Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal

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Earlier this week, I posed 10 questions concerning the California primary. Here’s how voters responded:

1) Turnout. 2.285 Republicans took part in their party’s gubernatorial primary eight years ago. The Meg Whitman-Steve Poizner race fell a little short of 1.72 million voters. Yikes.

2) The Reason(s) Why Fewer Republicans Voted. IMO, a combination of three factors: the race was negative; neither Whitman nor Poizner is a born-and-bred conservative; and there are fewer Republicans today than back in 2002.

3) Whitman’s final tally. The answer is (c): over 60% (she received 64.2% the last time I checked). Click here to see all the semi-official results.

 4) Carly Fiorina’s tally.  The answer is (b): over 50% (at last glance, 56.5%).

5) The most suprising initiative surprise. IMO, the dual failure of Props 16 and 17. I’m not as surprised that Prop 14 passed so comfortably: in this climate, the last people I’d want defending my idea would be the political ruling class (in Prop 14’s case, California’s two leading political parties).

6) Fortress California. No earthquakes here, incumbency-wise. U.S. Rep Jane Harmon received an underwhelming 58% of the vote in the California 36th CD’s Democratic primary. She may be in more trouble than we realize this fall against a very telegenic Republican challenger, Mattie Fein.

7) Most annoying media aspect. My vote goes to media carping about lack of substance, when in fact they’re partly to blame for our dissatisfaction with politics by obsessing over poll numbers and regurgitating campaign’s oppo research material.

8) Biggest national story. California wins on the basis of sheer volume of attention that “ladies night” drew. In the long-term, though, it might be the Nevada vote: Harry Reid’s struggles, Sue Lowden’s loss and the Tea Party’s role as queen-maker/queen-killer in the Silver State all are fascinating commentaries about the political age in which we live.

9) Most trite phrase. The answer is: they’re all trite. Have you ever noticed how most frontrunners’ victory speeches  rarely seem heartfelt or touching?

10)  Biggest winner(s) of primary night. Far away: The two East Coast reporters who called me less than 45 minutes after the polls had closed here in California (11 p.m. EDT), able to write that the Senate and gubernatorial primaries were done deals, thrilled they wouldn’t be up all night waiting for a winner. Closer to California: Teams Whitman and Fiorina: they persevered, they conquered (each more than doubling their closest opponent), they get to move forward.

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Written by Bill Whalen

June 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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