2020 Primary Analysis: 49th Congressional District

This is the last of the four districts in Orange County that were considered competitive as of 2018.

The 49th Congressional District falls within the boundaries of Orange County and San Diego County. Mike Levin (D) is the incumbent after he defeated Diane Harkey in the November 2018 General Election. This followed up the retirement of Darrell Issa prior to the June 2018 election (Issa will appear in our analysis of CD 50 tomorrow).

This district shows the following party registration for the three largest political groups (the source is http://www.l2political.com):

Republican- 34.3%
Democrat- 32.9%
NPP- 26.6%


Let’s take a look at the 2018 results for the June and November election:

Mike Levin (D)- 17.5%
Paul Kerr (D)- 4.4%
Sara Jacobs (D)- 15.8%
Doug Applegate (D)- 13.1%
Brian Maryott (R)- 3.0%
Craig Nordal (R)- 0.6%
Joshua Schoonover (R)- 0.7%
Rocky Chavez (R)- 7.5%
Diane Harkey (R)- 25.5%
David Medway (R)- 0.6%
Mike Schmitt (R)- 1.3%
Kristin Gaspar (R)- 8.5%
Danielle St. John (G)- 0.4%
Joshua Hancock (L)- 0.3%
Jordan Mills (PF)- 0.1%
Robert Pendleton (NPP)- 0.5%

Here is a chart that shows the vote total and percentage of the vote by candidate for the 2018 Primary:

Democrat Candidates– 92,577 votes & 50.8% of the vote.
Republican Candidates– 87,133 votes & 47.7% of the vote.
Independent/NPP Candidates– 2,380 votes & 1.5% of the vote.
Grand Total– 182,090 votes cast.

I have a rule that the vote shifts 5% up for Democrats and down for Republicans from a primary to a general election in Orange County (I recognize that we have a chunk of San Diego in this district). Let’s assume that the 3rd party/NPP vote split between the Republican and Democrat. This theory would then predict that the Republican candidate should receive 43.5% of the vote in November and the Democrat 56.5% of the vote.

My model was just about perfect for this race with 56.4% of the vote for Levin vs. 43.6% of the vote for Harkey. Levin received 166,453 votes and Harkey received 128,577 votes.

Here is a breakdown of the actual results for November of 2018 broken down by who won each city (San Diego is counted as one area):

Levin– San Diego County

Harkey– Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Ortega, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Unicorporated OC

The margin in San Diego County was high enough to make this race a one-sided affair.


Here are the results for the 2020 March primary election:

Mike Levin (D)- 55.9%
Brian Maryott (R)- 44.1%

As expected with the election being held on Super Tuesday, voter turnout was noticeably higher. We saw a total of 214,157 votes cast. We virtually got a preview of the November matchup and it is not pretty for Republicans.

These numbers are not even close to competitive, using my 5% rule from above. If you figure the 5% swing, the model predicts that we will see a margin of 60.9% of the vote for Levin and 39.1% for Maryott.

Here is a list of each geographic area and which candidate finished on top there:

San Diego County– Mike Levin
Dana Point– Brian Maryott
San Clemente– Brian Maryott
San Juan Capistrano– Brian Maryott
Unincorporated Area– Brian Maryott

We will now see a November matchup between Mike Levin (D) and Brian Maryott (R).

No factors to figure into this one. Mike Levin will easily get re-elected when you look at the numbers.

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