California: Key Races and Measures in the 2012 ElectionsWhat changes?– Partisan control of the legislative bodies Senate, Assembly and Congress– Revenue and expenditures– Host of coming taxation/revenue measures and distribution of proceedsDon Solem, President, Solem & Associates
What To Look For In a RaceAssuming an election race is competitive, what does one look for? What interesting things characterize a race?– Money– Expertise / Character– National / Local Trends– Endorsements– Something off-beat
Change in CaliforniaChange doesnt come from one election, one candidate or one ballot measure.Change results from trends in outcomes over multiple election cycles, with candidates, parties and laws that are updated over time.California in 2012 doesnt look very different from California in 2010, but it certainly is different compared to California in 1990.
Trends in CaliforniaCA was once a rock-solid GOP state, producing presidents and senators.CA is now a rock-solid Democratic state, especially with minorities. This has been a consistent factor in the past two decades.
US SenateSenator Dianne Feinstein will face a GOP challenger in November. She currently polls well against all current possibilities.. (approx. 56% to 25% with the rest undecided)Senator Boxer will next face reelection in 2016.
US House of RepresentativesNine open seats, either from retirements or incumbents being redistrictedFour Dem representatives redrawn to fight in two merged districts. Berman vs Sherman in CA-30 (San Fernando Valley) and Hahn vs Richardson in CA-44 (South LA)Four to Six GOP seats potentially winnable for DemocratsThree Democratic seats potentially winnable for GOP
By the Numbers: Cook PVITo find where the action is in Californias 53 congressional districts, we look to the closest margins. We look to districts with a low Cook PVI score.The Cook PVI scores are an average of voters preferences during the last two presidential elections, plus the number of percentage points by which its results exceeded the national average.In a district whose PVI score is R+2, a generic Republican candidate would be expected to receive 2 percentage points more votes than the national average. Likewise, a PVI score of D+3 shows that a generic Democratic candidate would be expected to receive 3 percentage points more votes than the national average.
GOP Toss up seatsAccording to The Cook Political Report, the following GOP seats are currently “toss up.”– CA-7 Dan Lungren R+3 Sacramento suburbs– CA-26 Elton Gallegly (retiring) D+3 Ventura County– CA-31 Gary Miller (not a resident) D+2 San Bernardino– CA-52 Brian Bilbray D+1 San DiegoThe following GOP seats are currently GOP-leaning– CA-10 Jeff Denham R+5 Modesto area– CA-21 (new seat) R+3 South Central Valley
CA-7 Dan Lungren R+3Dan Lungren defeated Dem challenger Ami Bera in 2010, 2012 district 50% to 43%. The PVI of his district in 2010 was R+6. 2010 district
CA-26 Elton Gallegly (retiring) D+3The newly drawn CA-26 moves to the East and picks up a lot of coastal voters who were avoided in the previous map. The GOP must work hard to keep this seat. 2012 district 2010 district
CA-31 Gary Miller D+3GOP Congressman Gary Miller lives in Diamond Bar, currently within CA-42, a Republican stronghold. In 2012 he will be moving to what is now CA-31, a mildly Democratic district to the North East, to avoid a primary contest with Congressman Ed Royce. 2010 district 2012 district
CA-52 Brian Bilbray D+2Congressman Bilbray currently represents a R+3 district, but has now been redrawn into a slightly Dem-leaning district. 2012 district 2010 district
California LegislatureCalifornia Republicans are not pleased with the results of the redistricting commission. This is especially true for the changes to the states 40 Senate Districts.The currently GOP stands to lose two seats to the Democrats in November, enough to give them a supermajority able to pass any and all tax increases.Senators Sam Blakeslee and Tony Strickland are the most at risk.
SD-17 Sam BlakesleeSenator Blakeslees already Dem-leaning district became much worse for him, picking up more of the Bay Area as the population of each district increased by nearly 100,000.2010 district 2012 district
SD-19 Tony StricklandSenator Stricklands barely-Republican district gave him the fight of his political life in 2008. His new district is much less forgiving, so the Senator has decided to run for Congress this year. It is likely that this seat will be a Dem pickup. 2010 district 2012 district
On the June 2012 BallotCandidates at the state level have until March 9 to qualify for the primary elections.Proposition 28 – Limit of 8 years in the Senate and 6 years in the Assembly will be replaced with 12- year limit on combined service.Proposition 29 – Increase the tax on cigarettes to fund cancer research.
On the November 2012 Ballot$11.1 billion bond to upgrade Californias water system (might be postponed until 2014)Government employees would no longer have union dues automatically deducted from paychecksCar insurance rates can be based on a persons history of insurance coverage ("persistency discounts")GOP redistricting referendum on the State Senate Redistricting Plan
Pending Legislative Approval for 2012AB 78 – Create a pathway to citizenship forundocumented immigrantsSCA 5 – Reduce threshold required to pass localparcel taxes from 66 and 2/3rds to 55%ACA 6 – Ballot initiatives to spend money mustidentify where money would come fromSCA 7 – Public bodies required to post agendas anddisclose any actions taken in meetings
Three Major Taxation Issues for the November BallotThere are three tax issues that supporters are trying to qualify for the ballot. They must get enough signatures by a specific deadline to qualify.1) Tax on California Oil and Natural Gas. Revenues to Higher Education and General Fund. Initiative Statute. (July 16. 504,760 signatures)2) Molly Mungers California State Income Tax Increase to Support Education Initiative. (July 12. 504,760 signatures)3) Jerry Browns California Tax Increase Initiative. (June 18. 807,615 signatures)
(reminder!) What To Look For In a RaceAssuming an election race is competitive, what does one look for? What interesting things characterize a race?– Money– Expertise / Character– National / Local Trends– Endorsements– Something off-beat