Even before Rep. Darrell Issa announced his retirement, California’s 49th Congressional District was in danger of slipping away from the Republicans.
The district, comprising parts of San Diego and Orange counties, favored Democrat Hillary Clinton by seven percentage points in the 2016 presidential election. Democrat Mike Levin, an environmental attorney, holds a 14-point advantage over Republican opponent Diane Harkey, chairwoman of the state Board of Equalization, according to September polling from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. Levin’s is the largest lead for a Democrat in the seven GOP-held California districts that that went for Clinton.
The district’s voters are most concerned with healthcare, immigration, the economy and gun laws, according to the IGS poll. Here is a comparison of how the candidates stand on those issues and others. Except where noted, their quoted remarks are from audio recordings of interviews with the San Diego Union-Tribune.