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  • AD55 (Yorba Linda): changed from Safe Republican to Likely Republican


BALANCE OF POWER: Note that I don't list district-specific predictions below, but rather use probabilities in toss-ups to make projections. Individual race ratings are on the ATC district pages.

  • CA congressional delegation:
    • Current: 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 116th Congress: 39 Democrats, 10 Republicans, 4 toss-ups
  • Senate:
    • Current: 26 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 27 Democrats, 13 Republicans 
  • Assembly:
    • Current: 55 Democrats, 25 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 56-58 Democrats, 24-22 Republicans


Happy Saturday. The Wide Open Walls street party last night on L Street between 15th and 16th was awesome. There were several artists creating original paintings and of course great live and DJ'd music. Frankly, after working and now living on the grid for 23 years, I couldn't believe I was in Sacramento. I find myself saying that almost every week. People I talk to express similar feelings.

This year's murals have not yet been posted to the Wide Open Walls site (, but last year's have been. I plan on grabbing a Jump bike over the next week to see ones, and WOW916 has a map to guide you to the new additions. The Johnny Cash mural by Shepard Fairey on the east wall of the Residence Inn (15th/L) was completed around midnight Thursday and is definitely worth a view. There is also a mural on the north side of the building from last year and one was completed yesterday now adorns the valet area of the hotel. Overall, 35 murals have been added to the grid and beyond from artists from around the world, all made possible by a local nonprofit and its supporters.

PAINT BY NUMBERS: Over the last couple of days, I've been poring over voter registration data, specifically the changes between the 15-day report (May 19, 2014) before the last midterm primary election compared to the latest data we have, which is the 15-day report (May 21, 2018) before the June 5, 2018 primary.

For the purposes of these data, I use those registered as Democrats, Republicans, and a combined "NPP+" category. That includes "No Party Preference," "other," American Independent , Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom. I combine them for this series of analyses for two reasons: none of the "minor" parties are on the November ballot.  Green and Peace and Freedom voters (combined 0.87%) will largely vote Democratic and Libertarian voters largely voting Republican (0.74%). The problem is American Independent, which is the "largest" minor party at 2.65%.

The problem, as campaign veterans know, is that a large number--likely a majority, of voters registered with the American Independent Party (AIP) intended to be political independents rather than the descendent party created to run a segregation candidate against Hubert Humphrey (D) and Richard Nixon (R) in 1968. I'm sure there are some, but I have seen plenty of people who I personally know or are famous that don't fit the description provided by our friend John Myers to NPR's All Things Considered in 2016. "They are against abortion rights. They are against illegal immigration and want to crack down on immigration, and they are against same-sex marriage." Myers wrote about it again this year in the Times.

It is not unfair to assume that AIP registrants can be assumed to essentially be NPP and, thus split along the underlying Democrat/Republican lines when those are the only parties that will be beneath the two candidates' names on November 6.

Another issue in minor parties is that the "Americans Elect Party" lost qualified political party status after the November 2014 general election. When that happens, county registrars don't call all voters with the defunct party 3,922 in November 2014, but rather generally shift them to "other." Americans Elect was the political effort by businessman Peter Ackerman to elect independent candidates. Ackerman worked with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg on the effort, spent some dough, which yielded no discernible results.

The other problem with the data is the treatment of "decline to state" (DTS) voters before top-two was created and the new category of "no party preference." Most, but not all, county registrars shifted DTS to NPP. From basic semantics, you can understand the problem. DTS before could have meant "I'm not locked in to a party" or "screw you, I'm not telling you my party." 

I would still surmise that DTS, like "other," voters generally split along the district's underlying Dem/Rep split, since that is the choices they will have for all statewide and district-level elections this November.

There are lots of things to looking at that I'll likely share over the next several days. We know the overall trend. New voters are eschewing party affiliation more than before. It could be an actual political decision, or it could be a practical one. Before the "top-two" primary, voters generally had to be registered with a party to participate in the partisan primaries. Showing up at the polls as a "Decline to State" in those days meant voting in superintendent of public instruction, local nonpartisan offices and ballot measures--just not the headliners.

That was modified by parties in the dying days of the closed primary, as parties invited decline to states, but they had to pull one party's ballot and only vote for that party's primary candidates. I choose "dying days" because, despite the hatred of top-two by both major and minor parties, I don't see Proposition 14 being repealed any time soon. While it only received 53.8% of the vote in the June 8, 2010 election, recall that it essentially was a closed primary. 

The two major parties--Democratic and Republican--clearly don't like the non-affiliation of voter registrants because it reduces loyalty and makes voter targeting far more difficult. It can be done using enhanced data and demographic information. I would venture to guess that 80% of the NPP+ voters in my Assembly district between the age of 18 and 30 vote Democrat in the general election. That's based on polling among that demographic group, and the underlying Dem/Rep share of voters within AD07. So, targeting in the era of growing NPP+ is possible, but it takes more work.

There are further non-public data points that can make probabilities of voter behavior even more exact. It doesn't matter in AD07, but it does in the targeted races we have been talking about over the recent months. It is no longer a world where student Scott and a Microsoft Access database of the voter file sufficed. It is truly a science.

Minor parties similarly hate the top-two primary because it essentially guarantees that, as of now, their candidates won't reach the general. Under top-two we have only seen D-R, D-D, and R-R in the general. More importantly for the minor parties, the risk of losing qualified political party status. That status is important because, if they lose it, they no longer are listed on voter registration forms and candidates are not listed as affiliated with a party on the ballot. 

Since top-two took effect, Democratic and Republican registration as a share of overall registration has declined by 0.13% and 5.73% respectively. NPP+ has grown as a share by 5.86%. Although I combine no party preference and minor parties for the reasons discussed above, the real growth has been in "No Party Preference," which was previously called "Decline to State."

In the numbers, I compare from the equivalent pre-primary registration statistics at the last midterm, to provide consistency among normal cyclical changes we see between midterms and presidentials.

So, here are the statewide numbers as of May 21, 2018:

  • Total voters: 19,023,417 (+7.34% from May 19, 2014)
  • Registration as percentage of eligible: 75.73% (+1.48% from May 19, 2014)
  • Democrats: 8,438,268 (+9.69% from May 19, 2014)
  • Republicans: 4,769,299 (-5.31% from May 19, 2014)
  • NPP+: 5,815,850 (16.49% from May 19, 2014)

In doing this and upcoming analyses, I'll be doing so by Assembly district. While not perfect, you can apply it generally to overlapping State Senate and congressional districts, and I will have the individual districts on the website updated hopefully later today or tomorrow (currently, it's still January 2, 2018 data).

I'll send a spreadsheet out with all the data to Nooner Premium either today or tomorrow. 

Overall, I don't need to tell you that the long-term situation is grim for Assembly Republicans. Only 13 of the 80 districts saw an increase of GOP registration between May 19, 2014 and May 21, 2018, an average decline in all Assembly districts of -6.4%.

In absolute numbers, Republicans gained registration in two Democrat-held districts--AD11 (Fairfield-Delta - Jim Frazier) and AD30 (East Monterey - Anna Caballero). However, in both districts, Democratic Party registration grew more in numbers -- they are both still solid Democrat seats. 


Top Ten Changes in Assembly Registration
May 19, 2014 to May 21, 2018
      Total Registration Change Total Registration Change % Total Dem Change % Total Rep Change % Total NPP+ Change %
AD53 Downtown LA Miguel Santiago (D) 32,428 21.72% 21.44% -4.26% 30.76%
AD80 South SD Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D) 33,589 18.65% 17.91% -5.01% 33.67%
AD59 South LA Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) 26,872 15.96% 10.99% -7.11% 34.62%
AD26 Tulare Devon Mathis (R) 24,136 15.85% 15.83% 5.02% 37.37%
AD30 East Monterey OPEN - Anna Caballero (D) 25,326 14.96% 13.32% 0.22% 33.34%
AD67 Murrieta Melissa Melendez (R) 30,157 14.89% 17.76% 5.59% 27.51%
AD11 Fairfield-Delta Jim Frazier (D) 30,606 14.12% 10.98% 4.59% 29.34%
AD60 Corona Sabrina Cervantes (D) 24,040 13.73% 29.75% -6.64% 24.35%
AD12 Modesto Heath Flora (R) 28,204 13.71% 12.46% 4.34% 33.47%
AD39 E. San Fernando Valley Luz Rivas (D) 26,755 13.38% 13.87% -4.42% 22.58%


Top 10 Democratic Districts
as of May 21, 2018
District   Member 2018 Dem
AD59 South LA Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) 75.68%
AD15 Berkeley *OPEN (Tony Thurmond (D)) 72.21%
AD53 Downtown LA Miguel Santiago (D) 69.99%
AD18 Oakland Rob Bonta (D) 69.19%
AD64 Carson Mike Gipson (D) 67.50%
AD51 East LA Wendy Carrillo (D) 67.37%
AD17 East SF David Chiu (D) 67.16%
AD54 Culver City Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D) 66.28%
AD62 Inglewood Autumn Burke (D) 62.69%
AD63 South Gate Anthony Rendon (D) 60.27%


Top 10 Republican Districts
as of May 21, 2018
District   Member 2018 Rep %
AD73 Dana Point Bill Brough (R) 43.78%
AD34 Bakersfield Vince Fong (R) 43.54%
AD06 Roseville Kevin Kiley (R) 43.32%
AD01 Northeast Cal Brian Dahle (R) 41.68%
AD26 Tulare Devon Mathis (R) 41.30%
AD71 East SD Co. Randy Voepel (R) 41.29%
AD67 Murrieta Melissa Melendez (R) 41.24%
AD05 Foothills Frank Bigelow (R) 40.78%
AD23 Fresno Jim Patterson (R) 40.23%
AD75 Escondido Marie Waldron (R) 39.81%



Top 10 NPP+ Districts
as of May 21, 2018
District   Member 2018 NPP+
AD49 Monterey Park Ed Chau (D) 38.63%
AD25 Fremont-Sta Clara Kansen Chu (D) 38.53%
AD80 South SD Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D) 37.32%
AD19 West SF Phil Ting (D) 36.19%
AD78 Coastal SD Todd Gloria (D) 35.66%
AD27 San Jose Ash Kalra (D) 35.60%
AD77 North SD Brian Maienschein (R) 35.29%
AD79 East SD Shirley Weber (D) 35.26%
AD17 East SF David Chiu (D) 34.47%
AD28 Campbell-Saratoga Evan Low (D) 34.40%


Only one Assembly district had a decline in overall registration, which is likely attributable to cleaning up the rolls in a district where overall population wasn't changing much.

AD55 (Yorba Linda), the seat currently held by Assemblymember Phillip Chen (R-Diamond Bar) (and my district growing up) is the only Assembly district to have a decline in registered voters. Overall registration declined by 1,035 voters (0-1,035), with an increase of 4.08% among Democrats, a decline of 8.96% in Republican registrations, and an increase of 6.24% of no party preference and minor party voters. That doesn't mean that Chen is vulnerable this year. The district is still R+3.64% and 61.9% of June 5 votes went to the three Republicans, with Chen garnering 47.2%. I have moved it from "Safe Republican" to "Likely Republican," but Chen has nothing to worry about.  

More stories and an update on the fires below . . .


Classifieds below:

  • Education: Pepperdine Masters of Public Policy (GRE waived for legislative staffers)
  • Education: UOP/McGeorge School of Law: MPP/MPA (full-time or part-time, 3 miles from the Capitol)
  • Event: Workforce development celebration: Tuesday, August 28th from 6pm to 8pm at the Citizen Hotel
  • Job: Attorney General's Office: legislative advocate
  • Job: California School Boards Association: legislative advocate
  • Job: California School Boards Association: regional representatives
  • Job: Climate Resolve: Communications Director (Los Angeles)
  • Job: Climate Resolve: Outreach Program Coordinator (Los Angeles)
  • Job: Local Health Plans of California seeks a Program Manager
  • Job: OPR Communications Account Executive
  • Job: Probolsky Research - Research Analyst - Public Opinion (Orange County)
  • Job: SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Los Angeles)
  • Job: SEIU-UHW -- Political Capacity Organizer (Oakland or Sacramento)
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels



BAILING ON BAIL VOTE (FOR GOOD REASON): Yesterday, I wrote that five Assemblymembers (four Reps and one Dem) ducked the vote on Senator Hertzberg's SB 10 that would eliminate cash bail in California criminal offenses. I used that "duck" in the joking sense that lobbyists often do. In something like Appropriations suspense file day, abstentions have been greeted by anonymous "quacks" from those in the gallery. 

Members often times have a good reason for abstaining, particularly at the committee level. Assemblymember Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear) related to me "I have a non-negotiable policy of never voting on anything that I haven’t read.  As you probably know, the Appropriations committee in recent years has adopted the unfortunate practice of amending many bills as they pass off the suspense file.  The members of the committee are not given prior access to these amendments."

I am confident that other members abstaining felt the same, as neither they nor interested advocates likely saw the language or analysis. In this case, perfectly legitimate and even advisable to engage in quackery than to simply vote "no" on everything. They knew darn well that their votes weren't going to make a difference in a committee that has 12 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

UTILITY LIABILITY: The issue of investor-owned utilities liability for wildfires caused by their equipment without proven negligence will not change this legislative session, reports Ben Adler for Capitol Public Radio. It doesn't come to much surprise to observers, given the weird bedfellows that fall in to the different camps leading to a very complicated situation for lawmakers as they face voters in 80 days. That said, it probably is not something a new governor wants to tackle right away, and there is no evidence that the issue for California will subside soon. 




Rankings in California's Top 20 in history from over the last 12 months:

#3 Tubbs (October 2017) - 22 deaths
#10 Redwood Valley (October 2017) - 9 deaths
#13 Carr (July 2018) - 8 deaths
#14 Atlas (October 2017) - 6 deaths
#20 Cascade (October 2017) - 4 deaths

Most Destructive
#1 Tubbs (October 2017) - 5,636 structures
#6 Carr (July 2018) - 1,605 structures
#7 Nuns (October 2017) - 1,355 structures
#8 Thomas (December 2017) - 1,063 structures
#12 Atlas (October 2017) - 783 structures
#18 Redwood Valley (October 2017) - 546 structures

#1 Mendocino Complex (July 2018) - 380,690
#2 Thomas (December 2017) - 281,893
#8 Carr (July 2018) - 244,099


Pretty much across the board, cooler weather and fewer windy conditions have slowed fire growth and increased containment.

FERGUSON: The Yosemite-area fire has burned 96,810 acres and is 87% contained. There have been two firefighter deaths associated with the fire, which has now burned for over a month.

Yosemite Status: Wawona Road (Hwy 41) between Wawona and Yosemite Valley, and Glacier Point Rd are closed due to fire
Yosemite Valley is open, but only accessible by entering Yosemite via Highways 140 or 120. Glacier Point Road and Merced Grove remain closed. Other areas of the park, including Wawona/Mariposa Grove, Hetch Hetchy, and Tuolumne Meadows are open.

CARR (Shasta/Trinity): The Carr Fire continued to burn at a slower pace and no new destruction or deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

  • Acreage: 244,099
  • Containment: 79%
  • Deaths: 8 (2 firefighters, 1 PG&E lineman apprentice, 1 CAL FIRE mechanic, and 4 civilians)
  • Structures destroyed: 1,604  (1,079 residences, 22 commercial, 503 other)
  • Structures damaged: 279 (190 residences, 26 commercial, 63 other)
  • Structures threatened: 0
  • Personnel: 3,313
  • Engines: 185
  • Helicopters: 13
  • Dozers: 33
  • Cause: Vehicle equipment malfunction
  • Expected full containment: Unknown 

MENDOCINO COMPLEX (Colusa/Lake/Mendocino): 

The River Fire component of the complex on the west side is now 100% contained and the River Fire on the east side is 76% contained.

  • Acreage: 380,690
  • Containment: 77% 
  • Deaths: 1 firefighter
  • Structures destroyed: 277 (157 residences, 120 other)
  • Structures damaged: 37 (13 residences, 24 other)
  • Structures threatened: 1,050
  • Personnel: 3,470
  • Engines: 200
  • Helicopters: 21
  • Dozers: 62
  • Cause: Unknown, but suspicious
  • Expected full containment: 09/1/18

HOLY FIRE (Orange/Riverside counties):  no update posted today

  • Acreage: 22,986
  • Containment: 78% 
  • Structures destroyed: 18 (12 Orange County residences, 6 Riverside County residences)
  • Structures threatened: 9,300
  • Personnel: 1,065
  • Engines: 103
  • Helicopters: 10
  • Dozers: 3
  • Cause: Suspected arson (suspect in custody)
  • Expected full containment: 08/17/18 



Probolsky Research





Add your classified of up to 100 words by emailing for $40/week.


  • Communications Director - Climate Resolve (Los Angeles)
    Reporting directly to the Senior Operations Director while working closely with the Executive Director, the Communications Director will lead the communications and media activities for the organization. This position will develop a vision and strategy to support policy, project-based, and funding/development initiatives, as well as maintain day-to-day communications for social media. The Communications Director will generate a workplan that elevates Climate Resolve’s brand in the public sphere and grow the organization’s audience. 4+ years experience desired; Knowledge of environmental and CA policy landscape preferred. 401K, medical benefits, dental/vision stipend. $69-78K DOE. Candidates with sense of humor, please apply here:
  • Outreach Program Coordinator - Climate Resolve (Los Angeles)
    Reporting to the Senior Operations Director, the Outreach Program Coordinator will assist the programmatic staff to uphold the mission of the organization via public-facing projects. The Outreach Program Coordinator will perform assignments promoting climate solutions related primarily to energy efficiency and water conservation, including online and in-person outreach, public speaking engagements, and media and communications generation while contributing to additional policy work and projects as needed. Willingness to drive for outreach work throughout both LA County and adjacent counties up to [3] days per week + automobile required (Reimbursement provided). 401K, medical benefits, dental/vision stipend. $48-52 DOE.
  • TBW Media/TBWB Strategies -  Seasonal campaign staffers needed for a variety of roles on campaigns for Democratic elected officials and nonpartisan ballot measures for the fall 2018 cycle. Looking for hard working day-to-day managers, communications, finance directors and staff, field directors and organizers. Also will be hiring for seasonal positions at our consulting firm. Send resume and cover letter indicating availability to No Phone Calls.
  • Join the California Workforce Development Board, California Community College's Chancellor's Office, and the California Workforce Association for an evening of celebration, as we herald the best that regional workforce development has to offer on Tuesday, August 28th from 6pm to 8pm at the Citizen Hotel in Downtown Sacramento.

    This is your opportunity to network with the leaders of workforce development from across the state, and discover the ways that regional economies are coming together to put California forward as the leader in innovative, sustainable workforce strategies for the entire nation!

    Please register to attend the event here:

  • Job Openings – Account Executive
    OPR Communications is seeking account executives for its media relations and public affairs teams. As the leading public relations firm in the Inland Empire, the award-winning OPR team specializes in developing and executing public affairs, media relations, public education and community outreach programs on behalf of a wide range of land-use, transportation, healthcare, energy and government agency clients. Salary DOE. Detailed info here
    Apply at

  • CA School Boards Assn- Legislative Advocate (West Sacramento) Under supervision of the Assistant Executive Director for Governmental Relations, researches, analyzes, and evaluates proposed and current state and federal legislation, legislative issues, statutes, regulations, and policies; communicates and advocates for the Association’s position to influence opinion in favor of public education; develops, summarizes, and maintains reports and records; fosters cooperative working relationships among Association staff and acts as liaison with various legislative, educational, community, public, and government agencies; and performs related work as required.


  • Attorney General's Office is seeking a Legislative Advocate with subject matter expertise in areas such as civil law, criminal law, public rights and law enforcement. The Advocate represents the Department of Justice on legislative matters before the State Legislature. The job can be viewed here.   
  • CA School Boards Assn- Public Affairs and Community Engagement Representative (Bay Area)
    This position serves as CSBA’s liaison to local school and county boards of education, key decision-makers and the community-at-large, and is responsible for implementing CSBA’s grassroots program, establishing relationships, and facilitating local and regional outreach and activation efforts. Communicates about issues in education that require familiarity with educational laws, regulations and trends.  Executes grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, support and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. BOE. Details:
  • CA School Boards Assn- Public Affairs and Community Engagement Representative (Orange County)
    This position serves as CSBA’s liaison to local school and county boards of education, key decision-makers and the community-at-large, and is responsible for implementing CSBA’s grassroots program, establishing relationships, and facilitating local and regional outreach and activation efforts. Communicates about issues in education that require familiarity with educational laws, regulations and trends. Executes grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, support and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. BOE. Details:
  •  CA School Boards Assn- Public Affairs and Community Engagement Representative (San Joaquin North)

    This position serves as CSBA’s liaison to local school and county boards of education, key decision-makers and the community-at-large, and is responsible for implementing CSBA’s grassroots program, establishing relationships, and facilitating local and regional outreach and activation efforts. Communicates about issues in education that require familiarity with educational laws, regulations and trends.  Executes grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, support and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. BOE. Details:

  • The County Welfare Directors Association is hiring a Human Services Policy Analyst focusing on county-run programs serving children and adults. The Analyst supports the advocacy work CWDA is engaged in, at the direction of senior staff, including but not limited to legislative and budget efforts and implementation of policy changes enacted at the state and federal level. Competitive salary, excellent benefit package. Open until 8/1. Details:
  • The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, in Sacramento offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees to both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a deep understanding of statutory interpretation and regulatory processes critical to modern governance. Learn more at or contact us at
  • GRE waived for qualifying government & legislative staffers to apply to the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s Master of Public Policy program, considered the most unique policy graduate program in the country. Specialization tracks, including State & Local Policy, allow students to personalize their policy studies. Current State & Local Policy courses include, “Advanced Topics in Politics and Budgeting,” “Public Policy for Criminal Justice, Cannabis, and other Drugs,” “Permissions Development and the Environment,” and “Leadership through Public Engagement.” Find out more about this Top 10 in the West/Top 5 in California MPP program located in Malibu: