After a several close races, California's 7th Congressional District not currently considered competitive in 2020

After several close and expensive campaign's in California's 7th Congressional District, one well-regarded classifies the race as a Solid Democratic Seat. 

According to the analysis of all 435 Congressional districts by the Cook Political Report, the 7th District is now classified as one of 183 seats firmly in control by the Democratic Party. The district is currently represented by Dr. Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove), who is in his fourth term.

In a January 24, 2020 analysis, Cook's rated the district as likely Democratic. The move to solid, which came in Cook's April 24 report, is an upgrade for Bera's reelection prospects.  

Dating to 2012, when the current district boundaries of the 8th District first appeared to voters, which includes all of Elk Grove and entirely within Sacramento County, the seat has been held by Bera. That same year Bera narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Dan Lungren in what was a less rural and more suburban district. 

In 2014, in what was one of the most expensive Congressional campaigns' in that cycle, Bera beat former Congressman Doug Ose, and in 2016 Sacramento Couty Sheriff Scott Jones lost his bid to regain the seat for Republicans. For the 2018 race, with Republicans not pouring money into the district as they did for Lungren, Ose, and Jones, Bera had a relatively easier race against Andrew Grant. 

This year Bera faces Republic Buzz Patterson, a retired U.S. Air Force officer. In what could be considered a preview for the November elections, Republican candidates, including Patterson, drew 45.9-percent while Democratic candidates, including Bera, attracted 52.1 percent of voters during the March primary. 

The more liberal Green Party candidates earned 2.4-percent of voters. In California's top two finishers races, should Green Party voters participate in the November congressional election vote, they are more likely to support Bera.

Progressing into the general election, Patterson is facing the challenge of not only raising money against an incumbent, as he noted on his campaign Facebook page. Patterson said that he was short of by $12,000 of goals that would keep his campaign "on the radar for the White House and key endorsements."

Although Bera should have a relatively easier path to reelection, especially after narrowly defeating  Lungren, Ose, and Jones, there will be new districts drawn for the 2022 elections. Just as it did 10 years ago to Lungren when the district became more suburban, Bera could face similar challenges should he win this year and seek reelection in the new drastically redrawn district. 

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2020. All right reserved.


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