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THE NOONER NOVEMBER 2018 ELECTION CONTEST
Here are the current tallies of the picks of contest participants. These are all percentages of participants who predict the candidate will win, of course not how much candidates will win by. The page is updated live as participants join and make or update picks.
With 465 participants as of this morning, here are a some of the closest (<60%) projected wins:
I previously announced the awards:
In addition, any Nooner Premium subscriber will have a $25 bonus applied to their prize in thanks for their support.
Here is your unique link. If you forward this message, remove the link since it belongs to you. New Nooner email subscribers (paid or unpaid) will be get their own link between now and the contest close.
You can come back to change your picks any time up to 12pm on Election Day--November 6.
Only the top 25 participants will be shown, but the individual race answers will not be listed. As I've done in the past, I will have a "Wisdom of the Crowds" page showing the percentages of each of the answers after there is a sufficient sample size of participants.
GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 10/1-10/16/2018 has Democrats+7.6. (change from yesterday: D+4)
For comparison purposes only: In the same period in 2014, Republicans had an edge of +2.4.
FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM PROJECTION UPDATE:
SPORTS PAGE: Dodgers picked up game 5 last night in Los Angeles and head to Milwaukee up 3-2. Friday's game is at 5:39pm PDT.
Greetings and happy Thursday. It's a crazy morning as I have a 9:30 meeting to get to (yes, I still care deeply about community college student success and equity), so I am skimming the surface. However, I expect every day until and for a while after the election to be that way.
EYE CANDY: The PDI Absentee ballot tracker is now live. This includes daily reports from counties. No, no ballot counting is going on, but the ballots rather are scanned as they are returned by voter ID and marked as return. While tabulation can begin October 23, no results can be released until 8:00pm on November 6. That said, these absentee numbers will likely account for 65-70% of ballots and are going to give a lot of intel about the competitive races.
Yesterday was the "conversation" with U.S. Senate candidates Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León. If you listened to it, it was like a traditional left-mod Democratic primary debate. There was nothing for Republicans to chew on, although I'm guessing public radio is normal lunch hour auditory fodder for undecided Republicans.
San Francisco cartoonist Mark Fiore draws it up for KQED.
I don't think you'll hear de Leon's suggestion that we need to "export California values to Washington" in the Golden State, but I wouldn't be shocked if it popped up against Democrats in neighboring Arizona and Nevada.
Overall, it just came across as de León espousing his Christmas list and Feinstein trying to explain that mommy and daddy don't have enough money this holiday season and, even if they did, the Grinch was blocking the path to Whoville.
POLL POSITION: The LAT/USC Dornsife polling release continues today:
UNITED STATES SENATE (likely voters):
Undecideds split 14% Feinstein and 17% de León, while 70% could not be arm-wrestled into picking one.
The LAT's Sarah D. Wire writes about an interesting twist:
The poll, which was in the field while the Kavanaugh fight raged, can’t show cause and effect, but does clearly indicate an unexpected twist in the race: De León, one of the most liberal candidates to run statewide in a general election, now gets more support from registered Republicans than from liberal Democrats.
“It is a profound irony, given the rationale of his campaign, that De León is getting more support from Trump supporters,” said Robert Shrum, co-director of USC’s Center for the Political Future. “He’s doing better among people who fundamentally disagree with his message than people who agree with his message.”
This is likely because there is so little attention to the race. My dad, a reliable Republican voter, wouldn't know about de León's liberal voting record and positions. There's no money being spent on the airwaves and, while I doubt John and Ken are talking about the race, I would be willing to bet they've spent more time bashing DiFi than de León, because of the Kavanaugh hearings. Yes, the poll was in the field during the hearings.
For many Republicans, a vote against Feinstein could land them in the de León column.
I wrote about voter drop-off in this race on Tuesday.
CA49 (S. Orange Cty/N.San Diego Cnty Coast): In the Union-Tribune, Michael Smolens looks at how the reliably Republican southern Orange County/northern San Diego county coastal district went from reliably Republican district to one considered very likely to flip to the Democrats in November. "Diane Harkey made a remarkable statement last week, just one month before Election Day. National Republican leaders, she said, are giving up on her."
It is true that the national GOP money is not flowing in the same amounts to CA49, the Congressional Leadership Fund is on cable for Harkey. That said, Democrat Mike Levin has an overwhelming cash advantage, and likely an insurmountable lead in the polls.
Last month, the LAT/Berkeley IGS poll found:
The NYT/Siena College poll had a smaller margin, but the two are within margin of error of each other.
That's by far the largest lead of the "flips" from Democrat to Republican that are on the radar of independent election-watchers.
On the surface, Harkey looked like a good candidate when Darrell Issa (R) read the writing on the wall and did not run for re-election, instead accepting an appointment from President Trump as director of the United States Trade and Development Agency. While Democrats didn't know if Levin or Sara Jacobs would advance, the GOP knew that its best chance was with a female in a year that was shaping up with a significant double-x factor. Democrats actually feared Harkey's competition Assemblymember Rocky Chávez and thus went negative on him in the primary.
It was probably the best strategic move by Democrats this cycle.
In the NYT/Siena poll, the breakdown (Levin/Harkey/undecided) was as follows:
That non-white gap of 28% is a whopping 18% larger in CA49 than its northern neighbor CA48, a similarly targeted "flip" race for the Democrats, but one that is the biggest toss-up on the menu. CA48 was tied in the NYT/Siena poll (48-48) and LAT/Berkeley IGS (45-45).
Add to that the gender gap. In CA49, Democrats have a +21 advantage among females, while it is +10 in CA48. That's with a female Democrat against a white guy. In CA49, it's two white guys.
Let's look at the voter registration trend in CA49:
It is true that Republicans have lost ground significant ground to registrants expressing no party preference. While Democrats have also lost share since the high point of 2016, the party is still 15,000 registrants above the last midterm in 2014. At the same time, however, the Republican share of the registration has declined about the same between the two districts--4.59% in CA48 and 4.61% in CA49.
Harkey's problem? Money and independents, particularly the independent suburban women that have attracted so much attention across the nation this cycle. Levin, like many of his fellow Democratic challengers across the country, has tapped in to a national network of donors that usually don't open up their checkbooks (okay, enter their card number) for congressional candidates. They are also small dollar donors, which means you can repeatedly go back to them.
I shared these numbers with Nooner Premium earlier this week:
Mind you, like all other Democratic challengers on the scorecard of competitive races, Levin has never held public office. Harkey runs as a member of the State Board of Equalization and former State Senator, although the board no longer has been eviscerated of its quasi-judicial power that made it a good fundraising platform and stepping stone.
Levin has raised $4,914,241.11 this cycle to $1,317,602.15 by Harkey. Unlike his fellow Democratic challengers in CA39 and CA48, Levin hasn't used any of his own money for the campaign. Harkey has lent her campaign $100,000. As reflected above, Levin began October with ten times the cash of Harkey.
Money is one thing, but money also chases perceived winners. The bigger factor is likely the unpopularity of President Trump in this district. If we look at the LAT/Berkeley IGS polls of selected competitive districts, President Trump's unfavorables are essentially tied for worst in CA49 (61%) and CA25 (64%). The statewide number (LAT/USC Dornsife) is 61%.
Guns are big in these two districts. NRA voters will mostly stay GOP regardless. But, these suburbs have plenty of independents who are deeply concerned about school shootings and the response from Washington. In CA49, add in the offshore oil drilling issue that I have written about it in this space before. While Harkey has voted in favor of restricting it in California, she's carrying the GOP brand on November 6, which includes President Trump's pledge to increase such drilling.
Today, President Trump is heading to Montana to campaign for U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale (R) against Senator Jon Tester (D). The MAGA rally has been previewed as an attack on Tester for his positions on guns and immigration. That will be red meat on the teevee for both sides tonight, and it will help Levin among independents and do nothing for Harkey at this point.
Here are the Trump approval numbers in the eight districts polled by Berkeley IGS. They are generally within margin of error of NYT Siena, which has surveyed fewer districts. I've included the statewide average from yesterday's LAT/USC Dornsife poll. CA49 has the same disapproval number of 61% as the statewide number, which is a very bad number considering There are 39 current Democratic seats and 14 GOP seats in California.
Insiders talk about Harkey's poor campaign, particularly a poor interview that she gave to the San Diego Union-Tribune. I think that's insider baseball. Precinct walkers don't play an 1 hour, 7 minute audio Q&A for undecided voters to make up their mind.
In CA49, it's money, President Trump, and changing registration that makes the seat the most likely in California to flip from Republican to Democrat in 2018.
If Levin wins as expected, it will take a big swing election going the other way to return the seat to the GOP, which is not forseeable in advance of the new district lines in 2022.
More after the jump...
THE BLAME GAME: President Trump again blamed California for the state's wildfires, claiming that its the state's forest management policies on the deadly and destructive fires, report Susanne Rust and Luis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times. They write:
'The comments at a Cabinet meeting were vague on details — but they nonetheless sent federal forest managers across the state scrambling to figure out what the implications may be for their programs."
Escalating his criticism of California’s fire management strategy, President Trump threatened Wednesday to withhold unspecified funding from the state."
Uh, yeah, that's important. While the fires were in the state of California, an overwhelming share of the acreage was on federal land. If federal funding is withheld, that could be federal park rangers, wildlife managers and, yes, firefighters.
“I say to the governor, or whoever is going to be the governor of California, you better get your act together,” Trump said at the meeting. “We’re just not going to continue to pay the kind of money we’re paying because of fires that should never be to the extent.”
The President did not mention likely private sector liability, and you know the big name I'm referring to.
GUBER GLASS HOUSES: KQED's Annie Gilbertson and John Sepulvado report:
"Throughout his campaign for governor, Republican John Cox and his allies have criticized Democratic opponents for affairs they had while in office, condemning their behavior as potentially attracting harmful exposure. He’s said voters should “judge someone based upon what they’ve done in the past.” But Cox has also faced accusations of marital infidelity, KQED and KPCC have learned.
Details of an affair are alleged by Mr. Cox’s first wife in the court records of their divorce, which was filed in Illinois in 1997. KPCC and KQED obtained and reviewed more than 400 pages of documents from that case."
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Daniel Clark, former Assemblymember Young Kim, and Amy Warshauer!
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Berkeley Council Of Classified Employees Files Lawsuit Against Busd
The Berkeley Council of Classified Employees, or BCCE, filed a lawsuit against Berkeley Unified School District, or BUSD, Tuesday, alleging that the district is improperly calculating hours of employment and subsequently failing to provide required benefits.
People are searching for voter registration info at presidential-year levels
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Another sign of how energized voters are in 2018.