President Obama has blue state California all sewn up. But the state features a number of ballot measures that voters are watching closely this year, including competing state tax propositions for education and a non-GMO food labeling proposition.
Voters may have some surprises in store for key congressional seats. Will the president be able to exceed his 2008 victory of 3.2 million votes, or 1/3 of his national victory total over John McCain? Current polls predict approximately 1.3 million fewer votes for Obama in the Golden State over his 2008 record. In 2004, John Kerry won California by 1.2 million votes over George W. Bush.
Too early for news yet in California, but thanks to JibJab (Santa Monica, CA) . . .
Polls crowded in South Orange County this a.m. with people voting before work.
Interesting factoid: online voting registration added about 500,000 new voters in Los Angeles County this election cycle. Both Republicans and Democrats lost registration in the state between 2008 and now -- the new registrations have more "Decline to State" and other independent (Green, Libertarian) party members than ever. But the old canard about criminals voting Democrat? Even though Los Angeles County is now officially over 50% Democrat, out of the more than 70,000 people in Los Angeles County jails who were registered to vote - almost half registered Republican! Thanks guys - I hope you're just in for loitering or pot tickets . . .
4:33 PM EDT/1:33 PM PDT Text from Romney/Ryan app takes me straight to my polling place. There's high tech!
8:35 PM Pacific/11:35 PM EDT
California Ballot Propositions
Clear "No" on 31, 34 (no death penalty), 37 (GMO food labeling) and 38 - the second education tax measure.
The measure that would preserve the State redistricting commission that produced redistricting results last year is strongly ahead so far.
8:41 PM Pacific/11:41 PM EDT
The two education supplemental tax measures - 30 and 38, are both not doing well with early returns, but 30 is not doing as badly as Prop 38, which is gathering only 25% of the votes so far.
8:45 PM Pacific/11:45 PM EDT
The Three Strikes law is very likely to pass, which sets a much higher bar for the third felony conviction for those who have been convicted for 3 felonies to be imprisoned for life.
9:16 PM Pacific/12:16 AM EDT Proposition 30, the Governor's tax increase measure, is running about 48-52 for defeat right now . . .
The GMO Food labeling proposition #37 is going down to defeat - even with mostly Northern California counties reporting most-fully.
10:09 PM Pacific/1:09 AM EDT President Obama is still down 14 points from 2008 totals in California . . . and 2 1/2 points off Senator Dianne Feinstein's vote total. The Human Trafficking initiative is most-strongly ahead, with over 80% of the votes so far, closely followed by the Three Strikes Law that makes the bar much higher for a third felony conviction that leads to life imprisonment. Proposition 30, Gov. Brown's temporary tax increase initiative, continues to run behind and seems likely to be defeated.
10:25 PM Pacific/1:25 AM EDT Lois Capps (D) appears set to defeat Abel Maldonado (R) in the 24th Congressional District. Lois Capps could be the worst candidate ever and still 100 times better than the dreadful Abel Maldonado.
10:30 PM Pacific/1:30 AM EDT Too few precincts have reported in the battle of the brawlers, Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, two long-term Democrat congressmen in the San Fernando Valley, who have been competing head-to-head for one redistricted job in the 30th Congressional District, with Sherman ahead 58% to 42%.
10:41 PM Pacific/1:41 AM EDT Shocker: Perma-Congressmember Henry Waxman (D), Los Angeles-area fixture and corruptocrat since the Cretaceous, is only 2 points ahead of challenger Bill Bloomfield, who is running as an independent.
10:45 PM Pacific/1:45 AM EDT With only a few precincts in, "Fighting" Joe Baca, long-term Democrat member of Congress (since the Jurassic) from the Inland Empire District 35, is leading challenger Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod by only 1.5 points.
10:50 PM Pacific/1:50 AM EDT Mary Bono Mack (R) continues to eke out a small lead against strong challenger, first-time pol Raul Ruiz (D) with 30% of the desert-area precincts reporting.
Redistricting forced another race between two Democrats, David Sanchez and Lucille Roybal-Allard, in the Central Los Angeles 40th Congressional District. For what it's worth, Ms. Roybal-Allard has been a great bipartisan representative and significant aid to Los Angeles downtown business development. A big different between her and most of her other Central Los Angeles counterparts (read: please let me not hear "Antonio Villaraigosa" and "future political aspirations" said again in the same sentence. There are students in alternative schools more capable than he.)
10:54 PM Pacific/1:54 AM EDT The Suhkee Kang Challenge appears to be going down to defeat, as challenger Sukhee Kang (D) has only 30% of the vote to Bob Campbell (R) in the 45th Congressional District in Orange County. Sukhee Kang had cool Hawaiian-colored commercials and rose from being a clerk at Circuit City to being mayor of Irvine, CA. I hope Sukhee tries again some time.
11:05 PM Pacific/2:05 AM EDT My home town has been redistricted into a district with BREA - Brea? Gee, maybe there was a reason that "change the redistricting commission decisions" was on the ballot this time. Republican from Brea, Gary Miller, is leading former State Senator Republican Bob Dutton (Rancho Cucamonga) in a district that just whales and dumps all over, including these towns that are actually far away and very different (BREA) from San Bernardino and Redlands. Thanks, Redistrictors. Why didn't you just make it a Protectorate of Obama?
11:14 PM Pacific/2:14 AM EDT Proposition 30 now has a slight lead of 50.4% with 36% of statewide precincts reporting. This will raise income tax rates to the highest in the nation and add another quarter cent on sales taxes that just went down in many counties after earlier surcharges. All is for pensions. Schools are already scheduled for a 21% increase in funding over the next three years. Even if this passes, UC and Cal State student tuition and fees will be raised next year.
11:28 PM Pacific/2:28 AM EDT
Proposition 37, the GMO food labeling initiative, appears to be going down to defeat, with 44.7% Yes/55.3% No votes, and 41% of precincts reporting.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has 31,840 votes/0.6% of the total, and Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate has 51,212 votes, or 1.0% of votes cast. Due to the current total, Los Angeles County has come in and we can thank them for the new taxes.
12:08 AM Pacific/3:08 AM EDT
Close races with many precincts reporting include Congressional District 7, with Burgess Shale-era Republican and former state office contender Dan Lungren trailing Dr. Ami Bera, first-time candidate who got the dishonorable recommendation from the Sacramento Bee . . . but for replacing a fossil, Ami has got to get the credit.
12:10 AM Pacific/3:10 AM EDT
It's a shame that George Miller, Democrat member of Congress and close personal friend of Otzi the "Ice Man" Bronze Age Alpine mummy, will keep his lazy Beltway mukluks on and is leading his challenger Virginia Fuller (R) by 67-30. And awesome news! Coelacanth Pete Stark (D), member of Congress since the Louisiana Purchase, is trailing his challenger, young Democrat Eric Swalwell, who is youthful enough not to need a Jitterbug phone.
12:19 AM Pacific/3:19 AM EDT
Up where they grow actual food (Hanford), David G. Valadao (R), who just served one term in the State Assembly, is set to soundly defeat Democrat opponent Fresno machine politician John Hernandez in the new 21st Congressional District. Since the only city in California that might be worse than San Bernardino is Fresno, good on Valadao.
12:27 AM Pacific/3:27 AM EDT
In one of the best recommendations for term limits applied to any/all political offices, "missing links" Democrats Laura Richardson and Janice Hahn, both former Congressmembers of the culotte-and-knee high boot era (i.e. not fossils, but definitely vintage) have been forced into a mano-a-mano contest. Hahn is sister to former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and daughter of former land-grant era LA County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. Laura Richardson can't pay bills and has been under constant financial scrutiny for total fraud and dishonesty. So Janice Hahn is leading Richardson 56-45 in this race to the bottom of the botox barrel.
11/7 Update: Eric Swalwell, age 32, beat Pete Stark, in-person witness to the building of the Pyramids for the new 15th Congressional District - thanks California redistricting commission!
Dan Lungren (R), perma-politician, is still refusing to concede to Dr. Ami Bera (D), first-time member of Congress. Bera is less than 200 votes ahead, and a recount has been requested.
Gloria Negrete McLeod, first-time female member of Congress defeated "Fighting" Joe Baca for the 35th Congressional District in the Inland Empire.
But shame on you California voters for wasting your redistricting on re-electing septuagenarians who have served in Congress since Hammurabi's Law was passed, like 75 year-old Henry Waxman, who got 56% of the vote in his "new" (as in THIRD over the past 38 years) district in Los Angeles. He was opposed by businessman Bill Bloomfield, who ran as an independent and invested a lot of his own money in the campaign. Waxman is the perfect example of an out of touch, elderly, entitled complete and total . . . listen, he would have voted against Hammurabi's Law if Hammurabi had been a Republican - capisce?