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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Donnelly Disaster?

At Fox and Hounds, Tony Quinn speculates on what happens if Tim Donnelly emerges from the top-two primary as California Governor Jerry Brown's opponent:
First, it is important to consider that Donnelly has no money and will raise no money. He burst onto the scene as a member of the Minutemen, a band of vigilantes who ride around the border threatening immigrants. Donnelly is a self admitted gun fanatic in a state highly suspicious of unregulated firearms. And Jerry Brown starts with $20 million in the bank to which will be added millions more from Democratic activists and labor unions.

Those millions will flow once Democrats figure out, as they will, that a Donnelly candidacy gives them the chance for an historic landslide that will create a super-super majority in the legislature of more than 60 Assembly members and more than 30 Senators. This will open the door for long sought progressive causes such as much higher taxes on business and the wealthy, getting rid of Proposition 13, and extending Obamacare to undocumented aliens.

Criminal conduct by politicians will be a major issue this election cycle; the media will see to that. Having a Republican candidate for governor with criminal convictions will send the business establishment scurrying to Gov. Brown while suburban Republican voters flee the ticket in droves.

Elections are about turnout. An embarrassing Donnelly candidacy will keep Republicans home in November but with a GOP candidate out of the Minuteman anti-Latino posse, it can be assumed Latino turnout will be massive. People do vote their fears, and Latino turnout has been much higher the past two cycles than Republicans expected. Along with Asians, they are now straight ticket Democratic voters. So a good estimate is that Brown will win re-election with 75 to 80 percent of the two party vote in November.

And that is the key to a massive Democratic landslide. The lesson of recent elections that there are no longer swing voters in California, ticket splitters are as rare as Dodo birds. Republicans thought they had some winners in the legislative and congressional races for competitive seats in 2012, but Gov. Romney failed to carry these districts, and the GOP candidates below him on the ballot did little better than he did. The top of the ticker dragged down everyone underneath, and all the competitive Republicans lost.