Primary Results Offer Encouraging Indicators for Ami Bera's Reelection Bid

June 8, 2016 | After almost six months of troubles, Congressman Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove) finally saw a glimmer of hope in his reelect...


June 8, 2016 |

After almost six months of troubles, Congressman Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove) finally saw a glimmer of hope in his reelection bid with yesterday's primary results.

With all precincts in the Seventh California Congressional District reporting, but not yet official, Bera won 53.25-percent, or 55,922 votes over his Republican challenger, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who garnered 46.58-percent, or 48,921 of the votes.

To casual observers, this might seem like a narrow primary victory by Bera given his incumbent status. However, the history of this district since 2010, and more significantly in 2012 when lines were redrawn, indicates this is a large margin of victory.

In the 2010 losing general election challenge of Republican Dan Lungren, Bera lost in the primary by a 58 to 40-percent margin in a field of five candidates. In the 2012 primary, the gap narrowed in Lungren's favor to 53 to 41-percent in a four-candidate field.

The 2014 primary saw Bera earn 47-percent of the vote against three Republican primary challengers - Igor Birman, Elizabeth Emken, and Doug Ose - who collectively captured 51-percent of the vote.

With the exception of his 2010 general election loss, Bera went on to win in 2014 and 2016 general elections by the narrowest of margin despite having never captured more votes than his Republican challenger[s] during the primary. 

Having suffered numerous endorsement problems from within local Democratic organizations and the indictment and guilty plea of his father for election fraud, Bera, and his campaign staff are undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief today.

On the other side, the Jones campaign must be concerned that they lost in the primary election which usually draws more conservative, older voters to the poll. Given the candidates who will be on the top of the ballot in what is considered one of the most competitive Congressional districts in the country, Jones will have his work cut out for himself when younger and more liberal voters turn for the Presidential election.

The one thing missing from this primary election on both sides was a massive advertising, and a large-scale get-out-the-vote operations will be launched. Given the vast amount of money poured into the district in 2014, we can expect lots of independent expenditures committee ads bombarding us on the radio, TV, and our mobile devices and that could affect the outcome.
      
The above photo was from Bera's 2014 primary night election rally in Elk Grove. 







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