As snarly as they come

Perpetually aggrieved fuckstick Darrell Issa (R-That One Rightwing Part Of SoCal) just might be facing a real reelection fight this fall, and unlike the fake Obamacare hearings he enjoyed holding, he won't be able to shut out people who think he's a dick. In a big change from previous elections where Issa has rolled right over his opposition, he's actually got some serious competition. Tell us more, Orange County Register!

[Issa's] support for Donald Trump could undermine this year’s bid. The Republican edge in his two-county district’s voter registration is shrinking. And his Democratic opponent’s background as a Marine colonel holds particular appeal in a district that includes and surrounds Camp Pendleton.

In the 2012 and 2014 primaries, Issa prevailed by at least 30 percentage points. In June, he beat Democrat Doug Applegate by a relatively modest 5.3 percentage points. That’s less than the GOP’s 8.4-point advantage in voter registration – an advantage that has shrunk from 10.7 points since the beginning of the year.

Applegate’s primary performance came despite much weaker name recognition and despite being outspent by Issa, $740,000 to $50,000.

Yes, by nearly 15-1.

Remember, California has that weirdo primary system where instead of separate Republican and Democratic primaries, all the candidates from both parties and as many independents as can scrape up the filing fee or the petition signatures all lay in a great big pile, then the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, go on to the general election. It's why the California election for U.S. Senate will be between two Democrats. The O.C Register's Martin Wisckol says Issa could be in trouble, especially since Applegate did so well in the primary with so little spending. And supporters are definitely liking these Apples: before the primary, Applegate raised a mere $58,000 total, but then between the June 7 primary and the end of the month, he pulled in another $128,300. And even the national party noticed they might have a candidate with a chance to unseat Issa:

[T]he primary results prompted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to do polling in the district, which it previously had written off.

And while it's internal polling announced by Democrats, the numbers looked good: Applegate and Issa were tied at 43 percent, and held a 32-percentage point lead with independents, who make up about a quarter of the district. And this Applegate guy looks like a pretty attractive Democrat running in a mostly conservative district. So yay:

The polling and Applegate’s strong June fundraising persuaded the Democratic committee to put Applegate on a watch list of 10 “emerging” Republican districts that could be moved to their tally of targeted GOP seats, which now includes 48 House districts nationwide.

We're not going to dare hope for the Dems to retake the House, lest we tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing. But dang, wouldn't it be a lovely thing if Californians turfed out Issa, who spent most of his time as chairman of the House Oversight Committee holding biased, never-ending hearings on the IRS non-scandal and of course Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi?

The Register's Martin Wisckol notes that the primary numbers for Applegate were inflated somewhat by the fact that by June, Trump had secured his nomination while the Democrats still had a competitive presidential race, which meant lower Republican turnout for down-ballot races. Even so, mainstream Republican support for Trump seems likely to be down as well, which could mean fewer Orange County R's voting for Issa as they stay home or hold their surgically perfected noses to vote for that Clinton woman. Maybe.

Issa still has a huge advantage in one key area:

He’s the wealthiest member of Congress, with an estimated net worth of $357 million, and has a campaign balance of $3.8 million. Applegate campaign manager Robert Dempsey wouldn’t specify his candidate’s budget, but said $1 million was “in the neighborhood.”

Oh, SoCal TV viewers, we feel sad for all the Issa ads you're going to have to endure. Should you be of a mind to help Applegate, here's his campaign's donation page. Maybe Darrell will burn down his own damn House for a change.

[O.C. Register]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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