Sanchez vs. Dornan

The Rematch

Two years ago, Democrat Loretta Sanchez came out of nowhere to upset then Republican congressman-for-life Bob Dornan by 984 votes--less than a measly 1 percent of the vote. These days, official polls confidently predict that Sanchez will stomp Dornan by anywhere from 12 to 21 points on Election Day. But the Weekly's beer-stained Ouija board says: hog wash! Odds are 90,000 people (not counting illegals bussed in across the border, felons, or ballot-box-cramming nuns)will vote in the Nov. 3 race. Of those, some 6,000 will vote for third-party candidates, leaving Sanchez and Dornan to split 84,000 votes. At that point, several factors will shape the final tally. Here's the entirely unconventional--but absolutely guaranteed--Democrat-infuriating poop:

In 1996, the popular head of Hermandad Mexicana Nacional ran for a seat on the Santa Ana school board and brought 9,000 typically non-voting Latinos to the polls. Lopez isn't on the ballot this time. Loretta Sanchez--whose concern for the underclass is as genuine as Bob Dornan's--can kiss a chunk of those votes goodbye.

Believe it or not, more than 7,800 people in the 46th Congressional District voted for candidates to the right of Dornan in 1996. Dornan quietly pressured one of the nuts not to run again. Windfall: 3 percent of the vote.

Adultery. For months, Dornan and his son Mark have been plotting ways to get the LA Times and The Orange County Register to accuse Sanchez of adultery. So far, neither paper has succumbed. But it also says a great deal about the mainstream media that they don't expose Dornan's slimy techniques or despicable character. Could go either way . . .

It's a rare case nowadays when unions significantly impact an election. But labor's role in Sanchez's narrow 1996 victory should not be underestimated. That time, labor organized one of its best get-out-the-vote drives. The good folks at union central won't dare admit it publicly, but enthusiasm has dropped for Sanchez, who not-so-secretly loves the view from a corporate board room.

Historically, voter turnout in the district drops at least 20 percent in a non-presidential year. If those who stay home on election day were equally divided among Dornan and Sanchez supporters, this would be no big deal. But that is not the case. An overwhelming majority will be Democrats, the poor, minorities and women--all of which spells disaster for Sanchez. This is when angry white males get hyped.

Political pros say incumbency could be worth 10 percent of the total vote in a typical campaign. There's nothing usual about Sanchez vs. Dornan II. Nevertheless, Sanchez can make the case that--unlike her unstable predecessor--she has not embarrassed Orange County, or for that matter, humanity. Incumbency has also brought the first-term congresswoman a $2 million war chest. She'll need it.

A heated election between Ted Moreno and Miguel Pulido for Santa Ana mayor could have guaranteed Democrats in the heart of Sanchez country would go to the polls. Dornan can breathe a sigh of relief, however. The FBI effectively ended the race when it recently arrested Moreno for alleged corruption.

Arrogance. Sanchez has yet to learn one of the principles of political survival: glory sharing. The list is long of individuals and groups who worked their asses off for candidate Sanchez in 1996 but who were quickly forgotten by Congresswoman Sanchez. Will the dissed be so helpful this time? Could go either way . . .

We finally learn why Dornan has been so obsessed with the sex lives of other men. Nothing energizes the bitter ex-congressman's white-trash voter base more than a "liberal" president who scores. Ultraconservatively worth 1 percent.

 
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