Voters in California's 36th Congressional District are going to the polls today to elect a replacement for former Rep. Jane Harman (D), who retired earlier this year. As we've discussed, the two candidates vying for the seat are Democrat Janice Hahn -- whose questionable policies on gang violence have spawned both legitimate scrutiny and hideous smears -- and Tea Party-aligned Republican Craig Huey. President Obama won this district by thirty points in 2008, and Harman sailed to a comfortable win in 2010. This should be a slam dunk, blow-out hold for Democrats -- and yet, they're reportedly worried. Turnout will be quite low for a mid-July special election, so if Huey manages to turn out his base, the results may be tighter than the DCCC would care to admit. Just how nervous are Democrats? They're calling in some pretty big guns:
Democrat Janice Hahn enjoys all the inherent advantages of a front-runner heading into the low turnout midsummer affair to replace former Rep. Jane Harman, including a double-digit party registration advantage. But if her campaign is confident in a decisive victory in the traditionally blue coastal 36th Congressional District, it hasn’t shown its cards. The Los Angeles city councilwoman has campaigned like she’s treading water, slinging attacks at Republican tea partier Craig Huey and even bringing in President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton to record robocalls in the campaign’s final days.
Will this message fly with voters in the deep-blue precincts of southern California? We'll find out soon enough. Polls close at 11pm ET. Stay tuned.
UPDATE - I understand Janice Hahn's mother passed away yesterday. Politics aside, we wish her family peace and closure as they grieve. RIP.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography