Rep. Devin Nunes has never had to worry about survival in California’s 22nd Congressional District. First elected in 2002, Nunes has won every general election since then by over 61 points. California may have become a hostile place for Republicans, but the voters in his Fresno-area district have never turned their back on him. In his most recent election, Nunes defeated Democratic challenger Louie Campos with a 35-point spread.
Statistically speaking, there is no trend giving the California Republican reason for concern. In D.C., however, he has placed himself into some embarrassing headlines.
As Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes was tasked with leading the House investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. After intense scrutiny that he may have mishandled classified information in an effort to shield President Trump, he has stepped down from the investigation. The House Ethics Committee is currently investigating the matter.
In comes Andrew Janz, Fresno County Deputy District Attorney.
Janz has never held elected office before, but believes he has a chance at capturing California’s 22nd District. The 33-year-old novice Democrat claims voters are “fed up” with Nunes and says the idea that he is unbeatable is a myth. Janz announced in late April that he will challenge Nunes for his seat.
There are no such things as absolutes in politics, but Nunes owning the 22nd District may just make him as close to “unbeatable” as it gets. Currently, the district boasts a 10-point Republican voter registration advantage. The Republican congressman also has deep, deep ties to the district – he hails from a three generation dairy farming family and has represented the area for almost 15 years.
In the age of Trump, however, nothing can be for certain. Nunes’ California colleague, Rep. Darrell Issa, enjoyed continuous election victories over the years by double digit margins. To the surprise of many, Issa had the fight of the political life amid the 2016 election – only beating his Democrat challenger by less than one percentage point. We see the same thing going on right now in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election.
Janz is a long shot at unseating Nunes, but nothing is a ever a done deal.
Campaign Daily Rating: Safe Republican