Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

RATINGS CHANGE: California’s 52nd District

Last year, Rep. Brian P. Bilbray lost re-election in California’s redrawn 52nd District, but GOP strategists are upbeat about their chances of taking it back just two years later.

It’s not because the San Diego-based seat is a Republican bastion — Barack Obama won it with 52 percent and 55 percent in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

But Democrat Scott Peters only squeaked by Bilbray, 51 percent to 49 percent, last fall, and Republicans believe the midterm turnout could be better for their party.

They are also excited about their likely nominee, former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio. DeMaio lost his bid to become mayor of San Diego, but he did well in the areas in the 52nd District, which are more Democratic areas. DeMaio is also openly gay, which could make it more difficult to pigeonhole him as a stereotypical Republican.

Even in good GOP years, California hasn’t been all that good for the GOP. But this could develop into a serious opportunity.

We are moving the race from Democrat Favored to Lean Democrat in the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings.

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