There are several ways to look at the result in CA-36.
First of all there is the station wagon full of nuns theory. The sudden death of Hahn’s mother drawing positive attention to people who had not paid attention to the race. There is just no way you can poll or do anything about that.
Second of all there is Stacy’s take:
Look, if Hahn wins by less than 10 points, that’s a huge GOP victory in this heavily Democrat-leaning district. If the margin is less than 5 points . . . Well, that’s hard to imagine. If Huey should somehow win, it will be nothing short of a miracle.
There is something to that, but like the 1984 election when a Democratic pundit said: “You spot me 50 electoral votes and I can win this thing” you don’t get congressional seats on moral victories.
However I think the best way to look at it is Massachusetts 2010.
Any student of military history knows that to win a war, you want to tie down your foes with a demonstration to keep them from reinforcing the primary theater of battle. For the investment of an Ad by Turn Right USA the democrats in the district were sent into a panic. They spent a fortune on a seat in a blue state and a district where the president won by 30 points. As long as Democrats are playing defense on their own turf,they can’t make inroads in states where the GOP ran wild in 2010 to re-take the house.
One final thought: Democrats not only spent a fortune but they used panic tactics, and unlike in Massachusetts, you had allies crossing lines, from hacking to death threats to compromising an actual American Hero. These were lines that were not crossed in the Bay state. Hahn and her allies were unmasked and yet the district voted for her anyway. Like Hal Chase at his trial by the National league it call came out, and he still won. Quote Bill James:
He was free, then. It had all been brought out into the open , and he had gotten by with it. This seems to have had a liberating effect of Chase’s activities…
Chase went on to help throw the world series in 1919. Why would we expect Hahn or any of her cronies to show any more restraint in their governance or in their tactics after they got away with it during a national election?
In a republic you get the government you deserve. The people of California in general and CA-36 in particular have made their choices and they deserve all they will get from them.
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