Morning Digest: Darrell Issa, progressive enemy no. 1, is looking very vulnerable


Leading Off:

CA-49: Six months ago, retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate was just a Some Dude challenging Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, the wealthiest member of Congress. But national Democrats took notice when Applegate held Issa to just a 51-45 win in California's June top-two primary. Both Applegate and the DCCC proceeded to release polls showing the Democrat narrowly trailing Issa and on Thursday, the D-Trip dropped a survey showing Applegate ahead 46-42. Issa released his own poll in early September showing himself leading 52-38, but Issa isn't acting like an incumbent with nothing to worry about. The congressman has started running attack ads, and he loudly whined about an Applegate commercial against him, even threatening to sue his opponent.

Until recently, we were still skeptical about Applegate's chances. For all their talk about beating Issa, the DCCC wasn't spending much money to help their candidate. But the committee has now begun helping Applegate air ads, and over the last week, they reserved an additional $364,000, taking their total investment to $517,000. Politico also says that the D-Trip is planning to spend "millions" more, though most of the details are behind a paywall.

With his unlimited resources, Issa won't be easy to beat in this suburban San Diego seat. But while Romney carried this district 52-46, this is yet another affluent area where Donald Trump is unlikely to play well, and those same Democratic polls have shown Hillary Clinton winning here. With Team Blue now preparing to devoted real resources to this race, Daily Kos Elections is changing our rating from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.

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