Republicans Keep California Seats
With nearly all precincts reporting in several California House districts that were either competitive this cycle or rumored to be primed for Democratic upsets, Republicans appear to have escaped unscathed, according to ballot returns posted on the California Secretary of States Web site early Wednesday morning.
In the Republican-leaning 4th district, state Sen. Tom McClintock (R) was holding a narrow 451-vote lead over retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charlie Brown (D) with all precincts reporting. By percentage, McClintocks lead over Brown was 50.07 to 49.93.
The majority GOP 11th district presented the one Golden State seat where Democrats were on defense. But they held, with freshman Rep. Jerry McNerney (D), who toppled then-House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R) in 2006, holding off former state Assemblyman Dean Andal (R) 55.2 percent to 44.8 percent, with 97 percent of precincts reporting.
Andal proved to be a major disappointment for the National Republican Congressional Committee this cycle, having never gained any traction with voters in his race against McNerney.
In the 3rd district, Rep. Dan Lungren (R) appears to have survived a scare from physician Bill Durston (D). Lungren held a lead of 49.4 percent to 44.2 percent with all precincts reporting.
In the 26th district, where some thought a strong tide for President-elect Obama in Los Angeles County could cause Rep. David Dreier some problems, the veteran Republican appears to have cruised to victory. With 62.4 percent of precincts reporting, Dreier was leading businessman Russ Warner (D) 53.9 percent to 39.8 percent.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R)in the 46th district also survived with relative ease given the fact that many California Republicans worried he might fall victim to a below-the-radar upset. With 91.2 percent of precincts reporting, Rohrabacher was leading Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook (D) 52.5 percent to 43.3 percent.
In the 50th district, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) was positioned to hold off attorney Nick Leibham (D). With 58.8 percent of precincts reporting, Bilbray led Leibham 50.3 percent to 45.5 percent.