It’s considered unlikely that the Republicans will lose control of the House of Representatives in the Nov. 6 election, but the Democrats could pick up another seat that reaches deep into traditionally conservative Orange County.
The “new” 47th Congressional District stretches from Long Beach to Garden Grove and has a strong Democratic tilt in voter registration.
The “old” 47th was an all-Orange County affair, with Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana being at the heart of it and represented by veteran Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove).
Districts are redrawn after every federal census (the last in 2010) and this time the lines were not set by state legislators but instead by independent commission. The panel aligned the new 47th into one that spans almost all of Long Beach, and then crosses the county line to take in Los Alamitos, Cypress, most of Westminster and roughly the western half of Garden Grove.
Sanchez is moved to the new “46.” which includes most of Anaheim (excluding Anaheim Hills), Orange, Santa Ana and the eastern half of Garden Grove. A small sliver of “The Big Strawberry” will be in the new coastal 48th District.
Democrats are hoping to see their candidate, Alan Lowenthal, a college professor and a state senator, carry the district, based on a big edge in registered voters. The district is 42 percent Democratic, 31 percent Republican and 20 percent independent or “decline to state.”
But Lowenthal is not well-known outside of Long Beach, and about half the district is in Orange County. The Republican nominee, Gary DeLong, a telecommunications executive from Long Beach, is hoping to overcome the numerical odds and has the support of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has named him as one of 14 “Young Guns” they are grooming for office.