Around The Capitol

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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 474 participants as of this morning, here are a some of the closest (<60%) projected wins:

IC Steve Poizner (N) 55.06%
IC Ricardo Lara (D) 44.94%


CD39 Gil Cisneros (D) 59.43%
CD39 Young Kim (R) 40.57%


SD14 Andy Vidak (R) 57.42%
SD14 Melissa Hurtado (D) 42.58%


SD22 Susan Rubio (D) 57.04%
SD22 Michael Eng (D) 42.96%


AD38 Dante Acosta (R) 53.12%
AD38 Christy Smith (D) 46.88%


AD72 Josh Lowenthal (D) 58.69%
AD72 Tyler Diep (R) 41.31%



I previously announced the awards:

  • First: $100 Amazon card or charitable contribution of your choice (pot in case of tie)
  • Second: $50 Amazon card or charitable contribution of your choice (pot in case of tie)
  • Third: $25 Amazon card or charitable contribution of your choice (pot in case of tie)

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. 






  • CA congressional delegation:
    • Current: 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 116th Congress: 43 Democrats, 8 Republicans, 2 hell, I don't knows
      - Dems hold 39; Reps hold 9
      - Dems pick up 5 leaners/likelies -- Denham (CA10), Knight (CA25) Walters (CA45) and Open/Issa (CA49)
      - Toss-ups of Open/Royce (CA39) and Rohrabacher (CA48)
  • 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: 57-59 Democrats
      - Dems hold 55, with guaranteed pick-up AD76 Chávez/Open seat
      likely pick-up in Open/Steinorth (AD40)
      - tough holds for Dems in Salas (AD32) and Cervantes (AD60)
      - tough holds for Reps in Acosta (AD38) and Open/Allen (AD72), and Harper AD74. Reps holding in Baker (AD16).



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. 


  • US Senate control: 20.5% D, 79.5% R (Change from yesterday: R-0.1)
  • Senate seats: 49 D, 51 R (Change from yesterday: R-1)
  • CA US Senate projected vote: Feinstein: 59.5%, de León 40.5% (Change from yesterday: Feinstein -0.5)
  • House control: 84.4%% D, 15.6% R (Change from yesterday: D+0.4)
  • House seats: 234 D, 201 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • Popular vote margin: D+8.8% (Change from yesterday: D+0.1)
  • California delegation: 46 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 1 toss-up-CA39 (Royce/Open)


EAR TICKLERS: For KQED's Political Breakdown podcast, Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos chat about the "debate" between Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León and sit down with pollster Ben Tulchin. And, on the California Politics Podcast, John Myers, Melanie Mason, and Liam Dillon chat about the ?debate?, the coming 2020 "split roll" fight and Melanie's great series on "The Next California." 

SPORTS PAGE: Well, so much for that question of whether the Dodgers could measure up against this year's Astros. The Red Sox took care of that and now the question is whether the Dodgers can capture a win in Milwaukee return to the World Series to face the boys of Bean Town for the first time for the championship. Tonight, we have Dodgers at Brewers at 5:39pm PDT (FS1).


Happy Friday! We made it! Perfect weekend weather-wise across California. Enjoy it as, once November arrives, we need to be cheering on the rain down below and snow in the mountains above.

I added the 2020 State Senate seats to the voter registration trends page. And, with State Senator Ted Gaines's likely win in BOE1 next month, that means there will be a SD01 (Northeast Cal) special in the spring. Assemblymen Brian Dahle and Kevin Kiley may face off, which would then open either AD01 or AD06 (Roseville) for a special in the fall. However, Dahle likely stays put. After this year, he has three terms (six years) left in the Assembly. He would only be eligible for one State Senate term if elected in 2019. Kiley, though, would only have one term under his Assembly belt and could serve two four-year terms in the Senate (the 2019-2020 term wouldn't count, since it would be less than one half of the term beginning December 2018).

Obviously, for either of them, a 2019 State Senate race would be a free ride and, if unsuccessful, they would still 

Folks, don't think elections end on November 6.

JOBS: This morning, we have the monthly data release on Caifornia employment:

  • California unemployment: 4.1% (-0.1% from August rev'd)
  • California seasonally adjusted jobs: 18,582,000 (+34,000 from August rev'd)
  • Lowest three unemployment rates: San Mateo (2.1%), Marin and San Francisco (2.2%)
  • Highest three unemployment rates: Imperial (19.3%), Tulare (7.9%), Colusa (7.1%)

I need to spend more time with these data, but I see good news in four counties I've been watching closely -- Lake, Mendocino, Shasta, and Sonoma. These were among the hardest hit by wildfires over the last year. Combined, fires in these counties burned 9,141 (also includes structures in Napa, Solano, and Trinity, but these account for a relatively small share).

Let's look at the three counties year-over-year. Obviously, the unemployment rate is far less relevant than the jobs number, which accounts for relocations that may have occurred to out of county after lost jobs in a county affected by fire. County data is not seasonally adjusted.

  • Lake unemployment: 4.3% (-0.5% in September 2017)
  • Lake jobs: 17,540 (+300 from September 2017)
  • Mendocino unemployment: 3.4% (-0.2% in September 2017)
  • Mendocino jobs: 39,160 (+240 from September 2017)
  • Shasta unemployment: 4.3% (-0.6% in September 2017)
  • Shasta jobs: 69,200 (+1,900 from September 2017)
  • Sonoma unemployment: 2.4% (-0.5% in September 2017)
  • Sonoma jobs: 221,700 (+5,900 from September 2017)

Despite the human tragedy, including 34 deaths just from those four counties, there is good news from these hard-hit areas. All four had declines in the unemployment rate while increasing the net number of jobs. That is the important interaction to focus on to ensure the decline in rate is not attributable to the disaffected jobless who are sitting on the employment sidelines.

It also would not generally include most temporary employees brought in for fire recovery.

POLL POSITION: Today's LAT/USC Dornsife release is on Proposition 10, the proposition to repeal Costa-Hawkins, allowing local governments to expand rent control.

  • Yes: 41% (36% likely/5% lean)
  • No: 38% (33% likely 4% lean)
  • Undecided: 21%

(Crosstabs | Methodology: n=794 likely voters; 09/17-10/14/18; online pre-identified panel; English/Spanish; MOE +/-4% (larger for subgroups))

A measure below 50% with an active opposition campaign at this point it DOA. 

The LAT's Liam Dillon writes: "Opponents of Proposition 10, primarily landlords, have contributed $62.4 million as of Thursday, according to California campaign finance records. Rent control supporters have donated $24 million. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, has contributed $22.9 million of that amount."

ROUND-UP: For CALmatters, Ben Christopher gives us a round-up of the week in congressional races.

CA39 (Fullerton): The Gil Cisneros (D) campaign for the open north Orange County congressional seat released an internal poll by Tulchin Research that confirms the LAT/Berkeley IGS poll's findings that the race is a dead heat:

Voter Preference in CA39 (Fullerton)
  Tulchin Research LAT/Berkeley IGS
Gil Cisneros (D) 48%  49% 
Young Kim (R) 47%  48% 
Undecided 4%  3% 


Voters in the district (and far beyond) have been hammered with ads on both sides in the fight.

SPEAKING OF POLLS: SCN Strategies's Dan Newman takes the LAT/USC Dornsife Poll behind the shed. "That’s not to say the Times / USC results are always wrong – even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and some of their results mirror private data from the best pollsters (sorry John Cox). There is no shortage of better polls and better pollsters, and we’d all be better off if media outlets take the extra effort to assure they’re associated with the good ones."

(Note: Newman is a strategist for Gavin Newsom's campaign, but that is not a subject in the article.)

AVANETTI/SALAZAR? When Michael Avanetti, attorney to Stormy Daniels, tweeted that Democratic California communications strategist Roger Salazar would join his anti-Trump "The Fight PAC," eyebrows were raised among the California political world. 

From "The Fight PAC was founded in the fall of 2018 by Democrat, Attorney, and Fighter for Good Michael Avenatti, who represents Davids vs. Goliaths and has for nearly 20 years."

The California Politico team talked to Salazar: "I like the guy. He's got the kind of fire that's been lacking on the political scene lately. ... [Democrats need someone who] has a fighter mentality. People are hungry for that kind of fighter, someone who says, "We're not going to take it. ... He's sharp. He know what he wants to say. He doesn't need a message guy."

Roger is the kind of guy you want on your side when the ish hits the fan. Well, that happened for Avanetti recently over the Kavanaugh hearings. After riding high among Democrats through the summer as mad dog with jaws locked on Donald Trump's heels, he dangled a "third accuser" against Kavanaugh. But he did just that--he dangled it without bringing forth evidence at a time when Democrats desperately needed it to peel off two Republican senators and block the nomination.

Instead, it became fodder for supporters of Kavanaugh and President Trump to paint opposition to the now-Justice's nomination as a "smear campaign orchestrated by George Soros."

If Avanetti is doing anything but dangling the idea of a presidential bid, he needs a crisis communication expert. I've worked with Roger before (fortunately not on a crisis, but a positive ballot measure), and Avanetti made a smart move, perhaps the first one in months.

CA45 (Irvine): Sabato Crystal Ball's Kyle Kondik has moved the challenge of Katie Porter (D) to Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R) from Toss-up to Leans Democratic.

STRATEGERY: For the Los Angeles Times, Michael Finnegan writes up the key question facing campaign strategists composing attack ads in the competitive congressional challenges this year--make it about President Trump or keep it local. Finnegan writes:

"Some Democrats see attacking Trump as essential in an election that will show whether Americans want Congress to put a check on the president. Others avoid Trump and focus on contrasts with specific GOP candidates. Which path they choose depends on a high-risk calculation of whether mentioning the president might backfire with even a sliver of voters in a close contest."

VOTING: For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden reports that the changes to make it easier to register and vote in California, along with the missteps by the Department of Motor Vehicles, have made the "civic duty" a partisan political issue.

Meanwhile, in the San Francisco Chronicle, Megan Cassidy reports on an effort to get eligible inmates at the Alameda County Jail to register to vote. 

"The only people who cannot vote in California are state and federal prison inmates, parolees, noncitizens and people deemed mentally incompetent. Inmates serving prison sentences in county jails also cannot vote.

But inmates who were sentenced to jail — not state prison — may vote. And former prison inmates — those who finished their sentences and parole periods — can vote. Also, county jail inmates awaiting trial can vote, as they have not been convicted."

On this topic, Crooked Media's Brian Beutler visits San Quentin to talk to five prisoners who currently don't have voting rights about whether they should or shouldn't be eligible to vote. They are not unanimous in position.

The Brennan Center for Justice has a national map of voting rights of felons by state. California is one of the more progressive. Maine and Vermont don't take away voting rights for anyone, and thirteen states automatically restore the right upon release from prison. 

The most disenfranchising are Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky. Florida has a measure on the November ballot to change its constitution for voting rights to parallel California law--no voting while serving a state or federal prison sentence or on probation following. The measure, which requires a 60% vote, appears to be passing. I don't need to write that it could significantly affect politics in The Sunshine State.

GUV GUTTER: With the revelation that gubernatorial candidate John Cox had an affair and, according to court documents from his divorce, allegedly bought a home for his mistress and her family, raising questions of hypocrisy given his attacks on Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa, cartoonist Mark Fiore draws up the situation for KQED.

The fact is that swing voters really don't care about the affair, but he put the issue on the table. That makes him just another hypocritical politician, which strategists hoped he would avoid. Also, Newsom engaged in an affair was one-sided on the female side, as he was already in divorce proceedings. Of course, his ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle now has an all-access pass as Donald Trump, Jr.'s girlfriend.

U.S. SENATE: For the Chron, Joe Garofoli ponders why Kevin de León didn't use the mic afforded him in this week's PPIC "conversation" to attack Senator Dianne Feinstein. The fact is, de León knows the odds are very much against him this November, but wants to preserve a political future. And, in a uber-Democratic state for now 


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)
  • Lighthouse Public Affairs: Legislative Assistant (Sacramento)
  • 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 



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.


MORE EAR TICKLES: For those interested in criminal justice issues and who aren't listening to this season's Serial Podcast, you're missing out. This week's episode was particularly relevant as I walked to/from seeing The Hate U Give last night, which was outstanding.


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Ian Calderon, former assemblymember Mike GattoMehran Khodabandeh, State Controller Betty Yee

#FAREWELL: Former California Community Colleges vice chancellor Linda Michalowski (1949-2018). 

You'd be surprised how many people in and around the Capitol and in California politics interacted with Linda Michalowski during their years as community college student leaders and in policy roles.



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

  • Administrative Assistant for Lobby Firm
    Qualifications: Experience working in a governmental affairs office, outstanding communications skills, working knowledge of the legislative process, calendaring and arranging travel, proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word. Salary based on experience.

    Send resume to For questions, call Joelle at (916) 448-3444.

  • Lighthouse Public Affairs, Sacramento seeks FT Legislative Assistant to provide scheduling, technical and legislative support in fast-paced, collaborative environment. Salary range $40-50k w/benefits. Open until filled. Send resume and cover letter to

  • Link to full job description:

  • POSITION YOURSELF FOR LOBBYING SUCCESS IN JUST TWO DAYS. Conducted by 43-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov, Capitol Seminars' Lobbying 101 & 201 courses offer you cost-effective, comprehensive coverage of California's Legislative, Budget and Regulatory processes, Lobbying the Administration, and Media Strategies, along with an inside perspective on best practices for navigating these processes. You’ll refer repeatedly to our valuable curriculum materials long after the seminars are over. Next dates: October 4-5, December 13-14, February 7-8. More info / registration: 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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:  
  • 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 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:


Proposition 10, Which Would Expand Rent Control, Is 'in Deep Trouble,' Poll Shows
Liam Dillon @
The survey found that 41% of likely voters favor Proposition 10 with 38% opposed and 21% undecided. California law prohibits cities and counties from implementing many forms of rent control. Proposition 10 would repeal that law, allowing local governments to develop their own policies.

Republican Candidates Soften Tone on Health Care as Their Leaders Dig In

Candidates are pledging to protect pre-existing conditions, a stance often at odds with their votes, but their leaders are vowing to revisit an Affordable Care Act repeal.