Tuesday’s election will not only decide the next president of the United States, but may result in a supermajority for state Democrats in California. With the state’s 55 electoral college votes all but officially cast for Obama, eyes have turned to the eleven propositions facing California voters and a series of contested state and congressional races up for grabs.
New electoral rules and redrawn districts open the possibility of a supermajority for Democrats in California, in a state that already has a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both state legislatures. Democrats currently hold 25 of 40 seats in the state senate, needing to gain only two more seats to achieve a supermajority capable of passing tax legislation without the threat of a Republican veto.
"Most people have a visceral reaction to one party controlling everything. A supermajority would not be a good thing," Bob Huff, the state Senate Minority Leader told Reuters.
Democratic strategists have tried to assure Californians that moderate Democrats in Sacramento would ensure against an uncontested liberal oligarchy. On Tuesday, voters will decide the future of the legislature’s makeup, and whether to move the state further left.
Beyond the State House and Senate races, Californians will vote on eleven propositions on Tuesday, deciding everything from the fate of the death penalty to tax raises to fund clean energy and labels for genetically modified foods. This year’s long ballot prompted the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation to produce a sing-along roundup to help voters navigate their way through California's lengthy ballot.
PolicyMic will be covering the 2012 election and proposition results live from California. For live updates and analysis, bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATE November 8, 5:00pm: The final election results for California propositions with 100% of precincts reporting:
UPDATE November 7, 11:35am: My recap of the 2012 California election on PolicyMic:
"The California Democratic Party seized a supermajority of seats in both houses of California’s state legislature, a surprise outcome that gives those elected the power to override any veto by Republican legislators. The news came after an already good Election Day for Democrats who saw Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax raise measure pass, joining a number of other ballot measures favored by Democrats."
Read more here.
UPDATE November 7, 6:15am: On the morning after the election, we still do not have 100% of precincts reporting, but here are the current numbers for the CA propositions with 95.2% reporting:
Prop 30-Yes (54.0% Y, 48.2% N) Temporary Taxes to Fund Education
Prop 31-No (60.8% N, 39.2% Y) State Budget, State and Local Government
Prop 32-No (56.2%% N, 43.8% Y) Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction
Prop 33-No (54.7% N, 45.3% Y) Auto Insurance Prices Based on Driver History
Prop 34-No (52.6% N, 47.4% Y) Death Penalty
Prop 35-Yes (81.1% Y, 18.9% N) Human Trafficking
Prop 36- Yes (68.7% Y, 31.3% N) Three Strikes Law
Prop 37- No (53.0%N, 47.0% Y) Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling
Prop 38- No (72.3% N, 27.7% Y) Tax for Education. Early Childhood Programs
Prop 39- Yes (60.2% Y, 39.8% N) Business Tax for Energy Funding
Prop 40- Yes (71.5% Y, 28.5% N) Redistricting State Senate
UPDATE 11:25pm: Final results will be posted on this blog. Follow the closest proposition and candidate contests here.
UPDATE 11:12pm: With nearly 36% of precints reporting, Prop 30 is now looking like a "yes." It may take well into the night and into tomorrow to have the final results. Check the State of California Election Results site for the latest.
UPDATE 11:04pm: Obama joined by Biden and their families on stage. The popular vote is Obama's as well.
UPDATE 10:56pm: POTUS: "I have never been more hopeful about our future."
UPDATE 10:49pm: Obama brings up global warming, peace, and immigration in his victory speech. POTUS: "That's where we need to go...forward."
UPDATE 10:41pm: Obama applauds the Romney family's public service record and vows to sit down with Romney to discuss the future of the country.
UPDATE 10:37pm: The Obamas take the stage to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" as Obama prepares to give his victory speech.
UPDATE 10:20am: So far, only 4 out of California's 11 propositions appear like they will pass, with 21% of CA votes reporting. Prop 35, Prop 36, Prop 39 and Prop 40 are currently ahead.
UPDATE 10:12pm: State Assembly races for California can be tracked here.
UPDATE 10:09pm: Click here for the latest State Representative results for California.
UPDATE 10:06pm: If you are wondering how your district's U.S. House of Representatives race is going, click here.
UPDATE 10:00pm: Romney says he and Ann are ready to pray for the country. 5 minute concession speech, short and genuinely delivered.
UPDATE 9:57pm: Romney calls Ryan "the best choice I ever made"--besides marrying Ann of course.
UPDATE 9:55pm: Romney takes the stage in Boston.
UPDATE 9:52pm: Romney to deliver concession speech.
UPDATE 9:45pm: It is being called a historic night for gay rights as at least two states appear as if they will be passing same-sex marriage laws. Maryland and Maine will permit same-sex marriage.
UPDATE 9:41pm: Virginia called for the president. 303 Electoral votes for Obama, 203 for Romney according to CNN.
UPDATE 9:40pm: The California Department of State is providing special coverage of close contests in U.S. House of Representative and State Assembly races.
UPDATE 9:39pm: Obama ahead in the popular vote even before most of California's votes have been counted.
UPDATE 9:21pm: California precincts now with 16.8% reporting. No propositions have been called yet, but here is where they stand right now:
Prop 30-No (51.8% N, 48.2% Y) Temporary Taxes to Fund Education
Prop 31-No (57.8% N, 42.2% Y) State Budget, State and Local Government
Prop 32-No (51.4% N, 48.6% Y) Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction
Prop 33-No (52.4% N, 47.6% Y) Auto Insurance Prices Based on Driver History
Prop 34-No (56.2% N, 43.8% Y) Death Penalty
Prop 35-Yes (83.2% Y, 16.8% N) Human Trafficking
Prop 36- Yes (68.4% Y, 31.6% N) Three Strikes Law
Prop 37- No (57.7% N, 42.3% Y) Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling
Prop 38- No (74.5% N, 25.5% Y) Tax for Education. Early Childhood Programs
Prop 39- Yes (59.0% Y, 41.0% N) Business Tax for Energy Funding
Prop 40- Yes (74.4% Y, 25.6% N) Redistricting State Senate
UPDATE 9:21pm: CNN projects Colorado for Obama (9 Electoral College votes).
UPDATE 8:58pm: NPR's Alan Greenblatt shares that Obama will likely be "just the third president in U.S. history to have been reelected with a smaller share of the vote than when he was first elected. The other two were Franklin D. Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson."
UPDATE 8:52pm: Not calling these yet, but Obama is currently leading in Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and Nevada.
UPDATE 8:20pm: 6% of precints now reporting. Sen. Feinstein with 58.8% of the vote. No surprises out of California thus far.
UPDATE 8:20pm: America is changing demographically and that bodes well for Democrats. Republicans will need to appeal to young people, women, and minorities in the future.
UPDATE 8:15pm: All major news networks now projecting Barack Obama has been re-elected as president after winning Ohio.
UPDATE 8:12pm: CBS calls Iowa for Obama.
UPDATE 8:09pm: The national contest may be over in California, but we are watching the precint results closely for the proposition results. Only 1.3% of precints reporting now, so still too early to make any calls.
UPDATE 8:00pm: The polls have just closed and NBC is already calling a win for Obama in California. No surprise there. California joins Washington and Hawaii as Western blue states.
UPDATE 7:19pm: Results coming in tonight suggest Republicans may have made a bad demographic bet, losing with young people and growing populations like minorities. Will a Republican president be able to win in future years if the Republican Party does not win over these two groups?
UPDATE 7:16pm: CNN says it's now mathematically impossible for the Republicans to control the Senate.
UPDATE 7:13pm: Is this what we see happening tonight?
UPDATE 7:05pm: We have just under an hour left to vote here in CA as other states are being called on the East Coast. Obama is currently leading Florida and Ohio, but those contests are still too close to call.
UPDATE 6:51pm: NH will go to Obama, according to ABC.
UPDATE 6:50pm: The other bluest state in the union (Massachusetts) has elected Elizabeth Warren for Senate over Scott Brown, according to NBC projections.
UPDATE 6:37pm: Nate Silver, statistician for The New York Times is feeling confident.
UPDATE 6:30pm: NBC has called Wisconsin for Obama, a "lean Obama" state.
UPDATE 6:15pm: NBC has called "swing state" Pennsylvania for Obama, making their current Electoral College count for Romney 153 compared to to 128 for Obama. We're still waiting on other major swing states, though Ohio and Wisconsin are currently leaning Obama (not enough information is available to make a projection about these states).
UPDATE 6:00pm: Two hours left to vote in the Great State of California!
UPDATE 6:00pm: The Washington Post is predicting another Republican House.
UPDATE 5:28pm: The important coverage coming in from The Onion.
UPDATE 5:22pm: Roughly 2.5 hours until polls close here in CA. East Coast swing states like Florida won't be called for a while, but some news sources are already suggesting swing state wins for Obama.
UPDATE 5:10pm: Will Nate Silver's predictions about the election prove true? He called an easy win for Obama based upon the Electoral College votes.
UPDATE 5:04pm: Current Electoral College Count from NPR: 65 for Obama, 71 for Romney.
UPDATE 4:54pm: At 8pm ET (in 6 minutes), polls will close in many East Coast states, with 172 additional electoral votes at stake. Refresh this page for updates and projections.
UPDATE 4:39pm: Early results are in line with recent polling data.
UPDATE 4:33pm: Nate Silver of the New York Times is still predicting a 91% chance of an Electoral College win for the president.
UPDATE 4:08pm: CNN has begun issuing projections.
UPDATE 4:05pm: Early polling information is beginning to trickle in. Jon Cohen, the Washington Post’s official pollster, had this to share with the WonkBlog:
EARLY numbers WILL change but some emerging themes/detail… (all reportable — specifying early, preliminary, etc.)
all the data we have so far matches the expectations set in pre-election polling, so hang on for potentially late night/early morning …
- so far the electorate is shaping up to be broadly similar demographically to 2008 (on race, age, etc.), but, as expected, appear to be a shade more Republican
- tons of lock-in, around seven in 10 say they made up their minds before September
- no surprise, but economy is overwhelming top issue, none of the other three come close — true in national data and across all nine states we subscribed to.
- voters are flipped from 2008 in their interest in a more active federal government. But the limited government sentiment may end up dampened from 2010
- voters nationally split on what to do about “Obamacare,” with slightly more saying get rid of some or all of it.
- indicators of the overall mood of the country are tilted in a far more positive direction that was the case four years ago, with more now saying things are going in “the right direction” and fewer now say the economy is deteriorating. As expected, the improvements are among Democrats.
- The union vote may be headed to a record low, later waves of course, will give a better tally.
UPDATE 3:48pm: You can expect an Obama in California tonight by 14% or 15% according to the latest polls from Real Clear Politics:
UPDATE 3:41pm: Early exit polls suggest about half of voters blame President George W. Bush more than President Obama for the state of the economy. This could be good for the president.
UPDATE 3:23pm: Food and agriculture interests have spent more than $43 million to defeat Prop 37.
TIME Magazine says Prop 37 is "about politics more than science."
Did you know that 85% of the corn crop in America is genetically modified?
UPDATE 3:05pm: The first polls have now closed. I'll be giving you general updates about what is happening nationwide while we focus in on California tonight.
UPDATE 2:31pm: San Diegans could make history today if they elect Republican Carl DeMaio for Mayor.
From the AP: "A win by Councilman Carl DeMaio would make San Diego the largest U.S. city by far to choose an openly gay Republican leader. DeMaio also would become one of the few young Republicans elected to a high-profile office in California."
America's Finest City has not seen a Democratic mayor since 1992, a fact which Democrat Rep. Bob Filner is hoping to change.
UPDATE 2:15pm: Running to the polls and not sure how to vote on the propositions? Below are the take-aways about each proposition. To find out who is behind each one and what groups have endorsed the pro and con arguments, click here.
Proposition 30 increases taxes and funds education.
Proposition 31 changes the budget cycle and gives the Gov. more fiscal authority.
Proposition 32 limits unions’ political influence by prohibiting political contributions by payroll deduction.
Proposition 33 raises auto insurance rates for the uninsured.
Proposition 34 ends the death penalty and saves the state money.
Proposition 35 increases penalties for human traffickers.
Proposition 36 revises the three strikes law.
Proposition 37 would require labels for genetically-modified food.
Proposition 38 is an alternative to Prop 30, opposed by Gov. Brown.
Proposition 39 will raise multi-state corporate taxes for clean energy.
Proposition 40 approves the new districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
UPDATE 2pm: Only 6 more hours to make your way to the polls! Polls close at 8pm throughout California.
UPDATE 12:33pm: Big Bird has been seen voting today...
UPDATE 11:19am: And the first general election/Electoral College predictions are coming in!
"With six or more hours remaining before most polling locations close, The Onion is officially calling Florida, Ohio, Colorado, and Pennsylvania for John Edwards, giving the former North Carolina senator 76 electoral votes and virtually assuring his election to the presidency.
Edwards, who exit polls reveal has the support of nearly the entire U.S. populace, and who immediately won California, New York, and Texas the moment the polls opened, has already amassed 70 million votes and accumulated a virtually insurmountable lead in the electoral college."
UPDATE 10:35am: What's trending right now in America?
UPDATE 10:26am: Not sure where to vote or if you can vote? PolicyMic has you covered.
UPDATE 10:09am: Polls are open from 7am until 8pm in California!
UPDATE Nov. 5 at 1:29pm: Still not sure what to make of California's 11 propositions?
Check out this guide I compiled with the skinny on each propsition and resources to help you become more informed.