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California 20th District - Vidak vs. Costa


Jim Costa

Jim Costa (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Andy Vidak

Andy Vidak (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

California Snapshot

RCP Ranking:
2010 State Races:
Governor | Senate | CA-3 | CA-11 | CA-18 | CA-45 | CA-47

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

President | CA-4
2006: Governor | CA-4 | CA-11
2004: President | Senate

Polling Data

PollDateSampleCosta (D)Vidak (R)Spread
Final Results----51.748.3Costa +3.4
SurveyUSA10/21 - 10/24601 LV4252Vidak +10
SurveyUSA9/10 - 9/12561 LV4846Costa +2

Previous Election Results

  2008: Costa (D) 74%, Lopez (R) 26%   2008: Obama (D) 60%, McCain 39%
  2006: Costa (D) Unopposed
  2004: Kerry (D) 51%, Bush (R) 48%
  2004: Costa (D) 53%, Ashburn (R) 47%   2000: Gore (D) 53%, Bush (R) 42%

Race Analysis

10/24/10 -- The latest poll from SurveyUSA shows Costa down ten points.  That's really bad news for an incumbent one week out from Election Day.

----------Race Preview---------

California’s 20th District is one of five districts that encompass the state’s Central Valley south of Sacramento. It begins in southern Fresno and then winds its way down into the streets of Bakersfield. Its lines are carefully drawn to take in the most heavily Hispanic areas of the valley; the district is two-thirds Hispanic. George W. Bush came close to carrying the district, but President Obama won it handily in 2008, 60-39.

The district has been represented by Jim Costa since 2004, when New Democrat Cal Dooley retired. Costa faced an unexpectedly tough race in 2004 from state Senator Roy Ashburn but has won comfortably since then. Although he has supported most of the president’s agenda, including the health care bill, he did oppose the cap-and-trade legislation.

Costa will face off against Republican Andy Vidak this November. Vidak had raised just over $230,000 by the end of the second quarter, which is enough to put him on the radar screen in this district. In a normal year, Costa would probably breeze to re-election, but there is certainly a credible scenario where Costa loses if the environment gets bad enough for the Democrats this time around.