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Tuesday marks a new era in Golden State politics

When California reverted back to a June primary this year, it was a qualified risk. After all, it made it a near-certainty that the Golden State, and its 15 million voters, would in all probability be irrelevant to the presidential sweepstakes.

However, due to a change in state electoral procedure precipitated by a 2010 voter initiative, California will still manage to get a lot of attention on Tuesday night, as its "top two" open primary takes place for the first time.

Until this year, voters in California participated in what was best defined as a "modified closed" primary structure. Simply put, if you registered with a partisan identification, you were locked in to participate only in the primary elections for the party to which you belonged. The only people with freedom of choice, as it happened, were the roughly one in five California voters who declined to state affiliation with a party. Those folks were allowed to choose in which primary they wanted to take part.

Now, outside of the presidential ballot (a previous open primary law in the late 1990s ran afoul in court over presidential selection procedures), everyone gets the same ballot. For every other electoral contest, all candidates (regardless of party) will appear on one ballot. The two candidates receiving the most votes, regardless of partisan affiliation, then move on to the general election in November.

California is not the pioneer of this particular concept—Washington already has this structure in place. But, with 12 percent of the House up for grabs, the Golden State is going to naturally get a lot of attention.

That attention is surely merited, especially when one realizes that this new system of primary elections is coupled with another critical sea change in California politics prompted by voter initiative—the commission-based redistricting of the California electoral map. The net result is a series of maps across the board where incumbency and classic political calculations were seemingly tossed out the window.

The net result is that a state that had fewer competitive races than Iowa over the past decade suddenly has more than a dozen legitimately competitive races for November on tap in the House and even more downballot in the state legislature. California, without question, is going to matter a great deal in November

Before that, however, in-state political observers are keenly interested in how this new primary election structure will impact California politics. There are three questions, in particular, that will all get answered by this time Wednesday:

1. Will the new system embolden Independent candidates, or kill them off?

Little in this new electoral structure has been more hotly debated than how candidates outside of the Democratic/Republican two-party framework will fare in this new system.

We'll know for certain when the results roll in, but here is an early, educated guess. There will be fewer of them in the mix come November, but there will be an increased chance that they can actually find themselves in elected office after November.

For an object example, let us look at CA-26, which is centered in Ventura County. On paper, the district is a swing district, with perhaps a modest lean favoring the Democrats. The three leading candidates on Tuesday's ballot are Republican state senator Tony Strickland, Democratic state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, and Republican County Commissioner Linda Parks.

But Parks is not running as a Republican. She is running as an Independent, working double time to emphasize that she is running to be a bridge between the two parties.

Whether that stance is the product of legitimate conversion, or political calculation, is an open question. There is no question that Parks is less conservative than Strickland, and that might actually have played into the political calculation. To put it bluntly, there is no way in Hell that Parks could have made the top two as a Republican. But she has an outside shot at doing so as an Independent.

A similar calculation was made by state assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in San Diego, where he is running for Mayor, and also by Chad Condit, the son of former conservaDem Central Valley Rep. Gary Condit. Condit is seeking a spot on the November ballot in the Valley's 10th district, where he appears likely to miss the cut behind incumbent Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and astronaut (and star DCCC recruit) Jose Hernandez.

If one of these three makes the cutoff, then perhaps this shows a path to relevance for candidates outside of the two-party "monopoly." If all three fall by the wayside, then it would seem that complaints that the new system emboldens the two existing parties have at least some merit, since the relevance of third-party candidates would end in June, denying them the chance to remain relevant into November, even in a spoiler role.

2. Will June be a predictor for November in key races?

It is very telling that Republican Abel Maldonado, who is challenging veteran Democratic Rep. Lois Capps in CA-24 along the state's central coast, has already spent over a million dollars in his congressional bid. It is equally telling that Capps has already spent over $900,000. Because of the "open" nature of the primary, these elections can serve a purpose of acting as a bellwether for which races will be competitive come the Fall.

It is not a perfect method, of course: primary turnout will be a fraction of the turnout in November, which would make it logical to assume that Republicans should do better in June than they will do in November, given that more casual voters tend to lean left.

However, the heavy spending in that race, and others (the CA-07 rematch between Republican Rep. Dan Lungren and Democrat Ami Bera immediately comes to mind), tells us that a lot of candidates are running a very different campaign in this primary cycle than we might expect in a typical primary, where leading candidates tend to stay dormant and hoard their resources for the stretch run.

3. Will this new system inadvertently screw Democrats?

With money being so critical to electoral success, one of the unintended consequences of this new structure of elections may well be to dry up resources for some Democrats, simply because candidates having to rerun primaries in November will siphon up monies that might otherwise go to other Democrats who are going heads-up against Republican opponents.

The golden case in point here could well be the huge incumbent-on-incumbent showdown in LA's San Fernando Valley. Yes, I am referring to the Shberman Showdown, as veteran Congressmen Howard Berman and Brad Sherman compete in CA-30.

Here is a quite likely scenario to consider: Berman and Sherman, in this overwhelmingly Democratic district, could quite possibly emerge from Tuesday night as the two leading candidates out of the 30th district. If that happens, then the two of them would face each other again in a November rematch.

To date, the two men have already spent (gulp!) north of $5.5 million in their bid to stay in office. Democrats have to shudder to think how much more these two men will be able to raise in the five months to follow, should they both make the cut on Tuesday night.

A similar, though slightly cheaper, scenario is liable to take place down the road in south Los Angeles County, where incumbents Janice Hahn and Laura Richardson are squaring off in CA-44. They've spent $2.3 million between the two of them (with Hahn crushing Richardson 6-to-1), and they are virtually certain to be the top two.

There is unlikely to be a comparable case for the GOP in California. There is an outside chance that the open seat in the High Desert region of California (CA-08) could yield two Republicans transferring to the general, but that is a comparably lightly funded affair. The top two spenders thus far in the 8th have spent a mere $570K in comparison. Plus, there are so many Republicans vying for this seat that one of the two Democrats in the field seems a pretty safe bet to make it to November.

Next Sunday, we will revisit California and see how the first open primary in the Golden State in over a decade played out. One thing already seems certain: even after the incredible excitement of the Wisconsin recall elections, to say nothing of the five other primaries on deck Tuesday night, California is going to give political junkies a bunch of reasons to stay up really late on Tuesday night.

As you'd expect, the crew here at Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections will be all over it on Tuesday night. We certainly hope you'll be here with us as the biggest election night (other than that one in November, of course) plays out.

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Comment Preferences

  •  California is so ripe for a Tea Party takeover.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, fcvaguy, enhydra lutris

    waiting.

    •  Nah (10+ / 0-)

      They don't call it the "left coast" for nothing -_-

      - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

      by r2did2 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 06:26:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree. The state is pretty schizoid between the (14+ / 0-)

      liberal urban coast and the red inland rural counties. But the demographics favor Democrats.

      Unfortunately, the 'Pubs have used their money advantage to buy extraordinary powers through the voter initiative system. Any millionaire can pay signature gatherers to put measures on the ballot to jigger with insurance regulations. Churches band together to ban ban gay marriage and Texas oil companies can try to overturn the State's pioneering greenhouse gas legislation (that one failed).

      California 'Pubs have a stranglehold on tax increases, which require a 2/3 majority in both houses. Before 2010, it took a 2/3 majority just to pass a budget. This allowed a Republican "Politburo" in Sacramento raise legislative hostage-taking to a new level. The Dems could pass good legislation on a majority vote... but they couldn't fund anything that wasn't revenue-neutral.

      In 2010, "we the people" voted to return the budget to simple majority control, but in the same election we voted to extend the 2/3 rule to include state fees and fines! Did I say schizoid?

      There's a powerful Anti-Tax Jihad Lobby operating here that has 'Pub candidate completely cowed, and most of the Dems running scared at election time.

      A lot of white Southerners settled here after WWII and plenty of native Anglos who hate/fear Hispanics from way back... so California Republicans can play racial politics here just like anywhere else. Ronald Reagan rode white opposition to Pat Brown's fair housing initiatives right into the governor's mansion.

      Governor Jerry Brown is a Democrat and a liberal... but he is highly constrained in what he can accomplish. I pray to God that the Dems break the 2/3 threshold in the legislature this year, and start taxing oil companies the way Texas and Alaska do.

      We have more to fear from millionaire-politicians like Darryl Issa than from California's TeaPuppets.

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

      by jjohnjj on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 07:09:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And far more to fear from the billionaire (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, Pescadero Bill

        agri-businesses in the valley. See - Peripherial Canal. It's back. The rich repubs here are buying the government at the national level. Hence HR1837 seeking to overturn CA water law at the federal level. And Dianne Feinstein is completely in bed with them. When you have Republicans throwing fundraisers for Dianne - you know we have a problem. These events will bring to three the number of major fundraisers prominent Valley Republicans have hosted and attended this year for Feinstein.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:21:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I feel like I woke up and it's the '70s again (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrsgoo, raines

          We toured the San Francisco Bay model in Sausalito recently. It sounds quaint, but it covers around 2 acres in scale, and has a tidal cycle every 30 minutes. We were there an hour and a half and got a guided tour; I probably could have stayed another hour. :-)

          It's a great place to learn about the hydrology of the bay and harebrained water engineering ideas throughout California history. :-)

          http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/...

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 09:53:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  DH has seen it. I have not. It is on my list. Of (0+ / 0-)

            course, living on Sherman Island, I have a pretty good idea of how the Delta works. And I have a really good idea about how it will be destroyed if we divert 9-15K CFS in a tunnel around it!!

            if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

            by mrsgoo on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 10:41:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Uh, no (0+ / 0-)

      Barack Obama for President '08

      by v2aggie2 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 11:19:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's right.. (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats are only a couple seats away from holding a super majority, which is actually required to pass any revenue increases.  

      It looks like a prime candidate for a tea party takeover!

      /rolleyes

  •  I had a brief WTF moment (5+ / 0-)

    ..when I saw Orly Taitz on my Democratic  absentee voter primary ballot.

    I'm more interested in the differences that the re-jiggered, re-gerrymandering of districts will make than the top-two open primary will.

    At least my long-term smarmy incumbent congressman is in for a real fight this go-round.

    Odds are -- He'll have to go begging, hat in hand, for more even corporate money than usual.

    He can thank his lucky stars for the "captured" Roberts Court and the Citizens United "decision."

    When The US tries to export our form of "democracy" and they laugh and say "no thanks" - Something's wrong

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 06:23:14 PM PDT

  •  In CA-30 (6+ / 0-)

    most of the mailers before last week were from Berman, including one with a very cheap 'potholder' in the envelope. I'm getting more mailers from Sherman now. Most of the signs I'm seeing are from Singh and Shelley, both Rs (and neither one has the party label on their signs).
    Also I'm seeing signs for a different district, but I don't know which one (it's not one I'm in), for Patricia McKeon.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 06:24:24 PM PDT

    •  Patricia McKeon is the wife of House member (4+ / 0-)

      Buck McKeon, and they live in Santa Clarita.

      The Berman/Sherman thing seems like such a waste of energy and ego. They're both good guys, only one can win, seems like there are better walls to whack your head against.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 07:14:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno (3+ / 0-)

        The Daily Birdcage-Liner News and the Times both endorsed Berman, which makes me think that Sherman is probably a better candidate. (The DN said that Berman crosses the aisle more often and summed him up as a nice guy. Do. Not. Want.)

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:57:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think Sherman is better (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Senor Unoball

            You could click on my name to find my diary about the Congressman, Schmongressman race. I wrote it in January but the shape of the race was becoming clear even then. The biggest differences are that Berman was more gung ho for Bush's Iraq war than Sherman and also Berman is a "free trade" supporter (supporting every trade deal since NAFTA) while Sherman opposes those deals.

              I almost wonder if deep down Berman wants to lose; his TV commercials are laughably bad and most of his mailers are just about who endorses him. Berman should have just retired instead of wasting all that money. Nice potholder, though...

          Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 53, new CA-30

          by Zack from the SFV on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 10:05:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm quite biased... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, Senor Unoball

          in that the last two presidents of Bruin Democrats now both work for Sherman.  Plus, this remains one of the funniest videos I have ever seen.

      •  Mrs. McKeon is running for Assembly (0+ / 0-)

           using her husband's fundraising connections. There is at least one other well-funded GOP candidate in that race, Scott Wilk, who I believe was a former staffer to McKeon. That race in AD-38 may go to a two GOP runoff, though there is a good Some Dude Democratic candidate, Edward Headington, who hopes to squeak into the runoff by avoiding the nuclear fallout from the Greedy Old Party heavyweights.

        Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 53, new CA-30

        by Zack from the SFV on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 09:58:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I so worry about California (6+ / 0-)

    California is one huge state.  If I'm not mistaken, it's bigger in almost every way than Greece...and I think that includes its fiscal problems (well, maybe not, but close I'm sure).  

    Jerry Brown, the guv, a democrat, is doing all the austerity stuff and even going after taxes to boot but looks like most of that stuff isn't doing much.  They've got problems in California most other states don't have...at least not yet.  So, it's worth keeping a watchful eye on what they do and how things work out there for sure.

    Right now, the state is a mess.  

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 06:24:33 PM PDT

    •  It's not really that bad (9+ / 0-)

      We are a much larger economy than Greece, and we also have far more resources - natural, human, and economic.

      The Facebook IPO will be a substantial windfall to the state.

      Honestly, I'd rather have our finances than Texas' finances, which are on the whole worse, just smaller in scope.

      We can't default - we are obligated to pay bond debt first and we have more than enough revenue to pay it.

      That said, there are many individuals hurting, and the real risk to us is say 20 years out when failures to invest in our education system might bite hard if we don't reverse course pretty quickly.

      Brown is doing about as well as anyone can do with the tools at his disposal. He needs either a vote of the people or 2/3 in the legislature to raise revenue, and Democrats are 5 votes shy of 2/3. There are two ballot measures to raise revenue in November. We'll see what the voters decide to do.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 07:18:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Butterfield has a chance in the 35th (12+ / 0-)

    He will make it on Tuesday and go on to beat Rod Wright in November.

    One man against the odds

    Phone banking with Paul today;

    Phone Banking

    It looks good!

    We'll celebrate in NN!

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 06:33:47 PM PDT

  •  Nathan Fletcher is Pete Wilson's choice (8+ / 0-)

    for San Diego mayor and has rounded up the most money from the downtown boys who have long controlled the local media, been the most consistent bundlers to the most anti-public candidates from both parties and who consistently rape the commons (general fund monies and public land) for their own profit.  

    The republican DeMaio has strong support from the most likely voters - those who work in the field of technology (Motorola, Qualcomm, Cymer, Sony, etc).  Many of these were Obama voters who like the bravado of DeMaio as an anti-government outsider who only on close inspection really has the same agenda as the 'anointed one' (Fletcher) - who the power brokers look to become the next generation Pete Wilson.  DeMaio has focused his campaign on potholes and away from the giveaways - particularly the entire downtown waterfront that sits on public tidelands. Current plans for the  downtown tidelands are for a wall of hotels where nearly all tax and lease revenues generated would be funneled to further privatize public assets.

    So many well-to-do democratic Obama donors such as Irwin Jacobs of Qualcomm line up in support of Nathan Fletcher instead of one of the best democrats San Diego has ever produced - current congressman and mayoral candidate Bob Filner.   Filner makes many monied democrats nervous because of his track record of actually serving the needs of the people.

    Were Filner not to make it past the primary, it will be a dark day in the history of a city which today has more democratic voters than republican.  

  •  Top Two pioneer? (5+ / 0-)

    "California is not the pioneer of this particular concept—Washington already has this structure in place."

    The true pioneer of top-two primaries was Louisiana: "Since 1977 state elections in Louisiana have used a jungle primary system, which in Louisiana has become known as "open" primary, where all the candidates for an office run together in one election. If someone gets a majority, that individual wins outright; otherwise, the top two candidates, irrespective of partisan affiliation, meet in a runoff election." -- wikipedia

    Top Two advocates in California were very careful NOT to mention Louisiana when promoting their latest gimmick. Generally, they (eg, the San Francisco Chronicle) are happy to push any solution to California's political gridlock that does not involve confronting the actual causes of Republican extremism and a braindead state constitution (though we must make an exception for instant runoff voting, against which the Chron has sworn a vendetta for some reason).

    •  "Vote for the crook, it's important" (7+ / 0-)

      In 1991, in Louisiana, Buddy Roemer, a Republican who was running for a second term as Governor of Louisiana, found himself with two serious opponents: Eddie Edwards, a three-term former governor tainted by political corruption running as a Democrat, and David Duke, a white supremacist with ties to the KKK and Neo-Nazi organizations running as a Republican. As a result of the "jungle primary", as the top-two system is known as in Louisiana, Edwards and Duke received enough votes to keep Roemer to making the top two. Edwards won the runoff with 61% of the vote, where at least one bumper sticker read "vote for the crook, it's important", referencing Edwards's corruption and Duke's extremism.

    •  Let's remember where the CA top 2 came from (8+ / 0-)

      It going on the ballot was one state legislature Republican's price for voting for the budget.

      Which was only because they needed a 2/3 vote to get a budget passed.

      Now it's majority in the budget but still 2/3 on taxes and fees.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 07:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball
      we must make an exception for instant runoff voting, against which the Chron has sworn a vendetta for some reason).
      Cause rankest choice sucks.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:24:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  It is intentionally anti-democratic and for (0+ / 0-)

          absolutely no valid reason.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:54:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Err ... why? (0+ / 0-)

            How is it "intentionally anti-democratic"?

            •  In an actual runoff every eleigble voter is (0+ / 0-)

              allowed to vote for the candidate of their choice, and the victor actually garners the majority of the votes cast. In a rankest choice election, the "one person - one vote principle is intentionally violated. Either some are given multiple votes in "THE election" or certain voters are not permitted to vote in the phantom deemed "runoff". The process is structured so as to try to ensure that the most out-of-touch voters make the final decision and ensure the rankest choice selection.

              In a real election with candidates 'a' through 'h', some might prefer 'b' but vote for 'a' thinking that 'a' has the best chance of beating 'e'. Also, some who prefer 'b' might vote for 'c' thinking that 'c' has the best chance of beating 'e'. If in that election, it comes down to a runoff between 'b' & 'c', some of those voting for 'c' as against the threat of 'e' can change their vote and vote for 'b'. Those voting for 'a' can vote for their choice of 'b' or 'c'.

              In rankest choice, given the above pattern, those voting for 'c' would not be allowed to change their vote.  Those voting for 'a' might or might not get to vote again between 'b' and 'c', depending upon how out of it and unrepresentative of the views of the community candidate 'a' was.

              Once the front runners are determined, the elections board looks to see who is the absolute rankest choice, the most out-of-touch and unrepresentative whackdoodle, and only those wildly out-of-touch voters who voted for that candidate are given another vote (their second/third/whatever vote is counted).

              This is recursive.

              If there aren't enough votes for the absolute rankest choice to swing the election result, the next rankest choice (the rankest choice after allocating the second votes of those voting for the original ultimate rankest choice) is determined. Those and only those sufficiently ot-of-touch as to vote for that candidate are given another vote (have their second/third/whatever vote counted).

              The process continues, always counting the additional votes of only those voting for the remaining rankest choice until some front runner wins. Meanwhile, those voting for more mainstream losers do not get their second choices counted, let alone their third or however many the folly extends to.

              The final winner in all but the simplest cases does not garner the majority of the votes case in any meaningful sense.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:46:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think I see what you mean ... (0+ / 0-)

                You seem to be prejudging those who vote for the early-eliminated candidates ("whackdoodles").

                We certainly have some very minor candidates here in San Francisco who, for example, get a few dozen or a few hundred votes. And of course their voters choices are indeed then redistributed to higher-ranking candidates.

                You seem to actually want some kind of vetting procedure to prevent minor candidates (forcing those who might support them to vote for more mainstream candidates or stay home).

                However, you're rather dismissive of most candidates. Aside from the truly eccentric, we typically have candidates who represent minority interests and points of view which might not otherwise be heard--in many parts of the US that would be people on DKos, for example, who would be "whackdoodles" in, say, rural Missouri.

                I like IRV because it facilitates meaningful campaigns by those with minority opinions while bringing them into some kind of relationship to the mainstream (ie, if they want to be relevant rather than just let of steam, they need to think about alliances and what other candidates/views they can accept or ally with). The truly eccentric remain pretty much irrelevant, in my experience.

                Also important--and why the Chron hates IRV--is that the runoff electorate is virtually always a much smaller, more conservative one.

                •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                  You seem to actually want some kind of vetting procedure to prevent minor candidates (forcing those who might support them to vote for more mainstream candidates or stay home).
                  No, what I want is real democratic elections folowing the "one person-one vote" principle that was the war cry of the civil rights movement. Everybody gets to vote once and only once in every election, including runoff elections.

                  I don't know whether or not to believe your assertion about the Chron because you seem to be supporting "the end justifies the means" with respect toelections, so why not with respect to other matters. It is OK if some are disenfranchised in the "runoff" and if others get multiple votes, just so long as your desires as to giving fringe/marginal voices are met, democracy be damned.

                  FWIW: the idea of representative democracy is that the person that the majority think most clarly represents and will repreent their ideas iw selected. I used "whackdoodle" as a measure of total distance away from that majoritarian pole, no more and no less. Somebody getting 12 votes is clearly not somebody that any significant fraction believe to represent them and their ideas, hence "whackdoodle". Once those 12 voters get their second votes, then we get the person with 20 votes (including 6 of the votes pushed up from the first whackdoodle. At that point in the process, then, that person is whackdoodle, still dragging in no significant shre of the votes even after letting some folks vote twice, etc.

                  That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                  by enhydra lutris on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 02:27:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I certainly support one person, one vote (0+ / 0-)

                    and do not find IRV violates that commitment--and my political work goes back to the civil rights movement.

                    Does IRV grant multiple votes to anyone (whackdoodles or not)? No. If your candidate is disqualified, your vote is thrown out. This argument has been officially ruled on, in Stephenson v. Ann Arbor Board of City Canvassers:

                    "Under the 'M.P.V. System', however, no one person or voter has more than one effective vote for one office. No voter's vote can be counted more than once for the same candidate. In the final analysis, no voter is given greater weight in his or her vote over the vote of another voter, although to understand this does require a conceptual understanding of how the effect of a 'M.P.V. System' is like that of a run-off election. The form of majority preferential voting employed in the City of Ann Arbor's election of its Mayor does not violate the one-man, one-vote mandate nor does it deprive anyone of equal protection rights under the Michigan or United States Constitutions."
                    I do support the idea of majoritarian rule (and not everyone on DKos does, to my surprise). That is, I believe that most political questions should be decided by simple majorities (ie, NOT supermajorities). The exceptions should be those issues involving defining the "rules of the road," for which you would want broad support--amending a constitution, for example, or nominations of judges to a supreme court. In California, we have it the other way round--you can amend the state constitution with a simply majority, but it requires a supermajority to raise, eg the sales tax, by half a cent.

                    IRV is I believe consistent with this belief, in helping ensure that the winning candidate is the one the majority of voters are willing to settle on.

                    •  The court's argument is enormously fallacious. (0+ / 0-)

                      Joe votes for the Klan dude, but that dude fails, so joe votes again, by way of having his second vote counted, for the Nazi, then the libertoon, then the GOP dude and finally his vote sticks. Mary votes for one of the more mainstream candidates, and hence only gets to vote once, she cannot change to one of the other mainstream candidates in order to put them over the top before Joe votes their opponent in with his 3rd or sixth or whatever vote.

                      Legal niceties don't always match reality. Some people get multiple votes and some do not. Calling it "like a runoff election" is a complete lie becasue it is not. If it were, Mary too would get an additional shot at voting. Only a portion of the electorate gets to vote in the runoff if you call it a runoff, thereby eliminating one-person-one-vote.

                      IRV violates majoritarian principles. If I vote for Mary to keep Sam from winning, and the election comes down to Mary versus Susan, who is more representative of my views, I should be allowed to switch over, or nobody else should get to change their vote either, if their candidate lost, too damn bad. You cannot have it both ways, such that  Susan, who might well win outright if some of those who voted for Mary and wished to change their vote were allowed to winds up going down in defeat because the umpteenth vote by the Klan and Nazi supporters puts Mary over the top. It is simple deception to hold otherwise.

                      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                      by enhydra lutris on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 09:07:13 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  A misplaced concern, I think (0+ / 0-)

                        You seem particularly concerned about the impact of voters on the fringes (I can't tell if you're concerned mostly about actual whack jobs--folks voting for the Klan dude--or minor parties (in CA, Peace & Freedom or Greens).

                        Why is this misplaced?

                        Take your example. Joe Effwit votes for Klan Dude, and John and many others vote for Mainstream Dem. Under IRV, Joe Effwit's 1st choice is thrown out, and his second choice is distributed to someone, perhaps Mainstream Dem's opponent. You resent that Joe seems to have 2 votes, in effect; and that it is marginal types like Joe who seem to decide the election (in cases where elections are close and no candidate has a majority).

                        In a runoff system: Joe Effwit votes for Klan Dude, and John and many others vote for Mainstream Dem. There is no majority, so in the runoff, John and many others revote for Mainstream Dem; and Joe Effwit and people like him vote their second choices--in effect, still deciding the election.

                        The difference seems to be that John and the other mainstream voters have to go through the trouble of reaffirming their choices. Joe and the other minor candidate voters play the same role as election deciders--which is what you seem most worried about.

                        The real problem is effwit voters. I'm not so much worried about the "Klan dude" voters and other marginals as I am the confused/contradictory/truly weird "thinking" of much of the floating "independent" voters, who are exceedingly ill-informed, and in our privatized culture, not well-equipped to make political choices. Which, indeed, they resent having to make--since they typically think of citizenship and politics in terms of consumer choice, something our society encourages them to do, but which is deadly politically; and something for which there is no cure in terms of voting procedures.

                        •  False & misleading: (0+ / 0-)
                          The difference seems to be that John and the other mainstream voters have to go through the trouble of reaffirming their choices.

                          In a real runoff, they get to decide whether to stick with their original choice or not, and can and sometimes do change their vote. In rankest choice, they are not allowed to do so.

                          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                          by enhydra lutris on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 01:30:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Not so much (0+ / 0-)

                            In the scenario you are suggesting, John Mainstream would have to decide to vote for another mainstream candidate. You are worried about effwit candidates and their supporters. That's a different issue.

                            It's certainly possible that a mainstream Democrat might decide during a runoff to vote for the Republican. But not likely. The scenario you suggest deals with what happens with regard to minor party/marginal candidates and their voters.

                            The Chron has expressed the same worry as you do in this last post: what about the deliberations that can take place during a one-month runoff campaign?

                            I think that's not as important a concern as the narrowing of the electorate that takes place from November to December (and I think is their real concern): the runoff electorate in the current political climate is older, more established, and more conservative. If we held elections on Sundays and did not harass lower-income voters in a dozen ways, I might think differently.

                          •  Don't tell me what I'm worried about ok, (0+ / 0-)

                            because you have, so far, had great difficulty in understanding the simplest of concepts. I'm worried about the fact that it is anti-cemocratic and violates one-person-one-vote. It violates fundamental principles of majoritarianism and egalitarianism by letting some and only some have a second vote/change their vote or however you choose to represent it.

                            It's certainly possible that a mainstream Democrat might decide during a runoff to vote for the Republican. But not likely. The scenario you suggest deals with what happens with regard to minor party/marginal candidates and their voters.
                            Or between two mainstream dems or independents or a dem and an independent. It isn't limited to a specific race, but is a methodology.
                            I think that's not as important a concern as the narrowing of the electorate that takes place from November to December
                            No such thing happens. There is no significant die-off or exodus in those months. Some may decide not to vote in a runoff- figuring that there is no material difference between the candidates who made it that far, but nobody is barred or eliminated, they choose not to vote. You simply oppose free choice for all.

                            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                            by enhydra lutris on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 03:36:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry, but (0+ / 0-)

                            you're the one who raised, and at some length, the problem of whackdoodle voters/candidates.

                            I've continued with this exchange because I was surprised at your point of view. I take you at your word when you say you want to uphold the principles of majoritarianism and egalitarianism. However, most observers of electoral politics regard IRV as more democratic than first-past-the-post systems. Indeed, most of the criticism comes from sources whose main concern is to limit democracy, usually by limiting the electorate and the choices that electorate then has on election day (though indeed they do sometimes try cast a thin veil of democratic concern over their efforts).

                            But let me directly address your main concern: voters for marginal candidates get extra votes. This is a problem that is more apparent than real. Take case 1. Voters have three choices on their ballots for an office. Candidate A gets 54% of the vote, and the rest is split among 5 others. No preference votes are counted, because we already have a candidate with a majority. Case 2: Candidate A get 44% of the vote, Candidate B gets 42% of the vote, and the rest is split among a number of candidates, from 4% down to those with just a few hundred or few dozen votes. Recursive rounds of discarding votes begin, and after 4 candidates are eliminated Candidate B has a majority. You might complain that, for example, voters for Candidate C did not have their 2d and 2rd preferences counted, and that therefore the one-man-one-vote principle has been violated.

                            Why is this is not a real problem. Because counting stops when one candidate has a majority. We could indeed continue through every eliminated candidate's second and third preference, but doing so would not change the outcome of the election. That is why it is not done. And of course we do not count the 2d and 3rd choices of the winning candidate, but that would not seem to be a problem from their point of view, because their preferred candidate won.

                            Finally, I'm surprised at your assertion that there's no significant difference in the size of the electorate between, for example, November general elections and December runoffs. You are, I think, unique in this opinion. The difference varies, of course, based on a number of circumstances, but political operatives who are highly paid for what they do count on this factor. You comment that people "choose not to vote" may apply in some cases, particularly when there seems to be little difference between the candidates from someone's point of view. However, you ignore the many ways in which material factors structure how people make the choice of whether to vote--and the many barriers to voting faced by working class, poor, and minority communities. The Republicans are very, very concerned to affect precisely these factors, by both legal and illicit means. Those of us who advocate progressive politics cannot afford to be cavalier about this problem.

                          •  You continue to intentionally ignore the (0+ / 0-)

                            fact that in a real runoff, voters who voted for A & B get to change their vote. In case 2, it could be the case that a real runoff would wind up with A having 60%, but in an IRV runoff B could wind up winning.

                            That is what is anti-democratic and non-majoritarian, it is caused by allowing everybody but those who voted for A & B to vote in the runoff, and it is intentionally done to in the hopes that it will allow candidates who could never win in a regular runoff election to win the overall election.

                            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                            by enhydra lutris on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:32:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is quite true (0+ / 0-)

                            that IRV requires people to make up their minds with regard to who their second and third choices would be by the general election, since it consolidates the general and the runoff.

                            So: yes, voters for A & B don't get to change their vote. But no one else does, either. If you get three votes, you exercise them.

                            Given the long campaigning period of most US elections, this doesn't seem like a real problem. IRV is common around the world, and in the vast majority of places campaigns last a month or so. Yet they do not have a problem with various IRV systems in this regard.

                            "it is caused by allowing everybody but those who voted for A & B to vote in the runoff," As I explained, we COULD count every preference vote of every candidate but the winner. It would be a waste of time and money to do so after one candidate has reached a majority, but it could be done. And the winner's voters get to, well, win.

                            You seem in your examples to assume that a runoff should simply ratify the general by resulting in the election of the candidate with the plurality in the general; and that the possibility of, say, the 2d place candidate in the general is illegitimate. In that case, why have a runoff at all? The UK has 1st-past-the-post parliamentary elections with plurality winners--no runoffs, and the most votes wins whether a majority or not. However, there may be quite valid reasons why the plurality winner might lose as a result of IRV--for example, a candidate with a strong base whose appeal does not extend beyond that base, and who is in fact detested by other voting blocs to the extent that those voters massively do not make him/her a preference. This happened a couple of years ago in Oakland, where old-line Dem hack Don Perrata lost to Quan. In effect, the election was a referendum on Perrata, with a majority of voters voting no.

                            In sum, I'm afraid that you offer a democratic gloss on an anti-democratic position. Take a look around at your allies on this question and you'll see what I mean.

                          •  Ok, your just playuing word games here. (0+ / 0-)
                            So: yes, voters for A & B don't get to change their vote. But no one else does, either. If you get three votes, you exercise them.
                            You introduced that bullshit court case where it was compared to a runoff, an analogy I've more or less been using. Now you pull this shit. Finem, call it what you wil. Some have their second choices counted and some do not, some vote twice and some don't, some get to change their vote and some don't - whatever linguistics you use there is clearly a duifference in two groups of voters and the difference is anti-cdemocratic, anti-majoritarian and against one-person-one vote.
                            You seem in your examples to assume that a runoff should simply ratify the general by resulting in the election of the candidate with the plurality in the general; and that the possibility of, say, the 2d place candidate in the general is illegitimate.
                            Nope, bullshit and game playing. Here, I'll try to make it simple for you.

                            Townjs A&B both have populations that are 20% die hard Republican and 20% die hard Democrat. The other 60% is Green.  In both towns, 1/3 of the green voters, convinced by a lifetime of propaganda, decide that voting 3rd party is wasting their vote and enabling the Republicans, so they vote Democratic even though they prefer the green aganda and the green candidate. Thus, in both towns, the election results are 40% Democrat, 40% Green and 20% GOP.

                            Town A believes in democracy, majoritarianism and one person-one vote, so they hold a traditional run-off between the front runners, the Democrats and the Greens. All the Republican voters vote for the Democrats becasue the Greens are dirty socialists, but the Greens who voted Democratic in order to block the Republicans vote Green and the Greens, of course, still vote Green. The final result is a Green win, 60% Green and 40% Democratic. Thisw reflects the fact that the populace really does prefer the Green Agenda dnd candidate.

                            Towm B has fallen for the minoritarian agenda, and hence uses rankest choice voting. The Republicans all vote Democratic with their second choice so the Democrats win 60 - 40, even though that is not reflective of the popular desire, but only of the way that the electorial process has been games to let the lowest vote getting minority to decide the outcome.

                            It is that simple, a real runoff allows everybody to participate, but the rankest choice system only counts the votes of the worst losers in determining the outcome.

                            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                            by enhydra lutris on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 12:17:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  My idea for modified IRV (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, Senor Unoball

      Would be to use IRV to determine the top two candidates in an open primary, then to have those two candidates meet in the general election.

      •  One election (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Senor Unoball

        If you have the sort of Instant Runoff Voting, where the elector can rank order as many of the candidates as they wish, there is no need for a top two run off. The whole operation can be done in one election. This is, roughly, the situation in Australian House of Representatives elections (although it might be better to avoid having to rank order every candidate to cast a valid vote).

        The advantage of this variant of IRV is that you can give a preference to each candidate you like. This avoids having say two candidates you prefer to all the others knocking each other out of the top two, by splitting a particular group in the electorate which if it had united behind one candidate  would have had its champion make the run off.

        The downside of IRV is that it makes casting a vote slightly harder (more choices to make) and counting significantly more difficult. It is not particularly hard when done by counting paper ballots, for a single office, in a relatively small population district like an Australian federal electorate. I can see there might be some practical problems with allocating votes for multiple offices, using preferential counting, particularly given the size of a statewide electorate in California.

        However, if you design robust election and counting systems and do not insist on normally knowing the result of a race on the evening of the election, a system such as I propose would somewhat increase the power of the ordinary elector and reduce the control of elites.

        There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

        by Gary J on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:22:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another Interesting Race (7+ / 0-)

    Is Assembly District 38.  The current Republican is termed out.  There are three Republicans on the ballot, including the 69 year old wife of Buck McKeon, but only one Democrat.  Ed Headington has been working his butt off to get into the top two.  If he does, the bad blood between Patricia McKeon and the other two candidates could create an opening for Ed in the General.  This is a plus 6 Republican district, but our last two reps have been fairly moderate.  None of the three Republicans in this race are even remotely moderate.  I will be phonebanking for Ed tomorrow night in the final push, wish us luck.

  •  I like top-two (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    v2aggie2, Senor Unoball

    I'm in a very red county in northeast Washington State.  We wouldn't have lost a good prosecuting attorney if it had started a bit earlier.  We have a very competitive county commissioner race coming up shortly, all are Republicans.  Before top two, the race would have been over in the primary and it wouldn't matter who I voted for in the primary.

  •  I'm pretty sure we'll have two Dems in the 2nd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    It will be interesting to see who gets the second slot.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 07:21:52 PM PDT

  •  Life's poetry in action!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

    by BMarshall on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 07:23:42 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, Senor Unoball, susans

    an interesting diary. I hope to diary ASAP on a court suit that will ding Dan Lungren (R) who doesn't deserve to represent the blue folks of Sacramento and vicinity.

    The federal suit charges that Lungren's staff assisted big companies to destroy a little company near Sacramento.

  •  Term limits and now the "open primary" (12+ / 0-)

    are gimmicks that were supposed to "fix" the legislature. But they both avoid the real problem - too much money in political campaigns.

    Forcing all candidates into a single June "elimination round" forces them to spend gobs of cash to reach out to a larger body of voters. This favors incumbents, mass-media advertising (and the money that pays for it), or self-financed millionaires like Able Maldonado.

    Incumbents still dominate party primaries, but the process at least gives newcomers a chance to raise funds, build a grassroots organization and hone a message that they can pitch to an affordable-size audience.

    People who voted for the open primary seemed to think they'd be getting "more democracy". Instead, we got less: To avoid hazardous vote splitting, the parties in CA-26 "pre-primaried" their candidates. The Republicans did this as they always do, behind closed doors. The Democrats struggled with the process, as we always do, in public.

    The open primary promised more "civility" in campaigns, but what we're getting is a cage match between #2 and #3, while the incumbent or designated heir floats serenely above it all.

    We need to move on to genuine ranked-choice voting, and serious public campaign financing.

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

    by jjohnjj on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 07:45:29 PM PDT

  •  Question or quibble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV, Senor Unoball

    You say that in previous years

    The only people with freedom of choice, as it happened, were the roughly one in five California voters who declined to state affiliation with a party. Those folks were allowed to choose in which primary they wanted to take part.
    At least up to when I left CA in 1993, DS voters (Decline to State) were not permitted to vote in any party's primary but were given a very abbreviated ballot with just non-partisan offices and the ballot measures. Did that change?

    I don't see how that could have been ... My DS uncle would have delighted in RFing the Democratic County Committee had he had the opportunity ...

    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 07:56:41 PM PDT

    •  Decline to State (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Senor Unoball

      In my recent experience, DtoS voters could choose to vote in the Democratic primary by requesting a Dem ballot on primary day, and thus re-register themselves as Democrats, or could continue as DtS voters.

      Republicans did not offer the same choice to DtS voters: if you want to vote in the R primary, you had to register R ahead of time.

      •  And then they would have to re-register (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Senor Unoball

        to be DS again. That figures.

        I go back to the days of paper ballots and all-night counts. I remember fondly the June '64 primary when California was king of the hill; some Dems re-registered R to vote for Goldwater (and RF the Rs) but my dad could not stand the idea that that would go in his permanent file ...

        New question: You are, as in the past, electing party committees in the primary, aren't you? So there's still a difference in the party ballots below President, right?

        Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

        by Clem Yeobright on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:38:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  According to the Registrar of Voters (3+ / 0-)

          "All candidates running, regardless of their party preference, will appear on a single combined ballot.

          Voters can vote for any candidate from any political party.

          This changes the way elections are conducted for all statewide offices and the following offices: U.S. Senator; U.S. Representative; State Senate; and Member the the State Assembly.

          This DOES NOT affect the election of the U.S. President and County Central Committees, which are still party nominated."

          However, when a Decline-to-State voter appears at the polls, he/she can ask for a non-partisan ballot, an American Independent ballot or a Democratic ballot. The only difference in these ballots are the presidential preferences and the members of the county committees.

          The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." -- Wanda

          by the autonomist on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:54:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When in doubt, ask an autonomist? Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

            Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

            by Clem Yeobright on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 09:03:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am to please. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." -- Wanda

              by the autonomist on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 09:26:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  the rule prevents any RFing in the County Cmte (3+ / 0-)

                races. No Rodent Fornication for you (or your uncle)!

                   I used to like to do a bit of RFing  or as I more politely called it, monkeywrenching. Back then you had to reregister into the GOP to vote in their primary. One year I think I was the only "Republican" in Santa Cruz to vote for hopeless rightwinger Bruce Hershensohn against Silicon valley fave (and stronger general election candidate) Ed Zschau for Senate.  Old Man Cranston managed to beat Zschau, but just barely (1986 CA-SEN).

                   This year for old times sake I might vote for our favorite crazylady dentist/attorney/birth certificate fetishist for Senator. Just because I can.

              Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 53, new CA-30

              by Zack from the SFV on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 10:35:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Don't. Theres a chance for a Progressive Democrat (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright, Senor Unoball

                With the Republicans split among 15 candidates, David Levitt has a real chance to come in #2 to DiFi.  Then we could choose between a geriatric conservadem and a real, and very smart, Progressive.  Look here for more info.

                "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right" -- Sen. (and Major General) Carl Schurz, 1872

                by Diesel Kitty on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 10:58:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, there is no real chance of that (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Senor Unoball, hankmeister

                      and this is why:

                      Since a large percentage of the Democratic voters are for Feinstein, the undecideds are disproportionately GOP supporters. They will make their choice for either the Republican they have heard of, Orly Taitz, or the Repub who is on most of the slate cards they get in the mail who is endorsed by their party. That's Elizabeth Emken, the autism lady. There are also numerous flavors of GOP Some Dudes as well.

                       Levitt will try to get votes from the disgruntled Democrats and other progressives. He will get some votes, maybe as much as 2% but he shares that pool of voters with other Democratic and left protest candidates such as Mike Strimling, Colleen Fernald, Marsha Feinland and a few others. Levitt doesn't even have a statement in the voter guide sent by the SoS office; how will voters know about his views? (Apparently it costs to get in the booklet and they charge by the word. There are some very concise statements in there.)  So people reading the guide looking for a progressive alternative to Senator-for-Life Feinstein will vote for Strimling or Feinland or some other non-Levitt.

                       Vote for Levitt to make a statement, sure, but to believe that he has a chance to make the top two is to be delusional.

                  Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 53, new CA-30

                  by Zack from the SFV on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:34:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  CA races comprehensive (5+ / 0-)

    Please see Darth Jeff's posts on state Senate, Assembly, and US Congressional races in California. Good stuff!

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:03:14 PM PDT

    •  YES! (0+ / 0-)

      I talk about it here.  I'm not so sure Levitt couldn't beat DiFi, but even if he lost, he would drive her way left of where she would come out running against a California Republican.

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right" -- Sen. (and Major General) Carl Schurz, 1872

      by Diesel Kitty on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 11:00:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CA Senate (5+ / 0-)

    Seneca Doane has a good post up. Looks like Levitt is the best candidate to vote for over Feinstein.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:08:54 PM PDT

  •  PPP Poll Wisconsin: (0+ / 0-)

    Our projected WI electorate voted for Obama by 7. He won the state by 14. Close that enthusiasm gap in the last 36 hours and Barrett wins. Final poll show Barrett now with 3 points at 50-47.

    The definition of INSANITY: Voting Republican over and over and over and expecting the economy to get better.

    by pollbuster on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:16:04 PM PDT

  •  Barrett now within 3 at 50-47 n/t (0+ / 0-)

    The definition of INSANITY: Voting Republican over and over and over and expecting the economy to get better.

    by pollbuster on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:17:41 PM PDT

  •  Littles changed in Cali since RW radio put arnold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    In and fucked up taxes

    Radio still beats democracy cause the RW blowhards still get a free speech free ride

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 08:32:03 PM PDT

  •  San Diego Mayors (3+ / 0-)

    The mayor race in San Diego has always been non-partisian, 50% major or runoff.   Nathan Fletcher is not working under the "new" system, but the existing system that has been in place since the early 1900s.

  •  We early voted today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    I always feel wonderful dropping off my ballot!

    I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was. -- Mitt the Twit

    by Senor Unoball on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 09:40:03 PM PDT

    •  I like walking my absentee ballot (4+ / 0-)

        into a polling place. If anyone hasn't sent theirs in yet, don't mail it tomorrow but instead take it to any polling place in you county on Tuesday between 7AM and 8PM.

          The advantage of walking in my ballot (and also my mom's) is that we save postage and know for sure that the elections people received the ballots. The only disadvantage is that the election day absentees are the last ballots counted.

      Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 53, new CA-30

      by Zack from the SFV on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 10:40:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you early vote on paper absentees? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Senor Unoball

      Here in MD we early vote on the regular voting machines, same as election day.

      •  CA doesn't have election machines (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Senor Unoball

        All voting occurs by "Scantron" paper ballot.  The ballots for VBM are the same as in the polling places.

        •  Actually.... (0+ / 0-)

          I believe that all precincts are required to have at least one working voting machine, for those who, for whatever reason, do not want to use the paper ballots.

          The Registrar of Voters office I went to yesterday had one machine up and running.

          With that said, I've worked as an elections officer and have never seen anybody ask to use the machine. When they come in, we give them the paper ballots and certainly do not ask or suggest they use the machine.

          If they want to, fine, but it has to be the voter asking for it.

          I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was. -- Mitt the Twit

          by Senor Unoball on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:10:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Haven't Seen One in Our County (0+ / 0-)

            But then, the registrar bought Diebold machines before Bowen decertified them, and we never actually used them.  Every election I have seen since then has been with paper ballots.

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