While most of the focus this past Tuesday was on the Presidential primary, there was a lot happening on the state level that was lost in the hub-bub media circus over Trump, Clinton and Sanders.
As we have stated previously, 2016 is a key year in elections for the California State Legislature. With legislators now able to serve up to 12 years, 2016 marks the last big wave of newly elected members. For special interests, like the business community, this was really the last chance to influence what kind of members they want elected to serve in the Legislature.
This is particularly important because the Democrats have been eying the 2016 cycle to take the super-majority back. In the Assembly, Democrats need to net just 2 seats to win the bare super-majority and in the State Senate, they need just a net of 1 seat. However, under the Top Two, battles are not just Democrat/Republican anymore: there is also a battle within the Democratic Party between moderates candidates and their liberal counterparts.
The Primary result revealed that there will be a record number of 13 Dem on Dem races in November of 2016. The question now is will the more moderate candidate benefit from Republican votes or will the stronger Democratic turnout for the General support the more liberal base?
The 13 key races are as follows (with IIABCal supported candidates highlighted):
District 14: Grayson vs. Torlakson
District: 24: Berman vs. Veenker
District 27: Nguyen vs. Kalra
District 30: Caballero vs. Alejo
District 39: Bocanegra vs. Lopez
District 43: Kassakhian vs. Friedman
District 47: Brown vs. Gomez-Reyes
District 53: Santiago vs. Mendoza
District 3: Dodd vs. Yamada
District 9: Skinner vs. Swanson
District 11: Wiener vs. Kim
District 15: Beall vs. Campos
District 35: Bradford vs. Furutani
Looking to the Republican side, several Assembly incumbents look to be in trouble. For the first time in a long time Democrats over-performed in many districts, bucking the historic trend of Republican candidates performing better in presidential primaries versus general elections. With more Democrats than Republicans expected to vote in November, does this give the Democrats their super-majority?
Here is a look at the races where Republicans are most at risk:
In AD 40, Marc Steinorth currently leads his Democratic opponent by only 313 votes. This race could tighten with late absentees and Steinorth could easily lose the primary.
In AD 60, Eric Linder only received 47% of the vote, while his two Democratic challengers won 53% of the vote.
In AD 65, former Assemblywoman and Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva defeated incumbent Young Kim by 6 points, 53% to 47%.
In AD 66, another former member defeated in the last election cycle, Al Muratsuchi defeated Assemblymember David Hadley by 3 points.
In AD 72, Republican incumbent Travis Allen only won 50.9% of the vote against two Democratic challengers.
It has been quite the interesting election cycle so far, with much more to come in November.