Monday, June 30, 2014

California Controller Final Results: Yee by 484

California gets a bum wrap when it comes to counting ballots. Ballot counting is slower here, but that's because 1) we have a lot of people 2) we have few counties 3) vote by mail means having to verify people don't vote twice. Still, almost all the ballots were counted within 10 days. Yet here we are 27 days after election day and we're finally done. What took so long? Well, tiny Lake County had a county clerk or something who was in the hospital and said clerk decided that she didn't need to hire someone to replace her to count the last 6,000 ballots. So the ballots sat while she was in the hospital. And they were finally counted today. As expected, John A. PĂ©rez picked up votes. As expected, the number of votes he picked up, 377, weren't enough to put him ahead of Betty Yee. She finished 484 ahead. That puts her at 21.74% to his 21.73%. People do recounts when the election is within 0.5%. This election is 50 times closer than that. We're taking 484 votes out of 4,039,353. There should and will be a recount. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see the lead change several times during a recount.

California Governor Field Poll: Brown by 20

The first California gubernatorial poll is out and it's an excellent one for Jerry Brown. He's leading 52%-32%. There were eight races for statewide office in 2010 and Democrats only won by 20% in one of them. No Democrat won by that much in 2006, 2002, or 1994 although two did so in 1998. Overall, a Democrat won 3 of those 28 elections, 11%, by 20% or more. Meg Whitman lost by 13% in 2010. If this poll comes to pass, Kashkari will be a disaster. I'm not surprised by the numbers, as I expect Jerry Brown to win by 17-24%. Kahskari was sold as the better performing candidate, however. We can't know how bad Tim Donnelly would've done, but if a gubernatorial candidate doing badly hurts Republicans down ballot then Kashkari will be a big liability.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

California Controller Update

Betty Yee increased her lead from 838 to 867 votes over Assembly Speaker John Perez today. While all counties, except one, had reported their final numbers, it appears 4 counties found 400+ ballots. On Thursday, Lake County, the only outstanding county, will begin counting their outstanding ballots. Yee and Perez will have representatives there.

Monday, June 23, 2014

California Primary Assembly Vote Analysis

Based on the California congressional vote, it looks like the results will be a wash. That'd be a win for the Democrats, as they need to protect big gains and expect a worse electorate in the mid-term. The Senate vote looks very strong for the GOP, as they'd deny the Democrats the super majority there. The assembly vote, however, is like the congressional vote, probably minimal losses for the Democrats. And maybe a bit better. Republicans need to pick up two seats to deny Democrats another super majority. That should be easy, but might not be.

AD-8 - Republicans were hoping this East Sacramento district could be in play. They won the primary in 2012 by 10% and lost the general election by 8%. But Carly Fiorina won this district. Democrat Ken Cooley beat Republican Douglas Haaland by 11% in the primary. The GOP won't make up that ground. Safe Democratic.

AD-16 - Fiorina didn't win this district but the loss was narrow and the district has no incumbent. Democrats Tim Sbranti and Steve Glazer poured a ton of money, their own and outside money, into the district and it showed in the results. Safe Democratic.

AD-21 - Fiorina did win this Central Valley district. So it was a disappointment when the GOP failed to get a candidate on the ballot. They did manage to get 2012 candidate Jack Mobley on the ballot as a write-in. Normally that wouldn't mean much but Ashley Swearengin took Merced County with 46% of the vote and combined with David Evans to get 61% of the county vote. Swearengin and Evans took the district's other county with 54% of the vote. These two counties are in Anthony Cannella's state senate district and he got 69% and 61% in them respectively. So Mobley figures to have a big GOTV behind him in the fall. It's tough to gauge based on write-in results, but this district may be in play. Lean Democratic.

AD-32 - This district is just to the south of AD-21 and had similar statewide results. I wasn't optimistic here, but Democratic incumbent Rudy Salas was beaten 56%-44% in the primary. He did worse in 2012 and still managed a narrow general election win, but I don't think he can count on the type of general election improvement he got then. Toss-up.

AD-36 - The biggest surprise Democratic victory in 2010 was the one by Steve Fox in this Antelope Valley district. Barack Obama won it only narrowly and Fox pulled it out with the last group of provisional ballots which were counted. Democrats did get 37% of the vote in the primary this time after only getting 33% in 2012. So they have that as a reason for optimism. But that was the only race they came back from such a large deficit. Doing so again would be like a 100-1 shot winning the Kentucky Derby. Twice. Likely Republican.

AD-40 - Incumbent Republican Mike Morrell got 59% in the 2012 primary and then won the general election by only 1%. The seat is now open and Republican Marc Steinorth got only 54%. That could cause concern among Republicans and this one should be close. The GOP is down to a low number of seats and was hoping to play offense and not worry about defense. They can't do that. Toss-up.

AD-44 - This Ventura county district is similar in that an incumbent Republican got 58% of the primary vote and won narrowly, here by 6%. That incumbent isn't running for re-election and the GOP's candidate Pastor Rob McCoy is controversial and fairly conservative. Republicans did a point better here, at 55%, and could actually suffer the same primary to general election drop as 2012 and still win the district. But it'd be close. Toss-up.

AD-57 - There should be no reason to talk about this district. It's a Whittier based seat that Barbara Boxer won comfortably in 2010. Democrats won the primary with 56% of the vote in 2012 and then the general election with 63%. This year Democrats managed only 48% of the vote in the primary. What happened? Calderon happened. Incumbent Ian Calderon shares a family name with indicted state Sen. Ronald Calderon and former Assemblyman Tom Calderon. He's their nephew. When it comes to criminal activity, partisan preference can go out the window. Ian appears to have been indicted by proxy with the electorate. This district shouldn't be in play, but can't be dismissed. Likely Democratic.

AD-61 - Republican Eric Linder didn't get a primary opponent. That should make the district a slam dunk. But this is one of three GOP districts Barack Obama won, AD-40 and 44 are the other two, and a Democrat didn't qualify as a write-in. The good news for the GOP is that the candidate who appears to have gotten Top Two is Democrat Ken Park, not the party's preferred candidate Oliver Unaka. I can't find any information on Park, but I don't want to dismiss the possibility he could win since I don't have primary data to back it up. Likely Republican.

AD-65 - Republicans expected to take back this Orange County district easily. And maybe they still will, but they managed only 55% of the primary vote after getting 59% in 2012. There are decent reasons for this, e.g. Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva is now an incumbent, but this one won't be the slam dunk Republicans were hoping for. Toss-up.

AD-66 - In 2012, Republicans won this district by 19% in the primary and then proceeded to lose it by nearly 10% in the general election. The GOP won it by only 1% in this primary and that might mean it's out of reach. Likely Democratic.

Overall, it could be a good year for Republicans if things break right. But they could also lose seats if things break wrong. The likeliest scenario is a minimal 1 seat gain, something that would mean the Democrats retain their supermajority.

California Controller Watch

Every ballot has been counted in every California county, but two. There may be 258 ballots left in Sutter county and there may be 6,000+ in Lake County. Lake County is a small 65,000 person county with less than 34,000 registered voters. They reported 9,703 ballots on election day and haven't reported since. Some counties don't issue reports after every day of contend and wait to report to the Secretary of State when they finish counting. Even then, it appears Lake County wants to wait until the deadline, which isn't until next week. I don't know why. If they really have 6,000 valid ballots, they will be among the highest turn-out counties with more than 10,000 registered voters.

As of now, Betty Yee leads John Perez 877,117 to 876,268, an 849 vote lead. Even if there are 6,000 valid ballots in Lake County, there shouldn't be a big enough difference in votes to put Perez ahead. if things break right he could gain 400-500 votes, however. Right now the results are Yee 21.75% to Perez 21.73%. A candidate often requests a recount if the race is closer than 0.5%. This race is 0.02%. There'll be a recount and I'd expect the lead to change during one.

Edit: Sutter county is in. John Perez gained 12 votes on Betty Yee, cutting her lead to 837 votes. There's only one county left to count. When they'll count is anyone's guess.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Other Write-ins Who Qualified

Besides Kevin McCarthy there were other candidates who didn't have a primary opponent, but who will face off against a candidate who was a write-in on the June ballot.

CA-44 - LA County hasn't released any write-in vote numbers but Adam Shbeita, a Peace and Freedom candidate, was the only write-in. So he'll run against Democrat Janice Hahn.

SD-16 - Republican Jean Fuller will face Democrat Ruth Musser-Lopez, who she beat 79,231 to 717. It'll be closer in November, but Musser-Lopez won't win.

SD-22 - Again no LA County numbers but Republican Mark Rodriguez is the only write-in against Democrat Ed Hernandez. Hernandez is safe.

SD-36 - I don't have the final vote numbers but preliminary numbers show Democrat Gary Kephart got 163 votes and will face Republican Patricia Bates. Bates is safe.

AD-5 - I don't have the votes for all counties in this district, but Libertarian Patrick Hogan got at least 1,573 votes. Republican Frank Bigelow is safe.

AD-14 - Democrat Susan Bonilla had two write-in opponents. They combined for at least 2,162 votes. Contra Costa and Solano Counties haven't released who got the write-in votes. Neither poses a threat to Bonilla.

AD-21 - Republican Jack Mobley got 2,769 votes, 10% of the vote total. Clearly, someone was pushing his write-in candidacy. It overlaps CA-10, CA-16, and is in SD-12, all districts Republicans did very well in during the primary. This is Swearengin country. I'll cover this in my assembly review, but you shouldn't dismiss Mobley's candidacy just because he's a write-in.

AD-31 - Democrat Henry Perea will face NPP Walter Villarreal in November. This is also Swearengin country, but since Villarreal won't have the Republican party behind him, Perea has nothing to worry about.

AD-41 - The bulk of the district is in LA County, which hasn't tallied their write-ins. In San Bernardino county Republican Samuel Forsen led Republican Linda Hazelton 97 votes to 34. While that would seem to be a good indicator that Forsen will finish second, San Bernardino is less than 20% of the district. No matter who the opponent is, Democrat Chris Holden is safe.

AD-51 - Republican Stephen Smith is the only write-in against Democrat Jimmy Gomez. Gomez is safe.

AD-60 - Republican Eric Linder occupies one of three Republican districts Barack Obama won in 2012. So it was surprising when no Democrat qualified for the primary ballot. Two did run as write-ins. The candidate the Democratic party preferred Oliver Unaka lost to fellow Democrat Ken Park 144 to 118. I'll hit on this in my assembly write-up.

AD-67 - Democrat Conrad Melton's 58 votes makes him Republican Melissa Melendez's November opponent. Melendez is safe.

AD-75 - Democrat Nicholas Shestople's 131 votes make her Republican Marie Waldron's November opponent. Waldron is safe.

AD-76 - The San Diego numbers aren't final, but their preliminary numbers showed Thomas Krouse, the write-in, getting 4 votes. Even with that few, he'll qualify to challenge fellow Republican Rocky Chavez. Chavez is safe.

AD-79 - George Williams, an AI, had all of 10 votes in San Diego's preliminary numbers. He'll take on Democrat Shirley Weber. Weber is safe.

CA-23: Kevin McCarthy's November Opponent

Roll Call has an article about Kevin McCarthy's opposition in November, noting that even though no candidate qualified for the primary ballot, one of the four write-ins will make Top Two. CA-23 is in three counties. Of those, only Kern has released their final write-in tally. Kern is 80% of the primary votes, so the other counties aren't needed to determine who finishes second. Raul Garcia, a Democrat who they couldn't reach, got 296 votes. Mike Biglay, who talked about attacking McCarthy from the right, got 154 votes. Ronald Porter, who claims to understand the Constitution, got 36. Gail Lightfoot, a perennial candidate who believes "that people are fed up", got 28. So his opponent will be Garcia, the Democrat.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

California Controller: Yee Leads By 68 Votes

Betty Yee got some serious Northern California help today in the California Controller race and now leads John Perez 868,703 to 868,635. That's 21.786% to 21.783%. The California SoS site includes all the most up to date results, but hasn't included Sacramento yet. Yee gained 185 votes there, so she's trailing on their site. While the SoS website lists 119k outstanding ballots, my review says there's no more than 43k. There are six counties out which may have more than 1,000 ballots, two of which should go heavier for Perez and four which should go heavier for Yee.

No matter what happens this goes to a recount.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

California Senate Results Analysis

There are seven California senate districts currently held by Republicans. In addition to those, there are two other districts Republicans are competing in, one a newly drawn Riverside district and one a Democratic district in Orange County where the incumbent is termed out. In two of the districts, there's no Democrat on the primary ballot. Here are the results in the other seven districts:

4 - Republicans 63.9% Democrats 36.1%
8 - Republicans 65.3% Democrats 34.7%
12 - Republicans 63.8% Democrats 36.2%
14 - Republicans 61.6% Democrats 38.4%
28 - Republicans 66.2% Democrats 33.8%
34 - Republicans 66.7% Democrats 33.3%
38 - Republicans 71.2% Democrats 28.8%

Can you pick out the districts Democrats are expected to contend in November? The correct answer is probably none of them. Democrats won 2% of 2010 contests where Republicans won the primary by more than 22%. If they do contend, the obvious districts are SD-12 and SD-14 in the Central Valley. Even though those are districts Dianne Feinstein won in 2012 by 18%, I doubt the Democratic candidates will compete for those seats. The one Democrats expected to do best in was SD-34, but that was their second worst district in the primary. If Democrats can win SD-34, you'd think they could also win SD-4 and SD-8. They can't win SD-28, because two Republicans finished Top Two. Unlike the congressional races, these districts look very good for the GOP. I'd be surprised if they don't win any of these seven districts. That'll give the GOP 14 senate seats, a level that denies Democrats the supermajority. The good news for the GOP is that these districts won't be up again until the next mid-term in 2018. Republicans won't have to risk losing them during a Presidential year.

CA-Controller: Yee Leads Perez by 376 Votes

With 6,980 new ballots just counted in Mendocino county Betty Yee now leads John Perez by 376 votes for 2nd place in the California controller race. While the Secretary of State's website says there are 178,805 ballots still to be counted, this isn't as current as the county websites. There are no more than 100,000 ballots left to be counted. Many of these are provisional and I've seen times when more than half of those aren't valid. There will be a release by Los Angeles county later today. The county says that 30,232 ballots remain to be counted. Perez should retake second if even 8,000 ballots are valid and counted.

Yee's big hopes are from Sonoma, Humboldt, and Placer counties. The SoS website for all three show a good amount of ballots outstanding but none of them have released any new ballot counts since right after election day. So I'm not sure if they actually do have those ballots left. This makes a prediction difficult, but I'll stick with Betty Yee to have more votes when the Secretary of State certifies. Then it's recount time.

California Congressional Races: Conservative Candidates Fail

Republicans had a poor cycle in 2012, losing 10 of 12 races people thought would be competitive. The GOP punted on a few of these districts this cycle, but is going hard after four districts, CA-7, 26, 36, and 52. The party ended up with four fairly well known candidates who'd been through tough elections, former congressman Doug Ose (CA-7), assemblymen Jeff Gorell (CA-26) and Brian Nestande (CA-36), and former San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio (CA-52). All four were identified as too moderate by conservatives and each received a challenge from the right. Because there were Democratic incumbents in each race, most of the voters choosing between Republicans in each primary were likely Republican and right leaning voters. Would Republicans end up with their desired moderate or with a candidate some would feel would be too conservative for the district?

The right wing challengers were of varied quality. Two, Igor Birman and Kirk Jorgensen, raised some money, while the other two, Ray Haynes and Rafael Dagnesses, didn't. As we learned with Eric Cantor's loss to Dave Brat, having more money doesn't always lead to a win when challenged by grassroots right wing challengers. None of the conservative challengers won. None came close.

Doug Ose (R) 26.5%
Igor Birman (R) 17.5%

Jeff Gorell (R) 44.6%
Rafael Dagnesses (R) 7.6%

Brian Nestande (R) 34.8%
Ray Haynes (R) 14.9%

Carl DeMaio (R) 35.3%
Kirk Jorgensen (R) 18.5%

These results have been largely ignored and, after the Cantor loss, the story is about conservative grassroots activists. Here in California, though, there wasn't much interest. We'll have to see whether this works out for the GOP. It is worth noting that in Lois Capps' CA-24 district the conservative Chris Mitchum appears to have pulled out a victory. Here there were five GOP challengers and none raised much money, because people don't think the GOP has a shot. Mitchum won with only 15.8% of the vote. We'll have to see how whether Mitchum shows more or less improvement over the 2012 Republican candidate than the other candidates who are regarded as more moderate.

Monday, June 16, 2014

California Statewide Races

For the most part the Republican Party isn't bothering to contest the statewide races. They have reputable names running for Treasurer, LG, and Insurance Commissioner, but none are running a vigorous campaign. In fact, the state party recruited candidate for Attorney General, Phil Wyman, managed to finish third in the race behind fellow Republican Ronald Gold. I'm guessing the state party doesn't care that much as long as it's not birther Orly Taitz. All should lose by anywhere from 15-24 points.

There were two offices the state party did care about, Secretary of State and Controller. They didn't recruit for Secretary of State, but seemed happy with the one Republican who decided to run for office, Pete Peterson. Democrats beat Republicans in the Secretary of State race 51.7%-36.1%. That's a major disappointment. Former Republican and current NPP Dan Schnur's votes likely leaned more Republican than Democratic. I wouldn't add them to the Republican side. If you did, the GOP still would be 51.7%-45.3%. I don't think that's a difference Peterson will be able to make up. I think he'll be closer than the other candidates and lose by around 55%-45%.

The great Republican hope has been Ashley Swearengin, the young attractive female mayor of Fresno. She was recruited late. She did spend a few hundred thousand dollars, but nowhere near the amount spent by Assembly Speaker John Perez. Swearengin's performance outside the Central Valley was disappointing. She got beat by David Evans, a candidate who didn't spend money, in many counties. So she'll have to work a bit to consolidate the Republican vote. Overall, the vote is 48.4%-46.0%. Losing the popular vote wasn't entirely unexpected and Steve Cooley lost it by a similar percentage four years ago in the Attorney General race. To win, Swearengin will have to improve on the Republican primary performance more than Cooley did then. It's an uphill battle and she's a definite underdog. Her preferred opponent is likely Betty Yee. Yee is strong in the Bay area, somewhere Republicans will do poorly no matter what. John Perez is from Southern California, an area Swearengin will rely on for votes. Perez has also shown himself to be a better fundraiser than Yee. Swearengin will have to hope the GOP pours a lot of money into this race and Democrats don't pour a lot in. I wouldn't bet on Democrats doing that, however, and I think she'll lose something like 53%-47%.

I'm #9

I promised you that you weren't reading the blog of the 59th place predictor in the Nooner contest. I finished 9th.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

California Primary Congressional Vote Analysis

Nearly every ballot has been counted in the California primary and we’re only 10 days since election day. The remaining ballots won’t impact the results. The primary, as expected, was more Republican than California general elections.

Between the 2012 primary and general election, Democrats gained, on average 15 points in the ballot box. So a Democrat that lost by 13% would, on average, win by 2%. I think the difference between the primary and general will be far closer to 2010 than 2012. There are two main reasons for this 1) 2012 saw an introduction of online registration and that went overwhelmingly Democratic. There won’t be a similar event between the primary and general election this year. 2) This is a mid-term, which skews more Republican, and this is a year that looks like it’ll be good for Republicans.

Based on the last mid-term, however, I expect that Republicans will gain at the ballot box in 10% of the congressional and legislative races. At the other end, I expect that in 90% of the races, Democrats will gain 18% or less. A race where the Republicans beat the Democrats by 9%, the mid-point, should be a toss-up.

Here are the congressional races, starting with the ones that pit a Democrat and a Republican.

2012 primary: Democrats 51.5%-48.5%; 2014 primary: Democrats 53.3%-46.7%
John Garamendi had a 54%-46% victory in the general and I don’t see Dan Logue having any more of a shot in 2014. Safe Democratic.

2012 primary: Republicans 52.7%-41.0%; 2014 primary: Republicans 51.1%-46.7%
Ami Bera came from further back in 2012, but I don’t think he’s entirely safe this year. Doug Ose figures to be well funded. Lean Democratic.

2012 primary: Republicans 52.2%-47.8%; 2014 primary: Republicans 50.6%-49.4%
Jerry McNerney improved on 2012 and his Republican opponent this time is underfunded. Safe Democratic.

2012 primary: Republicans 49.2%-33.4%; 2014 primary: Republicans 58.9%-41.1%
This is the first primary where Republicans actually have a bigger margin than in 2012 and this time Jeff Denham’s opponent isn’t as well funded. Likely Republican.

2012 primary: Democrats 52.3%-47.7%; 2014 primary: Republicans 51.4%-48.6%
The Central Valley showed a definite Republican shift compared to 2012. Jim Costa did win comfortably and his opponent is pretty much some dude. Still, the great Republican hope for statewide office, Ashley Swearengin, is from Fresno. She showed she can turn out Fresno voters in the primary, taking 52% of the overall vote in the county. She got 53% in Madera county and 46% in Merced. Those are the three counties in CA-16. I’m just guessing here, but it’s possible Republican performance got better in CA-16 because Swearengin’s GOTV operation was getting Republican voters to the polls. And she’s going to have a more extensive GOTV operation in the general election. Anthony Canella's district covers most of Costa's district and he got 64% of the vote in the primary. Johnny Tacherra won’t have to lift a finger to get out the vote. It’s possible that Tacherra will win because of who he shares the ballot with in 2014. Neither Swearengin nor Canella figure to be on the ballot in 2016. So it’d be a one term rental. I’m going to stick with Likely Democratic for now, but don’t dismiss this district.

2012 primary: Republicans 57.0%-43.0%; 2014 primary: Republicans 64.7%-35.3%
Democrats spent a lot more money in 2014 to get their desired candidate in Top Two and they did just that. Unfortunately, she the overall Democratic vote dropped dramatically while the Republican vote went up. I don’t see this as a possible Democratic pick-up. Safe Republican.

2012 primary: Republicans 51.2%-46.4%; 2014 primary: Republicans 50.3%-48.7%
A well funded moderate Republican couldn’t finish within 10% of Lois Capps. Chris Mitchum is a Tea Party candidate with little money other than what his dad left him. Safe Democratic.

2012 primary: Republicans 44.1%-37.6%; 2014 primary: Republicans 52.1%-45.4%
The margins of the two primaries are similar and Julia Brownley only pulled out a narrow 4.6% win in 2012. Because of that, however, I still make her the favorite. Lean Democratic.

2012 primary: Republicans 51.5%-48.5%; 2014 primary: Democrats 53.2%-46.8%
Democrats actually got a candidate Top Two. The victory margin says Safe Democratic and it probably is. On the other hand, Pete Aguilar’s vote total dropped from 14,181 in 2012 to 9,242 in 2014. I don’t enough belief in him to think he couldn’t lose. Likely Democratic.

2012 primary: Republicans 58.1%-41.9%; 2014 primary: Democrats 50.3%-49.7%
Raul Ruiz really got shellacked in 2012. His better showing wasn’t a shock. I predicted he’d get 49% in the primary. Based on him getting the majority of the vote I’d make Ruiz safe, but this is a district Jerry Brown lost by 7 points in 2010. Likely Democratic.

CA-41 and CA-47
The GOP put up a fight in 2012 and got killed in the general election. They aren’t putting up a fight this year. Safe Democratic.

2012 primary: Republicans 48.8%-46.3%; 2014 primary: Republicans 57.7%-42.3%
This was a holy shit result. Peters, now the incumbent, should’ve been in stronger position in 2014. I thought he’d get 49% of the vote. He was steamrolled. What’s more, Carl DeMaio got 61% of the Republican vote, despite facing two well-funded challengers, one of whom had Tea Party/Duncan Hunter backing. If this were an open seat, I’d make it Likely Republican. But I don’t want to underestimate an incumbent. Lean Republican.

If the parties win the seats I have them favored for, it’ll be a wash. The GOP has to be hoping for better than that in a Republican leaning mid-term. If they don’t fare better than 2012 in 2014, I fear that 15 seats will be a high water mark for the foreseeable future. And it won’t be a low water mark. There are two same party match-ups where the incumbent is in danger and one open seat where the result is in doubt.

2014 primary: McClintock 56.1%-Moore 22.5%
This is the match-up that Tom McClintock and his conservative base feared. McClintock easily cleared 50% of the vote. That’d make you think he was safe, but he may not be. The primary was low turn out and McClintock managed only 70k votes. This was the highest turnout congressional district in 2012, with over 320k votes. In 2010, McClintock’s old district had over 300k. So Tom McClintock will need to more than double his primary vote. The general election turns out more Democrats than the primary and they are the people Moore is counting on to topple the staunchly conservative incumbent. Moore likely needs to win only a third of the right leaning vote to win. Lean McClintock.

2014 primary: Honda 48.2%-Khanna 28.0%
Mike Honda’s strong showing is more meaningful here, because 1) more Democrats in the general election helps him 2) The district is less Republican than CA-4 is Democratic. Tom McClintock’s Democratic opponent got 38.9% in 2012. Mike Honda’s Republican opponent got 26.5%. Even if Khanna dominates the right leaning vote, he still will need to get over 40% of those that normally would vote Democratic. Likely Honda.

2014 primary: Strickland 29.7%-Knight 28.4%
When Buck McKeon retired, Democrats were excited thinking they had an opportunity. Lee Rogers had a surprisingly strong showing in 2012’s general election and this time he had more money. With four Republicans and a Libertarian and only two Democrats in the field, Rogers seemed likely to advance. Republicans took 65.1% of the vote to the Democrats 31.7% and the two main Republicans coasted into Top Two.

This race has a different dynamic than the ones above. Moore and Khanna are likely to look closely at the 2012 results in CA-8 and CA-15, where the moderate topped the staunch conservative and staunch liberal. This race will be closer to ones in CA-30 and CA-31 where the candidates were closer ideologically. There’s a strong regional element to the race. Strickland blew out Knight in Ventura county 39.5%-19.4%. The problem for him is that only 22% of the primary vote was in Ventura county. So while Strickland may be able to consolidate Democratic votes there, getting 70% means he’ll still have to take 45% of the Los Angeles county vote. That may sound daunting, but if you only take the votes Knight and Strickland got, Strickland got 46.5% in LA County. Toss-up.

Friday, June 13, 2014

CA-31: Aguilar Finishes Second by 209 Votes

The drama of CA-31 is over. Well, probably. CA-31 was the biggest California disappointment in 2012 because they didn't have a candidate make Top Two. It was in question whether it'd happen again. The final results are in and Leslie Gooch, who was trailing Pete Aguilar by 181 votes, lost to Aguilar by 209. The difference is 0.4%, 17.4%-17.0%. There will be a Democratic candidate in November. Unless... Gooch can ask for a recount after the election is certified in July, but she has to pay for it unless she reverses the results. The cost of a recount is somewhere around $6,000 a day. I doubt it'd take that long. The NRCC should foot the bill for one. They have a lot to gain and little to lose.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

CA-Gov: Jerry Brown vs. Neel Kashkari

The California gubernatorial vote is mostly in and Jerry Brown got a 54.5% of it. So, Brown is going to win in the fall. Can we go home now? Well, we could, but that's not why you read this blog, now is it? Brown's showing is very good, but it isn't the huge percentage predicted by some people and the overall Democratic percentage is roughly the same that Democrats got in the Treasurer and LG races. That tells me Brown probably didn't get the Republican votes people predicted for him. Of course, Jerry Brown looks strong, but I'm leaning towards him not exceeding Dianne Feinstein's 2012 benchmark of 62.5% of the vote. I wouldn't be surprised if Gavin Newsom or John Chiang got a higher percentage of the vote than he does.

Some Republicans were shouting that Tim Donnelly would be a disaster at the ballot box. He might've been, but I think Neel Kashkari is going to do poorly. As I've said before, Kashkari has no real base of support. He’s pro-choice, pro-immigration reform, and pro gay marriage. He's the sort of moderate who is going to turn off conservatives. If Kashkari had a chance at winning, he'd get their votes, but everyone knows he won't. So these conservatives can either stay home or just not vote in the governor's race and not worry about costing the Republicans an election.

Against a liberal, a candidate like Kashkari might be able to crack the moderate vote. But Jerry Brown is no liberal. He's perceived as a moderate who wants to hold the line on crazy spending. Even when Brown goes nuts on a ridiculously expensive thing like the bullet train he doesn't propose to throw $5 billion from the general fund to pay for it. So Kashkari is boxed in. Brown is going to grab the moderate vote and many conservatives won't vote for him. If Kashkari had the "tens of millions of dollars" he thinks he needs, he might crack 40%. But who's going to throw that kind of money into a losing campaign?

Kashkari might get in the high 30's if he can convince Republicans to vote for him. If they leave the ballot blank, we're talking mid-30's. Don't think I'm advocating for Tim Donnelly here. I don't think he would've done better. Wait a minute. Didn't I just say Jerry Brown was nothing special? I did, but Gavin Newsom and John Chiang's opponents have low name recognition also and won't be spending any money. I expect Brown, Newsom, Chiang, and Kamala Harris all to get 59-62% of the vote.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

California Controller Count

Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez is ahead of BoE member Betty Yee by 1,128 in the official count. It's actually around 450, as I have 7 counties who have more updated results but have yet to transmit those to the SoS.There are, however, around 300,000 uncounted ballots. Many of these are provisional. Some of these are thrown out because they are people who may have already voted VBM or not actually registered at the precinct they went to. This means it's difficult to accurately predict results. According to the Secretary of State, Sacramento county has the biggest number of outstanding ballots and will give an update today. Yee has done well here and could gain over 2,000 votes when all the ballots are counted there. There are also enough ballots to be counted in Bay area counties that I think Yee will finish second by around 4,000 votes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

David Kanuth and why money isn't everything

LA Weekly weighs in the perplexing 1.4% Democrat David Kanuth got in CA-33 despite raising over $900k. While Democrats seem to think the person who spends the most wins, that isn't the case. Money can help win an election if your opponents either don't have it and/or are unknown too. But Kanuth ran into the tripled whammy of running in a district where his opponents had money. were better known, and could do their own GOTV operation. People knew Ted Lieu, Wendy Greuel, and Matt Miller. They even knew Marianne Williamson, if not from politics. I'm sure that Lieu and Greuel had GOTV operations and that Miller and Williamson did too. I'm thinking Kanuth didn't or if he did, he was just knocking on the same doors that Lieu and Greuel's people already knocked on. And they'd given the voter a compelling reason to vote for them. Kanuth didn't have one.

This district is a sharp contrast to the similarly Democratic open seat a few miles to the east. In CA-35 all four Democrats on the ballot got at least 8% of the vote. Combined they all raised around 15% of what Kanuth raised. Sure, Norma Torres is a well known state senator, but she didn't put on the campaign Greuel or Lieu did. She didn't need to. I think Kanuth would've finished Top Two in CA-35.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Those California Polls

Before the election I was critical of several California polls. My main criticism wasn't that they had the wrong electorate or too high a turn-out. While I agreed with those, I let others do that. My big criticism was that they didn't include all the candidates. Here was the SurveyUSA poll.

Jerry Brown (D) 57%
Tim Donnelly (R) 18%
Neel Kashkari (R) 11%
Another Candidate 4%
Undecided 10%

Not bad? They'll come close on Jerry Brown and even though they have Donnelly and Kashkari reversed they showed Kashkari surging. The LA Times/USC poll was even closer. Of course their undecideds "broke" for "someone else." The problem with this method occurs when there are more significant candidates than the ones depicted. Here's the SurveyUSA Controller poll.

Ashley Swearengin (R) 31%
Betty Yee (D) 24%
John Perez (D) 18%
Another Candidate 8%
Undecided 18%

By not polling David Evans they miss a serious candidate, underestimate the total Republican vote while also overestimating Ashley Swearengin's support. Their Secretary of State poll was worse.

Alex Padilla (D) 48%
Pete Peterson (R) 32%
Another Candidate 9%
Undecided 11%

They pretty much hit on Peterson, but by only polling one Democrat, they miss three Democrats taking 22% of the vote, as well as a Republican, an NPP, and a Green getting a share. So Padilla is way overinflated. Californians clearly had many choices for these statewide offices and they spread those choices out. You wouldn't have known that was happening from these polls.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

2014 California Primary Deviation

There's been a rule of thumb the last ten years or so. Republicans do very well in VBM voting before election day, less well in election day voting, and poor in ballots counted after election day. The theory is that Republicans tend to vote heavily with vote by mail. Those are the first ballots counted. Democrats, on the other hand, turn in their VBM ballots on the day of election and are more likely to be provisional voters. Those are people who might have a VBM ballot, but vote in person, or they aren't on the voter roll, yet claim to be a voter. I don't know the psychology of all this, but it's happened almost universally with each election since I started following California elections in 2010. So a Republican wants to be at 57% after the first ballots are counted and at 52% when election night ends. If neither of these happen, the Republican is likely to lose.

This year's California primary has been different. The Democratic pre-election day VBM were stronger than usual and the NPP/other part ballots were stronger than that. I've been tracking 40 elections (17 congressional, 7 senate, 16 assembly) that were either expected to be competitive or were a little out of that range. I excluded districts where there wasn't a Republican or Democrat or ones that weren't expected to be competitive. To see which districts might be competitive in November, look at the same districts in June. The spreadsheet is here. In 31 of the 40 elections Republicans did better on election day than they did in VBM ballots. Post-election day counting isn't over yet and it may still change. It's possible that some counties in a district that might be more Republican have counted faster than those that might be Democratic. Republicans have gained in 25 of the 40 elections, however. In the past they might've gained in 4. So we've seemed a voting pattern change. This tells us that some of the automatic assumptions we've made in the past could change.

Friday, June 6, 2014

CA-33 Primary Voting

One of the most watched campaigns was surely the CA-33 primary. It was an open seat representing a well-heeled area that had been represented by the same person for decades. No one knew for sure how it'd turn out. The LA Times has published a graphic with voting by precinct. You can get a clear idea of who is strong where. Keep in mind that the red means Carr got the most votes. He "won" in places like Beverly Hills even though his four biggest liberal competitors might've combined for double his vote. On the other hand, go check the Peninsula. There are actually precincts where Carr beat all four of them combined.

I'll get into the analysis later, but going in we knew Carr had no chance of beating any Democrat. It's just too Democratic a district. This graphic shows that Lieu is the worst opponent for him. In 2012, Bill Bloomfield picked up Democratic South Bay votes because Waxman was too liberal for them. Because Lieu is moderate and from the South Bay, he's going to get these voters. I believe Carr thinks he can get Westside Jewish voters to vote for him, since he's a Westside Jew. Being a Jewish Republican myself I can tell you that these people have never voted for a Republican. Sure, Lieu isn't progressive enough, but neither is Carr. And Carr will vote for John Boehner for Speaker of the House. That'd be a sin enough to eliminate him.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

California Primary Election Post-Script Statewide Offices

Forgive me for being away for a day but I was recovering from the election. Don't worry. You'll get far too many posts analyzing the election. I don't want to get into the numbers yet, because the counties are still counting ballots. Yes, I know that some people think we're slow here, but there's a method to the madness. Every ballot will get counted. I'd rather not analyze an election that went 51%-47% when it could be 54%-45% when counting is done. I'll start with some towlines.

Turnout was low, very low. The final number will be in the low 20's, after regularly being in the low 30's. This can lead to unusual results, although for the most part any electorate will be a subset of the overall electorate. This election was less Republican than the last couple. That'll lead to the question of whether the primary and general electorates are moving closer or a sign that Republicans are worse off than they have been in the past.

Yes, I'm surprised at Neel Kashkari finishing second. Tim Donnelly had a ceiling that wasn't that high but he also had a floor that was in the low to mid-teens. I had Donnelly getting 15% of the vote and he's right now at 15% of the vote. I had Republicans getting 38% of the vote. Right now they are at 40%. Where I had Kashkari falling short was being able to consolidate the non-Donnelly vote. Well, he was able to do that. He got nearly 80% of the Republican got that didn't go to Donnelly. Were the polls that showed others doing well wrong? I don't know, but it may have been Kashkari's final month effort that gave him the recognition to finish second.

Donnelly blamed a lock of money for his third place finish. While money did help Kashkari, I'm not sure how a lot of money would've helped Donnelly that much. Republicans know him and he had strong GOTV efforts throughout the state. He got his votes. I suppose he could've gone negative on Kashkari to destroy him as an alternative to Donnelly.

Lack of money didn't hurt Republicans down ballot. The establishment picked Republican candidates for Lieutenant Governor and for the offices where there was only one Republican on the ballot. Republicans made different choices for Attorney General and Controller races. The establishment encouraged former state senator Phil Wyman to run for Attorney General at the last minute. Wyman wasn't the endorsed candidate for the state party and he neither had a lot of name recognition nor did he spend a lot on his campaign. So when the time came to choose a candidate, Republicans liked Ronald Gold over Wyman. Gold never filed a campaign finance report and raised no money. Why did he finish second? Ballot designation. Gold is a "Retired State Prosecutor." Wyman is an "attorney/rancher." Which one would you want enforcing the law in Sacramento?

Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin was the handpicked candidate of the Republican party and got the state party endorsement. While she got into the campaign late, she managed to raise a little bit of money, more than Democratic rival Betty Yee. The other Republican on the ballot was David Evans. He didn't file a campaign finance report either. As or now, Swearengin only leads Evans 24.4%-21.7%. Why? Ballot designation again. Swearengin is "Mayor, City of Fresno." Evans is "Chief Financial Officer." The Controller spends our money. They wanted someone who was a "Chief Financial Officer. Had Swearengin not spent some money and gotten the endorsement, she might've gone the way of Wyman.

While I'm not going to analyze all the percentages now, the percentage breakdowns in statewide races were either 53%D-42%R, 55D%-40R%, or 55%D-40%R in the five races where incumbents or quasi-incumbent John Chiang ran. That's about what you'd expect for a Democratic incumbent. What's surprising is that Jerry Brown didn't run ahead of the other Democrats running. He's so popular that people expected him to get Republican votes. He obviously didn't get many. That probably means that predictions of Brown topping Dianne Feinstein's 62.5% are overblown and he, like the other incumbents, probably won't get more than 60%. That's pretty good, not historic.

The Secretary of State numbers were disappointing for the GOP. Even if we include Republican turned NPP Dan Schnur toward the Republican total, the GOP "lost" this race 52%-45%. That's not close enough to be competitive in November. The GOP did better in the Controller race, but didn't take a majority there either. And Swearengin's low percentage indicates she didn't do a lot to get Republican votes.

There are three more examples of money not meaning that much. I, like many of you, thought it did. So when unknowns David Kanuth and Fred Simon raised a ton of money for their races in CA-33 and CA-52 respectively, I thought they'd do well. I'm embarrassed to admit that I had Kanuth getting 10% of the primary vote and Simon getting 15%. Spending a lot of money can help against unknown candidates but against established experienced politicians who know how to campaign, and have oodles of volunteers, it doesn't mean much. They got 1% and 4% respectively. The third example is indicted state senator Leland Yee. He not only didn't spend money and didn't campaign, but he's been completely out of the public eye for three months. He still finished third at 9.7%.

Monday, June 2, 2014

CA-Gov: Fear Mongering among Republicans

While I'm a Republican, and have never hidden that, I'm neither a supporter of Neel Kashkari nor Tim Donnelly. What I try to do here is give as unbiased an interpretation of the data as I can and strive to dispel inaccuracies. I admit that I enjoy looking at conventional wisdom and either proving it or, more likely, disproving it. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I've repeatedly dismissed claims that Tim Donnelly making Top Two would be a disaster for Republicans. It's possible it might, but the evidence doesn't prove that. Call me old fashioned but I prefer evidence. Well, the big pitch for Neel Kashkari coming from former governor Pete Wilson, among others, is that Tim Donnelly will bring down the Republican party. It's fear mongering at its worst.

The fear mongers have a voice on Fox and Hounds, which has a far bigger readership than I do. Tony Quinn is at it again, citing Pete Wilson and confirming that with quotes from Karl Rove. Then he tells us, "It does not take much analysis to see that they are right." It's good that he says that, since he provides none.
So there is no doubt that Donnelly would bring out a huge turnout of straight ticket voting Latino Democrats.
I doubt that tremendously. There's been no polling showing that Latinos even know who Tim Donnelly is, let alone that they not only dislike him, but are alarmed enough to go to the polls when they wouldn't otherwise. Latinos are low turnout voters and nothing, not even the first minority President, has changed that. They aren't likely to get excited to stop someone who no one thinks can win. What exactly would be the point of voting then?
There is almost no ticket splitting left in California so even the strongest Republican candidates would simply be swamped by Democratic votes.
I've shown repeatedly that California is loaded with ticket splitters. First, the average Democratic candidate did about 3.5% worse than Barack Obama in 2012. Carl DeMaio beat Mitt Romney by about 10% in the San Diego mayoral race. In the CA-21 congressional race David Valadao took 58% of the vote, while Mitt Romney was getting 43%. That ticket splitting doesn't exist is a myth. There's absolutely no evidence that if Valadao, Denham, and McKeon were able to win despite Mitt Romney's lackluster performance anything would change this time.
But the worst thing for California Republicans is that the donor class would just walk away – they pretty much already have. Business now spends its money trying to elect pro-business Democrats. If Donnelly gets the runoff spot to go up against Brown, donors will just kick the last remaining bit of the GOP carcass over the cliff.
This is a misrepresentation of the GOP donor class. My observation is that they are spending more than they have been recently. We probably have new GOP chairman Jim Brulte to thank for that. What Quinn is referring to here is that in situations of Top Two between two Democrats, GOP donors are also giving money to pro-business Democrats. I have no doubt that many of these money people wouldn't support Donnelly, but they aren't going to suddenly stop supporting Brulte's assembly and senate candidates. And I doubt congressional candidates like Denham, Tony Strickland, and Carl DeMaio, who are all having great fundraising cycles, will suddenly see the money stop.
In 2010, any chance of Meg Whitman being elected governor ended when she was forced by her primary opponent to take a hard line on immigration reform. The Latino turnout that fall was historic, and went straight Democratic. Try to imagine the Latino turnout this year if it is Donnelly.
In 2010, Latinos were 21% of the California electorate, the same as they were in 2004. They were 19% in 2006 and 18% in 2008 and were 22% subsequently in 2012. That's not much of a bump and I have no idea if it can be attributed to Meg Whitman. The Latino vote went to Brown 64%-31%. In neighboring Arizona, the Latino vote went to the Democrat 71%-28%. In neighboring Nevada, where the GOP had a Latino running for governor, the Latino vote went Democratic 65%-33%. The difference between the White and Latino vote in California for Whitman was only 19%, 50% vs. 31%. For Brewer in Arizona and Sandoval in Nevada it was 33% and 29%. So the Latino vote was actually far more Republican than one would expect based on Whitman's overall performance.

If Tim Donnelly wins, it may be a problem for Republicans. But resorting to fear mongering with misinformation is no way to sell a candidate.

CA Primary: Final Thoughts and Predictions

Through Friday, 12.3% of registered Republicans had returned they ballots, while only 10.0% of Democrats and 6.9% of other. The ratio of Republican to Democrat ballots is 1.23 to 1, only slightly less than the 1.26 to 1 in 2012. There are more registered Democrats than there were then and less registered Republicans. Thus, the VBM returns are 44%D/36%R this year, compared with 44%D/38%R in 2012. This should mean that Democrats will do slightly better than they did in 2012. The caveat to that is that the biggest increase in ballots is coming from DTS and other parties. There's no reason to think those ballots won't slightly favor Republicans. There's no reason to think they will either.

To determine what the primary vote share will be by party, you want to take the 2012 vote shares and then adjust based on turnout change from 2012 to 2014, change in incumbency, and candidate quality. Ami Bera should pick up a few points for being an incumbent, while Lois Capps should pick up a few because her opponents are a lower quality in 2014. Alan Lowenthal should plus up from both of these. The data for important congressional and assembly districts is here. My predictions are here and here.

Around The Capitol Readers Predict the Races

Around The Capitol is the best daily read on California politics. I say this even though the blogger, Scott Lay, is a Democrat. Once again he's asked readers to pick the 1st and 2nd place finishers in a number of races and it's obvious from this that even those who think they know politics don't understand Top Two. What people don't get is that in Democratic districts, there is still a Republican vote. If there are two or more Democrats on the ballot, the lone Republican will not only make Top Two, but likely finish first. If you look at CA-33 and add up all Republican percentages, one of the three Republicans are named on less than 30% of all ballots. Not only am I 99% sure Elan Carr will finish Top Two, but he's likely to beat the second place finisher by 7-10%. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he'll get as many votes as the second and third place finisher combined.

I'll be participating. There are smart people in California. I finished 59th out of 481 people in June 2012. I'll publish my predictions for every race later today. Because I have June 2012 data and there aren't any Propositions on Around The Capitol ballot this time, I'll guarantee you that you're getting someone who'll be in the top 10% of all California predictors this time.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

CA-Gov: Kashkari has strong lead in LAT poll but...

A new USC-LA Times poll has Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari firmly in 2nd place, leading fellow Republican Tim Donnelly 18%-13%. If this happens it'd represent a remarkable comeback for Kashkari, who was behind 17%-2% and 18%-4% in polls taken in April. The poll was taken by two respected Republican and Democratic firms, has a 44% turnout, and a 43%D/39%R/18%O party breakdown. While that turnout may be a little high, it's not too high, as the SurveyUSA poll was. The undecided, 18%, is high at this point and may include non-voters. That party breakdown is a little too Republican, but not enough to make any difference.

My big problem with this poll, and with SurveyUSA before it, is that it only includes three candidates. The Clear Path Strategies poll showed the other three Republicans taking 17% of the 39% Republican vote. When you don't include them you don't get the full idea of who people will choose as an alternative to Tim Donnelly. "Someone else" isn't a good alternative and scores very low here.

If there were only three candidates, Kashkari could be confident. But there aren't and it's possible that he's actually trailing Donnelly. So don't take this as a clear indicator of how Kashkari is doing.

California Primary: Legislative Races

State Senate
On the one hand, there’s nothing to pay attention to. The big fall question isn’t who has the majority in the state senate but whether Democrats regain their super majority. The three likely competitive races, SD-12, 14, and 34 don’t have competitive primaries. So you’ll just watch those for vote share. So if that’s all you’re interested in, read no further.There are four non-competitive seats that have a lot of drama. And I’m not talking about the indictments. None of those senators are up for re-election.

SD-6: Democratic assemblymen Richard Pan and Roger Dickinson are facing off in this solid blue seat. Pan is the union Democrat while Dickinson is allegedly the more moderate one. That hasn't stopped Dickinson from linking Pan to the [evil] Koch brothers. Republicans are pushing Jonathan Zachariou, but the presence of Republican James Axelgard on the ballot means I’m picking the two Democrats for November. The fun will continue for another five months.

SD-10: This one is even uglier. Bob Wieckowski is an underdog to Obamacare advocate Mary Hayashi in this deep blue district. But there’s been a lot of mudslinging, with Wieckowski tying her 2010 shoplifting conviction to Leland Yee’s gun running. Republican Peter Kuo is likely to finish second, although both Democrats could advance. My pick for first is Hayashi. This is a very Asian district and she dwarfs Wieckowski’s fundraising.

SD-26: There are no Republicans in this race, but there are 7 Democrats and an NPP. Some dude/law professor Seth Stodder will show if not having Democrat next to his name is enough to take Republican votes and make Top Two. I think it is. This district is similar to CA-33, but about 4 points more Democratic. So the question is how far to the left do you have to be to win? I think second place goes to Ben Allen, a Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Member, but surgeon Vito Imbasciani, former assemblywoman Betsy Butler, and Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth also figure to be in the mix. Did I forget Rush Limbaught's favorite Sandra Fluke? I did, because I think she’ll finish way back. That’s a shame, because she’s so entertaining.

SD-28: Just so you know, the Democrats don’t have the market cornered on mud-slinging. Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone is throwing everything he has at former assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia. And she's throwing back. There are two Democrats in this race, and two other Republicans. I expect Garcia to finish first, but I think Stone edges the two Democrats and this continues to November.

Democrats have a super majority in the assembly, 55-25, so once again the big question is whether they’ll retain that or drop to 51-53 seats. That’ll be decided in November. There really isn’t a danger of one of the parties being shut out of a competitive seat in Top Two. So you don’t need to read any further unless you want to read about interparty drama.

AD-4 – This is a safe Democratic seat, but there are three Democrats and two Republicans. Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd should face a some dude Republican, but Dan Wolk, state senator Lois Wolk’s son, and Davis mayor Joe Krovoza are formidable opponents.

AD-9 – This is a district just blue enough to be safe for Democrats, but there are three Democrats in the race and two Republicans. I expect Democrat Darrell Fong to advance, although his November opponent could be fellow Democrat Jim Cooper or one of the Republicans. If school board trustee Diana Rodriguez-Suruki were a more serious candidate the two Republicans could be Top Two. My pick for second is Republican Manuel Martin.

AD-16 – This Tri-Valley district is light blue, but Democrat Joan Buchanan won 59%-41% in 2012. The seat is open, however, so Republican Catharine Baker could have a shot to win in November. She will go there. The question is against whom. Dublin mayor Tim Sbranti is a favorite of progressives and has had a ton of outside union money supporting him. Former Jerry Brown aide Steve Glazer has talked about reducing the power of the BART union and is hated by the left. So bold progressive or “business Democrat?” Maybe I’m just a cynical Republican, but bold progressives usually lose. Glazer is second.

AD-21 – Carly Fiorina won here in 2010, so it was a disappointment that no Republican filed. The Republican who lost in 2012, Jack Mobley, qualified as a write-in. So he’ll get 1% of the vote in June and have a shot in November.

AD-33 – This is Tim Donnelly’s seat and there are 9 Republicans running for it. If there were more than one Democrat in the mix, the GOP might get shut out. As it is, Democrat John Coffey should face Big Bear Lake mayor Jay Obernolte in November.

AD-36 – The most surprising 2012 win for Democrats was this Antelope Valley district. In 2010, no Democrat running statewide won this district. Even the ones that won by 20 points. If Republicans don’t win this district they won’t win any Democratic held districts, and will keep losing districts in every election for the foreseeable future. Republicans have three candidates running to take on Democrat Steve Fox. My pick is educator Suzette Martinez.

AD-40 – None of the Democrats have filed campaign finance reports, so who faces Republican Marc Steinorth is just a guess. I’ll guess educator Melissa O'Donnell.

AD-44 - Democrat Jacqui Irwin will go up against either of the Republicans, businessman Mario de la Piedra or pastor Rob McCoy. De la Piedra has a lot of Charlie Munger independent expenditure money behind him because the Republican establishment is afraid McCoy is too far to the right to hold a district Barack Obama won. I’ll pick de la Piedra for second.

AD-60 – Republican Eric Linder was initially unopposed in this Barack Obama district. Two Democrats and a Libertarian qualified as write-ins however. They’ll each get a handful of votes. If it’ll be a Democrat who advances is up to how hard the Democratic party pushes their candidates to voters. I think they will and Oliver Unaka finishes second.

AD-62 – This Inglewood seat is being fiercely contested by Democrats. Two, Autumn Burke and Simona Farrise, figure to advance.

AD-73 – This safely red Dana Point seat has only one Democrat running, Wendy Gabriella. So she’ll finish first. There were four Republicans in the race, including three serious candidates. Paul Glaab ended his campaign Friday due to health issues. He endorsed Anna Bryson. She was and is my pick for 2nd narrowly over Jesse Petrilla.

AD-74 – Similar to the neighboring AD-73 this is a heavily Republican district with multiple Republicans running. My picks are Republican Keith Curry and Democrat Karina Onofre.