National Journal must've thought they discovered something when they noticed a hard fought Sacramento state senate race between two Democrats. Assemblymen Roger Dickinson and Richard Pan are going to drive people to the polls! On the other hand, Republicans might stay home since they don't even have a candidate in the race. All this would help Democrat Ami Bera in his difficult CA-7 congressional race.
Let's set aside that state senate races don't usually influence races up ballot. It's the other way around. The big problem is that most of the state senate district is in Doris Matsui's Sacramento based CA-6. I don't have the exact numbers but I'm thinking that maybe 20% of the state senate district is in CA-7. The Democratic dominated city of Sacramento is in CA-6, but cities like Elk Grove and Carmichael are mixed with Republicans and Democrats and in CA-7. So most of those motivated voters will be going to the polls to vote for Doris Matsui.
Ok, but what about the $2.5 million in advertising the two candidates are running? That might drive people to the polls, but it's dwarfed by an expected $10 spent on the CA-7 race. There's no shortage of Republican money supporting Doug Ose. He'll get people to the polls.
This theory also assumes that the candidates only want Democrats at the polls. The VBMs in SD-6 so far are 30% Republican and people who've run these inter-party races know that one candidate can win by appealing to a large number of opposite party voters. It's how Eric Swalwell and Gloria Negrete-McLeod got to congress. Pan is going hard after Republicans and probably thinks he stands to get a higher percentage of the vote with them than he'll get with Democrats. I'm sure he's working to figure out which Republicans will vote for him and turn them out.
As we know from the VBM returns, Democratic turnout isn't quite matching 2012 in CA-7. Maybe this is because much of the district is in the 4th state senate district and that's one where Republican Jim Nelson is sailing to re-election over a some dude Democrat who hasn't filed a campaign finance report because he hasn't raised money.
Try again, National Journal.