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  • POLITICALish (David Quintana): Los Angeles city councilmember and former Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León YouTube (2020-10-30)
  • California State of Mind (Chris Nichols @ PolitiFact): TMI: On Social Media Disinformation And 2020’s Ballot Battles (2020-10-30) 
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Senator Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park)  Apple Podcasts | YouTube (2020-10-14) (2020-10-29)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): The U.S. Supreme Court and competitive California congressional races. (2020-10-29) 
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster) Ten days left with Paul Mitchell (2020-10-25)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) talks about wildfire and climate change on the 2nd anniversary of the disastrous Woolsey Fire (2020-10-20)


  • Election Day. We're here!
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 51.2, Trump: 44.0 (10/25 - 11/2): Biden+7.2 (Biden is +7.2 at 50.4 when Jorgensen (L) and Hawkins (G) are included) -- updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+6.8 (10/25-11/2)
  • Important Twitter thread this morning by the NYT's polling guru Nate Cohn on his thoughts on the RealClearPolitics averages this year.

The Nooner for Election Day, November 3, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • The outlook
  • The vote
  • COVID-19
  • Emergency powers
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

 Election Day 2020

Well, we're here. This is the end, or perhaps the beginning of the end of the most surreal election in our nation's history.

Tonight, I'll be providing updates, including highlights from state races, on Twitter with the hashtag #caelections (if you don't want to see all my tweets that might include national retweets, etc.). Otherwise, follow me at @scottlay.

I anticipate having the first spreadsheet of results out to ATCpro subscribers by 10pm. These will be heavy on mail-in ballots returned early and while Democrats returned ballots at a much faster pace than Republicans, as you'll see below, 62% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans have returned ballots, so it's not as distorted as we thought it was going to be as of a week ago. I'll likely have the next update around midnight before grabbing a few hours of sleep and one tomorrow morning. We'll see what the update plans are for counties. In California, several counties wrap "election night" counting between 2am-3am and then don't update again until Friday, notably Los Angeles.

I'm doing results differently this year in a spreadsheet so we can see the updates in the hours/days/weeks ahead and create a timeline of results for these targeted races in this election like no other. As always, if you want to get the spreadsheets, you can do it for as little as $5 one month. I hate putting stuff behind the paywall, but advertising is way down and these are 18-hour days.

2020 Elections Spreadsheet

After the statewide vote is certified in 30 days, I'll provide the spreadsheet to everyone.

I plan to include results from:

Congressional/state legislative races:

* = incumbent

The California congressional delegation is currently 46 Democrats, 6 Republicans, and one vacancy. The vacancy is in CA50, which was previously held by Duncan Hunter (R), and is rated as Leans Republican with former Rep. Darrell Issa (R) as the favorite.

From a partisan perspective, the races to watch most closely are CA21 (TJ Cox-D), CA25 (Mike Garcia-R), and CA48 (Harley Rouda-D).

Democrats will most likely retain the overwhelming majority of the delegation, with a range of 44-48 of the 53 districts.

  • CA10 (Stanislaus) - *Josh Harder (D) v. Ted Howze (R)
  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield) - *TJ Cox (D) v. David Valadao (R) 
  • CA22 (Clovis-Visalia-Tulare) - Phil Arballo (D) v. *Devin Nunes (R)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley) - *Mike Garcia (R) v. Christy Smith (D)
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda) - *Gil Cisneros (D) v. Young Kim (R)
  • CA45 (Anaheim Hills-Tustin-Irvine) - *Katie Porter (D) v. Greg Raths
  • CA48 (OC beach cities) - *Harley Rouda (D) v. Michelle Steel (R)
  • CA49 (S. OC/N. SD coasts) - *Mike Levin (D) v. Brian Maryott (R)
  • CA50 (East SD County) - Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) v. Darrell Issa (R)
  • CA53 (San Diego) - Georgette Gómez (D) v. Sara Jacobs (D)

Democrats currently hold 29 seats in the State Senate and Republicans hold 11. Of the six closely watched seats, two (SD11 and SD15) are Dem-Dem races. SD21 (Wilk) and SD29 (Chang) are Republican-held Toss-ups, SD23 (open GOP-held seat) is Leans Republican, and SD37 is Republican-held (Moorlach) and Leans Democratic.

In the State Senate, Democrats will likely exceed a supermajority with 29 seats, and the range is 29-32 of the forty-member house. However, I believe it is unlikely that Democrats will sweep the four seats currently held by the GOP.

  • SD11 (San Francisco) - Jackie Fielder (D) v. *Scott Wiener (D)
  • SD15 (Cupertino-San José) - Dave Cortese (D) v. Ann Ravel (D)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley) - Kipp Mueller (D) v. *Scott Wilk (R)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet) - Rosilicia Ochoa Bogh (R) v. Abigail Medina (D)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton) - *Ling Ling Chang (R) v. Josh Newman (D)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities) - Dave Min (D) v. *John M.W. Moorlach (R)

Democrats currently have 61 of the 80 seats in the State Assembly. Of the twelve closely watched seats, four are Dem-Dem races -- AD13 (open), AD59 (Jones-Sawyer), AD64 (Gipson), and  AD78 (open). One is a NPP-Rep race (former Rep. Chad Mayes defending changing to independent with a GOP challenger) and one is open -- AD72 (Diep) -- and currently held by a Republican. The remaining are three incumbent seats held by Republicans and three held by Democrats.

In the defensive Democratic seats of AD74 (Petrie-Norris) and AD76 (Boerner Horvath), incumbents are strong favorites, as is the Republican in AD35 (Cunningham).

Democrats will hold a supermajority with a range of 59-62, although the politics of the caucus could shift more to the middle based on the outcomes in AD13, AD59, and AD64.

  • AD13 (Stockton) - Kathy Miller (D) v. Carlos Villapudua (D)
  • AD35 (San Luis Obispo) - Dawn Addis (D) v. *Jordan Cunningham (R)
  • AD42 (Cathedral City, Twenty-Nine Palms, Yucaipa) - Andrew Kotyuk (R) v. *Chad Mayes (NPP)
  • AD55 (Diamond Bar-Yorba Linda) - *Phillip Chen (R) v. Andrew Rodriguez (D)
  • AD59 (South Los Angeles) - *Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) v. Efren Martinez (D)
  • AD64 (Carson) - *Mike Gipson (D) v. Fatima Iqbal-Zumar (D)
  • AD68 (Anaheim Hills-Orange-Tustin-Irvine) - *Steve Choi (R) v. Melissa Fox (D)
  • AD72 (Garden Grove-Westminster) - Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen (D) v. Janet Nguyen (R)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine) - Diane Dixon (R) v. *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D)
  • AD76 (San Diego north coast) - Melanie Burkholder (R) v. *Tasha Boerner Horvath (D)
  • AD77 (North San Diego) - June Cutter (R) v. *Brian Maienschein (D)
  • AD78 (San Diego) - Sarah Davis (D) v. Chris Ward (D)

The 12 statewide ballot measures

A few high-profile local races

  • Los Angeles County DA - George Gascón v. *Jackie Lacey
  • Los Angeles BOS District 2 - Holly Mitchell v. Herb Wesson
  • Los Angeles City Council District 4 - Nithya Raman v. *David Ryu
  • Los Angeles City Council District 10 - Mark Ridley-Thomas v. Grace Yoo
  • Orange County BOS District 1 - Sergio Contreras v. *Andrew Do
  • San Diego Mayor - Barbara Bry v. Todd Gloria

Let's hope everything goes as planned! My results tabs are open and the technology on my end seems in good shape today. Of course, it will also depend on the technology of 58 counties and the SOS. I am ready and have faith!

THE VOTE (as of 11/3 10:47:

  • 21,896,569 ballots were mailed and 12,370,175 (56%) have been returned, according to the PDI tracker.  The breakdown:
    • Dem: 6,283,920 (62% of those mailed)
    • Rep: 3,029,649 (57% of those mailed)
    • NPP/Other: 3,056,606 (47% of those mailed)
  • By age:
    • 65+: 3,648,049 (74% of those mailed)
    • 50-64: 3,547,021 (62% of those mailed)
    • 35-49: 2,624,219 (50% of those mailed)
    • 18-34: 2,550,886 (41% of those mailed)

For comparison purposes, there were 8,443,594 vote-by-mail voters in the 2016 presidential election, which would include ballots dropped of at polling places ("vote centers" this year). In November 2016, there were 14,610,509 ballots counted, so we are already at 83% of the previous presidential and will soar past 2016 numbers.

-Be prepared: A team at the Times reports on preparations for possible unrest in the Los Angeles region. Of course, after watching the celebration after the Lakers win, you have to prepare for anything -- win or lose. Meanwhile, The Bee reports on similar reboarding of downtown:

“Just being cautious,” said David Shipman, general manager of the Citizen Hotel, which boarded up again. “It’s not ideal for us. It’s not the first perception you want to leave your guests with.”

I'm just surprised the Citizen along with other downtown hotels have guests. I mean, without the Legislature, conventions/conferences, or arena events, who woulda thunk? If you were told in 2019 that 2020 was going to be a pandemic year, I bet you didn't add plywood manufacturers on your list of stocks to buy.

-My bad: Of course, mail-in ballots must be postmarked by today and delivered to county elections officials by USPS or a bona fide delivery service by November 20. Yesterday was the cut-and-paste from 2018 and I didn't update the date. The most important thing is postmarked today. Of course, it can be delivered to a Vote Center or ballot drop box as well by 8pm today.


  • Yesterday, California recorded 28 deaths for a total of 17,696 since the pandemic began. LA County Public Health, which reported only 2 deaths, notes "The low number of new deaths reported today reflect a reporting lag from over the weekend."

-Tier update postponed to Wednesday: The regular Tuesday update on county reopening has been pushed until tomorrow because of the election.

-School daze: For CalMatters, Ricardo Cano and James Bikales look at how school reopenings are working in California.

-Los Angeles County: In the LAT, Luke Money reports that rising case counts are dashing hopes a reopening of businesses and services in Los Angeles County.

Hopes that a wider reopening of Los Angeles County’s economy could come in time for the holidays appear to be fading, as the region continues to see a steady uptick in the average number of daily coronavirus infections.

While the spike is nowhere near as severe as those in other parts of the country, L.A. County’s seven-day average has increased from about 940 new cases a day in early October to more than 1,275 each day as of last week, health officials said.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced 1,406 new COVID-19 cases Monday, following 1,590 on Sunday. The county’s total now tops 310,000.

The county typically reports fewer new cases on Sunday and Monday because of reporting lags over the weekend, “so, if that trend holds true, we’re going to see higher numbers the rest of the week,” Ferrer said during a briefing.

“Our cases are, at best, stabilizing at a high number,” she said. “At worst, they’re going to go up.”

Any increase in the coronavirus case load threatens to push the county further from being able to more widely reopen businesses and other public facilities.

-San Diego County: Paul Sisson reports for the San Diego Union-Tribune that the county faces falling to the most restrictive Purple Tier unless it can collect and process many more tests (assumedly lowering the positivity rate) this week. Purple means no more indoor dining and many other businesses and services.

It takes two consecutive weeks with purple scores for any county to fall a tier. So, a second purple score in next week’s report would be required for consequences to occur.

And it is possible that a bonus will keep San Diego County from taking on a purple tinge this election week.

The state adjusts scores downward if a county collectively performs more COVID-19 tests than the state as a whole. The idea is to avoid punishing places for testing broadly and discovering cases that would have otherwise remained undetected. Likewise, the state does not want counties to lower their numbers of positive cases by simply testing less.

San Diego County has registered case rates over 7 in each of the past three weeks but has had those scores adjusted downward, to below seven, because it has consistently performed more testing per capita than the statewide median.

EMERGENCY POWERS: Yesterday, a Sutter County judge rebuked the governor's executive order changing elections rules for the November election amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeremy B. White reports for Politico:

Gov. Gavin Newsom exceeded his authority by ordering elections officials to mail all California voters ballots, a judge said Monday in a tentative ruling that could shape the limits of gubernatorial powers but does not affect Tuesday's election.

Sutter Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman sided with Republican lawmakers who challenged Newsom in court, arguing the Democratic governor had overreached with a June executive order that responded to the pandemic by ordering wholesale voting changes for the November election, including the all-mail mandate.

The Legislature subsequently passed a law accomplishing the same goals and putting more legal weight behind the election mandate. But Heckman wrote that the underlying issue of executive powers was not moot, writing the governor had gone beyond those granted to him during declared states of emergency under the California Emergency Services Act.

Newsom press secretary Jesse Melgar left open the possibility of an appeal, saying in a statement they "strongly disagree" with "specific limitations the ruling places on the exercise" of the governor’s emergency authority.

"The tentative ruling makes clear that the Governor’s statutory emergency authority is broad, and constitutional, and that the Governor has the authority, necessary in emergencies, to suspend statutes and issue orders to protect Californians," Melgar said. "Additionally, this ruling has absolutely no effect whatsoever on the current election."

Some may ask why the case was filed in Sutter County rather than Sacramento, where many of these types of cases are filed. The case was filed by Assemblymembers James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Kevin Kiley (R-Roseville). Contrary to popular belief, fellow UC Davis Law alum Gallagher's residence of Yuba City is not in Yuba County, but rather Sutter County. Gallagher is an attorney for a small firm in Yuba City. Judge Heckman, a Republican former DA and court commissioner, was not appointed by a governor to the bench, but rather ran for an open seat to the court in 2012.

I don't write that to discount her legal conclusion but rather interesting trivia and how my brain works on Election Day before polls close everywhere but Dixville Notch, NH ("Hartsfield Landing" on The West Wing.

That said, after experiences with terrorism and a pandemic over the last twenty years, we need a constitutional amendment that broadens gubernatorial powers during specified emergencies and, as was introduced in the Legislature, an amendment that allows for a virtual convening of the Legislature in specified emergencies. Anyone watch Designated Survivor, the great series starring Kiefer Sutherland?

Anyway, that's it for now. I am going to do some chores, get outside for a walk, and hopefully get a nap in -- although who am I kidding. I've been through enough election days to know that it's rarely possible.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Anna Ferrera and Assembly member Marty Gallegos!


Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]

California School Boards Association - Legislative Director

CSBA is seeking a Legislative Director to lead our Governmental Relations team to shape legislative and political strategy for CSBA’s statewide agenda. You will act as a liaison between legislative, educational, and public communities. If you are interested in leading a team of legislative advocates to influence opinion in favor of public education, please apply through our website. Position is located in West Sacramento. Learn more and apply here:

Offices available for sublease: Meridian Plaza

Between 1-3 offices are available for sublease in the Meridian Plaza office building, 1415 L Street, two blocks from the Capitol. The offices are approximately 150 SF each. Internet, gym, partially furnished (desk, chair, bookcases) are included. 24/7/365 key card access; floor-ceiling windows facing Sierras; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Jane at or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

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Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week: