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.

No comments:

Post a Comment