Sunday, June 24, 2012

California Primary Turn-Out

The California primary is over and Republicans did better than expected. The media meme has been that this happened through elevated Republican turn-out, Democrats will show up in greater numbers in the general election, and the Democrats will be competitive or win in all the districts they were supposed to.

I don't think anyone wants to see if this is true.

But let's see what we can figure out anyway, since almost every vote has been counted. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State hasn't put out a full ballot report with partisan turn-out by congressional district or county. Each county does have an elections report. Unfortunately, some counties have a ballot count by party and others don't.

The attached chart has the counties divided up with those that have provided partisan numbers on top, those where I've estimated it, and those that aren't part of competitive congressional districts at the bottom.

The counties vary widely. Some had significantly higher Republican turn-out. Kern, Colusa, Tulare, Los Angeles, and Orange counties fit into that category. Other counties, however, (e.g. Lake, Sacramento, Solano) had a turn-out margin that was pretty much the same as the registration margin. Republican turn-out wasn't elevated.

Because the Secretary of State doesn't put out a partisan turn-out report for general elections it's difficult to estimate what November turn-out would be. If these numbers prove to be final it seems likely that Sacramento county turn-out will be similar to the primary but Los Angeles county turn-out will see a serious uptick in Democrats.

Thus, CA-7, which is entirely in Sacramento county, probably won't see much of a Democratic improvement in the general but CA-36, 41, and 47 in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties will. Conclusions will be easier when the data becomes final.

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