Election 2020: Battleground Congressional Districts
By Dr. Aslam Abdullah
As part of a series on US election 2020, every week, I will present a brief review of 28 most competitive congressional districts. The Democrats hold sixteen of these districts, while the Republicans hold 12.
The districts under review in this article are CA-21, FL-26, AZ-06, and TX-24. A separate report will follow on TX-22 because the Muslim community has divisions among its ranks in their support of a Democratic candidate in an open seat election. Sri Preston Kulkarni, is reported to be more of an RSS, Hindutva candidate than a Democratic party.
The Democrats hold this district currently. This district is in south-central California and includes Kings County and parts of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern counties. Coalinga, Delano, Hanford, and part of Bakersfield fall in this district. It is a district with 71 percent Hispanic voters, 5 percent black, and 4 percent Asian. Nineteen percent are white. In 2018, the Democrat, TJ Cox received 57,239 (50.4) votes and the Republican, David G. Valadao 56,377 (49.6). The district has a small number of Muslim Sikh and Hindu voters. Some Hindu voters support Trump and the Republicans at the instructions of Modi, who in 2019 hosted the Howdy Modi event in Houston and declared RSS and Hindutva’s support to Trump. Even though a small number of voters can play a crucial role, Muslim voters are not active in elections.
The Democrats hold district currently. It has a population of about 800,000. Seventy-two percent are Hispanic, 12 percent black, 2 percent Asians and 17 percent white. The area includes Homestead, Key Largo, Marathon, and Key West. This district includes Florida International University and Key West International Airport. All three of Florida’s National Parks, the Everglades, Biscayne, and the Dry Tortugas, lie in this district. In 2018 the Democratic Debbie Mucarsel-Powell polled 119, 797 (50.9) votes, while the Republican Carlos Curbelo, 115,678 (49.1). The number of Muslims in this district runs in hundreds, and every vote would matter.
The Republicans hold this seat currently. It encompasses parts of Maricopa County in the northeastern suburbs of Phoenix, including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, and Fountain Hills. Its population is 749, 808 with 77 percent white, 18 percent Hispanic, 2 percent black, 2 percent Asian, and one percent Native Americans. The contest is between the Republican incumbent, David, and the Democratic Hiral Tipirneni. In 2018 David Schweikert secured 173,140 (55.2) against his Democratic contender, Anita Malik, who got 140, 559 (44.9) votes. An Indian American Impact Fund that is said to have the blessings of Hindutva leaders in the country and that generally support Democrats in the 2018 election gave $29,398 tp Democratic candidates. The bulk of the money went to the RSS darling Sri Kulkarni with $13, 398. Other Indian origin candidates who got the money were: Bera, Ami (D) $2,000, Gupta, Suneel (D-) $2,700, Jayapal, Pramila (D-) $2,000, Krishnamoorthi, Raja (D-) $2,000, Mallik, Anita (D)2100Miller, Aruna (D-) $5,200Pureval, Aftab (D-) $4,766 and Tipirneni, Hiral (D-) $4,166
It is an open seat as the current Republican House representative, Menny Marchant is not seeking reelection. In 2018, Marchant won against the Democratic Jan McDowell by a margin of less than 9,000 votes. The contest in 2020 is between Candace Valenzuela (Democratic Party)Beth Van Duyne (Republican Party). It has a population of 719,185 68.7% White, 10.9% Black, 10.3% Asi: 24.4% Hispanic. The district covers much of the suburban area between Fort Worth and Dallas in the state of Texas. The district centers along the Dallas-Tarrant count. The Muslim votes are an insignificant number and their mobilization may influence the outcome. y line, and includes the southeastern corner of Denton County.