Redistricting could also exert an impact ahead of 2012.
The National Republican Congressional Committee reacted quickly to Bera's announcement, recycling an attack the GOP used against him in 2010 that tied him to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Republicans accuse the group of "alleged ties to the terrorist organization Hamas," a charge CAIR forcefully denies.
Last cycle, Lungren's campaign made an issue out of a $250 donation Bera received from a donor affiliated with CAIR. Bera returned the donation, but his campaign accused Lungren of "using the diversionary tactics of fear and race in order to deflect from jobs, the economy and healthcare."