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THE NOONER for July 30, 2015
THE CLASS OF 2012
Following the 2011 redistricting, there were seven "toss-up" congressional districts--CA07 (East Sacto), CA21 (Kings), CA26 (Ventura), CA31 (Redlands), CA36 (Coachella), CA41 (Riverside), and CA52 (San Diego). In 2012, Democrats won five out of seven of the districts. CA31 was picked up by Republicans mostly because too many Democrats ran in the top-two, leading to two Republicans facing off in November. Democrat Pete Aguilar won CA31 in 2014. The one true sustained Republican victory was by David Valadao in the Central Valley's CA21, which is a region in which Democrats--heavily favored in registration--have struggle to turn out voters.
In CA07, Ami Bera (D) defeated incumbent Dan Lungren (R), in CA36, Raul Ruiz (D) beat incumbent Mary Bono Mack (R), and in CA52, Scott Peters (D) prevailed over incumbent Brian Bilbray (R). In the remaining seats, retirements--encouraged by redistricting--opened the door, and Democrats prevailed CA26 (Gallegly) won by Julia Brownley, and CA41 (Lewis), won by Mark Takano (D).
With one lost congressional seat in the Bay Area (leading to Lynn Woolsey's retirement) and the creation of an additional seat (basically CA21) in the Central Valley, this led to a net change between 112th and 113th Congresses of 4 Democratic seats. Republicans were not too despondent though, as most of the swing seats were won by Democrats by an average of 7% (4.25% if you exclude Mark Takano's unexpected 18% landslade in CA41). Knowing that the 2014 midterm election would have a much lower turnout, the 2012 Republican wounds were expected to heal relatively quickly, and spirits weren't too low since Republicans nationally defended their majority in the House of Representatives.
After all, Republican registration outpaces Democratic registration in 31 of the state's 58 counties. While the population centers of the Bay Area and Los Angeles have created a lockbox for Democrats for statewide offices, there are still deeply red parts of the state and many of those counties are included in the districts picked up by Democrats in 2012.
In 2014, 5.69 million fewer Californians voted than in 2012, a decline of 43%. In any political science classroom, if you accept conventional wisdom about the partisanship of voter turnout and didn't know the results of 2014, you would project that Republicans would have picked up the four seats other than Takano's CA41.
However, Democrats held all five seats, winning them by an average of 5.64% (3.75% if you exclude CA41). Huh?
The Democratic class of 2012 did a remarkable job in fundraising and generally outspent their challengers 2:1, except in CA07 in which Doug Ose spent twice that of Ami Bera, but a large amount in the primary. There was a lot of independent spending on both sides. The fundraising ability of Democrats was surprising given they had lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterms. Actually, losing control of the House likely benefitted the class of 2012, as they could run against the House and not take responsibility for difficult votes.
With 2016 being a presidential year and with two-term incumbency advantage, the Democratic class of 2012 (plus 2014's Pete Aguilar) is well positioned. Republicans are going to have a challenge beating each of the members of the class, and have to keep their eye on CA21, in which David Valadao (R) will face Democrat Daniel Parra, the mayor of Fowler. With money focused on picking up the White House, Republican challengers are going to have a difficult time attracting big money outside of their districts.
All of this said, the Democratic candidates can't rest on their laurels. We are likely still talking about average margins of 5-7%, which is in the margin of a misstep or a lackluster campaign.
POLL POSITION: PPIC is out with its monthly statewide survey, with a focus this month on voter perspectives on the environment.
[n=1,702 California residents, MOE +/-3.7%, July 12-21, 2015]
Poll Suggests Governor, Democrats Winning Climate Debate -- for Now [John Myers @ KQED] - "The Wednesday night poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) finds strong support for not only the idea that climate change is linked to the state s historic drought, but also equally robust support for a handful of legislative ideas to double down on the state s response."
SPEAKER IN WAITING? Becerra steps aside, aspires for more [Dan Morain @ SacBee] - "Rep. Xavier Becerra is standing down from the U.S. Senate race, but is aiming higher in the House where he has a shot at the top leadership position."
MONEY MATTERS: California public pension proposal would create 'uncertainties,' analyst says [Jon Ortiz @ SacBee] - "Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said this week he doesn t know what would happen if a new public pension ballot proposal becomes law."
CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: Nostalgic Naugles is back and so are the crowds for the bean and cheese burrito and the wild and crazy memories [Keith Sharon @ OCR] - "Naugles, for the uninitiated, was a totally rad fast food joint with locations all over Southern California in the 1970s and 80s. It disappeared in the 1990s after a merger with Del Taco. It came back as if waking from a dream this week at a single location just off Ellis Avenue in an industrial park in Fountain Valley."
BYE-BYE BITES: Today's Sacramento News and Review has the final column by Cosmo Garvin. He claims it's time to get a job. Hmmm...I should probably be thinking about that too. Thanks for columns, Cosmo.
BALLS AND BUNGHOLE: You wouldn't expect to hear those words from Doris Kearns Goodwin, but in talking about LBJ (who else?) last night on The Daily Show, it happened.
YOUR INSIGHT NEEDED: What legislative bills do you see as the biggest for the last four weeks of session? Email me your thoughts.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to SMUD board member Nancy Bui-Thompson, LA city commissioner Laurette Healey, Santa Cruz councilmember Richelle Noroyan, and CDP staffer Neil Pople!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
UC Paid Former President Mark Yudof $546,000 In The Year After He Resigned | The Sacramento Bee
Phillip Reese @ sacbee.com
Yudof was president of the University of California system for five years
Sen. Dianne Feinstein Introduces $1.3-billion California Drought-relief Bill
Sen. Dianne Feinstein filed her long-awaited legislative response to California's water crisis on Wednesday, hoping to broker a compromise that has eluded Congress through four years of fallow crops and brown lawns.
Hhs Spending And The Quest For More Money
Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
The chart shows expenditure by program type from 1976-77 to 2015-16. While most programs have remained steady or had a modest increase, Health and Human Services towers over the other items on the chart. It even bests the second largest expenditure gain, K-12 education, by a considerable amount.
California's Water Customers Met Savings Mandate
Bradley J. Fikes @ sandiegouniontribune.com
Water districts and cities in San Diego County and across California surpassed state water conservation mandates in June, the first month under the mandates ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial County Want $3 Billion For Salton Sea
The new price tag for restoring the Salton Sea: $3.15 billion.
Artists Aghast At Anti-Public Art Lawsuit Against Oakland
Sarah Hotchkiss @ ww2.kqed.org
The ordinance, which already applied to Oakland municipal projects, expanded in early February to require that commercial projects costing more than $200,000 devote one percent of their budgets to public art. Residential projects must devote one-half percent of their budgets to public art. Alternatively, any building project can pay a corresponding amount into a pooled fund for public art programs.
First Draft: James Gilmore, Ex-Virginia Governor, Files Papers to Run for President
James S. Gilmore III, the former governor of Virginia, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday to enter the crowded field of Republican presidential contestants.
Don't Look For Latino Prosecutors: They Are Way Underrepresented
Latinos are underrepresented in the ranks of prosecutors in California, but the percentage of Latino prosecutors in Los Angeles County is higher than the statewide average, a Stanford Law School study out Wednesday showed.
Fort Bragg Has No Confederate Flag - Sfgate
When South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill to boot the Confederate flag from State House grounds earlier this month, it was a beautiful moment - if decades late. State lawmakers finally acted out of revulsion of images of a confessed shooter posing with the Civil War relic before he shot to death nine African American church parishioners on June 17. Flag apologists lost their stomach for defending the banner as an emblem of states' rights. The best part was that South Carolinians themselves had decided it was time for the bad flag to go.
Medicare And Medicaid At 50: Successful, Expensive
In the 50 years since they were signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, Medicare and Medicaid have grown into health insurance behemoths, covering one-third of all Americans and accounting for $4 of every $10 spent on healthcare here. Widely supported by beneficiaries, the programs have been...
California Is Falling Apart; Here's Why
On July 19 the collapse of a "functionally obsolete" bridge shut down nearly 50 miles of Interstate 10. What was the problem? Too much rain, too little infrastructure. Infrastructure? Don't stop reading: Your life, literally, depends on infrastructure. Steven P. Erie, a political science professor...
Clinton Starts Opening Up On The Campaign Trail After Weeks Of Tight Control
Three months into her second presidential bid, Hillary Rodham Clinton has succeeded at an important goal – pivoting away from a highly restricted campaign style that threatened to cut her off from voters in key early-voting states.
California Dmv Cracks Down On Misuse Of Disability Parking Placards
The Department of Motor Vehicles is cracking down on drivers who improperly apply for disability parking placards so they can use specially marked parking spots, officials said Wednesday.
The Trump Campaign Trademarked ‘trumpocrat’
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Trump hires former top Palin aide as political director
DENNIS ROSS @ politico.com
The media mogul's presidential campaign announced Thursday that it had hired Michael Glassner as its political director.
Water Pollution At 2016 Summer Olympics Remains A Concern
Amid continuing worry about pollution at open-water sites for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, a new study shows swimmers and boaters could face serious health risks.
Mayor Garcetti Has Served Up Big, Heaping Plates Of Waffle
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was at his best last week when he spoke to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors about raising the minimum wage.
California Officials Arranged $28 Million In Payments To Favored Non-profits | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
Nonprofits, schools, businesses received donations during first half of year