Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Obamacare and the 2014 Election

Health insurance enrollment every year is October-December. They do this so that people won't buy insurance once they get sick. As with any new program, there'll be glitches with Obamacare. That's the best case scenario. The worst case is that it's a disaster. Democrats can't delay Obamacare for a year. They want these problems to happen in 2013, and to work out all the kinks this year. The one thing they don't want is people going into the market for the first time in October 2014, right before the election. If they do, they'll get slaughtered at the polls. Even if it works.

Democrats are scared of what's going to happen with implementing the law. People aren't going to vote based on the positive things they're told other people will have. They'll vote on whether it works for them. If it works, the Democrats could win votes. If it doesn't, the GOP will get the votes. It doesn't sound like it's going to work for people this year. I'm skeptical they'll solve the problems by next year.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

CA-10: NRCC softening up Michael Eggman

CA-10: 2012 Democratic candidate Jose Hernandez is still undecided, but the NRCC is already hitting Michael Eggman. That's an interesting call. Eggman isn't considered a serious challenger. By knocking him down, they may convince Democrats they need a better candidate.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

California CA-3, 7, 10, and 31

Gavin Newsom has decided to endorse Ro Khanna in his challenge against Rep. Mike Honda. This is a breach of the standard Democratic etiquette where elected officials are expected to endorse the incumbent.

State Rep. Dan Logue is the best Republican candidate to take on Congressman John Garamendi is CA-3. Garamendi won the district by 8 points, while Barack Obama won by 11. The only reason to think a Republican might be able to win the district is that Carly Fiorina beat Barbara Boxer in the district in 2010. The article says that Ted Gaines is considering CA-6, but he's actually looking to run in CA-7. He'd likely be the best candidate to take on congressman Ami Bera.

Of course, what update would be complete without a little something from CA-31? Joe Baca is arguing that Pete Aguilar isn't viable because of Aguilar's inability to finish top two last year. That's tough to argue with. Of course this was in response to Aguilar throwing Baca's 2012 endorsement of Republican Gary Miller in Baca's face. That'll be a stumbling block for Baca in a general election. Of course, Miller endorsed Baca in 2012 also.

Democrats have a challenger for Republican Jeff Denham in CA-10. Turlock beekeeper Michael Eggman is getting into the race. He doesn't sound like an "A" list opponent, but the Democrats did win seats with emergency room doctors and community college trustees in 2012.

Monday, April 22, 2013

CA-31: Is Gary Miller Retiring?

Many Democrats believe that winning CA-31 in 2014 will be a slam dunk. President Obama won the seat with 57.2% of the vote. Republicans don't hold any other seats where he got such a high percentage, the closest being CA-21 where he got 54.6%. The GOP lost three other seats where Obama got a similar vote by 5.5%, 1.2%, and 6.6%. So while it seems likely that Republicans would've lost CA-31 had there been a Democrat running in 2012, 2014 should be more Republican. If Republicans had the other seats in 2014, those incumbents might've improved by enough in each to win.

It also wouldn't have been unusual in 2012 for a Republican to beat Mitt Romney by the roughly 9% Miller would've needed. Frank LoBiondo, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Erik Paulsen, Bill Young, Peter King, Dave Reichert, and David Valadao all ran in districts that Obama won and beat Mitt Romney by that amount or more.

There's little debate that Miller is the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the country. Yet he wasn't on the list of Republican incumbents in the NRCC's Patriot program to protect incumbents. Two California Republicans, Jeff Denham and David Valadao, are on the list, even though they not only don't have opponents in 2014, but their most formidable opponents aren't running. It's possible Democrats won't mount a strong challenge against either in 2014, but look to go hard at them with a more Democratic electorate in 2016.

Does the NRCC think the seat is lost? That seems unlikely, because despite Democratic assertions a Republican can certainly win the seat, especially in a mid-term. Carly Fiorina won the district in her 2010 challenge against incumbent Barbara Boxer. Even if the NRCC thought Miller was a long-shot, it wouldn't cost them any money to put Miller in their Patriot program. They won't need to commit that for over a year. The only thing the NRCC is asking for right now is contributions to the candidates' re-election campaigns. If Miller is running for re-election, then donations don't hurt much even if the NRCC sees it as a waste of money.

Another possible explanation is that Gary Miller is retiring. There was buzz about it earlier this month. Subsequently, however, Miller filed for re-election. So he's running? The filing might be a formality. He did it in case he decided to run. A lot of incumbents say they're running and then later retire. The filing lists Gary Miller for Congress as having a Diamond Bar address. Miller lived in Diamond Bar and his campaign office was there. That home, and office, were outside the district. So he moved to Rancho Cucamonga and so did his campaign office. Did Miller fail to change that with the FEC? Or did someone file old paperwork?

Is Gary Miller Retiring? I wouldn't dismiss the possibility.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

CA-31: Could it happen again?

CA-31 was a major debacle for Democrats, perhaps their biggest of the last cycle. It seems likely that just having someone with a D next to his name might’ve resulted in a Democratic win.

The district is by far the most Democratic held by a Republican. The hope is that this time having a candidate with a D next to his name will result in a win. It’s possible that might be true. Redlands mayor Pete Aguilar, the failed 2012 candidate, declared early. Some Democrats hoped he’d be the only candidate in the race. It’s early in the cycle for challengers to declare their candidacy. Democrats don’t yet have candidates challenging Republicans in CA-10 or CA-21.

Then Democratic attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes expressed interest in the race. She was followed by former congressman Joe Baca declaring he was running. Now Danny Tillman, a San Bernardino City Unified School District board member, had decided to enter the race.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Democrats might be having a little déjà vu.

Why it won’t happen
1. While two members of the same party qualifying was something people like myself saw as a possibility, Democrats were caught flat-footed at the possibility in 2012. They won’t be surprised this time and will take steps to prevent it.

2. The two lesser Democrats look like fairly weak candidates.

3. Republicans would need two strong candidates to pull it off. That happened in 2012 when a sitting congressman and a state senator decided to run. There’s no indication that such a candidate will enter the race.

4. The result was still a fluke, even with two strong Republicans in the race. Gary Miller had 26.7% of the vote to Bob Dutton’s 24.8%. It could’ve just as easily been 29.2%-22.3%. Dutton wouldn’t have qualified in that scenario. Miller’s low percentage might’ve been due to him being new to the district. He’s the incumbent now and might do better. Certainly getting two candidates around 25% of the vote isn’t something you can plan to do.

Why it could happen
1. Nancy Pelosi continually claimed that Republicans couldn’t take back the House in 2010 because Democrats were prepared. That didn’t work out quite the way she thought it would. The entire Democratic establishment effort was behind Pete Aguilar in 2012. It didn’t even get him half the Democratic vote. The establishment getting behind one candidate can often result in voters going the other way.

2. Democrats don’t do well in California primaries. In the neighboring more Democratic CA-41, Democrat Mark Takano won 59%-41%, but Democrats only took 45.5% of the primary vote. Democrats have been trying to solve this problem for years. Yet their voters don’t show up, even in good Democratic years. You really can’t count on changing that, especially in heavily Hispanic district.

In 2010, Aguilar went up against three underfunded political unknowns. Each still managed to take at least 5.7% of the vote and got 25% of the overall vote. If you look at the 2012 primaries, unknown underfunded Democrats often took 7-12% of the overall primary vote. This time Aguilar will have to contend with Joe Baca. Aguilar and Baca would really be hurt if they lost 7-10% of the vote that goes to Democrats. If the two are splitting 37% of the vote, it’s possible neither will top 20%.

3. Republicans do have candidates who could pull in a lot of votes. Dutton could run again. Assemblyman Mike Morrell could run. The best candidate would be state senator Bill Emmerson. While Emmerson doesn’t live in the district he represents much of it currently. Emmerson isn’t up for re-election. So he wouldn’t need to give up his seat if he were to run. I’m pretty sure he’s term limited and can’t run for re-election in 2016. So he has nothing to lose by running and he’s two years away from looking for a new office anyway.

The GOP does have a deep bench in San Bernardino county. If a Superpac got behind a candidate, they could help him tremendously.

I don’t think two Republicans finishing 1st and 2nd will happen again, just because it was such a fluke the first time. That said, the Democratic field is shaping up to create that scenario. If a second strong Republican gets in, it could happen.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

CA-25, CA-31 and the LA Mayoral Race

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar is apparently upset that Joe Baca has decided to run in CA-31. Of course a lot of people were pressuring Baca to run here in 2012 and even in 2014. Apparently you just can't make some people happy.

Buck McKeon has pushed back against the retirement rumors. This doesn't mean he isn't retiring. McKeon raised a paltry $69,142 in the first quarter, $57,000 of which was from PACs. The remaining money came from 12 individual donors, who mostly appear to be affiliated with the defense industry. I assume that McKeon didn't send out any fundraising appeals, via snail mail or email, or have any fundraising events.

Eric Garcetti has a fairly comfortable 9 point lead in the latest LA mayoral poll. Mike Feuer leads Carmen Trutanich for city attorney. Dennis Zine is ahead for city controller. None of these results is a surprise.

Monday, April 15, 2013

CA-31: Joe Baca Will Run

The rumors turned out to be true. Former Democratic congressman Joe Baca is running against Republican congressman Gary Miller in CA-31. Baca was the congressman in CA-43, billing himself as a moderate and was a member of the Blue Dog coalition. His district was divided between the safely Democratic CA-35 and the Democratic leaning CA-31. His home was in CA-31. Baca elected to run in CA-35, even though Democratic state senator Gloria Negrete-McLeod was running there and Democrats lacked an "A" list candidate for CA-31. As has been documented quite heavily here and elsewhere, Democrats blew the CA-31 race badly and didn't have a candidate make the fall ballot.

Since there were two Republicans running in CA-31 and two Democrats in CA-35, the Republican and Democratic incumbents, Miller and Baca, supported each other. Miller sent out a mailer showing Baca's support.

Negrete-McLeod beat Baca in November, partially because of Michael Bloomberg's misleading ads. Bloomberg set out to take down Baca due to Baca's stance on guns. There was no mention of guns in the ad.

Progressives at the Democratic convention this weekend weren't happy that Baca might run in CA-31. Pete Aguilar, a favorite of Washington Democrats, is already in. Aguilar has a giant black failure mark against him and Baca is likely a better candidate. This is a Democratic leaning district and would almost certain be won by any Democrat in Presidential year. In a mid-term, with a Democrat in the White House, it's a toss-up Miller v. Aguilar or Lean Democratic Miller v. Baca.

California Democrats and Education Reform

From this weekend's California Democratic convention.
If your agenda is to shut teachers and school employees out of the political process and not lift a finger to prevent cuts in education, in my book you're not a reformer, you're not helping education, and you're sure not much of a Democrat.

Who said this? Was it a representative of the teacher's unions? A far left progressive activist? Nope. It was State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said this about Democratic school reform groups that are backed by President Obama and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The reporter reports this without noting how extreme this is. Barack Obama just drew over 60% of the vote in California and is the Democratic President. The top education official in California isn't saying that Obama has his opinion and there's room for disagreement in the Democratic party. Nope. "you're sure not much of a Democrat."

And Republicans are the extremists?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

CA-25: Buck McKeon may retire

The Flash Report is reporting that Republican congressman Buck McKeon, CA-25, may retire at the end of the term. This wouldn't be surprising, since McKeon is 74 years old and has come across as fed up with congress. McKeon is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a long time defender of the military. He sounded very frustrated with the sequestration defense cuts. If he returns next term, he will no longer be chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

The Antelope Valley is a long time Republican stronghold. Fleischman speculates that BOE member George Runner, Senator Steve Knight, former Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, Assemblyman Scott Wilk, and Chairman of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors Peter Foy as possible candidates. Barbara Boxer got 40.7% here in 2010 and Jerry Brown got 42.9%. So Democrats got swamped in a mid-term. President Barack Obama narrowly lost the district, after winning it in 2008. It remained at an R+3 PVI. It's possible it could be competitive later in the decade, maybe even in 2016. Of course the Democrats have no bench here. A Republican would have to run a truly horrible campaign to lose it in 2014.

One name Fleischman introduces and dismisses is former state senator Tony Strickland. Strickland is from outside the district and might have an uphill climb to win it. He sent out a fundraising letter to supporters today announcing his run for congress. He doesn't mention what district number he's running in or Julia Brownley in the letter. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the possibility.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

California Registration Report

The California Secretary of State issues party registration reports 5 times during even numbered years with general elections but only one in odd numbered years. That report, issued in February, isn’t very telling, since it comes out less than 3 months after the previous report and soon after a general election. The parties don’t do registration drives and there’s no urgency to register. Orange County used this as an opportunity to purge their voter rolls of people who were no longer voting.

Overall, voter registration declined by 190k, although that was largely due to Orange County. If you exclude that county, voter registration increased by 93k voters. In the 45 days between the last two registration reports in 2012, registration increased by almost a million voters. So the change was too small to mean much and it’s far enough away from an election that it doesn’t matter. So any information in here isn’t very meaningful.

That said, the report is certainly positive for Democrats. Their registration, outside of Orange County, went up by about 55k voters, while the Republicans declined by 21k. The NPP voters went up by 54k. It’s unknown how many of these are purged inactive voters, voters who moved, new registrants, or those that changed registration. Keep in mind that these are net figures. There were congressional districts where Republican registration increased.

I’m not going to get into a district by district analysis, because the changes are rather small and don’t mean much this far from an election. In the battleground CA-52 the Republican registration advantage went from 1.8% to 1.7%. In CA-7 the Democratic registration advantage went from 1.4% to 1.7%. That's not going to mean much in 19 months.

The February 2009 report showed an increase in the Democratic advantage over the October 2008 report. Subsequent reports in 2010, 2011, and 2012 had that margin drop slowly. They reversed that with the massive jump in the final report due to online registration.

If you’re a Democrat, there are no negatives here after last October’s big gains. If you’re a Republican, you can say that the change is meaningless.

Monday, April 8, 2013

California 2014 campaigns

Former Republican Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia will run for the new 28th Senate District next year. Garcia should book her ticket to Sacramento. Mimi Walters was the worst Republican candidate in 2010 and she won the district 48%-42%. She'll likely get a GOP challenger, but no one who has the experience she does. There's no incumbent. Bill Emmerson occupied a similar seat that disappeared after his term expired last year.

Republicans have six senators whose terms end next year. Of those, Jim Nielsen, Jean Fuller, Tom Berryhill, and Joel Anderson will all run for re-election in districts more Republican than the one Garcia will run in. Mark Wyland is term-limited but his seat will be safe for which ever Republican, possibly Orange County Supervisor Patricia Bates, decides to run. The sixth Republican is Anthony Cannella. He will be running in a tough competitive race in SD-12. The GOP would need to win nine seats to prevent Democrats from getting another super majority in 2014. So they'd have to win Canella's seat and two others, SD-14 in the Central Valley and SD-34 in Western Orange County.

Republican Andy Vidak and Democrat Leticia Perez are facing off in a special election for the remainder of the legislative session in a district similar to SD-14. The winner will be the favorite in 2014.

Conservative millionaire Charles Munger is lining up behind Abel Maldonado, while Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist is against him. While Maldonado's past vote to increase taxes makes him controversial, at least the GOP has a candidate people are talking about.

Republican Assemblyman Brian Nestande has been endorsed by former Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack for a run in her former seat, CA-36. This is a pure toss-up district, one that figures to be better to Republicans than it was in 2012. Nestande is considered a top flight challenger. He joins former state senator Tony Strickland, who decided last week to challenge for CA-26. These would be two of the four most vulnerable Democratic seats. Republicans don't yet have a challenger for CA-7 and CA-52, although they have top potential recruit in former San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio. There are several candidates rumored interested in CA-7.

The Democrats have three seats where they'll attempt to mount strong challenges. They've got their guy in CA-31, but no candidates in CA-10 and CA-21. CA-21 is tricky for Democrats. The district appears to lean Democratic, but Democrats don't have a deep bench there.

Friday, April 5, 2013

LA Mayoral Race: Kevin James Backs Eric Garcetti

Earlier this week Republican Kevin James endorsed Democrat Eric Garcetti for Los Angeles mayor. James was the third place candidate in the March 5 primary and the sole Republican in the field. Since he garnered so many votes, James' endorsement was coveted by Garcetti and his rival Wendy Gruel. His voters are likely far away from either Democrat ideologically. So while many Democrats might have already made their decision, James' voters probably haven't.

Apparently, Gruel being in the back pocket of the city unions was the deal breaker for James. That's certainly a strong selling point for Republicans. James ran especially strong in Westchester and Playa Del Rey. A big issue for Republicans there has been the LAX expansion. They've been very vocal about their opposition. So it hardly seems like a coincidence that Garcetti garnered James' endorsement the day after Garcetti came out in opposition of the LAX expansion. That may have a prerequisite for James' endorsement.

Of course we saw that many people will leave a ballot blank when the race is between two candidates in the other party. With the mayoral race the only election on the ballot for many people, we could see Republicans and conservative leaning independents stay home.

This race has seen something unusual with Democrats. Gruel has had to fight the charge that she's soft on labor. Being a labor ally is usually something Democrats brag about. What's good for labor unions is good for everybody. Apparently that's not a safe position for a Democrat any more.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

CA-26: Strickland Seeks Rematch with Brownley

Former California state senator Tony Strickland filed a statement of candidacy and a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission, indicating he's seeking a rematch with Democratic congresswoman Julia Brownley. Brownley defeated Strickland 52.7%-47.3% in 2012. The district had a Cook PVI of D+3.3 in 2012. That's Democratic enough to be troubling for a Republican but the district was D+4.1 in 2008. Both Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina won the district in 2010, so it should be winnable in a mid-term, especially one where a Democrat is in the White House.

Some people think Strickland is too conservative to win, but he won the district in state senate races and he's not nearly as conservative as people make him out to be. He was endorsed by the Humane Society in 2012. That doesn't make him a moderate but it sure makes him warm and fuzzy. Strickland is great fundraiser, experienced campaigner, and generates a lot of loyalty among volunteers. He's the best the GOP has to offer. Brownley does have an advantage of incumbency. She didn't live in the district until 2011 and previously represented only 1/6 of it. While she certainly was known by the time of the election in 2012, people will now have had a chance to see what she can do and they should be more familiar with her.

CA-Gov: Abel Maldonado files fundraising paperwork

Former California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado has filed paperwork that'll enable him to fundraise for the governor's race. Republicans should be very happy with this. No one is going to beat Jerry Brown and everyone knows it. So someone has to take one for the team and get Republicans to the polls. Losing, perhaps losing badly, isn't a very attractive prospect and virtually no one was interested. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly expressed interest, but a Donnelly bid wouldn't be greeted positively by many Republicans. Donnelly is known for his hard line stance on immigration, a position Republicans don't want to project. Some people have speculated that a Donnelly candidacy would kill Republicans from the top of the ballot to the bottom.

Maldonado is a well known, handsome Hispanic. If anyone can help Republicans with Hispanics, it's him. He's experienced at fundraising and most everyone is comfortable with him. So he should be able to tap into Republican fundraising circles. He's added some experienced campaign staff, so he'll run a big league campaign.

Republicans remember that he committed heresy when he voted for the tax increase, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Republicans are deep in the minority in California. He could help the GOP appeal to squishy moderates. If the GOP is smart they'd rather be a RINO party than be irrelevant. They're irrelevant now.

Edit: Abel Maldonado has a website up

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CA-31: Democrat Eloise Reyes considering a run

Democrat Eloise Reyes is considering joining Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar in challenging Republican congressman Gary Miller in CA-31. This has caused panic among some Democrats. This is oddly funny. Obviously, Democrats want to do anything to avoid a repeat of 2012 where Top Two produced two Republicans competing for the seat in November. So there is something there. What makes it oddly funny is that Democrats have been trumpeting their amazing triumphs in California and how they're going to eventually wipe out Republicans in the state, leaving the GOP with only a handful of districts. Usually the party talking about how they'll win everything isn't the one who is scared.

Of course, there's little reason to be scared right now. There's only one Republican in the race and that's unlikely to change. Even if another one enters the race, that candidate is unlikely to be strong enough to take 25% of the vote the way Bob Dutton was. If a second Republican enters the race, there'd be two Republicans and two Democrats. If the Democrats have reason to be scared with two Republicans, wouldn't Republicans have reason to be scared with two Democrats? No, they wouldn't, because a two on two is unlikely to produce two of the same party finishing 1-2 unless it's a fairly one-sided district. The Democrats were done in because there were four Democrats splitting votes.

What could happen is that the hand-picked Democrat could fail to make Top Two, the way Blong Xiong failed to in CA-21 last year. The primary electorate picked John Hernandez and he proved a weak candidate, falling to Republican David Valadao.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

CA-17: Ro Khanna is in

As I indicated might happen last month, Democrat Ro Khanna is challenging Democratic congressman Mike Honda in CA-17. Before California's top two system went into effect, a Democrat challenging an incumbent in a primary would have gotten a ho-hum. After Eric Swalwell and Gloria Negrete-McLeod knocked off incumbents in last November's general election.

The district is 44.4% Democrats/18.9% Republicans/36.7% other. It has the highest percentage of "other" in the state. It's got a lower percentage of Democrats than CA-15 or CA-35, where the Democratic incumbent lost, and a similar percentage to CA-33, where Henry Waxman was almost beaten.

Khanna's winning strategy should be:

1. Firm up support with young Democrats by portraying Honda is an over-the-hill out-of-touch creature of Washington. As much as young Democrats respect old progressives, there's a strong appeal for someone of their generation. Khanna needs to get around 30% of the Democratic vote.

2. Go pro-business. Honda has insisted he won't vote for any immigration bill that isn't right for low income unskilled undocumented immigrants. So he voted against the Republican STEM visa bill for high tech. Liberals who work at Yahoo, eBay, Cisco, and Oracle may be sympathetic to the Democratic immigration position, but they'd have to like someone who puts them first.

3. Meet with Republicans. Let them know that you're a good Democrat, but aren't hostile to them the way the incumbent is. Either keep all Republicans out of the primary or flood the zone with them. If a Republican takes 28% of the vote the way Evelyn Li did Khanna may be DOA.

4. Don't go hard after Honda yet. Doing so can create ill will among Democrats and he doesn't need to win the primary. Eric Swalwell and Gloria Negrete McLeod both finished second in the mid-30's in the primaries and won in the general.

5. Be a Democrat, but own the center. This plays off the previous points, but Khanna needs to come across as a good Democrat but one who'll be more attractive to the 55% of people who aren't Democrats and moderate Democrats.

CA-31: Mayor Pete Aguilar in

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, officially announced a challenge to Republican Congressman Gary Miller in CA-31. On paper Aguilar looks like a good candidate. He's young, handsome, Hispanic, and a mayor, a position often looked at as non-partisan by voters. Redlands only has 68k people, however, so it's only a small part of a district dominated by San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, and Upland. Miller called Diamond Bar home until recently, but he moved to Rancho Cucamonga, in 2011 to live in the district.

CA-31 was the only Democratic leaning district in the state where a Democrat failed to qualify top two in 2012. Aguilar was the handpicked DCCC candidate, but he entered the race several months after two other candidates and failed to consolidate Democratic support. The fourth candidate in the race, Justin Kim, got strong support from the Chinese community. Aguilar has gotten in early and it's unlikely strong Democratic rivals or two strong Republicans will be in the race in 2014. So he should make top two.

In the similar CA-41, just south of this district, Democrat Mark Takano, who wasn't viewed as a strong candidate, had a one-sided win over Republican John Tavaglione, who was viewed as a strong candidate. Takano won because the district leaned so far Democratic that the relative strength of the candidates didn't matter much. Barack Obama won CA-41 62%-36% and CA-31 57%-41%. So CA-31 doesn't have a partisan lean that's nearly as strong but Aguilar doesn't need to win the districts by the 18% Takano won his.

Monday, April 1, 2013

CA-SD-16 Special Field

The deadline for candidates for the CA-SD-16 special election was Friday. The state has yet to certify the field, but five candidates filed. They are three Democrats, one Republican, and a candidate from the Peace and Freedom Party. The method for determining a winner in a California special is unique. While all candidates are included in a jungle primary, just as in a regular election, if a candidate gets 50% in a special primary there is no general election.

While there's only one Democrat who'll get the bulk of the votes, Kern County supervisor, Leticia Perez, having several other Democrats and he Peace and Freedom Party candidate in the race should siphon votes from Perez. Democrats have won the district handily in the past. So the most likely primary scenario is that the three other candidates, at best, keep Perez under 50% in the primary and Vidak gets in the 40's. If Vidak has a real shot in the district, however, he gets two bites at the apple with two different electorates. If he gets 50% in the primary, he wins. If he doesn't, but Perez doesn't either, then he gets another shot one-on-one. While Andy Vidak is certainly an underdog, possibly a big one, the candidate field is ideal for him. Crazy things have happened in California primaries int he past. So you never know.