Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Field Poll takes final look at statewide races

Marshall Tuck, a former charter schools executive who is running for the Superintendent of Pubic Education, responds to a questions while appearing before the Sacramento Press Club on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014.
Marshall Tuck, a former charter schools executive who is running for the Superintendent of Pubic Education, responds to a questions while appearing before the Sacramento Press Club on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. AP

With election season accelerating from a marathon into a sprint to the finish line, the good folks at the Field Research Corporation have some final numbers to help us understand the odds. Surprise! It’s looking good for Democrats running statewide.

Some of the statewide races captured in today’s snapshot are a little short of riveting – the gubernatorial contest in particular has been lopsided enough that the incumbent plans to use re-election funds for ballot fights in a presumed fourth term – but others are more intriguing.

The usually humdrum contest for state superintendent of public instruction this year offers the excitement of massive outside spending and a tie in the polls, according to Field, with a huge chunk of undecideds poised to sway the outcome. While Democrats lead every contest, still-competitive races for controller and secretary of state offer the prospect of an actual Republican in statewide office.

You can get a sense of where things stand in those contests by reading our story in today’s Bee. And rest assured your favorite team of reporters will be obsessively covering every statewide race and proposition down to the nitty-gritty details through next Tuesday.

VIDEO: The most expensive statewide race is for state superintendent of public instruction? What a strange election this has been, Dan Walters says.

AID IN DYING: You’ve probably heard the story of Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill East Bay woman who has publicly announced her decision to end her life in Oregon. Potentially prefiguring a legislative push to legalize aid in dying (assisted suicide is no longer the accepted term), a group of advocates that includes former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez will gather at City Hall in Los Angeles for a rally set to include a recorded message from Maynard. The last aid-in-dying bill foundered when Núñez was speaker.

WATER, WATER: With a drought in the atmosphere and a water bond on the ballot, interest in the state of our water is soaring. Today officials will offer a primer on the vital resource, assessing the state of things with an update to the California Water Plan. California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird and California Department of Water Resources chief Mark Cowin will be briefing reporters this morning. Matt Weiser, the Bee’s expert in all things aquatic, will be keeping an eye on the details.

CARE-FULL: Unsurprisingly, the federal healthcare overhaul has played a role in some competitive congressional races in California. Today the Legislative Analyst’s Office releases a more apolitical look at how California has fared in coordinating health programs with initiatives springing out of the Affordable Care Act.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

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