WDYT: How Can We Win CA-44 in 2010?

Wow. James L at Swing State Project is taking notice. Our own 44th Congressional District shocked not just the OC politicos, but the entire national punditry. Bill Hedrick nearly unseated 16 year entrenched GOP incumbent Ken Calvert.

So what do we do now? We are so tantalizingly close to winning here. What can we do to turn this red seat blue?

Should the national Democrats (like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) get involved in 2010? Should Bill Hedrick agree to a rematch? Should local Democrats do more organizing on the ground to make Calvert sweat for these next two years?

Let’s face it, we missed out this year by keeping this seat off our radar. So what can Democrats do in the next two years to make sure this doesn’t happen again in 2010? Bill Hedrick actually narrowly carried Riverside County while being clobbered in the South OC part of the district. What can we do next time to improve our performance in both parts of the district?

So please, share your ideas on winning the 44th with us. And for the record, our own Gila was right. When the national pundits said Calvert was unbeatable, Gila blew the whistle & told us that this race would be close. I guess one lesson we should never forget is to know that Gila is always right.

  9 comments for “WDYT: How Can We Win CA-44 in 2010?

  1. December 1, 2008 at 11:11 am

    For the record, a lot of people said the CD-44 would be close and no one listened to them, either. Among the early believers were Lindsay Hopkins, Loretta Sanchez, Karen Hinks, Henry Vandermeir, Melahat Rafiei, and Bill Hedrick himself.

    Bill believed the race was winnable not simply because he’s another politician with an engorged ego. He’s anything but that. Rather, he had analyzed the voting and registration patterns in the district and made a logical assessment that made sense to nearly everyone who heard it.

  2. Republican Dementia
    December 1, 2008 at 11:50 am

    The patterns of change are clear, and the Republican ability to dominate in many of the gerrymandered districts is coming to an end.

    In 2010, if the new organizational skills of the Obama campaign are deployed effectively at a Congressional level, Bilbray, Calvert, and Rohrabacher should all be beatable. Organization, money will all be necessary, but there’s no reason why districts in Southern California should remain in the hands of a party that has become representative only of the rube belt.

    The DCCC has already announced that they will only be playing defense as part of their incumbent protection plan, so it’s going to take new resources and new alliances.

  3. Katie
    December 15, 2008 at 12:48 am

    We want to win the 44th in 2010? We need to register voters!

    Riv Co has only 55% of it’s elgible voters registered. If we can register 10,000 new Democrats over 2009 (which isn’t an unrealistic goal – Riverside County registered 70k in 2008), the 44th will be solidly blue.

    Also, do what you can to get Bill introduced to people in OC. Get him in the gate in Coto. Invite him into Ladera. Throw open the doors in Capo and San Clemente. House parties, Kiwanis, Chamber meetings… whatever! God knows Calvert isn’t ever around. No one in the 44th even knows who their Congressman is. If Bill is the guy they meet, then Bill is the guy they’ll vote for.

    And of course, send Bill some money. He’s going to need it. I think Calvert will be on to him this time – no more underground movement.

    Bill lost by 6000 votes. He’s got two years to earn them. This is going to be THE race in 2010, and we should all get in on the ground floor!

    Help Bill! http://www.hedrickforcongress.com

  4. December 15, 2008 at 9:45 am


    All are good suggestions. Hopefully, I’ll have a follow-up diary tomorrow morning that talks more about winning here & in the other OC Congressional Districts. We definitely need to do more brainstorming on winning strategies! 🙂

  5. Terrible
    December 15, 2008 at 9:57 am

    winning here & in the other OC Congressional Districts

    Forget the other OC CD’s until redistricting.

  6. December 15, 2008 at 10:06 am


    Why? Obama most likely carried the 46th & came very close in the 40th, 44th, & 48th. Perhaps not all OC districts are winnable yet, but they’re all moving our way. And yes, I do honestly think we have real chances of winning the 44th & 46th in 2010. Perhaps if Obama has a terrific start to his first term & the statewide candidates (Governor, Lt. Gov., etc.) have strong coattails, we may even take the 48th.

    So why the terrible attitude?

  7. Paul
    December 15, 2008 at 10:31 am

    You can bet I will be out there knocking on doors for Bill hedrick. make sure me and you can block some time to go out together. Youre a fun precinct walking partner.

  8. Katie
    December 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm


    It can be done! It’s not a fact I like to make public, but I think it really demonstrates the opportunity Democrats have in OC – Corrupt, do-nothing Rep. Ken Calvert got 130 more votes in the OC-portion of the 44th CD than John McCain. Yes, McCain carried the OC part of the district, but the fact he didn’t garner more votes than the down-ticket Republican means there are people who are willing to put party aside and vote for the person. A little more time and a little more money and Bill will be that person in OC.

    If we can get Bill on their radar I guarantee he can earn their vote. 40-50% of Bill’s donors and endorsers are Republicans. Bill won precincts in San Clemente and San Juan, and he beat the Democratic registration everywhere. There are several pcts in San Clemente where Bill got over 40%, and that says to me that if we get active and get into those pcts we can win them in two years.

    I’ve crunched the OC numbers and they are hopeful for the 44th.

    Hedrick %
    area Dem Reg Hedrick of Dem Reg.
    44th 120,557 123,319 102.3%
    Orange County 18,090 20,635 114.1%
    Coto de Caza 1,817 2,007 110.5%
    Ladera Ranch 2,840 3,927 138.3%
    San Clemente 9,919 11,685 117.8%
    San Juan Capo 2,647 3,004 113.5%

    I hope there are people out there working the numbers in the other OC CDs. If we all spend a little time analyzing the numbers, we can find out where the Dems are, where the swing Republicans are. Then we can put a strategy to work our butts off in 2009 and 2010 to get those votes.

  9. Katie
    December 15, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    The formatting died above on the numbers. What they actually say (so you can read them):
    In the 44th CD overall, there are 120,557 Dems. Bill got 123,319 votes. So, just comparing raw numbers, even if every Dem in the 44th voted for Bill (which we know wouldn’t happen – not every Dem votes, and a number didn’t bother to do more then vote Obama and turn the ballot in), he exceeded Dem registration in the 44th by 2.3%. That says to me he got a significant number of Reps, 3rd party, and Decline-to-State voters in addition to Dems.
    area dem reg Hedrick H % of Dem Reg
    44th 120,557 123, 319 102.3%

    In the OC portion Bill exceeded Dem reg by 14.1%
    Orange County 18090 20635 114.1%

    In Coto he exceeded Dem reg by 10.5%
    Coto de Caza 1,817 2,007 110.5%

    In Ladera he exceeded Dem reg by 38.3%
    Ladera Ranch 2,840 3927 138.3%

    In San Clementer he exceeded Dem reg by 17.8%
    San Clemente 9,919 11685 117.8%

    In San Juan he exceeded Dem reg by 13.5%
    San Juan Capo 2647 3004 113.5%

    Obama’s number are eve higher, which means an even greater percentage of people willing to split tickets.

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