CA Primary: Crystal Ball Edition
Some questions — and, hopefully, some answers later this week . . .
1) Tuesday’s turnout for the Republican primary — does it equal, surpass or fall short of the 2.285 million Republicans who came out in the 2002 primary and the three-way race between Bill Simon, Bill Jones and Richard Riordan?
2) If the turnout is lower than 2002 (and, for that matter, the 2.5 million Democrats who voted in their gubernatorial primary in 2006), is it due to: (a) both candidates investing heavily in negative ads; (b) late polls that showed Whitman pulling away; (c) that neither Republican is considered to be “the next Reagan”?
3) Whitman’s final tally is: (a) 50-55%; (b) 55-60%; (c) over 60%; (d) “Dewey Defeats Truman”, under-50%?
4) In the Republican U.S. Senate primary, Carly Fiorina’s final tally is: (a) over-40%; (b) over-50%; (c) “HP” stands for “hazy polling” . . . Tom Campbell pulls off the upset?
5) Among California’s 5 ballot initiatives the most likely “surprise” will be: (1) despite the prevailing anti-political sentiment, Proposition 14 (eliminating party primaries) goes down to defeat in a low-turnout primary full of party diehards: (2) despite outspending the “campaign” by more than $1,200-$1, Prop 16 fails to garner 55%; (3) Prop 14 passes, but the national media resist the urge to overstate the win as the next national trend to emerge from California.
6) Hotel California — try, Fortress California. Does a single incumbent in California, Democrat or Republican, manage to lose a State Assembly, State Senate or U.S. House?
7) The most troubling media aspect of the California primary: (1) yet another election in which too much attention was given to the “horse race” and too little devoted to issues; (2) talk-radio hosts and their overt cheerleading for candidates; (3) the Los Angeles Times refusing to endorse not a single gubernatorial or Senate (way to encourage people to bother to vote, guys!)?
8) The Tuesday vote that matters most to national politics: (1) California’s GOP gubernatorial primary — the winner maybe having a future spot on a national ticket; (2) Nevada’s GOP Senate primary — the winner maybe taking out Harry Reid; (3) Iowa’s GOP gubernatorial primary — the winner instantly becoming the new bff of every Republican presidential hopeful.
9) Most trite overused phrase on Primary Night: (1) “the people have spoken”; (2) “it’s time to take back Sacramento”; (3) “this win is not about me”; (4) “you have my word”?
10) Biggest winner in primary night: (1) Arnold Schwarzenegger, for never having to have suffered through the indignity of a GOP primary; (2) Jerry Brown, for having avoided a pull to the left from either Gavin Newsom or Antonio Villaraigosa; (3) California’s political consulting class, seemingly the only recession-proof industry in the Golden State; (4) local television, licking its chops at the thought of all the ad revenue coming its way this fall if Whitman and the Democratic IE’s really go at it?