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00:00:00
>> So think about that. This thing is gonna be won by a thousand votes.>> A scientist, a business man, an FBI advisor, and an airline pilot are just some of the Democrats running for the same congressional seat in southern California. That's a problem for the Democratic Party as it tries to take control of the House of Representatives.
00:00:20
I'm Andy Sullivan in Orange County, California, a historic Republican stronghold that launched Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to power. This year it's promising territory for the Democrats, they stand a good chance of winning three congressional seats from the Republicans. The problem is, they have 18 candidates on the ballot for those three seats, and thanks to California's unique election laws, they could end up blowing their chance by splitting the vote too many ways in Tuesday's primary election.
00:00:47
In California, the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary advance to the final round of voting in November, even if they're from the same party. That's complicating the Democratic efforts here to defeat the incumbent Republicans like Dana Rohrabacher. He's a global warming skeptic who's praised Vladimir Putin.
00:01:04
Analysts say he's highly vulnerable, but he could end up facing another Republican in November if left-leaning voters divide their support among the eight Democrats on the ballot. National Democratic officials are trying to line up support behind entrepreneur, Harley Rouda. He says the current system is too chaotic.>> It is the crazy jungle primaries we have here in California.
00:01:23
And it seems like a good idea on its face, the top two people, top two vote-getters move forward. But the reality is the machinations and gamemanship that goes on in this type of a primary defeats that simple concept.>> Stem cell researcher Hans Keirstead says he stands the best chance of defeating Rohrabacher.
00:01:44
>> If I was in second place, I'd be dropping out. I implore Harley Rouda to do the same.>> It's the law of unintended consequences. Democrats have motivated voters, plenty of money, and lots of candidates. And in California, that means they could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.