Virtually all of the campaign commercials and literature were run by the DCCC and showed an almost embarassing lack of insight into our local political concerns. People in the San Joaquin valley are used to outsiders from the Bay Area and LA interfering with our local politics and are adept at tuning them out. The problem with Hernandez was that, aside from some yard signs, those "outside" ads were almost all we saw of him.
Denham is an ass, but he's usually seen as a moderate ass and ran a local campaign that focused on local San Joaquin Valley issues. Hernandez' campaign barely even mentioned them. I talked to FAR too many people, including many Democrats, who cynically viewed his campaign simply as an attempt by DC Democrats to grab the district. Around here, the only thing that can kill a campaign faster than an affair with an intern, is to have your opponent paint you as a carpetbagger.
I voted for Hernandez, but most local Democrats conceded the district long before election day. We need to do better next time.
This is a very evenly matched district, and Hernandez losing by such a big margin means one thing...a LOT of Democrats voted for Denham.