Harkey to GOP: Many are giving up on us

Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 09:11:11-04

Republican Darrell Issa has represented the 49th Congressional District for nearly 20 years, but new signs are pointing to a Democrat taking that House seat in the November election.

Republican Diane Harkey is vying for the position against Democrat Mike Levin. The district runs from coastal North San Diego County into Southern Orange County. 

Speaking to the Republican Party of San Diego County at an event this month, Harkey said some are losing hope in her campaign. She rallied attendees at the Town and Country Resort on keeping the 49th a Republican seat. After an enthusiastic response, she told the crowd:

"We need them to hear that in D.C. because a lot of people are giving up on us. We are not giving up on the 49th. It's a beautiful district."

Now, campaign finance data shows that Levin outraised Harkey in the most recent quarter by more than threefold. Levin took in about $2.3 million, while Harkey generated about $615,000. 

Additionally, the fivethirtyeight election blog, owned by ABC News, is giving Levin a 95 percent chance to win. To be fair, it also gave Hillary Clinton a 72 percent chance to win in 2016.

"Democrats are feeling very good, Republicans are feeling very nervous," said political analyst John Dadian.

Levin said he was encouraged by his campaign's momentum but does not believe in polls or predictions. 

"We're not taking anything for granted," he said. "We are going to sprint to finish line and have come a long way to get to this point. Now we are going to the finish the job."

In a statement, Harkey's campaign said it has received support from the Republican Parties of San Diego and Orange Counties, and that it has one of the largest volunteer groups the area has ever seen.  

"Diane is grateful for the support and looks forward to the hard work paying off on Election Day," the campaign said. 

Tony Krvaric, who chairs the Republican Party of San Diego County, said he remains optimistic about Harkey. 

"Outside money comes and goes," he said. "It's flighty. People make decisions for all kinds of reasons."

Issa announced that he would not run for re-election in January, setting off a rush of candidates vying for the seat. Harkey and Levin were the top two votegetters in the June primary,