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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, December 17, 2018

CA Republican Woes Get Even Worse

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.   California is an important part of the story.

Carla Marinucci at Politico:
IT’S OFFICIAL: The 2018 election was one for the record books. The secretary of state’s office has certified the midterm vote; the 12.7 million votes cast were a record for a gubernatorial general election, and the 64.5 percent of voters who cast ballots marshaled the best gubernatorial general turnout total since 1982.

-- How big was the Democratic whomping (technical term)? Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom finished with a landslide 61.9 percent of the vote — eclipsing Republican John Cox by a nearly-3 million-vote margin — and he carried Orange County, home of the “Reagan Revolution,” by 3,096 votes.

-- Among the newly elected House Dems, environmental activist Mike Levin had the most decisive victory as he outpolled Republican Diane Harkey by more than 37,000 votes in the race for the former Darrell Issa seat.

-- On the statewides: state Controller Betty Yee was the top vote-getter with more than 8 million, followed by Secretary of State Alex Padilla (7.9 million), state Treasurer-elect Fiona Ma (7.8 million) and Attorney General Xavier Becerra (7.79 million), Newsom (7.72 million), and state Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Tony Thurmond (5.3 million).
John Myers at LAT:
From January to late summer every year, the California Legislature is a perpetual motion machine. And in the new year, the people most likely to struggle in keeping up will be Republicans, vastly outnumbered but still responsible for representing millions of the state’s residents.

There are 22 standing committees in the state Senate, plus at least a dozen more subcommittees or special committees. And after November’s election, only 11 Republican senators will be left to divvy up the work.
...
Nor will things be much easier in the Assembly, home to 32 standing committees and just 20 Republicans. And through those panels are funneled an enormous amount of legislation — more than 4,600 bills in the two-year session that ended in August.
Mark Z. Barabak at LAT:
One notable exception was government at the local level, where as recently as five years ago Republicans held close to half the state’s 2,500 mayoral and city council seats, despite the sizable and growing Democratic advantage in voter registration.
 After November’s election, Democrats will hold 49% of all seats in local government, Republicans 38% and unaffiliated lawmakers — those stating no party preference — 11%, according to figures compiled by GrassrootsLab, a nonpartisan Sacramento research and data firm. The remainder of seats will be held by members of third parties or local lawmakers whose political affiliation could not be determined.
The party's poor showing among Asian Americans is one problem.  Trump just made it worse.  Jeremy B. White at Politico:
Anti-Trump sentiment helped Democrats topple every Republican House member in Orange County last month in the storied California conservative stronghold.
Now, a Trump administration push to deport Vietnamese nationals is compounding the party’s problems, possibly cementing the loss of a coastal county that had long been the epicenter of Republican power in California.

As state Republicans try to chart a path out of electoral oblivion, several of them expressed incredulity that Donald Trump would follow the election thrashing by antagonizing one of the few minority groups that has consistently voted for GOP candidates.
“Trump shovels more dirt on California Republicans’ grave...” Republican Assemblyman and former leader Chad Mayes tweeted in response to reports that the administration would revive its efforts to deport Vietnamese people who arrived in America before 1995.
A substantial number of those Vietnamese people, many of them war refugees, settled in Orange County, and a shared aversion to communism forged an enduring bond with the Republican Party — much as it did with Cuban refugees from the Castro regime.
While there are signs that younger Vietnamese-Americans have veered sharply to the left of their elders, there are still more registered Republicans than Democrats among Orange County’s roughly 100,000 voters of Vietnamese descent, according to Political Data Inc., a voter data firm used by both Republicans and Democrats in California.
A wave of deportations — or even pervasive rumors linking that fear to Trump — could erode that support, state Republicans said, with lasting consequences.
Dan Morain at CALMatters:
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quietly given up her Republican registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, saying Thursday she had become increasingly uncomfortable with the GOP’s direction nationally and in the state.

In a phone interview with CALmatters, Cantil-Sakauye—who was a prosecutor before becoming a judge 28 years ago and California Supreme Court chief justice in 2011—said she made the final decision to change her registration after watching the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“You can draw your own conclusions,” she said.