Chabot Wants 2016 Redux Vs. Aguilar

( February 19) Less than a week after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on February 12 identified local Congressman Pete Aguilar as one of the most vulnerable members of his party in the House of Representatives in the 2016 election, his Republican opponent last November announced he will run against him next year.
According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,  congress members Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona; Ami Bera,  Julia Brownley, Pete Aguilar, Raul Ruiz, and  Scott Peters of California; Gwen Graham and Patrick Murphy of Florida; Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Rick Nolan of Minnesota, Brad Ashford of Nebraska, Annie Kuster of New Hampshire and Sean Patrick Maloney are ripe for a spirited challenge by the GOP and have accordingly been named to the committee’s Frontline Program.
Their Frontline status means the party is ready to give them early and special fundraising and organizational assistance toward their 2016 reelection. While Barack Obama retained the presidency in 2012, the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives. Following the loss of control of the Senate by the Democrats in 2014, the Democrats are in the minority in both Houses of Congress during the last two years of Obama’s lame duck term in office.  The Democrats will need to pick up 30 net seats to win back the majority in the House of Representatives in 2015, after having lost 13 seats in 2014.
In California last year, the Democrats bucked the national trend, having gained one seat that had formerly been held by a Republican, that being the seat Aguilar holds in the 31st Congressional District.
Despite his eventual win, Aguilar’s performance in 2014 was less than stellar. While registration in the 31st District favored Democrats by a full six percentage points, 39.8 percent to 33.8 percent, in the election Aguilar barely outdistanced the Republican in the race, Paul Chabot, 51,622 votes or 51.73 percent to 48,162 votes or 48.72 percent.
As of last weekend, 123,079 or 38.8 percent of the district’s 309,222 voters are Democrats and 104,471or 33.8 percent are Republicans. 66,646 of the district’s voters or, 21.6 percent, have expressed no party preference. American Independent, Green, Peace and Freedom, Libertarian and other party members account for 4.9 percent of the district’s voters.
On February 17 Chabot announced he will run for Congress in the 31st District again.
Republicans tend to turn out to vote in greater numbers generally than other party members.
Aguilar outspent Chabot significantly in 2014, which was a mid-term election. Greater election turnout is anticipated in 2016, which is a presidential election year.
In 2014, Chabot spent a significant amount of his money in securing the top spot in the June primary election, using a strategy in which he made hard and repeated attacks on fellow Republican Leslie Gooch and largely ignoring the one other Republican in the race, Ryan Downing, who had little name recognition. He made little reference to the four Democrats in the primary race, Aguilar, Joe Baca, Eloise Gomez-Reyes and Danny Tillman. Chabot finished first in the primary.
By announcing this early, Chabot is looking to get a jump on fundraising and ward off any other Republicans contemplating a run, thus being able to husband his resources for a bruising battle toe-to-toe with Aguilar in the November 2016 election.

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