Capitol Alert

CA Democrats hold enthusiasm edge + New ‘California Nation’ episode


California Republicans could be in a world of trouble in the midterm election if they don’t get their voters more excited.

A new poll released Wednesday night by the Public Policy Institute of California shows Democrats more energized leading up to the Nov. 6 elections.

Four in five Democratic likely voters surveyed said they are more enthusiastic about the upcoming election than usual, compared to two in three Republicans. The divide was even larger when people were asked about specific congressional races in their districts.

While 67 percent of Democrats said they were either extremely enthusiastic or very enthusiastic about who they’re voting for in Congress, just 45 percent of Republicans said the same.

“Democrats are more likely to feel there’s a lot at stake,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC’s president.

Across California, more independent voters lean toward the Democratic U.S. House candidate in their district than the Republican candidate. Still, 20 percent of them remain undecided.

The Cook Political Report considers 11 House races to be competitive in California. Nine of those seats are currently occupied by a Republican. According to PPIC, likely voters are divided in these competitive areas, with Republicans holding a lead of 5 percentage points.

Considering Republicans control the vast majority of these tight races, Baldassare thinks a 5-point margin is positive news for Democrats. But talk of a blue wave may still be a bit premature.

“There’s not much difference between the competitive districts and the Republican, so it actually remains that it’s close,” he said.

House candidates in competitive districts could greatly benefit from discussing areas of agreement with President Donald Trump. In these places, 59 percent of likely voters say it is more important for their preferred candidate to work with the Trump administration than push back against it. Just 37 percent of respondents believe it is more important to push back against the Trump administration than work with it.

Baldassare said the “overwhelming pro-Trump attitudes” could influence the final outcome in the most contested places.


The latest episode of our “California Nation” podcast is now out!

On this week’s show, we sit down with Tom Steyer to talk about his vision for the Democratic Party, efforts to impeach the president and the influence young California voters will have in the midterms. We also highlight the struggles of walnut farmers and answer one listener’s question about how to handle receiving multiple ballots.


State Sen. Ed Hernandez (@SenatorDrEd22) — “A letter I sent to the UC: You’re refusing to negotiate with your workers. UC has some of the lowest paid workers, continues to outsource & fails to provide dignified retirement benefits. I urge you to return to negotiations with urgency. @AFSCMELocal3299 @UPTECWA.”


‘One of the greatest’ or missed opportunities? Influencers have plenty to say about Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy?

“Governor Brown has done an amazing job appointing diverse judges. He has chosen individuals who are both themselves racially and ethnically representative of our state’s population, but who also have practiced on behalf of clients from all walks of life, most importantly those who otherwise would have had limited access to justice, e.g. legal aid lawyers and public defenders. In a state as racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse as ours, it is imperative to have judges whose life experiences reflect the litigants before them to ensure justice is served.”

— Laboni Hoq, Litigation Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice

MUST-READ: You’ll get a deal on walnuts this year. Farmers won’t.


Lenore Anderson, a former assistant district attorney in San Francisco, says more should be done if California wants real criminal justice reform.

Mike Montgomery, executive director of CALinnovates, believes California should not go it alone on net neutrality.


Jack Ohman finds President Trump’s suspicious device