Thursday, March 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Higher turnout and other fall election certainties

elias column sig

By
From page A8 | August 09, 2014 |

Make no mistake, the fall election season began on the evening of June 3, just as soon as the primary election polls closed. But no one has spent much on the election since then, nor has the vast majority of voters focused on any issues to be decided in November.

This will change in a month or so, when the campaign gets underway semi-officially during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

When it does, three things will be certain:

  • Many more voters will turn out this fall than cast primary ballots.
  • Even though the fall campaign features just seven propositions, including four in the initiative and referendum category of popularly placed proposals, two or three of them will be election centerpieces and spending records will be set.
  • Democrats will be favored in every statewide contest, even for controller, where the leading primary vote-getter was Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. Things are likely to turn out just as expected, too.

These three items may not seem tightly linked, but they definitely are.

The presence of the initiatives and referendum on the ballot will attract far more voters than the record-low turnout of almost two months ago. That’s precisely what Democrats in the Legislature planned back in 2011, voting overwhelmingly to place all propositions qualified via voter signatures onto the November ballot, keeping June initiative-free. They wanted more voters at the polls in November, when they mostly compete against Republicans, rather than have the big numbers come out for the intra-party fratricide of the top-two primary.

The likely result of those machinations and the higher turnout they will produce is that Democrats stand to take all statewide offices.

Republicans feared just this when initiatives and referenda were removed from the June ballot. At the time, state Sen. Bob Dutton of Rancho Cucamonga, then the Republican leader in the Senate, called the measure “game-playing.”

But Gov. Jerry Brown, somehow keeping a straight face, said it was really about getting more voters involved in key decisions. He noted that in 2010, the last general election not including a presidential race, 10.3 million Californians voted in November, compared with just 5.7 million in that year’s primary.

With Democrats holding a large plurality among registered voters, the more people participate in the fall, the better Democrats figure to do. That’s especially important for the only two Democrats who had close races last June. Yes, Democratic Board of Equalization member Betty Yee squeaked into November by just 400 votes over former Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez and will have to make up ground on Swearengin, who finished a few percentage points ahead of both Democrats.

A bigger turnout is also important for Democratic state Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, who barely won a primary plurality over Republican academic Pete Peterson.

The one ballot measure figuring to draw the most voter attention – and special interest money – will be Proposition 45, an attempt to place health insurance rates under the same kind of regulation by the state insurance commissioner as auto and property insurance now get. This one is strongly backed by the Consumer Watchdog advocacy group, whose founder, Harvey Rosenfield, wrote the 1988 Proposition 108 that created the current insurance regulations.

Expect that one to draw more than $40 million, the bulk from insurance companies fighting it.

Also of high interest will be Proposition 48, a referendum placed on the ballot by a combination of anti-gambling groups and existing Indian casinos. This one would overturn two gaming compacts setting up the state’s first off-reservation casinos.

Expect heavy interest, too, in the Proposition 43 water bond, if Brown and legislators can agree on its precise content. Figuring to be little understood by many voters is Proposition 44, which would make permanent a rainy-day fund to cover potential state budget shortfalls.

Two other initiatives will also draw heavy investment, as trial lawyers seek to increase current maximum medical practice judgments and liberal groups try to reduce some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

No one yet knows how all these issues will come out, but for sure they will interest far more voters than the boring June primary, exactly as the Democrats planned.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vacaville honors top cops, support staff

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Kings honor Rankin, Mustangs

By Paul Farmer | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
New meeting location for family support group

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Padan Elementary demonstrates new school culture

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield mall to host first aid kit assembly party

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield PD chief to address Solano GOP

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Fairfield police log: March 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A7

Suisun City police log: March 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A7

 
Frustration permeates college contract negotiations

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

US / World

Vallejo woman’s story a hoax, police say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
Deceased woman’s video supports Wolk’s bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Man threatened suicide before shooting officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Opinion

 
We deserve freedom to choose our fate

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 26, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
After several years, my nieces now live with their father and are miserable

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

David Crosby in car accident with jogger

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Contract not renewed for ‘Top Gear’ host

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Felicity Jones excited, tight-lipped about Star Wars role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Sports

 
Prep badminton preview: City teams making their marks

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

6 teams with 10 or more losses most ever to reach Sweet 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
After 1st division title in 39 years, Warriors want more

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Local report: Rodriguez boys swim past Vintage

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Gomez uses offense and defense, leads Brewers past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal to host UC Davis in 2019, Cal Poly in 2020

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lanny McDonald selected as chairman of Hockey Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams hoping to play at Miami Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Change to extra points likely in NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bills to honor late owner Wilson with life-sized statue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tulowitzki homers, Butler strong in Rockies’ win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Elliott heads to Martinsville to attempt 1st Sprint Cup race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Alameda County to join talks about new Oakland stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rio mayor unveils controversial Olympic golf course

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joe Gibbs’ son being treated for ‘brain function’ issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

America’s Cup organizers want smaller, cheaper boats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Howard Leon Carnes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9