Van Tran, Quang Pham, Tan Nguyen, Katherine Smith and the D47 Congressional Race

Two weeks after Quang Pham suspended his congressional campaign, there are still a lot of questions unanswered.  Within the Vietnamese-American community, he seemed to be on a roll with Van Tran on the defensive.  It was so bad that Van Tran did neither file nor gather the necessary signatures for the election until the last minute.  He only pulled the paper after Quang Pham decided to pull out of the race one week before the filing deadline.

It turned out they both received similar polling results.  The latest poll showed that if Quang Pham and Van Tran were running against each other, Katherine Smith would win by about 20%.   A Republican primary in June would have on a high side about 20,000 to 22,000 voters turn-out.   The Vietnamese-American voters would make up about 1/3 of the total votes due to the excitement of having two Vietnamese-American candidates.

Quang Pham would have a very good chance of beating Van Tran if it was a 2-man race.  However, with Katherine Smith in the race, the poll shows that they both could lose.  And the polling is worse for them with Tan Nguyen in the race.

In a game of Chicken, Quang Pham yielded since he realized that even if he had won the primary, it would be a tough battle against the incumbent Loretta Sanchez in a district where 2/3 of the population is Hispanic.  And the fact of the matter is that Sanchez has a very good rapport with the Vietnamese-American community while the OC Republican Party is all talk but cannot raise money for any candidates so far, even for Van Tran.

Loretta Sanchez is obviously benefited from Quang Pham's departure.  She worries more about Quang Pham taking away her Vietnamese-American votes than Van Tran.   Her strategy is very simple, stick close to the Vietnamese-American community and split the votes. And also by riding the coattail of a suprisingly active Phu Nguyen's campaign, she has a real good chance of getting 50% of the Vietnamese-American votes.

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