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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CA 2018

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential raceThe forthcoming update will include a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  California is an important part of the story.

Paul Mitchell at Capitol Weekly:
—Turnout was high, but not presidential level high. At 65%, the electorate was about 10 points higher than we have seen in recent similar gubernatorial elections, but still about 12 points lower than what we expect to see in 2020.
—The partisanship of the electorate was a key factor in the outcomes. It will surprise many that despite higher raw Democratic votes, the Democratic share of the votes cast was the same as it has been in similar elections going back to 2002. What changed significantly was a spike in non-partisan voting to a record high, and a drop in the Republican share of the votes cast to a record low.
–The electorate was significantly more Latino than we have seen in similar elections. In raw numbers, Latinos exceeded many expectations. Over 2.6 million Latinos voted, more than double the 1.1 million that voted in 2014, and among Latinos aged 18-34, there was a 400% increase, from 214,000 in 2014 to 838,000 in 2018. All that said, Latinos were still under-performing relative to their rate of registration. Statewide, 21% of votes cast came from Latinos, compared to the 26% share of the voter file that was Latino.
–-Age was a significant factor. Turnout by voters aged 18-24 grew 30 points, from 16% in 2014 to 46% in 2018. Among those 25-34, it grew by 33-points, from 17% to 50%. The raw numbers are staggering: In 2014, only 282,000 voters aged 18-24 voted, while in 2018 it was 948,000 – more than tripling the total votes by this traditionally low-turnout population.
John Wildermuth at SF Chronicle:
The blue wave that drowned California Republicans in the November election had a distinctly greenish tinge.

Six of the seven Democrats who flipped GOP-held House seats out-raised their Republican opponents, some by an order of 3 to 1, newly released federal campaign finance reports show. Long-entrenched Republican incumbents and first-time office-seekers alike were confronted by Democratic challengers with unusually large cash advantages, fueled by a party base eager to knock President Trump’s allies out of Congress.

And that doesn’t even count the tens of millions of dollars independent expenditure groups pumped into those Democratic races. According to figures assembled by Open Secrets, a nonpartisan campaign finance website, outside groups spent more than $41 million on Democratic campaigns for those seven seats — about $3 million more than comparable groups raised for Republicans.