Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CA-52: How Olin Hyde endorsed, unendorsed, and endorsed Carl DeMaio

Olin Hyde, CEO of Englue, a corporation that's in CA-52, has endorsed Carl DeMaio after rescinding his prior endorsement. While I don't agree with Hyde's characterization of Republicans and the Tea Party, I do find it refreshing that DeMaio decided to respond in a thoughtful manner that didn't use elevated language when talking about either Democrats or Republicans. Democrats in DC are calculating which Republican districts they'll need to take to regain the majority, with the assumption they won't lose any. If DeMaio runs like this for the next year, I think he wins.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Total Congressional Votes by Victory Margin

One of the arguments going around the web is that Democrats would've won the House if not for Republican gerrymandering. I addressed this in January. Democrats would've likely gained around 8-9 seats. That's something but not enough to win a majority. The reason is Democratic clustering in urban areas. A good way to show this is to show the difference in Republican and Democratic winning margins in similar districts.

The first line in the chart below shows the total votes for each party in the 50 districts congressional Republicans won by the largest margins and Democrats won by the largest margins. Democrats won their 50 districts by 1,321,153 more votes than Republicans won their districts. Overall, Democrats had 1,365,441 more votes than Republicans. So it's almost all from the 50 most Republican and 50 most Democratic congressional districts. What makes this more remarkable is that 24 of the Republican districts had no Democrat running, while only 13 of the Democratic districts had no Republican running. Of the 100 districts, 87 had Republicans, while only 76 had Democrats.

The next 100 districts produces similar results, with Democrats having a 1,343,245 vote edge. While a Democrat ran in all 100 of these districts, there were only 95 Republicans. That's because there are many Democratic dominated districts where turn-out is low. That means that Democrats are at a disadvantage since they can have a smaller vote margin of victory in districts where they get a higher percentage of the vote than a Republican does in a district he wins.

You have to go down to the last 50 districts Democrats won and districts 151-200 that Republicans won for you to get to a better GOP margin. Republicans also won 33 additional district. [Note: There are only 433 districts accounted for because Florida doesn't count votes in unopposed districts. There were one Democratic and one Republican district that didn't have votes counted.]

There are some districts gerrymandered by Republicans in the Democrats top 50 and top 100 victory margins, but this also districts in New York and California, which were independently drawn, and districts in Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois, which were drawn by Democrats. You know Democratic voters are highly clustered if they overflow even in districts Democrats draw.

If Democrats want a majority in the House they'll either have to find a way to appeal to non-urban voters better or get their voters to move.

Friday, October 18, 2013

CA-31: Joe Baca's Poll

Joe Baca has done a poll for the CA-31 primary, surveying 2,559 high propensity voters. Baca makes top two easily, besting Pete Aguilar 19.6% to 9.4%. There's no back-up showing the question or questions asked or the demographics of those surveyed. It is unusual to interview so many people but I don't see anything wrong with it.

Obviously it's done to make Baca look good but the results seem very fishy to me. While it's very possible, some would say likely, that a Democrat will win the district in November 2014, that almost certainly won't happen in June 2014.Primary electorates in California tend to be a lot more Republican than general election electorates. Linda Sanchez, running in a D+14 district, beat two unknown unfunded opponents by 12.0% in the primary. Republicans got 51.5% of the primary votes here in 2012. That should be better in a mid-term. Democrats here lead Miller 41.6%-27.8%. That's 13.8%. I really question the sample.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NJ-Sen: Where's the GOP blowback?

Sean Trende
n=1, weird circumstances, but yesterday's NJ-Sen results weren't particularly consistent w massive electoral blowback against the GOP.
The New Jersey senate race was the first Federal election since the shutdown. It was the ideal election for GOP blowback.

1) It occurred when blowback should've been the worst, right at the longest point of the shutdown.

2) The Republican candidate was running as an unapologetic Ted Cruz Republican, complete with a Sarah Palin campaign stop.

3) The Democrat was African-American, running when Chris Mathews and MSNBC are saying every night that the shutdown was due to Republican racism.

Yet Steve Lonegan did better than any Republican in a Senate race since 2000, when a sitting Republican congressman ran. One election isn't an indicator of anything, but this should've been an election to show something.

Some of Trende's replies agree that there wouldn't be blowback next year. Others decide to dismiss this result and point to the Virginia gubernatorial race:

Steven Morton ‏@smorton101368 11m
@SeanTrende Cuccinelli is the real test, IMO.
Cucinelli isn't running in a Federal race and is running in a state with the highest percentage of Federal workers. So he's not in a typical race. The polling, before the shutdown, had Cucinelli down 6. If he loses by 6, I'm guessing Democrats will see this as blowback. Real blowback would be if he loses by 11, although Cucinelli has run such a bad campaign it's difficult to point to blowback as the only reason for a nose dive.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Democratic Argument

Ezra Klein is on Hugh Hewitt making the Democratic argument that they should get their way in the spending debate.

1. What if Democrats decided they wouldn't open the government unless Republicans passed the public option?

There are two problems here.
a) Republicans aren't attaching a policy rider here. They are appropriating money in an appropriations bill and choosing not to appropriate it to ACA. That's within bounds.

b) Democrats attached a policy rider of when the troops had to come home to Iraq War funding in 2007. George Bush vetoed it.

2. Democrats won the popular vote by 1.5 million votes. (It was actually 1.365 million)

This is just stupid. The winners of House seats have never been determined by who wins a national House popular vote. Nothing ever has. The Constitution provides no power to whoever wins the House popular vote any more than they gave Al Gore anything for winning the Presidential popular vote.

The Yankees outscored the Pirates 55-27 in the 1960 World Series. The Pirates got the rings.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Republican Plans for California Assembly

I was at the California Republican convention over the weekend. Connie Conway, the Republican minority leader in the state assembly, talked about winning AD-36 in Palmdale, and AD-65 in Fullerton. She did add AD-66 in Torrance as a target when someone pointed out that candidate David Hadley was in the room. Since I heard Connie speak twice, I heard the same bad joke of how the GOP would defend the seats belonging to “what I like to call the law firm of Morrell, Gorrell, and Linder.” None of them are lawyers. I guess because Morrell and Gorrell rhyme, she thinks it sounds like a law firm.

Jeff Gorrell has been rumored to be interested in running for congress in CA-26 if Tony Strickland switches to CA-25. If true, Conway isn’t getting her law firm. Morrell and Gorrell are termed out in 2016, a year that figures to be more difficult for Republicans than 2014. Republicans need to take 2 seats to get 1/3 of the assembly, preventing Democrats from being able to raise taxes. Gorrell’s seat being open in 2014 would certainly make that more difficult for the next session, but the GOP’s goal is get at least 1/3 of the seats permanently, not just for two years. It may be better to have the seat open in 2014 than 2016.

Linder, on the other hand, was elected under Prop. 28 and won’t be term limited until 2024. So defending his seat should be priority.

There’s nothing surprising about Conway’s list. AD-36, 65, and 66 are the only districts held by Democrats that Meg Whitman won. Carly Fiorina won AD-8, 21, and 32. These districts are tougher targets but certainly possible. As of now, there are no declared Republican candidates in any of them. So it’s not surprising that Conway didn’t mention them.

SF Chronicle columnist Joe Garofoli chose to write about Catharine Baker, the Republican candidate in AD-16.

I don't see this district as a first or second tier opportunity because Barbara Boxer won it. Democrats think they have a stranglehold on every seat they have and that others will keep falling because California demographics are trending their way. I disagree but think that until there's evidence otherwise winning a Boxer seat is a bridge too far. Boxer didn't win big here, but Joan Buchanan won 59%-41% in 2012. The seat will be open and fellow blogger Scott Lay thinks it'll be competitive. I just don't see it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Shutdown and the 2014 Elections in the Media

Yesterday I wrote about the impact of the government shutdown in 1995-96 and its impact on the that election. Sean Trende has his take today, pretty much agreeing with me. Chris Cillizza pushes back saying it'll be worse. Trende's article is full of detailed analysis. Cillizza's video contains some comparisons, without any data that provides any conclusions. I prefer Trende's work.