There’s an open Congressional seat in Long Beach. A Republican businessman is running as a fiscal conservative against a longtime local Democratic lawmaker.
The 47th district, which straddles the line between L.A. and Orange Counties, is majority Democratic, but the GOP candidate has raised much more money. Both men say the race will be decided by the large block of voters who don’t claim either party.
On Saturday morning, State Senator Alan Lowenthal was going door to door, looking for Democrats, but targeting independents. His advantage is in Long Beach. Lowenthal says voters know him and his record. "They know who I stand for."
Telecom executive Gary DeLong has the edge in the Orange County/Republican part of the district, but he’s also going after that 26 percent of voters here who decline to pick a party. DeLong says he will join the “Problem Solving Block” if voters send him to Washington.
"They have 92 members of Congress that are signed up to work together, Republicans and Democrats," he says. DeLong also has ties to Long Beach: he's served on the city council there since 2006.
The presidential race has had a spillover effect on the race. There are lots of Romney signs on front lawns in Belmont Shore, fewer Obama signs. Lowenthal says after the first presidential debate, male voters in Orange County "who didn’t really know me, ‘cause I’m an L.A. County guy, kind of deserted the President and deserted me, too and moved to Romney at that moment."
Lowenthal says he was "shocked" at how quickly voters opinions could fluctuate. He says his race has stabilized.