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BALANCE OF POWER:
GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 9/06-9/18/2018 has Democrats+8.0. (Change from yesterday: D-0.4)
For comparison purposes only, the same period in 2014, Republicans had an edge of +2.4.
FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM PROJECTION UPDATE:
EAR TICKLER: As I mentioned yesterday, the KQED team of Shafer, Lagos, and Marzorati were in Orange County this week looking at several of the hottest congressional races in the country. They sit down with the Los Angeles's Times's Gustavo Arellano to chat about the landscape. This will be my lunchtime walk listening today.
While I have Gustavo's "Ask a Mexican" around here somewhere (I still have fourteen boxes of books unpacked from my move 3.5 years ago), I do have his "Orange County" currently on my Sofa Degree bookshelf.
Vassar, if you're reading and are wondering why your great "California Lawmaker" isn't in the picture, it's because my tattered copy is always next to me on my desk for daily reference.
HAPPY FRIDAY! You did it! You made it! There are six Fridays before the election. Today has the Google Doodle to end all. Johnny, you may unplug the Internet now. We are done. From last night: two thumbs up for Fahrenheit 11/9 and ten thumbs up for my paleonic irony at the new Burger Lounge next to the theatre at DOCO.
SPORTS PAGE: Dodgers, Giants, and Padres were all off last night. The Angels really should have taken the day off. As someone wrote--was this the Raiders-Rams score? A's 12, Angels 3. Also last night, my joke reply to Sabato's Crystal Ball managing editor Kyle Kondik about the Cleveland Browns last night backfired--the Browns won. My tweet: "California has a monopoly on high-performing Browns. That ends in January."
Tonight: Giants @ St. Louis at 5:15; Twins @ A's at 7:05; Padres @ Dodgers at 7:10.
POLL POSITION: My hamsters did get their paws on the poll yesterday that shows a much closer race for governor. The poll was conducted for iHeartRadio, KFI-AM, and KNBC by Thompson Research - Optimus. As I said, I'd share the data if I received it along with methodology.
Proposition 6 (gas tax repeal)
[n=1,040; 9/14-16/2018; interactive voice response; English; landline only; *likely voters = voted in either 2010G, 2014G, or 2016P, "plus the 15% additional most likely to turnout in the 2018 general based on in-house turnout score modeling"; MOE +/- 3.5%]
I have lots to say about the methodology on this poll and, as you know, the Reuters/Ipsos poll we looked at Wednesday. In today's Fox&Hounds, I expand on yesterday's write up to include a discussion on this poll.
Here are the most important grafs, in my opinion:
"Both methodologies have problems, but it’s not a criticism per se of the conduct of such polls but rather the state of polling today. The woeful response to telephone calls is the biggest part. Many of us don’t have landlines, and few of us answer unknown phone numbers. Further, many of us have a phone number (me included) that doesn’t match that on our voter registration. The concept of re-registering just to correct that seems silly.
That means that–even with auto-dialing for live interviews–the length of time to conduct interviews is far longer, meaning it’s far costlier. Meanwhile, the media outlets that used to pay for the respected Field Poll have consolidated and have shrunken budgets."
On polling, some people have asked why it is important to use multiple languages. Aren't voters who are naturalized citizens required to take a citizenship test in English? Not necessarily.
Applicants for citizenship who take the test and are 50 or older and have lived as a legal permanent resident ("green card" or LPR) in the United States for 20 years OR those 55 and older who are an LPR and have lived in the United States for 15 years may request to take the test in another language. It is available in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
As a quick aside, there was a poll result this week that is relevant. In the CA25 NYTimes/Siena College poll, the question was asked "Does it bother you to hear immigrants speak a foreign language in a public place?" Agree was 22% and disagree was 76%. That's the district of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Like it or not, we are a multi-cultural society. That's my sister's congressional district and she is a human resources exec for a mid-sized restaurant chain. A very relevant question.
Even those who don't qualify and are English as a Second Language may request a ballot language in another language, which varies significantly by county. For example, in the hotly contested CA10, there is a large Hmong population. In CA48, it's Vietnamese. Now, the younger generations are often the first in their family to graduate from (an American) college. They may or may not still be around to translate ballot information for their grandparents. In each of those counties, ballot assistance is available into their native language.
Some instinctively jump in to partisan corners, but those two groups of significant voters in districts are toss-up to Lean Republican. In CA16, Elizabeth Heng (R) is an promising upstart young Republican challenging Congressman Jim Costa (D). She is the daughter of Cambodian immigrants, but the support of the elders from her community wouldn't be reflected in any poll that I know of. Now, that's highly unlikely to change the outcome in that race this year, but it's worth noting. Also worth noting is that Fresno County provides election assistance/ballots in Cambodian/Khmer.
On the north side of that district, Merced provides language assistance in Hmong. Several years ago, I gave the commencement address at Merced College, and let me tell you the pride that the grandparents had to see their students walking across the stage to get a diploma. It didn't matter whether it was for the lowest level certificate or a transfer degree to Berkeley. Their grandchild was making it in America.
They may not speak English, but they are citizens, and they fought for the United States (often covertly and most dangerously) in Southeast Asia. People debate election language assistance, but this is why we have it. But, remember, they aren't counted in most polls.
Finally, I might be able to answer a written poll in Spanish, but probably not an oral interview. I was humbled by my lack of fluency at the Mexican independence celebrations last weekend. The same thing is likely true, vice versa.
In other words, be wary of all polling, particularly in diverse communities. And, don't make partisan assumptions of what diversity and under-sampling means.
President Trump job approval:
Prefer GOP keeps control of House or Dems take control?
President Trump job approval:
Prefer GOP keeps control of House or Dems take control?
President Trump job approval:
Prefer GOP keeps control of House or Dems take control?
Interviews continue and should be completed tonight.
Sorry folks, those are the three that we're getting in this series of independent live polls.
[n= ~500 self-proclaimed likely voters; live calls, random digit dialing; MOE +/-3.5%; numbers may not add up due to rounding; full methodology discussion]
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLING: Although flawed in the methodology issues I discuss above and in my Fox&Hounds piece, the California League of Conservation Voters has polling results on the attitudes of voters on environmental issues in CA04, CA25, CA48, and CA49. Problems with polling are touchtone phone response, apparently only English; voter propensity unclear]
SD22 (San Gabriel Valley): The moderate Democrat-supporting Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy reported handing over $100,000 to the independent expenditure committee supporting Susan Rubio (D) and opposing Mike Eng (D) in the race to succeed Ed Hernandez.
SMOKIN': RJ Reynolds Tobacco yesterday reported giving $35,000 to Assemblymember Adam Gray's ballot measure committee. For the home gamers, Gray is a moderate Democrat former Capitol staffer who happens to chair the Assembly Government Organization Committee (G.O.). That oddly named committee oversees the "sins"--gambling including horseracing, tobacco, alcohol, and firearms. It ain't the committee overseeing workplace harassment as it may sound.
Again, for the newbies, it's the biggest "juice" committee in the Assembly, meaning that you can squeeze the most out of those who have interest before it. Of course, like any other legislator, Reynolds would be restricted to giving Gray $8,800 for his campaign this year. But the "controlled" ballot measure committee, like many others have, may collect unlimited amounts above that--they just can't be transferred to the candidate's committee.
Where does Gray spend the money? Well, it's ostensibly for a potential water storage proposal or water board reform, but thus far it's all for consulting and operational costs for the committee and not for an actual message. Water is obviously a top issue in this Merced-centered district, although the discussions on water storage are really in Washington at this point and not Sacramento. That said, it's important for all of the electeds/candidates from that area (including in the hotly contested CA10 and SD22) to talk water, water, water.
So, what is the interest of RJ Reynolds in water in California? Of course, none more than anyone else. Is there interest just to curry general favor with the chair of G.O.? No, it's not that simple.
The general issue of tobacco has turned in to an issue of taxation. Tobacco is already banned in workplaces and most communities have extended that to distances from entrances to public places and many have limitations elsewhere.
For RJ Reynolds, this comes down to one of its brands in particular--Newport. The brand was acquired through Reynolds's purchase of Lorillard in 2015 for around $27 billion. Newport was Lorillard's biggest brand.
Newport is America's largest menthol cigarette and is reportedly the most purchased cigarette by African-Americans. It is also the #2 cigarette brand in America behind Marlboro, which is owned by Altria.
Why is this all important? Well, on June 5, voters in the City and County of San Francisco voted 68.39% to 31.61% to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, from vaping devices to, yes, Newports. If you want a pack of Newports and live in SF, the cost essentially doubled once the cost of a BART ride is added on.
Backers of that effort want to use that strong precedent to make the San Francisco ordinance state law. They would prefer to go through the Legislature and would likely have the support of the governor, if Gavin Newsom is elected. Assuming Gray holds on to the G.O. chairmanship, such a legislative measure would go through "his" committee. Follow me?
The alternative is an initiative and, with or without intention, the California Department of Public Health is already laying the groundwork. Unless you consume your paleo meal in a cave, you undoubtedly have seen the online and television ads about flavored vaping devices.
Any statewide initiative would talk about young people talking about "cutely" and misleadingly named brands, but the hardest hit pocketbook would likely be RJ Reynolds through the loss of its number one brand that it paid dearly for in what is still a large market, even though California has the second lowest share cigarette smokers among the states.
MONEY, IT MAKES THE WORLD GO 'ROUND: The opponents of Proposition 8, which would regulate kidney dialysis clinics, has given $2.15 million to the California Republican Party. The opponents are, not unexpectedly, the industry. That's 46 cents per registered Republican in the state, so either no on Prop 8 is paying for the party's entire mail campaign, or the money is going to pass through county parties and then on to candidates. Watch the bouncing ball.
SANDY EGGO: Our most southwestern county now has more No Party Preference registered voters than registered Republicans, reports Charles T. Clark in the Union-Tribune. Clark reports "As of the end of August, there were 509,359 voters who registered as “no party preference” compared to 487,259 registered Republicans, according to the latest numbers from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Both trail the Democratic Party, which has 618,088 registrants."
This follows a major effort by San Diego Democrats to capture control of majorities of local governments at the city and county level after years of being in the minority.
Orange County also is trending that way, as Paul Mitchell has been tweeting. While the county still has solid Republican margins, the NPP voters have appeared to be leaning more Democrat than we would ordinarily expect. November 6 will be a big test.
DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR? Joel Fox looks at whether the high-profile problems at the state's Department of Motor Vehicles and the gas tax repeal will help the GOP on November 6.
BACK IN VAXX: For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden reports that the anti-vaccination advocates haven't given up.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Brian Brokaw, former Assemblymember John Longville, Assemblymember Devin Mathis, and Assemblymember Randy Voepel!
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Pocketbook Issues And Big Visions Are Highlighted In California's Race For Governor
Dakota Smith @ latimes.com
Sometimes it seems that California's two candidates for governor are running for different offices. Democrat Gavin Newsom pushes big-ticket issues such as healthcare, education and climate change. Republican John Cox has focused instead on pocketbook issues including the state's increased gas tax.
University Of Nevada Press | Books
BDG Web Design @ unevadapress.com
The mighty Hoover Dam, starting as a dream of land developers and farmers, became the most ambitious civil engineering project of the Great Depression. This landmark in the middle of the Mojave Desert, holding back the largest man-made lake in America, also became, like Mount Rushmore or the Empire State Building, a visual and cultural icon. The power and meanings of this icon came not through a single image but via myriad visual representations, in government propaganda, advertising, journalism, and art. Even before it was built, these images were used to shape the public’s perception of the project and frame the dam as the linchpin to an expanding American economic empire in the desert Southwest. Anthony F. Arrigo has researched a wide array of primary sources and archival materials to trace the project from its earliest representations in illustrations to the documentary photography of its construction and later depictions of the structure in commercial promotions, fine art photography, and paintings. Analyzing Hoover Dam through the trajectory of imagery across several decades, rather than the narrative of its construction, illuminates the underlying cultural and ecological imperatives in the drive to build it, including the influence of religious doctrine and the American agrarian movement. Arrigo also discusses various portrayals of laborers, women, minority groups, nature, and technology in this imagery. In time, the visual icon of power and domination was commercialized to sell cars, vacations, and more.Imaging Hoover Dam is an important work in both visual rhetoric and cultural studies. It will also intrigue readers interested in such varied topics as the history of the American Southwest, the Great Depression and the New Deal, social and environmental issues, and American popular culture.
California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom compares Trump to Pennywise, a terrifying clown
The stateâÂÂs lieutenant governor traded insults with the president on Thursday night, with each calling the other a clown.
Kavanaugh Accuser's Offer To Testify About Alleged Sexual Assault Puts Key Republicans In A Bind
Jennifer Haberkorn, Sarah D. Wire @ latimes.com
Negotiations for a high-stakes public hearing into the sexual assault allegation against Brett M. Kavanaugh gained steam after Christine Blasey Ford sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, apparently dropping her request that the FBI investigate first.
Kent Sorenson Was A Tea Party Hero. Then He Lost Everything. - Politico Magazine
Kent Sorenson in front of the Iowa State Capitol, the building he once worked in as a state Senator and member of the Iowa House of Representatives. | Danny Wilcox Frazier for Politico Magazine
87 Days Of Smog: Southern California Just Saw Its Longest Streak Of Bad Air In Decades
Tony Barboza @ latimes.com
Southern California went 87 days without a clean air day, the longest stretch of consecutive ozone pollution violations in at least 20 years. Regulators blame the persistence in pollution on hot, stagnant weather and are studying whether climate change is driving it.
Black Candidate Wants to Know Who Called 911 as She Talked to Voters
Sheila Stubbs is headed for the Wisconsin legislature. The caller thought her car was part of a drug deal. Her mother, 71, and child, 8, were inside.