Like every two years, there are 435 congressional races around the country this election season. But of all the races, the New York Times decided to write about the race happening right here, in the 15th Congressional District, on Monday.
It's easy to see why the Times would find the race between longtime congressman Pete Stark and Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell compelling for a national audience.
The 80-year-old Stark has been in congress longer than Swalwell has been alive and is considered one of the most liberal representatives in the country.
Also, Stark and Swalwell are both Democrats, and the Times used the race to take a look at California's new primary system, which allows the top-two performers in the primary to face each other in the general election.
“I wouldn’t have had a chance before,” Swalwell told the Times about the new primary system.
Stark, who won the June primary, would probably win easily in November if he was pitted against a Republican, considering that the district — which stretches from San Ramon to Fremont — has more registered Democrats than Republicans.
But a victory this year isn't a guarantee, since Republicans in the district might be more inclined to vote for the relatively moderate Swalwell compared to the liberal Stark.
The Times wrote:
In an example of how many of these voters could vote against the liberal Mr. Stark, one older man answered his door and closed it quickly, though not before saying curtly, “I’m a Tea Partyer — I’m voting for you.”
“What we’ve noticed is candidates in California playing to a wider ideological audience as a result of the top-two primary, instead of tailoring their message to a very narrow base,” said David Wasserman to the Times, who follows House races for the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter.