Buckle up California. The state Republican Party is flirting with complete irrelevancy this election. If the current returns hold, Democrats will control 2/3 of both the State Senate and the State Assembly, giving them complete freedom in Sacramento. The one lever that the Republican Party has held in California politics–especially after Prop. 25 (2010) lowered the threshold for passing a budget to a simple majority–is that a 2/3 vote is required to raise revenue. They may not have that lever any more.
There are 40 State Senators, and 27 votes (2/3*40=26.8) are required to pass a revenue increase. The Democrats already control 14 seats, and appear to be winning 14 more. There are no close contests here. Democrats should have the 2/3 supermajority required in the State Senate.
There are 80 Assembly members, and 54 votes (2/3*80=53.6) are required to pass a revenue increase. The Democrats appear to have won 54 seats. The two closest contests are AD-65 (Anaheim), where Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) leads Chris Norby (R) by just 1,004 votes, and AD-32 (Hanford), where Rudy Salas (D) leads Pedro Rios (R) by an even more minuscule 268 votes. Expect some lawsuits over the recount here, because right now 268 votes are all that stand between Republican relevance and Republican irrelevance.
Of course, all these numbers are provisional. That said, if the results hold after the various recounts, the Republican minority won’t even need to bother to show up in Sacramento. The Democrats won’t need them to do anything.
Update [11/8 at 5:00 PM]: Both Salas and Quirk Silva still lead. Salas’s margin is still at 268 votes. Quirk-Silva’s has gone up to 1,043 (up 39).
Update [11/13 at 11:30 AM]: Salas is now way ahead, having built a 2,500 vote lead. Given the low number of votes in the district, the difference is enough to move it off the Secretary of State’s “close contest” list. Quirk-Silva’s lead is now the smallest (at least in those contests where a Democrat is facing a Republican) at a little more than 2,200 votes.
Ezra Klein of the Washington Post rounded up
all several of the pundit class predictions for the Electoral College vote. Here they are in graph form (because, as regular readers know, I loves me some graphs).
Here are the predictions of the Pacific Political Science faculty who would go on record:
- Prof. Benedetti: 275 Obama / 260 Romney
- Prof. O’Neill: 281 Obama / 257 Romney
- Prof. Sample: 294 Obama / 244 Romney
- Prof. Becker: 303 Obama / 235 Romney
- Prof. Smith: 303 Obama / 235 Romney
- Prof. Klunk: 323 Obama / 215 Romney
Demonstrate civic virtue like others! Exercise democratic norms! Fulfill your citizenship duty! Express your policy preferences! Help the candidate or policy you think will be better for everyone to win! Help your preferred candidate or policy win!
(That’s a lot of exclamation points. Sorry.)
And, yes, voting can be a rational act.
Don’t know where to vote? Go here (for California) or just Google your address to find out where you polling place is. If you are on campus, there is a polling place in the UC Ballroom.
Finally, come hang out with us tonight in the Lair as we watch and talk about the returns. My Campaigns & Elections class will give some short presentations starting a 4:30 PM, then we’ll turn on the TV’s and watch the results come in.
Democrats now have a 12-point registration advantage in the district.
- On Sept. 7 (60 days before the election), Democrats only had a 10-point registration advantage (45% to 35%). On May 21, the Democrats only had an 8-point advantage (44% to 36%).
- There are 313,105 people registered to vote in CD-9. 46% are registered as Democratic, 34% are registered as Republican, 16% are registered no party preference, and 4% are registered with a minor party.
Most of the district’s voters live in San Joaquin County.
- 67% of the registrants live in San Joaquin. 29% live in Contra Costa County, and 4% live in Sacramento County.
Democrats won the registration battle.
- The biggest change is in San Joaquin County, where the Democratic registration advantage has gone from 6 points (44% v. 38% on Sept. 7) to 9 points (46% v. 37% on Oct. 22).
- Between Sept. 7 and Oct. 22, 19,557 more people registered to vote. Of those, 61% registered Democratic (11,986) compared to just 15% who registered Republican (2,863).