Election Day 2010

Well, here we go – the November 2010 election is finally here. Finally our TV screens will be freed from the tyranny of Meg Whitman’s mug for the first time since the Winter Olympics. (Although I’ve started seeing Lindsey Vonn in TV ads, which is nice.) Californians will awaken tomorrow with a new governor-elect, although the word “new” should probably not be taken literally in Jerry Brown’s case.

But tonight will offer some fascinating, compelling, and sometimes gut-wrenching election returns, not just across the country but here in California. Here’s what we at Calitics will be watching for tonight:

How big will our Democratic wave be? California is bucking the national trend – fueled by a diverse electorate, a maturing progressive movement, and strong campaigns, Democrats are poised to do well at the top of the ticket. But how deep will that wave go? Will it be enough to overcome corporate money downticket to put Kamala Harris and Dave Jones into office? Will it be enough to save some of the close seats in the House of Representatives? Will it be enough to pick off some Republican seats?

Can Dems play defense? Incumbent Democrats are generally going to cruise tonight, but in a few districts things are much less certain. In the House, Jerry McNerney (CA-11), Jim Costa (CA-20) and Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) are facing strong right-wing challenges, with Dennis Cardoza (CA-18) vulnerable as well. If people voting for Brown and Boxer stick around and vote downticket for these Dems, they should be OK, but any one of them could lose tonight. In the Legislature, Dems are nervous but confident they can keep their Assembly seats, with Alyson Huber (AD-10) and Joan Buchanan (AD-15) being the most vulnerable.

Can Dems play offense? If there’s a blue wave tonight, we’ll know it by how many – if any – new seats Democrats pick up. The most important battle is in SD-12, where Anna Caballero is fighting a brutal battle against Anthony Cannella. Caballero will do extremely well in the Salinas Valley portion of the district, but it’s much less clear how she’ll do in the Central Valley, where the race will be decided.

Dems may also have some pickups in the Assembly. Richard Pan in AD-5 is in a tight battle with arch-bigot Andy Pugno, author of Prop 8. Melissa Fox in AD-70 and Phu Nguyen in AD-68 could be Democratic pickups in Orange County.

If tonight is a good night for Dems, we could see some Republican House seats fall. Ami Bera in CA-3 probably has the best chance, but any one of Bill Hedrick (CA-44), Steve Pougnet (CA-45), and Beth Krom (CA-48) has a chance to surprise.

Will corporate money pick off a few statewide seats after all? Karl Rove and big corporations are spending millions to defeat Kamala Harris and Dave Jones – these races really matter, and even though corporate money might flame out in the higher profile races, we’ve got to hope that it fails to cost us the Attorney General and Insurance Commissioner seats.

Will we sweep the propositions? Ballot propositions have a tendency to not turn out the way progressives like, although that has begun to change ever since the historic victory over Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005. Tonight could see a progressive sweep, especially if the defeat of Prop 23 and the passage of Prop 25 are joined by the defeat of Prop 26 and the passage of Prop 24. We also need Prop 21 to pass and, last but not least, I really hope Prop 19 pulls out the victory and sets California – and eventually the nation – on the path away from Prohibition.

Will Nancy Pelosi remain speaker? As I explained over the weekend, losing her as Speaker would be catastrophic. I’m pretty confident about most things here in California today, but not this. Republican control of the House would inaugurate a new round of Hooverism and could even undermine what remains of our democracy. Speaker Pelosi has been a fighter for progressive causes and for California. If she loses her majority tonight, it will be terrible – especially since it won’t be her fault, as she will have been undone by the failures of President Obama and the Senate Democrats.

We’ll be covering the elections results here at Calitics and, at least for myself, on Twitter – follow me @cruickshank. Get out there and vote, and then come back here and talk about the results!

22 thoughts on “Election Day 2010”

  1. That is according to Calitics …

    in the CA 36th House of Reps though I can’t stomach warmonger/Mossad floozy Harman, so I’m writing in Ralph Nader!

    So glad to live in Cali! Let’s save our state today!

  2. If our democracy depends on whether or not we have a democratic majority or a republican majority, then is it really much of a democracy?

  3. since the local and state parties seem to have only endorsed a few, and left the rest blank, I was able to find this guide from the Westside Republicans on who the GOP recommends.  Good information there on the judges’ political affiliation, as well as who first appointed them.

    So basically, just go with the opposite of what they say.  🙂

  4. I went to vote and noticed prayers on the wall, ‘united we stand’ 9/11 photos and a lot of other photos that I would prefer not to see when I go vote. Does anyone know the rules regarding this type of thing?  

  5. Seriously? I visited your site because there is link at Courage Campaign. Disappointed that a site like this considers Pelosi a progressive. Unless of course illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation is progressive. Or maybe the use of torture is progressive. No doubt the elimination of FISA is progressive.

    Yeah sure, Nancy is real progressive. Obviously you are already celebrating a prop 19 victory.

  6. I forgot to take the courage campaign recommendations with me, so I actually had to read the ballots in full myself (I was only familiar with prop 23 and 25, not the rest, so I had to learn).

    I also wondered: what is the process by which you can get your endorsements put into the voter guide? and is it fair? i see california league of women voters, sierra club, and a LOT of howard jarvis taxpayers assc endorsements. do the Yes and No campaigns get to say which endorsements that they want in the voter guide packet?

  7. I told you, she’s been just as complicit in watering down legislation as Reid. Plus, she had twice as long as Obama to get things done, and, instead, she let Bush destroy the country even more. So good riddance, as far as I’m concerned. Oh, and why would I continue to endorse a candidate who was aware of, and approved, torture?  

  8. by all accounts there has been big turnout, at least in my neighborhood. looks like the students are turning out, which bodes well for CA.

  9.  You all should too…

    We are the 8th largest economy in the World, we should be aiming for number 7. The Nation is lost for two years, let’s just get what we need to do done HERE.

    We can export our Tea Party morons to other states with higher taxes on those that deserve it, making sure rights are equalized for LBGT and Minorities.

    The LEFT COAST needs to remain STRONG and PROGRESSIVE.

    We can do thi ON OUR OWN, we have the TECH SECTOR on LOCK, we can build anything we want, we have talented people here.

    Let’s just focus on CALIFORNIA!

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