Monday, May 23, 2016

California Senate: A Democratic Top Two?

It's looking increasingly likely that two Democrats, Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez, will finish top two in the June California Senate primary. If that happens it'll be the first statewide election between two Democrats and no Republicans. I think that'll be a disaster for Republicans in congressional, assembly, and state senate races. All of the advertising and GOTV efforts by two Democrats will drive up Democratic turnout and the lack of a candidate in the only race for statewide office will drive down Republican turnout. The Presidential race will also be statewide, of course, but California is uncompetitive. So no national party will bother here.

When two Democrats are top two for lower offices we've seen one of them try to get Republicans to the polls. Usually these efforts are clumsy, as the Democrats doesn't know how to appeal to Republicans and fears turning off Democrats. Of course one of the candidates, likely Sanchez, will determine that Republicans favor her and higher Republican turnout will help her. From an election observer standpoint it'll be fascinating to see how the candidates will jockey for the 38-43% of the vote a Republican would get.

The San Jose Mercury News doesn't address whether it's good or bad for the GOP, but does highlight negatives for Democrats. The race would require massive spending by Democrats, money that could help them elsewhere. Kamala Harris won't be available to campaign for Hillary Clinton elsewhere.

Jerry Brown endorsed Harris today.

No comments:

Post a Comment