Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks (NP) and California State Senator Tony Strickland (R)
There’s a very long way to go between here and there, but as the campaign season gets under way, Supervisor Linda Parks of Thousand Oaks has a very good chance of making history this year as independent running for Congress. Which is another way of saying that she could actually win.
That conclusion is based on a poll conducted by Parks’ campaign team of Gorton Blair Biggs International, headed by former Pete Wilson strategist George Gorton, whose storied career in political consulting includes a tie-in with Watergate as a youth-vote adviser to President Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign (he paid someone to spy on anti-war protesters) and a major role in helping to elect Boris Yeltsin as president of the Russian Federation (the film “Spinning Boris” was based on that, with Jeff Goldblum playing the role of Gorton).
Parks’ team yesterday shared with me a polling memo in the 26th Congressional District. Although short on details of the actual poll, the memo makes three things clear: Parks is now running in a strong second place in the primary, none of the four Democratic candidates is particularly well known, and that the Thousand Oaks supervisor has a statistically significant lead in a hypothetical November matchup against Republican Tony Strickland.
Some details: The poll surveyed 361 likely primary voters from Feb. 26-28 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent. The results, according to the memo, show Parks in a “strong second place” in the primary. If she were to finish second, the polling results (weighted to reflect the expected partisan makeup of a general election turnout) show her leading Strickland 42.6 percent to 35.5 percent in a head-to-head race in November.
Granted the race is in the early stages and this is a proprietary poll.
But, there are some lessons here for Republicans and Democrats.
If the Democrats wish to have a nominee in the general election, they had better coalesce around one candidate and that candidate is likely California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley. Why there are four democrats running in this race and why a democrat incumbent in Congress, namely Rep Brad Sherman, did not run in this marginally Democratic Congressional District is anyone’s guess.
For the Republicans to hold retiring Rep Elton Gallegly’s seat, they will have to broaden their base and campaign heavily in Latino-centric Oxnard. Tony Strickland cannot allow the Ventura County Public Employee Unions and other unions to run rough-shod over him in Republican voter deficit City of Oxnard and to some degree Ventura.
Linda Parks will win some Republican votes in Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village, Strickland cannot rely on large margins there – which he ahs enjoyed in the past.
But, again, this race is early and the Democrats will surely start attacking Parks soon.
If not, then Strickland better get a new pair of shoes and start walking the streets of Oxnard and Ventura early.