Is Henry Waxman in danger of losing his seat?
First elected in 1974, Waxman has never had to so much as breathe hard to win elections to congress.
But this time may be different as Politico explains:
But in an interview, Waxman said he would be directing nearly all his money toward his own reelection this time around. He said he's assembling a campaign team and will be ramping up his fundraising efforts in the weeks ahead.
"Quite frankly, I haven't had to run a serious campaign in quite a long time, but now, I'm going to," Waxman told POLITICO. "I'm not going to take anything for granted."
"In past elections, I spent next to nothing," he added. "This time, I'll be putting forward a real campaign."
Waxman, the top Democrat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, finished more than 20 points ahead of his independent opponent, businessman Bill Bloomfield, in the state's new "jungle primary," in which the top two finishers advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. But, competing in a splintered field, the congressman received just 45 percent of the votes cast in the June 5 race -- a potentially worrisome sign for such a longtime incumbent.
Bloomfield's deep pockets are perhaps Waxman's biggest concern. Federal contribution reports filed over the weekend reveal that Bloomfield, who made a fortune in the laundry equipment and real estate businesses, poured more than $1.2 million of his own funds into the campaign -- about double the amount Waxman has raised.
Though Bloomfield has never held public office, he has used his pocketbook to build a profile in California politics -- backing Republican candidates and ballot initiatives with big-dollar donations, records show. Last year, for example, he gave $300,000 to the campaign for a ballot measure that would bar unions from using payroll deductions for political causes. It would also prohibit corporations and unions from contributing directly to political candidates.
Waxman is still considered a heavy favorite but what if there's an anti-incumbent backlash in November? Long time servers like Waxman would be targets in that scenario, and Bloomfield is in good position to take advantage of the situation.
Defeating Waxman should be a priority for the GOP this election year.