Monday, December 14, 2015

CA-21: Democrats in the Valley

One thing that perplexes election watchers who aren't from California is how Barack Obama could win districts in the Central Valley and Democrats could still lose them in congressional, state senate, and state assembly races. I've talked about this before, including my very last post. The Fresno Bee has weighed in with an article that hits the points I've hit on repeatedly. Democrats won’t win in districts like CA-21 because 1) they’d have to push someone who isn’t a progressive 2) they have no interest in listening to the country bumpkins who don’t know anything about anything.

Progressives don't win in the Central Valley. What's more Democrats have a tendency to run people from outside the district and, sometimes, far outside. They ran someone last time who was from Washington DC and had ties to a neighboring district nearly 20 years before. If they run someone local they have a chance to win. Likewise they can't run in the Central Valley the way they run in other districts. The Central Valley voter is heavily agricultural. So it's vital the candidate be able to know farming and connect with farmers. As the article mentions, they can't treat rural Hispanics the way they do city Hispanics. They have different needs. A Republican might win 15% of urban Hispanics but can win 40% of rural Hispanics.

Of course Republicans hope Democrats never figure this out.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

California Assemblyman Henry Perea to resign

Despite a ridiculous registration advantage, the California Central Valley has been a graveyard for Democrats. They’ve done a bit better lately but it’s one of the few places that a Republican can consistently hold a D+4 seat in congress and D+7 seats in the state senate. Democrats generally lack good candidates who can win elections. Instead, they often go with inexperienced candidates who have no profile in the districts they run in.

Michael Rubio was a strong candidate, but he withdrew from running against David Valadao in 2012 and then resigned his state senate seat to take lobbying job at Chevron. The one Democrat who was a threat to beat Valadao, and probably would’ve been favored, was Assemblyman Henry Perea. Unlike most Democrats in the Central Valley he beat Barack Obama’s percentage of the vote in 2012. He’s termed out of the legislature. So the speculation was whether he’d take a second shot at the Fresno mayor’s office or take on David Valadao. While Perea had made no move to do either yet, he had plenty of time. Instead of running for office, he’s resigning and taking what I assume is a lobbying job.

Democrats need the so called “business Democrats” to win in places a progressive can’t, but those who support business interests in the legislature are then prime candidates for jobs with the same businesses. I don’t think the Democrats have much of a shot of beating Valadao in 2016.