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WDYT: 44th CD Planning Thread

Our series on winning OC’s Congressional Districts continues today as we head down south (or is that east?) to the 44th District. Of all the OC districts, none shocked the pundits or challenged “conventional wisdom” more than this one. And if we Democrats are as smart as we say we are, we should be able to win here in 2010.

So how can I be so confident in saying this? Simple, just look at the numbers!. Barack Obama pulled off an upset win in the district by a 50-49 margin, and Democratic challenger Bill Hedrick came surprisingly close to defeating 8-term Republican incumbent Ken Calvert, as Calvert barely squeaked out a 51-49 win.

So what can we do to finish the job in 2010? Bill Hedrick’s 2008 campaign was run on a shoestring budget, so will a better funded Bill Hedrick 2010 campaign result in victory? And is Bill Hedrick still the best Democrat suited to win in the district?

The demographics of the 44th are rapidly changing, especially in the Riverside County part of the district. Still, the South County part of the district seemed to hold Hedrick back last year. So what can Democrats do to solidify our hold on Riverside while also making enough inroads in OC areas like Ladera Ranch and San Clemente to win?

Let’s talk about winning the 44th District. Got ideas? Let’s discuss them and see if they make a formula for success.

Oh yes, and please stay tuned as the series continues! Our next visit will be to West OC’s 46th District, and we’ll conclude with the 47th & 48th Districts. And in the coming months, stay here at as Campaign 2010 heats up.


  1. Dave L. Dave L. January 13, 2009

    Great post. We’re inching ever so closely to victory in OC in many areas. While it may be easy to say that with a South OC person running, we may have a chance in the OC portion, we cant forget that the Riverside Co portion is what propelled Bill to a close upset. Bill has his base in RC, so let’s keep that going, and focus more energy on picking off some votes in OC. We have the national dems interest now, so let’s keep it moving. Look what happened in North Carolina’s 8th congressional district. Larry Kissell came close in 06, then the national dems poured money into 08, and he won!

  2. Andrew Davey Andrew Davey Post author | January 13, 2009


    Good points. I can see a Hedrick win in 2010 with some additional help from the DCCC & the CDP. Hedrick carried Riverside County, but lost overall because he was killed in the OC part of the district. With enough improvement in areas like San Juan & San Clemente, we can narrow the gap in OC enough to allow Riverside to give Hedrick the margin of victory in 2010.

    Hopefully, the state & national orgs will come into the district now & invest in a winning campaign. And by winning campaign, I mean building a good enough precinct operation to swamp the GOP.

  3. Northcountystorm Northcountystorm January 13, 2009

    Hedrick was a good candidate who spent a great deal of time actually meeting voters. But he also benefited from a great year for Democrats generally. its not clear that 2010 will be as good or better than 2008. In fact, Democratic turnout in an off-presidential year is generally lower and the party in power often loses ground after winning a presidential election and a number of competitive seats. look at 1994. And whether its Dirty Gary or if he’s pushed aside for one of the Riverside Sups, the GOP won’t be caught flat footed again.

    That’s not to say its doom and gloom……the Republican Party is spending a good deal of time on the shrinks couch, trying to figure out where they go from the old fashioned whipping they have received in the past two elections. And as of now, I don’t think the putative gubernatorial nominee Steve Poizner will bring those independents and moderate-conservative Democrats back a la Reagan. But it does mean a lot MORE work at the people to people level, more fundraising in a tough economy, and some prayer.

  4. Northcountystorm Northcountystorm January 13, 2009

    Got my inland empire Reps confused. Not Dirty Gary but Naughty Kenny.

  5. Jennifer Jennifer January 13, 2009

    are you talking about representatives or porn stars northcountystorm?

  6. Julie Camden Julie Camden January 15, 2009

    I was/am a Hedrick supporter. I can tell you that no one can do a better job in the 44th than Bill. I think it is ludicrous to even suggest that someone else would be able to take his momentum and do something with it – especially considering Bill is actively running for the office right now. Bill mentioned at our last club meeting that he is going to DC this coming week and is meeting with the national party people. I think the best thing we can do is support the guy who got 49% and will most likely have the national party’s support.

    I think you (Andrew) should ask Bill directly what we can do to help. If he got 49% with no money and no party support, his people obviously did something right and we should find out how we can support that effort in the 44th and duplicate it elsewhere. That would be a more valuable use of our time than speculating on a race that almost everyone blew off as unwinnable and, therefore, knows nothing about. Let’s get the formula that worked for him and see if we can make it work elsewhere.

  7. Northcountystorm Northcountystorm January 17, 2009

    Jennifer–In Calverts case, word has it that he was no star.

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