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The Nooner for Friday, November 6, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
- Election 2020
- Cakeday and classifieds
It's Friday! I don't know if it feels like Friday came to fast in this surreal week in a surreal year or I'm shocked that it's still Friday. It really feels like the weekend.
For the downtown Sacramento folks, particularly those with Kaiser and procrastinators. Downtown Kaiser on 5th Street is not doing flu shots this year because they don't have the space for a drive-through clinic. However, despite the completely boarded-up look (including the doors), Rite Aid at 9th and K is open during its normal hours. I went in yesterday around 1pm and there was no wait. For Kaiser (and many other insurance plans), they do the billing and there is no cost. All it took was my Kaiser card, the standard one-page health questionnaire and a sign out for $0.00 on the POS system. Nice and friendly and they actually seemed happy to see me since people think they are closed.
ELECTION 2020: Obviously, the Zoom water cooler talk today is mostly about the presidential in other states but we still have things happening here in California. Yesterday, around 500,000 ballots were tallied and the current number of counted ballots is 12,840,685 (as of 7am).
The ballots tallied yesterday were also more moderate-conservative than the early VBMs first reported Tuesday night, although a bit less so than Wednesday counting. I draw that inference by looking at the ballot measures as well as the D.A. race in Los Angeles County, as well as several legislative races, including the two in which the lead was flipped that I discuss below.
Big counties will likely report for close of business today and I'll be getting the updated spreadsheet out to ATCpro by around 7:30.
Before we get to state races, I'll share these data about the presidential, which I was looking at as part of more analysis on polling accuracy generally:
- Biden currently has a lead of 4,114,096 (50.5%) in the national popular vote.
- Biden currently has a lead of 4,070,933 in California (65%).
- California has at least 4,523,196 ballots left to count (still coming in the USPS, and if postmarked by Tuesday, they will be counted).
-What's left? Late yesterday, the unprocessed ballots report was released by the Secretary of State's Office.
Counties identified 4,523,196 unprocessed ballots, including 4,079,126 vote-by-mail ballots, 68,619 provisional ballots, 285,993 conditional voter registration provisional, and 89,458 other (damaged, non-machine readable, or otherwise diverted by scanners, such as write-ins). Remember that any ballot postmarked by Tuesday 8pm and received through the United States Postal Service or bona fide delivery service by November 20 can be added to the vote-by-mail pile. Additionally, not all provisional, including conditional voter registration provisionals will necessarily be counted.
The roughly 500,000 counted yesterday can assumedly be subtracted from the 4.5 million unprocessed ballots, since counties submitted those data to the SoS before counting was done for the day.
In the end, we're looking at a universe of 16.9 million ballots, or 77% turnout. I forecasted 16-17 million ballots and am happy to see it on the high end. The 285,993 conditional voter registrations are same day voter registrations who were allowed to cast a ballot that was set aside with their registration. If the registration is successful, the ballot will be added to the VBM pile.
Provisionals will be counted last to ensure that no voter casts more than one ballot. Assumedly, because of the extended deadline for ballot arrival and known delays at USPS, provisionals won't be counted until after November 20.
For CalMatters, Lewis Griswold looks at the job ahead for elections workers in California.
-Candidates: Yesterday, we had two lead changes, with Rep. Mike Garcia (R) gaining a 265-vote lead over Assembly member Christy Smith (D) in CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley). Additionally, in the open SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet) seat, Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R) has taken a 1,211-vote lead over Abigail Medina (D). I have dropped off AD68 (Anaheim Hills-Orange-Tustin-Irvine), as Assembly member Steve Choi (R) has a 5.2% lead (my threshold is <5%):
- CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 58,827; *TJ Cox (D): 54,794 (Diff: 3.6%)
- LEAD CHANGE: CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Mike Garcia (R): 143,059, Christy Smith (D): 142,794 (Diff: 0.05%)
- CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 146,297, *Gil Cisneros (D): 143,800 (Diff: 0.8%)
- CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 179,452, *Harley Rouda (D): 174,678 (Diff: 1.4%)
- SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 152,587, Kipp Mueller (D): 149,957 (Diff: 0.8%)
- LEAD CHANGE: SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 125,975, Abigail Medina (D): 124,764 (Diff: 0.4%)
- SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 182,388, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 172,803 (Diff: 3.2%)
- SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 243,289, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 228,295 (Diff: 3.2%)
- AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 120,927, Diane Dixon (R): 115,956 (Diff: 2.0%)
As currently stands, the California congressional delegation would be 43 Democrats, 10 Republicans (R+3, plus filling R vacancy). The State Senate would be 31 Democrats, 9 Republicans (D+2). The State Assembly would be 60 Democrats, 20 Republicans (R+1).
Obviously, we're far from complete and we have weeks of updates ahead.
-Ballot measures: In the Bee, Hannah Wiley writes that voters gave a check on the Legislature's more liberal ideas.
Through four ballot initiatives, voters rejected policies on labor, criminal justice and voting that lawmakers passed in recent years, demonstrating a sharp ideological divide between progressives in Sacramento and the general California electorate.
With their votes, said GOP strategist Rob Stutzman, Californians sent a clear message to their representatives in the Capitol: “Don’t get too progressive. Focus on what matters to people.”
Voters handed a win to gig economy giants Uber and Lyft by approving Proposition 22, a proposal that undermines a landmark labor law Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last year.
Californians blocked an initiative to reinstate affirmative action, which legislators sent to the ballot in June amid protests against police brutality that inspired a summer of racial reckoning.
Voters also halted a 2018 law to end cash bail, and are currently disapproving of a constitutional amendment to let 17-year-olds vote in primaries if they turn 18 by the general election.
Bob Mulholland, a longtime Democratic strategist, said the demise of some of the Democrat-championed ballot initiatives Tuesday showed what happens when party leaders listen to the loudest voices on the furthest fringes of their party — instead of the moderate voters who continue to hold a lot of sway.
Joel Fox writes:
[W]hile the voters were rebuking the legislature with their votes on propositions, they were strengthening the hold on the legislature of the majority Democrats.
Which begs the question: Will the legislative leaders take lessons from their constituents after this election or go their merry way opening the door for more initiatives and referendums?
-Prop. 17/18: AP's Christopher Weber reports on the failure of Proposition 18, the measure to allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 by a state general election to vote in the primary, which was the opposite of Prop. 17, which grants the right to vote for those on parole.
The proposition was defeated after voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a separate measure to restore voting rights to felons on parole.
Proposition 17 will give the vote to an estimated 50,000 former prisoners who supporters said have paid their debt to society and should be able to choose their representatives and shape the policies that affect their daily lives.
Advocates of youth voting said the change in law sought by Proposition 18 would have engaged young voters, while opponents said 17-year-olds weren’t adults and were likely to be swayed by their parents. At least 18 states and Washington, D.C., let people under 18 vote in certain circumstances.
Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, who supported the initiative, called the results disappointing.
“This is a critical time and I believe Prop. 18 would have helped strengthen our democracy and helped build lifelong habits of civic participation,” Mullin said in a statement. “I look forward to a future where Californians who will be 18 by the general election are allowed to vote in primary elections and I will continue to be an advocate for this change.”
Mullin authored ACA 4, which placed the Proposition 18 on the ballot.
-Prop. 25: For CalMatters, Nigel Duara looks at what the repeal of bail reform means for criminal justice in California.
“It’s less of a celebratory feeling and more of a feeling of relief,” said Lex Steppling, co-chair of the Committee Against Pretrial Racism, which opposed Prop. 25. “What went from a flawed but decent bill turned into something, in our opinion, that was horrific and represented a potential crisis for communities in California.”
The Yes on Proposition 25 campaign vowed to return to the fight. The measure’s supporters outspent its opponents, $15 million to $8 million.
“As the bail industry continues to deepen racial inequities by preying on communities of color for profit,” the campaign stated Wednesday, “justice reform and civil rights advocates will not back down in the fight to build a justice system that treats every single Californian equally under the law.”
-Transmission: In the Bee, Michael McGough reports that California's rates are creeping up causing some concern.
The state’s numbers are not yet close to breaking any record highs for the pandemic, as the U.S. has already done twice this week with more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases pouring in Wednesday and another 121,000 Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
But there are clear trends of elevating infection and hospital rates, a pattern that started to emerge in California’s data around mid-October and that has shown little sign of slowing down.
After averaging fewer than 3,200 new cases per day in the first two weeks of October, daily cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease have now soared to more than 4,500 in the past two weeks, the California Department of Public Health reported in a daily update Thursday.
Statewide testing capacity has increased slightly in the past few weeks, but it cannot alone account for the full spike in cases. California’s test positivity rate as a two-week rolling average is back up to 3.3%, after having slimmed down to a record-low 2.5% as of Oct. 18, according to CDPH data.
-Los Angeles County: In yesterday's Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health release, concerns were specifically expressed about outbreaks at non-healthcare workplaces:
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 25 new deaths and 2,065 new cases of COVID-19. Today's number of new cases surpasses yesterday's and is the highest number of new cases not associated with backlog cases reported since late-August.
As COVID-19 spread continues increasing in Los Angeles County, the number of COVID-19 workplace outbreaks has also increased. During the two-week period of September 6 through September 19, there were 23 outbreaks in non-healthcare and non-residential workplaces, the lowest number of worksite outbreaks since June. During the two-week period from October 4 through October 17, the number of worksite outbreaks increased to 40.
Public Health is carefully tracking outbreaks at worksites and continues to assist sectors with the required business protocol compliance and safety measures. During an outbreak, health inspectors assess the worksite and provide guidance to control the outbreak. At times, this may include requiring a business to close until required measures are in place to prevent the virus from spreading. Worker protections and safe workplaces are a crucial part of slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health of our communities.
EDD: In the Register, George Avalos reports that the state is catching up on the backlog in unemployment claims.
For months, the backlog of unpaid or unresolved unemployment claims in California has been well above 1 million, reaching 1.44 million in March and 1.8 million at the end of May, and 1.56 million at the end of September, according to EDD estimates.
During the week that ended Oct. 28, the number of backlogged claims totaled 946,100, according to an EDD dashboard set up to track progress in paying workers who filed claims.
In a separate release Thursday, 152,400 California workers filed initial claims for unemployment aid last week, up by about 250 claims from the prior week, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
WILDFIRES: For CalMatters, James Bikales writes that the California Department of Insurance has again prohibited licensed homeowners insurers from dropping coverage of policyholders in wildfire-prone areaas in the state.
As this year’s historic wildfire season winds down, Californians living in fire-prone territory got temporary relief from another threat: they can’t lose their homeowners’ insurance policies for another year.
Premiums and nonrenewal rates have skyrocketed in California’s fire-prone regions since 2015 as companies are loath to pay for damages wreaked by the state’s increasingly devastating fires. This year, more than four million acres have burned, twice the state’s previous modern-day record. The moratorium, enacted by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, will give 2.1 million homeowners in the vicinity of those blazes — 18 percent of all policyholders in the state — another year to find a new insurance company or take steps to mitigate fire risk on their property and convince their insurer to extend coverage.
In 2019, insurers dropped 235,274 policies in California, a 61% increase from 2018, according to data Lara’s office released in December. Sixty-five percent of those came in areas of moderate to high fire risk, and the state’s 10 most fire-prone counties saw a 203% increase in nonrenewals.
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