Last week, Doug Ose (R) won the second spot in the blanket primary for California’s 7th Congressional District. Incumbent Ami Bera (D) took the first spot, winning 47% of the votes.

Of course, Igor Birman (or Elizabeth Emken) would have made a better candidate, at least in the sense that each is a stronger, more reliable conservative — a case I made in an earlier article. Ose does make a good candidate, but in the sense that it’ll be fairly easy to get him elected.

This is the point in the election where one has to begin to make sacrifices: a candidate true to our ideology is no longer a possibility, so we must settle. It is now time to rein our beliefs back a notch, and play the game of politics.

Maybe a strong conservative was just too much to ask for in California. A moderate Republican candidate may not be.

In all cases but Ose’s, the polls preceding the primaries were dead on in predicting results. Ami Bera polled at 47% and took 47% of the vote, Birman at 17% and took 16.9% of the vote, and Emken maintained her 7%. However, Ose saw a marked jump from a predicted 22% to 26.8% of the popular vote.

If we can project anything from these results, it’s this: Doug Ose will very likely steal the swing votes from Bera. In fact, it seems he already has.

However, this seat cannot be counted as a Republican win yet: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the House Majority PAC have reportedly already bought nearly $2 million worth of fall airtime in the district. Bera is in a vulnerable position — he’s a freshman congressman in a heavily divided district — and so the DCCC is going to do everything they can to beef him up.

Ose does have one advantage that most challengers usually don’t: he’s been Congressman of most of this district before. From 1999-2005, Doug Ose was Congressman of California’s 3rd District, which at the time contained most of what is now the 7th District.

With the reputation and name recognition this may afford him, Ose has a very good chance of overtaking Bera, who was first elected just last cycle, in 2012, with the benefit of Obama at the top of the ticket.


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