Capitol Alert

AM Alert: High stakes for California Republicans, Democrats on Election Day

Provisional clerk Bob Bartlett wears an "I Voted" sticker on his head at the El Dorado County Senior Center in El Dorado Hills on Nov. 6, 2012.
Provisional clerk Bob Bartlett wears an "I Voted" sticker on his head at the El Dorado County Senior Center in El Dorado Hills on Nov. 6, 2012. rbenton@sacbee.com

After a long, nasty and mildly exciting campaign season, the election is finally upon us. As usual, Democrats are expected to dominate statewide races across California, but a few big questions remain that will keep politicos up late tonight watching the returns.

Can Gov. Jerry Brown, widely predicted to win a fourth term, rack up 60 percent of the vote? Will the California Democratic Party, looking increasingly shaky in key legislative races, retain its two-thirds supermajority in the Assembly and regain it in the state Senate? How many embattled congressional incumbents will fall victims to President Barack Obama’s sinking approval ratings? Who will emerge victorious in the dead-heat race for state superintendent of public instruction?

Check out The Bee election guide for a full preview and any last-minute information you need before heading to the polls, then come back to sacbee.com tonight for results, expert analysis and a live chat with columnists Dan Walters and Marcos Breton starting at 7 p.m.

Political editor Amy Chance also gets you primed for three contests we’ll be watching closely: the 7th Congressional District, where Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, and former Republican Rep. Doug Ose have squared off in the most expensive House race in the country; the 6th Senate District, an intraparty brawl between Democratic Assemblymen Roger Dickinson and Richard Pan of Sacramento; and the state superintendent showdown between incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck, which could have big implications for education policy in California.

VIDEO: A record-low number of Californians are expected to vote today, resulting in an electorate that is not representative of the state as a whole, Dan Walters says.

ALL DRIED UP: Hopes for a drought-busting winter have all but evaporated and California officials are now preparing for the state’s historic dry spell to stretch into a fourth year. The State Board of Food and Agriculture is bringing together state and federal officials to discuss drought planning and implementation of the California Water Action Plan, a strategy for more sustainably managing the state’s water resources, 10 a.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture on N Street.

IN MEMORIAM: Brown attends a memorial service for Placer County Sheriff’s Detective Michael David Davis Jr., one of two officers killed last month during a manhunt in the Sacramento region, 10 a.m. at the Adventure Christian Church in Roseville.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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