Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall.
With the recall election less than two weeks away, the mail ballot returns so far show that more than twice as many Democrats have voted than Republicans and that liberal areas of the state such as the Bay Area have the highest rates of return, according to state officials and political data researchers.
The early numbers provide good news for Gov. Gavin Newsom. But they also show his weaknesses and what his campaign must do between now and election day on Sept. 14 — turn out young and Latino voters — key parts of the coalition he needs to stay in office but notoriously difficult populations to mobilize in nonpresidential elections.
These numbers represent a snapshot in time: Nearly 4.7 million Californians have cast ballots. The returns show that Democrats are turning out in high numbers — 2.5 million have cast ballots, compared with more than 1.1 million Republicans. Los Angeles County, the largest in the state, is lagging — 16.5% of voters have returned ballots, compared with rates in the high 20s in counties like Marin, San Francisco and Sonoma. Voters in the purple suburbs of cities like Los Angeles are also highly represented.
Polling showed that Democrats are less motivated to vote than Republicans but the healthy numbers show that Democrats “are not unenthusiastic,” said Robb Korinke, a principal with Grassroots Lab, a public affairs firm that conducts research on state and local governments. “They’re certainly not asleep.”