CONTRA COSTA (CBS13) – About a dozen of California’s 53 congressional seats are up for grabs, which makes California the most competitive state for house seats in the nation.
Outside groups and independent Super PACs have spent more than $51 million. It’s the first time in decades the state’s congressional districts are in play after a panel redrew the state’s political boundaries.
The race for the 7th Congressional District seat is one of the most costly campaigns in the nation as Democrat physician Ami Bera tries to unseat Republican Dan Lungren.
If you’ve turned on the TV, then chances are you’ve seen the campaign ads for Lungren and Bera.
“I think we’re all sick and tired of all these commercials that are going back and forth,” said Bera.
A reported $13 million has been spent on the 7th Congressional District seat.
“This campaign had more money spent against me than any other Republican candidate in the country,” said Lungren.
At the end of the day, campaigns are about these two individuals, and Lungren agrees that politics should be about meeting the people, not who spends more money for air time.
“Are we going to listen to people who want to be represented or are we going to actually show up, or are we going to ignore them and just be on TV saying whatever you want to say?” said Lungren.
So his approach in the final stretch before the election is to hit the streets. Lungren says his camp of 1,000 volunteers has made 300,000 phone calls just in the past four months.
“There’s something in politics they call “The Enthusiasm Gap,” and we’re on the top side of “The Enthusiasm Gap” right now,” said Lungren.
Meanwhile, across town, opponent Bera’s camp is also buzzing.
“The race is going great,” Bera said.
Five-hundred volunteers are making a final phone call push.
“Now it’s all about getting people to the polls, and we feel very good about Tuesday,” he said.
Bera is also spending his weekend heading into the community.
“We have been out there just walking through coffee shops, walking all across this district, just getting out there and telling people how important this election is,” said Bera.
After not winning the seat back in 2010, Bera is confident it will be a different outcome this second time around.
“We’re excited. It’s going to be a close race,” said Bera. “Every vote is going to matter, and we’re going to win this thing.”
Lungren reports early absentee ballots look to be in his favor. It’s a trend he hopes to continue at the polls.
“The turnout is one that is favorable to us at this point,” said Lungren.
Ultimately, it’s you who will decide come Tuesday.
It’s reported Lungren has raised $2 million to Bera’s $3 million, while another $8 million is being spent by outside groups.