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California State Senate

by: Left Coast Libertarian

Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 19:39:17 PM EST

There's no doubt 2012 was a disaster, as the GOP won only 5 of 20 seats, including one, SD-5, that appeared fairly safe. Bill Berryhill led on election day and that slowly slipped away from him.  
Left Coast Libertarian :: California State Senate
The result actually shouldn't have been that surprising. Two districts which were considered swing, SD-27 and 31, went 59.5% and 57.5% Obama in 2008. SD-27, which is Ventura county based, went 55.8% Obama in 2012, while SD-31, Riverside county based, went the other way to 58.8%. The Republican candidates in the two beat Mitt Romney by 2.2% and 3.5% respectively. They were too Democratic this year. If they were up in 2010, they would've been competitive. Of course both will only be up in Presidential years and that could mean neither will be an opportunity in 2016. Since it moved more Obama in 2012, I'm fairly certain SD-31 won't be.

Romney got 44.6% in SD-5, similar to the 44.2% he got in SD-27. Bill Berryhill got 49.5%, while Todd Zink tallied 46.4%. Berryhill also ran in the wrong year. I'm not sure how big an opportunity it'll be in 2016.

Fortunately, 2014 will be a mid-term with Jerry Brown, not Barack Obama or Dianne Feinstein, on the top of the ticket.

With Jim Nielsen winning the special on Tuesday, Republicans will have incumbents in SD-4, 8, 16, 36, and 38, all very Republican districts. SD-28 is an open seat, but also safe Republican. Here are the other districts:

SD-12 - Obama got 55.7% in this Merced centered district. That's similar to SD-5 and SD-27 two districts that Republicans lost in 2012. As I mentioned above, however, Republicans came close in both races. While those were open seat affairs, this one has a Republican incumbent, Anthony Cannella. CD-16 is also Merced based. The GOP ran a no name against incumbent Jim Costa. Costa outspent the no name 2 to 1 and he still fell 2.4% short of Barack Obama.

I think the district favors the Democrats, but Republicans can win here.

SD-14 - This is also a Central Valley district, a Hispanic majority one similar to David Valadao's CD-21. Obama also dropped 2% here and got 54.6%. As with that district you had the strange occurrence that Meg Whitman got creamed here while Carly Fiorina won by a few points. Democratic incumbent Michael Rubio might run here, although he may live just outside the district. Of course, if he challenges Valadao this district is definitely open.

I think this district also favors Democrats, especially if Rubio runs, but it's one the GOP can win.

SD-34 - Fortunately this Orange County district will definitely be open. It has heavily Democratic Santa Ana, all of Little Saigon, which was divided for congress, and Republican beach cities. The bad news is that Barack Obama, inexplicably, improved here. The reason I can't explain it is because Obama dropped dramatically in the neighboring OC districts 36 and 37.

He got 54.6%, exactly what he got in SD-14. Unlike that district, however, Meg Whitman won here and actually won by a little more than Carly Fiorina. Depending on the candidates this one could favor the GOP.

Unlike 2012, 2014 won't be a disaster. Democrats didn't come close to winning any district Barack Obama lost in 2012 and he managed only 46.4% in the best of the 6 Republican districts. At worst, the GOP treads water. Unfortunately, that'd mean another cycle of 29D-11R. For Republicans to end the Democratic 2/3 super majority, however, they'll have to win all three competitive districts. While I think that unlikely, it's far more likely in 2014 than it would be in 2016.

Republicans will need to win at least 1 to have any shot at doing so in 2016. In 2016, they'll only have a shot at taking two Democratic districts, SD-5 and 27. They barely lost SD-5 and should be able to compete there, especially with Barack Obama off the ticket. The only reason they'll have a shot in SD-27 in 2016 is because Democrat Fran Pavley will be termed out. Of course that means that if the GOP is fortunate enough to capture CD-26 in 2014, Pavley will be the Democratic candidate in 2016.

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not inexplicable
Santa Ana is heavily Hispanic.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

While that's true, the CVAP is only 26%. I'm not sure that explains it when you consider that the White vote in O.C. went heavier for Romney than elsewhere.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Didn't realize it was that low
The White areas are, as a whole, less wealthy than Southern OC, though, right? That plus Hispanics (and Asians!) could explain it

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

[ Parent ]
It's certainly not but you do have expensive beach cities here. It was also a very good district for Whitman and you wouldn't expect Romney to struggle in a good Whitman district. Orange County overall was Mitt's biggest improvement among larger counties. I guess he just must've done really well with Whites outside the district.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Mitt, overall, did better with high income Whites than middle
income ones relative to McCain.  Which makes sense given how he did with them in the primary.  Campbell's district is the wealthiest O.C. one, so it makes sense it snapped back the most.  It's also probably the Whitest although Irvine has Asians; definitely the least Hispanic.  What is the VAP of Asians in the SD you're describing?

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

[ Parent ]
Heavily Vietnamese and some Filipino.  The problem with any theory that Hispanics or Asians wouldn't go for Romney is that the district went for Whitman.  You'd think Whitman and Romney would mirror each other.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
you'd think so, but it's pretty clear to me that
Romney did worse with Asians than any Republican or Democratic candidate in the last 20 years.  If you look at exit polls, this is certainly true.  Vietnamese and Filipinos tend to be the most conservative Asians (at least I think so if I'm remembering correctly), but isn't that the simplest explanation for why Obama didn't drop off here?

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

[ Parent ]
Easiest explanation.
Romney was directly connected to the national Republican party, which has been reported in multiple stories and polls to be seen by Asians as in the thrall of anti-science knuckle draggers.

OTOH, Whitman was a successful woman CEO of an iconic Internet company who for instance, never had to brush off comments of crazy Congresspeople or Senate candidates. I think that could easily account for the difference.  

[ Parent ]
Anti-science knuckle draggers?
What are you talking about? I've never heard California voters talk about "Anti-science knuckle draggers." I didn't see any exit polls or reports that science or anti-science, whatever that is, was an issue in the election or that Romney had some sort of association with it.

Whitman was widely disliked by lower income voters and suffered heavier with minorities than other Republican candidates did because she was seen as out of touch and then was hit with the whammy on her housekeeper.

Why is this district one that would be impacted by your unusual choice of issues, but other California districts were not? Romney showed nice improvement over McCain in Marin County, which is likely one of the more educated counties in California.

Maybe your anti-science thing is an issue with far left progressives. I have no idea. It's not an issue with lower income voters.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Not just far left progressive have brought this up.
Here's an article from Charles Murray, not exactly a far-left progressive :

"Republicans are seen by Asians-as they are by Latinos, blacks, and some large proportion of whites-as the party of Bible-thumping, anti-gay, anti-abortion creationists. Factually, that's ludicrously inaccurate. In the public mind, except among Republicans, that image is taken for reality."

And another from The American Conservative -


You wanted an explanation for why Whitman did better than Romney in a relatively Asian-heavy district . I gave a possible explanation.  

[ Parent ]
You really don't
There's nothing in there about "Anti-science knuckle draggers."  While it's certainly true that Republicans have problems with both Asians and Latinos, there's no reason why those problems wouldn't be consistent from Whitman to Romney. Mitt didn't have Gloria Allred have a news conference with his housekeeper.

Setting aside your explanation as to why, Whitman may have done better with Hispanics and Asians and thus would do better in districts that had a lot of them.

The larger question would be why Whitman would do better with these groups is a different matter and perhaps it has more to do with minorities feeling a stronger connection to Obama than Jerry Brown.

Strangely, the Republican representing the most constituents in California is Asian.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
It could simply be that they were running for different offices
Romney and Whitman may have had similar views, but their ability to implement them was very different. Republican social views are far more important in a President than with a Governor who would face a Democratic legislature.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

[ Parent ]
Social issues?
I disagree. A Republican governor's stance on social issues has always been very very important in this state because these issues are local. Democrats have experienced way too many gubernatorial vetoes with their Democratic majorities. They haven't had a veto proof majority until now.

I didn't get a sense that people perceived a difference on social issues between Romney and Whitman. In California there's no difference between a national Republican and a state Republican. When Republicans have won statewide it's usually because of a star quality like Pete Wilson or Arnold had.  

We are talking about one particular district here, one that isn't especially socially liberal, certainly not compared to the rest of the state.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
2014 CA Question
If Brown is able to balance the budget and gain a surplus as some have surmised, and Republicans only mount a Emken level challenge and Brown hits lets say 58-60% how much does that change the calculus?

34/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

2014 in CA
Brown submitted a budget this week that was surprisingly balanced, a year earlier than expected. He makes some optimistic revenue assumptions that are questionable, especially considering that revenue keeps falling short of expectations each month. Even the most liberal newspapers are questioning it. I sincerely doubt the budget will balance.

But let's set that aside that because I'm a Republican and we can assume that everything is unicorns and rainbows.

Coattails is a question that's always difficult to answer. How much can be attributed to the top of the ticket? We had several states that Romney won where the Republican candidate couldn't hold the voters. Yet you'd think Democrats in California benefitted from Obama and Feinstein doing so well.

Keep in mind that Democrats winning gubernatorial races in Minnesota, Colorado and Illinois in 2010 didn't prevent congressional losses in those states.

In 2010, Brown only got 53.8% of the vote, 56.8% two party, but John Chiang and Bill Lockyer did better. Republican congressional candidates exceeded Whitman by a few points in most every district. Still, I think it'll help but I doubt he'll come close to matching Obama or Feinstein 2012.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
California Democratic governors
In 1978, and 1998 California Democratic candidates had roughly 60% of the two party vote. So there is precedent for a Democrat to get 60% for governor and they've been around 60% in other statewide races. They lost 3 congressional districts in 1978 and broke even in 1998.

What's instructive is that while 1978 was great for Democrats in the gubernatorial race they were losing congressional districts nationwide they'd picked up in 1974 and 1976. So congressional in California was more sensitive to the nationwide trend than the gubernatorial race.

Nationwide 1998 was fairly neutral but Democrats managed to pick up 4 congressional districts from the GOP only 2 years later. So there were certainly pick-up opportunities in 1998.

I think the nationwide environment will have more impact on congressional races than the gubernatorial contest.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
In California
Democrats seem to begin the decade strong, fade in the middle, then end it very strong, stronger than they began.  

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

[ Parent ]
I'd like to say that I really enjoy reading these diaries.
As a Californian, I love to read about my state. They're always very informative and spark interesting conversations.



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