Observations on a California Election Night

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox will capture around 40% of the vote. That is pretty consistent with the most recent Republican gubernatorial candidates. So whether you spend $140 million as candidate Meg Whitman did (40.9%), or hardly gain attention as Neel Kashkari (40%), and now Cox, Republican gubernatorial candidates know where they’ll end up.

Looks like Cox will do slightly better than other statewide Republican candidates who scored in the high 30-percentile in the most recent counts. Given the success of Proposition 12 on the ballot, you might conclude that farm animals in this state have more room to roam than Republican candidates.

Steve Poizner’s run for Insurance Commissioner was to make history…was… but it might be stopped short. The No Party Preference candidate has fallen behind with still a chunk of votes to be counted. Is it possible to knock off any Democrat statewide if the opponent is not a Democrat?

And what does this say about the value of newspaper endorsements? Poizner had them all.

Dianne Feinstein was elected United States Senator for a fifth full term. But the margin was closer than I expected and the lead that she enjoyed in polls. As of this writing she has less than a double digit lead. One explanation, which I heard from active Republican voters, they voted for Kevin de Leon because of Feinstein’ role in the Justice Kavanaugh hearings. De Leon always did a little better than Feinstein with Republicans in the pre-election polls. She has been around for a long time and Republicans opposed her often. They knew her; they knew little of De Leon and his politics, which are to the left of Feinstein’s.

Thought the Prop 6 gas tax repeal would be a little closer although I didn’t expect it to win. The coalition of business and labor and the money all pointed to the measure’s defeat. But what does this continue to say about Californian’s changing attitude toward taxes?

There was a clash of known markers in this mid-term election. The party holding the presidency most often loses seats. And, if the economy is booming the party in power does well. This election fielded the wild card of President Donald Trump and the reaction to not only his policies but also his style as president. That helped contribute to flipping the house to the Democrats.

Donald Trump might have flunked civility in the public arena but he sure has spiked civics, helping to turn out record numbers of voters in a midterm election.

Voters were paying attention to politics.

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