Tuesday, May 22, 2012

California Absentee Bodes Ill for Democrats

In most congressional district, turn out on June 5 doesn't matter. Due to the limited number of quality candidates, a Republican and a Democrat are assured of advancing. There are a few where that could be an issue. I'm not saying it will be, but it could. Absentee numbers are updated through yesterday. Turn out doesn't always follow absentee, but it may indicate where it's going.

CA-2: I wish I had a clever name for the munchie seat, but I'll just go with that one for now. There are a slew of quality Democrats and only two Republicans. The question here is whether two Democrats advance or a Republican and a Democrat do. The 55%D/25%R turn-out leaves the top two up in the air. The Democratic problem is that they have four quality candidates fighting for votes. It's likely that two candidates won't clear 20%. Some independent voters will vote Republican, so we can safely assume the Republican share will be over 25%, if not 30%. If party endorsed candidate Dan Roberts takes the lion's share, he finishes top two. If he and Mike Halliwell split the vote, two Democrats could advance.

CA-26: Democrats have a 5.5% registration edge. The district is expected to be much closer to a toss-up. Absentees have gone the other way. So far 45% of the vote is from Republicans and 40% from Democrats. We don't know where Linda Parks' vote will come from. I suspect she'll get her base of Republicans and she may steal Democrats. Independents are thought to be her bread and butter. They're not voting in high numbers. That could be good for Democrat Julia Brownley but she can't know for sure. She'd like to see a higher Democratic vote share.

CA-30: Will Howard Berman and Brad Sherman advance? So far the electorate is 31% Republican. If these Republicans vote for one Republican, then both Sherman and Berman won't advance. I can't see them both getting above 31%, especially with another Democrat and a Green in the race. Berman is assumed to be trailing, so either he needs Mark Reed and Susan Shelley to split the vote or take a good share of Republicans. Maybe.

CA-52: Republicans have a 41%-35% advantage in absentee returns, a better advantage than registration would suggest. It's highly unlikely that two Republicans could sneak in, but these numbers aren't helpful.

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