June 4, 2014 (San Diego) While Congressman Scott Peters (D-I) was pleasantly surprised not to be number two in the Primary election, he did not edge Carl DeMaio (R) over the 50% that analysts might believe necessary for him to do well in November. Yet, Peters kept his powder dry while DeMaio faced Republican opponents from his right flank. Peters, in statements to the media, said that he was pleasantly surprised to be ahead.
The results, as of this morning, with 100% of the vote counted are Peters 42% with DeMiao at 36%. What is amazing is that if no other Republican had run to the right of DeMaio, the former City Councilman would have taken the lead in last night election. In fact, he would have been just over the 50% mark.
With the June Primary voter that is not that surprising. Primary voters tend to be older, and whiter and more conservative. DeMaio is part of a new breed of Republican who are very conservative in their economics, even tea party like, but very socially liberal. DeMaio makes no bones about it, and yesterday called for his party to be more open to minorities with his partner by his side.
This is one of the reasons Conservative Republicans in San Diego supported Kirk Jorgensen. Like DeMaio he is a conservative republican in Economics, but he is also socially conservative and all for traditional Republican Family Values and pro-life. The fear is that the DeMaio brand of Republican will take over the party and change the party to something far less radical in social matters. This is also why this is a race to watch and why it is a national race.
There are other functional reasons. The 52nd District is a swing district. Democrats edge Republicans in registrations, but just barely. with Refuse to State Party making a large proportion of the district. This is why Peters decided to hold his powder dry for the November Election. The November electorate will be very different than the June electorate. It will be younger and more diverse.
Yesterday we saw the barebones of what the race will look like going into the November election. DeMaio is already painting himself as the reform minded, outsider who fixes things. Like Brian Bilbray (R) two years ago, he is already accusing Peters of being untrustworthy and leaving a mess behind him at San Diego City Hall that he had to clean up. Unlike Bilbray he has a case to make, since he did indeed succeed Peters in San Diego City Council, and Peters was there during the whole mess in 2002.
Voters usually do not have that long of a memory, so we will see if DeMaio has more success with this attack. Suffice it to say, fourteen years is an eternity in politics.
DeMaio also painted himself as a very moderate Republican in social matters. He is a member of the LGBT community and makes no bones about it. He has been reaching out to minorities, which is a rarity in the modern-day Republican party, why this is a race with national implications. It is not just the seat in Congress. He is a new breed of Republican that might help change the direction of the GOP.
Peters started his setting of the table by reminding voters that during the Bob Filner Scandal and subsequent resignation, the San Diego Republican Party decided to endorse Mayor Kevin Fualconer, instead of DeMaio. The reason: DeMaio’s brand of politics are very divisive. That is the brand of politics, the “tea Party Politics,” that are not needed in DC.
Peters also was very clear: He has crossed the aisle more than once, and in fact, when you look at his voting record, he is a Conservadem, blue dog Democrat. He is also part of the No Labels group.