It’s been quite a busy year at the Capitol, and we’re taking a breather from the newsletter to gear up for 2019. We wish you all the happiness over the holidays and look forward to seeing you in the new year. For the final time in 2018, here’s your morning news briefing….
THE ECONOMY, STUPID
Californians really care about the economy. A new poll released by the Public Policy Institute of California shows the economy as the No. 1 issue on the respondents’ minds. The survey suggests a tremendous amount of anxiety about what the future holds.
A plurality of the 1,094 adult likely voters surveyed said they think California will be a worse place to live by 2025. A majority of Democrats and Republicans agree children growing up today will be worse off financially than their parents.
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“Despite the fact that we’ve been in good economic times relative to the last decade, people have big concerns of where the state’s economy is heading in the future,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC’s president.
Republicans and Democrats are divided on how to solve the problem. Democrats want the state to use its budget surplus to increase funding for education, health and human services, while Republicans would like the government to build up the reserve and pay down debt.
Eighty percent of Democrats see universal health coverage as a either a high priority or very high priority, compared to just 21 percent of Republicans. Democrats largely prefer a more costly and progressive agenda to address economic issues.
If there’s one universal point of agreement, it would be dissatisfaction with the federal government. About seven in ten likely voters are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country and disapprove of the U.S. Congress. Still, many are optimistic things could improve once Democrats retake the House.
Eighty-four percent of Democrats think the switch in majority control will be a good thing, while 56 percent of Republicans think the change will be a bad thing. Nearly a third of Republicans said a Democratic majority will not make a difference, while 15 percent think it’ll be a good thing.
“Republicans don’t have high expectations and don’t think things can be so much worse,” Baldassare said.
The top issue for Democratic respondents was housing costs, while Republicans cared most about immigration. The survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points among likely voters. The interviews were conducted from Nov. 11-20, and 70 percent of total respondents were reached by cell phone.
STEYER FOR PRESIDENT?
We may have gotten our latest indicator that Tom Steyer wants to run for president. According to The New York Times, the billionaire liberal activist you may have seen on television calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached has created an anonymous LinkedIn page seeking political aides to help him for a possible 2020 run.
At the bottom of the ad for a Nevada state campaign director posting, there’s a bullet below the category “BONUS POINTS” category asking for someone with “experience working on Presidential campaigns.” A spokeswoman for Steyer acknowledged to The Times the billionaire was responsible for the LinkedIn ad.
The midterms are officially over in California! Well, almost. Secretary of State Alex Padilla will certify the results Friday. Here’ s a recap of what we already know:
- Historic voter turnout: California is expected to have a turnout of about 64.5 percent among those who are registered to vote. This is the highest rate the state has seen in a midterm general election since 1982. Turnout was especially high in San Francisco and Orange counties.
- Historic Democratic control: Democrats will occupy nearly three-fourths of the California Legislature. They will have a 29-11 advantage in the Senate and a 60-20 advantage in the Assembly. This is the most control the party has had in decades.
- Seven congressional pickups: Josh Harder, TJ Cox, Katie Hill, Katie Porter, Mike Levin, Gil Cisneros and Harley Rouda will soon begin their first terms in Congress, having successfully won seven California seats now held by Republicans. This was a near-perfect performance, with Cox’s victory coming as the biggest surprise given his 7-point deficit on Election Night to Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford.
CA DEMS HIRE NEW DIRECTOR
The California Democratic Party is making sweeping changing to its management, after recently firing top staff members. The party announced on Wednesday Chris Masami Myers will return as executive director. CDP will have Roger Salazar handle communications and work as a spokesman.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Lily Adams (@adamslily) — “You just never know who you might run into in DC….”