Thursday, September 29, 2005

District lines and election results

Our friends at Capitol Weekly (www.capitolweekly.net) asked a number of Capitol veterans their opinion on what the benefits to Republicans would be if Prop 77 went through. Their feeling was that it would be a whole lot of nothing, at least until the next census. For the most part, I agree.

Republicans have done much better than expected under the current redistricting plan. In looking at the 2004 General Election results, one can see that of the 100 legislative seats up for election, 5 seats had different party results than the Presidential contest.

I'm not Monday-morning quarterbacking any of these races, obviously, when these were targeted no one knew what the top of the ticket results would be, but now that we do we must use this information when making future decisions.

Abel Maldonado won where Bush lost, Guy Houston won where Bush lost, Nicole Parra won where Kerry lost, Shirley Horton won where Bush lost and Bonnie Garcia won where Bush lost.

That being said, there are some races where the top of the ticket showed that we either should have done well, or received results that should have been expected.

AD 17 - Barbara Matthews won convincingly by 20 points, yet Kerry only won the district 49.7 to 49.3. Bad candidate on our part, even without redistricting we'll have a good race here when it's open.

AD 53 - The late Mike Gordon won the district by 8 points despite a spirited campaign, but Kerry won the district overwhelmingly, 56.9 to 41.7. Tough to overcome. If this is how we do in this seat when it's open, it's really not worth investing in until the registration changes significantly, or it is redrawn to cover better cities in the 54th, and not the City of LA.

AD 54 - Betty Karnette won comfortably, along with Kerrry well ahead of Bush.

AD 61 - Negrete-McLeod carried it well, with Bush losing by 10 points. Again even a baggage-free candidate has a tough road there. Registration is trending well here though. We'll see how it goes in the future.

AD 76 - Kerry won by 20 points. We're not getting it. Based on those numbers, it would be like the Dem's targeting George Plescia or Mark Wyland.

Prop 77 is not a cure-all for Republicans. We still have to put up a good fight, but we must pick our battles well. When we do that, we've got a better batting average than the Dem's at taking seats that are uphill battles.

Claremont McKenna's study recently released indicates that there would be 7 competitive Assembly Districts, and up to 8 competitive Senate Districts (although I couldn't find where it indicated what the partisan makeup of the non-competitive seats would be in their model.) If that does ocurr, Republicans can take those districts with good candidate recruitment and hard work.