Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.
Emily Hoeven at CalMatters:
Does anyone else feel like the outcomes of California’s Tuesday election were largely predictable?
It’s true that county elections officials still have to tally more than 4.8 million ballots, according to Thursday estimates. And it’s true that some state legislative and U.S. House races are still too close to call, and could remain that way for days or even weeks.
But at the state level, results were almost instantaneously set in stone. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s victory over Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle was so assured that the Associated Press called the race one minute after polls closed. And every Democratic incumbent running for statewide office easily sailed to victory.
The one exception: the race for controller, the only statewide office without an incumbent seeking reelection. Democrat Malia Cohen has declared victory, but Republican Lanhee Chen — who as of Thursday was trailing her by about six percentage points — hasn’t conceded.
But it was futile for Chen to think that he could become the first Republican to win statewide office in California in nearly two decades, especially without widespread name recognition or a massive campaign warchest, Democratic political consultant Bill Wong said at a Thursday post-election event hosted by the Sacramento Press Club.
Another massive headwind for Republican candidates: the reluctance of GOP voters to cast their votes by mail, which experts largely attribute to former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud and suppression. The California Republican Party has tried to counter this message, repeatedly telling residents this fall that mail voting is secure and urging them to vote early because it “benefits Republican candidates.”
- Wong: “It kills me because the Asian guy doesn’t know math. It’s like, 47% of the population is Democratic. Unless, you know, divine intervention is gonna occur, you’re not going to be able to do it.”
- Wong added: “He’s a great guy. He’s got a great profile. But you can’t communicate that when, the sad thing is, in a lot of ways demographics is your destiny.”
- Tim Rosales, a Republican political consultant and president and CEO of Rosales Johnson Agency: “As much as we want them to return ballots, as much as you want to make sure that you get those early votes, there is that belief out there amongst many that they don’t trust that their votes will be counted. Until we really get a credible national figure that will say something different, that will penetrate in the minds of Republican voters and flip that script again, I think we’re likely to see that same behavior continue in subsequent elections.”