Monday, November 01, 2010

Why We Will See A Sen.-Elect Carly (And Maybe A Gov.-Elect Meg)

I have been wondering why the polling for the top two races in California seem to be favoring the Democrats. I mean, it is not like this state is an island in a sea of people wanting to send the Dear Leader, President Obama a message.
So, I have long believed that most pollsters have been using what maybe outdated models as to turnout here in the once Golden State.
And lo and behold, someone else is thinking the same thing.
Sean Trende over at Real Clear Politics has a short but sweet column about the way California is being polled and how that is directly giving Democrats a false sense of security.
Take the senate race between Sen. Ma'am Boxer and Carly Fiorina.
The latest Rasmussen Poll essentially shows a dead heat with Sen. Ma'am ahead 49% to 46% as an example.
The problem is if you take a look at this chart, you see that the partisan breakdown is essentially the partisan makeup of the California electorate.

FTR, the California partisan breakdown is about 44% Democrat, 31% Republican and about 23% decline-to-state.
What the chart shows is a laziness on the part of most pollsters. Thus, the assumption is that more Democrats are going to vote in numbers similar to the last election, in 2008. And Republicans will vote in similar numbers of the same year.
And that is the rub.
All I can write to you is that in this rather Blue town of Pasadena, where the Dear Leader, President Obama, won 70% of the vote in 2008, the enthusiasm is on the other side this time. It is Republicans and Republican-leaning decline-to-state voters that have the energy.
I have seen more signs for the Republican congressional candidate, John Colbert, than for the incumbent congressman, Adam Schiff. Same in the governor's race for Meg Whitman over Jerry Brown. For senator, much more Carly signs over Boxer signs. A general feeling of Republican excitement and Democrat playing by-the-numbers.
Really, it is not too hard to get a fair number of interest-group people to do grunt work. Which is an advantage to the Democrats usually. But not this year.
It also is going to matter where the turnout will be statewide.
I think that numbers will be much lower in Los Angeles county than average for a mid-term election. The Bay Area about the same or also lower than midterm average. This is the Democrat base, by and large. The rest of the state, will see a stronger turnout. Especially in the rest of Southern California. In Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, the strong Republican areas of So Cal will see a surge of voters. And they ain't gonna be for the Dems.
Ditto for the economically depressed Central Valley. And the rest of Northern California outside the Bay Area and Sacramento.
And yes, because of the sheer number of registered Democrats, they are turning in their absentee ballots more than Republicans. But, as a share of the electorate, it is stronger among Republicans and decline-to-state over Democrats.
One last thing.
Once the six o'clock hour arrives in California, many states will have their polls closed. More than likely, by that time control of the House of Representatives will already be determined. More than likely, Democrat voters in California will see no real reason to go to vote. Republicans and Republican-leaning decline-to-state will be more inclined to insure that Republican candidates win.
And that should help both Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman. And it could be the difference come tomorrow night at this time.
It will not be anything like the electorate in California that was in 2008. And a new model will be formed for pollsters.

No comments: