August 22, 2018
Rep. Duncan Hunter of California was indicted Tuesday and charged with the illegal use of campaign funds over a seven year period. House Speaker Paul Ryan indicated Hunter would be removed from his committee assignments until the matter is resolved.
Hunter is in his fifth term representing a conservative San Diego-area district that supported Donald Trump by 15% in the 2016 election. Only seven of the state's 53 congressional districts voted for the president over Hillary Clinton that year.
Hunter was renominated in California's top-two primary in June. Even if he were to decide not to run, there is no good mechanism to remove his name from the November ballot. Additionally, California does not allow for write-in candidates.
The indictment has opened up yet another opportunity for a Democratic flip as the party attempts to gain control of the House in November. As of Wednesday morning, both Sabato's Crystal Ball and The Cook Political Report have moved this race from safe Republican to leans Republican. Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections has not yet made a change, although he seems to have his priorities in order:
He's likely to cross the threshold when this week's remaining delegates are awarded. However, if he comes up short, he'll almost certainly lock it up when Georgia polls close next Tuesday.
Nine-term term incumbent becomes 2nd member to lose primary in 2020
On one of the busier days of the reshuffled calendar, Joe Biden has a chance to clinch the nomination. However, a late change in Pennsylvania may delay that opportunity.
An increasingly blue state overall, the Cascade mountain range marks both a physical and political separation between largely liberal and conservative populations.
At the presidential level, the Magnolia State has voted for only one Democratic nominee since 1960. The population demographics drive remarkably consistent results every four years.