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

IC Steve Poizner (N) 58.13%
IC Ricardo Lara (D) 41.71%


SD14 Andy Vidak (R) 58.51%
SD14 Melissa Hurtado (D) 41.32%


SD22 Susan Rubio (D) 57.02%
SD22 Michael Eng (D) 42.98%


AD38 Dante Acosta (R) 55.83%
AD38 Christy Smith (D) 43.99%


AD72 Josh Lowenthal (D) 58.93%
AD72 Tyler Diep (R) 41.07%

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: 42 Democrats, 8 Republicans, 3 toss-ups
      - Dems hold 38; Reps hold 9, including tough holds in CA04, CA21, CA22, and CA50
      - Dems pick up 3 leaners/likelies -- Denham (CA10), Walters (CA45) and Open/Issa (CA49)
      - Toss-ups in Knight (CA25), 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 10/8-10/30/2018 has Democrats+7.5. (change from yesterday: D-0.1) 

For comparison purposes only: In 2014, Republicans had an edge of +2.4 in the RCV average, with final results of Republicans +5.7. In 2010, Republicans had an edge of +9.4 in the RCV average, with final results of Republicans +6.8. So, it's good for trends, but in the end can change within margins of error. 


  • US Senate control: 14.9% D, 85.1% R (Change from yesterday: R+3.1)
  • Senate seats: 48 D, 52 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • CA US Senate projected vote: Feinstein: 58.9%, de León 41.1% (Change from yesterday: Feinstein-0.6)
  • House control: 84.9% D, 15.1% R (Change from yesterday: D-0.3)
  • House seats: 233 D, 202 R (Change from yesterday: D-1)
  • Popular vote margin: D+9.1% (Change from yesterday: D+0.2)
  • California delegation: 46 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 1 Toss-up-CA39 (Change from yesterday: no change)  


  • mailed: 12,995,065 total: 5,654,960 Dem (44%), 3,205,659 Rep (25%), 4,134,446 NPP/other (32%)
  • returned: 2,836,268 total: Dem 1,229,935 (43%), Rep 940314 (33%), NPP/other 666,019 (23%) 

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


Conditional Voter Registration and Voting Continues


Happy Bohemian RhapsoDAYCritics are basically bleh on the movie overall, but say that Rami Malek is outstanding as Freddie Mercury. That's good enough for me.

Yes, it officially opens tomorrow, but lots of theatres have showings tonight. That includes DOCO for those of you on the grid in Sac. I'm going to miss the fundraiser for the John Burton Advocates for Youth featuring Remedy 7 at Old Ironsides tonight. I wrote about the event on Monday. It's a suggested tax-deductible donation of $25 and the proceeds for an evening of fun support the org's service to foster and other youth in need.  

Anyway, two options for tonight. Or, you can stay home and watch the 1-6 Oakland (until we can get to Vegas) Raiders play the 1-7 "San Francisco" 49ers play 40 miles south in Santa Clara. If you choose to drive to the 5:20 PDT game, you're already about four hours late getting on the 101.

The only "We Are the Champions" sung tonight will be in movie theaters.

Speaking of John L. Burton, the California Democratic Party headqua_ters on 9th Street was evacuated yesterday afternoon for a suspicious package. I made it over there, which is about four blocks, just in time to see the police rolling back up the yellow tape. The suspicious envelope was determined not to be a threat, and employees and volunteers were allowed back inside. There was a mixture of relief and hmph on their faces as it meant that they were going right back to phone banking.

The bigger mystery was who owned the Volvo SUV parked on R Street. It was blocking in two cars that were, uh, parked in spaces marked "Police Vehicles Only." Yeah, that would be the CHP downtown Sac office, which fields the cruisers and bike cops to cover the Capitol blocks. Two cops were standing next to it, trying to figure out who was imprisoning their car. I never figured out who it was, but I'm guessing it was someone from the fake media. By the time I got my shopping done, it was gone, as was the imprisoned police officer's car.

Thank you to folks who played with the crossword puzzle yesterday and gave me feedback. Here's the filled out puzzle.

I'm looking for a better platform...this was just late-night fun because I was stuck on the NYT crossword. You can still do yesterday's! How much do you know about California legislators?

Okay, let's turn to Scott's screw-up du jour. Yesterday, I had the Berkeley poll numbers under Probolsky for US Senate. Here it is corrected and in the tables I provide Nooner Premium. (Nooner Premium folks, if you didn't get the update yesterday afternoon, email me.

US Senate polls


Yes, FiveThirtyEight and others made turnout assumption mistakes, primarily in rust belt states. That led Hillary to buy fireworks for a harbor barge and party attendees to get silly drunk on champagne before curling in the corner with the bottle after 2am Eastern.

But, let's look at California. 

2016 General comparison


Oh, you mean they really weren't? They underestimated voters checking a third-party candidate box or, more likely, voters who would turn out for both of the "major party" candidates. When it comes down to it, it doesn't really matter when you average the results. Hillary Clinton won California. PPIC had a 30-point margin, Berkeley IGS had 20, and the other two were in the middle. Basically poll design and once margin-of-error is considered, the range is much smaller.

This is the cray-cray time when people are using polls for political purposes. As you know, I've been all over polling methodology this year. That said, more often than not, I was discussing polling on ballot measures, which can be very deceptive based on how the question is asked. 

Let me give it to you as if you haven't had coffee yet today:

  • Question 1: Do you support increasing taxes?
  • Question 2: Do you support increasing taxes for K-12 public education?

Overly simple? Yes. But we really haven't been far from that in some polling this year.

Candidate polling is different. Legitimate polling asks voter preference of each candidate with their party and ballot designation. It's simple and, under top-two, it is a purely binary choice. You're going to vote for one of the two, or you are undecided. You can't write in Matt Damon.

Statewide primaries are crazy for polling now. Even including the generally perceived "viable" candidates of Allen, Chiang, Cox, Eastin, Newsom, Renteria, and Villaraigosa makes a pretty long question. As much as I like live phone interviews, primary polling provides a compelling case for online, and there is still a judgment call as to where to draw the line at viability. If you provide all qualified names, it would have been 43 candidates.

However, we're looking at the general election and binary choices on candidates from governor to congressionals and ballot measures.

I can't give you all the data, as I have to save some for Nooner Premium to pay my rent. I can tell you that, as of the morning with polling averages, the following congressional races are within the margin of error: CA10 (Stanislaus), CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale), CA39 (Fullerton-Diamond Bar), CA48 (Huntington Beach), and CA50 (East San Diego County). If the NYT/Sienna "live" poll preliminary results hold tonight, CA45 (Irvine) will be in margin-of-error territory as well. Right now, it's barely in Democrat Katie Porter's column when polls are averaged. 

On state legislative races, we don't get any public polling. However, from what I have seen, AD15 (Berkeley), AD38 (Santa Clarita), AD72 (Seal Beach), and SD14 (Fresno/Bakersfield) are likely within the margin of error. That does not mean that others are not close races. Margin-of-error is "tie" territory. Close races at this point are driven by turnout.

Remember something important. Margin-of-error goes either way. Any of these races could have a significant margin in results. 53%-47% is not a close race in final results, but can look like a dead heat in polling. When you have multiple polls, you reduce the effect of statistical margin of error when in combination. That's why it's so damn frustrating to get just one, particularly if it's not independent.

Yes, there is an AD15 (Berkeley) poll out there that has Jovanka Beckles (D) up 4 points over Buffy Wicks (D). However, it's one poll and, while a legitimate pollster, was paid for by a union doing significant IE work for Beckles. Give me a full memo with MOE and questions and I'll consider it. Until then, it's noise in a tight "Berniecrat" v. "traditional" race of Dem-on-Dem.

NYT/SIENA: Meanwhile, there are two California NYT/Siena College "live" polls in the field, both of which are incomplete. As usual, the conductors of the poll seek a sample of 500 before closing it with a satisfactory margin of error. Both polls will be back in the field tonight.

INCOMPLETE: CA45 (Irvine): [n=472; MOE +/- 4.8% - last night was tough to connect with people because it was, well, spooky] 

  • Katie Porter (D): 48%
  • *Mimi Walters (R): 46%
  • undecided: 6%

President Trump job approval:

  • approve: 45%
  • disapprove: 50%
  • undecided: 5%

Clear correlation between POTUS approval and congressional race. All the money dreamt for on both sides, but it's literally day-to-day on perceptions of Twitter and MAGA rallies that have nothing to do with south Orange County. It is seriously wild to watch.

INCOMPLETE: CA48 (Huntington Beach): [n=159; interviews continue tonight]

As always, numbers may not add up due to rounding. If you see anything that looks strange, let me know. I'm working fast with lots of numbers.


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: Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation: full-time program manager (Los Angeles)
  • 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: Reed and Davidson: Associate Attorney (Los Angeles)
  • Job: Southern California Association of Governments: Legislation Analyst (Los Angeles)
  • Job: University of California Office of the President: Administrative Services Manager (Sacramento)
  • 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 


BAILBALOOZA! For CALmatters, Dan Walters writes about the big money battle over money bail that is shaping up for the 2020 election. With bail and split roll, campaign consultants coming off the high-dollar 2018 election are confident on that loan on a new yacht.

NOT AN ENDORSEMENT, BUT THE BAND IS AWESOME: Sacramento band CAKE is playing an Andrew Janz fundraiser tomorrow night in Fresno as part of the "Vote Like Hell" tour. Supporters of Janz, who is running against Congressman Devin Nunes, are hoping he's Going The Distance.


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Samuel Liu and Nelly Nieblas!



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

  • Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation seeks a full-time program manager in Los Angeles. The program manager will reach out to, educate, and involve key constituencies, including state and local elected officials, leaders of community groups, and their respective constituencies. A full job description can be found at Email cover letter and resume to
  • Small, downtown Los Angeles boutique law firm is looking for an associate attorney with a demonstrated interest and/or experience in political, election, and nonprofit organization law, as well as a broader interest and/or experience in business law and civil litigation. [full job description]
    Email resumes to Ana Simeonova, Office Manager, 
  • The University of California Office of the President is looking for an Administrative Services Manager for its Sacramento Office. The position manages the office’s human resource administration, budget development and tracking, account, fiscal and inventory controls, space planning and technical support services, among other administrative duties. Bachelor's degree in related area or equivalent experience is required, plus five years of experience performing a range of administrative functions. Salary commensurate with experience. To apply, visit and search for requisition 20180461. 
  • 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. 
    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:
Foce | Collaborative To Expand Participation, Improve Elections
Future of California Elections works to expand voter participation and modernize elections in California. We bring together advocates and elections administrators who share a commitment to developing a broad, representative, and engaged electorate.

Scott Homes In On Hispanic, Independent Voters With Health Care Ad

Protecting patients with pre-existing conditions is the most popular provision of the current federal health care law, the Affordable Care Act, and two new polls show health care overall is the most important issue for both independents and Hispanics.

Suspect In Killing Of Northern California Deputies Was Previously Deported, Authorities Say
Harriet Ryan, Alan Zarembo @
Monroy, an undocumented immigrant, was deported in 1997 following his arrest and conviction in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was arrested and repatriated to Mexico a second time in 2001.

Up Next: A Millennial Filmmaker Who Wants to Change Gun Laws

Sarah Ullman and her all-female crew created almost 200 campaign ads for the midterm elections. The progressive candidates she supports were charged nothing.

Veteran Featured In GOP Congressman's Midterm Election Ad Posted Racist Rants And Violent Threats On Facebook
Michael Finnegan, Maya Sweedler @
David Brayton, a Vietnam veteran featured by Republican Rep. Steve Knight of Palmdale in his reelection advertising, has posted racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim statements on Facebook, along with threats of violence against journalists he sees as hostile to President Trump.

Untangling Coverage Choices as Sign-Up Season Starts Under Obama Health Law

The insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act is still here, but Republican efforts to hobble the law have yielded new options, and some potential pitfalls, when open enrollment begins on Thursday.