Election Round Up: Garamendi Rolls; Torlakson Survives a Tough Night

Ami Bera (left) and John Garamendi (right) rallied with Former President Clinton last week at UC Davis.  Garamendi survived, but Bera is in trouble - Photo by Melissa Martinez
Ami Bera (left) and John Garamendi (right) rallied with Former President Clinton last week at UC Davis. Garamendi survived, but Bera is in trouble – Photo by Melissa Martinez

It was a tough night for Democrats across the country. Locally, John Garamendi would hold onto his seat with a 52.7-47.3 victory over Dan Logue, in a hotly contested race his campaign called a “decisive win.”

Congressman Garamendi issued the following statement:

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the people of the 3rd Congressional District for this vote of confidence. Together, we sent the clear message that Americans in this corner of the country are tired of the partisan gridlock, sick of the extremism, and ready for a Washington built on important issues, mutual respect, and good-faith compromise.

“I’m proud of the campaign we ran. We focused on real issues that really matter to Northern California. The need to invest in the infrastructure and research that build our economy. The urgency of protecting our vital water resources. The importance of Make It In America policies that help create good middle class jobs. The wisdom in keeping college affordable for all qualified students. The justice of equal pay for equal work. The moral obligation of ensuring that seniors can retire with dignity. The fairness in ensuring that everyone can earn a decent wage and support their families. The urgency in acknowledging and acting on the unambiguous science of the climate crisis.

Ami Bera trails by over 3000 votes with all precincts reporting.
Ami Bera trails by over 3000 votes with all precincts reporting.

“No party has a monopoly on good ideas, and while I’m proud to be a Democrat, I know I would not be returning to Congress without substantial support from fair-minded Republican and independent voters. Congress is broken, but every step of the way, I’ve tried to work across the aisle to fix it. I’ve helped forge strong bipartisan coalitions for water policy, our Air Force bases, agriculture, wildfire prevention, levee construction, veterans, small businesses, civil liberties, and Congress’s constitutional obligation to vote on war.

“With the fog of this election behind us, I hope we can all move forward and once again make Congress an institution committed to helping all Americans reach their American Dream. A great nation deserves great representation, and for as long as I’m in Congress, that’s what I’m committed to providing to the 3rd District.”

In the meantime, Yolo County’s new Assemblymember will be Napa Supervisor Bill Dodd, who cruised to an easy 60-39 victory on Tuesday. Bill Dodd’s general election battle, of course, was far easier than the bruising primary where fellow Democrats Dan Wolk and Joe Krovoza waged a pitched battle that ultimately saw Bill Dodd prevail, with Republican Charlie Schaupp finishing second, Dan Wolk third and Joe Krovoza fourth.

In one of the most closely-watched races, Democratic incumbent Ami Bera appears to be on the verge of losing to Republican Doug Ose, himself a former Congressman. With all of the precincts reporting, Doug Ose held a 3011 vote lead. While that race has not been called, it seems unlikely that Congressman Bera will catch Mr. Ose.

In Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson’s bid for new powers for the mayor’s office appears to have gone down to resounding defeat, as the measure trailed 57-43 with all precincts reporting.

In a battle between Democrats fighting to replace outgoing Senate President Darrell Steinberg, Assemblymember Richard Pan defeated Assemblymember Roger Dickinson 53-47.

Torlakson speaks in Davis last Thursday
Torlakson speaks in Davis last Thursday

Torlakson Declares Victory

While none of the partisan statewide races saw any challenges to the Democratic stranglehold over California, the normally low-key state superintendent race drew more than $20 million in outside spending. With all precincts reporting, Tom Torlakson appears to have survived.

He was ahead 52 to 48 percent with about an 180,000 vote lead. Last night he declared victory.

“We knew it wouldn’t be easy. They were strong, but we were stronger,” said Mr. Torlakson in a statement. “They were tough, but we were tougher. After all, we’re teachers – we did our homework.”

“We knew that when Californians look for direction on how to improve education – they don’t look to Wall Street. They don’t look to Silicon Valley. They look to the people who are in the schools in their neighborhood every day – the teachers, the school employees, the teacher’s aides, the nurses, the counselors,” he continued.

“There are still many votes to count. But it looks like tonight is a win for the people who do more than talk about improving education – tonight is a win for the people who do something about it,” he said.

It was a vicious battle to end. Tom Torlakson came to Davis last week with the Field Poll showing the two tied.

“The opposition is clear,” Mr. Torlakson told the volunteers. “My opponent is a former Wall Street banker. I’m a teacher, he’s a banker. Different mindset, different goals.”

“He’s been funded by Walmart, one million bucks,” he continued. “(He’s a) Texas Enron trader who wants to end public pensions, Sort of take away what many of our hard working families have earned, paying into their public pension system.”

“We’re seeing that the Walmart folks are for vouchers.” Mr. Torlakson explained this as a way to take public dollars and put them toward private schools. He said this “weakens the schools that are remaining in the neighborhood and community.”

“The people who want to turn California’s public education system over to a Wall Street investment banker will apparently say just about anything to divert attention from Marshall Tuck’s record as a failed Los Angeles school administrator,” Mr. Torlakson said a few weeks ago, as Marshall Tuck unveiled another wave of what Mr. Torlakson’s campaign called “a barrage of misleading attack ads in a last-ditch effort to defeat state Superintendent Tom Torlakson.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Torlakson took the high road, “I congratulate my opponent for running a strong campaign. And while I disagree with him in many respects, I believe he truly wants California’s children to succeed — and I wish him well.

“We are all committed to making our schools better and helping our students achieve their dreams. No one wants that more than California’s teachers. But teachers cannot do it alone – and we cannot do it under siege,” he said. “So if you truly care about our schools, our children and their futures – wonderful. Join us. We’re right down the street – at a school in your neighborhood. We want your help. We need your help.”

He would add, “We said it a lot during our campaign – because it’s true: Our students only get one chance at a great education – let’s all keep working together for a better future for California and our kids.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Barack Palin

    It was a tough night for Democrats across the country.

    Why does this have to be about Democrats?  Why can’t it be a great night for Republicans across the country?  Why can’t it be about America finally waking up to the bad policies of Obama and the Democrats and voting them out of office?

      1. Davis Progressive

        david: the democrats deserved to get their butts handed to them.  obama has been a disaster.  he runs good campaigns, but he governs like crap.  now we all have to live with those consequences.

        1. South of Davis

           DP wrote:

          > obama has been a disaster. 

          I didn’t expect that from DP…

          My prediction is that the newly elected GOP politicians will also be a “disaster” and the small number of truly undecided voters (vs. the hard core party people that vote ALL D or R every time) will flip back to the Dems. next time in the hope that someone will do something other than make laws that pretend to do one thing but are really designed to get money to their donors…

        2. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          I’m not sure “he governs like crap.” I think this was a huge rejection of Obama, but one that is explicable.

          Most important factor: the party in the White House almost always gets trashed in the mid-term election six years in, no matter who the president is or whether anonymous rich white attorneys from Davis who love to call other people “classists” think the president is effective or not. This happened after Reagan’s 6th year, when Dems won the House and took back the U.S. Sentate; it happened after Clinton’s 6th year; and now it has happened to Obama. It is in this sense a fatigue with the party in the White House;

          A second factor is a natural Republican/conservative advantage in mid-term elections due to the nature of the marginal Democratic voter. Unlike in presidential years, younger voters and those who are not white tend to show up in smaller numbers in mid-terms, and that is a big help to the GOP, whose older, whiter voters are more reliable.

          A third, somewhat unique factor in this year’s election, at least in the U.S. Senate, was that almost all of the vulnerable Senators up for re-election, or open seats, were held by Democrats in red or leaning-red states. When you add-in the first two factors to this one, that really helped the Republicans win big yesterday. (Colorado was the exception to this. The Republican who is very conservative won, and Colo. is not really a red state.)

          A final factor, certainly one that is more subjective, is what I think is a misperception of how well our country is doing. A strong majority of voters and non-voters think the economy and other things in our country are in poor shape. But compared with the rest of the world, we are doing quite well. The Dow just hit an all-time high. Corporate profits are strong. Home prices have rebounded in most of the country. Pension funds, like CalPERS, are not in nearly as bad a condition. Local governments are no longer laying off employees. The dollar is extremely strong now. Inflation is low. Our growth is much better than that in Europe. Our unemployment has come down substantially and job-growth has been improving for four years. We are now the world’s largest oil producer (due to fracking and other methods of crude extraction). Gas prices are under $3. Even though things are a mess in Iraq and Syria (and probably will get much worse soon enough in Afghanistan), we are now spending a lot less on military adventures than we were a few years ago and our troops are mostly safe. Also, while the Ebola crisis is far from solved, it looks to me like it won’t become a big deal here and won’t cause much havoc outside of Africa. … All that, to me, adds up to <i>things are pretty good.</i> But most Americans don’t see it that way, and because they are unhappy with how they believe things are going, conservatives voted against Obama and liberals failed to show up to vote for Democrats. This kind of a lag in perception–albeit subjective–has happened in other elections to other presidents. George HW Bush was voted out in 1992 in large part because the country thought the economy was doing badly. But–in my opinion–it was a misperception. The economy was bad in 1991 and had recovered by Nov. 1992. But most people did not yet believe in that economy, and they wanted Bush out for it. Right now, Americans think Obama has not done a good job, but I think it is largely just a lag.

        3. Frankly

          And those lucky enough to have a good job are paying higher taxes and significantly more for healthcare and education.

          But more are still out of work and lacking any reasonable job prospects.

          I think parts of your analysis are spot on, but I don’t think you are including these points for the unhappiness with Obama.

          You also need to add up all the blunders and his projection of not giving a shit about so many things.  His performance is that of a blamer and an excuse maker and it has all added up to tarnish him and the Democrat brand.

          Interesting… since Democrats have used the GOP blame game to inflame voter anger against the GOP… and has done so successfully… this election seems to represent a profound indication that the voters no longer believe it.  And then there is that compounding problem for the Democrats in what they will make their next platform out of.  Can you explain to me what you would do for your platform as a national Democrat political candidate in light of the lessons of this election?

        4. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          Frankly: “And those lucky enough to have a good job are paying higher taxes and significantly more for healthcare and education.”

          You are mistaken. This comes from the Wall Street Journal:

          Medical prices are rising at their slowest pace in a half century, a shift in the health-care industry that could provide relief to government and businesses’ budgets while also signaling consumers are being left with a larger share of the bill. The prices paid for medical care in July rose just 1% from a year earlier, the slowest annual rate of growth since the early 1960s, according to Commerce Department data. Health-care increases now trail overall inflation, which itself has been historically slow in recent years.

        5. hpierce

          Ok… it’s time for the Republicans to ‘put up’ or be shut out in 2016.  Nationally, they control both houses of congress.  If they do not act to “put things right”, they are exactly the ‘spoilers’ they have been painted during their control of the House.

          1. Don Shor

            Most likely he would sign legislation that has bipartisan support. He wouldn’t sign anything that substantively weakens the Affordable Care Act. He wouldn’t sign anything that passes only on party line votes in the House and Senate, but Senate Democrats would likely block those bills anyway. So the only thing that is likely to end up on his desk that Senate Democrats oppose would be any bill McConnell chooses to pass via reconciliation. It is likely the President would veto such bills, and it would be just as likely that the GOP would be passing them for symbolic political reasons. In other words, because they want to force a veto.
            If the GOP majority wants to get anything to his desk, they need several Democrats to join them. Keystone is a good example, which Obama would likely sign. A couple of other things might get through; some tax reform, repeal of the medical devices tax. If the GOP wants an immigration bill, one could go forward.
            The problem is, the hard right is already making noise about any compromise. The National Review says today that the Republicans shouldn’t try to govern. The Tea Party would object to any significant immigration reform. Budget bills will still probably bog down, just as they have for the last few years.

        6. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          “Can you explain to me what you would do for your platform as a national Democrat political candidate in light of the lessons of this election?”

          Being that I am not a Democrat, I cannot speak for that party. However, I think there are some factors which worked against them this year which likely will not in 2016.

          One big thing is the economy. Chances are good that by the time we vote in 2016, the perception of our economic strength will have caught up with the reality of that strength. A perpetual, countervailing risk for Democrats, though, is they will nominate someone who runs against prosperity. This is what Al Gore did in 2000, and other Dems have done that since LBJ. It is the very nature of the left to focus on the losers and make things sound much worse than they are. In that respect, the Democratic Party is very un-Reagan-like*. It does not seem too unlikely to me that the Democrats will nominate someone whose campaign will portray the economy as gloom and doom (the whole “two Americas” thing).

          For example, our economy was good at the end of the Clinton Administration, but Gore’s campaign came across as a repudiation of Clinton and prosperity, and it helped make the voters think we needed to throw out the party in power. But if I am right that the economy will be strong in 2016, Dems can run on that and use it to help them win the White House and maybe take back seats in Congress.

          What will also help the Democrats is that in 2016 the presidential contest will bring out the marginal voters, and they are mostly young and non-white Dems. Moreover, our electorate continues to grow less and less white, and nationally less and less socially conservative, and that hurts Republicans when we have a presidential election and turnout is high.

          Another thing which will probably hurt Republicans–it has the last two times–is the GOP primary contest. Even if the person who wins is a good candidate with a good resume, he or she will come out tarnished by the vitriol of the Republican primaries. It’s not unlikely that the Tea Party activists will really hate the establishment leader, and the extremists on the socially conservative right will help undermine confidence in the person who wins. … I think the Republican Party could make a few changes to lessen the chances this happens. One would be to greatly compress their primaries and caucuses into a very short window. That would make the extremists in small states like Iowa and South Carolina less important and make the one or two candidates who have national names more likely to win; and the second thing they could do would be to limit the number of debates to 3 or 4, reducing the number of vicious attacks leveled against their front-runner.

          In terms of what the Democrats need to stand for as an agenda, I am not sure. I don’t think the Democrats really stand for too much. They are not so much an IDEAS party as they are a collection of special interests, and their policies tend to be payoffs to those special interests. As I see things, what matters more than what that party says it is in favor of doing is what their nominee says she is in favor of doing. If it is Mrs. Clinton, I really have no idea. She does not strike me as a person with big ideas. In fact, if the Democrats want to lose, they will nominate someone further to the left who really does have ideas, because those ideas are probably not popular outside the bluest states.

          *Reagan was not cheery when running against the party in power. However, I use him as the optimistic example for how he put up a smiley face in talking about the economy he presided over. Obama, by contrast, has done a poor job of that. If the Dems run against Obama’s economy, as many did this year, they will hurt themselves.

    1. Frankly

      I think it is fair for a post election article to be partisan.

      But I also think that elections are evidence in support of the dismissal of the claim by some that they are completely independent and objective about their politics.

      Another thing that this state election proved, California politics continues to be locked up by the union-Democrat machine.  It will likely be a race to the bottom against Illinois… the only other state having a similar lock.

      And Wisconsin… the historical center of unionization, re-elected governor Scott Walker.

      We really need to dismiss this notion of the California liberal-progressive and growing independent voting block, because it is clear relative to just about everywhere else, that California’s dominant political left is anything but progressive and independent.

      The Torlakson win is anther example.   The union spends and wins again.  The beneficiaries are the unions, and the losers are California’s most vulnerable children.  But in the CA liberal-union-Democrat-media-entertainment industrial complex, this will be the fault of business and conservatives.   And the voting minions corrupted by their crappy California education and brainwashed by endless left-biased media soundbites will believe it as they continue their spiral downward toward lower and lower prosperity and a bankrupt state.

      1. Barack Palin

        It will likely be a race to the bottom against Illinois

        Frankly, at least Illinois somewhat came to their senses last night and elected Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and got rid of Democrat Pat Quinn.

      2. South of Davis

        Frankly wrote:

        > But in the CA liberal-union-Democrat-media-entertainment

        > industrial complex, this will be the fault of business and conservatives.   

        To be fair even most of the “liberal media” supported Tuck.

        It will be interesting to find out how much the unions really spent to keep him out.  I could not surf the web for 10 minutes or listen to Pandora internet radio for a half hour in the past month without seeing or hearing an ad bashing Tuck…

        My prediction is that more and more GOP elected officials will just do a “Bill Dodd” and become “moderate Dems” if they want to stay in office in (urban) CA (and people running as Republicans will be like the guys running as Libertarians who know they can’t win and just like to hear themselves talk)…

        1. Davis Progressive

          moderate republicans will do that anyway because they can’t get past the conservative electorate.  harder to know how the two in primary might change that calculation.

      3. DavisBurns

        Frankly, why single out the unions spending on elections? Where is your criticism of billionaires spending to influence elections? Surely they are buying elections to further their financial interests not unlike union spending.

        1. Frankly

          Billionaires send money to both parties.  Look at Colorado.  The millions of private money spent came from wealthy liberals.  Thankfully that state is still red enough to reject most of the purchased left propaganda.

          That is the thing about private money… it tends to swing both ways.

          However, union money only swings left and to the Democrats.  And in state and local politics it is the dominant money… and also the dominate organizational strength.

          I hope SCOTUS shoots down “fair share” laws and practices, because this will be the beginning of unions having to transform back to directly caring for their employee-members to attract membership and dues.  The way it works now is that dues are collected and immediately fund the political apparatus that does not care so much about the members as it does the growth of the entity and the wealth of its executives.

          The same is true for the teachers union.  Look at all that money spent on politics.  What if the unions put it back into caring for the teachers so that the teachers could do a better job caring for the welfare of all students?

  2. Barack Palin

    Torlakson Declares Victory

    I guess Californians are happy to keep their kids mired in the poor performing school system.  Maybe they too will someday wake up.

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        Or, more likely in my view, the big money CTA* ran a better campaign and did a more effective job at getting out voters for their man than the Tuck supporters did.

        *If you look at Torlakson’s big donors, most of them were from unions and lawyers and so on which have nothing directly to do with schools. But I suspect the CTA got those other affiliated Democratic groups to join their effort for Torlakson. He also got a lot of money from the Democratic Party and a lot of local party groups and from elected officials who take a lot of teacher money.

        1. Frankly

          One of the overlooked challenges of running any successful political bid is the effort and cost to put together a campaign organization and manage it.   Unions are perpetual and constantly improving political campaign entities.  In fact, I would argue that has become their primary function.  They are well organized and have armies of free labor ready to be deployed and any threat to their money interests.

  3. Barack Palin

    Now that the GOP controls the House and Senate some bills will actually make it to Obama’s desk.  Obama won’t have Harry Reid doing his blocking anymore, Obama will have to veto the bills himself and look bad doing so.

    1. Don Shor

      Senate Democrats in the minority can do to the majority exactly what the GOP in the minority did: block bills because of the 60 vote margin needed to stop debate. I think McConnell and Reid are both going to regret some of the tactics they have used over the last four years, because now their roles are going to be reversed. I see almost nothing of consequence getting done legislatively in the next two years.

      As to whether he will “look bad doing so,” that depends entirely on the content of the bills, and whether the public is paying attention.

      1. Barack Palin

        Please, the House has sent over several bills to the Senate and Harry Reid refused to even consider them. Thankfully that will now stop.  How do you think Obama is going to look when he vetoes the Keystone Pipeline?

        1. Frankly

          You are just leaving out the other half of the point being made.

          Self Anointed King Harry Reid refused to allow almost any bill from even bipartisan support that he saw as politically inconvenient to the Democrats.  And so the GOP responded in kind with filibusters.

          If McConnell also refuses to allow bills only because they are politically inconvenient to the GOP, then you will have a point.   My guess is that he will not do so, because the GOP tends to support simple up-down votes on bills.

          Assuming this holds true and McConnell does not prevent bills from coming to the floor like King Reid, then the Dem’s use of filibuster will prove once and for all that the Dems are the party of No and the GOP can make more political hay out of it to help ensure more Dem losses in 2016.

          1. Don Shor

            If McConnell also refuses to allow bills only because they are politically inconvenient to the GOP, then you will have a point.

            What bill would the GOP-controlled House send to the GOP-controlled Senate that would be politically inconvenient to the GOP?

        2. Barack Palin

          Harry Reid has blocked 330 House bills from even being heard on the Senate floor.  During this same time the GOP has only filibustered a small hand full of bills.  Presidential judicial appointees now only need a Senate majority, no longer 60.   The optics of the Democrats filibustering bill after bill is going to look terrible to the public.  Go for it, it will make the GOP look that much better in 2016.

        3. Frankly

          What bill would the GOP-controlled House send to the GOP-controlled Senate that would be politically inconvenient to the GOP?

          What?  Don’t you know how bills are made?  Democrats can still bring bills to the floor.  They can also work to bring bipartisan bills to the floor like many that King Reid refused to allow.

      2. hpierce

        In many ways, I hope the Democrats take the higher ground re:  filibusters.  I’d like the Republicans to “have their day” in proposing legislation that THEY want, so all of America can see their true stripes.  The President can still veto, and the Republicans will be unable to override.  But if they don’t show their hand, as an unaffiliated moderate, I will oppose them for many years to come.  I’ll start being an “anyone but a Republican”voter, and there are a growing number of us in ‘the middle’ who gag on the extremes of both major parties.  To date (~40 years) I have voted for candidates and issues on a case-by-case basis.

    2. Tia Will

      Obama will have to veto the bills himself and look bad doing so.”

      Well now, that depends upon the quality of the bills doesn’t it ? I would sincerely hope that he will sign those bills that actually are beneficial for the majority of Americans, and veto those that are only beneficial to those who already are amongst the most advantaged. I am not holding by breath, but I think a wait and see approach is warranted nationally as well as at the local level.


      1. Barack Palin

        Obama vetoing bills will send the message that it’s him not working with Congress.  He’s the guy who has been saying that Congress isn’t doing it’s job, but when Reid is no longer blocking for Obama it will be Obama who will look like he’s not willing to work with the Congress.

        1. hpierce

          The Republican view better be aware of the “put up or shut up” axiom.  The fact is, Obama will be President for the next two years.  The Republicans now have little excuse for what is put on his desk.

        2. Frankly

          But do you understand BP’s point… Reid prevented Obama from having to veto bills because Reid would not let them come to the floor?

          Now Obama is going to have to show his true ideological stripes.  Many claim he is an extreme socialist acting the part of a moderate only to fool moderates into voting for him.  But he hasn’t really been tested for this because he hasn’t had to decide on any legislation not filtered by his political operatives in control of the Senate.

          Now we will see.

          This isn’t about the GOP.  The GOP is a one-trick pony.  They can’t help but push bills that favor a fiscal conservative worldview.   We will hear the left and left media scream about all the people hurt by cuts to government spending… when we know that government spending is sucking the lifeblood from the private economy… and Obama is going to have to decide to sign the bill or not.

          The budget will be a biggest test.  Dems got their way for the last 6 years.  What will happen now?

          1. Don Shor

            Reid prevented Obama from having to veto bills because Reid would not let them come to the floor?

            As I’ve said about three times now, one way or another: Reid can still block them from coming to the floor. The GOP blocked numerous bills from Senate votes.

  4. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    In Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson’s bid for new powers for the mayor’s office appears to have gone down to resounding defeat, as the measure trailed 57-43 with all precincts reporting.

    I don’t know if it would have made a difference–and obviously it is an issue which has no impact on us in Davis–but I wonder if the strong-mayor measure would have faired better had it been written so that it did not take effect until after Kevin Johnson was out of office? I don’t think there is much personal dislike of Mayor Johnson. However, I would not be surprised to know that some voters who could have done either way on this idea were agains the sitting mayor pushing a measure which would have increased his power. In that sense, it seemed like self-interest over the public interest, and that may have dissuaded some.

    1. DavisAnon

      Agreed. Even if was a good idea, having it take effect and giving extra power to the one pushing for it seems too self-serving. I wonder what the numbers would have been if it had not take effect until he was out of office?

      1. Tia Will

        I wonder what the numbers would have been if it had not take effect until he was out of office?”

        If what happened here in the comments on the Vanguard with regard to the City Council member stipend increase is any indication, it probably would not have made much difference. Many commenters ( and probably many voters) fail to appreciate what is being considered for the incumbents as being any different from what is being considered only for new incoming members.

  5. DurantFan

       “……I don’t think there is much personal dislike of Mayor Johnson.      ”


    His heavy-handed,  top-down push for the downtown  arena  for the Sacramento Kings may have foreshadowed  how he could abuse his power as a “Strong Mayor”.  It certainly didn’t help him win votes on this issue.

  6. Barack Palin

    Even some of the Democrats voted a little smarter this election, Sandra Fluke went down by 21% to a fellow Democrat for a seat in the CA Senate.  Good to know that some Democrats saw what a joke she is.

  7. Dave Hart

    The data show that even in California, progressive voters did not turn out to vote.  In general, counties that are represented by Republicans in the state Assembly had voter turnouts at or above 50%.  Counties that are represented by Democrats in the state Assembly had voter turnouts under 40%.  Notable are Los Angeles county with a 23% turnout and Alameda with a 28% turnout, San Mateo with 31%, even San Francisco and Yolo only came in at 35%.  Even so, the election in California went pretty much Democratic Party.  Wonder why that is?  Because if you poll people, at least those who are registered but did not vote, they are even more “left-leaning” or progressive than the actual voters.  The last four or five elections nationally and in California indicate to me that the Republicans have won only by not worrying about “bi-partisanship” in Congress and by sticking to their principles (as low and mean as they are) whereas the Democrats are losing credibility among the vast majority of voters and potential voters by trying to stretch to the right beyond the limits of their basic appeal. I’m reminded of that old saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

  8. Barack Palin

    Obama just gave a speech where he said don’t read the tea leaves about last night’s election.  Isn’t this the same guy who said “elections have consequences”?

  9. Tia Will

    Isn’t this the same guy who said “elections have consequences”?”

    Perhaps he didn’t want to call attention to the likely adverse consequences before the Republicans have even taken their seats, unlike what the Republican leadership did to him when he was elected stating that their primary purpose was to “defeat him” thus thumbing their noses at the majority of the public who favored his agenda over that of both McCain and subsequently Romney.

  10. Frankly

    I know this is a conversation about local and state politics, but this is a fascinating graphic of national voting participation by groups.


    This might take a WSJ subscription.   Not sure since I have it.

    What is really interesting to me is that the voter turnout demographics are not really materially different than in 2010.

    And look at the top issues…

    – To vote against Obama

    – The economy (even though people were split on if the economy was getting better or worse… telling us that they believe Obama and the Dems have been responsible for it not improving enough over the last 6 years).

    – Healthcare law went too far

    – Action against ISIS.

    This graph seems to put a nail in the coffin of arguments that this election was not a clear vote against Obama and the Dems for their failures.

    A few other points… the union household percent of vote is the only exact same demographic.  Those guys sure follow their marching orders.

    Blacks again voted pretty much at their standard 90% for Dems.

    Independents went for the GOP +2% more than in 2010.

    The GOP picked up 3% of the Hispanic vote.

    College graduates went 3% more for the GOP.

    1. Don Shor

      No subscription needed. So: 64% either supported Obama, or he was not a factor. The gender gap continues to favor the Democrats. The religion gap continues to favor GOP. 48% think the health care law went too far, 46% think it didn’t go far enough or was just about right. 58% approve of the “action against the Islamic State” (ie, approve the President’s policy, I guess). And almost exact numbers think the economy is getting better (33%) vs. getting worse (32%).
      So exactly how do you conclude from this that

      This graph seems to put a nail in the coffin of arguments that this election was not a clear vote against Obama and the Dems for their failures.


      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        DON: “58% approve of the “action against the Islamic State” (ie, approve the President’s policy, I guess).”

        They are a minority, perhaps a small minority, but some would favor either putting some more American boots on the ground* to fight ISIS or at least to leave that option open. One of those with that more hawkish point of view is Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who also is a US Military Academy graduate and former head coach for the Army basketball team:

        Barack Obama is a bad coach in the U.S. military war against ISIS, according to legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, because the President is advertising to America’s enemies that the U.S. won’t use ground forces, giving the other team an advantage.
        In previously unreported remarks at the Association of the U.S. Army conference last month, Krzyzewski told an audience of hundreds of military officers, defense contractors, and Army supporters that Obama has disrespected the U.S. Army by not using its infantrymen to fight in the war against ISIS. Making matters worse, Krzyzewski added, was Obama’s decision to reveal America’s playbook to our enemies by publicly declaring that the United States will not use “boots on the ground” in the current fight against ISIS.
        “I know it’s upsetting to many of you when you hear ‘no boots on the ground.’ It upsets me too, because that’s like saying I’m not going to play two of my best players,” he said in his speech accepting the 2014 George Catlett Marshall Award, AUSA’s highest honor. “Because that’s what you are trained to do. And for decades and decades, the fact that we are a free country and we don’t play home games here is a result of having boots on the ground. That’s the problem.”

        *My view is much closer to Coach Obama’s than Coach Krzyzewski’s. Most importantly, we don’t need to put the lives of thousands of our soldiers at risk in a fight that is only marginally in our country’s best interest. If our friends in Turkey and Saudi and Jordan, all of whom have well-trained armies and are right there, don’t want to fight ISIS, then we should not either. I think Obama has it right to try to pressure those countries to fight ISIS; and he is right to aid and arm the Free Syrian Army and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. With our air power, those allies on the ground will eventually whip ISIS. I have little faith in the Iraqi Army at this point, but maybe they will reform for the sake of their own survival. To this point, they have proven themselves a corrupt and politicized force, incapable of actually fighting. That is not Obama’s fault. It’s largely the sectarian leadership in Iraq which has used its army for its partisan and religious needs, not its military needs.

  11. Barack Palin

    Obamacare costs going up in ways many buyers don’t realize:

    “premiums only tell a part of the story”—plans on the exchanges tend to have higher deductibles and more limited networks.

    “Most insurers have been changing their insurance plan designs dramatically under the federal law. Narrow networks, higher deductibles, and higher out of pocket costs when you visit a doctor are the new norm,” Archambault said. “In other words for many Americans under Obamacare, they are paying more and getting less.”


      1. Barack Palin

        That’s just one of the ways where the true cost hikes of Obamacare insurance are being hidden.  Higher co-pays, higher deductibles and higher yearly out of pocket.   If those aspects aren’t also considered then anyone saying that healthcare costs are doing better under Obamacare are just ill informed or purposely preferring to bury their heads in the sand and not face the facts.  Figures.

        1. Barack Palin

          The Obamacare insurance policies are starting to look more and more like catastrophic policies.  I thought those are the plans that Obama said insurers couldn’t sell anymore which resulted in millions losing their insurance and being forced into Obamacare?  Now ACA is selling the same types of policies with deductibles as high as $12,000.

        2. Don Shor

          Hey, guess what? The Affordable Care Act is here. It’s working. People are making decisions about their health insurance: some are going for higher deductibles and co-pays, some are choosing more coverage. Health care costs are increasing more slowly than before. Nothing is being hidden.
          Millions of people have health care who didn’t have it before. Millions of poor people now have access to health care through Medicaid. The ACA is a success and it isn’t going away.

        3. Barack Palin

          If you say so, but then again Obama can do nothing wrong in your eyes so it’s very doubtful that we’d get a fair analysis out of you when it comes to Obamacare.

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