Tag Archives: CA-St. Ass.

CA-Primaries: Races to Watch

With the California primaries only days away, I decided to make a list of races worth watching this coming Super Tuesday. Cross-posted at Swing State Project and Democracy for California.

U.S. Senate (R) – Fiorina seems to have consolidated the “outsider” vote, seeing as she is the only one of the three that has not held elected office and it seems that being an outsider will get one far in the Republican primary (though not so much in a California general election).

Governor (R) – Exactly as I predicted, this race has unfolded to be 2006 in reverse. Whoever wins the GOP primary here will be so radioactive that many Republican voters likely will cross over to vote for Jerry Brown, like many Democratic voters did for Arnold last time. If Jerry Brown pulls similar numbers among Republicans that Arnold did among Democrats, then Brown is likely gonna win big. And I’m unsure about how indies will go, so I just went with an estimate similar to the 2006 numbers.

DEM 42%-GOP 33%-OTHER 25%

Brown: 93%/22%/60% = 61%

GOP nominee: 7%/78%/40% = 39%

Lt. Governor (D) – This race will be very interesting: a classic NorCal/SoCal matchup, between Gavin Newsom and Janice Hahn.

Lt. Governor (R) – Newly-appointed incumbent Abel Maldonado will face a tough primary with more conservative State Senator Sam Aanestad. Given that moderates have fared pretty poorly in California elections of late, I give Aanestad the edge.

Sec. of State (R) – Any race with the Birther Queen just has to be a race to watch, more so for the comedy value, though I think most Republicans don’t buy her BS, so I see Dunn getting the nomination. No matter who wins, Debra Bowen is likely a cinch for a second term.

Attorney General (D) – Very crowded primary here, with 3 term-limited Assemblymen, Torrico, Nava, and Lieu; S.F. District Attorney Kamala Harris; Facebook attorney Chris Kelly; and disgraced ex-L.A. city attorney Delgadillo, though the race seems to have narrowed to just Harris and Kelly. From what I have heard of Kelly, I am rooting for Harris.

Controller (R) – Not much drama here, but I am hoping for Tony Strickland to win so he can lose to John Chiang even worse than in 2006. Unfortunately, he is not up for reelection to the State Senate until 2012, so if he wins the nomination but loses the general, he will still be in the senate (hopefully until 2012).

Insurance Commissioner (D) – Here we have two strong candidates in term-limited assemblymen Hector De La Torre and Dave Jones. I have no preference in this race, but since Jones has more money and establishment backing, I think he’ll win the nod.

CA-11 (R) – Will David Harmer, who lost by only 10% in the more Democratic CA-10 in the special election (albeit with lower turnout) be able to make it past the primary against Tony Amador and be more competitive in the general?

CA-19 (D) – I am pulling for Loraine Goodwin here. Any campaign based on health care reform is a big winner in Democratic primaries and in general elections in most parts of the state. Not sure what the HCR numbers are in this neck of the woods.

CA-19 (R) – I think I will root for Denham here, as he has won in more Democratic turf, so he is relatively saner. (And Denham is term-limited, so CA-19 run or no CA-19 run, we have a great shot at winning SD-12.) Pombo shouldn’t really be of much concern, as he has placed a distant third in the recent primary poll.

CA-26 (R) – My hometown district, where Dreier faces a primary challenge from businessman Mark Butler. While I consider Dreier to be the heavy favorite, this primary challenge could further drain his campaign coffers. If he wins the primary, Dreier has the advantage of incumbency and a year more favorable to his party (though anti-Obama sentiment is much weaker in California than elsewhere). A disadvantage Dreier has is depleted campaign coffers, from spending like crazy to win only 52% against Warner in 2008 and possibly from this primary challenge.

CA-33 (D) – Former Assembly speaker Karen Bass is likely the heavy favorite, and I hope she wins.

CA-36 (D) – Harman/Winograd redux, only with more fireworks this time around.

CA-42 (R) – Even though Gary Miller’s voting record is unabashedly conservative, he is still getting teabagged by three other Republicans. Count on yet another incumbent scoring a subpar primary performance.

CA-45 (R) – Mary Bono Mack has drawn teabag primary opposition from Clayton Thibodeau for her vote for cap-and-trade. She also voted against repealing DADT in spite of her district having the highest concentration of gays of any Republican-held district, possibly out of fear of getting teabagged. If Thibodeau upsets Bono Mack, this Obama-voting R+3 district could be put into play.

CA-47 (R) – Will Tan and Van split the Vietnamese vote, allowing Kathy Smith to sneak through?

CA-50 (D) – I like Busby, but I think her time has passed, if she couldn’t beat Bilbray in the far more Democratic-favored 2006. Attorney Tracy Emblem seems to have most of the grassroots support.

AD-05 (R) – In this open, evenly-divided suburban Sacramento seat, the Tea Party has gotten into another Republican primary, backing Craig DeLuz against party-backed Prop 8 backer Andy Pugno. I am rooting for DeLuz to win the primary so in one election we defeat a Prop H8er and increase our chances of winning this district too.

AD-30 (D) – The Parra/Florez feud continues, with Nicole’s dad Pete Parra facing off against Dean’s mom Fran Florez, who lost to Danny Gilmore, who didn’t like being an Assemblyman and that’s why he’s not running, which I at first found surprising.

AD-36 (D) – Linda Jones, who ran here in 2008, faces primary opposition from real estate broker Maggie Campbell and police officer Shawntrice Watkins. This time I am rooting for Watkins, because this Antelope Valley-centric district is very law-and-order, being the home of the Runners (Sharon and George, of “Jessica’s Law” fame), and incumbent Steve Knight also having been a police officer before being elected to the Assembly. Watkins could cut into Knight’s law-and-order advantage. Plus Watkins’ endorsement from Equality California can’t hurt either.

AD-68 (D) and (R) – I am really looking forward to an all-Vietnamese matchup here. Will be interesting to gauge the Vietnamese vote if it’s Phu Nguyen (D) vs. Long Pham (R).

And what is a California election without some ballot measures? Five are on the ballot this time.

Prop 13: Tax break to property owners for making seismic retrofits. I like seeing tax breaks used as incentives for good causes. Vote YES!

Prop 14: Top two votegetters in the primary would go on to the general election, limiting voter choices. Vote NO!

Prop 15: Repeals ban on public financing and raises fees on lobbyists to fund a public financing system for SecState election beginning in 2014. Vote YES!

Prop 16: PG&E power grab that requires a 2/3 vote to create public power districts or allow local governments to purchase their own renewable power. Vote NO!

Prop 17: Weakens consumer protections and allow car insurance companies to charge much more for late payments. Vote NO!