Political analysts Bob Novak and Tim Carney of the Evans-Novak Political Report gave the edge to Rep. Jerry McNerney in the freshman’s re-election campaign over Republican Dean Andal, largely due to the Democrat’s substantial fund-raising lead.
Here’s what Novak/Carney wrote in their report published on the conservative web site called www.HumanEvents.com:
California-11: One of the biggest Democratic coups of 2006 was unseating conservative property-rights champion Rep. Richard PomboJack Abramoff corruption scandals. The scourge of liberal, pro-government environmentalists, Pombo fell under the weight of massive independent expenditures. This makes Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) a top target for the GOP this year. (R) by tying him to the
This valley district east of the Bay tilts Republican, but not overwhelmingly—Bush garnered 53% and 54% in 2000 and 2004. To compensate for the tilt of his district, McNerney has roped some local GOP politicians into his campaign. He also has a heavy fundraising advantage, thanks to his being one of very few vulnerable Democratic incumbents this year. McNerney now sits on a two-to-one cash-on-hand edge over former state bureaucrat and former state Assemblyman Dean Andal (R).
McNerney realizes he needs to work hard to win this seat, but he has the edge early on. Leaning Democratic Retention.
Stu Rothenberg, author of the Rothenberg Political Report, slightly shifted his prediction of the outcome of the McNerney race from Pure Toss-Up to Toss-Up/Tilt Democratic, a slight move in the Democrat’s direction. Rothenberg cites Andal’s lackluster fundraising thus far and says “McNerney is starting to look like a survivor this time.”
As of June 30, McNerney had more than twice as much cash in the bank as Andal.
The Cook Political Report, meanwhile, is sticking with a rating of Democratic toss-up, but it doesn’t have a pure toss-up category.
What does all this mean? This far out from the election, I’m not putting down any bets based on these reports.
Democrats, predicatably, are calling this bad, bad news for Andal and projecting his slow fade from the viability picture. They could be right.
But as I recall, and someone will correct me if I’m wrong, none of the national political analysts correctly predicted that McNerney would beat then-incumbent Republican Rep. Richard Pombo in 2006.
Until a week or so before the 2006 election, I didn’t think it would happen, either, despite the fact that pro-McNerney factions had polls showing the Democrat was ahead.
November is three months away, a lifetime in politics.