The 72nd Assembly District falls entirely within the boundaries of Orange County. Tyler Diep (R) was the incumbent in this race. Diep is one of the rare instances of an incumbent losing in the primary (we will outline what happened below). This seat will be one of the more interesting races to watch in November.
This district shows the following party registration for the three largest political groups (the source is http://www.l2political.com):
Diep drew a crowded field in 2018. Here are the result for the June 2018 race:
Josh Lowenthal (D)- 36.8%
Greg Haskin (R)- 20.5%
Long Pham (R)- 8.2%
Tyler Diep (R)- 29.7%
Richard Laird (R)- 4.9%
We saw a total of 93,733 ballots cast in the primary. In November, Diep won by a margin of 51.6% to 48.4%. This slim margin is important to note when we start predicting November 2020.
Here is where things get interesting. Diep made some interesting choice during his past term. In addition to cozying up to the unions and being less than supportive of charter schools, he voted in favor of AB 5. To explain what AB is, it is the bill that harms the gig economy and targets companies such as Uber and Lyft. These decisions caused issues with Republicans who recruited former State Senator Janet Nguyen to mount a primary campaign against Diep.
Here are the March 2020 results:
Bijan Mohseni (D)- 15.9%
Diedre Nguyen (D)- 25.5%
Tyler Diep (R)- 24.8%
Janet Nguyen (R)- 33.8%
117,653 ballots were cast in this race. Turnout was high and will grow even higher in November.
Here are some factors to weigh when predicting who will win in 2020. Tyler Diep barely won in 2018 and this race has gotten closer each cycle. Janet Nguyen just lost in her most recent race for State Senator against Tom Umberg. Diedre Nguyen is an extremely strong challenger for the Democrats to field.
This race is a toss-up and could go either way. Due to the issues between Tyler Diep and Janet Nguyen, a winning outcome from Janet Nguyen might be dependent on support from both Tyler Diep and OC Supervisor Andrew Do.