Redistricting + Top Two Means An Uncertain 8 Days for the Budget

Jim Sanders and Kevin Yamamura of the Bee take on the theory that redistricting maps due out Friday could shake free a few votes:

To secure Republican votes for the state budget, Democrats have enlisted business leaders, police officers and teachers.

Now they’re hoping for a boost from cartographers.

An independent mapping panel will release its first draft of new legislative boundaries Friday, shuffling incumbents into new districts and threatening some members’ best-laid political plans.

Democrats hope the redistricting maps will help shake free the necessary Republican votes for a budget that relies on taxes to bridge the remaining $9.6 billion deficit. (SacBee)

This isn’t an altogether unreasonable hypothesis.  But, that’s all it is right now, an untested guess.  And as Tony Quinn points out, it is just too hard to game out right now.

However, all that being said, I think a critical point might have been missed here: Top 2 is going to change pretty much everything from the last time around.  Beyond the citizens redistricting commission, which might be more likely to lump two (or even three) legislators into one new district, the element of this new voting system makes next year even more of a wild card.

Just from numbers, this is more likely to be of some import in a district with two Republican legislators, but it could make a difference in a race of two Democrats in the opposite fashion.  So, say you have two somewhat strong legislators of one party as well as a no-name or two of the other party.  While it is far from clear that you will have two Rs or Ds in that general election (see Bowen, D), a sizeable chunk of the smaller party could shift allegiance to a partisan of the other, more powerful party in the region. So, if a bunch of Democrats decide to back one of the Republicans over the other, that could make a difference in creating the Craig Huey situation.  In other words, the weaker party will still get one of its nominees into the general election.

Basically, at this point this is all speculation, but come next June, we could have some very interesting contests on our hands.  And over the next 8 days until the June 15 budget deadline, there will be some squirming legislators.

One thought on “Redistricting + Top Two Means An Uncertain 8 Days for the Budget”

  1. I don’t think Republicans will vote for the budget. Looking at San Bernardino County, Mike Morrell or Tim Donnelly will never vote for the tax extensions and it would be better just to get them on the ballot instead from doing it door to door and person to person.

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