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The internets are awash in premature postscripts about last night's "all-comers" primary in the California 36th district, a battle to replace longtime Democratic Rep. Jane Harman (who resigned earlier this year). With self-financing Republican businessman Craig Huey currently holding a 206-vote lead over Democratic Secretary of State Debra Bowen for the second and final spot in July's runoff election, there have been no less than two national stories in the "How Huey did it" vein.

First of all, Huey hasn't "done it." At least, not yet. To their credit, both Dave Catanese at Politico and Rachel Weiner at the Washington Post couched it in provisional terms. However, the fact remains that Bowen is still about 50/50 to move right back past Huey and create an all-Democratic runoff.

According to the county registrar's office, just shy of 10,000 votes remain to be counted. Most of these are late arriving vote-by-mail ballots, but a little over 1000 of them are either provisional ballots or damaged ballots. In last night's tabulation of the early absentee ballots, Bowen enjoyed a lead of around 3% over Huey. If that trend holds, it would put her back into the runoff. However, as local state Senator Ted Lieu pointed out via Twitter, if the late-breaking absentees behave as the walk-up vote on Tuesday did, then the likely impact would be an expansion of the Huey lead.

This was the first Congressional test of California's new all-party primary structure, created by the passage of Proposition 14. Under the previous structure, Bowen would certainly be relegated to the sidelines, as she stands nearly 2000 votes behind first-place finisher Janice Hahn in the balloting.

Given that most of the pundit class presumed a Hahn-Bowen runoff, it is instructive to understand what happened yesterday. Contrary to what seems to be the congealing conventional wisdom, it would be a bit ludicrous to call this the result of some kind of conservative resurgence in California. Catanese hints at this in his piece when he says:

It's too early to say conclusively, but even Democrats guess that the current political winds and economic strife motivated a few more conservative voters to turn out than usual.  "The numbers did suggest this as a possibility. I just figured Bowen would squeak it out," observed one Democrat involved in the race.

The numbers don't seem to support this hypothesis. Jerry Brown won the 36th district last year with 56% of the vote. Barbara Boxer won by an identical margin. The Democrats combined for 57% of the vote last night, to 41% for the GOP. If there is a "surge" lying within those numbers, it is an awfully marginal one.

So, what did happen? Three things seem to have been instrumental to putting a Republican on the precipice of making this runoff:

  • The Democratic side of the primary was a rugged affair: The Democrats, from the get-go, had a legitimate three-way race. The entrance of Marcy Winograd into the race was arguably the biggest blow of the campaign to Bowen, because it ensured that they would be competing for the same votes on the leftward wing of the Democratic primary electorate. While Winograd was a distant fourth place, she did log close to 10% of the vote. Bowen certainly would have received more of the Winograd vote than Hahn (who was seen as the more insiderish/establishment candidate on the Dem side). On top of that, Hahn and Bowen (presumably competing to be the top vote-getter, since that was the presumption) trained their fire on each other. This might have suppressed their votes by a point or two, which was just enough for Huey to sneak in at the wire.
  • The GOP side of the primary was anything BUT a rugged affair: Lost in the all the hullabaloo over Huey is the fact that the GOP primary field, once thought to be competitive, wound up being a cast of duds. In the final analysis, Craig Huey essentially had the field to himself. Neither of the other prominent conservatives in the mix (Hermosa Beach city councilman Kit Bobko or Redondo Beach city attorney Mike Webb) were able to raise much money, and the one guy that was able to raise even marginal cash (Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin) was far too moderate to inspire GOP base voters. Let's be blunt--a gay, married Republican who doesn't take an axe to the Obama health care bill when asked about it is not going to challenge a self-financing millionaire whose omnipresent yard signs contain the simple boilerplate: "Grow jobs. Spend less." Huey winds up taking more than half of the GOP votes, and with that, just enough votes to be in position to make the runoff.
  • Bowen's slow start: Alex Isenstadt over at Politico really nails one of the most under-reported reasons for yesterday's result:
    But there were also signs very early on that Hahn was prepared to run a much more energetic campaign that Bowen. Hahn declared her candidacy on the same day then-Democratic Rep. Jane Harman announced she was resigning, and within days Hahn was rolling out endorsements from top labor groups and influential California political players like Sen. Dianne Feinstein – backing that won her with early media attention.

    Bowen, in contrast, appeared hesitant.

    Speed kills. A lot of Bowen supporters decried the myriad of Hahn endorsements as insider back-scratching, while ignoring that Hahn also got some critical local endorsements from respected progressives, including an early one from the aforementioned Ted Lieu, who had just won the local state Senate seat overwhelmingly months earlier. Bowen, for her part, was conducting what amounted to an "online listening tour", asking supporters to contact her website and tell her whether or not she should run. That gave Hahn a substantial head-start in the campaign, and created a gap that Bowen, despite her enormous reservoir of goodwill in the district and her sterling reputation as the state's elections chief, could not close.

Of course, Bowen may well get a reprieve here as the absentees and provisional get counted. One would hope so. In all probability, a Hahn-Huey general election would be a fairly staid affair. Huey has a big checkbook, but the district's lean is evident, and Hahn would probably roll to a win by a margin similar to the 16-point edge the Democrats took last night. A Hahn-Bowen general election, on the other hand, would be first-class political junkie entertainment. The primary made clear that these two don't like each other very much, plus there are the added dynamics of what becomes of the Winograd vote. Furthermore, do Republicans stay home, or does one of the two Democrats try to find a unique appeal. It would be fascinating.

The DCCC, without question, hopes that they get that chance.



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Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  did Bowen run a bad campaign? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DCCyclone

    Just seems weird that a GOP candidate could place in the top 2 here

    •  Not weird at all (12+ / 0-)

      As the post said, it was a 57% Dem and 41% Republican breakdown, but the Dems basically broke 40-40-20, while Huey got more than half the GOP vote.

      The Dems outperformed Brown and Boxer, so this is very good news.  The onnlt reason there was any talk of Hahn vs Bowen being the top two was because the GOP was so fractured.  Bowen still might come in second, but overall a good night for Dems (even if I prefered Bowen... thanks Marcy), and a great night for top two.  We still might get a liberal vs progressive runoff.

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/13/21516/201/804/660248

      by tommypaine on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:32:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks Marcy, is right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea, msblucow

        What was she thinking?  As much as I like her, she had to know she had no chance to win, or come in second.  She played spoiler, and it probably hurt us.

        If Bowen can squeak into second she probably will win this thing.

        Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

        by Miss Blue on Thu May 19, 2011 at 08:26:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Marcy Ran Twice Before in Dem. Primary & (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Budlawman

          and won about 40% of the Democratic vote.  She had every right to run a third time, especially when neither Hahn nor Bowen had bothered to run for this seat before.  

          So don't dismiss her with a "Thanks Marcie" as if she's a Ralph Nader type interloper/spoiler.  She isn't.  Maybe Bowen should have tried to primary the disgusting Blue Dog Dem Jane Harmon, like Marcy did twice, instead of sitting on the sidelines until Harman retired.      

          Me, I'd be happy with either Winograd or Bowen as my Rep.  But Marcie has run for this seat twice already, against the seated Blue Dog Dem.  She's due a hell of a lot more than your dismissive "Thanks Marcie."    

          •  no (5+ / 0-)

            No one is saying she didn't have the right to run. Just that she could have easily read the tea leaves and realized she could not win this race. Had she decided to throw her weight behind Debra Bowen, we could have had a progressive in the seat. Because Marcy sat the race out, we will end up with Janice Hahn.
            Don't dismiss the Ralph Nader comparison. It is dead on in this scenario.

  •  is that true? (5+ / 0-)
    The DCCC, without question, hopes that they get that chance.
    I wonder if the DCCC would prefer a relatively easy Hahn win to an intra-Dem war.

    (Me? I want Bowen to be in Congress.)

    •  Yeah, I didn't buy Steve's last sentence either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Singiser
      The DCCC, without question, hopes that they get that chance.
      Wha?
      •  Did you misunderstand, maybe? (5+ / 0-)

        Steve is saying the DCCC prefers Bowen in the top 2, so it's an all-Dems runoff where no national resources need be wasted.

        Yes, of course that's what they want.

        Honestly the new CA system helps us.  At worst we end up with the same thing as before and as is normal almost everywhere else:  a Dem vs. GOP general election.  Only the most heavily Republican and unwinnable districts would end up with GOP vs. GOP runoffs.  And on occasion we get intraparty Dem runoffs where we don't have to sweat it or expend resources, as is the case here if Bowen eeks it out.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:47:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brae70, bythesea

          Steve S. clarified in a comment below.

          Even if Huey does wind up in the runoff after the counting is done, the situation is basically just what we would've had prior to the law changing last year: both major party winners advancing to the runoff. (though the minor parties are definitely getting screwed by the top-two).

    •  I Based That On Two Assumptions.... (8+ / 0-)

      1. They wouldn't have to commit a dime to a Hahn-Bowen general (indeed, they could stay the hell out of it).

      2. They WILL have to commit to a Hahn-Huey general, because Huey can always cut a check to match Hahn's fundraising (and then some--he beat her by about 100K in the primary).

      They might not like the optics of it, especially if it gets ugly, but they don't have to spend a dime, and they don't have to worry about either (a) winning narrowly, and giving the press a reason to write "resurgent Republican" crap, or...God forbid...(b) losing. Even if Hahn is a 98% chance of winning (and I'd say she is), I have to imagine they'd prefer a 100% chance of having a Dem.

      "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn"
      Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

      by Steve Singiser on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:44:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure who I would have voted for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tuba Les

      but I think there is a good case to be made that Bowen is better continuing her excellent work as Secretary of State rather than being one of the newest members of the minority party in the House.

  •  We'll start finding out Thursday at 1PM (7+ / 0-)

    From an LA Co. Registrar tweet:

    @mikebonin We will start running the addt'l ballots at 1 PM; results will be posted immediately following tabulation. #CA36 #CD36
    1 hour ago via web
    http://twitter.com/...

    Other tweets from them indicate they should finish up the count by Friday.
    BTW, Kudos to the Registrar's office for their great use of twitter. They've been very responsive!

  •  Thank you Steve (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue

    This is the best description I have read to date of what happened in this district last night. I chided Rachel Weiner for writing her piece and not even mentioning Marcy Winograd once. Truly, the election cannot be comprehended fully without understanding that dynamic of the race.

  •  interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    Last year the late mail vote favored Dems. CA Rep. Costa, WA Rep. Larsen, and CA AG Harris were all behind on election night, and ended up winning. Do any data exist on the 2010 party breakdown of early mail votes v. late mail votes v. walkup votes in the vote by mail states?

    As for Winograd's effect, what matters is whether Bowen would have gotten more of her vote than Huey would, not whether Bowen would have gotten more of her vote than Hahn would.

    SSP poster. 41, Dem-leaning Ind (-0.25, -3.90), CA-5

    by sacman701 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:38:29 PM PDT

    •  Sorry if I was unclear... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCCyclone, Miss Blue

      The reason I said that Bowen would get Winograd's votes, as opposed to Hahn, was to point out that Bowen would have vaulted into second. I don't think Huey would have received 2% of Winograd's votes, under any scenario. I was just trying to make clear that Winograd votes weren't displaced Hahn votes, keeping Huey in second and Bowen in third. That's all.

      As to your other question, the only state I know of offhand that explicitly delineates between VBM votes and election day votes is Texas.

      "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn"
      Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

      by Steve Singiser on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:46:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's also possible (0+ / 0-)

        That Winograd supporters might have stayed home, though, or voted for a lower Dem or another party.  Given the narrow margins involved, though, I do find your conclusion likely--just pointing out another possibility.

        25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

        by Xenocrypt on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:53:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DCCyclone, Adam B, Miss Blue

          But if even 200 out of Winograd's 5000 voters did show up and voted for Bowen, it would have changed the outcome.  That's only 4%. And given that Winograd's base is the very progressive activist wing of the party, it seems safe to assume that well more than 4% of her voters would have turned out had she not gotten into the race.

          •  basically (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adam B

            A handful of Winograd's votes might have gone for Huey (hardcore antiwar libertarians?) but it seems like Bowen would have been in the best position to pick them up. An absolute worst case for her might have been if out of those 5000 voters:

            2500 sit out
            1000 minor-Dem or minor-party protest votes
            700 Hahn
            600 Bowen
            200 Huey

            Bowen is still ahead of Huey.

            SSP poster. 41, Dem-leaning Ind (-0.25, -3.90), CA-5

            by sacman701 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:34:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Harris was ahead on election night (0+ / 0-)

      she was behind the next day because more ballots came in from OC and San Diego.

      21, male, RI-01 (voting)/IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:09:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Baby Huey will not get any of Hahn's votes /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DCCyclone

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:57:34 PM PDT

  •  Funny they are spinning Huey's 22% (12+ / 0-)

    as some kind of conservative victory.  This is not an inner-city, 90% Dem district.  We all would have expected a Republican to at least make the runoff, if not actually place 1st on the free-for-all given the divisions on the Dem side.  The reason we got used to the idea of a two-Dem runoff was because the GOP side was also supposedly divided, yet we were proven wrong when they coalesced heavily behind the big spending conservative, and the more moderate choices flamed out.

  •  In theory, this could happen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer

    the other way too. Just add enough credible Democrats to split the field, and then have just two Republicans. It's terrible to contemplate.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:10:44 PM PDT

    •  It can't happen in a blue district (0+ / 0-)

      It can and will happen in red districts.  But we don't care because we wouldn't win those under any system except a jungle-style one-shot, sans primary, as is the NV-02 special later this year.  But that's not California's system, as long as there's 2 rounds to the fight, we can't win the uber-red seats, just as the Goopers can't win the uber-blue ones.

      In purple districts, it can happen only extremely rarely, if ever.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:28:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It can happen in almost any district (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        icemilkcoffee

        It's just a matter of fractions. If the Rs have two small pieces of the pie, and the Ds have 20 tiny ones, the Rs move forward.

        It's not likely, but it's possible.

        Ok, so I read the polls.

        by andgarden on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:35:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely (9+ / 0-)

          Let's say, for instance, in NY-26, Jack Davis drops out, Kathy Hochul is drafted by the WNBA and Jane Corwin's secret porno past comes back to haunt her. Randomly, Andrew Cuomo calls for New York to immediately switch to a jungle primary system or else he'll raise everyone's taxes by 80 percent. At the same time, Nancy Pelosi and Michael Moore marry and decide to move to the 26th district. This frightens Republicans, who flee the district, turning it into a PVI of D+36. To the surprise of many, a ton of high-profile New Yorkers enter the congressional race, including Cuomo himself. Come election day, however, the results scare the paints off NY Democrats...

          Rudy Giuliani (R) - 20%
          George Pataki (R) - 19%
          Andrew Cuomo (D) - 15%
          Hillary Clinton (D) - 13%
          Mario Cuomo (D) - 10%
          Jimmy Carter (D) - 7%
          Jane Fonda (G) - 6%
          David Dinkins (D) - 4%
          Gloria Steinam (D) - 3%
          Mark Green (D) - 1%
          Jimmy McMillan (R2DH) - 1%

          The Giuliani-Pataki showdown sends Democrats fleeing from NYS, who flock to Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, making all of those states Safe D in future statewide elections. New York, however, becomes a more Republican state than Kansas. In 2014, Doug Hoffman defeats Gov. Cuomo by 91 to 9. Senators Betsy McCaughey and Carl Paladino win the hearts and minds of Republicans, who make up 87 percent of the state electorate.

          For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast

          by andyroo312 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:22:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If if and if (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nimh

          The problem with your scenario is that inherent in it requires a lot of extra assumptions no including the the highly unlikely one you're starting out with in order for two Rs to advance in a super blue district.

          1. It assumes that the two Republicans will have roughly equal support between themselves. It's certainly not out of the question, but it's not a given either.

          2. It assumes that the Democratic field is likely going to have a relatively even split amongst themselves. What I mean by this is that it almost requires the bottom 15 Democrats to average 1% of the vote between themselves and for there to be very little deviation among the top five Democrats.

          3. Elaborating on point 2 some more, let's assume an electoral break-down of 60% D and 40% R for our purposes. In a 20D vs 2R situation, the bottom 15 Democrats would probably have to get a combined 15% of the vote, and the next two Democrats up would have to get at least 10% of the vote combined, and the remaining three Democrats would have to have to have close to equal support among themselves.

          Basically, even if your implausible situation comes to pass, it's still a lot more likely than not that a Democrat advances to the run-off.

          Politics and more Handle name DGM on Swing State Project

          by NMLib on Thu May 19, 2011 at 12:02:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yup. Democrats better learn this lesson (0+ / 0-)

      quick. Dems are usually the stupidest people around when given the opportunity to shoot themselves in a circular firing squad.

      The game is very simple. Never ever have more than 2 dem candidates in the open primary.

  •  Debra Bowen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, Matt Z

    is starting a recount fund. I saw this on facebook. I think she is going to fight this, good for her.

    After counting 53,659 ballots into the wee hours last night, the top three candidates are within 3 percentage points. As it stands right now, we're only 207 votes away from making the runoff, and there are still 9,811 more ballots that need to be processed. The results couldn't be closer -- but I need your help to make sure our campaign can fight for every vote. Will you make a contribution today?

    Here is the link
    https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/bowenrecountfund?refcode=051811_fb

    Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9. Was hoosierdem on SSP, but that username was already taken here :(

    by drhoosierdem on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:31:19 PM PDT

  •  If (0+ / 0-)

    Bowen doesn't make it to the runoff what is next in her career? She is term limited in 2014. Also if she does make it to the runoff does she win?

    Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9. Was hoosierdem on SSP, but that username was already taken here :(

    by drhoosierdem on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:37:55 PM PDT

    •  The Redistricting Commission promises Yahtzee (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drhoosierdem, Matt Z

      for Congressional districts. Who knows what opportunities there may be next year?

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:45:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drhoosierdem, Matt Z

      I think she remains a strong statewide name if she doesn't make the runoff/win.  If Brown retires, she could run for LG, cool her heels for a term, if Newsom runs for G; or G if he doesn't.  Or run against Newsom--she obviously doesn't mind running in high-profile primaries, although she might want to be a bit more proactive then.  There's no Senate seat open in CA then, but if Boxer retires, she could run in 2016.  You don't have to continuously be in office to get nominated for a big job as long as you're a high-profile name in your state party--look at Dan Coats or George Allen.

      25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

      by Xenocrypt on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  2012? (0+ / 0-)

        Dianne Feinstein will be ending her term, and I have not seen her announce she is running again. My hope is she retires and Debra takes her place.

        I call it "the Breathing Syndrome." When Obama breathes in, they will criticize him for using air. When he exhales, they will complain about pollution. If he holds his breath, they will attack him for doing nothing.

        by Tuba Les on Thu May 19, 2011 at 11:23:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I suspect she gears back (0+ / 0-)

      by going for Controller or Treasurer.  Losing this makes her chances at the Senate much less (assuming she doesn't make the runoff).

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/13/21516/201/804/660248

      by tommypaine on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:06:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think Bowen gets in the runoff. (4+ / 0-)

    Debra got 5,448 vote-by-mail, and Huey got 4,650. There are 9,811 untallied votes, and 8,416 of those are vote-by-mail that hadn’t been received by election day. If those 8,416 go the way the mail-in count went, then Bowen would get 1,784 more votes, and Huey would get 1,522. Bowen picks up 262 more votes, enough to get her into the runoff.

    Far from demonstrating a Republican surge, the results show the opposite:

    Special elections are low-turnout, dominated by high-propensity voters who are substantially older and more conservative than the general election electorate. Not this time. Together, the Democratic candidates matched Jerry Brown's percentage in last fall's general election. And the two progressives, Winograd and Bowen, took a full 30%. Impressive.

    I posted about this over at downwithtyranny.com, if anyone's interested.

    •  Sort of but not right (0+ / 0-)

      This electorate likely was more conservative and older than a general election electorate.  THAT is what makes the Dem improvement more impressive.  If this had been a general electorate, them Dem share would have been even higher.

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/13/21516/201/804/660248

      by tommypaine on Thu May 19, 2011 at 12:55:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seems to turn the conventional wisdom on its head (0+ / 0-)

      Normally we assume that the absentee ballot voters are whiter and more conservative than the walk-on voters. I am surprised to hear it's the opposite here.

  •  Only Politico could spin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, Matt Z

    an election where voters almost (and may still have) elected not just one but TWO Democrats as a good sign for Republicans

    "Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labeled Utopian."

    by xcave on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:47:22 PM PDT

  •  Winograd's vote (13+ / 0-)

    I don't know where people are coming up with the idea of Winograd voters sitting out.  The supporters of Marcy are among the most active politically in the state and in the party. For the most part they like Bowen, the choice between the two being the better of two goods.  If Marcy had not run, Debra would have won handily.

    •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

      My sentiments exactly.  

      Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

      by Miss Blue on Thu May 19, 2011 at 08:34:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bowen Would Not Have Won (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruinKid
      If Marcy had not run, Debra would have won handily.

      But she very easily could have gotten the most votes and face Hahn in the runoff.

      I call it "the Breathing Syndrome." When Obama breathes in, they will criticize him for using air. When he exhales, they will complain about pollution. If he holds his breath, they will attack him for doing nothing.

      by Tuba Les on Thu May 19, 2011 at 09:05:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I assumed he meant something like (0+ / 0-)

        "Debra would have won the second runoff slot handily", rather than the Repub guy getting it.
        (Although there are still another 10K votes to count- so the final outcome is still uncertain)

    •  exactly. well said. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tiger in BlueDenver

      When Winograd ran previously, it was against an extremely wealthy and safe incumbent blue dog.
      And it takes a lot of activism to invest in a campaign like that.

      I dunno who'll get the Winograd supports if the runoff turns out to be Hahn v Bowen, but I don't see them not participating. It might be close to 50/50, and be a non-event.

  •  I voted against the Open Primary... both times (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chrisfs

    because I believed that it would empower incumbents and big-dollar candidates by forcing all candidates into a "do-or-die" primary with big upfront advertising costs.

    Party primaries give lesser-known candidates a chance to introduce themselves to half the voters first, and then time to expand their network of donors and volunteers before pitching themselves to the entire electorate.

    Hahn, I believe, had more of the "incumbent" advantage in CA-36. Huey is obviously the big-dollar candidate.

    One has to ask, how many Republicans crossed over to vote for Hahn? And how many Democrats crossed over to vote for Huey? My guess is that Hahn had the advantage.

    The OP is doing what it's authors intended, tilting the field in favor of safe corporate-friendly centrists.

    I'd sure like to see an analysis of how this election would have swung with instant runoff voting. Hahn might still have prevailed, but I'd bet that Bowen would have crushed Huey with second and third choice votes.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Thu May 19, 2011 at 08:47:19 AM PDT

  •  One of Bowen's votes is mine (0+ / 0-)

    I sure hope she wins. I mailed my ballot in, so my fingers are crossed. And this method of primary voting is ludicrous. Oh, California why did you vote for this method?

    It's not what you gather,but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

    by PrimaryColors on Thu May 19, 2011 at 08:58:51 AM PDT

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    Is CA's system like LA's? Had a candidate gotten 50%, would he/she have automatically won and there would have been no general election? Does the new CA system mean that, with all candidates running in the primary regardless of party, if one of them gets 50% or more, the electoin is over?

  •  50/50 political races (0+ / 0-)

    The correct way  to interpret so many races that are on a knife edge is to realize that the voters really don't want either one of the candidates.

    Not that they are voting for candidates.

    Legally putting a "None of the above" selection on ballots would solve a large number of problems for the voters.

    •  Huh? How do you arrive at that conclusion? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drobertson

      The "voters" is not a monolith. When you have 50/50 split result that just means there are equal number of supporters on either side. How on earth do you spin that to mean "the voters really don't want either one of the caandidates"?

    •  well (0+ / 0-)

      they have that in NV. it never gets more than a couple percent, but i agree it should be an option

      18, D, CA-14 (home) CA-09 (college next year). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. Put your age and CD here :) -.5.38, -3.23

      by jncca on Thu May 19, 2011 at 03:18:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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