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This digest was written by David Jarman, except where noted.

Leading Off:

House Race Ratings: As we've had time to digest the results from California's primaries on Tuesday, Daily Kos Elections has decided to update five House race ratings. Two are in the Democrats' direction, and three are in the Republicans' direction—one extremely so.

CA-10 from Likely R to Lean R: Democratic astronaut Jose Hernandez's 29% wasn't that imposing on paper, but that was held down by an independent bid from Chad Condit (son of Gary Condit, the former Modesto-area Democratic Rep. whose family name may still have some conservaDem appeal) that racked up 15%. The most important number here, though, is that Republican incumbent Jeff Denham only polled 48%, without any other GOPer on the ballot siphoning votes from him; not a positive sign, especially considering how low Dem turnout was.

CA-21 from Tossup to Likely R: The apparent loss of preferred Democratic candidate Blong Xiong here, and the dominant (57%) performance by Republican state Asm. David Valadao, makes Democratic hopes here pretty slim. Businessman John Hernandez may have a good surname for running in this mostly-Latino swing district, but his fundraising (he finished the primary $8,000 in debt; Xiong had some weaknesses but at least could raise money) and the general indifference to his campaign suggests that Dems aren't likely to make a big play here anymore.

CA-31: I'm not sure I've ever seen a race turn around from Tossup to Safe R in one fell swoop before, but that's what we're left with after the Top 2 primary in California's San Bernardino-based 31st district. Despite this being, on its face, a Dem-leaning district with a Hispanic plurality, the vagaries of the top 2 system wound up giving us two Republicans for the ballot in November: Rep. Gary Miller and state Sen. Bob Dutton. Miller and Dutton finished at 27 and 25 respectively, with Redlands mayor Pete Aguilar, the Dem expected to finish in the top 2, narrowly behind at 23, getting hosed by the presence of three other minor Dems (one of whom, Justin Kim, got 13%). A write-in candidacy isn't possible under the new law, so one of the GOPers will be the new congressman here.

The good news is that this is the only place in California where the Top 2 primary blew up in our faces, but it looks like the DCCC was so focused on preventing this from happening in CA-26 that they let CA-31 fly under the radar, and it doesn't seem like local Dems foresaw this possibility. We can also take some comfort in that this will still be a good pickup opportunity in 2014, when there will presumably be only one Republican (whichever of Miller or Dutton wins the '12 general) on the primary ballot, but for now this counts as a royal Dem screwup.

CA-41 from Lean D to Tossup: On paper, this is the state's best pickup opportunity for the Dems, an open seat with a Latino majority that went 59% for Obama in 2008. However, the GOPer here, Riverside Co. Supervisor John Tavaglione, put up strong numbers in the primary, 45% to Dem Mark Takano's 36% (and it went 55-45 in favor of the GOP, adding up all the minor candidates). Hispanic turnout will probably be better in November, but this isn't looking like much of a slam dunk anymore.

CA-52 from Lean R to Tossup: Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray has seemed a decent bet to retain this San Diego-area seat (despite it having moved from 45% to 55% Obama), but his Tuesday numbers don't look the least bit convincing. He polled at a mere 41%, while the top 2 Dems here, Scott Peters (who'll probably advance) and Lori Saldana combined for 45. There were some minor-league teabaggers eating up some of Bilbray's share, but the overall GOP share was only 50%.


CT-Sen: Quinnipiac. 5/29-6/3. Registered voters. MoE: ±2.6% (3/14-19 results):

Chris Murphy (D): 46 (52)
Linda McMahon (R): 43 (37)
Undecided: 9 (9)

Chris Murphy (D): 45 (41)
Chris Shays (R): 37 (40)
Undecided: 15 (17)

Susan Bysiewicz (D): 42 (49)
Linda McMahon (R): 46 (39)
Undecided: 9 (9)

Susan Bysiewicz (D): 40 (42)
Chris Shays (R): 44 (43)
Undecided: 11 (13)

Democratic primary (MoE: ±4.2%):
Chris Murphy (D): 50 (37)
Susan Bysiewicz (D): 20 (25)
William Tong (D):—(4)
Undecided: 24 (29)
Republican primary (MoE: ±5.0%):
Linda McMahon (R): 59 (51)
Chris Shays (R): 30 (42)
Undecided: 9 (6)
Quinnipiac's new poll of the Connecticut Senate race has some weird quirks about it, but all of them seem to relate to Linda McMahon having somehow completely rehabilitated herself. Nothing seems to have happened in the race in the intervening months other than McMahon (who lost by a pretty wide margin in 2010 to Richard Blumenthal) having run some boilerplate re-introductory ads, so the reasons for this happening are a mystery (considering that her nonstop ad blitz in 2010 just seemed to irritate more and more people as it continued).

At any rate, McMahon is now beating Chris Shays by a wider margin in the GOP primary, is now coming fairly close to likely Dem nominee Chris Murphy in the general (a complete reversal from March, when Murphy was stomping McMahon but running only slightly ahead of the more moderate Shays), and even above water on her favorables at 45/38, quite the change from 40/44 in March.

The new sample is a bit more Republican at the presidential level, but nowhere near the 12-point swing seen in the Murphy/McMahon matchup, going from a 53-37 Obama lead in March to a 50-38 lead now. There's one spot of good news, though: Murphy has also expanded his lead on ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz in the Dem primary, which isn't looking competitive at all.

FL-Sen: John Ellis Bush endorses Cornelius Harvey McGillicudy IV. (Shorter version: Jeb! backs Mack.) That's the latest news from Florida, where Connie Mack's sputtering bid could use some shoring up from the Republican establishment. Meanwhile, he 60 Plus Association (the "conservative alternative to AARP") is going up on the air with a new ad that attacks Dem Sen. Bill Nelson with a litany of familiar lies and distortions. Size of the buy: a hefty $1.1 million. (James L)

OH-Sen: The 60 Plus-ers are also on the prowl in Ohio, with an ad similar to their FL-Sen spot attacking Democrat Sherrod Brown. (Although, it does feature some notable variances – including the fact that it attempts to tie Brown to Obama and George W. Bush!) Size of the buy: A million freakin' dollars. (James L)

PA-Sen (PDF): Franklin & Marshall is out with one of their patented more-undecideds-than-you-can-shake-a-stick-at polls of the Keystone State, but it's good news for Dems, and more fuel for the frequent conversation topic of the last week: that Pennsylvania's not looking like much of a swing state this year. The topline is that Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 48-36, but it also includes a Pennsylvania Senate portion, and they find that Dem incumbent Bob Casey Jr. leads wealthy Republican collier Tom Smith 42-21. Smith is still languishing at 77% unknowns.

UT-Sen: Dan Liljenquist, the Republican ex-state senator running an insurgent primary campaign against veteran Sen. Orrin Hatch, is out with a new ad that features Liljenquist leaning against a retro TV that looks a lot like the one my parents had in our basement way back in the day. Liljenquist criticizes Hatch for voting to raise the debt ceiling "16 times." Meanwhile, Freedom Path, a pro-Hatch PAC, is out with a new ad that criticizes Liljenquist for missing 24% of the votes in the state senate. (Size of the buy: $53K.) For a Republican primary audience, though, I think Liljenquist's attack has more bite. (James L)

VA-Sen, VA-Gov. Quinnipiac. 5/30-6/4. Registered voters. MoE: ±2.7% (3/13-18 in parentheses):

Tim Kaine (D): 44 (47)
George Allen (R): 43 (44)
Undecided: 10 (9)
I'm not sure we really need another poll showing Tim Kaine with a within-the-margin-of-error lead over George Allen in the Virginia Senate race, but here we are. Now, it's Quinnipiac's turn; they give Kaine a 1-point lead, down from a 3-point lead in March. They're about matched on favorables: Kaine's at 44/28 and Allen's at 41/27. This one looks like it'll come down to who has the presidential coattails in November.

Quinnipiac has also started looking ahead to 2013's gubernatorial race; they don't have general election numbers, but they do look at the GOP primary, where they find AG Ken Cuccinelli with a big 51-15 lead over Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. That might be good news for Dems in that Cuccinelli's a more polarizing figure than Bolling... but Virginia tends to be consistent in electing a member of whatever party didn't win the White House the year earlier, so a Barack Obama victory in November could, in its own way, boost Cuccinelli's odds.


NH-Gov: This trend of booking early ad reservations for the run-up to November really seems to be taking hold... and, perhaps already learning from the mistakes in Wisconsin, where they were on the losing end of a 7:1 advertising ratio, Democratic allies in key gubernatorial races suddenly seem to be getting eagerly on that bandwagon. The DGA just reserved $1.4 million in airtime for October, all on WMUR, the lone TV station in New Hampshire, showing they'll be making a major push for whichever of Maggie Hassan or Jackie Cilley wins the primary. Similarly, in WA-Gov, labor-backed PAC Our Washington just reserved $2.8 million statewide ($2.2 mil in Seattle, the remainder in smaller markets) for October. The DGA is Our Washington's second-biggest donor, so there's a clear pattern here.


California: We're going to forego a full writeup of every single competitive race from Tuesday night, but here's a recap of still-outstanding races where there was no AP call or only a partial call as of late Wednesday afternoon; all of them are in California. In all cases, that's with 100% reporting, so any changes would have to come about through recounting, litigation, or other post-facto procedures:

CA-02: Dem state Asm. Jared Huffman has already been called; the question is whether Republican Dan Roberts faces him (and gets flattened in this dark-blue district), or Dem activist Norman Solomon (which could be an interesting race one-on-one, though Huffman looks pretty dominant). It's 37% for Huffman, 15% for Roberts, and 14% for Solomon (with 10% for Democratic businesswoman Stacey Lawson and 8% for Democratic Marin Co. Supervisor Susan Adams). 1,379 votes separate Roberts and Solomon.

CA-08: This overcrowded race in the High Desert is the most convoluted, with four candidates all piled up at 15%, and nobody having been called. Republican state Asm. Paul Cook and Minutemen-linked Republican Some Dude Gregg Imus are poised to advance, with 10,682 votes and 10,353 votes respectively. Close behind are the leading Dem, Jackie Conaway (at 10,163) and self-funding teabagger Republican Phil Liberatore (at 10,144), so anything could still happen here in the post-game. Other Republican establishment figures (Brad Mitzelfelt at 10%, Angela Valles at 6, Ryan McEachron at 4, and GOP-turned-indie ex-state Asm. Anthony Adams at 3) lagged.

CA-21: Republican state Asm. David Valadao seems to have the clear advantage in this Central Valley open seat, getting 57% of the vote; he's already been called. The second slot hasn't been called, but it's pretty clear it'll be Dem businessman John Hernandez, who's at 23%, rather than the DCCC's preferred candidate, Fresno city councilor Blong Xiong, who's at 20%. 1,046 votes separate Hernandez and Xiong.

CA-31: The Dems' titanic fuckup here seems like a done deal, but it's worth noting that none of the slots in this race have been called. Republican Rep. Gary Miller is at 27%, Republican state Sen. Bob Dutton is at 25%, and Democratic Redlands mayor Pete Aguilar is at 23%. 1,072 votes separate Dutton from Aguilar.

CA-52: Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray has gotten the AP call, though his 41% is looking very underwhelming. His Democratic opponent remains to be seen, though; currently, city councilor Scott Peters leads ex-state Asm. Lori Saldana 23 to 22, with Peters up by 645 votes.

CO-06: Just as Mike Coffman's last round of gaffes—questioning Barack Obama's "American-ness" and then bungling his apology—seems to be sliding down the memory hole, here comes another inflammatory moment from the Congressman, who still seems to be struggling to adapt with the switch from dark-red seat to swing district. His opponent, Joe Miklosi, is touting video from a recent Republican event where Coffman gave props to fellow GOP Rep. Joe Wilson (of "you lie!" fame).

CT-05: It's still full speed ahead for Democratic state House speaker Chris Donovan, whose campaign in the 5th got seriously rocked last week with the arrest of his finance director and the firing of his campaign manager. Donovan is proceeding with a previously-scheduled big fundraiser with '06 Senate candidate Ned Lamont as the featured guest.

NY-13: State Sen. Adriano Espaillat has some tangible advantages in his primary challenge to long-time Rep. Charles Rangel—the district now has a Latino plurality, and he doesn't have an ethical cloud hanging overhead—but Rangel has still gotten most of the establishment and labor backing in the race. Espaillat's managed to get a foothold, though, with his first major labor endorsement, from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 (a heavily African-American group).

Other Races:

WA-Init: As expected, opponents of Washington's same-sex marriage law filed signatures on Wednesday for a people's-veto referendum in November. The law was passed by the state legislature several months ago; further marriages are, as a result, blocked until the matter clears the voters. Opponents, organized by the National Organization for Marriage, submitted 200,000 signatures, well more than the 150,000 required; polls, however, have shown the measure likely to fail in November (meaning that same-sex marriage would stay legal).

Grab Bag:

California: Our Steve Singiser has a smart take on turnout in California's primaries, where a number of Dem House candidates looked more vulnerable than previously supposed. Based on the rates at which people cast presidential primary ballots, the primary electorate was 51% Democratic and 47% Republican. I don't think anybody in the punditocracy would actually expect Barack Obama to win California by 4 points, meaning the primary electorate is quite different looking than the probable November one.

Census: The Census Bureau mostly steers clear of collecting political data, but they've just released a treasure trove of information on voter registration and self-reported voting, drawn from ACS samples in even-numbered years. That includes information on which states turn out the highest (Minnesota, as you might have guessed), and participation rates according to race. Check out some of the visualizations here.

DCCC: Here's one more big announcement on the early media reservation front. The DCCC, which had previously committed to $32 million in early reservations, has made another $19 million in ad reservations for the post-Labor Day period, locking in cheaper slots. The biggest buy, interestingly, is the Sacramento market, suggesting they're going to heavily focus on Ami Bera in CA-07 (and maybe CA-10 too). They also have big buys in Boston (presumably backing up John Tierney, though possibly also for the New Hampshire races) and in Chicago, where there are multiple pickup opportunities.

Redistricting Roundup:

CA Redistricting: The various state legislators who found themselves out a job thanks to the serious reshuffle of the state's maps may have gotten the last laugh: they neglected to provide any further funding for the recently-created California Redistricting Commission, meaning that it's going to have to shut down its operations at the end of June. Presumably, they'll find a way to restart it in another eight or nine years; in the meantime, they're looking for a host agency to shepherd their resources till then.

NH Redistricting: You could be forgiven if you'd forgotten that New Hampshire was one of the few states with an outstanding question mark on the redistricting front, because their legislative maps still hadn't been precleared by the Department of Justice. (In fact, you could be forgiven if you'd forgotten that New Hampshire is subject to preclearance under the VRA, one of the few northern states that is.) At any rate, NH received the DOJ's thumbs-up, but the new congressional map still hasn't been cleared (though it's impossible to imagine it won't be, given how minimal the changes were).

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Political Wire says Q poll has Obama up by 5 in VA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    distantcousin, DCCyclone, itskevin


    But Q link has no details yet.

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:15:47 AM PDT

    •  Linky (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27, DCCyclone, itskevin

      "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

      by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:35:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Poll details (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollbuster, askew, WisVoter
      Obama’s support has declined slightly since the institute’s March poll where the president led the former Massachusetts governor 50 percent to 42 percent.

      There continues to be a difference of opinion between men and women and among younger and older voters. Women favored Obama over Romney - 51 percent to 35 percent.  Forty-nine percent of men supported Romney compared to 44 percent for Obama.

      “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

      by Paleo on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:36:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm surprised frankly (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32, DCCyclone, askew, itskevin

        For everybody showing "concern" that PPP has the odd Dem leaning outlier, Quinnipiac seem to be GOP leaning this cycle.

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:38:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They have wider swings (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          than most pollsters, as someone pointed out yesterday.  Which is odd given that their samples are usually larger.

          “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

          by Paleo on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:40:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I remember earlier in the year when they had Obama with a bigger lead in FL than in OH and PA. Now they have Romney doing better in Florida than any other poll. Neither was/is probably accurate.

            "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

            by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:43:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The key internals in this poll...... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Horse race at 47-42 is OK, but better is 48-47 job approval and 49-47 "deserves to be reelected."  Those numbers show Obama definitely would win Virginia today.

          Also, Mitt has 39-37 favorables, with 24% "not sure."  It's that 24% in Virginia and elsewhere who are the intended audience of anti-Mitt messaging.

          44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:20:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Average of last 6 VA polls (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCCyclone, askew, itskevin

      gives Obama a 4.7% lead.

      “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

      by Paleo on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:00:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rasmussen clearly on an island here (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32, DCCyclone, itskevin

        But then we said a tie there was actually good news. Tilts still for me but clearly in a stronger position in Virginia than in some of the other swing states.

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:04:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes still looks like a lean towards Obama (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, itskevin

        Quite positive for Obama that despite fairly soft economic data in the last few months Romney hasn't been able to edge ahead. Though the economic outlook looks a bit worse than it did 3 months ago, the threshold for "how bad it has to be" for Romney to win may also be higher than I was expecting. At this point it looks like even fairly modest (by historic standards) economic data over the coming months may be good enough for Obama to get re-elected.

  •  Obama/DNC raise 60 million in May (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jeepdad, jj32

    20, Male, NC the best state ever! Majoring in Piano Performance.

    by aggou on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:45:06 AM PDT

  •  Jobless claims (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, DCCyclone, askew

    Not sure now just how relevant this is but down 12k to 377,000.

    "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

    by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:55:21 AM PDT

  •  That primary system in California is weird. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:04:28 AM PDT

    •  I really wonder if some of the Dem spoilers in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Iberian, Lawrence, edrie, KenBee

      those races are not GOP plants, especially now that we have them certified as the divide and conquer party of the so-called United States.

      Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

      by judyms9 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:21:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If they hadn't thought about it before (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Iberian, judyms9, edrie

        They definitely will now.

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:23:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a dirty trick, isn't it? Therefore, it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Stankus

          follows that they've already thought of it.  The right likes tricks but not mano a mano fair fights, which explains their interest in starting wars but not actually participating in any of them personally.

          Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

          by judyms9 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:43:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Kim definitely wasn't (0+ / 0-)

        the others, maybe.

        Male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), moving to Kyoto-06 (Japan) in August

        by sapelcovits on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:23:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Can we make those three other Dems... (11+ / 0-)

    in CA-31 pay some sort of penance for fucking Aguilar over?  Kim doesn't seem to get it.

    There were twice as many Democratic candidates on the ballot, with Aguilar, Loma Linda lawyer Justin Kim, nonprofit founder Renea Wickman and retired educator Rita Ramirez-Dean. Kim, Wickman and Ramirez-Dean captured roughly a quarter of the vote combined, votes that could otherwise have gone to Aguilar. Miller and Dutton had to split the GOP vote only two ways.

    “I think the first thing is too many Democrats on the ballot, that was one issue,” Aguilar said Wednesday. “The difficulty became splitting the Democratic vote.”

    In previous years, that wouldn’t have been a problem for Democrats and Aguilar, who would have moved on to the general election as the top Democratic primary winner. But California’s new election rules send the top two finishers on to the November contest, regardless of their party affiliation.

    Kim, who surprised many by winning 13.5 percent of the vote, said other Democrats had appealed to him to drop his bid. Though he called the result “deeply disappointing” for Democrats, Kim said he was proud of the campaign his team ran.

    “We ran a campaign to win,” he said, adding that he raised a significant amount of money and conducted a sophisticated direct mail effort.

    No, you didn't.  You ran a campaign that got about 13.5% of the vote.  That's not a campaign to win, that's simply a campaign to spoil it for the Democrats that has the GOP gloating at you.
    “I think the road to the majority is looking more and more like the road to nowhere for them,” said Daniel Scarpinato, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Here we have a district that totally evaporated for them.”
    For all practical purposes, you might have been one of those fake Democrats the Wisconsin GOP put up in the recall elections.

    Hell, even the 5.6% Ramirez-Dean got would've been enough to put Aguilar over Dutton AND Miller into first place.

    Someone (like California Democratic Party vice chair Eric Bauman) needs to tell those three they need to do like 1,000 hours of phone banking and knock on 5,000 doors before they ever even think about running for any kind of elected office ever again.


    •  The System is the Bigger Problem... (8+ / 0-)

      It should be top two, but not of the same party.

      What a waste to have a primary between two Democrats which ended 65-35 be re-run again in November. And what a waste for a district that was 48 percent Democratic, in a lightly attended primary, to have to choose between two right-wingers in November.

      "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn" (BRMC)
      Contributing Editor, Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections

      by Steve Singiser on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:57:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No Kim does get it. (12+ / 0-)

      Never has the very stupid expression "Don't hate the player, hate the game" been more applicable.

      Kim is not the problem.  He ran an admirable grassroots campaign and got an unexpected vote share.  He has every right to do that.

      Aguilar is not the problem.  He ran a campaign that would have blown away the competition in a sensible primary system.

      Top Two is the problem.  It disenfranchises one party's voters due to the mere accident that more candidates ran on their party's line than on the other.  It is a stupid system that belongs in the dustbin of history.

      •  There's nothing we could have done about Top 2 (13+ / 0-)

        There is something we could have done to ensure this disaster didn't happen: run only one Democrat. No one has the power to change Top 2, short of another referendum which would be destined to fail anyway. People do have the power to stop Top 2 from fucking us, though, by coalescing around a leader.

        Political Director, Daily Kos

        by David Nir on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:17:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It seems to work in Washington (0+ / 0-)

          That being said, I agree the system is dumb. Intended to increase choice, moderation and competitiveness the result is to force both parties to act to negate all that completely.

          "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

          by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:20:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds like the arm twisting you seek (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          was attempted and failed.  Everyone has the right to run for office subject to meeting the legal requirements for doing so.  No doubt Kim is taking a lot of abuse right now.  He doesn't deserve it.

          •  If only life were that simple (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            This fair play stance is all very admirable but it screws Democrats and over time and time again.

            "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

            by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:30:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It can screw Republicans just as well. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dr Stankus

              Just happened to bite us on the ass this time.  You think some of these Tea Party loons would back down when they get the call from the NRCC to do so?

              Someone mentioned below that California should have tougher ballot access laws.  I'm all for that.  But no-one should be deriding someone just for running for office.  Annoys the hell out of me.

              •  Ballot access (0+ / 0-)

                That could work. Still, people need to give more thought to the big picture sometimes.

                "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

                by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:39:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  It doesn't screw Republicans, because they have (0+ / 0-)

                party discipline and understand the stakes.

                President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

                by askew on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:26:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  and it annoys the hell out of ME that egos trump (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                the good of this nation.

                look at colleen fer-fum-fuc-tard... her ego was so huge that she didn't care about whether or not she was telling the truth about which "party" she represented.  she lied. plain and simple.  she lied.  she ran as a democrat when she was really a third party "peace and activist or whatever" candidate.  and she was a spoiler.

                i have absolutely NO patience for spoilers.  why?  because they friggin' SPOIL things!

                •  I just don't think it's egotistical to run for (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  N Dawgg

                  office, even if you don't have a good chance of winning.  If someone wanted to be a spoiler out of spite, then sure.  I'm probably in the minority on this.

                  •  um. not egotistical? when you don't have a (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    chance of winning?

                    what else would you call it?  if you believe in your cause, then you get out and pound the streets for a candidate that has a CHANCE of winning - you don't grab the spotlight and hold it on yourself will screwing the one who actually could win and further your ideals.

                    •  How do you know what he knew? (0+ / 0-)

                      He probably didn't see this coming.  The state and county party apparently didn't see it coming enough to endorse, and the DCCC apparently did not do so until it was too late.  A grassroots campaign probably has limited ability to assess the state of the race.  It just does the best it can.

                      •  spider - i've worked many campaigns in my life (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        including presidential ones out of ny.

                        this was/is ALL about money.  with limited resources available to a campaign, everything depends on people on the ground.  for a local district race, the enthusiasm usually isn't there - and the money definitely isn't.

                        when both candidates have less than full coffers, the best outcome is a split vote - looking at the current system, splitting the vote has given the seat to the republicans outright.  

                        there is a problem, houston, and it is a corrupted primary system voted into place by mislead and deluded voters.

                        anyone from california can tell you the initiatives are written deliberately to confuse and they are written by special interests with something to gain from them.  then, when they are ON the ballot, ads with outright lies are broadcast for the 15 second voter who ONLY gets news from the all news stations or talk radio shows (mostly right wing in ca).

                        california has had a problem ever since prop 13 and it is getting worse every year.

          •  No arm-twisting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I can tell you definitively there was no arm-twisting. That news report is incorrect. Kim was never asked to leave the race--by anyone, ever.

            It's worthwhile to note that neither the county party nor the state party endorsed in this race and, as I mentioned on another thread, the DCCC and other establishment players did not make their preferences clear until pretty late in the race, after any opportunity to remove names from the ballot.

            The result is terrible; the blame lies with the system.

            •  yes, the blame DOES lie with the system BUT (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              it also lays with those who don't realize the consequences of their actions.

              if i gathered enough signatures, i could run.  and i could pull votes from a viable candidate, too.

              one local election here in california was won several years ago in the recount by two votes!  

              every vote matters - when we have those championing "staying home to prove a point" or "voting third party" when that party has no chance in hell of winning an election, we have serious repercussions later.

              politics is a nasty, hard-fought battle.  it isn't for people who cannot see long-term consequences.

              •  Politics is a nasty, hard-fought battle (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                so Aguilar should have decimated Kim.  Better yet, California should get rid of this stupid system.

                •  money. it is ALL about money. (0+ / 0-)

                  unless aguilar had endless coffers to counter kim, there is no way to decimate anyone.

                  and, yep, we totally agree - this system IS stupid and needs to go.

                  stupid voters put it in place and now, hopefully, the stupidity of that action is settling in.  

                  i'm all for finding out how to put an initiative on the ballot to reverse this after 2012 election.  you had better believe if the republicans had been shut out of a district, there would be an initiative on the ballot in november to kill this travesty.

                  organize... that's what the dems need to do.

                  oh. wait.

                  i forgot.

                  dems (progressives) and organize in the same sentence don't compute.  8^)

          •  This mixes up two issues (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            One is whether he should have run--of course he should have!  Everyone who wants to run should run.  The other, more important question is whether he should have sized up his situation a few days ago, done the math, and determined that he had no chance to win but a high chance of dooming any Democratic presence on the ballot in a majority-Democratic district.  He's 100% guilty of failing to place the district's interests above his own while there was time to do so.

            Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

            by Rich in PA on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 10:36:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  oh, yes he DOES deserve the abuse! (0+ / 0-)

            running in a primary that puts two republicans on the ticket and takes the democratic candidate off - there are consequences.  he damned well KNEW he could not win - but ego never let him view the consequences.

            california (and every other top two state) now have a real problem that will impact the entire nation.

            my suggestion until this is fixed is for the dems to hold internal caucuses and determine which candidate has a realistic and viable chance of winning - and then putting that candidate forward to the primaries.

            this isn't a democratic primary any longer - it is a damned elimination general election.

            consequences.  the numbers of republicans in the house.  and that number just rose by default to one more than before.  

      •  Without the player there is no game. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rich in PA

        So hating the player is perfectly appropriate.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:54:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, he was the problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        He wasn't at the outset, but he was at the end.  There was no way for him to get where he needed to go, but he stayed in the race and made it a locked-in Republican seat.  I don't understand how that's anything but self-absorbed.

        Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

        by Rich in PA on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 10:34:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, he wasn't. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Though obviously this result was a possibility from the beginning, all the candidates were surprised by the outcome. Are you suggesting he should've dropped out because polls could've shown him behind? At what point? Ballots were set in April. People started voting weeks ago, but a lot of people didn't make up their minds until the last few days. We're talking about a difference of a few thousand votes--this wasn't a lost cause. If there had been just one or two Democratic candidates, we wouldn't be having this discussion. The problem is the system.

          I'm troubled by your suggestion that Aguilar was somehow entitled to the nomination. Yes, he ended up with the most votes, but what looks clear to you in hindsight looks a lot different in the midst of a campaign.

          •  this isn't about aguilar - it is about the (0+ / 0-)

            strongest candidate.  period.

            as a result of a weak candidate (plus several other outliers), now the seat is guaranteed republican in a democratic leaning district.

            damn! don't democrats/progressives EVER learn anything?  look at wisconsin.  look at michigan.  look at florida.

            this is what happens when republicans are in control.  is the ego of a distant candidate more important than stopping the damage done by republicans in office?


            •  Strongest? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And would you be the one to make pre-primary determinations of who is the "strongest"? That assessment is not simple to make. (In this case, the party couldn't make it.)

              You'll note that the commenters who live in the district and have followed this race the longest are slower to blame any one candidate--"ego" or not. That's because this was a systematic failure.

              •  perhaps it is time for the democrats who want (0+ / 0-)

                to run hold local debates and caucuses PRIOR to the sham primary to see what their standing is with the voters.  any one with less than 20/30% of dem support should back the hell off.  there is NO chance of winning a primary when the margins are low and there are republicans who can cross over to kill off both candidates.

                democratic caucuses locally ONLY allowing registered dems to participate to determine who to put on these fake "primary" ballots - at least until the system is thrown out.

                i screamed at the top of my lungs when this initiative was put on the ballot in california - i said at the time my vote would be disenfranchised.  many on this very site supported the initiative claiming it would give "third parties" a voice.

                did it?


                it gave this election in THIS district to the republicans.

                how's that for a "third party"?  now, this particular district has a party of ONE - and that party's "primary" is the general with all other voters shut out.   someone else said it well when they said that the general has become the primary for the republican party and the rest of us are disenfranchised.

                sadly, those outside that district will be just as impacted by only having a republican eligible for the house (since that republican will vote on bills affecting the entire nation).

                stupid.  every single part of this is flat out stupid.  and california voters fell for it when the initiative was put on the ballot and passed.

                consequences.  we haz 'em now.

                •  Dems should do all they can (0+ / 0-)

                  to pick up the pieces and figure out what went wrong here.  But they shouldn't blame someone who just ran a credible grassroots campaign.

                  •  you're missing my point here. (0+ / 0-)

                    blaming someone who put a republican in office is perfectly acceptable.  even if the dems had been closer - they still would have split the dem vote giving the seat to republicans.

                    what is more important to you - the opportunity for someone to have their name on the   "faux-primary" ballot and then losing the opportunity to run in the general or determining which democrat would best be able to survive that "faux-primary" to be a contender in the general.

                    this was a pyrrhic victory for kim.  he was able to "run" but he "lost" both the primary and the district for his party.

                    this district outcome is a wake-up call for dems in california - now let's see how self-destructive the california party members really are in the next election or if they learn from this travesty.

    •  they all f'd up (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCCyclone, sapelcovits, Dr Stankus, IM

      Aguilar ran a half-ass campaign, and the three stooges selfishly tried to maximize their own votes instead of suspending their campaigns and endorsing Aguilar as soon as it became obvious that Aguilar was the only Dem with a chance to get to the general.

      But notwithstanding all that, the party should have stepped in like they did in CA26. They strongly backed Brownley and persduaded some of the non-viable Dems to step aside, and as a result Brownley cruised. They would have easily gotten the same result in CA31 if they hadn't dropped the ball.

      SSP poster. 42, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:08:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know Justin Kim, but I do know (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca, edrie, askew, BruinKid, madhaus, KenBee, IM

      Renea Wickham and Rita Dean.  I tried to talk Dean -- who runs every year and to my knowledge has never won a primary -- out of the race and almost got my head bitten off.  Renea is similarly hard-headed, simply not believing despite all available evidence that she was just in a spoiler role.

      To survive Top Two, we need party discipline -- and we don't and won't have it.

      Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

      by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:08:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not fake Dems (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edrie, askew, IM

      I'm a local resident. I never heard of Kim before. But the two women are not fake Dems.   I know them.

      Unfortunately, they were spoilers. Anyone who cannot raise GOOD money has no business draining votes from someone who was doing it.

      This is Jerry Lewis's old seat in a redrawn district.

      Pete Aguilar is a moderate, and he could have pulled in moderates and independents.  For some Dems, he was not left enough. So what.

      So, Aguilar in 2014.

    •  look at the candidate who got banned from here... (0+ / 0-)

      colleen fernold, ferngold, fumblebum... whatever.

      she was a third party candidate who ran as a democrat and pulled a small fraction of the vote against feinstein.  the problem is that enough tiny fractions end up splitting the dem vote and could put two republicans on top if fewer are on the ballot.

      this system is rife with distortions and the opportunity to manipulate the system.

      this initiative HAS to be repealed!  perhaps that is the task to work on for the next election.  i am livid that the san bernadino district will only off a "choice" of two republicans for congress.  some choice, eh?  "will you have arsenic or hemlock with that tea?"

      low information voters.  that is the problem.  one of my friends voted for that initiative - when i yelled at her and explained what the consequences would be, she replied "oops!".

      she is an example of what we face in november.  she never listens to the news, hates politics, votes by talking to her friends (when she'll listen, which is only right before an election) - drives me totally nuts!  

      she says she hates politics and it has nothing to do with her - i've changed that a bit by pointing out the obvious ways she is impacted (from aca on down the list) but it is still pulling teeth to get her to listen.

      we have a real problem ahead of us in november.  too many people are "turned off" by the political process.  instead of accusing people of "cheerleading" on this site, we ALL need to be looking at the realities of what faces us if the republicans succeed in taking over the senate, white house and hold the house.

      this really IS a battle for the future of america - and if it means getting out pompoms and loudspeakers, then i'll start shortening my skirts right now!

  •  Time to stop calling them "Primaries" in CA (8+ / 0-)

    This obviously has nothing to do with choosing the standard bearer of one's party.

    The smart thing to do in the future is going to be for local parties to rally behind one candidate early, and I don't put it past the GOP to field fake Democrats to try to sow dissension in the ranks and split fields to yield two Republicans at the top.

    This is just not going to work out well in terms of producing representative general election candidates who offer real alternatives.

    What remains to be seen in the R-R faceoffs is whether the system will have any moderating effect whatsoever. I doubt it.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:36:26 AM PDT

    •  Agree. It's a "general" with a mandatory runoff. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Dr Stankus, edrie, TheCrank, IM

      Candidates will henceforth be nominated by party leaders... not the party's voters.

      Official endorsements by local Dem Clubs and the County Central Committee may have increased influence... but the "top-two" really tilts the field toward incumbents and candidates with money.

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

      by jjohnjj on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:22:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in CA-31 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Who should I vote for?

    No, really, I'm asking for advice.

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:38:57 AM PDT

  •  So When Does Obama Announce That He Supports.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....extending the Bush tax cuts for two more years?  Hard to imagine that's not his game plan if the economy does not improve in the next couple months, and even if it does, "the economy will be to fragile to risk any tax increases".  Bill Clinton's comments may or may not have been an intentional trial balloon, but it should soften us for what seems like an inevitable capitulation as the economy still can't get any traction.  

    I get the feeling it gets announced before or during the Democratic convention, because Obama knows he'll get killed in debates when Romney comes at him with "and the President plans to raise taxes in this economy", and will want to get out in front of that.

    I see no scenario at all where millionaires will be paying 39.6% income tax rates on January 1, 2013.  That was the case three months ago and seems even more certain today.

    •  Umm never. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      judyms9, Odysseus

      He fought hard to end the cuts for the wealthy in 2010 before he was cut off at the knees by 50 some odd Democratic assholes in the House.  Why on Earth would you expect him to do a 180?  Ending the cuts for the wealthy is extremely popular.

      •  He had a chance to do that in 2010, but nobody (0+ / 0-)

        seemed to care enough to actually do it.

        Dems found themselves in a real bind after the elections, leading to that lame-duck capitulation.

        A really smart move would be to introduce a bill that makes permanent the middle class tax cuts -- maybe even bumps them a scoonch -- and makes permanent some or all of the payroll tax cut, while extending the upper limit for social security and increasing taxes on the wealthy.

        Payroll tax burden on middle class earners more than offsets higher rates for high earners (well, up to a pont), especially since most middle-class income is in the form of wages.
        This isn't even a matter of making the system more progressive -- just tipping from regressive to even or better.
        And -- give the real job creators a little money to work with.

        Wouldn't pass the current congress, but sure beats making vague promises that nobody trusts.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:29:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  De-coupling has been introduced several times (0+ / 0-)

          Senate filibusters, can't pass the House.

          "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

          by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:33:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Passing is not required. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            See FDR between 1932-1934.
            Also see 1934 midterm elections and compare to 2010.

            Concrete action that fails is still concrete action.
            Saying "We'll get around to it" isn't.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:04:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Because The Prospect Of Raising Taxes..... (0+ / 0-) a slumping economy is likely to be easy for Romney to exploit.  Particularly not knowing where the economy is going in the home stretch of the campaign, I suspect the Obama campaign gets ahead of the issue in the summer by calling for another two-year tax cut extension.  It will also be calculated to draw in more Wall Street campaign contributions.  Plouffe thinks he'll be outspent at this point, so expect them to whatever it takes to get back on Wall Street's good side.

        •  I doubt it (0+ / 0-)

          Their reaction to Bill Clinton (and indeed his own people) going off-message suggests there is no such plan.

          "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

          by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:49:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The debate is worth having (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, itskevin

      The retort to Romney is that they are holding tax-cuts for the rich hostage at the expense of those for everybody else. And it is also crucial to their arguments on the deficit. Clinton is his own man, take it or leave it.

      "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

      by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:17:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  November 7 (0+ / 0-)

      “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

      by Paleo on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:34:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need to think harder about this problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, spiderdem, Odysseus

    Maybe we should look at raising the hurdle to make it on the ballot?  I'm all for the democratic process, but when any schmuck with $950 and 40 friends can run for the state legislature and potentially train-wreck the election, something's wrong.  
    For example. raising the signature bar to 400, which is less than 1 in 1000 residents for an Assembly district, would be a major deterrent to nuisance candidates while not blocking those under-funded people who have grassroots support.

    •  Now there's a constructive idea. (0+ / 0-)

      If we can't get rid of Top Two, let's fix it.  I like it!

    •  I'd support that (0+ / 0-)

      But I might raise the # of sigs even higher.

      I would also support changing the top-2 law so that if all candidates combined from one party get at least 40% of the vote, then the top finisher from that party moves on to the general. I think both parties would support that, and a decent number of people who voted for top 2 wouldn't object to it as the basic setup of the top 2 system would still be preserved. I don't think the voters would go for bringing the old system back.

      SSP poster. 42, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:14:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'm not so sure it can't be repealed when people (0+ / 0-)

        realize their voices are silenced and their votes are forced to go for people who hold diametrically opposed views to their own.

        as i posted in another place, a friend who voted for this initiative had NO idea of what it did - her response when i told her was "oops!"

    •  ballot initiative to repeal this travesty. (0+ / 0-)

      it needs to be done!

      either that, or we need to start running as republicans in such districts!  if the broken system isn't fixed, then break it further until it is fixed!  i'm sure the republicans would scream bloody murder to have this undone if they end up with no candidates running!

      next election in california?  who wants to run as a republican!  free brain bleach available after the election to those who choose to make the ultimate sacrifice on that altar!

  •  Much can happen this summer that will dramatically (0+ / 0-)

    alter all the data and opinions above.  Obama has to stick with the taxes on the 1% in order to continue defining Willard as the candidate of the 1%.  Besides, it's too late to romance Wall Street for their backing.  After his re-election and the confirmation of a new AG, Obama can seek justice for the damage Wall Street has done to the nation and other parts of the world.  

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:32:32 AM PDT

    •  Let's hope he does get a new AG (0+ / 0-)

      Do we know if Holder's retiring?

      Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:56:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Holder, like Geithner, said he might leave at the (0+ / 0-)

        end of four.  I'm pinning my hopes on it.  Wall Street will have a ticker tape parade to welcome him home from the war in which he saved their bacon.  May he sustain a severe neck crick from all the backslapping that awaits him.  

        Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

        by judyms9 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:14:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  re. CA-31 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumiputera, IM

    that was really a royal screw-up..

    first of all, Baca should have ran there instead of against McLeod in CA-35-

    44% of the territory in CA-31 is currently represented by Baca so it would have been a slam-dunk in the primary... and as Obama got 58% of the two-party vote here in 2008, Baca very likely would have been good to go in Nov. but I guess every politico only thinks of themselves, & not the big picture as far as building the party

    (this applies to CA-21 also, where Costa should have ran instead of in CA-16; conversely, Blong Xiong could have ran in CA-16... likewise, if Susan Davis ran in CA-52 I think it would be slam-dunk for us instead of just a tossup -- so that's three CA seats right there where we would be favored or at least lean Dem. if Dem. incumbents just ran in the right district, instead of now having those three seats at tossup-CA-52, likely GOP-CA-21, and solid GOP-CA-31)

    w/ Baca not running, CA Dems. should have united around one candidate like they did in CA-26 w/ Brownley...

    on the bright side, this will be a top target in 2014 and hopefully CA Dems have learned their lesson (btw, I crunched teh numbers, and in 2008 House Dem candidates got approx. 53% of the two-party vote in territory that's now CA-31; and I saw a diary at RRH, where they calculated that even in 2010, the Dem. House vote here was 50.1% -- and this district is moving in our direction on top of this).

    as far as who dems. should vote for in Nov., I'd guess Miller, but it probably won't make a difference re. our chances in 2014 as long as Dems. are all on the same page here...

    •  This is key (0+ / 0-)

      "I guess every politico only thinks of themselves, & not the big picture as far as building the party."

      The next step I guess is spending money everywhere a la Brownley. Which is an epic waste of resources.

      "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

      by conspiracy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:36:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  CA-21 (0+ / 0-)

      Some key points:
      1)The new "Kings" district is a lot more Kern County/Metro Bakersfield heavy than the old district that Costa had.
      2)Costa is generally unpopular in Kern.
      3)Costa actually lives in 16.
      4) Nether candidate had a decent GOTV program from what I could tell.
      5) Retrospectively, I think this race was effected by the down ballot assembly race for AD-32. Pedro Rios who is a sitting city councilman in Delano won. Just to be clear Salas' voters = Hernandez's voters.  However, Rios voters are not necessarily Valadao voters.

      Just some thoughts from the ground.

      ex-SSP. What would Machiavelli do?

      by hankmeister on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 10:58:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CA-41 (0+ / 0-)

    There seems to be some disconnect.  The commentary here makes it sound like a pickup opportunity, but Cook and Sabato list it as a Democratic seat (ie, if the Democrat wins, it will be a hold, not a pickup).  Can anyone shed some light on this apparent discrepancy?

    •  CA-41 (0+ / 0-)

      Takano should get some out-of-state financial support from endorsement by the LGBT Victory Fund, but I wish they'd bump him up to their short Featured Candidates roster.

      I understand the need to highlight the candidate running to hold OH-HD-88 for the lavender team, but I really don't care too much about Oakland County (MI) executive.

      A Republican is a person who says we need to rebuild Iraq but not New Orleans. - Temple Stark

      by Christopher Walker on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:52:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Republican districts (19): 1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 31, 36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 49, 50, 52

      Democratic districts (34): 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 51, 53

      NY-22 (old and new)

      by elucas730 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:06:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's Democracy = fakelections (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edrie, IM

    If one party gets two guy with 12% and 15% of the vote and the other one a lot of them with 10% or less, the 27% of the electorate gets double representation. Meanwhile over 80% are disenfranchised.

    This is great tool for republicans who have a much higher turn out in primaries and a more vote always population, and also are adept to place trick candidates and many other dirty tricks. Now that the GOP was on the way to extinction in CA more convoluted forms of "democracy" come to help

    This is great particularly when we know from other states that republicans can run in the democratic primaries even if the democratic party does not want those candidates and they are clearly plants. Fakelections are part of the first amendment rights!!!!

    •  Yes. As was the plan. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Iberian, edrie, IM

      This is so disgusting, but it is fairly predictable, it seems. For 30 years, the Republicans have outfought, outvoted, outthought, and outspent the Dems everywhere, all the time. When something happens that should be expected (e.g., 2006 election, when Dems were finally able to make political capital out of the worst Administration in American history), instead we're amazed and caught off-guard. We celebrate, and instead of using those small victories to crush our opponents as best we can, we take that kind of standard political activity "off the table" to "look forward", because we don't want to "become like them." As if that somehow ennobles us as we hasten toward third (or at least, second) world status.
      I'm sick of it.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:58:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'm sick of it, too - which means we have to work (0+ / 0-)

        even harder - and the saddest part is that we are working AGAINST republicans and AGAINST those supposedly of our own political side to get the job done!

        it is out outcome, not ideology - and that is what many people don't get.

        consequences.  elections have consequences.  not voting has consequences.  voting third party has consequences.  voting for candidates that don't have a prayer of winning has consequences.

        thinking long- term is a republican virtue.

        having no long-term memory is a democratic shortfall.

        too many folks think short-term only and we all pay the price for that with the resulting consequences.

  •  Damn it! (0+ / 0-)

    I've been "represented" by Jerry Lewis forever, now ... this? Gah.

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:50:25 AM PDT

  •  CA-31 - I know what the problem was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Poor campaigning by Aquilar.

    Not even I knew who to vote for. I did get some literature from Justin Kim, and his signs were the largest. If Aguilar had really done his job at campaining properly, we could have had this thing.

    Gary Miller's group was push-polling for weeks. I got a LOT of push-poll phone calls from his people

    Would you be more or less likely to vote for Gary Miller if you knew he was a veteran? .... etc.

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 07:55:37 AM PDT

    •  money. it takes MONEY to campaign. (0+ / 0-)

      blaming the candidate is not fair, imho.  blaming the candidate who strategically didn't have a prayer IS fair.  splitting the limited funds available is stupid on both candidate's parts - they should have worked together for the good of this nation instead of their own ego-trips.

      dems are affected the hardest economically in this country and the republicans are counting on there not being enough money to run campaigns on local and state levels to effect the biggest "coup" this nation has ever seen.  cut off the money supply and the republicans simply pay for their own campaigns and waltz to victory.

      we need to be on the ground for both local and state candidates as well as for the president and national candidates.  otherwise, we are in danger of losing our democracy.  

  •  CA-31 (0+ / 0-)

    If the top two Republican candidates get 52% of the vote, that seems to make it a pretty solid Republican district, on its face or on its butt.

  •  UPDATE CA-21 Blong Xiong Won (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapelcovits, bumiputera, wu ming, askew, IM

    Apparently a lot of votes (absentee, provisional) were not counted on election night. (In fact, over 800,000 votes are still to be counted statewide)

    According to Fresno County Elections, Xiong is now 9 points ahead of businessman Hernandez.

    Fresno Elections


    •  This is wonderful (0+ / 0-)

      and maybe there is a small glimmer of hope in CA-31, too.

      Male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), moving to Kyoto-06 (Japan) in August

      by sapelcovits on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:53:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thats only in Fresno County (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumiputera, wu ming, IM

      The California Secretary of States office has Hernandez ahead of Xiong by 3%:  CA-21 Statewide

      Kern County Elections:

      U.S. REPRESENTATIVE 21ST CD - Vote For 1
      Completed Precincts: 127 of 127    
      VOTE                     COUNT PERCENTAGE
      DAVID G. VALADAO 5521  43.35%
      JOHN HERNANDEZ   4423 34.73%
      BLONG XIONG          2743 21.54%

      Congress District 21st
      34/34 100.00%
            Vote Count     Percent
      DAVID G. VALADAO     10,312     70.67%
      BLONG XIONG     2,103     14.41%
      JOHN HERNANDEZ     2,177     14.92%
      Total     14,592     100.00%

      Its worth directly pointing out that Hernandez got 4423 votes in Kern County. Really and truly, when you look at the allocation of population of this district its a Kern County District.

      ex-SSP. What would Machiavelli do?

      by hankmeister on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:57:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Guess I jumped the gun

      •  Dont forget Bakersfield (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bumiputera, IM

        A major portion of 21 is in Kern county, to catch the Hispanics in the city of Bakersfield, and there is some in Tulare County

        I dont think the following includes writeins and provisionals, but shows how important Kern is

        June 5 Primary Election Results
        Candidate    Votes    Percent    Precincts Reporting
        John Hernandez    8,332    22.8%    407 of 407
        David G. Valadao    20,948    57.3%    407 of 407
        Blong Xiong    7,286    19.9%    407 of 407

        County Breakdown
        John Hernandez
        County    Votes    Percent    Precincts Reporting
        Fresno     1,547    18.4%    86 of 86
        Kern     4,423    34.9%    127 of 127
        Kings     2,177    14.9%    183 of 183
        Tulare     185    21.0%    11 of 11
        David G. Valadao
        County    Votes    Percent    Precincts Reporting
        Fresno     4,557    54.2%    86 of 86
        Kern     5,521    43.5%    127 of 127
        Kings     10,312    70.7%    183 of 183
        Tulare     558    63.3%    11 of 11
        Blong Xiong
        County    Votes    Percent    Precincts Reporting
        Fresno     2,302    27.4%    86 of 86
        Kern     2,743    21.6%    127 of 127
        Kings     2,103    14.4%    183 of 183
        Tulare     138    15.7%    11 of 11

        •  Trust me I know. (0+ / 0-)

          I make the somewhat unpopular argument that at least in Kern County the VRA is keeping Republicans in power because it causes Kern County and specifically Metro Bakersfield to be split with the more Democratic portions being drawn out to shore up Kings County.

          ex-SSP. What would Machiavelli do?

          by hankmeister on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:42:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Q Poll: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    distantcousin, Wizardryo

    Doesn't seem correct that the lead is only 5 when Obama leads by 16 with women and is down only 5 with men. In a 50/50 split of men and women that would project a 5.5% lead, but the poll shows around a 52% women, 48% men split which should yield around a +7 point Obama edge.

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

    by pollbuster on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:45:32 AM PDT

  •  What's the case *for* top-two? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is it that people in solidly D or R districts deserve a choice even in the general election? I don't think there's a legitimate state interest in that.  And that's without even taking into account these fratricidal scenarios in which the minority party ends up with all of the ballot lines in November.  There's no legitimate greater good served by the top-two approach.

    Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 10:38:51 AM PDT

    •  more compromise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sacman701, bumiputera

      trust me, if you lived in California and had our legislature, you'd understand.

      19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at

      by jncca on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 11:03:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the intention is that the final candidate (0+ / 0-)

      will more closely represent the district. Say a liberal democrat who would coast in a closed primary will now be in danger from a moderate Democrat who is picking up other moderates plus whatever Republicans are in the district. Clearly this doesn't happen though.

      It might also be easier to dislodge unliked incumbents who nevertheless have establishment support.

      27, Male, MA-08 (hometown MI-06)

      by bumiputera on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:07:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My case for top two (0+ / 0-)

      I had thought it useful in strongly blue districts where it might have been used, especially in an open-seat situation, to circumvent some of the problems in growing a third party.  Note here that there are a LOT of caveats.  Don't do it in swing districts (where you might get a CA-31 situation) or with relatively strong incumbents (where it won't make a difference and is just a waste of resources).  It's not a way to get more Democrats but, in certain circumstances, it MIGHT be a way to get better Democrats.

      The closest case I had in mind was for the new CA-02, where I thought Solomon (or a Green) might very well have pulled 2nd place and, at least, raised their stature. I was wrong even here, but not by much.

  •  this is exactly what many of us were screaming (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, IM

    about when the stupid top two system (pushed by third party advocates) was passed.

    CA-31: I'm not sure I've ever seen a race turn around from Tossup to Safe R in one fell swoop before, but that's what we're left with after the Top 2 primary in California's San Bernardino-based 31st district. Despite this being, on its face, a Dem-leaning district with a Hispanic plurality, the vagaries of the top 2 system wound up giving us two Republicans for the ballot in November: Rep. Gary Miller and state Sen. Bob Dutton. Miller and Dutton finished at 27 and 25 respectively, with Redlands mayor Pete Aguilar, the Dem expected to finish in the top 2, narrowly behind at 23, getting hosed by the presence of three other minor Dems (one of whom, Justin Kim, got 13%). A write-in candidacy isn't possible under the new law, so one of the GOPers will be the new congressman here.
    now, all those "progressive/green" advocates who thought this system would give them a better shot at the ballot only have to look at their own feet to see where that "shot" landed.

    it is critical that this initiative be undone!  it is dangerous and unfair - the district will NOT be represented by an official that represents their point of view.


  •  Coverage in the PE (0+ / 0-)

    Are there any readers of today's PE who can explain that graphic on A-1 showing where the five candidates had their support?

  •  From the Redlands Daily Facts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tiger in BlueDenver

    Ron Wall, chairman of the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee, said a party effort had been made to clear the field for Aguilar.

    "There was no specific endorsement of any candidate for the party in this race," Wall said, "but the expectation was that he would be our best candidate, and there were discussions with the other three candidates about this.

    "It's a great disappointment that Pete didn't make the final two, and there will be some debriefing with all four candidates about what we can do to prevent this from happening in the future."

  •  Duh (0+ / 0-)

    Renea Wickman is quoted in the local newspaper as saying it never occurred to her that the primary election results could send two Republicans to the general election.


    And she was running for a seat in Congress!

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