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January 15, 2009

Obama Republicans

Deep in Josh Kurtz’s Roll Call story about the Democrats’ opportunities in the Golden State was this nugget that caught my eye: Barack Obama carried nearly half of the 19 Republican-held House seats in California.

This includes districts that have been considered reliable Republican strongholds, including seats held by Reps. John Campbell, Buck McKeon and Dan Lungren, where President Bush took over 58 percent of the vote in 2004.

This is especially impressive in a state like California, whose Congressional district lines are deliberately gerrymandered (by Democrats) to maximize the Republican performance in a smaller number of districts.

For some perspective, there are more House Republicans in California alone who represent districts that Obama won (nine) than the entire number of House Republicans left representing districts carried by John Kerry in 2004 (five).

Will the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in turn, continue to expand their number of targets, or will 2008 be seen as the high water mark for House Democrats with the huge Democratic turnout last year from Obama’s candidacy?