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 503 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) 44.73%


SD14 Andy Vidak (R) 58.28%
SD14 Melissa Hurtado (D) 41.72%


SD22 Susan Rubio (D) 56.46%
SD22 Michael Eng (D) 43.54%


AD38 Dante Acosta (R) 52.33%
AD38 Christy Smith (D) 47.67%


AD72 Josh Lowenthal (D) 59.53%
AD72 Tyler Diep (R) 40.47%


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, and 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)
      - While I have SD14 as Leans Rep, it's appearing very close
  • 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, Republicans hold 21, plus:
      likely Dem pick-up in Open/Steinorth (AD40)
      - lean Dem in Salas (AD32) and Cervantes (AD60)
      - lean Rep in Acosta (AD38) , and Harper AD74
      - toss-ups in Baker (AD16) and Open/Allen (AD72)




GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 10/1-10/17/2018 has Democrats+7.7. (change from yesterday: no change) 

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


  • US Senate control: 18.7% D, 81.3% R (Change from yesterday: R+1.8)
  • Senate seats: 49 D, 51 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • CA US Senate projected vote: Feinstein: 59.8%, de León 40.2% (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • House control: 85.7%% D, 14.0% R (Change from yesterday: D-0.3)
  • House seats: 235 D, 200 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • Popular vote margin: D+8.9% (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • California delegation: 47 Democrats, 6 Republicans (Change from yesterday: CA39 (Royce/Open) goes Lean Dem; CA10 (Stanislaus) goes to Likely Dem)



  • mailed: 12,501,648 total: 5,445,214: Dem (44%), 3,126,925 Rep (25%), 3,929,459 NPP/other (31%)
  • returned: 567,124 tootal: 239,978 Dem (42%), 192,890 Rep (34%), 134,896 Other (24%)

Full data:  statewide and local government | federal and state legislative districts


Conditional Registration Begins Today

any eligible citizen can register and vote between now and Election Day


SPORTS PAGE: The first pitch of World Series game 1 in Boston is at 5:09 PDT on FOX. Taking the mound for the Dodgers will be Clayton Kershaw (12-7, 3.01), while Chris Sale (13-4, 2.32) wil be pitching for the Red Sox.

Happy Noonerific Tuesday! Just the quick and dirty before I go to a luncheon hosted by PPIC on community college "stackable credentials" before I return to elections this afternoon. Here is PPIC's report released today on the topic.

Most people liked the larger font size, although not everything was meant to be bolded. I just had an unrelated, unclosed bold tag.

It's Acting Governor Gavin Newsom to you today, as Jerry is in DC. Gavin is like "Dude, I've got this."

The best thing of the entire political season broke out yesterday and it involves heels, drag queens, and, you guessed it, the gas tax repeal.

State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) started it by taking on Board of Equalization member and congressional candidate Diane Harkey, who is running for CA49 (S. Orange County, N. San Diego County coast). Wiener was elected to the State Senate in 2016, so he didn't overlap during Harkey's time on the red carpet.

At a Yes on 6 rally last week, Harkey said about the increase in the gas tax "This is just fraud. It's forcing you to take bikes, get on trains, hose off at the depot and try to get to work. That does not work. That does not work with my hair and heels. I cannot do that and I will not do that." (tweeted by KPBS reporter Andrew Bowen)

Wiener grabbed the Twitter mike and typed "GOP candidate Diane Harkey (Orange County) supports Prop 6 (transportation funding repeal) b/c she’ll be forced to bike & take trains & “that does not work with my hair & heels.” Having ridden Muni w “hair & heels” & seen many drag queen[s] ride bikes with the same, I call bullshit."

Drop mike (or mic, the grammar world debates it), as Wiener is from Baghdad By the Bay. You can call bullshit with drag queens as a backdrop.

Harkey, a rare Twitter user, didn't take the bait. She's only tweeted since about a strange website post about Apple stores adding armed security at some of its stores, written by conservative columnist Stephen Frank. The post tries to blame state policies and lack of policing for Apple's addition. Apple has always had security at the doors. They are paying a little more for armed private security, who are often sworn police officers. The responsibility of store security is private, not public, and there's zero indication that the armed robberies are consequence of state policies. It's the lax and crowded format of Apple stores and, the layout and occupancy rate is decided by company on a cost/benefit analysis. 

Anyway, back to drag queens.

Wiener's tweet drew lots of responses on both sides, although those on his side provide more levity in this campaign environment. 

  • @johnbauters (mayor of Emeryville): "Tell me when you and I are doing the hair and heels bike ride down Market with #NoProp6 signs and I’m there.
  • @mateosfo: "I would 1000% wear hair and heels and ride in this event"
  • @carterlevin: "I'm off to bed. Looking forward to making this happen. Queens deserve great infrastructure!"
  • @SR_yimby_1: "We at least need a “wear heels to the bus” day"
  • @anniefryman: "I don’t *always* bike in heels, but when I do, it’s because I’m wearing heels and need to get somewhere." (with a picture, biking in red stilletos)

To think that I have to be careful walking up my stairs in flip-flops.

In all seriousness, the LGBTQ community is already a bit in rage this week and ready to throw heels at political opponents. Yesterday, The New York Times reported that the Trump Administration was exploring rolling back Obama-era loosening the definition of gender, "recognizing gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth." The Administration "is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth..."

I dated a very smart woman briefly 26 years. He is now a man and a medical professional, and works with others in non-surgical ways making the transition. I adore him even more than when he was a her.

I know others who have realigned their identity and have witnessed their complete transition. Sure, figuring out and remembering to use the correct pronoun sometimes trips me up, but that is the only inconvenience they have had on my life. Meanwhile, I want transgendered individuals to have the legal protections that the rest of us have. We're not talking about people picking and choosing, but rather people who medical professionals would check a box now that may differ from birth.

Yes, I know I went from drag queens to transgendered, which is very different. But, one was humorous and the other is serious, and thanks Scott for making it possible for me to seize the opportunity to comment on news unrelated to the gas tax or drag queens in heels.

For those who have not been dragged down by all this talk, Wiener's 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest with Drag Queen Judges is this Saturday.

Okay, that's it for my opinion today. We've got polls... 


CA48 (Huntington Beach): Monmouth confirms what everybody thinks--CA48 is as close as a race can get:

  • standard midterm turnout: Rohrabacher (R) 50%, Rouda (D) 48%
  • midterm turnout w/ D surge: Rouda (D) 50%, Rohrabacher (R) 48%

Donald Trump job approval:

  • Approve: 54% (48% strongly, 6% somewhat)
  • Disapprove: 46% (41% strongly, 5% somewhat)
  • Don't know: 1%

Get this--90% of likely voters believe that their choice in a vote show or doesn't show support for President Trump (82% very, 8% somewhat important). I discuss this more after the below polls.

[crosstabs; n=372 likely voters; live telephone; English; October 17-21; MOE +/- 7.2% for candidates; +/-5% for Trump question; ballot designations of "Member of Congress" and "Businessman" not included]

One methodological challenge: in a district where 26% of VBM voters are Latino or Asian including many older citizens who speak primarily numerous native languages, the poll was only done in English. That's not a hit on Monmouth, but rather the challenge of polling diverse districts in California. This ain't Iowa and there is no simple solution.

And, an update on the NYT/Sienna College live polling, which will continue this evening:

INCOMPLETE: CA10 (Stanislaus): [n=57; the requisite 250 likely will be reached late this evening after calling resumes, but you can see the early numbers and geographic responses now]

  • *Jeff Denham (R): 
  • Josh Harder (D): 
  • Undecided: 

INCOMPLETE: CD39 (Fullerton/Diamond Bar): [n=471; MOE +/- 4.7% ; continues tonight]

  • Gil Cisneros (D): 47%
  • Young Kim (R): 46%
  • Undecided: 7%

Donald Trump job approval:

  • Approve: 44%
  • Disapprove: 52%
  • Don't know: 4%

INCOMPLETE: CA49 (S. Orange County/N. San Diego Coast): [n=354; +/-6%; continues tonight]

  • Diane Harkey (R): 39%
  • Mike Levin (D): 53%
  • Undecided: 8%

Donald Trump job approval:

  • Approve: 38%
  • Disapprove: 57%
  • Don't know: 5%

Again, these are INCOMPLETE, but are generally consistent with internal and independent polls we've seen. Levin was at 55% in the LAT/Berkeley IGS and Harkey was at 41%, well within the margin of error. The slightly greater undecided could also be attributed by live calls in NYT/Siena, whereas LAT/Berkeley used online with email invitations. Both are proven good methodologies, but from what I see in the growth of online/email invitation is that slightly more respondents may be willing to respond where they are leaning than when talking to a human.

If any political scientist out there knows of research on this (and there are many among Nooner readers), I'd love to see it.

The point of that is that these mid-poll results have a pretty high degree of confidence. 

If the current results hold, which every indication suggests they will, Harkey is being brought down strongly by President Trump. Sure, she's not raising money anywhere near what Levin pulls in and has made missteps, but at the end of the day, CA49 likely voters are voting on the guy in the Oval.

Similarly, as we saw with the above Monmouth poll on CA48, Trump is likely pulling up Rohrabacher, despite the congressman's accrued negatives. 

SENATE: For Politico, Carla Marinucci reports on a campaign event by Dianne Feinstein in the Rossmoor swanky retirement community. "Sen. Dianne Feinstein, locked in an unusually competitive race for reelection, vowed at a campaign event packed with seniors on Monday that any efforts by President Donald Trump and Republicans to corral the federal deficit by slashing Social Security and Medicare “will not happen.”

If you are not familiar with Rossmoor, it is a city-within-a-city of retirement homes with a population of nearly 10,000 located within Walnut Creek. I spoke there several years ago about the state of community colleges and let's just say that they are very politically engaged. For Feinstein, it's also a very friendly, non-risky audience. That makes sense given her strong lead. de León isn't going to get any attack fodder out of the senior senator's appearance there. 

Rossmoor is also in a competitive Assembly district...

AD16 (Tri-Valley): Just after I sent a memo to Nooner Premium last night, of course a new independent expenditure memo was reported. The Building Industry Association and Edvoice kicked in $300,000 each to spend $587,562 for polling and television against Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, who is challenging Assemblymember Catharine Baker (R).

The vote-by-mail ballot situation by PDI in AD16 is as follows:

Mailed: 217,269 ballots

  • Democratic: 41%
  • Republican: 26%
  • NPP/other: 32%

Returned: 14,496 ballots (6.67% return rate)

  • Democratic: 42%
  • Republican: 33%
  • NPP/other: 25%

Here's a PDF of the PDI's data as of 6:30am this morning, with demos and maps.

Assembly District 16 (Tri-Valley)
Change between 09/2014 and 09/2018



Democratic Share

Republican Share

No Party

Preference* Share

Other** Share

27,600 1.19% -4.96% 6.02% -2.25%
* Includes "unknown" in some counties that appeared to have moved the prior "Decline to State" to NPP when it was created
**Includes qualified third parties and "other"
Source: California Secretary of State


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 Medical Association: Director of Communications & Public Affairs (Sacramento)
  • 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: The Council of State Governments: Policy Committees and Programs Coordinator (Sacramento)
  • Job: 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: December 13-14, February 7-8
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels 




Probolsky Research


CA50 (East San Diego County): For CALmatters, Dan Morain writes that the California Labor Federation is abandoning its campaign for Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) in his challenge of Congressman Duncan Hunter (R), because Campa-Najjar has been ambiguous on the gas tax. “We made the decision that it’s not a district that California Labor Federation will be engaged in,” federation spokesman Steve Smith said Monday."

As Morain notes, the Labor Fed plans to continue campaigning for Jessica Morse in her challenge of Congressman Tom McClintock (R) in CA04 (Foothills), even though CA50 is seen by most observers (including me) to be a much closer race.

PROP 6 (gas tax repeal/road construction): In the LAT, Patrick McGreevy looks at the money pouring in to defeat Proposition 6, not unexpectedly coming from those interests--business and labor--that will benefit from it most directly. 

REGROUP: Public labor unions are rethinking how they raise money to support their political and nonpolitical activities after the Supreme Court's ruling in Janus, writes Adam Ashton in the Bee. "So far, workers are not leaving their unions in high numbers. In fact, some labor organizations are gaining members."

That's it for now...need to hop on a Jump to the Capitol for the community college policy briefing. I'm not working in the area, but still have significant interest, and just getting my head back in the game. No, I'll be wearing my Adidas and not stilettos on the trip over there.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Nathan Alonzo and former Assemblymember Mariko Yamada!



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

  • Director of Communications & Public Affairs – California Medical Association (Sacramento)
    Reporting directly to the VP of Strategic Communications, this position will develop/execute earned media and public affairs strategies in support of physician-focused health care advocacy. Seeking an assertive and tactful self-starter with the ability to effectively generate and shape media coverage. Must be driven with the ability to adapt to evolving priorities and deadlines. On-the-record experience required; health care or political experience strongly desired. Great culture and amazing benefits with 401k match. $85-100k DOE. View the full description and apply at:

  • The Council of State Governments is seeking a Policy Committees and Programs Coordinator in Sacramento, CA.
    Position contributes to the organization's policy objectives and engagement with regional policy-makers and other stakeholders. This includes coordinating and providing policy committee and program support.

    • Provides administrative, logistical and communications support to policy committees and programs staff.
    • Conducts entry-level policy research, follow-up activities, and provides information to members.
    • Maintains communication, conducts outreach and establishes rapport with committee staff, legislators, representatives of the private sector, and with federal, state and local government officials.

    View full posting at CSG is an Equal Opportunity Employer (Minorities/Females/Veterans/Disabled)

  • 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: 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:


USC Gynecologist Accused Of Abusing Patients Faces Loss Of Medical License
Matt Hamilton @
The charges brought by the Medical Board of California come as Tyndall and USC face hundreds of civil claims from women who allege sexual abuse and harassment. On Friday, USC announced that it had agreed to pay $215 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit brought by several former patients. The university’s total legal costs for the scandal are expected to be significantly higher.

On Politics: G.O.P. Frames Midterms as Battle Over Race and Immigration

President Trump and other Republicans have delivered messages aimed at stoking anxiety among white voters and even appealing to overt racism as the midterm elections near.

Is The U.S. Really Facing A Border Crisis?
Cindy Carcamo @
President Trump says the U.S. southern border is under assault. Here's some perspective.

Trump proposes tax cut; GOP lawmakers privately skeptical

The president’s announcement, aimed at the middle class, comes shortly before elections.

Gavin Newsom Slashed Welfare Checks To The Homeless, With The Goal Of Housing More People. Did It Work?
Dakota Smith @
Then a San Francisco supervisor on the rise, Newsom proposed slashing the amount of welfare for single homeless adults and instead using the funds on shelters, housing and services. Called Care Not Cash, the program sought to stop welfare recipients from spending their monthly checks on heroin or alcohol.

Trump Officials Make It Easier for States to Skirt Health Lawâ

The new policy, which could allow for fewer protections for pre-existing conditions, appears to hand a political gift to Democrats two weeks before the midterms.