by Brian Leubitz
The final Field Poll came out today, and it had Democrats looking good in all of the partisan statewide races. As you can see from the table to the right, the Dems are all showing statistically significant leads. Add that to the Governor’s 54-33 lead and all seems well in Democratic party land.
However, state superintendent of public instruction Tom Torlakson has quite the fight in front of him in the next few days. While it is a nonpartisan race, the California Democratic Party has endorsed SSPI Torlakson, and a lot of effort statewide is being directed towards his re-election. The efforts of so-called “school reformers” to get a charter school advocate in that position is just presenting a magnet to money on both sides of the issue.
The interesting thing is that despite all the money spent so far in the race, a rather large plurality of voters still doesn’t have an opinion on the race. One has to suspect that many voters rely upon the signal that party preference provides, and just are not well versed enough to make a call without that information. It really complicates nonpartisan races, making field and other outreach that much more difficult.
So, with all the big statewide races less than interesting, one would expect low turnout. And, according to PDI, a big election data company, that is exactly the case. Turnout is trailing far behind both 2010 and 2012. While exact turnout figures are still tough to call, I would expect turnout levels approaching our lower records for an election in a gubernatorial year.
But that just makes all the field work that much more important. Make sure your friends and family vote!