Aug. 2, 2012
By Katy Grimes
Democrats should be upset and Republicans smiling at the numbers from the June 5 primary, a new CalWatchDog.com analysis shows. That’s contrary to the popular belief that Republicans are faltering in the Golden State.
Primary voters can usually be counted on as staunch partisan voters. However, the primary results in California showed that there were significant numbers of Democrats who not vote in the Democratic presidential primary.
President Barack Obama received more than 280,000 votes less than California’s U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein in her primary, and more than 340,000 fewer votes than the cumulative Democratic Assembly vote, indicating a real weakness for the upcoming November election. It appears that many Democrats are disenchanted with their president. He still should win the state, but not by the more than 3 million margin he did against Republican John McCain in 2008. That could spell trouble for Obama in other states.
Across the state of California, voters have already begun showing their anger at the Democratic- controlled Legislature by voting against Democratic incumbents, as well as voting against even former Democratic legislators attempting a comeback.
There are five Democratic Assembly members facing a same party runoff in November.
“Top Two” Primary
There also appears to be frustration among Democrats with the new “Top Two” primary voting system passed in 2010.
The June 2012 primary election was the first California election using the Top Two Candidate Open Primary system for statewide offices.
According to the League of Women Voters, the Top Two rules mean that:
* All candidates for a given state or congressional office will be listed on a single primary election ballot.
* Voters can vote for the candidate of their choice for these offices.
* The top two candidates, as determined by the voters, will advance to the General Election in November.
“Twenty California State Senate seats were up for election — half the total number of seats in the upper house of the Legislature,” the Independent Voter reported the day after the election.
The Public Policy Institute of California reported that more incumbents faced primary challenges from within their own party this year than they have on average in the last five election cycles.
The PPIC also found that there were majority-vote winners in 40 out of 80 Assembly primaries. In Senate races, 16 of 20 primaries ended with a majority-vote winner. And in U.S. House races, 35 of 53 candidates received more than half of the vote.
But after the primary, many in the state were incredulous that the majority vote winners would still face a challenger in November.
Proposition 29, the tobacco tax initiative, lost in a close race, 49.8 percent to 50.2 percent. Interestingly, the vote by county was nearly a predictable party-line vote. The heavily Democratic counties voted to pass Prop. 29 by heavy margins, while more the more Republican counties voted “no” on the tobacco tax.
Proposition 28 was another story altogether. The initiative was deceptively written and voters thought they were casting a protest vote against the Legislature and imposing stricter term limits.
Pension reform initiatives did very well in San Diego and San Jose, and easily won passage with large margins...
Read the full Cal Watch Dog story here: