Sabato's Crystal Ball

California (18) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Likely D

Democratic Candidate: Dennis Cardoza, incumbent

Republican Candidate: Michael Berryhill

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: August 5, 2010

Democratic incumbent Dennis Cardoza is running for his fifth term against Republican challenger Michael Berryhill to represent a large portion of California’s Central Valley. Cardoza, a Blue Dog Democrat, has the advantage of representing a historically Democratic district which briefly trended Republican in the ‘80s and ‘90s but has continued to be fairly democratic in recent years due to its increasing liberal and Hispanic populations.

Although both have relatively equal amounts of money in the bank, Berryhill has self-financed much of his campaign so far and lacks the financial support of party elites and individuals. Still, an important campaign issue is the economy and the heavy impact of the recession on the Central Valley combined with the current anti-incumbent mood could make the district warm up to Republicans again. But, Berryhill does face an uphill battle to unseat Cardoza and this seat should remain a Democratic hold. Thus, this contest is Likely Democratic.