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THE NOONER for November 12, 2012

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Thank you to the men and women that are fighting and have fought for our freedom to govern ourselves. May all currently serving return home safely.

BIPARTISAN FACTOID: Only 2 of the last 10 presidents have been elected twice with more than 50% of the vote--Reagan and Obama.

CLIFFHANGERS: If you're watching some of the close races, I'm tracking the daily trend of vote counting for each race. Please note that counties report updates at different paces. Los Angeles county's next update is tomorrow at 1pm. The ones I am watching for possible results changes are CD07, CD52, SD05, AD20AD32, AD36AD50, and AD65. Again, I largely expect that late absentees will mirror election day ballots.

Here are how these races currently stand, using a statewide number of 22.7% post-election day (post-ED) ballots.

  • CD07: Lungren (R) needs 50.2% of post-ED ballots; currently receive 47.5%
  • CD52: Bilbray (R) needs 50.7% of post-ED ballots; currently receiving 47.6%
  • SD05: Galgiani (D) needs 54.2% of post-ED ballots; currently receiving 47.6%
  • AD20: Ong (D) needs 53.8% of post-ED ballots; currently receiving 51.1%
  • AD32: Rios (R) needs 51% of post-ED ballots. No post-ED ballots counted, although all outstanding are Salas-friendly Kern County
  • AD36: Fox (D) needs 54.4% of post-ED ballots; currently receiving 43.1%
  • AD40: Warner (D) needs 56.2% of post-ED ballots; No post-ED ballots counted.
  • AD50: Butler (D) needs 50.3% of post-ED ballots; currently receiving 51.5%
  • AD65: Norby (R) needs 52.2% of post-ED ballots; currently receiving 47.4%

AURAL PLEASURE: Post-mortem podcast [John Myers @ News10 & Anthony York @ LAT]

DOGGED DETERMINATION: Meet the Corgi Who Helped California Raise Taxes [Marc Tracy @ TNR]

PROVED ME WRONG: Democrats post major Riverside County gains [Jim Miller @ PE]

#FAILWHALE: Meet ORCA: Romney's 21st-century turnout program that wasn't [Maggie Haberman & Alexander Burns @ Politico]

FAIR POINT: A reader wrote that my characterization of Melissa Melendez being the moderate in AD61 was inaccurate. Fair enough, as it was more of a personal contest between her and Phil Paule. That said, Paule walked around with Norquist's pledge tattooed to his head while Melendez simply said "no new taxes." I would still argue that she came across as the more moderate of the two.

NEWSPAPER-ENDORSED LIE DU JOUR: Gloria Romero: Half the California electorate didn't vote [Gloria Romero in OCR]. Fact: At 74% and 55.8%, actual turnout or registered and eligible voters respectively will be almost exactly average of presidential elections since 1980.


Following a weekend of stories about the national GOP being led astray by bad polling assumptions, there has also been a fair amount of discussion in California. As you likely know, I have been a proponent both before and after the election that young voters would, and subsequently did, constitute a greater share of voters than all public pollsters were assuming. 

See Young voters turned the tide for Brown's Prop 30 [Juliet Williams @ AP]

Yesterday while watching football I decided to dive more deeply into how true this hypothesis was, beyond just pointing to the national exit poll.

First, let's look at overall turnout. Field projected it at 12,750,000, with a 51%-49% split between mail and precinct voters. From my review of already cast ballots and reported typical validity rates for absentee (98.5%) and provisional (81.5%) ballots, it will actually be significantly higher at around 13.3 million. The big caveat is that provisionals appear to be approximately 25% higher than 2008, which could lead to a lower validity rate. However, Field is likely very close on the 51-49% divide between mail and precinct voting.

Now, setting aside the total number of voters, let's look at voter composition. Field was dramatically different than the exit poll, as were most public and private polling models I have reviewed.

I have tried to reach Edison Media Research's California pollster, to no avail, to verify the methodology used in California. I am guessing from their results that they did not conduct a phone survey in California in advance to gain voter composition and opinion of absentee voters, as Edison's methodology identifies as only done in some states. Knowing what I know about the California electorate, even in an unexpected year, looking at the 18-29 and 65+ numbers from the exit poll, I have to conclude that it was precinct only, or surveyers were making numbers up.

Anyway, I think an appropriate measure of who actually turned out is a blend of Field's projections of mail ballot demographics and the Edison/news consortia exit poll, appropriately weighted by the 51/49% apparent split between the voting method. That's what I've done below, and I show the difference from the Field hybrid, weighted based on its split of mail and precinct.

Not surprisingly, it shows that the California electorate was younger and less white, and a shave less Republican (and more independent) than expected. That would explain why in virtually every race for which I saw pre-election polling, Democrats seemed to outperform the polling by 3-8 points.

Remember, while Republicans need to seriously consider the threat of changing demographics, Democrats need to be mindful of the cyclical nature of politics.


DemographicField MailField PrecinctField HybridEdison ExitBlended
(Field Mail, Edison Exit)
Men 46% 48% 47% 50% 49% (+2%)
Women 54% 54% 54% 50% 52% (-2%)
18-29 10% 15% 12.5% 27% 18.3% (+5.8%)
30-39 13% 15% 14% 18% 15.5% (+1.5%)
40-49 19% 26% 22.4% 19% 19.0% (-3.4%)
50-64 27% 28% 27.5% 23% 25.0% (-2.5%)
65+ 31% 16% 23.6% 13% 22.2% (-1.4%)
White 72% 65% 68.6% 55% 64.0% (-4.6%)
Black 5% 7% 6.0% 8% 6.5% (+0.5%)
Latino 16% 22% 18.9% 22% 19.0% (-0.1%)
Asian/Other 7% 6% 6.5% 14% 10.5% (+4%)
Democrat 44% 44% 44.0% 44% 44.0% (+0.0%)
Republican 37% 30% 33.6% 27% 32.1% (-1.5%)
Independent 19% 26% 22.4% 29% 23.9% (+1.5%)



Congratulations to the 2013-14 California Legislature - from everyone at Shaw / Yoder / Antwih, Inc., Peterson Consulting, Inc. and Strategic Local Government Services, LLC!

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Jerry Brown: California tax vote start of a national tax hike sweep
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown said in a television interview this morning that passage of his initiative to raise taxes has national implications, with California at the start of a broader movement to increase taxes on the rich.

Young Voters Turned The Tide For Brown's Prop 30
Local @
Gov. Jerry Brown secured a convincing win for his tax initiative on last weeks ballot, thanks partly to voters who might not seem like a natural constituency for the 74-year-old, lifelong politician -- young voters.

Questions and answers about the new California budget landscape
Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are looking at a new budget landscape after California voters last week approved a $6 billion annual tax infusion and apparently gave legislative Democrats supermajority power.

Gay Marriage In California Awaits U.S. Supreme Court Review
Jessica Garrison @
As voters in three more states cast ballots to allow gay marriage in last week's election, some California gay marriage activists have grown impatient at seeing gains elsewhere while the question remains in legal limbo here.

What Did Supreme Court Hear About Same-sex Marriage On Election Day?
Robert Barnes @
Just before Tuesday’s elections, a national gay-rights group sent its supporters in Maryland an e-mail listing an additional reason to go to the polls to approve same-sex marriage.

GOP Might Never Again Hold Power In California
George Skelton @
After last week's bludgeoning, Republicans remain too weak to affect the legislative agenda and challenge Gov. Jerry Brown for reelection.

Dan Walters: California Saw Big Changes In Electorate
Dan Walters @
This wasn't your father's electorate, much less your grandfather's. Even as California's white population declined sharply in the last generation to well below 50 percent, middle-age Anglo homeowners still dominated California's elections. And this widening characteristic gap between voters and the overall population contributed to chronic political gridlock.

Black Vote In Ohio Fueled By Voter-id Bills -
That plus anger stirred by the still-pending voter-ID bill that passed the Ohio House last year became the impetus that reenergized many African-American voters, said E. Faye Williams, president of the National Congress of Black Women. During a Washington event on the minority vote weeks before the election, Williams told a small group that such laws would likely push minorities to come out in droves.

Calif. Gov. Brown: DOJ, Obama Should 'Respect' State Marijuana Laws
Zack Colman @
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said the federal government should let recently passed marijuana legalization laws stand in Colorado and Washington.

Outsourcing Pension Costs: Costa Mesa Hits Snag
Costa Mesa voters last week rejected a proposed city charter, a switch to home rule from state general law that would have allowed the city to bypass a court ruling blocking the outsourcing of some services to private firms.

Dan Walters Daily
Dan Smith @
measures the newly strengthened legislative Democrats have mentioned will really happen. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, for instance, has talked about ballot initiatives.

Yee's Lead Barely Holds In District 7 Vote - Sfgate
Candidate Norman Yee's lead in the District Seven supervisor race was shaved to 20 votes late Sunday after election officials posted the latest results in the contest to replace termed-out supervisor Sean Elsbernd. With approximately 3,000 votes left to tally, school board president Yee maintained a narrow margin over labor leader F.X. Crowley, down from his 29-vote lead on Saturday. More than 22,000 ballots for the two men have been counted in the ranked-choice tally, yet election officials are now are tasked with hand-inspecting provisional ballots, which is a time-consuming effort.

Cristina Garcia Goes From Bell Activist To Assembly Post
Jeff Gottlieb @
Cristina Garcia became known to voters through her work with a group that pushed for reforms in Bell and championed a recall election that upended City Council.

Roseanne Barr Draws More Than 2,000 Sacramento Votes For President - Data Center - The Sacramento Bee
About 2,600 local residents stepped into a voting booth on election day, picked up their pen and thought something like, "I'm going to do it. I'm going to vote for Roseanne Barr."

Proposition 30 Win No Guarantee Of Fiscal Safety For California
Chris Megerian @
California's unstable tax base, debt and falling revenue are among threats that could ruin the budget despite the infusion from the passage of Proposition 30.

Political Memo: A Vote for Unlimited Campaign Financing
The re-election of President Obama did not presage an end to the deregulated fund-raising unleashed by Citizens United; it most likely reinforced it.

Moderates Could Enhance Image Of State Legislature
Michael J. Mishak and Patrick McGreevy @
Lawmakers elected under nonpartisan primaries could have more time to develop expertise and be held more accountable to constituents.

California Left Behind On Pot, Marriage
Joe Garofoli @
Everybody knows California is where cutting-edge change begins. Waves form here, and then the rest of America jumps aboard and rides them across the country. Still, why was it Washington state that on Tuesday legalized same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana use rather than the home of Harvey Milk and Oaksterdam?

Secession Petitions Filed On White House Web Site
Rachel Weiner @
From states across the country, Americans have filed petitions on the White House Web site seeking to secede from the union and form new state governments.

Some DMV Voter Registrations Fall Through Cracks, Registrars Say
Will Evans @
County registrars are all too familiar with the problem. They say every year, they hear from a smattering of frustrated citizens who tried to register at the DMV, only to find themselves ineligible to vote. Sonoma County had 25 applications for court orders to vote this year. Santa Cruz County had about 60, mostly from people who tried to register at DMV offices.

Google, Amazon, Starbucks to face UK lawmakers over tax
Tom Bergin @
UK lawmakers will quiz executives of Starbucks, Google and Amazon on Monday about how they have managed to pay only small amounts of tax in Britain while racking up billions of dollars worth of sales.

Only 20 votes separate SF supervisor candidates
The Associated Press @
The latest vote tally shows only 20 votes separate a pair of San Francisco supervisor candidates.

Editorial: Finally, the Latino vote is taken seriously
Elections do mean something. Tuesday's vote offered clarity on some key issues – from Obamacare to tax cuts for wealthier Americans to solving deficits with a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.

Human Services Agency's Healthy Contracts
Neil J. Riley, John Wildermuth @
As budget and legislative analyst, Harvey Rose puts together some blockbuster reports about city departments and programs, detailing malfeasance, incompetence and just plain screwups in the way San Francisco is being run.