2012 PVI: D+36
2012 pres results: 84.0% Obama, 12.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 85.1% Nancy Pelosi (D), 14.9% John Dennis (R)
Candidates: Nancy Pelosi (D), John Dennis (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

People can deride San Francisco and its oddities all they want, but it just keeps churning out leader after progressive leader at every level of government and the Democratic Party.

Still going strong.
CD-13 - East Bay: Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro
Incumbent: Barbara Lee (D-Oakland)
08/12 PVI: D+38
2012 PVI: D+40
2012 pres results: 87.5% Obama, 9.0% Romney
2012 cong results: 86.8% Barbara Lee (D), 13.2% Marilyn Singleton (NPP)
Candidates: Barbara Lee (D), Dakin Sundeen (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

This is the most Democratic congressional district in California, befitting one of the most progressive members of Congress.

CD-14 - San Francisco Peninsula: Daly City, San Mateo, Redwood City
Incumbent: Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough)
08/12 PVI: D+23
2012 PVI: D+25
2012 pres results: 74.2% Obama, 23.6% Romney
2012 cong results: 78.9% Jackie Speier (D), 21.1% Deborah "Debbie" Bacigalupi (R)
Candidates: Jackie Speier (D), Robin Chew (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

My home district is the domain of Jackie Speier, best known for being one of the wounded in the 1978 Jonestown massacre and a strong fighter for sexual assault victims on university campuses and in the military.

CD-15 - East Bay: Hayward, Livermore, San Ramon
Incumbent: Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin)
08/12 PVI: D+17
2012 PVI: D+18
2012 pres results: 68.0% Obama, 29.8% Romney
2012 cong results: 52.1% Eric Swalwell (D), 47.9% Pete Stark (D)
Candidates: Eric Swalwell (D), Hugh Bussell (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Swalwell lucked out this cycle when his primary Democratic challenger, state senator Ellen Corbett, fell short of making into the top two by 430 votes. Swalwell will now cruise to reelection and continue his ascent up the leadership ladder under the wing of minority whip Steny Hoyer.

CD-16 - Central Valley: Merced, Madera, Fresno
Incumbent: Jim Costa (D-Fresno)
08/12 PVI: D+7
2012 PVI: D+9
2012 pres results: 58.6% Obama, 39.4% Romney
2012 cong results: 57.4% Jim Costa (D), 42.6% Brian Whelan (R)
Candidates: Jim Costa (D), Johnny Tacherra (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Despite what many analysts think, Costa will hold on here. Just because he underperforms doesn't mean he will lose. It simply means he underperforms.

CD-17 - Silicon Valley: Fremont, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale
Incumbent: Mike Honda (D-San Jose)
08/12 PVI: D+20
2012 PVI: D+23
2012 pres results: 71.9% Obama, 25.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 73.5% Mike Honda (D), 26.5% Evelyn Li (R)
Candidates: Mike Honda (D), Ro Khanna (D)
Rating: Safe Democratic, Likely Honda

While Honda fell around two points short of an outright majority in the June primary, the race is still his to lose. The race will hinge on how hard ethnic media will push for Honda and/or Khanna in this majority-Asian district. Also, as a matter of principle, a district like this should toss out vapid district-shopping opportunistic tech-elite potted plants like Khanna with prejudice.

CD-18 - Silicon Valley: Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Saratoga
Incumbent: Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton)
08/12 PVI: D+19
2012 PVI: D+19
2012 pres results: 68.2% Obama, 28.3% Romney
2012 cong results: 70.5% Anna Eshoo (D), 29.5% Dave Chapman (R)
Candidates: Anna Eshoo (D), Richard Fox (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Home to many of Tech Bubble 2.0's most famous companies such as Google and Facebook along with has-beens such as HP, the district is the turf of Congress's sole member of Assyrian descent.

CD-19 - Silicon Valley: San Jose, Morgan Hill, Gilroy
Incumbent: Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose)
08/12 PVI: D+19
2012 PVI: D+22
2012 pres results: 71.2% Obama, 26.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 73.2% Zoe Lofgren (D), 26.8% Robert Murray (R)
Candidates: Zoe Lofgren (D), Robert Murray (D)
Rating: Safe Democratic, Safe Lofgren

Her opponent can switch parties, but Lofgren still dominates this area and will continue fighting for Internet privacy and against NSA spying.

CD-20 - Monterey Bay: Santa Cruz, Salinas, Monterey
Incumbent: Sam Farr (D-Carmel)
08/12 PVI: D+21
2012 PVI: D+22
2012 pres results: 70.9% Obama, 26.2% Romney
2012 cong results: 74.1% Sam Farr (D), 25.9% Jeff Taylor (R)
Candidates: Sam Farr (D), Ronald Paul Kabat (NPP)
Rating: Safe Democratic

This district, formerly dominated by Fort Ord army base, is now more famous for its scenic views, pot, and John Steinbeck.

CD-21 - Central Valley: Hanford, Wasco, Bakersfield
Incumbent: David Valadao (R-Hanford)
08/12 PVI: D+2
2012 PVI: D+5
2012 pres results: 54.6% Obama, 43.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 57.1% David Valadao (R), 42.2% John Hernandez (D)
Candidates: David Valadao (R), Amanda Renteria (D)
Rating: Lean Republican

After fumbling and being saddled with a failed candidate in 2012, Democrats are pouring all their hopes and efforts into Renteria, a former chief of staff for U.S. senator Debbie Stabenow (and the first Latina chief of staff in U.S. Senate history). Renteria overcame initial doubts and has posted good fundraising numbers, but will need to go into over-overdrive if she wants to defy the district's notoriously low civic participation rate and topple Valadao.

CD-22 - Central Valley: Clovis, Visalia, Tulare
Incumbent: Devin Nunes (R-Tulare)
08/12 PVI: R+10
2012 PVI: R+9
2012 pres results: 41.6% Obama, 56.6% Romney
2012 cong results: 61.9% Devin Nunes (R), 38.1% Otto Lee (D)
Candidates: Devin Nunes (R), Suzanne Aguilera-Marreno (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

This relatively compact Central Valley district takes in the whiter, more conservative parts of Fresno and much of the population in dark-red Tulare County. Nunes is safe.

CD-23 - Central Valley: Bakersfield, Porterville, Lancaster
Incumbent: Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield)
08/12 PVI: R+15
2012 PVI: R+14
2012 pres results: 36.1% Obama, 61.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 73.2% Kevin McCarthy (R), 26.8% Terry Phillips (NPP)
Candidates: Kevin McCarthy (R), Raul Garcia (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

The new House majority leader (and the most powerful California GOPer) sits in the most Republican congressional district in California and has an iron grip on the Kern County Republican machine. This is also the oil capital of California, with numerous wells and bids to open fracking operations in the area.

"Get off the oil well on my lawn!"
CD-24 - Central Coast: San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara
Incumbent: Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara)
08/12 PVI: D+4
2012 PVI: D+5
2012 pres results: 54.0% Obama, 43.0% Romney
2012 cong results: 55.1% Lois Capps (D), 44.9% Abel Maldonado (R)
Candidates: Lois Capps (D), Chris Mitchum (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

The district might look swingy, but Capps is a known quantity in this area and has a Tea Party-cavorting actor as her opponent. This visit with the former school nurse is not going to be pretty for Mitchum.

CD-25 - Northern LA County: Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley
Incumbent: Buck McKeon (R-Santa Clarita)
08/12 PVI: R+3
2012 PVI: R+2
2012 pres results: 47.9% Obama, 49.7% Romney
2012 cong results: 54.8% Buck McKeon (R), 45.2% Lee Rogers (D)
Candidates: Steve Knight (R), Tony Strickland (R)
Rating: Safe Republican, Lean Knight

McKeon, who has held this district for ten terms, is retiring, but Democrats were shut out of this swingy district by two strong Republican challengers and a potential GOP-planted spoiler against Democrat Lee Rogers, who ran again. In any case, November's result will turn more on turf than ideology since they are equally conservative (airhead punditry will state otherwise). Knight has the Antelope Valley and most of Santa Clarita locked down, while Strickland dominates in Simi Valley and western Santa Clarita. However, Strickland is widely despised and carpetbagged into the district after losing the first time, giving Knight an edge and room to grow.

CD-26 - Ventura County: Oxnard, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks
Incumbent: Julia Brownley (D-Oak Park)
08/12 PVI: D+4
2012 PVI: D+4
2012 pres results: 54.0% Obama, 43.7% Romney
2012 cong results: 52.7% Julia Brownley (D), 47.3% Tony Strickland (R)
Candidates: Julia Brownley (D), Jeff Gorell (R)
Rating: Lean Democratic

It's interesting to see how Ventura County encapsulates political change: Republicans like McClintock and Strickland carpetbag out of the county to run elsewhere, while Democrats like Brownley move in to the county as it continues to zoom leftward. However, this is still lean Democrat given the apparent strength of Gorell, an assemblyman holding down a blue seat. Gorell's moderate credentials, military background, and photogenic demeanor makes him the most formidable opponent Brownley will ever face. However, Gorell is the GOP's last hurrah in Ventura County: he is the best and last candidate they can ever put up here. If he loses, the county GOP will be permanently weakened.

CD-27 - San Gabriel Foothills: Alhambra, Pasadena, Glendora
Incumbent: Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park)
08/12 PVI: D+11
2012 PVI: D+13
2012 pres results: 62.6% Obama, 35.0% Romney
2012 cong results: 64.0% Judy Chu (D), 36.0% Jack Orswell (R)
Candidates: Judy Chu (D), Jack Orswell (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Despite taking somewhat reddish turf in the foothills such as Arcadia, Glendora, and Claremont, the Republicans are swamped by Democrats in Pasadena and the heavily-Asian western San Gabriel Valley. For her part, Chu defies her district's PVI and is one of the most progressive members of Congress, mostly because her Asian base is impenetrable to Republicans, affirmative action backlash notwithstanding.

CD-28 - Media capital: Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood
Incumbent: Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)
08/12 PVI: D+20
2012 PVI: D+22
2012 pres results: 70.3% Obama, 26.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 76.5% Adam Schiff (D), 23.5% Phil Jennerjahn (R)
Candidates: Adam Schiff (D), Steve Stokes (NPP)
Rating: Safe Democratic

It's difficult to fathom today that 15 years ago, this district was held by Jim Rogan, a Republican who served as prosecutor in Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings. Schiff won this district after an expensive electoral battle and began his congressional service as a Blue Dog. Now, he serves one of the most Democratic and liberal districts in the nation and has resigned his Blue Dog membership.

CD-29 - San Fernando Valley: Pacoima, Van Nuys, North Hollywood
Incumbent: Tony Cardenas (D-Pacoima)
08/12 PVI: D+25
2012 PVI: D+28
2012 pres results: 77.0% Obama, 20.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 74.1% Tony Cardenas (D), 25.9% David Hernandez (NPP)
Candidates: Tony Cardenas (D), William O'Callaghan Leader (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

The district encompasses heavily Latino areas of the San Fernando Valley and is a bastion of moderate Latino Democrats. Cardenas will not be booted out of here anytime soon.

CD-30 - San Fernando Valley: Northridge, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks
Incumbent: Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks)
08/12 PVI: D+15
2012 PVI: D+16
2012 pres results: 65.3% Obama, 32.1% Romney
2012 cong results: 60.3% Brad Sherman (D), 39.7% Howard Berman (D)
Candidates: Brad Sherman (D), Mark Reed (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

After the famous Berman-Sherman intraparty fight in 2012, Sherman will coast to reelection and is starting to exert his newfound political capital, starting with getting his former district director Matt Dababneh into the state assembly.

CD-31 - Inland Empire: Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Redlands
Incumbent: Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga)
08/12 PVI: D+6
2012 PVI: D+7
2012 pres results: 57.2% Obama, 40.6% Romney
2012 cong results: 55.2% Gary Miller (R), 44.8% Robert Dutton (R)
Candidates: Pete Aguilar (D), Paul Chabot (R)
Rating: Likely Democratic

Democrats finally threaded the needle here and got their endorsed candidate past the primary. They nearly lost again though, beating Republican Lesli Gooch by 209 votes for second place. Aguilar really needs to step up his game, especially since this is his second try.

CD-32 - San Gabriel Valley: West Covina, El Monte, Baldwin Park
Incumbent: Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk)
08/12 PVI: D+13
2012 PVI: D+16
2012 pres results: 65.2% Obama, 32.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 65.7% Grace Napolitano (D), 34.3% David Miller (R)
Candidates: Grace Napolitano (D), Arturo Enrique Alas (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Napolitano still lives way outside the district, but her constituents apparently don't mind. She will continue to coast to reelection.

CD-33 - Beach Cities: West LA, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach
Incumbent: Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles)
08/12 PVI: D+12
2012 PVI: D+11
2012 pres results: 60.6% Obama, 36.8% Romney
2012 cong results: 54.0% Henry Waxman (D), 46.0% Bill Bloomfield (NPP)
Candidates: Ted Lieu (D), Elan Carr (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Like George Miller, Waxman has decided to retire after 40 years in Congress. Unlike George Miller, he had no clear successor, only endorsing state senator Ted Lieu after the latter emerged as the top Democratic vote-getter from a 19-candidate field to move on to the general. Lieu, who is more moderate than Waxman (granted, it's hard to top Waxman's progressive credentials), should have an easier time getting elected here than Waxman did.

CD-34 - Downtown Los Angeles
Incumbent: Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles)
08/12 PVI: D+31
2012 PVI: D+34
2012 pres results: 83.0% Obama, 14.1% Romney
2012 cong results: 85.6% Xavier Becerra (D), 14.4% Stephen Smith (R)
Candidates: Xavier Becerra (D), Adrienne Nicole Edwards (D)
Rating: Safe Democratic, Safe Becerra

Becerra need not worry about his reelection prospects as he continues to ascend the House leadership ladder.

CD-35 - Inland Empire: Pomona, Ontario, Fontana
Incumbent: Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino)
08/12 PVI: D+15
2012 PVI: D+18
2012 pres results: 67.4% Obama, 30.6% Romney
2012 cong results: 55.8% Gloria Negrete McLeod (D), 44.1% Joe Baca (D)
Candidates: Norma Torres (D), Christine Gagnier (D)
Rating: Safe Democratic, Safe Torres

The cross-country commute proved too much for the 72-year-old Negrete McLeod, who is coming home to run for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. State senator Norma Torres, who succeeded her in the state senate, is the heavy favorite to succeed her in Congress. Bloomberg might regret dumping over $3 million on a one-term congresswoman, but he did do everyone a favor by ridding us of Joe Baca.

CD-36 - Riverside County: Palm Springs, Coachella, Hemet
Incumbent: Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert)
08/12 PVI: R+1
2012 PVI: D+1
2012 pres results: 50.7% Obama, 47.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 52.9% Raul Ruiz (D), 47.1% Mary Bono Mack (R)
Candidates: Raul Ruiz (D), Brian Nestande (R)
Rating: Lean Democratic

Ruiz has worked his district well over the last two years. He managed to garner over half the vote in the June primary in a district with a GOP voter registration edge and low Latino turnout. Nestande, a sitting assemblyman, has had his conservative credentials questioned due to his past support of one tax increase, and he cannot afford to have archconservatives sit this one out.

Looks like a winner.
CD-37 - Southwestern LA: South Los Angeles, Crenshaw, Culver City
Incumbent: Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles)
08/12 PVI: D+35
2012 PVI: D+36
2012 pres results: 84.9% Obama, 12.7% Romney
2012 cong results: 86.4% Karen Bass (D), 13.6% Morgan Osbourne (R)
Candidates: Karen Bass (D), R. Adam King (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Bass, a former assembly speaker, has been low-key since she moved up to Washington in 2010. She might be working more behind the scenes, but at least she doesn't have to worry about reelection.

CD-38 - Gateway Cities: Whittier, Norwalk, Lakewood
Incumbent: Linda Sánchez (D-Lakewood)
08/12 PVI: D+13
2012 PVI: D+15
2012 pres results: 64.9% Obama, 33.0% Romney
2012 cong results: 67.5% Linda Sánchez (D), 32.5% Benjamin Campos (R)
Candidates: Linda Sánchez (D), Benjamin Campos (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

This rematch will not be interesting at all. Sánchez can continue her good work in Congress and be the more progressive of the Sanchez sisters.

CD-39 - Nixon Country: Diamond Bar, Yorba Linda, Fullerton
Incumbent: Ed Royce (R-Fullerton)
08/12 PVI: R+4
2012 PVI: R+3
2012 pres results: 47.1% Obama, 50.8% Romney
2012 cong results: 57.8% Ed Royce (R), 42.2% Jay Chen (D)
Candidates: Ed Royce (R), Peter Anderson (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

The district is softening up for Democrats, but it may take a while for Royce to be knocked off. Democrats should first work on building a bench in this district.

CD-40 - Gateway Cities: East Los Angeles, Downey, Bellflower
Incumbent: Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles)
08/12 PVI: D+29
2012 PVI: D+32
2012 pres results: 81.5% Obama, 16.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 58.9% Lucille Roybal Allard (D), 41.1% David Sanchez (D)
Candidates: Lucille Roybal-Allard (D), David Sanchez (D)
Rating: Safe Democratic, Safe Roybal-Allard

In a state filled with overambitious politicians and leaders, Roybal-Allard has been the quintessential backbencher. She has made few headlines and splashes during her eleven terms in Congress, and will probably continue working like that in the future.

CD-41 - Inland Empire: Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris
Incumbent: Mark Takano (D-Riverside)
08/12 PVI: D+9
2012 PVI: D+12
2012 pres results: 61.5% Obama, 36.3% Romney
2012 cong results: 59.0% Mark Takano (D), 41.0% John Tavaglione (R)
Candidates: Mark Takano (D), Steve Adams (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Despite the area's newness to Democratic representation, Takano is safe here. By the way, did you know he has a Tumblr filled with charts?

There will be charts!
CD-42 - Inland Empire: Corona, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta
Incumbent: Ken Calvert (R-Corona)
08/12 PVI: R+9
2012 PVI: R+9
2012 pres results: 41.4% Obama, 56.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 60.6% Ken Calvert (R), 39.4% Michael Williamson (D)
Candidates: Ken Calvert (R), Tim Sheridan (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

Calvert defeated Takano twice in 1992 and 1994 for a congressional seat, the first time by 519 votes and second time with some gay-baiting. Now they serve in Congress together (apparently with little awkwardness) and will do so for some time.

CD-43 - South Bay: Inglewood, Torrance, Hawthorne
Incumbent: Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles)
08/12 PVI: D+26
2012 PVI: D+29
2012 pres results: 78.0% Obama, 20.0% Romney
2012 cong results: 71.2% Maxine Waters (D), 28.8% Bob Flores (D)
Candidates: Maxine Waters (D), John Wood, Jr. (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Waters is still going strong and has used her bully pulpit as top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee with great force. Past ethics investigations notwithstanding, she will have this seat as long as she wants it.

CD-44 - LA Harbor: South Gate, Carson, San Pedro
Incumbent: Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro)
08/12 PVI: D+33
2012 PVI: D+35
2012 pres results: 84.7% Obama, 13.6% Romney
2012 cong results: 60.2% Janice Hahn (D), 39.8% Laura Richardson (D)
Candidates: Janice Hahn (D), Adam Shbeita (PF)
Rating: Safe Democratic

The Hahn name is still golden in these areas, and she will skate to reelection against token opposition from the far-far-left Peace and Freedom Party.

CD-45 - Central OC: Irvine, Tustin, Mission Viejo
Incumbent: John Campbell (R-Irvine)
08/12 PVI: R+7
2012 PVI: R+7
2012 pres results: 43.0% Obama, 54.8% Romney
2012 cong results: 58.5% John Campbell (R), 41.5% Sukhee Kang (D)
Candidates: Mimi Walters (R), Drew Leavens (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

Campbell is retiring from Congress after less than nine years, allowing Walters, a state senator, to move up the political food chain. As a sign of the gender gap in the California GOP, Walters will become the only Republican congresswoman from California after the 2014 elections. Currently there are zero.

CD-46 - North OC: Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim
Incumbent: Loretta Sanchez (D-Anaheim)
08/12 PVI: D+9
2012 PVI: D+12
2012 pres results: 61.4% Obama, 36.2% Romney
2012 cong results: 63.9% Loretta Sanchez (D), 36.1% Jerry Hayden (R)
Candidates: Loretta Sanchez (D), Adam Nick (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

The more moderate Sanchez sister has shifted left over time, while her grip on this seat has only gotten stronger. There will be little drama here.

CD-47 - Harbor/Little Saigon: Long Beach, Garden Grove, Westminster
Incumbent: Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach)
08/12 PVI: D+8
2012 PVI: D+11
2012 pres results: 60.0% Obama, 37.5% Romney
2012 cong results: 56.6% Alan Lowenthal (D), 43.4% Gary DeLong (R)
Candidates: Alan Lowenthal (D), Andy Whallon (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Lowenthal, a longtime fixture in Long Beach politics, has begun to consolidate his hold on the Orange County part of the district (though he's not quite there yet). He will be safe in November regardless.

CD-48 - Coastal Orange County: Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel
Incumbent: Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach)
08/12 PVI: R+7
2012 PVI: R+7
2012 pres results: 43.0% Obama, 54.7% Romney
2012 cong results: 61.0% Dana Rohrabacher (R), 39.0% Ron Varasteh (D)
Candidates: Dana Rohrabacher (R), Suzanne Savary (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

Rohrabacher, the pot-supporting surfer congressman and a-bit-overenthusiastic defender of Russia, can continue plying the waves here in an official capacity.

CD-49 - North County: San Clemente, Oceanside, Carlsbad
Incumbent: Darrell Issa (R-Vista)
08/12 PVI: R+4
2012 PVI: R+4
2012 pres results: 45.7% Obama, 52.3% Romney
2012 cong results: 58.2% Darrell Issa (R), 41.8% Jerry Tetalman (D)
Candidates: Darrell Issa (R), Dave Peiser (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

Issa, a former car alarm company executive (and alleged car thief), will continue to conjure up random investigations from his perch that is slowly slipping away from under his feet. For now, we're stuck with him.

CD-50 - Mountain Empire: Temecula, Escondido, Santee
Incumbent: Duncan Hunter (R-Lakeside)
08/12 PVI: R+13
2012 PVI: R+13
2012 pres results: 37.6% Obama, 60.4% Romney
2012 cong results: 67.7% Duncan Hunter (R), 32.3% David Secor (D)
Candidates: Duncan Hunter (R), James Kimber (D)
Rating: Safe Republican

One of the most conservative areas in California and a hotbed of Tea Party fever, this district is a wasteland for Democrats.

CD-51 - International border: San Diego, Chula Vista, El Centro
Incumbent: Juan Vargas (D-San Diego)
08/12 PVI: D+17
2012 PVI: D+20
2012 pres results: 69.4% Obama, 28.9% Romney
2012 cong results: 71.5% Juan Vargas (D), 28.5% Michael Crimmins (R)
Candidates: Juan Vargas (D), Stephen Meade (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

This is one of the few border stories that will actually be boring. Vargas will skate to reelection in this Latino-majority district that takes up all of California's border with Mexico.

CD-52 - San Diego, Poway, Coronado
Incumbent: Scott Peters (D-San Diego)
08/12 PVI: D+2
2012 PVI: D+2
2012 pres results: 52.1% Obama, 45.7% Romney
2012 cong results: 51.2% Scott Peters (D), 48.8% Brian Bilbray (R)
Candidates: Scott Peters (D), Carl DeMaio (R)
Rating: Tossup

Peters's grip on this district will be tested by DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman and mayoral candidate. Peters barely won last time and performed relatively poorly in the June primary, while DeMaio is a star GOP recruit. Will the multimillionaire Peters spend enough to keep DeMaio at bay or will DeMaio be able to knock this one out of the bathroom ballpark?

No, Carl, you won't be able to hide from us there.
CD-53 - East County: San Diego, La Mesa, Chula Vista
Incumbent: Susan Davis (D-San Diego)
08/12 PVI: D+10
2012 PVI: D+12
2012 pres results: 61.4% Obama, 36.4% Romney
2012 cong results: 61.4% Susan Davis (D), 38.6% Nick Popaditch (R)
Candidates: Susan Davis (D), Larry Wilske (R)
Rating: Safe Democratic

We end on a strong blue note, with Davis comfortably settled in her new district.

Agree or disagree with these ratings? Comment below!

Originally posted to kurykh on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Silicon Valley Kos and Community Spotlight.

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