The Morning After: CA Post Primary Election Analysis for State Races
- Overall - The CA Top 2 Open Primary (pushed by Arnold and Abel Maldonado) wreaked its havoc June 3rd. I fought against the measure because (1) it disenfrachises 3rd parties (they will have no one on the ballot this fall - meaning hundreds of thousands of 3rd party voters were disenfranchised by Prop 14 - Fla was decided by 35,000 chads), (2) Incumbents tend to do better because large primaries place a premium on $ and name ID, (3) It results in many Fall races with no choice between the parties (see below), and (4) lack of overall choice leads to less voter particpation. The June 3rd results demonstrate just that.
- 26 of the 80 CA Assembly seats have already been won by one party or the other (32.5% of the seats) 17 for Democrats/8 for Republicans - 2 more are possible for Democrats as the vote count continues. 14 of those 25 were uncontested races.
- 9 of the 20 Senate seats (45%) have already been won - 6 for Democrats/3 for Republicans. 3 of those were uncontested races.
- Turnout: By all accounts voter turnout was very low. There are many factors for that: (1) Democrats uncontested races for Gov., AG and Lt. Gov, (2) Nature of Top 2 system (see above), (3) Voters not agitated - the effects of a lack of Media reporting on the true state of CA, and (4) a virtual one party system in CA which limits choices and therefore voter interest.
- Democrat candidate for Governor: Jerry Brown got just 54% of the vote count so far. Of course, he hardly campaigned - but his vote count was not prohibitive.
- Republican candidate for Governor: Newcomer, moderate Neel Kashkari defeated Tea Party candidate Tim Donnelly. Both candidates had very low name ID - so pre-election polling could not reliable. This race came down to Kashkari putting his own money in the race and using it in a timely fashion. Donnelly raised and spent comparatively little. The Republican result was not attributable to ideology or alleged "Establishment" influence in my view. If Kashkari didn't put his $ in the race, the outcome would have been different.
- Controller. This is the most interesting and important race. The Controller's office, if run properly, can be the office of gov't reform. The Republican Mayor Ashley Swearengin will be on the Fall ballot. A DEMOCRAT MAY NOT. Incredibly, former Assembly Speaker John Perez (who was nothing more than big gov't advocate) has a slim 2400+ vote lead on Republican unkown David Evans. It may be weeks before the final result is in for #2. If 2 Republicans make it, this could be an important moment for the CA Republican Party. If Perez makes it, his lack luster showing could provide the Republicans with their best chance for a Fall win.
- Supermajority Watch:
- Senate: The Democrats lost their Senate super-majority to crime. They will have trouble getting it back this fall. Republican Sen. Andy Vidak will hold his seat (D-14) this Fall, which he won in a special election last year (Vidak recived over 62% of primary vote). Republicans will also hold on to D-12, the Anthony Canella seat this Fall (Cannella receeved over 64% of primary vote). Republicans have a very real pickup opportunity in D-34 - a seat currently held by a Democrat in Orange county. The district has a slight Democrat registration advantage but Republican Supervisor and dynamo Janet Nguyen got over 51% of the primary vote and another Republican added 14.5%. If Republicans win all 3 of those seats this Fall, that should prevent Democrats from regaining a Super-Majority.
- Assembly. The Democrats chances to hold onto a super-majority are greater in the Assembly. They hold 55 of the 80 seats. Republicans would need to pick up 3 seats. They have a good chance two seats perhaps 3. They may pick up D-65, D-36 and D-32.
- Caution for Republicans. These are primary results from a low turnout election. The Demcorats will be more focused in the Fall. They have already won 17 Assembly seats and will concentrate resources on those 3 contested Assembly seats.
- Nearly 300,000 voted for disgraced Leland Yee!
- Sandra Fluke will be on the Fall ballot for a CA Senate Seat.