Bud Emerson | Klish Way and Lee Haydu | Cofair Court
Our 49th congressional District is now up for grabs after intense grassroots anti-Trump pressure forced Darrell Issa to retire. The opening has attracted 12 prospective candidates so far. The June primary election will elimnate all but the top two, regardless of party affiliation, to face each other in November.
The district runs from Dana Point in Orange County to UCSD, then east to Vista. Republicans have a 7 point edge in the district, but polls show an 8 point advantage for a Democrat, again based on strong anti-Trump sentiment. In 2016 Issa lost in San Diego but secured enough Orange County votes to get re-elected by about 1600 votes over Applegate.
Both parties have a problem so far with too many candidates, five Republicans and five Democrats. Unless one party or the other convices candidates to drop out, they risk spreading out and diluting the votes which could even result in two candidates from the same party in the November runoff.
Early Democratic leaders so far are Applegate, who almost won last time, Levin, and Jacobs. Favorites so far on the Republican side are Chavez, Harkey, and Gaspar.