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BALANCE OF POWER:
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.
FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM PROJECTION UPDATE:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
"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.
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...
#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.”
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Beth Broome, Assemblymember Brian Dahle, Steven Maviglio, Jennifer Sota, and Assemblymember Shirley Weber!
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Feinstein Faces Attack On Immigration, This Time From The Left
Jaclyn Cosgrove, Cindy Carcamo, Jazmine Ulloa @ latimes.com
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 @ latimes.com
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 ArmsâÂÂ mandate to provide protection for senatorsâÂÂ and staffersâÂÂ 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 @ latimes.com
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 âÂÂrailroadâÂÂ through President TrumpâÂÂs Supreme Court nominee.