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  • CA congressional delegation:
    • Current: 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 116th Congress: 43 Democrats, 8 Republicans, 2 toss-ups
      - Dems hold 39; Reps hold 9
      - Dems pick up 4 Leaners in Denham (CA10), Knight (CA25)Rohrabacher (CA48), and Open/Issa (CA49)
      - Toss-up of Walters (CA45)
  • Senate:
    • Current: 26 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 27 Democrats, 13 Republicans
      - Dems pick up Open/Cannella (SD12)
  • Assembly:
    • Current: 55 Democrats, 25 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 55-57 Democrats
      - Dems hold 55, pick up AD76 with tough holds for Dems in Salas (AD32) and Cervantes (AD60), likely pick-up in Open/Steinorth (AD40) and possible pick-ups for Dems in toss-up Acosta (AD38) and Open/Allen (AD72) and long-shot in Baker (AD16).

For Nooner Premium subscribers, the chart of my ratings and those of five others has been updated on the subscribers page.



The Political Centrist in the Time of Trump Trailer

THE POLITICAL CENTRIST IN THE TIME OF TRUMP documentary asks, why are our politics so angry, polarized, partisan, biased, petty, perturbed, sexist, uncompromising and fraught with financial paybacks?
View for free on Amazon Prime.



GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 8/29-9/18/2018 has Democrats+8.4. (Change from yesterday: D-0.1)

For comparison purposes only, the same period in 2014, Republicans had an edge of +2.4. 


  • House control: 79.1% D, 20.9% R (Change from yesterday: D-1.1)
  • House seats: 232 D, 203 R (Change from yesterday: D-1)
  • Popular vote margin: +8.5% D (Change from yesterday: D-0.2)
  • California delegation: 44 Democrats, 7 Republicans, 2 toss-ups (Change from yesterday: D+1, R+1, TU+1)
  • Not unexpectedly, CA39 went to Leans Republican; CA45 back to toss-up



Upward Mobility at Cal State LA


LIBERAL/TOMATO-THROWER EYE CANDY: Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 launches tomorrow, although showings begin in some theatres tonight. For Sac folks, it's showing at 7:20 at DOCO.

THE MUSIC FUELING TODAY'S NOONER: The new album "My Way"--covers of songs--is awesome. Tickle your ears this morning! 


Happy Thursday! You're almost there... The great Serial podcast is out with season three today. This season, Sarah Koenig is in Cleveland, following the court process. Today, two episodes were released and the first is subtitled "A young woman at a bar is slapped on the butt. So why's she the one in jail?" Somewhat timely this year...

NOONER ELECTION CONTEST: While the Giants were bad to me last night, it allowed me more time to program the 2018 Nooner Election Contest, and the hamsters were good to me. I don't see any problem with the October 1 launch. For Nooner Premium readers, I omitted AD77 (North San Diego) -- Gover (D) v. Maienschein (R-inc.) -- and of course meant to include it. It has been added with a point value of 7.

If you were busy (golfing) yesterday, you can see the proposed questions and point values in yesterday's Nooner, available here.

I didn't make it clear yesterday, but the contest is for all Nooner readers, not just Nooner Premium. Also, if you'd like to sponsor this late night coding with an ad on top of the contest pages, email me at scottlay@gmail.com.

If I finish the coding on the "official" state contest, I might add a separate contest for those of you interested in the national scene--specifically control of the Senate, control of the House, and the eight most competitive U.S. Senate races.

GOVGavin Newsom's new ad is out and I'm guessing we'll be seeing a lot of it. The spot focuses on youth--from pre-natal care through job training.

There's a lot this talk on social media about a KFI/KABC poll showing John Cox within four points, and folks have asked me why I haven't post it. I never post polling information without a polling memo or online publication with methodology. I assume it's SurveyUSA, which I usually share even though I don't like their methodology. I even share polls done by campaigns, again, only if methodology comes with it. SurveyUSA hasn't posted anything and I can't find anything on the websites of the alleged sponsors.

The fact is that both campaigns have a reason to make the race seem close at this point (as do all campaigns). Underdogs need fundraising to continue and to motivate volunteers and staff. Leaders need to avoid voters from becoming complacent both for themselves and would-be down-ballot allies they hope to pull along. 

I'm guessing the governor's race is really over 10 points, and that's nothing against John Cox. The last three non-incumbent elections were decided R+3.47 (Wilson-R v. Feinstein-D), D+19.6 (Davis-D v. Lungren-R), and D+12.9 (Brown v. Whitman). I skip recall/Schwarzenegger as everyone would agree that the dynamics of 2003 recall/2006 "re-elect" were just strange, and I don't know where you call it a non-incumbent election.

That averages 9.68% among three non-incumbent elections. Since the last non-incumbent election (2010), Democratic registration as a share as the total has declined 0.13% and the Republican share has declined 5.73% (equivalent 15-day pre-primary report). Both parties are losing to NPP, and that is increasing now with motor voter. But, I'm just giving you the numbers of what you already know.

The problem for Cox is that this is not an issues election. There are no videos of "illegals" running across the border. Affirmative action isn't an issue. In the below cited CA25 poll, in a +6.7% Trump district, the President's approval is -7% and one of his top issues (reducing legal immigration and funding for the border wall) is -14%. And, that's what should be a Likely Republican district, whereas California is a Likely Democrat state--from the numbers.

This is a party turnout election and Cox needs two things to move the race below 10+ digits--complacency of Democrats and an overwhelming share of NPP+ voters to get anywhere near the low-single digits. That's just the numbers, which as you know I like to look at. To woo NPP+ voters, who, all things being equal, will likely split on the normal D/R share, there has to be a set of issues.

I'm just an independent writer who on your behalf consumes a firehose of email, tweets, and television ads. If I, a true policy wonk before political geek, can't identify an issue, neither will be my less-engaged friends and family. They will vote party.

The plan had been to ride the gas tax repeal to victory. While there is little public polling so far, the non-affiliated polling I've seen shows Prop. 6 going down by double digits. Those polls were conducted before the $30+ million campaign opposing Prop. 6 had really started. (The "no" campaign had collected $28.9m as of yesterday). 

Any candidate in a competitive district needs to be very wary of attaching themselves to the gas tax repeal campaign, as, like it or not, it is likely to be very unpopular after the upcoming ad barrage of crumbling bridges (I'm guessing we'll be seeing Highway 1 a lot) and other transportation issues.

I want competitive campaigns as it is in my interest--from governor through the races to ballot measures, but I also share challenges and opportunities I see from The Nooner's Global Headquarters.

Feel free so send me that poll with Cox within four points. I'm happy to share it here--with methodology as I've done with others.

CA10 (Stanislaus): For ReCode, Theodore Schleifer reports on the fight between Congressman Jeff Denham (R) and challenger Josh Harder in the northern San Joaquin seat. Schleifer writes:

"This race is so revealing not just because the battle for control of Congress rests on candidates like Harder — one of the 23 Democrats that must win for their party to flip the House of Representatives. But this is also an election that will show whether “venture capitalist” can be used as an epithet in politics, much like Barack Obama was able to use “vulture capitalist” to attack Mitt Romney’s background in private equity six years ago.

And at an even broader level, this election is something of a referendum on how people feel about Silicon Valley at this moment of reckoning for Big Tech. As tech’s wealthiest look in the mirror and increasingly see political candidates, the vitriol of this race is likely a sign of things to come."

An important factor is that an increasing number of CA10 voters are not in agriculture, and are part of the Bay Area economy. This is particularly true near the intersection of 205/580, particularly in Tracy. A large number of voters make the daily trudge over the Altamont Pass, heading either north toward Oakland/San Francisco or south toward Silicon Valley.

We don't have one of those nifty NYT/Siena polling maps here, but it would be very interesting to see how the respondents differ between Tracy and Modesto.

CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale): The NYT/Siena College poll found Congressman Steve Knight (R) with 47%, Katie Hill with 45%, and 7% undecided. [n=500, MOE +/-500] The results on the questions asked are fascinating. From the map of the poll, it appears that Knight and Hill have similar voter support on but the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley sides of the district.

In the CA25 poll, Trump approval among the same respondents was 43% approve, 52% disapprove, with "don't know" of 5%. That means that, of this sample, Knight is outperforming the President's approval by 4% and Hill is underperforming the President's disapproval by 7%. Thus, the race is not a clear referendum on the President. 

Of the respondents, 46% would like to see Republicans hold on to control of the House, while 49% would like to give the gavel to the Democrats. 

CA49 (Oceanside): In the NYT/Siena College live poll, interviews began last night in the battle over Darrell Issa's congressional seat. About 40% of the anticipated interviews were completed last night and found Mike Levin (D) with 51%, Diane Harkey (R) with 44%, and 5% undecided. Polling continues tonight from the current 210 interviews, and they are seeking 500. 

The map of the polling results thus far shows a fair amount of consistency of support throughout the district.

Speaking of the competitive OC congressional seats, the KQED team of Scott Shafer, Marisa Lagos, and Guy Marzorati are in the 714 (okay, I'm dating myself--now we must include 657 and 949 as well) to get an account on the ground. I'm sure we'll read about it and hear about it on the Political Breakdown podcast, but you can follow them on Twitter through the above links. 

"THE TOUGHEST BEAT IN THE STATE:" The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, a major political player in the 1990s and early 2000s but a bit quieter over the last decade, is out with two independent expenditure ad buys--$525,000 for  Gavin Newsom for governor and $500,000 for Tony Thurmond for superintendent of public instruction. 

CCPOA at its height played on crime fears of Californians and focused its political advocacy on sentence enhancements. With the political tide turned, it is focusing more on stopping the contracting out to private prisons. CCPOA doesn't have a sudden interest in the activities in K-12 schools, but the race of Thurmond versus fellow Democrat Marshall Tuck is a proxy war about the influence of public sector unions through such issues as charter schools.

@WeSaidEnough: In the Chron, Melody Gutierrez continues with the look at challenges to Kevin de León by advocates for reform of the Capitol's handling of sexual harassment complaints. "Micha Star Liberty, an Oakland attorney who represents several women who have filed lawsuits against the Legislature in the past year, said de León’s criticism that the letter should have been released earlier equates to “mansplaining.”

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU: For CALmatters, Ben Christopher reports that Stanford law professor Tom Campbell  wants to launch a third, moderate party. Campbell is a former congressman, state senator, and was director of the Department of Finance under Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger and alums are involved in the GOP-moderating effort "New Way California," although the group hasn't explicitly talked about starting a new party.

Ben writes: 

Under California law, a new political party can get on the ballot in one of two ways. One option is to gather roughly 700,000 signatures.

But there’s an alternative, which Campbell characterizes as the easier way: convince a little over 60,000 already registered voters to either go online or contact their county registrar and switch their registration to the new, still unnamed, party. With the right targeted email pitch, it could be pulled off under $100,000, he said. Revolutionize the state political system for less than a legislator’s annual salary.

NO SMOKING ZONE? For Capitol Weekly, Jessica Hice writes about a conundrum--people aren't smoking as much legal pot as the state was expecting, leading to lower tax revenue:

Since Proposition 64 took effect earlier this year, the cannabis industry has raked in nearly $135 million of revenue for the state through sales taxes, not including local jurisdiction taxes. Even with increased sales each quarter, some officials are calling the revenue “substantially below projections.” 

More after the jump...


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)
  • 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: Southern California Association of Governments: Legislation Analyst (Los Angeles)
  • Training: Lobbying Seminars with veteran Ray LeBov: Next dates: October 4-5, December 13-14, February 7-8
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels 



#FAKENEWS: Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports on the state's new effort to counter misleading social media about the election through the Office of Election Cybersecurity. Adler reports:

One of the most frequent falsehoods planted in communities is that voters should not accept provisional ballots because they won’t be counted, says [Secretary of State Alex] Padilla. In fact, more than 90 percent of provisional ballots are ultimately counted.

The new office, Padilla says, “allows us to be able to identify campaigns along those lines more quickly, correct information, and — as appropriate — work with social media platforms and others to bring some of that information down.”



Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Beth Broome, Assemblymember Brian DahleSteven Maviglio, Jennifer Sota, and Assemblymember Shirley Weber!



The Political Centrist in the Time of Trump Trailer

THE POLITICAL CENTRIST IN THE TIME OF TRUMP documentary asks, why are our politics so angry, polarized, partisan, biased, petty, perturbed, sexist, uncompromising and fraught with financial paybacks?
View for free on Amazon Prime.



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


  • WE CAN HELP MAKE YOUR LOBBYING EFFORTS MORE EFFECTIVE. Numerous nonprofits and private sector organizations, lobbying firms, trade associations and government entities use Capitol Seminars as their No.1 training resource -- for new lobbyists, support staff, executives who hire and manage lobbyists. Conducted by 43-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov, our Lobbying 101 & 201 seminars provide comprehensive coverage of the Legislative process, plus best practices for Legislative, Budget, and Regulatory Agency advocacy, Lobbying the Administration, and Media Strategies. You’ll find the extensive curriculum materials valuable long after the seminars are over. Next dates: October 4-5, December 13-14, February 7-8. More info / registration: www.capitolseminars.net or 916-442-5009.
  • 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 aherrera@oprusa.com.
  • Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is seeking an experienced Legislation Analyst with excellent writing and communication skills to assist the Legislation Department with advancing SCAG's policy interests and planning priorities through regional, statewide, and national engagement and advocacy. Under general direction of the Manager of Legislation, the Legislation Analyst III will navigate high-level policy discussions and communicate emerging issues to SCAG's staff and Regional Council. This role will assess the impact of proposed legislation and work with the Manager to coordinate a response to all applicable legislative proposals. This role requires a legislative expert who can navigate complex political environments to increase the visibility of SCAG's legislative efforts. This role requires an understanding of transportation, housing, and air quality legislation and policy and an ability to communicate how those issues will affect the SCAG region. To apply please visit scag.ca.gov/opportunities/Pages/CareerOpportunities.aspx.
  • 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: www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/796664542
  • 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. www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/796648751
  • 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 bbarnes510@gmail.com. No Phone Calls.
  • 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.
    Details here: onepoint.employernet.net/ta/CSBA.jobs?ShowJob=151143621  
  • 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 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 go.mcgeorge.edu/publicpolicy or contact us at publicpolicy@pacific.edu
  • 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: publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/masters-6


Feinstein Faces Attack On Immigration, This Time From The Left
Jaclyn Cosgrove, Cindy Carcamo, Jazmine Ulloa @
Back in 1994, Dianne Feinstein's election came down to charges she was soft on immigration because she refused to back Prop 187. Now, as she faces challenge from left, her opponent is saying she's too hard on immigration. How receptive will voters be in age of Trump?

California Bill To Increase Fire Safety Passes State Legislature
SB 1205 would require fire departments to report annually their compliance with safety building inspection requirements to administering agents, such as city council or district boards. According to a press release, state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, introduced the bill after a Bay Area News Group report showed that many schools and apartment buildings in the Bay Area did not receive their annual required fire inspection at least once from 2010 to 2017.

Wyden: Senators Need Protection From Ongoing Russian Hacking Campaign - Politico

Russian hackers behind the 2016 Democratic National Committee hack appear to be targeting the personal email of senators and their staffers, according to Sen. Ron Wyden.

At Least 33 Dead In Oakland Warehouse Fire, Dozens Still Missing | The Daily Californian
At least 33 people were killed in an Oakland warehouse fire Friday night and dozens are still missing, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said at an afternoon press conference Sunday.

Rubio: Kavanaugh Vote Should Move Forward Even If Accuser Does Not Testify - Politico

Rubio said in an interview on "Fox and Friends" that Christine Blasey Ford should not be forced to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, either publicly or privately. But he indicated the Senate should not hold up Kavanaugh's confirmation process while she decides whether to appear.

Take The No. 5 Train To Santa Monica? L.A. Metro May Rename Its Rail Lines
Laura J. Nelson @
L.A. Metro is pursuing plans to rename its rail and dedicated bus lines, saying the current color scheme doesn't provide enough options for new lines.

Democrat pushes changes to protect senatorsâ

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is trying to expand the Senate Sergeant at Arms’ mandate to provide protection for senators’ and staffers’ personal accounts and devices, as well as their official ones.

Home | Getting Down To Facts Ii

The Energy 202: North Dakota Senate candidates feud over who deserves credit for lifting crude oil ban

Cramer and Heiktamp are in a tight race.

A Landmark 2016 Law Praised As An 'unbelievably Powerful Tool' Against Gun Violence Remains Scarcely Used
Marisa Gerber @
In 2016, California became the first state in the nation to allow family members and roommates of individuals believed to be dangerous, as well as law enforcement, to ask a judge to bar them from having firearms for up to a year. But a Times review found that gun restraining orders are rarely used.

GOP vows to move ahead with Kavanaugh vote if his accuser doesnâ

Democrats accuse Republican leaders of trying to “railroad” through President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.