Essential Politics October archive

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Rep. Darrell Issa re-election bid moved to a 'toss-up'

The non-partisan analysts at the Cook Political Report have moved the 49th Congressional District to a "toss-up," a striking move in what has become a surprisingly competitive race between eight-term Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and political newcomer Doug Applegate.

The district had previously been considered "leans Republican," which meant the analysts thought it was still more likely Issa would win.

"As it turns out, it's possible to be the wealthiest member of Congress and still run a very poor campaign. Issa, the former House Oversight chair, has cruised to reelection over a decade, but recently he's been high-profile Trump booster in a rapidly changing, well-educated district where Trump is toxic," the analysts wrote in their ratings change explanation. "Issa could have spent millions over the summer to boost his own image and put Democrat Doug Applegate, a retired Marine colonel, away."

Earlier this week, the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report also shifted its rating of the race into more competitive territory.

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