Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Phil Liberatore in CA-8

I was just alerted that Phil Liberatore has also declared for CA-8. Liberatore is from La Mirada, which is 70 miles from the edge of this district. It might as well be a world away. Liberatore challenged Gary Miller in the CA-42 Republican primary in 2010. He put $735,000 of his own money into the race and even bought spots on conservative radio in the LA market. LA is so expensive and covers so many districts that candidates rarely buy it in the general election. Liberatore came up short, but garnered a lot of votes. If he self-funds, he could spread the votes out further. Or he could take the most votes.

If you're a Republican, you should be nervous.

CA-8: 8 Candidates

Former Republican state senator Anthony Adams is running as "no party preference," as Linda Parks indicated she might do in CA-26. Adams was one of the "Sacramento Six," Republicans who voted for the 2009 tax increase. This spurred a recall effort. While it failed, Adams is a pariah among Republicans. It's difficult to see him getting much Republican support.

CA-8 is a very Republican district, one that a Republican should win easily. There are, however, 6 Republicans and 1 Democrat currently in the field. Among the Republicans, there's a county supervisor, an assemblymen, a mayor, and two city council members.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt and State Assemblyman Paul Cook should be the best candidates. Neither got in until Jerry Lewis announced he wasn't running. So they didn't report fundraising by 12/31/11.

This could go the way of the CA-36 special and the cream will rise to the top as Craig Huey did. Or they could split the Republican vote, with no one getting more than 15%. It's conceivable that Jackie Conaway and Adams could split enough Democrats and independents to beat that and advance to November. Adams might not beat Conaway if it were a match-up between the two. It's possible that enough Republicans wouldn't want Adams to become the incumbent and would defect to Conaway, since she'd be easier to unseat in 2014.

This has been a concern of mine for months. It'd be nice to get candidates to drop out, but sometimes that doesn't work. The Republicans in the CA-36 were all for someone dropping out, just not themselves.

I don't see how Adams wins in November against a Republican. That candidate would just need enough money to get Adams' vote out there, although I imagine independent groups would fill in if the candidate couldn't.

The Jungle Primary should be interesting.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Congressional notes from the CRP convention

There are three congressional candidates pushing themselves here:

Virginia Fuller is running in the 11th district against George Miller. He probably won't notice. Xanthi Gionis is running in CA-51, the new Hispanic district in San Diego. Jerry Brown won this district 58%-31%, which in California isn't one of 15 most Democratic. She isn't winning it either.

John MacDonald is running in a district that he could win. He's the only one who has a table and his daughter is manning it. He's raised $52,550 and Ricky Gill is probably over $1 million now. So I doubt he makes November.

According to someone in state party leadership, the NRCC has 10 districts on it's target list. There are 4 Democratic incumbent seats (CA-3, 9, 16, 24), 4 Republican seats (CA-7, 10, 31, and 52), and two open seats (CA-21 and 26). I don't know if the NRCC sees CA-41 and 47 as not winnable, as they are more Democratic than any above. They are open, however, and the Democrats are hardly unbeatable. I assume they see CA-36 as safe.

Friday, February 24, 2012

CA Senate Referendum qualifies

In something of a surprise, the SOS office actually finished counting the Senate referendum signatures in three and a half months, only a month longer than any other referendum. And it qualified.

Per California state law, the commission district lines can't be used pending the referendum. Oh wait. The California Supreme Court decided to ignore the California Constitution and use the only districts that law says they can't use.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blong Xiong for CA-21

Blong Xiong has announced he'll enter the CA-21 race as a Democrat. He was #1 on the Democratic wish list, because Dean Florez was never going to run. He's Hmong and there's a sizable Hmong population in Fresno. Here's his life story. How's your Hmong?

Of course, most of that sizable Hmong population in Fresno is in his district, which only has roughly 70,000 people. The congressional district has 10 times that many people and only 4% of them are Asian. (Edit: It's been pointed out to me that the Hmong community is actually in the neighboring CA-22)

I wouldn't consider him top tier, but I wouldn't underestimate him. This is the Central Valley and the Democrats don't have a long bench there. So he's a good get and I'm betting that his campaign account will have a lot of checks with Hmong names on them by the end of the day.

He might want to update his website.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Republican Presidential primary Delegate Allocation Rules

I can't say all of this is 100% accurate, but it's what I've been able to conclude for the February 28-March 6 primaries. This info comes from Green Papers and FHQ.

Michigan: There are only 2 at large delegates. Whoever wins the primary wins both. So while the media will jump on who "won," but that might not be who wins the most delegates. Because their delegates were halved, the Michigan GOP is awarding 2 delegates for each congressional district won. If the person who loses the primary wins 8 congressional districts to his opponents' 6, he wins delegates 16-14.
It's really not important to "win" Michigan. It's important to win districts.

Arizona: This is a straight winner-take-all. So it is really important who wins the primary. I'd guess that even if Romney or Santorum collapse they'll probably win 5 districts. so a big win in Michigan could be 20-10. In Arizona, it's 29-0.

Washington: This is a congressional district state. Whoever wins any of the 10 districts gets 3 delegates. The remaining 10 delegates are awarded proportionally. So expect Ron Paul to get 1 and the winner might get 4. The real battle, as with Michigan, is the congressional districts. Santorum should win WA-4 and WA-5 easily. The rest should be up for grabs.

Alaska: This is straight proportional. The 27 delegates are nothing to sneeze at, but both Romney and Santorum should do similarly, even if one wins by 10.

Georgia: Forty-two of the delegates are awarded based on congressional district, and 30 are based on statewide results. Georgia has a twist. If you get over 20%, you get delegates. If you get 20% or less, you get 0. So 20% of the statewide vote gets you 0 delegates, but 20.1% gets you 6. Romney doesn't anticipate winning here, but 20% or less would be a disaster.

It's similar for congressional districts. If one candidate gets 50% of the vote in a congressional district, he'll get all 3 delegates. If not, the leader gets 2 and the 2nd place finisher gets 1. While it's possible that Romney will win the minority-majority congressional districts, his goal here is to get 2nd in each district. Losing 48%-22% is the same as losing 37%-33%.

Idaho - While Idaho has 32 delegates, I believe only 26 are at stake on Super Tuesday. The rest will be decided at the convention. I think it's winner-take-all for the other 26.

Massachusetts - They award 3 delegates per congressional district proportionally. Romney is polling strong in Massachusetts and should get 2 in each district. The final 11 statewide delegates are dolled out proportionally, with a 15% threshold.

North Dakota - Another straight proportional. So it's mostly irrelevant.

Ohio - Major Super Tuesday prize and one that Santorum could walk away with a lot of delegates. These rules are like Georgia's in that the winner statewide gets all 15 delegates if he gets 50%. If he doesn't than anyone getting 20.1% gets a share of delegates.

There are also 48 delegates allocated by congressional district and Ohio has a mix of Santorum's two core voters, evangelicals in the western part of the state and blue collar union guys in the east. Districts like OH-8 would seem good for Romney, because the income levels are higher, but this area is more social conservative. Romney might be able to grab OH-1 and 3, but I don't see anything else.

Oklahoma - This is similar to Ohio, except the cut-off is 15%+ of the vote to be included in proportional. Santorum should walk away with 15 delegates from the CDs, but might not have a big haul. statewide.

Tennessee - Similar to Ohio, with 3 delegates per district and proportional above 20% for at-large.

Vermont - Here, Romney can take all the delegates if he gets a majority. If not, it's proportional. There are only 17 delegates at stake, but holding Romney under 50% is key for Santorum.

Virginia- Oops. There's no way to sugarcoat this. Romney will get all 13 at large delegates for getting a majority of the votes and then another 33 for winning the 11 districts. Gingrich would keep Romney down here, but I don't see how Paul wins any delegates.

There are some positives and negatives for each candidate. The big prizes appear to be Idaho, Virginia, and Arizona, simply because they are winner-take-all. Virginia favors Romney, because neither Gingrich nor Santorum are on the ballot, and the other two appear to be in his base.

Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Washington could all give Santorum a disproportionate share of the delegates, but he needs support for Gingrich to dry up for Georgia.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

CA-30 Berman's supporters whine

Once again, Howard Berman's supporters are calling for Brad Sherman to leave the CA-30 congressional race and run in CA-26. It's pretty pathetic, really. If he'd like to avoid a primary against Sherman, Berman should run in CA-26. After all, Sherman doesn't have a problem running against Berman.

CA-30 has nearly 3 times as many of Sherman's constituents as it does Berman's. More of Henry Waxman's current constituents are in the district than Berman's. More than 75% of Berman's constituents are in CA-29. That district is now 69% Hispanic and Berman feels he can't win it.

Berman's people successfully derailed Brad Sherman getting the Democratic party endorsement. That the Democratic party was leaning toward Sherman says a lot about who is the better candidate and who should consider going elsewhere.

To sum up, Berman has abandoned his district and moved to Sherman's and has been whining ever since that Sherman hasn't surrendered the district to him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Santorum and Gingrich strategy

Santorum isn't trying to win enough delegates to get the nomination. Neither is Gingrich. People keep hoping that one will drop out and then the other will solidify the anti-Romney vote, but the problem is that they can't. Neither has the resources to compete in every state. If you look at their schedules you can see they're not trying.

In the 9 contests so far, Santorum and Gingrich have both finished top 3 in only 3 states.

Their best scenario for Romney's competitors is for Gingrich to win in the south, Santorum in the Midwest and Ron Paul to steal some delegates everywhere else. That way theydeny Romney a majority. So they're conceding Arizona. and Virginia. And Massachusetts. Santorum has to hope that Gingrich runs strong in Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, so he can concentrate on Ohio, Michigan, Washington, and North Dakota. North Dakota is non-binding, so I'd guess it's low priority for Romney.

I'm sure both Gingrich and Santorum would like to get the momentum to compete everywhere but I'm guessing you won't see the two of them going hard after the same state on February 28, March 3, or March 6. It's even possible that Santorum leaves Alabama and Mississippi to Gingrich on March 13 and goes hard after Hawaii, Missouri, and Illinois.

Brokered Convention

Even though few delegates have been awarded and Rick Santorum only has 4 himself, the talk of the Internet is a brokered convention.

It's highly unlikely.

It's important to know how delegates are selected. Delegates used to be party insiders, big donors, and politicians who'd make decisions in secret smoke filled rooms. That doesn't happen anymore, especially since you aren't going to find too many convention halls that allow smoking. Delegates are largely selected through primaries and caucuses. This year, roughly 1,930 of the 2,286 delegates will be selected this way. These delegates are bound to vote for who won them. For the most part, the delegates are selected by the campaigns. The campaigns will submit a list of names to the secretary of state, in primary states, or party leadership, in caucus states. If the candidate wins the delegates, then the person on their submission is a delegate.

This person could be anyone, as long as they live within the jurisdiction where the delegate is awarded from. In California, 3 delegates are awarded for each congressional district, so each campaign must submit three delegates and three alternates for each congressional district. These people have no loyalty to the party. In many states there is no party registration, so they don't have to be Republican there. They're likely loyal only to the candidate.

Some unbound delegates will be bound by the convention, but there could be 300+ unbound delegates. The nomination fight could be so close that 50 or 75 delegates going one way or another could decide things. But they'll be deciding between the top two candidates and no one else.

In 2008, I was one such person, as my name was on a list the McCain campaign submitted to the California Secretary of State. At the time my name was submitted, I'd volunteered on one campaign, knew no one affiliated with the country or state parties, and I'd never donated enough to anyone to be listed on When I went to the convention, I was going to vote for John McCain and no one else.

If I am a delegate this year, I'll approach it the same way. I'm obligated to vote for whoever I represent and won't be switching to someone else, unless my candidate releases me from that obligation. Even in the event that no one has the majority.

First, this is my candidate, the one I believe in. So why would I jump to someone else? Second, I'd have an obligation to my congressional district and my candidate that I'd vote a certain way. Finally, I don't think nominating a candidate who the public hasn't voted for and hasn't been vetted by them is a good idea. I'm not leaving Tampa feeling proud of myself that I got to decide the candidate and who cares what everyone else thinks? If we want a candidate people will vote for in November, the Republican Party can't just throw someone at the public and tell them that we didn't care about their input before but do now.

I'm sure some people will object and say that Mitt Romney isn't as good a candidate as Paul Ryan. I need to put the good of the party first. It's not up to me to decide what the good of the party is. It's up to the millions of primary voters. And I'm not going to usurp that authority.

If Mitt Romney has 1,100 delegates and Rick Santorum has 800, while Gingrich and Paul have another 300, either Romney or Gingrich will get the nomination. The delegates will stick with the person who put them there.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Steve Bennett exits CA-26

Democrat Steve Bennett's exit form the CA-26 race is good news. He was the Democrats' best candidate. His presence, however, could have split the Democratic vote so that Linda Parks and Tony Strickland would've advanced to November. Both are likely to caucus with Republicans, but Parks is quite unpopular with influential Republicans who know the district, while Strickland is enormously popular.

Parks is a better bet in beating Strickland in November than any Democrat. She could get Democrats behind her and also take the center. With a Democrat, the center will be up for grabs. If Strickland is the only acceptable candidate, then there's no bad news here.

Super Tuesday

Washington is going to get forgotten. Arizona and Michigan are the Tuesday before Washington and Super Tuesday is the Tuesday after.

Because Washington occurs before Super Tuesday, the straw poll results are non-binding.

A presidential straw poll will be taken at the precinct caucuses and the state party will release the results. Those results will be meaningless. The straw poll will have nothing to do with who ultimately wins Washington’s delegates, but the media will announce a “winner” on March 3, just as they erroneously announced Pat Robertson as the winner in Washington state in 1988.

This makes the caucuses even less relevant and not somewhere you want to focus your energies on.

Georgia has a congressional district system. If someone clears 50% in a congressional district, they get 3 delegates. If not, then the #1 vote getter gets 2 to the #2 vote getter's 1. Statewide will be proportional, although delegates will only go to those who finish with 20% or more of the vote.

Thus, GA-4, 5, and 13 are worth the same as GA-3, 9, and 14. I don't know Georgia electorally, but I'd guess there will be a difference how urban and rural Republicans vote.

Ohio has a similar system. There, there's a difference regionally. The Eastern part of the state is Santorum country. His protectionist pro-union positions fit perfectly here. He should win OH-6, 7, 11, 13, 14, and 16 fairly easily. The rest of the state should be up for grabs. Ohio has a good share of social conservatives in the rest of the state, which should help Santorum, but Republicans fiscally won't be union members.

Romney's best shot for delegates in Ohio and Georgia is to hope that the results are more South Carolina and Florida than Missouri and Minnesota. He needs to do very well in urban and suburban congressional districts, many of which will have few Republicans.

There'll be other March 6 primaries. Oklahoma represents very little opportunity for Romney and he'll likely leave the state to Santorum and Gingrich. Tennessee is proportional, as long as no candidate makes 50%. In Virginia, only Romney and Paul ar on the ballot. Massachusetts, Vermont, and Idaho figure to favor Romney.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Texas districts delayed again

In Texas The court wants the parties to reach a settlement and gives them more time.

In California they decide to impose an illegal map because they don't think there's enough time. What's funny is that the Texas primary is two months BEFORE California.

California Congressional Update (Part II)

29th District: R: -0.4% D: -1.1% (Safe Democratic)
You’d think that with how long they’d been waiting for a San Fernando Valley congressional district that Democrats would be tripping over each other to run here. L.A. city councilman Tony Cardenas has a clear field right now. It’s worth noting that with the Bob Filner and Howard Berman being replaced by Hispanic Democrats there might only be 3 White Democrats in the 29 Southern California districts from Los Angeles to San Diego.

30th District: R: +0.2% D: -0.5% (Safe Democratic)
While a Berman is no different than a Sherman to us Republicans any election aficionado will have to appreciate this race. Howard Berman has stepped up his fundraising and is almost at parity with Brad Sherman. Each has at least $2.8 million C-O-H and will likely raise a lot more.

When you’re about this kind of money who spends more is mostly irrelevant. In fact, I wonder what value it’ll have at all. Any Democrat who’ll be voting knows who both are and it’s not like one of them is going to present a position different from the other. I have no idea what they’ll be saying in advertising. I think it comes down to retail politics, who people like better. Sherman attends a lot of community events and may have the advantage here.

Mark Reed, the Republican who lost to Sherman in 2010, is back for another losing campaign. Susan Shelley is a name on the ballot, who might take Republican votes away from Reed, especially since Reed has yet to file an FEC report. I think he’s established enough that she won’t take many votes.

Reed will either win the June primary or finish second and that’ll leave Berman and Sherman to fight it out for a sure November win. That’s the best scenario for either of them. They’ll have to fight it out in June, for risk of finishing third, and no one wants to go through two races like this if they don’t have to.

If anyone thinks that Berman or Sherman will drain away Republican votes from Reed, I’ll ask them to spend an evening at Galpin Ford with the San Fernando Valley Republican club. It’d be interesting to see what would happen if Berman and Sherman both advanced. Redistricting Partners’ Paul Mitchell believes that many Republicans would leave the congressional race blank, rather than vote for either Democrat. So they could decide the race or sit it out.

31st District: R: -1.1% D: -0.1% (Lean Democratic)
The Republicans have a candidate with high name recognition and a huge bank account and he hasn’t put a dime of his own money in yet. Miller has had ethics issues and is seen by many as an underwhelming candidate.

Former state senate minority leader has some Republicans more enthusiastic and Miller will have a huge cash advantage but that won’t be as big a deal for Dutton as he’s representing much of this area now, while Miller hasn’t done so. People in Rancho Cucamonga don’t need to learn about Bob Dutton.

The Democrats had two underwhelming candidates until Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar jumped into the race. A Hispanic mayor should be a good candidate but Redlands is a city of 69,000 people. So he’s only represented a small part of the district, while Dutton has represented a lot more.

Even though I favor the Republican candidates here, the district leans Democratic and the loss in Republican registration should be alarming.

36th District: R: -0.7% D: -0.0% (Likely Republican)
The Democrats have cut the Republican registration advantage in the district and I still think they have little chance. Bono Mack has won comfortably in each of her elections, even in the heavily Democratic years of 2006 and 2008, when Barack Obama won the district. Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet came closest, he lost by 9 points, but he’s passed on the race. Bono Mack’s opponent is an emergency room physician. I can’t see Democrats winning a district where Bono Mack is running against some guy and the district is more Republican than the old one.

41st District: R: -0.4% D: -0.0% (Leans Democratic)
This is a majority Hispanic district, one that Barbara Boxer won comfortably. It should go Democratic. Yet there are problems with that. This is Riverside County and Democrats don’t win elections in Riverside County. It’s one thing for a Democrat to get more votes in a statewide race, it’s another for Riverside County Democrats to get the votes for local candidates. The Republicans are running county supervisor John Tavaglione, who has won there even with the Democratic lean.

The Democrats, on the other hand, aren’t running a Hispanic. They’re running a gay Asian whose big election victory is winning a seat on a community college board. I’m not demeaning him for being gay, but this isn’t West LA. Riverside isn’t nearly as progressive. Hispanics tend to be less tolerant of homosexuality than other groups. This isn’t the San Gabriel Valley and there are very few Asians in the district. The candidates have similar fundraising numbers, so there’s no advantage there In most other Riverside County elections Tavagilione would be a heavy favorite but the districts registration advantage favors the Democratic party.

47th District: R: -0.4% D: -0.2% (Leans Democratic)
This district is Democratic enough that it should elect a Democrat and state senator Allen Lowenthal should be a good candidate. Yet he’s not an incumbent and this district does contain Republican areas of Orange County. The Republican nominee should be strong with Long Beach city councilman Gary DeLong, former congressman Steve Kuykendall, and self-funder Troy Edgar.

51st District: R: -0.6% D: -0.6% (Safe Democratic)
This is another district where a Hispanic Democrat should replace a White one. Former state senator Denise Moreno Ducheny and current state senator Juan Vargas are the only two announced candidates. I’d expect a Republican to get in, which would make June the real election.

52st District: R: -0.5% D: -0.2% (Leans Republican)
This district has a Republican incumbent, Brian Bilbray, and it still has a 3 point Republican registration advantage. Whitman and Fiorina won comfortably and the weakest statewide candidate, Mimi Walters, nearly won. The Democrats have a good candidate in Scott Peters, who is Chair of the Port of San Diego. I think it’s more Likely Republican than lean, but without polling I’ll stick with lean for now.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Jews becoming more Republican?

I've been saying for a while that Massachusetts, the New York metro, and Palm Beach County, all moving right, have one thing in common, large Jewish populations. I had no evidence Jews were becoming more Republican. Perhaps I was on to something. People have been perplexed why Jews lean so Democratic for years. After all, they tend to wealthier, better educated, and they tend towards individualism. People like this tend to be Republican.

Of course, Democratic deny it's happening. You can't address a problem until you admit there is one.

Friday, February 3, 2012

California Congressional February Update (Part I)

There are so many districts to talk about that I'm splitting this into two parts.

Voter registration numbers and Q4 fundraising numbers came out on the same day early this week. Yes! On the same day. That sounds like Christmas. To you too? Below are half of the key districts. The numbers in the first line are the change in registration since 2011:

1st District: R: -0.6% D: -0.6% (Safe Republican)
This is Wally Herger’s safe Republican district. Only one Republican, Peter Stiglich, has reported any fundraising to the FEC, and his total of $3,934 really puts him at the same starting point Doug Lamalfa and Greg Cheadle. Democrat Jim Reed actually leads the fundraising race, although he only had $7,706 C-O-H at the end of 2011. Since he’s the only Democrat in the race, he will advance likely win the primary, but he has no hope of winning the general election.

2nd District: R: -0.2% D: -0.3% (Safe Democratic)
There is a large field of Democrats, including favorites Norman Solomon and Jared Huffman. You already have three Democrats who’ve raised over $300,000, a good sum for a challenger. This should be a great race in June. Like Reed, Republican Dan Roberts will win the primary and he too will win the general election.

3rd District: R: -0.5% D: -0.5% (Leans Democratic)
You now have a field of five Republicans looking to take on Democrat John Garamendi. Kim Delbow Vann is the only one to show significant fundraising and has to be thought of as the favorite at this point. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Republican here will get help from the NRCC or outside groups. Garamendi can keep raising money until the general election and doesn’t have to spend anything to get there. There are a number of California Republicans who have Garamendi at the top of their list of Democrats to topple, so I’d guess there will be money in here.

7th District: R: -0.4% D: -0.2% (Leans Republican)
Democrat Ami Bera has nearly $1 million C-O-H, a sizeable sum for an incumbent, let alone a challenger. Lungren hasn’t raised as much, but he does have $521k C-O-H and he will get outside help. Lungren did survive 2006 and 2008, so he’s weathered the toughest Democratic years. The seat moved 2 points more Democratic. That could be enough to push Bera over the top and a lot of experts have the district as a toss-up.

I anticipate the Republican nominee, let’s call him Mitt, to win this district, so I can’t see calling a race against a battle tested Republican a toss-up.

9th District: R: -0.0% D: -0.7% (Leans Democratic)
This is the first district where there was a difference in the parties’ change in registration. The drop in Democrats, without a similar drop in Republicans, may make this race more competitive than people imagine. Like Bera in CA-7, the challenger, Republican Ricky Gill, has outraised the incumbent Jerry McNerney. McNerney hasn’t shown a lot of strength. But he’s an incumbent in a Barbara Boxer district.

10th District: R: +1.0% D: -1.2% (Likely Republican)
I doublechecked these numbers and apparently the district has gone from D+4.8 registration to D+2.6. That’s pretty dramatic. Jeff Denham is a fundraising powerhouse whose survived tough races in the legislature. Jose Hernandez is an astronaut… He actually has a good quarter for a newbie, but this is an uphill battle for him. Fiorina won the district handily and Whitman won it by a few points. If it really has moved to the right, Denham is bulletproof.

16th District: R: -0.6% D: -0.5% (Likely Democratic)
Jim Costa is probably safe, but this is the Central Valley and Costa won in a recount in 2010. It’s tough to see him losing to Brian Whelan. Whelan is pretty much some dude, but everyone else has passed on it.

21st District: R: -0.9% D: -0.8% (Leans Republican)
David Valadao would appear to be a strong favorite, because his current opponent, John Hernandez is some dude. Democrats are hoping for former state Sen. Dean Florez and are trying to get Fresno City Council Member Blong Xiong as their back-up candidate. Since the primary will likely be a walk for the Democrat, any candidate has time to raise money for November.

24th District: R: -0.5% D: -0.3% (Leans Democratic)
Abel Maldonado’s fundraising is good for a challenger, but he keeps pumping it with his own money right before the fundraising reporting deadline and then taking it back a few days later. This is a silly game and Lois Capps needs a serious challenger. Thomas Watson and Chris Mitchum have raised virtually nothing, but one could still beat Maldonado if the tea party gets behind them.

I’d like to move this race to Likely Democratic, but this is a 50-50 district and Maldonado could be a good candidate if he gets his act together.

26th District: R: -0.3% D: -0.3% (Toss-up)
Democrats are lining up five deep for this seat, although Steve Bennett may get the party endorsement. There’s a lot of jockeying going on with the Democrats, while Tony Strickland appears to have sown up a spot in November. There are no other Republicans in the field, and none will challenge him, and he raised $318,000 on his first day in the race.

Linda Parks may be making the suicidal decision to run as “no party preference.” That’ll cause most of whatever Republican support she has to dry up, as Republicans will vote for Republicans. There are too many Democrats for her to get significant votes from there and there probably aren’t enough centrist independent voters to finish in the top two. Of course if the Democratic vote is spread out wide enough, she could scrape in.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

California Voter Registration is Out

There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Republican registration dropped by 140,000 since last year. The good news is that democrats are similarly bleeding voters and dropped 132,000.

The bad news isn't that bad. The parties tend to drop each year after an election year. The good news isn't that good, because Democrats gained 1,049,000 voters in the last election and have only lost 284,000 since then.

Registration will jump this year, just as it has in other Presidential election years. In 1996, 2000, and 2004, it jumped slightly higher for the GOP than the Democrats. Of course in 2008, the Democratic jump was enormous and the GOP's was relatively small.

The Republican Party isn't becoming any more unpopular than the Democrats. A push isn't terrible, because it's not like we're getting parity any time soon. I'm sure they don't mind it either.