Thursday, March 29, 2012

California Senate

Debra Bowen has qualified the candidates and now we know who'll be on the ballot. I count 6 Democrats, 14 Republicans, an American Independent, a Libertarian, and 2 Peace and Freedom. That's a lot of candidates, especially considering that only one, Democratic incumbent Dianne Feinstein as a chance of winning. There may be a few candidates who'll stand out, but none have money to run ads statewide

This poll indicates birther Orly Taitz and Los Angeles businessman Al Ramirez, who ran in the Republican primary in 2010 are the leaders. They may be the only recognizable names. Elizabeth Emken has the state party endorsement. Wouldn't Republicans just be so lucky if Taitz were the nominee? I'm sure everyone wants to run on a ticket with her.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

CA-26 poll

California's top two is going to be fun. Well, for those of us who observe and analyze elections. Political parties may be tearing their hair out. CA-26 is one of the most intriguing. Republican Ventura County supervisor Linda Parks is running as "No Party Preference."

The big question is whether state assemblywoman Julia Brownley can consolidate the votes Democrats get. Strickland should get 33-36% of the vote. Parks should get 25-30% of the vote. The Democrats should split 33-38% of the vote. If most goes to Brownley, Parks is sunk. If the other 3 Democrats are able to get at least 10% of the vote, she has a shot.

Parks is going to have to get 65-70% with moderate Republicans and moderate DTS, while getting nearly half of moderate Democrats. This scenario would end up with something like Strickland 32.9%, Parks 28.2%, Brownley 27.7%, other Democrats 11.2%. With 4 Democrats in the race, Parks is unlikely to get much of the liberal vote and the moderate Democratic vote will take some work.

You might say that in a primary that's 37.5% Democratic/37.5% Republican/25% other would mean that Parks won't have to get that many Democrats and Republicans. The problem is that all registrants aren't the same. Leaving the Republican party will hurt Parks with some Republicans and she has little shot with conservatives. They'll make up most of the Republican electorate.

There are some independents that always vote conservative or liberal, even if they aren't a Republican or Democrat. With no 3rd party candidates on the ballot, American Independent voters are very likely to vote Strickland. People who are independents because the Democratic party isn't liberal enough won't vote for her either.

I haven't seen the party vote breakdown in this poll, but it's a Parks internal and that makes it suspect.

Some believe that a Parks-Strickland match-up will heavily favor Parks, as she'll get almost all of the Democratic vote. That might not be the case.

The top two will be more complicated than that. It's common for people to leave the race blank when there's no one from their own party. This includes low involvement/knowledge voters who will get the ballot and be surprised there's no Democrat on it. They don't follow congress or politics, but always vote for Democrats. Then there are the diehard liberals who will know that Parks is really a Republican and think there's no real difference between them. Maybe voting would be smart, but they would never vote for a Republican, even if she says she's not one.

Parks would be able to get most of the moderate Democrats and the liberals who vote strategically. The question is how high this number will be. We'll get a decent idea when looking at the June election in districts like CA-23 where there are only Republicans and an NPP on the ballot. There are 5-6 districts where no Republican will be running.

We can then compare fall off from the senate race in districts with and without both parties.

Monday, March 19, 2012

(Pretty much) Final PVI change before and after redistricting

This is a comparison of Obama-McCain numbers before and after redistricting. It shows Republicans have made some significant gains for November's election. Almost all the numbers are in, as there are only a few stragglers. I do need to make the following assumptions:

1. New York will use the court map
2. The Kansas map is the one that passed the Kansas House
3. New Hampshire doesn't change
4. RI-1, RI-2, and KY-3 didn't change. I don't have Obama #s on them.

R+8 or better: Safe Republican
Before: 134 districts
After 151 districts

R+5-7: (Likely to Safe Republican in most of the country)
Before: 40 districts
After: 33 districts

R+5 or better:
Before: 174 districts
After: 184 districts

Democrats hold 12 such seats now. They are mostly Southern, with a few seats like UT-2 and OK-2 mixed in. These are likely safe in a non-wave year. Nice net gain for GOP

Before: 26 districts
After: 27 districts

Little change.

Before: 22 districts
After: 25 districts

Republicans were able to increase R+1-4 by 4 districts, even though they moved 10 districts out of this group.

Before: 9 districts
After: 7 districts

Before: 25 districts
After: 13 districts

Before: 22 districts
After: 19 districts

The D+ lean/likely drop from 47 to 32. That can't be good for Democrats.

Before: 28 districts
After: 30 districts

Slight increase here.

Before: 129 districts
After: 130 districts

Before: 157 districts
After: 160 districts

The small increase here is due to some Democratic gerrymanders, as well as Republicans packing districts with Democrats to win others.

R+5+: 184
R+1-4: 52
E: 7
D+1-4: 32
D+5+: 160

The number of R+ Obama-McCain seats went from 222 to 236, with the number of D+ going from 204 to 192.

The GOP is clearly the redistricting winner. It's not by as much as some people might've predicted, but the largest states (Florida, New York, Texas, Illinois, California) were states where the GOP couldn't gerrymander as much as they wanted or weren't involved in redistricting decisions.

This supports my contention that Democrats won't take the House back. If Democrats are to win the House they need to do something resembling the following:

D+5+: 100%
D+1-4: 80%
E-R+4: 55%
The GOP currently holds 27 D+ Obama seats and 66 seats that are R+3 or more D. In November if Republicans hold all the seats that are R+2 or more Republican, they'd get 224 districts. Most of the current R+ districts held by Democrats (OK-2, AR-4, NY-26 et al) are expected to flip. So Democrats are unlikely to have many R+4 or greater seats to count on.

Winning these seats is certainly not impossible, but capturing 55% of R leaning seats while winning 80% of the Democratic seats is a tall order in a non-wave year.

California Top Two Still Misunderstood

The LA Times is weighing on the upcoming primary:

Successful candidates will need to appeal to a broader swath of voters and can no longer restrict their primary campaign spending and activities to members of their own party, Pitney said. "Trying to identify who is going to vote for you is tricky."

Candidates won't be successful if they try to appeal to a "broader swath of voters." Republicans will select a Republican. Democrats will select a Democrat. Some independents always vote with one party and will continue to do so. Members of third parties, and those that vote with them, will continue to do so. They can vote for the eventual winner in November the same as everyone else. DTS voters have always been able to request a ballot from whichever primary they wished to vote in. So this won't be that much different for them either.

We can go to the CA-36 special election last summer for guidance. That election had 6 Republicans, 5 Democrats, a Libertarian, a Peace and Freedom, and 3 independents. No one in the race got even 25% of the vote and Craig Huey needed only 22% to qualify for the top two election. Hahn appealed to her labor union/minority base, while Huey appealed to fiscal conservatives and evangelical voters. Debra Bowen appealed to progressives. She either didn't get enough of them to the polls or there weren't enough in the district for her to make top two.

Open seat primaries in CA-1, 2, and 8 have drawn a lot of candidates from the more dominant party and either one or two from the other party. The five or six candidates in the dominant party will have to set their focus just as narrowly as they would otherwise and go after their, hopefully, unique constituency. There are two liberal activists in the CA-2 field. These two will draw their votes from progressives and Occupy types. State Assemblyman Jared Huffman would be foolish to go after them.

If Jim Reed wants to advance in CA-1, he needs to narrowly focus on people who always vote Democratic. That'll be 30%+ of the electorate, enough to make top two if he can get almost all of them.

Districts like CA-3 will have one Democrat, incumbent Congressman John Garamendi, and four Republican challengers. Republicans would be wise not to try to appeal to Democrats in the race. They won't snag moderate Democrats looking for the most moderate candidate. They'll vote for Garamendi. In fact, they'll need to vote for Garamendi to make sure he makes the November election. Normally, he'd advance because he'd be the only Democrat. He certainly doesn't need all the Democratic votes to advance, but if enough of his voters decided to vote for Republicans, he wouldn't. Those that do vote in the Republican primary will vote for the weakest Republican, not the most moderate one. They'll want to select the candidate that'll be easiest for Garamendi to beat.

There are some no party preference candidates who'll try to appeal to members of both parties, but I doubt this'll work well. People don't have to join a party. Those that do tend to be loyal.

Most observers expect that all these races will head into the November runoff with two Democrats on the ballot.

Not most observers who have studied the top two in Washington. In order for Berman and Sherman to both advance, Republican challengers Susan Shelley and Navraj Singh will need to siphon off significant votes from favorite Mark Reed for both Berman and Sherman to advance. It may happen, as the Republicans are going after a smaller pool of voters. I'd put it as 70-75% likely that both Berman and Sherman won't advance.

There are only two candidates in the CA-44 race, incumbent congressmen Janice Hahn and Laura Richardson. So both will advance and the real battle will be in November.

There are a few races, CA-13, 15, 29 and 35, where there are no Republican candidates. There is an incumbent Democrat, however. The person who advances will likely be the candidate who can run furthest to the right, not the center, because the Republicans are more up for grabs than the Democrats.

Friday, March 16, 2012

CA-8 poll

Victorville city council member Angela Valles' campaign commissioned a poll for California's new 8th congressional district. Surprise surprise, she came in 2nd. Jackie Conaway is going to win the primary, and with far more than 18% of the vote. I'm guessing she'll have somewhere around 35%. San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt is the favorite for 2nd.

The survey included Phil Liberatore, who is reportedly running. Liberatore, however, isn't included in the San Bernardino County election board list of candidates.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has yet to issue anything, but I'm sure she's busy doing something else.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

California Qualified Candidate Analysis CDs 27-53

Debra Bowen still has yet to post a list of qualified candidates, even though both the filing deadline and extended deadline have passed. Some counties are complete, while others aren't.

The list as I've best been able to determine.

Most of this district is Adam Schiff's but he's moved next door. Judy Chu has her base here. She's shed a lot of Hispanics to the new CA-32. Since yesterday the state party has come out with endorsements. Fiorina lost the district 53%-39%, so it's one that a Republican could break 40% but not win. Judy Chu shouldn't break a sweat. The GOP endorsed Jack Orswell, not fellow challenger Bob Duran. I don't know much about either.

Adam Schiff has a mishmash of districts here. It's one that he shouldn't expect to be seriously challenged. He has three Democratic and three Republican challengers.

This is a new Hispanic district between a Republican Hispanic, David Hernandez, and a Democrat, Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas. There is a second Democrat, Richard Valdez. Hernandez chose to go with "no party preference." That's an interesting choice, as now there's no Republican in the race.

Fun fun fun. There are actually three Democrats here, Congressman Howard Berman, Congressman Brad Sherman, and Vince Gilmore, along with three Republicans, Mark Reed, Susan Shelley, and Navraj Singh. Throw in a Green, Michael Powelson, and there's potential chaos. The Democrats can expect to divide up about 58% of the vote, while the Republicans should get around 40%. If Mark Reed is a strong candidate he should easily get the 30% he needs to advance. So the two Democratic congressmen need to go hard here.

If Reed gets that 30%, then one of the congressmen will win in June and can coast in November. If Reed is denied that 30%, and instead gets 23-25%, then both Sherman and Berman could advance. The Democrats can't count on that happening, so they need to go hard in June.

Whoever is leading will want Reed to do well and ensure that easy race. Whoever is losing will want Shelley to take a lot of votes from Reed, so that he'll have another shot. Do the Democrats try to determine the Republican race or ignore it and go all out?

I'm going to predict both Brad Sherman and Mark Reed get over 30% and go to November.

This is a district that looks okay for Republicans, but it's trending away from the GOP. Unlike CA-21 and 41, the Democrats have the right candidate, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. Republicans have two candidates, Congressman Gary Miller and former senate minority leader Bob Dutton. Dutton is well-respected and some think he's the better candidate. Both the state and national parties have lined up behind Miller, leaving Dutton twisting in the wind.

These are heavily Democratic districts, where the Republican will advance to November and get trounced by Democratic incumbents.

Congressman Henry Waxman is being challenged from a Chinese menu of candidates, 3 Democrats, 1 Republican, a Libertarian, a Green, and an independent. There's enough voters north of the airport to drown out the Republican leaning areas south of it. So while Waxman will win comfortably the primary results should be interesting.

There's, surprisingly, no Republican running here. It's similar to CA-15, where an incumbent is being challenged by a respectable challenger and there are some Republican votes. It'll be interesting to see how Congressman Joe Baca and State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod do in the primary.

This is one of a few races with only two candidates. Rep. Mary Bono has overachieved in her district. There's been only one race she's won by less than 16 points, her 2010 race where she won by 9. That race had an American Independent candidate who took 6% of the vote. And this district is more Republican than her old one. Raul Ruiz is an emergency room physician. I don't want to make light of that since doctors have been elected in the past, but it's hard to see him as a better candidate than Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet. And he didn't make it close. Frankly, I'm underimpressed.

Congressman Ed Royce isn't going to be challenged by Gary Miller, but he is going to be challenged by a Republican, two Democrats, and an independent. They are less formidable.

These are two of the six districts where the no Republican is challenging an incumbent Democrat. Maxine Waters and Lucille Roybal-Allard shouldn't be challenged, but it'll be interesting to see how he vote goes. The Republican Senate candidates in these districts should cumulatively get about 20% of the vote. Will there be 20% less votes in the House race. If not, how will the Republicans vote?

The race is expected to be between Republican Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione and Democratic Riverside Community County Trustee Mark A. Takano. There are two other Republicans and a Democrat who aren't expected to be big challengers.

These are all safe Republican districts where each incumbent congressman has at least one Republican and one Democratic challenger.

The other match-up between sitting representatives. Janice Hahn is going up against Laura Richardson. Like CA-40 and CA-43, there are some Republicans here. I have no idea how they'll vote. The big question here is how hard the two candidates go after votes in June. A candidate can lose 80%-20% and there'd still be an even playing field in November. Of course the narrative would go against a candidate who gets seriously beaten. That could discourage donors and volunteers. With neither Richardson nor Hahn having a lot of cash-on-hand I'd guess they roll the dice.

Loretta Sanchez has a long list of challengers, but the GOP doesn't have a strong one.

This is a Democratic leaning district where the Democrats actually have a good candidate, State Senator Alan Lowenthal. Lowenthal is being challenged by three other Democrats, none of which is expected to do much. The Republican side has three candidates, two of whom are Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong is up against former Congressman Steve Kuykendall. DeLong has done much better fundraising and recently got the state party's endorsement. Kuykendall has been counting on his higher name recognition, but that's only going to last long.

Like CA-29 this is a Democratic Hispanic majority district replacing one that wasn't. Ex-State Assemblyman Juan Vargas would seem to have the advantage over Ex-State Senator Denise Ducheny. Republicans should get around 35% of the primary vote, however. The Democrats need the two Republicans, Michael Crimmins and Xanthi Gionis, to spit that vote enough to let the two Democrats get to November. I don't see that as likely.

There are a number of intriguing races in June. This is the most intriguing to me. Yes, there's the high profile races between two sitting Democratic congressmen. This one, however, is expected to competitive in November. Congressman Brian Bilbray is being challenged by four Republicans. There's Wayne Iverson, co-organizer of the National Doctors Tea Party, and self-funder John Stahl who is affiliated with a number of tea parties. Both will attack Bilbray from the right.

San Diego Port Commission Chair Scott Peters and former Assemblyman Lori Saldaña are two of the three Democrats. Peters is the favorite, but Saldaña can't be underestimated.

Just to make things more complicated, there are two independents, one of whom is former Santee Mayor Jack Doyle. While Doyle is unlikely to get enough votes to advance, he is going to grab votes from somewhere.

There's only two candidates in this district Congressman Susan Davis and Republican Nick Popaditch. The district is 6 points more Republican than Davis' old district, but it's not Republican enough for Popaditch to have a shot. If this were an open seat, there's a chance Popaditch could make it competitive.

To summarize:
Republican districts with Republican competition: CA-1, 8
Democratic districts with Democratic competition: CA-2, 30, 35, 44, 51
Competitive districts with competition: CA-3, 10, 21, 24, 26, 31, 47, 52

There are some districts where there'll be competition to see who loses to a sitting congressman, but those primaries aren't particularly interesting. As it is, that's 14 districts to watch in June. In CA-31, 35, and 52, a sitting congressman could lose. It's likely that one of the two sitting congressmen will lose in CA-30, but the CA-44 competition won't be until November.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Romney gets the nomination

The tally on the left in the linked document estimates the remaining states based on polls/the results of similar states. In this scenario, Romney ends up with 1,117 delegates, with 319 unbound and RNC delegates. Romney won 3 of the 6 states that don't allocate their delegates at the caucus an has thus far won 86% of the RNC delegates that have committed. So he'd only need 8% of them.

If he were to win 36% of them, he could end with 1,017. In the chart on the right, he'd get 1,144 with that. That chart allocates the unbound delegates based on the caucus vote results.

We should keep in mind that unbound delegates in 2008 committed to John McCain, even if he didn't win the state. It's likely that the powers that be will push unbound/uncommitted delegates to Romney, just as the Democratic powers did with Obama in 2008.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dan Lungren and CA-7

Full Disclosure: I interviewed Dan Lungren for Where's The Party? He was the only interviewee to write me a thank you note.
Democrats are once again targeting congressman Dan Lungren and Lungren isn't going to go quietly.

CA-7 has the second highest variance of California congressional districts between Carly Fiorina's 2010 senate numbers and Meg Whitman's 2010 gubernatorial numbers. The district is R+2 with Fiorina, but D+2 with Whitman. The Obama-McCain numbers are R+1. Democrats jumped on the Whitman-Brown numbers and decided the district leans Democratic. Then I read this:

However, strong performance by a Democratic candidate for governor, particularly one running against Meg Whitman who was campaigning for pension reform, in this state-employee heavy district does not translate to an easy path for a Democrat challenging a Republican incumbent for Congress.

That's a good explanation. Fiorina won 49.4%-43.5%. Whitman lost 49.5%-44.5%. The 5% of government workers who backed Fiorina jumped to Brown due to Whitman's pension reform stand. This district leans Republican.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

California Qualified Candidate Analysis CDs 1-26

The California filing deadline was Friday, but Debra Bowen has yet to post a list of qualified candidates. I combed most of the county election websites. Some had candidate lists. Others did not. Some qualified the candidates. Other didn't.

My list is here.

There are 4 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and 2 independents in this race. Since Wally Herger retired so late, fundraising figures are unavailable. This should be a safe Republican district, and State Senator Doug LaMalfa has Wally Herger’s endorsement, as well as nearly everyone else in California.

Sam Aanestad is also a former state senator, but his endorsements seem to be limited to Congressman Tom McClintock.

Democrat Jim Reed should finish first, with LaMalfa second, but with 8 candidates it could go any way.

Fortunately for the Democrats, there is only one Republican here. Dan Roberts will win the primary without spending a dollar. Democrats Susan Adams, Stacey Lawson, Jared Huffman, and Norman Solomon all have raised more than $100,000.

Huffman has the most endorsements, but Adams is a supervisor in Marin County, the population center. Expect Lawson and Solomon to move as far left as they can. In a normal Democratic primary that might be a winning formula, but there’s only room for one occupy candidate. I don’t think any of the Democrats will pick up many Republican votes.

Four Republicans have lined up to face John Garamendi. Colusa County Supervisor Kim Dolbow Vann has lined up the endorsements and should win.

Congressman Tom McClintock will face Democrat Jack Uppal. It shouldn’t be much of a race.

Congressman Mike Thompson has two Republican opponents. Neither should be much of a challenge.

Rep. Doris Matsui will crush Republican Erik Smitt

While independent Mario Galvan is in the race, Congressman Dan Lungren and well-funded Democrat Ami Bera will advance into the fall.

I have 11 candidates listed. I don’t think they’ll all qualify, but San Bernardino County has yet to qualify anyone. This’ll be a difficult district to read, as it has mountains and desert and a bunch of small cities. San Bernardino Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt and State Assemblyman Paul Cook are likely favorites.

Congressman Jerry McNerney has either two or three Republican challengers. Tech executive John McDonald is underfunded compared to 24 year old Ricky Gill. That makes Gill the favorite to face McNerney.

Congressman Jeff Denham has two Democratic opponents, Mike Barkley and Jose Hernandez, along with independent Chad Condit. Denham and Hernandez should advance.

Congressman George Miller has opponents. I’m not sure how many. Miller is going to dominate the primary. He could face Democrat John Fitzgerald in the fall.

House Minority Leader has drawn opponents from multiple third parties, an independent, and even a LaRouche organizer. Pelosi will be too busy raising money for Democrats to notice.

Congressman Barbara Lee has two opponents. I don’t think either is a Republican.

I haven’t been able to confirm any of Jackie Speier’s opponents qualified. If he did, Republican Mike Maloney will advance to the fall.

Congressman Pete Stark will face Dublin City Concilman Eric Swalwell and probably independent Chris Pareja. There doesn’t appear to be a Republican in this race. Jerry Brown only won this district 59%-35%. So there are a lot of Republicans in this district. The general could be interesting. If Swalwell can capture enough Democrats, he should be able to pick up Republicans who want to retire Pete Stark.

This is perhaps the most disappointing district for the GOP. In 2010, they took Jim Costa to a recount. In 2012, they’re fielding candidates who he’ll beat handily. Carly Fiorina won this district. So a good candidate could make a race of it. They won’t in 2012. This is Safe Democratic.

Like CA-11, 14, and 15, there are Republican votes here. I don’t know if there’s anyone to get them. Any Republican would get 30-40% in these districts. They can’t win, but it’d be nice to try.

At least the GOP has a candidate here. Not that it’ll be competitive.

Finally some good news for Republicans. State Assemblyman David Valadao is a good candidate. He’s raised money and can tap into the Central Valley’s Portuguese community. Democrats are weak in the Central Valley and weren’t able to encourage their short bench to enter.

John Hernandez is CEO of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, but that hasn’t translated into any fundraising. Fresno City Councilman Blong Xiong is Hmong. That’d be great if either Fresno or the Hmong community were in this district. It’s tough to see the Democrats winning here.

Congressman Devin Nunes has an opponent… from a few hundred miles away in Silicon Valley. I don’t know if Congressman Kevin McCarthy has an opponent. If Republicans regret not fielding candidates in the Bay area districts, Democrats should regret not making McCarthy break a sweat.

Rep. Lois Capps should have her first competitive race since 2000. The primary will give an indication whether that’ll happen. Former Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado has the money, name recognition, and a strong base in Santa Maria. His vote to increase taxes has left him with animosity from the Republican base. Some would rather Lois Capps win than Maldonado. Chris Mitchum is underfunded, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he beats Maldonado in the primary. Maldonado gives the GOP a fair chance in November, while Mitchum probably doesn’t.

Congressman Buck McKeon has two Republican and either one or two Democratic opponents. It won’t be very interesting.

This is one of the premiere match-ups. Tony Strickland is the only listed Republican in the race. He should accumulate most of the Republican votes. If Libertarian Akiva Werbalowsky doesn’t make the ballot, Strickland will likely get Libertarian and American Independent votes.

Democrats tried to limit their entrants, but they still managed to have four in the race. Real estate broker Al Goldberg was a late entrant. Republican turned independent Linda Parks will try to steal Democratic votes, as well as those from Republican and DTS.

Assemblywoman Julia Brownley just moved into the district from Santa Monica. How will she draw votes in a district that has far fewer progressives? One of her opponents is Hispanic, Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Jess Herrera. He hails from a Democratic stronghold, loaded with Hispanics.

This’ll be a tough district to predict without polling.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

RPLAC Endorsement Meeting Diary

Yesterday was California's primary filing deadline. Because of Prop. 14, both parties are afraid that if they have too many candidates that the other party will get both in the top two. It's interesting that neither party looks at it the other way and thinks they can get both.
As a result, the Republican Party of LA County (RPLAC) decided to have an endorsement meeting. County parties all over the state will have them some time in the next week. The state party may issue endorsements, but only to candidates who are endorsed by every county covered in the district. Candidates needed a 2/3 vote to get the endorsement.

Despite having a million Republicans and what seems like twice as many districts, there wasn't that many districts to discuss. This was because there was only one Republican in many of the districts.

AD-41, which covers Pasadena and the Foothills, has a definite Democratic lean, but it could be competitive. It's a district we probably won't win, but one that you need to go hard in just in case. There are two Republican candidates, Ed Colton and Donna Lowe. Donna Lowe got the endorsement. I don't know much about her, other than what's on here.

AD-66 is a real battleground district and one that actually contains COI. Meg Whitman squeaked by here. In LA County, that's a Republican district. We have two candidates, tea party activist Nathan Mintz and former CA-36 special election candidate Craig Huey.

Mintz was heavily supported in 2010, but I'm told he's had a falling out with some people in the party. Still, he locked up a lot of endorsements before Huey entered the race. Neither candidate got an endorsement.

Turning to congress:

CA-23, apparently, has a sliver of LA County. The party overwhelmingly endorsed Kevin McCarthy, as he actually has a Republican opponent. The county chair mentioned that Kevin has done fundraisers for RPLAC and wrote checks to the committee. He is one of the good ones.

CA-25 Buck McKeon is running for re-election and has two Republican challengers. Even though the two candidates failed to meet the requirements to be considered for endorsements, Buck was magnanimous to ask that they could speak. Buck did get the endorsement, but the vote was only 58-28. It was a squeaker. I'm guessing some people don't like the idea of party endorsements.

CA-30. This is the Berman-Sherman race. It's about a D+10 district on a statewide level. No Republican will win, but it'd be embarrassing if one doesn't make top two. We were told there are three Republicans, but I only got the names of the two that qualified for endorsements. Mark Reed, who rand against Sherman in 2010, got 2/3. Susan Shelley did not. This one has the potential for disaster if Sherman gets 33, Berman 26, and no Republican gets more than 25.

CA-33. This is a district the commission stuck it to us on, but oddly excluding Torrance. So it's also a D+8-10 district, instead of D+3-5. We only have one candidate, Christopher David. His campaign manager asked me to volunteer. I guess that's what happens if you're there. It's a shame. David will likely win south of the airport with about 53-55% of the vote and then be blown out by Henry Waxman north of the airport 80%-20%. If it moves toward the GOP, it could be competitive if Waxman also retires.

CA-47. Steve Kuykendall is up against Gary DeLong. The district is drawn oddly, with Long Beach attached to communities in Orange County. Republicans should have no shot at a Long Beach district, but we do. I think it'll help that our candidate will be from Long Beach.

I've known Steve a few years, but this was my first opportunity to speak with Gary. He seems like a good guy. He mentioned that even though Democrats have an 11 point registration advantage, it's only 2% amongst the most likely voters.

He mentioned that he liked Steve and thought he'd be a good congressman again, but that Steve's poor fundraising made him a bad candidate. Strangely, he didn't mention that in his pitch.

DeLong got 66% approval, while Kuykendall got 60%. Both missed getting the endorsement narrowly. The party endorsed nobody in this race.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Filing Deadline Day in California

Today is the deadline for candidates to file for the Texas and California primaries. If there were a Presidential dark horse that wanted to take it at the convention, he or she would enter both of these primaries, perhaps the only ones they did enter, and go ahead and win them. Thus, everyone would be convinced they are the best candidate.

Tomorrow a number of county Republican parties will meet to discuss endorsements. I believe the Democrats centralized things at their party convention. I'll likely go through the candidate lists some time in the next week. Republicans will have state senate candidates in key districts.

The June California Presidential primary might be meaningful. That might mean higher Republican turnout and Democrats not being motivated to go to the polls. In California's Top Two Democrats and Republicans will be competing on the same ballot, which is new due to Prop. 14. If that's the case, it could benefit Republican congressional and legislative candidates.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Be warned: If you don't adhere to progressive orthodoxy, you'll lose

Those that don't adhere to progressive orthodoxy are pariahs to the left. The progressives worked so hard, spending $10 million, to beat Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas in 2010. Lincoln was a long shot to win, so Democrats wanted to teach any candidate who strayed a lesson. Republicans won the Arkansas senate seat in 2010.

They are now going after Bob Kerrey, the only person who gives them a shot at winning a seat in Nebraska. Make life easier for the GOP

Alan Lowenthal, the Democratic candidate for CA-47, adheres closely to liberal orthodoxy. He has, however, dared to ask questions about the bullet train project. Horrible ones, like whether we'll have the money for it, if it's the best way to solve the problem, and whether it'd be better to spend the money on schools like the evil GOP wants. He isn't completely against the bullet train. He just thinks the current plan is unworkable.

If we're lucky, Democrats will punish him for such thoughts and make sure he loses. I hope they use Lowenthal as an example of what'll happen to Democrats who "side with Tea Party Republicans"