Democrat Seeks Upset in Calif. 50th Vote

Conservative former Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian (R) has fallen off the map in today’s special election in California’s 50th U.S. House District.. Whether it has been his recent gaffes, or loss of support to State Sen. Bill Morrow (R) or frontrunner Eric Roach (R), Kaloogian has tailed off significantly since the last poll showed him in the midst of a very tight three-way race for the nomination.

What was a three-way race now looks like a two-way race between Roach and former Rep. Brian Bilbray (R), a moderate. Both have surged in recent polls — Roach with a huge infusion of cash into his campaign and ads featuring President Ronald Reagan. Bilbray clearly understands that Roach is the man to beat, and his new negative mailers are aimed at the frontrunner. Leaning Roach.

There is an off chance that Francine Busby (D), the only serious Democratic candidate in the race, will run away with a majority and win without a June 6 runoff. We expect, however, that she will finish first, but below 45%. Her future is much less certain in a runoff, which would have higher turnout, falling as it does on the date of the statewide primary election. The district is two-to-one Republican in registration. A Busby win would be a huge Democratic victory, and a wakeup call for Republicans that could foretell disaster in November.