Monday, April 23, 2012

California Top Two Still Still Misunderstood

Perhaps I'm just being redundant, but all these "experts" are in for a surprise on June 5. Allan Hoffenblum, publisher of the respected California Target Book, thinks the following races may end up being party v. party in November.

CD2: A Democrat vs. Democrat contest is very likely.
A Democrat vs. Democrat contest is very unlikely. I see this district going around 69% Democratic/30% Republican in June. Great. Two Democrats could easily exceed any Republican. Two Democrats could, but there are more than 2 in this race. There are 8, 4 of whom are serious candidates. That's a lot of voters to divide up. I don't anticipate any Democrat exceeding 25%.

There are two Republican candidates, one of whom has raised nearly $200,000 and the other who hasn't submitted a fundraising report. Dan Roberts has the state party endorsement. This is golden, because if people don't know the candidates the state party endorsement mailer is extremely important. I know I've voted for people on it when I didn't know them. Roberts is very likely to romp all over Mike Halliwell. I'd guess that Roberts takes in a minimum of 22%, but may get up to 26-27%. It's probably 50-50 whether Roberts wins the primary, but it's almost certain that he'll exceed the #2 Democrat. There are simply too many quality candidates for two even get 20%, let alone 23%.
CD8: we may see a runoff between a Republican and a former Republican.
There is an independent fantasy that's been going on since the top two was created. Some people have the belief that independent centrists will grab votes on both sides of the aisle. That'd take a special independent. Maybe Linda Parks will do it in CA-26. Anthony Adams isn't that independent.

Republicans will vote Republican and Democrats will vote Democratic. Why? Because they wouldn't have joined the party if that wasn't how they voted. Sure, some can be peeled off, but not many. Most people in the parties are mainstream on the left or right, not moderates.

Decline to State voters aren't all centrists looking for a great independent. Many of them vote Republican or Democratic in elections because those parties are closer to them. Their choice to register independent isn't necessarily because they are moderates looking for an independent. And who's to say they are looking for this independent? While a Republican candidate will often mirror Republican views, independents have no party ideology to adhere to. One person might be looking for a fiscal conservative/social moderate while another may want a social conservative/fiscal liberal.

Adams has two other problems. 1) He's raised no money. It takes money to build an organization and win votes. But that isn't the only reason his fundraising is alarming. If you have support, you can raise money. If you don't, you won't. 2) He's reviled by Republicans. Linda Parks should pull Republican votes, but Adams will have a tough time getting many. Adams won't break 10%, let alone finish top two. One of the two spots goes to Democrat Jackie Conaway. The other is up in the air.

CD51: Former Asm./Sen. Denise Morino Ducheny will battle former Asm. Juan Vargas. There are two other Democrats and three Republicans on the ballot. But they appear to be running little more than token campaigns.
This one has a chance of happening. There are three Republican candidates to divide the vote. None of them has raised any money. They could easily split the Republican vote three ways. Xanthi Gionis has the state party endorsement and that might be enough to get her 25-30% of the vote. There are four Democrats, but two will garner few votes. If Vargas and Ducheny are close, they both could top Gionis. I put this as even money.
CD30: Howard Berman vs. Brad Sherman... A Berman/Sherman November runoff is possible, but not guaranteed.
This one might be even money to happen. Republican Mark Reed has the county, but not state party endorsement. Neither he nor fellow Republican Susan Shelley have raised much money. They could split the Republican vote. But how will the Democrats go? Howard Berman hasn't answered Brad Sherman's polls showing a one-sided Sherman win. The race could go Sherman 42% Berman 20% or it could be closer at Sherman 33% Berman 29%.

Here's where it gets interesting. Berman is unlikely to win with Democratic voters, but could draw enough Republicans, if there were no Republican in the race. So Berman won't win in June, but if he makes November he could. So here's my advice to Howard Berman supporters. Work hard to get every vote, but your best chance is if Reed and Shelley divide the Republican vote. Go out there and support Susan Shelley. Every vote she takes away from Mark Reed helps Howard Berman make November. Open your wallet and write Susan Shelley a check. Howard Berman doesn't need more money and you've already maxed out with him. Volunteer on Shelley's campaign. Berman will have enough volunteers. Shelley needs your help.

No comments:

Post a Comment