Your guide to the California Congressional District 27 race: Mike Garcia vs. Christy Smith.
This story was updated at 11:55 p.m. PST.
(CNN) — From the first-term congressman who lost in his last race to a former Marine lieutenant governor who lost four in a row, the race for California’s 27th Congressional District has produced a remarkable mix of results.
In the wake of the two recent losses, the Garcia-Smith contest has become one of the most discussed and anticipated in the nation. In the final weeks of this year, both candidates have turned up the heat on their opponents.
Garcia has been pounding on Smith all year. He calls her a “liberal” candidate trying to hide her liberal roots with a liberal facade. He accuses Smith of being a spoiler — a candidate who will only play spoiler to the Garcia campaign, or the Smith campaign. He says Smith is a career politician who will do nothing to help him win.
Smith has slammed Garcia for his record of voting against the wishes of constituents and for his support of “bad legislation.” She points out that he voted against the Medicare prescription expansion in 2006 and he has voted against extending unemployment compensation to Californians and for tax increases on small businesses.
It’s a campaign that has featured some of the most personal attacks from both sides.
Here are this year’s most salient campaign issues, from each of the two candidates.
The Garcia-Smith fight is primarily focused on the economy, jobs, and health care. In that regard, it may be the most contested congressional race in the country.
Here’s a look at the top three issues, and how they contrast with Garcia’s and Smith’s positions.
Garcia is arguing that job security is near nonexistent in California and that the economy needs a major, job-creation stimulus package on top of tax cuts.
Smith is challenging Garcia on this issue in the wake of the federal stimulus bill passing, which Garcia says gave too much stimulus too soon and without proper funding to be sustained.
Garcia is arguing that he’s the right candidate to