On November 2, 2006 Congressman John Doolittle was a member of leadership in the majority party who was grossly outspending a little known, first time candidate. The Cook Political Report ranked his seat as Leaning Republican (PDF) — which it did just slightly, but with Doolittle unable to get to 50%.
However, a lot has changed since then. Charlie Brown is now a battle tested candidate who had a net $280,000 cash advantage on the last reports and actually out-raised Doolittle in PAC money. There was that whole FBI raid scandal and Doolittle’s former chief of staff David Lopez and former LD Pete Evich are on speed dial at the Justice Department. Even the governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Benigno R. Fitial, is cooperating.
Yet Cook Political Report Editor David Wasserman yesterday ranked the seat as still in the Leaning Republican column — as if nothing has changed.
Of course, it is clear that some in DC still have no clue about California as Wasserman thinks that Brian Bilbray is the only other California Republican who will have a competitive race (when, I’d agree, CA-50 isn’t even the Dems second best pick-up opportunity in the state).