Three Republican Candidates face Democrat incumbent Ami Bera in the race for the CA-7 congressional seat: Doug Ose, Igor Birman, and Elizabeth Emken.

The Cook PVI ranks this district as EVEN, or perfectly divided between Republicans and Democrats, and Election Projection says the district has a weak Democrat hold.

According to the DCCC’s internal poll, Bera is the current frontrunner as the June 3rd California primaries approach, polling at 47%. Ose and Birman follow with 22% and 17% respectively, and Emken trails at 7%. The remaining 7% are undecided.

Due to the nature of California’s primaries, only the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, will move on to the November elections. With Bera’s huge lead in the polls, this leaves one spot open for the three Republican candidates to fight over, and so the party infighting is currently heated.

Despite trailing both Emken and Ose in funding (until recently), Birman has managed to hold a strong second place in in the Republican primary polls. And now, he’s bringing the fight to Ose, accusing him (rightfully, I’d say) of being too liberal:

Birman, who as a child emigrated to the US from the Soviet Union, is a staunch conservative: he has been endorsed by both Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Tom McClintock, and his campaign website states:

My first and only allegiance will be to the Constitution that every Member of Congress swears an oath to preserve and protect. Congress has ignored too many Constitutional principles. Having risked so much for a chance to live in freedom as an American, I will never forget them.

The primary race boils down to this: Will voters go for a moderate on the assumption that will make a victory more likely? Hasn’t that been tried before?

If Ose wins in the primaries, he has a good chance of swinging those 7% undecided and winning the district with a few speeches, TV ads, and handshakes. This is because, aside from his opposition to Obamacare, he and Bera are virtually the same candidate.

They both toe that moderate line where red and blue just become a big mess of purple.

——————

Nathaniel Hunter is a student at Cornell University, studying Linguistics and English, and writes for The Cornell Review, the conservative student newspaper on campus.