By MICHAEL R. BLOOD
AP Political Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is again emerging as a critical battleground in the fight to control the U.S. House. Leaders in both parties are predicting they can flip seats in the liberal state in next year’s election. Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar predicts the decisive fight for the House “will run through California.” North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson heads the House Republican campaign arm and is equally bullish about gaining ground. Last year, the state played a pivotal role in securing the gavel for Republicans and installing Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield as speaker.