As early as last September, pundits were predicting an easy win for Waxman in a new district, unless another, more moderate Democrat advanced in the open primary to challenge the 38-year incumbent.
This analysis, like many others, fell short of factoring in the declining power of party labels alone in determining the outcome of elections.
Independent candidate Bill Bloomfield left the Republican party, citing differences of policy, outreach, and strategy for ending the gridlock in Congress that has prevented our government from passing a budget or enacting much-needed reform to entitlements and curbing the power of special interests in government.
An independent fiscal conservative is bolstering the spirit of independents and conservatives throughout the district, including Republicans who in years past would not go to the polls to vote for Waxman's GOP challenger because the previous districts were so lopsided in favor of Henry Waxman.
Tea Party favorites may not like Bloomfield's moderation -- which they may inadvertently interpret as a lack of purity; Democrats may not like his connection with GOP Senator John McCain in the past.
Yet his commitment to more moderate candidates, his progressive social views, and his commitment to a viable alternative to energy and the environment are more than enough to dismiss any concerns that Mr. Bloomfield is an "arch-conservative" in a field of blue strawmen.