One office that California Republicans are really going to have a tough time winning statewide is the governor's office.
And since there is no candidate running for Lt. Governor, one has to go down ballot for the seven statewide elected constitutional offices to see hope at the end of the tunnel.
In the latest "non-partisan" Field Poll for governor, the current governor, Jerry Brown, has a commanding 40%-yes 40% lead over the nearest opponent, state assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Hesperia), leasing by the numbers 57% to 17%. A couple of other Republicans, Laguna Hills mayor Andrew Blount and businessman Neel Kashkari can't even muster more than five percent of all voters.
In the June primary, all candidates are placed on one ballot with party identification by their name.
And while Gov. Brown has 57% votes of likely voters, it does not look good for Republicans based on his job performance. On that front, Gov. Brown has a 59% popularity rating and only 32% disapprove of his job in office. Only nine percent have no opinion.
So would appear on the surface that Republicans will have a tough time trying to unseat Gov. Brown. But there are several issues that they can highlight and maybe knock some of his popularity down some notches.
One is the issues of water for Central Valley farmers. There is a huge bone that Central Valley farmers have with both Sacramento and Washington. The main issue is regarding water.
Then there is the issue of whether or not we are, as a state, having a water shortage problem. And in another Field Poll on the topic, it shows the dyslexia of the California voter. About 88% of California likely voters do think that there is a serious water shortage in the state. But in regards as to what to do about it, one has to look at things in a regional perspective. Reading the data, there is no question it is the usual battle between the Nor Cals and the So Cals.
Another topic is the "reform" of the California prison system that has, essentially, dumped many state prisoners in county jails. The right candidate can point out the failure of this and how it will lead to more crime. If it has not already.
So now let's look at a down-ticket race.
The race for California state controller.
Here is the surprising nugget from this Field Poll on this race
A Republican woman is leading the field at this point and the Democrat vote is divided between a Nor Cal gal and a So Cal dude, it is a promising sign.
Republican Ashley Swearingen is the current Republican mayor of Fresno, the largest city in the Central Valley with well over 500,000 residents. Her two Democrat opponents are state Board of Equalization (tax board) member Betty Lee and former state assembly speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles). Between those two it is a classic Nor Cal vs. So Cal race. Mrs. Yee is more liberal than Mr. Perez. But that is really in a matter of degree. As far as the race goes, Mrs. Swearingen is leading the race with 28% of the votes. Mrs. Yee is coming in second with 19% of the vote and Mr. Perez with 14% of the votes. The bad news for all candidates is that 38% of voters are undecided. The good news for Mrs. Swearingen is that more than likely she has the Republican vote. Now in this early stage she can try to sway some independent voters and maybe even some Democrats.
In other words, the California GOP may not win the governor's race or the Lt. governor's race, but there are races like state controller that the party needs to consider spending money to win on.
And I think that the Republicans are going to get enough seats in the state senate and assembly to stop the Democrat super-majority. And also will gain congressional seats as well.
So it looks like the California Republican party still has a lot of work to do but there is light at the end of the tunnel.