Both are doctors who weren’t in Congress in 2010 to vote for the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans are gleefully pinning the law’s flawed rollout on them almost daily. Both beat longtime GOP incumbents last year by narrow margins in districts evenly divided in party registration. Neither will benefit from presidential coattails next year.
Those watching the races, however, say health care won’t be the only factor. Public attention has shifted very quickly this year from one issue to another: from gun control to domestic spying to military intervention in Syria to the government shutdown to the health care debacle.
California is poised to have more competitive congressional races next year than any other state, and with both parties planning to contest several districts, the state could play a key role in determining which party controls the House of Representatives.
Though Republicans remain favored at this point to retain their majority in the chamber, redrawn district boundaries and longer-term demographic shifts in California have put more of its House races in play.
According to the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, at least half a dozen of California’s 53 House races could be competitive next year. The field of challengers is far from settled, and factors such as retirements could put even more districts on the list.
“Prior to this round of redistricting, we were almost always watching one to three races,” said Nathan Gonzales, deputy editor of the report.
A Field Poll released Friday shows that Californians are quite unhappy with the performance of Congress. A near-record low of 11 percent of the state’s voters approve of the job lawmakers are doing, while 84 percent disapprove. Even longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who is not up for re-election for another five years, registered her lowest-ever approval number in the poll.
The survey shows a majority of Californians disapprove of the way both parties are doing their jobs in Congress, but voters like the GOP even less.
“People are very frustrated with ...