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Inland Empire Political News.001
Inland Empire Political News.001

31st Congressional Race Down to the Wire

Question: What do low voter turnout, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Bill Clinton all have in common?

Answer: Pete Aguilar stumbling to a possible defeat in the 31st Congressional race.

A race that three months ago was Aguilar’s to lose is looking like he just might. With only a few days left until election day, Democratic voter turnout is running one percentage point ahead of Republican turnout with nearly 20 percent of independent voters left to decide the contest between Pete Aguilar and Paul Chabot.

In National polling, independent voters are trending heavily towards Republicans.

This explains why the Democratic Party is sending Bill Clinton and Joe Biden to blue-state California in a last ditch effort to turn out Democrat voters to the polls on Tuesday. The irony of Bill Clinton and Joe Biden coming to California in an effort to save seats that were long expected to be easily defended or attained is not being lost on an attentive but small group of likely voters. There is obvious desperation in the air.

Polling data from across the country has Republican candidates closing on Democrats in the New England states and North Carolina, and Republicans opening wide advantages in other states. There is a very real possibility that Democrats could lose as many as ten United States Senate seats and with it control of that body. Now, once safe Democratic House seats are in play including at least four in California.

The 2014 General Election is beginning to look more like 1994 than 2010, when Republicans swept to power in both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. The 5-6 seat pickup Republicans had been expecting in the House of Representatives is looking to be more like 10 or more.

This brings us back to the 31st Congressional race between Aguilar and Chabot. Aguilar came into the general election with a 10-1 financial advantage. The Democratic National Congressional Committee (DNCC) has been “all in” with him from the beginning. Chabot has struggled to raise funds, but has put together a tough grassroots campaign with the help of volunteers and conservative leaning groups. The National and State Republican Party organizations wrote the 31st off after the primary.

Now, even with the financial disadvantage for Chabot, the national depression of Democratic voters is making races competitive where they shouldn’t be. Republican voters on the other hand are becoming increasingly emboldened by the national trends and anger at the Obama Administration.

If the current vote-by-mail turnout numbers continue into election day, or worsen for Democrats, Pete Aguilar is in real jeopardy of a second embarrassing defeat in the 31st Congressional race in the last two years. Time for that “Hail Mary” pass!

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