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| | |-+  Should the California GOP focus more on the Lieutenant Gov race than Gov race?
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Author Topic: Should the California GOP focus more on the Lieutenant Gov race than Gov race?  (Read 602 times)
JRP1994
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« on: June 06, 2014, 03:16:59 pm »
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First of all, let me preface my proposition by saying that I am relatively uninformed about the specific candidates in 2014 California politics. I am familiar with Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom - beyond that, my knowledge of statewide candidates is virtually nonexistent.

I have been thinking, though - should the California GOP focus on taking out Gavin Newsom, rather than Jerry Brown? Looking at the results from Tuesday, Newsom appears to be in a less-sure position that Brown is -- despite having fewer opponents than Brown, Newsom failed to gain a majority of the vote, while Jerry Brown did. Newsom ran about 200,000 votes behind Brown in the raw count.

Now, I know the reason for this is simple - in almost every circumstance, more people care about the Gov race than the Lieutenant Gov race. This means that, in most cases, the turnout for a Lieutenant Gov race will be lower than the turnout for a Gov race. If this is the case, wouldn't the GOP have, at least in theory, a better shot at knocking off Newsom than they do of knocking off Brown?

Logically, it seems like a smarter play. Obviously, the GOP is going to be the underdog in statewide CA races. But what happens if, by some freak chance, Jerry Brown gets defeated? Presumably, the GOP would have to focus practically ALL of their resources on a herculean effort to oust him, presumably letting the lower-profile Lieutenant Gov race fall by the wayside. What will happen? Gavin Newsom will run for Governor in 2018, and will stand a good chance at being elected. However, if the GOP targets Newsom with that same energy, and are somehow able to knock him off, the Democrat party would lose one of its rising stars.

It seems like a smarter, more tactical, more long-term play to me. What do you think?
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IceSpear
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 03:31:05 pm »
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Newsom only barely missed getting a majority, and turnout will be much higher in the general election which will benefit the Democrats.

The CA GOP's only hope for winning a statewide office is if the Controller race ends up being Republican vs. Republican.
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Given her name recognition and the fact that she's admittedly done a good enough job as SoS, this current frontrunner status is natural.

If she's the nominee, I'd probably vote for her, and she'd probably be at least an okay president.
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 05:13:27 pm »
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Isn't the June primaries over in California ?

Governor: Brown's gonna crack 60% (Deukemejian was the last CA governor to crack 60 percent: he got 61 percent in 1986) as Moonbeam secures a historic 4th term in Sacramento.

Lieutenant Governor: Newsom should get 55 percent and he's a contender for either Governor or United States Senator in 2018.

Secretary of State (Open): Interesting that the Dem side was fun with one of the candidates dropping out due to criminal charges. LOL

State Controller (Open): Perez will win 56-43.

State Treasurer (Open): Chiang wins 57-40.

State Attorney General: Big question is if Harris will overperform a blowout (getting between 57-64 percent) in her reelection bid, which would catapult her to the governorship in 4 years from now.

Commissioner of Insurance: Jones reelected, but should be considered future United States Senator in 2016 IF Boxer retires.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: In a battle of Democrat vs Democrat: Torlakson (the incumbent) and Tuck (D) will be interesting.

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Хahar
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 02:02:16 am »
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Despite his impressive vote totals, Gavin Newsom is not popular among liberals, at least in the Bay Area. In a contested primary election against a strong liberal candidate like Kamala Harris, he would probably lose. However, the Caliornia Democratic Party is generally sufficiently well-run (the Controller near-debacle aside) for such a contest to never take place, and the sort of people who dislike Newsom would not vote for a Republican instead. There is discontent with Newsom, and we would see more of it if he held a more important office than Lieutenant Governor, but the Republican Party cannot possibly capitalize on it.

The bigger issue for the Republican Party in California is that it has no viable candidates. Republican candidates for office in California fall into two categories: non-politicians and elected officials. Non-politicians are generally seen as moderates; they are willing to run for office because they have no existing office that they need to give up in order to run, but they invariably face the twin issues of lack of enthusiasm from the conservative base and hostility on the part of the general public to Republican policies. If they are rich self-funders, like Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina in 2010, they attract negative attention for that; if they are not, like Elizabeth Emken in 2012, they attract no attention at all and lose a landslide in obscurity. Elected officials, on the other hand, are generally state legislators (Republican members of the House are unwilling to give up their seats to launch futile efforts at statewide office) from places like Orange County, which means they have far-right positions that please the base but horrify the rest of the electorate. None of them ever win.

The only recent Republican candidate in California who was actually a good candidate was Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles County district attorney who ran for Attorney General in 2010. Cooley was a visible figure from a traditionally Democratic area running against an outspoken left-winger in a Republican year, and yet even he lost by 75,000 votes. I find it hard to see how any Republican could win in California for the foreseeable future when he couldn't.

In this century, the only Republicans to be elected to statewide office in California were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steve Poizner; both owed their elections to the strange circumstances of the 2003 recall and its aftermath, and both left office in ignominious fashion, unable to hold the support even of their fellow Republicans. The problem that Republicans have isn't one of strategy; it's much larger than that. Barring a massive demographic shift in the opposite direction of current trends, Republicans are trapped in a permanent minority. That won't change for at least as long as the national party doesn't see it as a problem.
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 02:02:27 am »
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Isn't the June primaries over in California ?
No they aren't

There are about 760,000 mail ballots outstanding, 130,000 provisionals, and 35,000 ballots set aside for hand-counting, etc.

California requires mail ballots to be returned on election day, but they have to be processed, checking signatures, etc.

Mail ballots in California may be more Republican, since most mail ballots are for permanent by mail voters, and Republicans tend to have more established residences or live where the USPS can be trusted to deliver the mail, and not having it stolen.  Los Angeles particularly has low overall participation because they have low overall mail voters.

Looking at where the outstanding votes are, it looks quite likely that Betty Yee will squeak into second.
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 09:51:50 am »
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State Controller (Open): Perez will win 56-43.

State Treasurer (Open): Chiang wins 57-40.

I only picked those two out because they're the only races where you predicted both candidates. However, in all races in California, there will only be two candidates on the ballot per race. Therefore, each prediction should add up to 100%. Assuming Democrats have at least satisfactory candidates for every race, I doubt Democrats will get under 55% in any statewide office. I think the strongest candidates will end up being Brown and Chiang, though I agree that Harris might have a surprisingly strong result as well.
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 05:24:53 pm »
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They need to make the LG more powerful besides he's President of the California State Senate, Chairman of the State Lands Commission, Regent of the University of California, etc.,

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Joshua
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2014, 11:35:54 am »
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The CA GOP should focus on a ground up strategy if they have any hope of creating a lasting bench to run statewide. Knock off some assembly and senate members, chip into that supermajority in competitive districts. Then start talking about statewide races.
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Clarko95
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 10:57:17 am »
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No, they need to focus on rebuilding the party as a whole by contesting every race with good candidates and good platforms. The Dems will almost certainly sweep the board this year, but the GOP needs to lay the foundations for the future.

They should also do this in other blue states. Dean's 50 state strategy has been paying dividends for the Democrats ever since 2006.


Kashkari could open the door for better performance among Californian Asians, as well as more moderate gays, libertarian-esque voters, and other groups. Obviously he's not going to win this year, but his positions are well suited for California and can be the beginning of better performances for the GOP in the future.
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Joshua
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 02:36:57 pm »
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Speaking of the elections in California, has anyone done district by district ratings of the state assembly and state senate elections this year?
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Хahar
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2014, 01:51:18 am »
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Kashkari could open the door for better performance among Californian Asians, as well as more moderate gays, libertarian-esque voters, and other groups. Obviously he's not going to win this year, but his positions are well suited for California and can be the beginning of better performances for the GOP in the future.

Neel Kashkari is a banker who used his position at Goldman Sachs to secure a job at the Treasury Department, where he was in charge of disbursing bailout funds until he left to use his Goldman Sachs money to fund his run for governor. He is not a candidate with any appeal to any group, which is why he'll be demolished in November. I would be shocked if he improved on or even held relatively steady compared to Whitman's 2010 vote in any state in the country.
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2014, 04:00:21 am »
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Kashkari could open the door for better performance among Californian Asians, as well as more moderate gays, libertarian-esque voters, and other groups. Obviously he's not going to win this year, but his positions are well suited for California and can be the beginning of better performances for the GOP in the future.

Neel Kashkari is a banker who used his position at Goldman Sachs to secure a job at the Treasury Department, where he was in charge of disbursing bailout funds until he left to use his Goldman Sachs money to fund his run for governor. He is not a candidate with any appeal to any group, which is why he'll be demolished in November. I would be shocked if he improved on or even held relatively steady compared to Whitman's 2010 vote in any state in the country.

Yes, an inside banker behind TARP is not exactly going to appeal as a "man of the people", but he's still a better candidate for the California GOP than Donnelly. The California GOP is of course a joke. In 2010, they decided that they really needed to have the past and future female CEOs of HP nailed down with their Senate and governor nominees.
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jfern
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2014, 04:01:54 am »
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Speaking of the elections in California, has anyone done district by district ratings of the state assembly and state senate elections this year?

The Senate would be interesting since there could be a bias towards one party or the other for the last two years, since some areas had 2 Senate representatives and some had 0 because of redistricting. For the remaining 8 years of the redistricting decade, everywhere will have exactly 1.
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Хahar
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 04:19:20 am »
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Kashkari could open the door for better performance among Californian Asians, as well as more moderate gays, libertarian-esque voters, and other groups. Obviously he's not going to win this year, but his positions are well suited for California and can be the beginning of better performances for the GOP in the future.

Neel Kashkari is a banker who used his position at Goldman Sachs to secure a job at the Treasury Department, where he was in charge of disbursing bailout funds until he left to use his Goldman Sachs money to fund his run for governor. He is not a candidate with any appeal to any group, which is why he'll be demolished in November. I would be shocked if he improved on or even held relatively steady compared to Whitman's 2010 vote in any state in the country.

Yes, an inside banker behind TARP is not exactly going to appeal as a "man of the people", but he's still a better candidate for the California GOP than Donnelly. The California GOP is of course a joke. In 2010, they decided that they really needed to have the past and future female CEOs of HP nailed down with their Senate and governor nominees.

Kashkari might do better than Donnelly would have, but at very least Donnelly would have inspired the Republican base. Kashkari is pro-SSM; I know things have changed quite a bit, but this is still a state where a majority of voters just six years ago voted for Prop 8, and it's unbelievable that a majority of Republicans wouldn't still feel that way. Probably more damningly, he's pro-choice, and that's an issue on which Republicans haven't budged in decades and won't change opinion on anytime soon. When Republicans aren't going to win either way, why are they nominating a candidate so unrepresentative of their views?
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jfern
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2014, 04:40:21 am »
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Kashkari could open the door for better performance among Californian Asians, as well as more moderate gays, libertarian-esque voters, and other groups. Obviously he's not going to win this year, but his positions are well suited for California and can be the beginning of better performances for the GOP in the future.

Neel Kashkari is a banker who used his position at Goldman Sachs to secure a job at the Treasury Department, where he was in charge of disbursing bailout funds until he left to use his Goldman Sachs money to fund his run for governor. He is not a candidate with any appeal to any group, which is why he'll be demolished in November. I would be shocked if he improved on or even held relatively steady compared to Whitman's 2010 vote in any state in the country.

Yes, an inside banker behind TARP is not exactly going to appeal as a "man of the people", but he's still a better candidate for the California GOP than Donnelly. The California GOP is of course a joke. In 2010, they decided that they really needed to have the past and future female CEOs of HP nailed down with their Senate and governor nominees.

Kashkari might do better than Donnelly would have, but at very least Donnelly would have inspired the Republican base. Kashkari is pro-SSM; I know things have changed quite a bit, but this is still a state where a majority of voters just six years ago voted for Prop 8, and it's unbelievable that a majority of Republicans wouldn't still feel that way. Probably more damningly, he's pro-choice, and that's an issue on which Republicans haven't budged in decades and won't change opinion on anytime soon. When Republicans aren't going to win either way, why are they nominating a candidate so unrepresentative of their views?

Well, Kashkari is more electable in that if in a bad year for Democrats, he'd have a higher ceiling. Donnely's anti-immigrant views would ensure massive defeat in California no matter what. California now has more Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites.
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