Last Day of Campaigning Under Way Ahead of Tuesday Election


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - It's the final day of campaigning before tomorrow's mid-term election, in which Southern California will play a key role in Democratic efforts to regain control of Congress, while residents will also choose a new governor and weigh in on nearly a dozen statewide ballot measures.

Political observers will be keeping a close watch on a number of Southland congressional races, with Democrats across the country hoping for a so-called “blue wave” that will help them flip at least 23 House seats from Republican to Democrat.

Democrats are targeting a handful of Los Angeles and Orange County Republican incumbents they see as vulnerable in Tuesday's election.

In the northern reaches of L.A. County, Democrats are putting their hopes in Katie Hill in her bid to unseat Republican Rep. Steve Knight in a district that stretches into Ventura County. The area is historically Republican, but 25th District voters went for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential race two years ago, and recent polls show the race to be extremely close.

In Orange County, meanwhile, there are four races being closely watched.

Democrat Gil Cisneros is battling Republican Young Kim for the District 39 seat being vacated by Republican Ed Royce. The district covers northern Orange County, including Yorba Linda and Fullerton. Republican Rep. Mimi Walters is facing a feisty challenge from Democrat Katie Porter in the 45th District, which covers the southern portion of Orange County.

Democrat Harley Rouda is trying to unseat longtime Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in the coastal 48th District, while Democrat Mike Levin is battling with Republican Diane Harkey in a bid to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Darrel Issa. The 48th District straddles northern San Diego and southern Orange counties.

Meanwhile, there's little drama in California's U.S. Senate race, with incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein holding what appears to be a healthy advantage over fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon.

The California governor's race also appears to be easy to call, with Democrat Gavin Newsom, currently the lieutenant governor, holding a large polling lead over Republican challenger John Cox.

California voters will also weigh in on ballot measures covering topics ranging from rent control to housing bonds to the operation of kidney dialysis centers.

The measure receiving the most attention is Measure 6, which would repeal the recently enacted gas tax hike for statewide road and transportation projects. Supporters of the measure say the tax is a burden on families, which also contending the state has plenty of money for transportation projects, but it just hasn't been spent properly. Opponents insist the money is critically needed for projects ranging from road repair, freeway construction and rail systems, and canceling the tax would cripple transportation improvement efforts statewide.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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