Campaigns/Elections

How Cal Republicans Shot Selves in Both Feet, Missed '10 Bonanza

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Mike Moloney, we hardly knew ye.

The misshapen growth on the map above is California's 11th Congressional District, where Democratic incumbent Rep. Jerry McNerney narrowly stopped a challenge from Republican David Harmer. As the outdated numbers suggest, Harmer briefly seemed to have the lead, and he probably would have taken the seat if not for an exceptionally strong showing by American Independent Party candidate David Christensen.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead notes that the 11th, a greater-East Bay district, is a polity built on "gerrymander-gone-awry…sprawling across four counties from Gilroy to Lodi."

As of now, California seems to have flipped only one House seat from the Democrats to the Republicans. In the Central Valley's 20th District, Republican challenger Andy Vidak leads incumbent Democrat Jim Costa by 693 votes, but that race still hasn't been called.

Why such a poor showing in the midst of a national landslide that saw Republicans take a 54-seat lead over Democrats?

Take a look at that 11th District map and you'll have an idea. Even in a precision-Democratic district carved out with a scalpel, the vote ended up being competitive. If the historically corrupt gerrymander of 2001 had been done with any goal other than incumbency protection, the vote might have gone another way.

Most California districts—Republican and Democrat—are not this close. Most are solidly Democrat, and in the 22nd District, which borders Vidak's 20th, Republican incumbent Kevin McCarthy managed to pull out a win last night by running unopposed.

But there are districts that could be competitive, and the Republicans might have had a shot at a few of them last night had they not cooperated in the 2001 redistricting—a bipartisan effort that promised permanent third-of-a-loaf incumbency protection for the GOP. It hasn't worked. The Republicans' share of California political power has been steadily whittled down since then, proving that the safe bet is often not only a bad bet but not even safe. And with the loss of the two-thirds requirement for state budgets, the Republicans have lost what little leverage they once had. If the California Republican Party isn't quite dead, it deserves to be. Why would California conservatives (they exist!) vote for a party that conspires in its own obsolescence?

Think about that as you read Jon "FlashReport" Fleischman's "Random Thoughts After Being Run Over By a Truck." Flash surveys the damage and discusses the GOP's next move:

• Here in California, the GOP:  Lost the Governorship (if you feel we had it), lost every statewide election (except maybe one), may have picked up two (or maybe zero, they're that close) House seats, appear to have stayed even in the State Senate, lost a seat in the Assembly.

[…]

• Discussions amongst California Republican leaders after this drubbing will undoubtedly center around the best strategy to try and whittle away at the registration gap.  Yesterday saw GOP candidates who campaigned as conservatives, like Fiorina lose – and saw GOP candidates who campaigned as moderates, like Whitman, also lose (albeit by more).  The lesson – it's hard to win when the other team has so many more players on the field.

It's true the registered-voter gap is humongous. But the districting issue is one the Republicans screwed up themselves. And now they've been saved from their own screwup by the voters of California—who approved Proposition 20 and rejected 27, clearing the path for a more competitive redistricting next year.

Gerrymandering producer Bill Mundell talks to Reason TV:

NEXT: Invasion of the Invasive Species!

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  1. Dear California,

    We own you.

    It’s the Republicans’ fault.

  2. Dear California,
    We own you.

    It’s the Republicans’ fault.

  3. Prop 20 passing is a good thing?

    1. Yeah, it requires 3 of the 4 non partisans on the panel* to approve of the redistricting rather than just Dems and Reps that would build districts for incumbent protection

      * Presumably the ones who would vote for a sane looking district, rather than a safe one

    2. It’s better than not passing, but better still would be to entirely remove the human element from the process.

  4. That map of the district resembles an anatomical cross-section of a well-fucked, mildly infected set of female reproductive organs.

    1. You need to start dating a better class of women.

    2. Or worse. You’ve come this far, just go all the way, dude.

      1. Oh shit I think I detect a cervical cancer mass in Oakland.

        Note: this is not meant to be racist. Oakland is the only area around San Fran that I can name.

        1. Alameda. It’s where the nuclear wessels are.

    3. What’s the difference between the 11th Distict and a dirty oozing…

      … never mind.

  5. To get the whole story you need to look at a topographical or satellite map. That whole district carves out a bunch of rural, hilly ranch and farm country. As in more likely to have conservative voters.

  6. Maybe it’s time we remove party affiliation from ballots and make people actually think about who they are voting for when at the ballot. If they did not pay attention to the election, they’ll just have to pick one.

    1. This is especially true for municipal elections. Is there any reason I would care that my mayor is a D or an R?

      1. Becuase of his views on gay marriage and US foriegn policy. Duh.

        1. Yeah, especially as the mayor has so much influence on both.

          Oh, wait, it was sarcasm, right?

      2. We have this in Leon County, FL and it’s one giant Kabuki dance. They don’t print it on the ballots, but party affiliation is on all the signs and advertisements. Democrats run as Democrats and Republicans don’t attach their affiliation to their name in ads.

  7. California’s at such a high D saturation point, it’ll be hard for any big change. Voter’s minds can be changed, but how to do that when the TV news, newspapers, your friends, coworkers all have the same point of view?

    The upside is that if you look at it by region, it’s really the overwhelming liberal votes in the bay area that make the state swing so far D. San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and some other smaller counties lean R. Los Angeles leans D but not as far as most people would think. If the bay area ever came close to a balance between D and R it would make a huge difference. But how?

    I think the R’s and L’s (if the party is even still functioning) need to focus on getting some really, really good candidates for the next cycle. The L’s usually pick someone either extreme, ugly, or both. The R’s tend to pick lame old men. People in CA are shallow. It would help to have some photogenic, articulate, youngish candidates (either R or L) who can express their philosophy without scaring people.

    1. “The R’s tend to pick lame old men”

      exhibit “A” – Meg Whitman

      1. Ha, true. Although she fits in another category – RINO/Say-anything-to-be-governor. We just had one of those so it’s no surprise she was rejected.

    2. I think the R’s and L’s (if the party is even still functioning) need to focus on getting some really, really good candidates for the next cycle.

      Isn’t Angelina Jolie an Ayn Rand fan?

    3. As a libertarian who lives in the Bay Area, I’ve been trying to figure out the answer to your question for a long time.

      I tried our local Libertarian Party. Won’t go into details, but it’s dysfunctional. Don’t know if that’s the same in other areas, but it’s true in my area.

      I’m not a Republican, but I’ve talked to lots of local Republicans and they seem to be even more dysfunctional than the Libertarians.

      An informal network of libertarians and single-issue allies have been having some success at the non-partisan city council level and an occasional transportation or tax issue. Some of the best people we have are too busy with living life to put in the kind of hours that would be necessary to win a lot of political contests.

      You can talk to liberals one-on-one if you’re polite, and willing to brush off some smugness. But when it comes time to vote, many are afraid to think differently from their peers.

      I have a theory that the best way to fight it all would be to get lots of libertarians involved in local, non-political civil society like local clubs, charities, etc. But I haven’t had time to pursue the idea.

    4. The upside is that if you look at it by region, it’s really the overwhelming liberal votes in the bay area that make the state swing so far D. San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and some other smaller counties lean R. Los Angeles leans D but not as far as most people would think. If the bay area ever came close to a balance between D and R it would make a huge difference. But how?

      It is a shame, really.

      The Bay Area has, in the San Francisco Bay, more natural wealth per square mile than anywhere on the Pacific Coast between Baja and British Columbia. That wealth, of course, comes in the form of a giant, ice-free-year-round natural harbor adjoining the Pacific Ocean. Think of all the cargo that goes through the ports on the San Francisco Bay, and the share of the cargo that goes to the people that operate the ports. Think of all the goods and services provided to the people who operate the ports. And think of the potential for the wealth generated by the ports to create new businesses. And unlike West Virginia’s coal mines, the bay will be around for tens of thousands of years at least. And yet, the people in the Bay Area consistently elect politicians that do their best to negate the natural economic advantage of the San Francisco Bay.

      Thanks to those Bay Area voters, California is on its way to become West Virginia West.

      1. The grandest irony is that a lot of Bay Area liberals are full-on free market high-tech corporation capitalists in their work lives.

        Not ironic, though, as the few folks I’ve met who work in TV and film. Not sure why they are so liberal when they are also engaged in one of the most free-market industries there is.

  8. That district was Jerrymandered.

  9. Why would California conservatives (they exist!) vote for a party that conspires in its own obsolescence?

    Who else are they going to vote for?

  10. That’s the fucking district that I live in. I voted for the Team Red asshole mostly becuase McNerney voted for the Demo talking points all the way.

    One interesting point, I got several mailings painting the Rep guy as evil incarnate. One of the bullet points was that he wanted to eliminate the Dept of Education. Harmer mailed something to deny it, but I’m thinking he must be my man.

  11. The dems have quite a lot of control over cali, but the support for marijuana legalization was lackluster. THis is your california democratic party, people. They don’t give a shit about you or your freedoms, they simply want to look at every issue through the prism of cosmopolitan technocracy.

  12. I can see how redistricting helps incumbents of both parties but the idea that it helps one party over another is wrong.

    If one distinct is gerrymandered to benefit a party…ie portions of areas with high party A affiliation are added to a district to increase over all party A affiliation then the district(s) which no longer have those areas then also get a higher percentage of the opposing party B affiliation. Simply game theory prevents a single party from gaining broad multi-district benefit over another.

    Like matter partisans cannot be created or destroyed…they can only be moved around.

    1. That’s not true. If you have 3 districts that are 90 percent democrat bordering one district that is 30 percent democrat, you could easily flood the non democrat district with votes and still maintain majorities of democrats in the original 3 districts. Sure, the 90 percent majority may fall to 70 percent in all three districts, but the result is one district gained and none lost.

      1. Sure, the 90 percent majority may fall to 70 percent in all three districts, but the result is one district gained and none lost.

        A politician winning is always a probability…not a hard number.

        If district 1 has a 70% chance of electing party A and district 2 has a 50% chance of electing party A. An exchange of say 10% probability from district 1 to district 2 will make both districts 60% likely to elect party A. the likelihood of party B being elected has not changed form an average of 40%.

        Also even if you were correct and it is hard numbers to what advantage would district 1 politicians have in giving up voters to district 2 politicians. It would be against their interests to do so.

        The only way for both districts politicians to gain advantage would to be if they were of opposing parties.

        By definition gerrymandering has to be bipartisan and incumbent friendly.

        1. You need to take a math class.

          If you have a 50% and 70% Dem district, the odds of both going Dem is 35%. If you have two 60% Dem districts, the odds increase slightly to 36%.

          Now if you use the example above, 90%, 90%, 30%, you have a 24.3% chance of a clean sweep. If you change that to three 70% districts, you increase the odds to 34.3%.

        2. While the individual politician may have a vested interest in incumbent-friendly gerrymandering, the party has an interest in securing as many seats as possible. The party can easily provide incentives to the incumbent to redistrict according to what would be best for the party.

        3. Sorry Joshua, the history of redistricting shows you are wrong: the party in control almost always manages to cut things up in a way that gives them more seats.

          The other effect of gerrymandering is increased partisanship: a seat safe for one party means the real battle is in the primary. This means there’s no downside to electing extreme partisans.

    2. Not really. If you organize voter buckets in any way you like, then you will put as many opposition candidates in your party’s buckets as possible, up to the point where there is a non-negligible risk to your candidates, and dump the rest into a few opposition buckets. You also want to make sure, to the extent that you can get away with, that the opposition buckets hold more people. That is, you want to reduce their relative representation.

      Example:
      You have 50% R and 50% D in a population of 1 million, and are essentially guaranteed to win with a margin of 5 points. You have 10 districts, each of which of must hold 90-120k. Ignoring topographical considerations, your ideal distribution is

      Districts 1-9: 51.3888% vs. 46.3888%, District 10: 37.5/82.5.

      You just turned an evenly divided electorate into a 90% supermajority in representation. Bravo!

    3. Like cynical said, in more simple terms. Even if you’re evenly divided, you just put your opponents together too, so your own districts are safer. Theirs will be safer too (that is their “gain” and that is why it’s incumbent-friendly), but it will limit their chance at a swing at your expense.

      If you are not evenly divided (as is the case in D-leaning Cal.), you don’t even have to give the smaller party a particularly large share of districts. You can make all of yours safe and all of theirs more competitive.

  13. Tim, why don’t you take a shot in 2012? You’re obviously articulate and used to making the Libertarian arguement. You know the land, the newspaper you shamefully worked for, probably the people in your district. We need L’s who won’t embarrass us. It’s not enough to keep voting L when we know they have no chance of winning.

    Who else at Reason lives in Cali? Brian Doherty? How about it Brian? Give us some change we can believe in and jump into the political fray.

    Anyone else?

  14. I will move anywhere in the L.A. metro area I need to live in ordeer to vote Cavanaugh or Doherty.

  15. People without color, as I like to call them, are a dwindling minority in California. As a result, no conservative will ever win a statewide election there again. Discuss amongst yourselves.

    1. We need El Libertario!

      1. Speaking of which… where is Raz?n magazine? Are there any Spanish language libertarian publications?

        I’d like to see libertarians handing out Spanish language pamphlets at the immigration rallies…

        1. El blog de OM? No he pensado en eso antes, sino quizas tenga Hernando de Soto Polar una revista. Su fundaci?n queda aqu? — Institute for Liberty and Justice.

    2. People without color, as I like to call them, are a dwindling minority in California. As a result, no conservative will ever win a statewide election there again. Discuss amongst yourselves.

      If that is the cause of the problem, then the obvious solution is for teenage girls without color to have babies.

      How many of those girls have you knocked up?

    3. There is nothing about conservatism that is inherently “white”.

  16. See Tim? You already have some votes and could probably raise more money through the channels you have available than most L candidates do. Not to mention you’d probably be able to spend the money more effectively. We learned once again with MegaMeg that money doesn’t equal victory.

  17. The CA Republican party should shut down, and current Republican politicians in CA should switch to the Democrat party.

    This will immediately cause a party split on the D side, which will force more moderation among their ranks. Right now, the R’s are so far gone that they’re completely useless.

    Divide and conquer is a good strategy, but sometimes you need to stop dividing and start conquering.

  18. Tim Cavanaugh 2012 – Restoring Reason to California! (catchy?)

    1. My vote is for Tim!!!!……

      ….

      …to move the fuck out California.

      Texas needs a reason corespondent….and you are always welcome to come to Washington state.

      In Eastern Washington we get as much sun as southern California with the added bonus of snow in the winter.

      ….

      Plus we have a smaller population….so there is an actual chance that your libertarian criticism of Washington state’s government might actually be heard.

      1. Your wish has already been granted.

        1. (Well, for Texas)

    2. Maddow will make it sound racist somehow…. sophist bitch.

    3. For a campaign slogan named Reason

  19. The upside is that if you look at it by region, it’s really the overwhelming liberal votes in the bay area that make the state swing so far D. San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and some other smaller counties lean R. Los Angeles leans D but not as far as most people would think.

    You really need to take a closer look at the little blue dots on the southern part of this map before saying that LA isn’t more of a contributor to D dominance than the Bay Area. Yeah, they are small districts geographically, but they have just as many people as the big ones.

    Elections map

    And, given that there’s only 121 votes separating the R and D in District 11, it’s too close to call, between absentee ballots and the almost inevitable recount and rerecount and rererecount.

  20. The CA Republican party should shut down, and current Republican politicians in CA should switch to the Democrat party.

    Or the more likely scenario is California will turn in to the new rust belt and poeple and businesses will simply leave.

  21. If one distinct is gerrymandered to benefit a party…ie portions of areas with high party A affiliation are added to a district to increase over all party A affiliation then the district(s) which no longer have those areas then also get a higher percentage of the opposing party B affiliation. Simply game theory prevents a single party from gaining broad multi-district benefit over another.

    Bullshit. Google what happened when Texas redistricted the state after the Rs took over the legislature. They picked up 6 seats by packing some urban districts with as many Democrats as possible.

  22. CA 21 was also won by a Team Red guy who ran unopposed.

  23. “And with the loss of the two-thirds requirement for state budgets, the Republicans have lost what little leverage they once had.”

    The only hope is that since the Democrats have more than enough rope to hang themselves with, they do exactly what Obama and Carter did before them. …they hang themselves with it.

    …which really shouldn’t be too hard.

    If we didn’t have a real Republican as governor before, just wait for another two years of what we’re getting now.

    For people outside of San Diego County, Orange County and the Inland Empire, “Republican” is something foreign. …”Republican” is something drooling Red State people from North Dakota believe in–it’s like “intelligent design” and “birthers”.

    If and when “Republican” becomes opposition to what’s going on in Sacramento? The Republicans might have a chance.

    And that may come easy. I’ve said it before, but what we saw in California was a repudiation of the Tea Party by swing voters there–and it’s an aesthetic thing.

    The same kind of thing happened in ’94 too. You had a lot of conservatives show up to vote for prop 187, but Michael Huffington couldn’t win in the year that put Gingrich in the Speaker’s chair.

    Same thing here. You get a conservative movement gaining momentum in the rest of the country, and California’s swing voters are sure to swing to the left–for aesthetic reasons–almost every time.

    Gray Davis level buffoonery is moonbeamin’ down the freeway though. It’s just a matter of time ’til it gets here. Just a matter of time.

    There’s no way Jerry Brown could possibly be competent. …and competent in the middle of an economic apocalypse?

    No Way.

    1. What Ken said. I’ve tried like hell to fight this impression of TPers as birthers, racists, drooling imbreds for pushing the bible in schools, but the ignorance of my CA comrades is impenetrable, their resistence to facts impervious, and their susceptability to Olbermann/Maddow/et al incomprehensibly strong.

      1. It’s an aesthetic thing.

        They used to say, “But will it play in Peoria?” They should flip it around and say, “But will it play in Redwood City?”

        Back when the studios owned their own theater chains, they made the kinds of movies the people who lived in the area they owned chains in would like.

        So, if you were a studio that owned a lot of theaters in the Midwest?

        You made westerns.

        If you were a studio that owned a lot of theaters in New York City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles?

        You made a lot of movies about angry, drunk detectives.

        This isn’t new. Why would we think what’s “cool” in Kentucky would appeal to people in and around San Francisco?

        It may be that rabid capitalists such as I am should start staking out areas in the Democratic Party…

        Capitalists in the Democratic Party?!

        Yeah, I know. …but it’s not as weird as, say, Log Cabin Republicans, is it?

        And I’m not talking about national politics here; I’m just talking about the politics within the State. If the word “Republican” is to swing voters in and around San Francisco as, say, “Al Qaeda” is to swing voters in Texas, then maybe we need to start using a different word.

        Honestly, I never thought the Land of Reagan could sink so low. Whatever we who think the size of government in California is the problem do–we gotta do something. ’cause if there was any state in the country that needed a Tea Party movement, it was California.

        I’d like to think things will get so bad that they have to start getting better, but I’m not sure how much worse they could have been over the last two years! How bad does the housing crisis have to get? How ugly and stubborn to the government employees unions have to be before swing voters in NorCal can bring themselves to vote for a “Republican”?!

        If the answer is “worse than this”, then maybe we need to get rid of that word.

      2. Sudden – I run into the exact same thing here in L.A.

        And Ken – you are dead on. It is an aesthetic thing. I like your plan, count me in.

    2. For people outside of San Diego County, Orange County and the Inland Empire, “Republican” is something foreign. …”Republican” is something drooling Red State people from North Dakota believe in–it’s like “intelligent design” and “birthers”.

      Those people are uneducable.

      How exactly is it possible to educate them? They are just like Gazans, who would follow their hate rather than their own self-interest.

      1. Again, if I put up a building that no one will lease or buy, it isn’t the market’s fault. It’s mine.

        We’re supposed to give the people what they want–not try to make the people want whatever we give them. That’s what the Progressives do. That’s what Obama is all about–not me.

        If swing voters in Northern California–in spite of all the economic and political realities that inspired people just about everywhere else in the country to jump on the Tea Party bandwagon…? If the people of Northern California–despite all of that–still look at the Republican Party and say “Do Not Want”?

        …then the solution isn’t to try to spin their rejection like Obama is trying to do with this obvious repudiation of his stupid polices.

        Want to win the people up North? Become the cutting edge on the legalization of Gay Marriage. Want to win the people up North? Become the standard bearer for legalizing marijuana and normalizing the status of illegal immigrants who have been here for more than 15 years.

        I don’t give a crap about two out of three of those issues anyway*. And the swing voters will never, never give us the leverage we need to give the public employees unions the knee-capping they so desperately need if they see us as the haters of every hip underclass everywhere.

        I’m not sayin’ that’s the way it should be; I’m sayin’ that’s the way it is.

        *I don’t care if gay people marry their boyfriends or hire illegal aliens to mow their lawns. The legalization of marijuana? I care about. Knee-capping the government employee unions? That I really care about.

        1. Want to win the people up North? Become the cutting edge on the legalization of Gay Marriage.

          And alienate other voters who oppose same-sex marriage, especially swing voters down South.

          1. Anybody who doesn’t want to balance California’s budget so long as men are up in San Francisco screwing each other?

            Should go join the Democratic Party.

            That’s the kind of thing the Democratic Party is all about–we take a vote on your lifestyle, and if you lose? Touch luck.

            Republicans have–essentially–been about how people’s rights are their own regardless of whether 51% of the people support those rights or not…

            …going back to when Lincoln was debating Stephen Douglas.

            How much of my paycheck I should get to keep shouldn’t be up to anyone’s vote–and if that means gay people are screwing each other somewhere?

            I don’t give a crap.

            If you want to take a vote to restrict anybody’s right to buy gasoline, keep their own paycheck, smoke marijuana, marry whoever they want or eat at McDonalds?

            Then Go Be A Democrat!

            1. …going back to when Lincoln was debating Stephen Douglas.

              And yet Lincoln did not believe that Mormons had the right to marry whomever they pleased.

              1. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

                They call themselves “Republicans” because they rejected the idea that people’s rights–specifically those of slaves–should be put up to a vote.

                Are there any other rights you think people should be able to vote on?

                How about gun rights? Do you think the voters of California should be allowed to vote my gun rights away?!

                Surely, you must have some desire to be consistent?

          2. Just as an addendum here, you understand that there aren’t any gay people out there who are refraining from having gay sex ’cause they aren’t married, right?

            They’re all screwin’ each other anyway! And there’s nothing the Republican Party can do to stop it.

            They’re out there just bein’ gay, married or not–regardless of whether we discriminate against them.

  24. Before writing an article about how a district didn’t switch hands because it was drawn to protect an incumbent, maybe you should have done a modicum of research. If you had, you would know that until 2006, the 11th was a Republican district, held by Richard Pombo, who won re-election with over 60% of the vote in the first two elections following redistricting. The 11th district was drawn to be safe for the Republicans, not for the Democrats. Now that doesn’t change the basic point that redistricting (prior to the recent changes) was an incumbent protection racket, where legislators in both parties conspired to protect themselves, but it does mean that Republicans having tried to draw the 11th district fairly would only have caused them to lose it by more, not less.

    1. You beat me to the punch, but thanks for correcting the record. Tim’s right on the overall gerymandering critique, but yes this was most certainly a GOP district when it was drawn. McNerney won in ’06 from a combination of population growth in the liberal East Bay buoyed by the Dem wave that year.

      In addition to being drawn to protect Pombo, the district lines also insulate Dennis Cardoza, who’s district borders it to the south — the slim line of blue in the middle runs right through southern/central Stockton, which is largely populated by minority voters and heavily democratic.

  25. The voters in CA* have gotten what they deserve. Decades of idiotic propositions that tie the hands of the legislature to cut spending or increase revenue has led to a rats nest

    Eventually all of those ballot propositions that require “only” $10 million for sea otter research or high speed rail eat up so much of the budget that the legislature is screwed because they have to spend on all the mandatory bullshit. Make it take a 2/3s vote to make a constitutional amendment, which should be the only way that it can’t be overridden by the legislature. CA is Exhibit A in why direct democracy doesn’t work.

    * I say this as a CA native.

    1. You know, there is an alternative to electoral representative democracy, and direct legislative democracy.

      1. You know, there is an alternative to electoral representative democracy, and direct legislative democracy.

        Shush you. There are already too many here who think a libertarian dictatorship is workable.

        1. Well, I was going to say sortition, but giving myself absolute power works for me.

  26. The voters in HI are even more immune to common sense — the Rs lost the governorship, the only R-held congressional seat, and are now down to 1 out of 25 seats in the state senate (from a high of 5 a few elections ago).

    Talk about an economy set to be sunk by D economic stupidity.

    1. Fuck man, they lost Hawaii Kai? It’s all over now.

    2. The voters in HI are even more immune to common sense — the Rs lost the governorship, the only R-held congressional seat, and are now down to 1 out of 25 seats in the state senate (from a high of 5 a few elections ago).

      Talk about an economy set to be sunk by D economic stupidity.

      They make Californians (and West Virginians!) look educated.

  27. Why would California conservatives (they exist!) vote for a party that conspires in its own obsolescence?

  28. CA District 11 is not over, not by a long shot. Lots of uncounted votes, the largest portion of them are in San Joaquin County which favors Harmer by several thousand votes in the current count.

    Tracy Press article and comments below have a good roundup of the current status
    http://is.gd/gIyWn

  29. Ken, it’s not social issues that would be the stumbling block. It’s that the voters in much of the SF Bay Area are way out in left field on economic issues.

  30. Lol, the 11th was gerrymandered to protect a Republican incumbent… Republicans can’t even win there anymore. I’m a Republican who thinks we need more focus on electability and an organized statewide strategy.

  31. Lol, the 11th was gerrymandered to protect a Republican incumbent… Republicans can’t even win there anymore. I’m a Republican who thinks we need more focus on electability and an organized statewide strategy.

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