|Poll||Date||Sample||Bera (D)||Lungren (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||43.2||50.1||Lungren +6.9|
|2008: Lungren (R) 50%, Durston (D) 44%||2008: Obama (D) 49.3%, McCain (R) 48.8%
|2006: Lungren (R) 60%, Durston (D) 38%||2004: Bush (R) 58%, Kerry (D) 41%|
|2004: Lungren (R) 62%, Castillo (D) 35%||2000: Bush (R) 54%, Gore (D) 40%|
10/24/10 --The polling suggests that this race could be tighter than expected. Lungren is still the favorite, but if the polls are right, he could be caught sleeping here.
Like most California districts, the 3rd is a labyrinthine amalgam of precincts. In this instance, Republican precincts are plucked out, ranging from the Nevada border, across suburban Sacramento, to the San Francisco exurbs. Most of the district’s residents are in suburban Sacramento, the area of the country hardest hit by the housing boom. George W. Bush carried the district handily in 2004, but Barack Obama managed a half-point win in 2008.
The congressman from the 3rd is Dan Lungren, who represented an area of Southern Los Angeles now split between Dana Rohrabacher and Linda Sanchez. He was elected attorney general in 1990, and lost a bruising battle for governor to Gray Davis in 1998. In 2004, he was handily elected to replace Congressman Doug Ose in this northern California district.
Lungren suffered a close call in 2008, winning by five points against physician Bill Durston. Democrats were initially optimistic about their chances for sinking Lungren in 2010. But the dynamics of 2010 appear to be considerably different from 2006 and 2008. Ami Bera has raised a considerable amount of money, though, and will be able to spend freely to try to swim against what looks like a national Republican tide.