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2008 Assembly and Senate Outlook

by: ortcutt

Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 23:46:42 PM PST


(With Republicans' budget tantrum swinging legislative approval to such a degree -- and with the GOP tanking nationally -- I wanted to bump this as races that might have felt out of reach a year ago are now potentially competitive. - promoted by Bob Brigham)

The 2006 California Legislative election have come and gone with no change in the composition of either the Assembly or Senate.  In the Senate,.we kept the 25-15 lead thanks to Lou Correa's narrow win in SD-24.  The only near miss was Democratic challenger Wiley Nickel narrowly losing to Republican incumbent Jeff Denham in SD-12.  In the Assembly, things are still 48-32, just as they were before the election.  So, onward to 2008.

For the most part, I'm going to be focusing on open seats since that's where most of the action is.  In 2008, the odd-numbered Senate seats are up.

(More after the flip)

ortcutt :: 2008 Assembly and Senate Outlook
23 Assemblymen are term-limited in 2008, 12 Republicans and 11 Democrats.  Here are the districts which will be open, the term-limited incumbent (for reference) and the registration statistics.

Republicans-Held Seats (12):

AD-02 (Doug La Malfa)

Democratic: 31.93%
Republican: 47.82%

Gap: R+15.89

AD-03 (Rick Keene)

Democratic: 33.33%
Republican: 42.27%

Gap: R+8.94

AD-10 (Alan Nakanishi)

Democratic: 37.77%
Republican: 42.07%

Gap: R+4.30

AD-15 (Guy Houston)

Democratic: 38.02%
Republican: 40.19%

Gap: R+2.17

AD-26 (Greg Aghazarian)

Democratic: 40.92%
Republican: 42.20%

Gap: R+1.28

AD-34 (Bill Maze)

Democratic: 32.87%
Republican: 47.22%

Gap: R+14.35

AD-36 (Sharon Runner)

Democratic: 35.53%
Republican: 43.94%

Gap: R+8.41

AD-64 (John Benoit)

Democratic: 33.50%
Republican: 46.04%

Gap: R+12.54

AD-71 (Todd Spitzer)

Democratic: 26.50%
Republican: 52.68%

Gap: R+26.18

AD-75 (George Plescia)

Democratic: 28.70%
Republican: 43.57%

Gap: R+14.87

AD-78 (Shirley Horton)

Democratic: 40.89%
Republican: 34.75%

Gap: D+6.14

AD-80 (Bonnie Garcia)

Democratic: 45.59%
Republican: 37.37%

Gap: D+8.22

We can classify these as such

Non-competitive:

AD-71: R+26.18
AD-02: R+15.89
AD-75: R+14.87
AD-34: R+14.35
AD-64: R+12.54

Potentially Competitive:

AD-03: R+8.94
AD-36: R+8.41
AD-10: R+4.30
AD-15: R+2.17
AD-26: R+1.28

Lean Democratic:

AD-78: D+6.14
AD-80: D+8.22

Democratic-Held Seats (11):

AD-01 (Patty Berg)

Democratic: 44.54%
Republican: 28.45%

Gap: D+16.09

AD-08 (Lois Wolk)

Democratic: 45.53%
Republican: 30.06%

Gap: D+15.47

AD-13 (Mark Leno)

Democratic: 56.21%
Republican: 9.66%

Gap: D+46.55

AD-14 (Loni Hancock)

Democratic: 58.48%
Republican: 15.50%

Gap: D+42.98

AD-19 (Gene Mullin)

Democratic: 50.10%
Republican: 23.04%

Gap: D+27.06

AD-22 (Sally Lieber)

Democratic: 43.25%
Republican: 24.56%

Gap: D+18.69

AD-27 (John Laird)

Democratic: 47.98%
Republican: 26.61%

Gap: D+21.37

AD-30 (Nicole Parra)

Democratic: 47.38%
Republican: 38.16%

Gap: D+9.22

AD-40 (Lloyd Levine)

Democratic: 47.84%
Republican: 28.65%

Gap: D+19.19

AD-46 (Fabian Nunez)

Democratic: 63.01%
Republican: 13.69%

Gap: D+49.32

AD-52 (Mervyn Dymally)

Democratic: 67.24%
Republican: 14.19%

Gap: D+53.05

So, these can be classified as

Not competitive:

AD-52: D+53.05
AD-46: D+49.32
AD-13: D+46.55
AD-14: D+42.98
AD-19: D+27.06
AD-27: D+21.37
AD-40: D+19.19
AD-22: D+18.69
AD-01: D+16.09
AD-08: D+15.47

Potentially competitive:

AD-30: D+9.22

Senate:

10 Senators are term-limited in 2008, 6 Democrats and 4 Republicans.  I'm also going to include one-term Senator Abel Maldonado on the list because his increasingly Democratic district could be a pickup with the right candidate (John Laird?).

Democratic-Held Seats:

SD-05 (Michael Machado)

Democratic: 45.82%
Republican: 33.26%

Gap: D+12.56

SD-07 (Tom Torlakson)

Democratic: 46.66%
Republican: 31.06%

Gap: D+15.60

SD-09 (Don Perata)

Democratic: 59.07%
Republican: 13.78%

Gap: D+45.29

SD-21 (Jack Scott)

Democratic: 45.69%
Republican: 29.13%

Gap: D+16.56

SD-23 (Sheila Kuehl)

Democratic: 50.01%
Republican: 25.83%

Gap: D+24.18

SD-25 (Edward Vincent)

Democratic: 58.64%
Republican: 21.72%

Gap: D+36.92


Not competitive:

SD-09: D+45.29
SD-25: D+36.92
SD-23: D+24.18
SD-21: D+16.56
SD-07: D+15.60
SD-05: D+12.56

Republican-Held Seats:

SD-15 (Abel Maldonado) (not term-limited but I wanted to include because it is a Democratic-favoring seat)

Democratic: 39.56%
Republican: 37.32%

Gap: D+2.24

SD-19 (Tom McClintock)

Democratic: 36.04%
Republican: 40.99%

Gap: R+4.95

SD-29 (Bob Margett)

Democratic: 32.18%
Republican: 45.16%

Gap: R+12.98

SD-33 (Dick Ackerman)

Democratic: 26.90%
Republican: 51.39%

Gap: R+24.49

SD-37 (Jim Battin)

Democratic: 34.42%
Republican: 45.98%

Gap: R+11.56

Not competitive:

SD-33: R+24.49
SD-29: R+12.98

SD-37: R+11.56

Potentially competitive:

SD-19: R+4.95
SD-15: D+2.24

So, in conclusion, some key races to target and defend are:

Republican-Held Seats:

AD-03: R+8.94
AD-36: R+8.41
AD-10: R+4.30
AD-15: R+2.17
AD-26: R+1.28
AD-78: D+6.14
AD-80: D+8.22
SD-19: R+4.95
SD-15: D+2.24

Democratic-Held Seats:

AD-30: D+9.22

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fantastic (8.00 / 2)
I'm sad to say this is probably more analysis than the CDP has done on these races.

I was (0.00 / 0)
hoping you would come here and post this.  Great stuff.  It will be useful to keep in the back of our heads.

thank you (0.00 / 0)
this is great!

Twitter: @BobBrigham

Parra-D AD-30 (0.00 / 0)
only managed to squeak out a 3.2% win although we have a 9.22% Democratic registration advantage there. Was this due to the strength of her opponent or the weakness of Parra?
Would be very nice to see John Laird-D pick up SD-15. Other Assemblymembers who could fall within SD-15 include Nava-D AD-35, Caballero-D AD-28 & Blakeslee-R AD-33. Canallero was newly elected in '06, Nava & Blakeslee were re-elected in '06.

(-8.50/-7.44) Progressive Blue, An Oasis

I'm in S19 and A35 (0.00 / 0)
I'm guessing that's how Nava falls too. I'm eagerly looking forward to 2008 for the S19 race. Aside from president, a re-run of Jill Martinez challenging CA-24, S19 is the hot race for me.

Santa Barbara Progressives

[ Parent ]
CA-24 & SD-19 best of Luck on those (0.00 / 0)
Bet you're happy McClintock-R is going away ;-).

(-8.50/-7.44) Progressive Blue, An Oasis

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately (0.00 / 0)
He's probably going to Congress (CD-24).

[ Parent ]
Oh, crap that's right, now I remember Gallegy's (0.00 / 0)
"Issue".

(-8.50/-7.44) Progressive Blue, An Oasis

[ Parent ]
Yup (0.00 / 0)
Gallegly tried to retire before 2006. I think we can presume he'll be out for 2008 and CA-24 will be "open". It makes a lot of sense to me that McClintock would run, unless he can find something more ambitious to run for (he ran for some state position and lost in 2006, and Governor during the Davis recall). McClintock would be a tough opponent since he has name recognition and some popularity in the area.

Still run every district, and I'd like to pick up at least one of S19 or CA-24.

Santa Barbara Progressives


[ Parent ]
Looks like the Gop Registration (0.00 / 0)
edge in SD-19 is surmountable, however, I think Mc Clintock would be hard to beat in CA-24. I think his Statewide failures rule him out of any run again any time soon Statewide. The 9.97% edge in Gop Registration in CA-24 is a tough nut to crack, though we came close in CA-04 where they have a 17.58% edge.

(-8.50/-7.44) Progressive Blue, An Oasis

[ Parent ]
yeeeahh... (0.00 / 0)
But the stench of corruption was coming off of Doolittle in waves.  I think the culture of corruption narrative doesn't really work outside of specific corrupt individuals.

Not saying it can't be done, but CA-04 is and will be a special case.


[ Parent ]
Agree the dent we made in CA-04 was under (0.00 / 0)
special circumstances and the DCCC did not jump in soon enough. They were subjected to the infamous RNCC Robocalls.
Charlie Brown-D did very well, I hope he runs again.
Doo Little is still there, who knows how long that'll last.

(-8.50/-7.44) Progressive Blue, An Oasis

[ Parent ]
Handy statistics, not analysis (0.00 / 0)
CORRECTION: The Senate is 25-15 dem-rep; not 35-25 as posted.

As for the stats, these are old news:(http://www.aroundthe...)

And they don't always tell the whole story.

Obviously Nunez, Dymally and La Malfa, for example, hold extremely safe seats for their respective parties.

Most of the other seats are relatively safe.

But really only five competitive assembly seats exist and two or three competitive senate seats.

The stats in AD 30, AD 78, and AD 80 don't portend Republican wins, however AD 30 incumbents Nicole Parra (D-Hanford)  nearly had her ass handed to her in this last election.
AD 78's Shirley Horton (R-Chula vista) won by a comfy margin over her Dem opponent as well.

AD 80's Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City) for all intent and purposes should have lost when you look at these stats. She handily won her first two elections and barely squeaked out a win in this last one -- mostly because of her off-handed remark about the governor and because the Dem Party threw $1.5 million into the race.
Of course, all three women are incumbents, so that was a big factor in their wins.

You can bet both parties will make these seats top priorities and throw lots of money at the 2008 candidates, but both parties know they must support MODERATE candidates.

That holds true for the seats held by Aghazarian (R-Stockton) and Houston (R-Brentwood).


I wouldn't disagree (0.00 / 0)
The only analysis I might be giving here is trying to identify the small set of Assembly and Senate seats which are competitve in the least.  (BTW, Around the Capitol only lists the 2006 open seats so it's not entirely useful for looking at 2008)  Of the 10 on my list, I would agree that probably only 5 will be seriously contested in 2008.  Which ones will they be?  Well, that's going to depend to a great deal on the candidates that come forward and the candidates who win the primaries.

[ Parent ]
Updates (8.00 / 1)
Of course, whether there are open-seats at all will depend on the term-limits initiative.  It would also be useful to look at the election results in competitive races for these seats too since registration isn't the be-all and end-all in election stats.

Davis v. Simon (2002)

Senate - http://www.sos.ca.go...

Assembly - http://www.sos.ca.go...

Kerry v. Bush (2004)

Senate - http://www.sos.ca.go...

Assembly - http://www.sos.ca.go...

Boxer v. Jones (2004)

Senate - http://www.sos.ca.go...

Assembly - http://www.sos.ca.go...

Feinstein v. Mountjoy (2006)

Senate - http://www.sos.ca.go...

Assembly - http://www.sos.ca.go...


Thanks for the links. (0.00 / 0)
I am compiling each race's results into the districts with term-limited incumbents and will have all the tables out in the meantime.

My blog

Twitter


[ Parent ]
This is what needed to be done (0.00 / 0)
Excellent post - I'm glad to see someone breaking down the numbers like this.

If the term limits initiative fails, it would make sense that Laird would run for SD-15 against Maldonado. If the initiative passes, of course, Laird would almost certainly remain where he is, and recent comments from folks like Don Perata ("I'd go door to door for Maldonado") aren't encouraging signs of how strongly the Democratic establishment will help us try and take Maldonado's seat next year.

The CDP needs to now have as its overriding goal the attainment of a 2/3 majority in both houses. We're only TWO away in the Senate. SD-15 is an obvious spot to fight hard for one of those seats.

I'd argue for considering SD-19 as the other. Suburban voters face a lot of concerns as well, from the skyrocketing cost of higher ed to infrastructure and gas costs. Voters in these kinds of areas also consider the environment and global warming to be serious issues. And Santa Barbara and Ventura have historically been supportive of Democrats - a far-right nutjob like McClintock is not exactly a realistic representation of the entire region (Simi Valley aside).

With no statewide elections on the November '08 ballot, and likely a huge wave of Democratic and Dem-friendly voters flocking to the polls to put a Democrat in the White House, 2008 is as good a time as any to put the madness to an end and get 2/3 in the Senate.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave


Thanks for the stats! n/t (0.00 / 0)


The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves - Plato, philosopher (427-347 BCE)

I'm just glad to see an interest in state legislative races--Thanks (0.00 / 0)
I agree with some of the comments that registration figures don't tell the whole tale.  Cavala wrote a giddy piece for the California Progress Report predicting that with a big Demo win for President at the top of the ticket, it could be a great year for these down ticket races. Registration can be affected by a good drive in some of these areas.

Watch also for the Chamber of Commerce and other traditionally Republican aligned groups to play in Demo primaries in safe Demo districts.

With 3 elections next year, June could be very important--and disastrous if we don't get a decent turnout because the Presidential candidates are not on that primary ballot.  That's why this nutball idea to apportion our electoral votes and other bad stuff (a return of Prop 90 from last November) may be flying below the normal radar screen.


This is a great place to start (0.00 / 0)
As people have pointed out, this is just a snapshot or jumping off point, and a great jumping off point at that.

To just take one example that I know of, Shirley Horton.  Last year she won pretty comfortably for several reasons.  She had tons of money spent to keep the seat as an example of Republicans holding Dem seats.  She was a big proponent of Jessica's Law which got her a lot of positive attention, and Bob Filner was caught up for a lot of the race with his primary against Juan Vargas.  Lots of things coming together there that can't be considered normal elements.

Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that I'm sure a number of these districts have some sort of extenuating circumstances not unlike this one.  Educating ourselves on them would be a useful exercise as a next step.


AD 73 (8.00 / 1)
While Mimi Walters (R) in AD 73 is not termed out, she will not be seeking re-election. She plans to run for SD 33 in 2008.

The leading Reep contender for the AD 73 seat (and the only declared Reep, AFAIK) is Dana Point mayor Diane Harkey. She's having a few problems at the moment, though:

http://www.dianehark...
http://www.thelibera...


John Laird not in SD 15 (8.00 / 1)
  John Laird is one of my favorite elected officials in CA. I know him and have supported him since he ran for election to the Santa Cruz City Council. He lives in the city of SC which is in the 11th SD not the 15th. Part of Santa Cruz County is in the 15th (Watsonville and maybe Aptos and some other communities) but not the city. I don't think he would want to move into the district, nor would it be as good a fit for him. He would be seen somewhat as a Santa Cruz progressive (which he is) rather than a candidate for that district (very little of which is in his county). I don't know who would be the right candidate, partially because I don't live in the area anymore. I thought Peg Pinard (the 2004 Democratic candidate, who was from the SLO end of the 15th) would do better but she only got somewhere in the low 40s% against Maldonado.
  Anyone good in Monterey County?...

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