----------PAST KEY RACES----------
The 26th District, based in Ventura County, has been historically Republican. But as is the case with many California seats, a combination of redistricting and demographics have eroded that Republican base. The post-2010 redistricting created a seat that gave Barack Obama 56 percent of the vote in 2008 and was 40 percent Hispanic; that was enough to convince longtime Rep. Elton Gallegly to call it a career.
Democrats nominated Assemblywoman Julia Brownley to replace Gallegly in 2012, while Republicans opted for Tony Strickland, a solidly conservative state senator. Despite having the national winds at her back, Brownley won by a fairly narrow six-point margin.
This time, Republicans have gone with Assemblyman Jeff Gorell as their nominee. We haven’t had major polling out of the district, but Brownley’s 45.5 percent showing in the primary was uninspiring. The national campaigns are invested here, further suggesting things are competitive. The potential drop-off in the Hispanic vote is of particular concern for Brownley.