Search This Blog

Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

California GOP Woes: Trump and the Late Vote

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

At LAT, Phil Willon reports on a letter by five former California GOP political directors: Mike Madrid, Debbie McCall, Jimmy Camp, Jarryd Gonzales and Matt Robbins.
This election proved that choosing Nationalism over Conservatism is a losing proposition. President Trump’s nationalist rhetoric has alienated far more than the diverse electorate that turned out to oppose him on election night — Republicans abandoned Republicans in historic numbers as well,” the letter said. “It is our hope that you will publicly renounce the nationalism metastasizing in the party, advance the cause of conservatism and return the greatness to our Grand Old Party.”
Also at LAT, Michael Finnegan and Evan Menezes report on the long California election process, in which a month of counting follows a month of voting.   So if one is writing a paper on California elections, one should NOT rely on day-after news reports about results and turnout figures.  
The morning after the Nov. 6 congressional midterm election in California, state, county and media websites reported that 100% of precincts had turned in their results.
It was highly misleading: The final tally, released Friday, showed that a staggering 5.2 million of the 12.1 million ballots cast — 43% — remained uncounted that morning. Most of the outstanding votes were from mail ballots.
And the late vote is different from the early vote.
The numbers confirmed a long-standing pattern that can also feed Republican suspicions of wrongdoing: The votes counted last skew Democratic, just as the votes counted first disproportionately favor Republicans. Campaigns track these patterns closely so they can time their mail to various voter groups.
“It’s rather disingenuous for a campaign to say before the election, I’m going to target these people early and these people late because I know their histories, and then after the election say, ‘Oh my God there’s some conspiracy,’ ” said Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data, a firm that specializes in California elections.
In the 44 House races pitting a Republican against a Democrat, the GOP candidate dropped an average of 2.6 percentage points as ballots were counted in the weeks after election day.