Eight days until the fat lady sings...
The firm Political Data Inc., which has been keeping tabs of both new voter registrations and the breakdown of mail-in ballots returned so far, provides information today that confirms what political observers have been expecting from the outset: the results in Ventura County's two big battleground districts, Congressional District 26 and Senate District 27, will be very close.
First, the good news for Republicans: In both districts, although Democrats hold slight registration advantages, ballots returned so far give a slight edge to Republicans. In the 26th Congressional District, 39 percent of returned ballots have come from Democrats while 42 percent have come from Republicans. In the 27th Senate District, the breakdown of returns is a little closer: 40 percent from Democrats, 42 percent from Republicans.
Now, the good news for Democrats: Among new registrations reported so far (not quite final), Democrats have a big edge in both districts. Of the 12,422 new registrations in CD 26, 41 percent have declared a preference for the Democratic Party while just 24 percent have expressed a Republican Party preference. In SD 27, where new registration has been more prolific, 49 percent of the 31,441 new registrants are Democrats while just 20 percent are Republicans.
Based on data that show significant Democratic voter registration gains statewide, Sacramento analyst Scott Lay today changed his assessment of three state congressional districts from "leans Republican" to "tossup." Incumbent Republicans are running for re-election in all three of those districts -- Dan Lungren and Jeff Denham in the Central Valley and Mary Bono Mack in the Palm Springs area.
Not that the 26th District has been lacking in the amount of outside money pouring into the campaign, but developments in those three districts with GOP incumbents might be diverting money from the National Republican Congressional Committee that otherwise could have been spent to bolster Tony Strickland. The committee over the weekend reported spending more than $400,000 to attack the Democratic opponents of Lungren and Mack.
PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT FOR BROWNLEY: Not that it comes as a great surprise that a Democratic president seeking re-election would endorse a Democrat for Congress, but the Julia Brownley campaign today announced an endorsement from President Barack Obama.
Not every candidate receives such an expressed endorsement. Obama released a statement supporting Brownley -- one that some voters will likely see in their mailboxes soon -- that says:
"America's middle class needs Julia Brownley in Congress to stand up and fight for them. Julia will create jobs here at home by building from the middle out, not the top down. She will protect Medicare for seniors and education for our next generation. Middle class families can count on Julia and she needs your support on Election Day."
MORE SUPER PAC SPENDING: The Republican super PAC called the Congressional Leadership Fund has released new TV commercials, in both English and Spanish, attacking Democratic incumbent Lois Capps in the 24th Congressional District. The Spanish-language advertising is significant, because Republican candidate Abel Maldonado is Latino, and Republicans nationwide believe his election could help them begin to make up the significant defict the party has among Latino voters.