Wednesday, December 06, 2006

CQ & WaPo's Cillizza Weigh In On The Election

CQ: The Democratic Takeover Up Close: Defeated House Incumbents

California’s 11th (Democratic wind turbine company owner Jerry McNerney unseated Republican Rep. Richard W. Pombo, 53.2 percent to 46.8 percent)

"McNerney garnered just 40 percent of the vote in a 2004 challenge to Pombo, and began his rematch bid this year as a distinct underdog in this Republican-leaning district located largely in the state’s Central Valley. In fact, national Democratic recruiters favored another candidate, whom McNerney nonetheless defeated in the June 6 primary.

McNerney, though, drew heavily on the national Democratic theme of a Republican Party “culture of corruption.” He criticized past campaign donations Pombo received from lobbyist Abramoff and accused the incumbent of unethical relationships with developers as House Resources Committee chairman.

Pombo denied wrongdoing. And despite the tough political atmosphere for the GOP, Pombo did not back off his strongly conservative agenda and welcomed President Bush to the district for campaign events.

But McNerney gained critical support from environmentalist groups and the national Democratic Party, which boosted him to the only partisan turnover of a House seat in any of California’s 53 districts. The victory made McNerney one of five Democrats who won rematches with Republicans to whom they lost in 2004. — Rachel Kapochunas" (source)

Chris Cillizza (Washington Post/The Fix): The Line: A First Look at 2008 House Races

California's 11th District (D): "Jerry McNerney (D) wasn't supposed to win the Democratic primary this year, much less the general election. McNerney beat Steve Filson, who had the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in the primary and took advantage of ethical questions surrounding Rep. Richard Pombo (R) to topple the incumbent 53 percent to 47 percent. With Pombo gone, it remains to be seen whether McNerney, who is to the ideological left of a district that gave Bush 54 percent of the vote in 2004, can prove his own mettle and win an election likely to be a referendum on his first two years in office. Pombo has not ruled out another bid. State Assemblymen Greg Aghazarian and Guy Houston are also mentioned on the Republican side." (source)


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