In 2014, the national Republican Party was confident that it could defeat a Democratic congressman from San Diego.
Registration in the 52nd District is closely split. The incumbent, Scott Peters, an environmental lawyer and former City Council member, was in his first term after narrowly defeating the Republican incumbent, Brian Bilbray, in 2012.
The GOP challenger in 2014 was former Councilman Carl DeMaio, who enjoyed high name recognition through his hard-charging style and his pledge to “fix Congress first” by making it more efficient and responsive to taxpayers.
But the final weeks of the campaign focused to a large degree on allegations made by a...