Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Can We Win Harman's Seat?

Now that we know Congresswoman Jane Harman is planning to resign from her seat in Congress for a position at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - is there any chance that we could flip her seat into Republican hands?

Probably not.

The likely Republican candidate, Mattie Fein, received only 66,000 votes when she lost badly to Harman just three months ago. And considering Harman has won all five of her campaigns in the 36th congressional district averaging 63% of the vote, Fein would have to not only turnout 100% of her supporters from 2010, but to convince Hawkish Democrats who have supported Harman for 5 terms to support her as well.

However, there is hope.

Charles Djou won that special election in Hawaii's second congressional district last year against all odds. And the 36th district Democrats could Nominate a candidate who lacks the campaign experience of Fein, or who falls too hard on the Progressive line for local voters. Both are plausible outcomes, but no one will be able to handicap this race until the Primary is held in a couple of months.

Unless there is no Republican candidate. California's new primary system works like this: the two candidates who receive the most votes, regardless of political affiliation, advance to the general election to face off against one-another. If the Democrat Party can overwhelmingly get their voters to the polls - we could see a special election without Republican opposition. Disenfranchisement, anyone?

Only one thing is sure as Congresswoman Harman resigns from the House - there will be a race to watch, to predict, and to follow for political junkies who are suffering from a lack of campaigns by the time this election is held in early summer. Including myself.

What say you?

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