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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)

The Nooner for Wednesday, November 4, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • The election in California: what we know so far
  • COVID-19
  • Cakeday and classifieds

¡Buenos dias mis amigos! I hope you slept well or at least some. I got a few hours I think.

I know that in this great Nooner community, there are readers on both ends of the national see-saw last night even before polls had closed in California. We'll see what happens during what is certainly going to be a tumultuous time. Meanwhile we have plenty in California to talk about, which is the subject matter of The Nooner.

This is quick-and-dirty and I have spent more time on the calculator than in thinking overall, but we'll have a lot more time to talk about that. I'll at minimum spell-check this, but don't hold me to account for inelegant grammar.

Los Angeles County returns to counting today from 1-4pm and so I anticipate the next update to the ATCpro results spreadsheet this evening. Other counties aren't as transparent about when the next updates will come.

How many ballots are left? I've written before that, based on the 2016 general election total California ballots of 14,610,509, increased registration of 2.6 million since then with an engaged electorate, we could expect 16-17 million ballots cast in this election. When I asked voter data guru and friend Paul Mitchell, he said 16.5 million. So, we'll stick with that for now. Under a new law, counties are required to report to the Secretary of State the approximate number of outstanding ballots by tomorrow. Some counties that have completed election night counting are announcing the numbers of outstanding ballots they will be reporting to the state. For example, Riverside County posts that it has approximately 400,000 absentees and approximately 25,000 provisional ballots are left to be validated and counted.

As of this morning, just under 12 million ballots have been counted in California. Basically, it is fair to assume a range of 25.5-30% of anticipated have yet to be counted. If you extrapolate Riverside County's numbers to statewide, the 16-17 million range seems accurate, although LA County (which has not yet released a number of unprocessed ballots) will be the 800-pound uncounted ballot gorilla.

Postal problems: While the United States Postal Service problems have focused on battleground states in the presidential election, documents provided to the federal judge in the case brought by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund documented 88,819 ballots in California that had an inbound (to the post office from the voter) scan but lacked an outgoing (to the elections official) scan. It's not really relevant in California, as counties are required to count those ballots if the USPS delivers them by November 20. For more on this, read this Twitter thread from John Kruzel of The Hill.

Building on yesterday's landscape that I wrote about, here's where we're at with the California congressional delegation and the state Legislature.

Congressional: Democrats currently have a 46-6 lead in the delegation, with one vacancy formerly held by Duncan Hunter (R). While Hunter's open seat was razor-thin tight last night, former Rep. Darrell Issa (R) has a 4.4% lead that has been growing since early ballots.

Among the seven seats that were flipped by Democrats in 2018, Rep. TJ Cox (D) trails the congressman he defeated, David Valadao (R), by 2.8% (3,033 votes). Moving south to CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley), Assembly member Christy Smith (D) currently has a 1% (2,756 votes) lead over now-Rep. Mike Garcia (R), who beat Smith in a March special election concurrent with the regular primary to fill the seat left vacant after the resignation of first-term congresswoman Katie Hill (D).

In Orange County that saw four seats flip from R to D in 2018, Katie Porter (D) seems okay albeit closer than expected in CA45 (Anaheim Hills-Tustin-Irvine) and Mike Levin (D) also appears fine in CA49 (South OC/North SD coast), although currently also closer than expected. Both were not seriously challenged by national GOP groups.

However, in two other flips from 2018 -- CA39 and CA48 -- both first-term Democrats are trailing after leading after the early mail-in ballots were counted. In CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda), Gil Cisneros is trailing for Assembly member Young Kim (R) by 0.4% (1,293 votes). However, reports are that there are more outstanding ballots in the Los Angeles County portion of the district, where Cisneros is winning with 54.9%. This is definitely one to watch.

In the OC beach cities district AD48, first-term Rep. Harley Rouda (D) is falling behind OC county supe Michelle Steel (R) by 0.6% (1,950 votes). This district is entirely in Orange County, but there are still enough votes that could change the race.

In Orange County, Democrats jumped to a huge lead in many races with the early vote-by-mail ballots, as expected. Later in the night and in the early morning hours, it equalized with ballots dropped off over the weekend or Republican-leaning voters wanting to cast a ballot in person, as pushed by President Trump. Traditionally, late ballots (including same-day/conditional and provisional ballots) counted in the days and weeks after election night strongly favor Democratic Party candidates. That is what Cisneros and Rouda are counting on to reverse that late night/early morning flip.

However, this is an election like no other and a new book is being written. Lots of fingernails will be chewed in the coming days and perhaps weeks.

In the intra-party fight among Democrats in the San Diego open seat currently held by Rep. Susan Davis (CA53), Sara Jacobs easily defeated local labor leader Georgette Gómez.

State Senate: I wrote yesterday about the State Senate "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." Here is where we are at this morning:

  • SD15 (Cupertino-San José): In the open seat being left by term-limited Jim Beall, Santa Clara supervisor Dave Cortese (D) is well ahead of attorney and former FPPC chair (and FEC member) Ann Ravel (D). Cortese had the backing of the California Democratic Party and labor, while Ravel was supported by business and environmental groups.
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): State Senator Scott Wilk (R) currently has a 553-vote lead over attorney Kipp Mueller (D), although like in the largely overlapping CA25, the question will come down to where the outstanding ballots are and what those results are. During overnight counting, the lead already changed a few times.
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): In the open seat currently held by Mike Morrell (R), school board member Abigail Medina (D) has a 141-vote lead over another school board member (different district) Rosalie Bogh Ochoa (R). Put this in your "Every vote counts" file, and it is far too close to call.
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): In 2018, Democrat Josh Newman was recalled concurrent with the primary election and Ling Ling Chang (R) was elected to fill the rest of the term. As of this morning, Newman has a 3.2% lead (10,339 votes) over Chang to reclaim the seat. However, it is believed that there may be more outstanding ballots in the Los Angeles County part of the district where Chang is from (Diamond Bar).
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Similar to SD29 where Democrats are hoping to oust a GOP incumbent, UC Irvine law prof Dave Min (D) has a narrow 3.8% lead (17,264 votes) lead over Republican John M.W. Moorlach. Min wasn't an unknown to the district, as he placed third in the 2018 top-two primary in which fellow UCI law professor Katie Porter (D) was eventually elected.

To wrap the Senate, Democrats currently have narrow leads in three seats currently held by Republicans. One seat, SD23, is literally 50%-50% and is anybody's guess.

State Assembly: If results remain on track, the 2021-21 State Assembly will have 60 Democrats, 19 Republicans, and 1 independent. Democrats knew they would lose one seat from their current 61, as the open AD38 (Santa Clarita) primary resulted in a Rep-Rep general election after the favored Dem candidate suspended her campaign.

  • If results hold, no incumbent Assembly member was defeated. Here are notes on some of the more closely watched races.
  • AD13 (Stockton): In what appears to have been the most expensive Assembly race in an open district, Stockton councilmember Kathy Miller (D) defeated former San Joaquin supervisor Carlos Villapudua (D). Villapadua was buoyed by a $1 million+ independent expenditure by oil and gas producers. 
  • AD42 (Cathedral City, Twenty-Nine Palms, Yucaipa): Assembly member Chad Mayes, who left the Republican Party to become an independent, easily survived a challenge by San Jacinto mayor Andrew Kotyuk (R).
  • AD55 (Diamond Bar-Yorba Linda): If results hold, Assembly member Phillip Chen (R) successfully beat challenger Diamond Bar councilmember Andrew Rodriguez (D).
  • AD59 (South Los Angeles): Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) easily fended off a challenge by fellow Democrat Efren Martinez, who was strongly backed by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Jones-Sawyer received strong backing from the California Democratic Party, his fellow Assembly Democrats, and allied groups.
  • AD64 (Carson): Similar to AD59, Assembly member Mike Gipson (D) also withstood a challenge by fellow Democrat Fatima Iqbal-Zubair.
  • AD68 (Anaheim Hills-Orange-Tustin-Irvine): In Orange County, Assembly member Steve Choi (R) is leading Irvine councilmember Melissa Fox (D) by 4.4% (9,707 votes).
  • AD72 (Garden Grove-Westminster): Former state senator Janet Nguyen (R), who helped Assembly member and former ally Tyler Diep (R) in the March primary, appears to have defeated Garden Grove councilmember Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen (D).
  • AD74 (OC beach cities): It is close, but Assembly member Cottie Petrie-Norris (D) is 2.8% ahead of challenger Newport Beach mayor Diane Dixon (R).
  • AD77 (North San Diego): After switching parties from Republican to Democrat at the beginning of the last legislative session, Brian Maeinschein (D) is currently 15 points ahead of Republican challenger attorney June Yang Cutter.

Ballot measures:

  • Proposition 14 (stem cell bond) - 51.1% - PASSING
  • Proposition 15 (split roll property tax) - 48.3% - FAILING
  • Proposition 16 (affirmative action bond) - 43.9% - FAILING
  • Proposition 17 (voting: parolees) - 59.0% - PASSING
  • Proposition 18 (voting: primary for 17yos) - 44.9% - FAILING
  • Proposition 19 (property tax base transfer) - 51.5% - PASSING
  • Proposition 20 (criminal justice) - 37.7% - FAILING
  • Proposition 21 (rent control) - 40.2% - FAILING
  • Proposition 22 (transportation network AB 5 exemption) - 58.4% - PASSING
  • Proposition 23 (dialysis) - 36.0% - FAILING
  • Proposition 24 (consumer privacy) - 56.1% - PASSING
  • Proposition 25 (bail referendum - yes upholds SB 10) - 44.6% - REFERENDUM REPEALING SB 10 PASSING

Miscellaneous notes:

  • With 60.86% of the vote, it appears that State Senator Holly Mitchell (D) has defeated former Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Mitchell was not term-limited until 2022, so there will be a special election in the spring to fill the remainder of the term in SD30. I'll write more about possible candidates in the coming weeks.
  • Former Assembly member and current LA County board of supes member (the seat that Mitchell was elected to) Mark Ridley-Thomas easily defeated Grace Yoo for the open seat on the Los Angeles City Council held by Herb Wesson.
  • Assembly member Kansen Chu (D) lost to Otto Lee in the runoff for a seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, with Lee garnering 60.31% of the vote.
  • State Senator Ben Hueso (D) appears to have lost to Nora Vargas in his bid for San Diego Board of Supervisors. He is not term-limited this year and will thus remain in the State Senate.
  • Also for the San Diego board of supes, former State Senator Joel Anderson is trailing Steve Vaus by 0.56% (1,245 votes) for a seat on the board.


  • Yesterday, California recorded 54 deaths for a total of 17,750 since the pandemic began. 

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mark MacDonald, Kipp Mueller, Lisa Murawski, Kris Octabiano, and Trevor Rodgers!


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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