Calvert in Trouble

[over the transom bla bla bla … for you folks in the very south county, and Riverside…]

Poll Shows Ken Calvert in Trouble, Voters Ready to Fire Him

Democrat Bill Hedrick Primed to Capitalize on Voter Discontent with Calvert

RIVERSIDE, CA – A poll of likely voters released today by the Hedrick for Congress campaign shows 18-year incumbent Congressman Ken Calvert is vulnerable and that if the election were held today voters would rather send Calvert home than re-elect him to Congress.

When asked, 41 percent of likely voters said they would vote for someone else while only 38 percent would vote to re-elect Calvert.

Additionally, when Calvert was compared head-to-head with Hedrick, only 49 percent of respondents indicated support for Calvert.  Traditionally, support below 50 percent indicates real trouble for the incumbent, as is the case with Calvert.  Hedrick starts with a strong base of 35 percent of likely voters while 16 percent are undecided, despite Calvert’s significant advantage in name recognition.

However, after being given both positive and negative information about both Hedrick and Calvert, Hedrick leads by a three-point margin: 41 percent of voters say they favor Hedrick, 38 percent support Calvert, and 21 percent are undecided.  The net 17-point shift from the initial to final vote exposes the weakness of Calvert’s initial support and the distaste with which voters view his record when they are informed.  The shift also proves the potential for Bill Hedrick.

Commenting on the survey, Hedrick said, “Voters have had enough of career Washington politicians like Ken Calvert.  They know that for 18 years Ken Calvert has been looking out for himself and his friends.   Voters are ready for a representative who will work for them – who will fight to save and create jobs, cut government waste, invest in our infrastructure, and ensure our children have opportunities to succeed.  We know how to win this race. The path to victory is clear.”

According to pollsters Ben Tulchin and Julie Lein from California-based Tulchin Research, “Voters are fed up with politics as usual, and Calvert faces an extremely challenging climate given his record of corruption and voter frustration with the status quo, which opens the door for Democrat Bill Hedrick.”

A full polling memo from Tulchin Research can be accessed here:

The survey sample was of 400 voters in the 44th Congressional District who are likely to vote in the November 2, 2010 general election.  The telephone survey was conducted from January 28 – Feb 1 by Tulchin Research.


Bill Hedrick has been a public school teacher for 35 years and, as a member of the Corona-Norco Board of Education, has helped lead California’s 8th largest school district for 21 years, improving the education of 53,000 children.  With a grassroots campaign and no national support, Bill came within less than two percentage points of unseating 16-year incumbent Rep. Ken Calvert in 2008.  Bill is running again to fight waste and corruption and bring leadership we can trust to Washington.

Vern:  Let me quickly recap:

The Manifold Failings of Ken Calvert
(short version)

“Who ya gonna believe, me or…”

For four years in a row now, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has listed Mr. Calvert as one of their “most corrupt Members of Congress” (currently a quite bipartisan list.) And I’ve long noticed the more honest Republican bloggers over at Red County excoriating him for his corruption and huge addiction to earmarks. Some Calvert lowlights:

These various moral failings have inspired Christian conservative Chris Riggs to run against him in this June’s primary. (This is Chris pictured with his family to the far right, in front of reeds not unlike those near which the baby Moses was found.) I’ll be interviewing Chris as we get closer to the primary, but his website lists other Calvert transgressions I might not have thought of otherwise:

  • Seventeen years ago Calvert signed “The Contract with America”, promising not to hold his Congressional seat for a day more than twelve years.
  • Constituents may find it interesting to know that, even after 8 terms, he received zero points for influence within the House of Representatives according to’s 2008 Power Rankings.
  • Along with fellow south-county RINOs John Campbell and Gary Miller, he voted for both the TARP bailout AND Cash-for-Clunkers, a fact which Red County’s Alan Bartlett, taking Scott Baugh’s recent bloviations seriously, feels should cost them the OC GOP’s endorsement.
  • Again like his fellow snake-oil salesmen, Calvert refused to hold any town-hall meetings on the topic of health care reform, a failure frustrating to progressives and teabaggers alike.
  • After so many years of doing absolutely nothing for his district, but suddenly fearful for his prospects this November, he is currently subjecting his constituents to an unprecedented deluge of glossy mailers, paid for by the government – a very cheap and sleazy way to campaign against underfunded challengers.
  • One last fun fact, speaking of funding – in his razor-thin 2008 victory against Hedrick, he spent $8.85 in (corporate) money per vote, compared to Hedrick’s $1.48.

I hope Chris Riggs beats Ken Calvert in the primary; honest conservative Republicans and rightwing Christians really should choose him. But even if Calvert prevails in June, the primary should give south OC Republicans a bit of an education about the man who’s been representing and embarrassing them in Washington for so long.

more here and here…

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.