Latino registration surges; Brulte’s sees a silver lining

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Brulte takes solace

California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte sees a silver lining in our U.S. Senate race, even as Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, is cruising to a victory to succeed Barbara Boxer.

The national party would not have spent a dime to help any hapless Republican nominee who might have squeaked into the top-two primary; the nominee would have been a “sacrificial lamb.”

“That race would have been over the day after the primary,” Brulte told The Take.

Republicans have not won a California Senate seat since 1988, when Pete Wilson was re-elected. And they have not won a California Senate seat in a presidential election year since 1976, when, as trivia experts know, the tam o’shanter-wearing S.I. Hayakawa was elected, Brulte noted.

If Harris faced a Republican, rather than Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, she would have had a surplus of campaign money, and “given $3 million to Harry Reid to elect Democrats in competitive races,” Brulte said.

Given the Republican’s position, it was better to have Harris spend her money to vanquish Sanchez, Brulte believes, and for the GOP to focus on legislative seats and competitive congressional seats. We’ll see how that strategy works out on Tuesday.

Take a number: 32 percent

The number of registered voters in California reached 19.4 million, up from 17.7 million. Secretary of State Alex Padilla should take a bow. California enthusiastically helps people vote while too many other states look for reasons to exclude voters. What are they afraid of?

Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., dug into the stats and came up with these numbers: Latinos account for 24 percent of the California electorate, or 4.7 million. Since January, 1.5 million California Latinos registered to vote or updated their registration. That’s 32 percent. Think about that. Fully 57 percent of those 1.5 million Latinos signed up as Democrats, 33 percent declined to state a party preference or aligned with minor parties, and a mere 10 percent registered as Republican.

Donald Trump, who built his campaign around beating up on immigrants and Latinos, will affect California’s voting patterns far beyond Nov. 8. Where does the California Republican Party begin to pick up the pieces?

Our take

Editorial: Because California is so blue, the stark choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is, in this state, almost certainly a foregone conclusion. So, alas, is recreational weed legalization. But other decisions have sweeping implications. If you do nothing else, remember these ballot priorities.

Dan Morain: Picking a few winners and losers as this dispiriting campaign mercifully stumbles to its bitter end.

Foon Rhee looks at different ethnic groups of women and what they might want from a President Hillary Clinton.

Joyce Terhaar: Tired of presidential slugfest? California still needs your vote on death, taxes and pot.

Marcos Breton: California is ill-prepared for legal recreational marijuana.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: California can send a strong message to Big Pharma by passing Proposition 61 on Tuesday.

Their take

Mercury News: Donald Trump’s name-calling vitriol against anyone who disagrees with him, or in the case of women, fails to meet his standard for being grope-worthy, is not a campaign tactic. It’s who he is. It’s who his closest advisers, Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani, are.

L.A. Times: Why even an accused racist murderer like Dylann Roof shouldn’t face the death penalty. Our take.

San Diego Union-Tribune: In a region in which the corruption of disgraced former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham won’t be forgotten, Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s serial spending of campaign funds for personal uses is obnoxious. So are his repeated attempts to depict this illegal spending as being inadvertent and innocent.

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Residents in Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Arizona will learn sometime Tuesday night whether voters have approved ballot measures to legalize marijuana. States that take this leap will almost assuredly experience unintended trickle-down consequences, particularly for young people. Our take.

Takes from swing states

Florida-29 electoral votes

Tampa Bay Times: Voters have every reason to trust the elections process and every reason to reject the fearmongering that is meant to suppress the vote and erode confidence in the results – particularly if Donald Trump loses.

Pennsylvania-20 electoral votes

Philadelphia Inquirer: Elections will be deluged by political attack ads until campaign finance laws are changed.

Ohio-18 electoral votes

Toledo Blade: View the 12-part test to choose the next president.

Michigan-16 electoral votes

Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press: Khizr Khan is a model American. When the dust clears after Tuesday, maybe we can begin to unravel why his unquestioned Americanism is so difficult to use as a guide for our political discussions.

North Carolina-15 electoral votes

Raleigh News & Observer: If a long presidential campaign is supposed to test the character and the qualifications of candidates, Donald Trump has made straight “F’s.” Yes, he has unearthed a seething anger on the part of many, anger in some cases rooted in financial discontent, in others perhaps a feeling of helplessness against a government perceived as big and ugly and distancing itself from their concerns, in worry about the future.

Colorado-9 electoral votes

Denver Post: Donald Trump is no tax wizard. Sad! Trump’s business practices have consistently painted a portrait of a man in the game only for himself.

Nevada-6 electoral votes

Las Vegas Sun: Amid the turmoil surrounding the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, it’s worth asking one fundamental question about the presidential election: What’s really changed?

New Hampshire-4 electoral votes

Joseph W. McQuaid, Manchester Union Leader: A vote for Gary Johnson is not merely a protest against two unworthy candidates, it’s a statement of opposition to the corrupt and failed two-party system that nominated them.

Syndicates’ take

Ross Douthat: How did it come to this?

Maureen Dowd: The trouble with Hillary Clinton, and the trouble with Donald Trump.

Nicholas Kristof: I’m with her: The strengths of Hillary Clinton.

Timothy Egan: The truth is rigged, just ask Alex Jones. But we’re sure the Cubs won.

Gail Collins: New Zealand has a housing bubble, so you might as well vote.

Harold Jackson: How Donald Trump is like George Wallace.

Paul Krugman: Who broke politics?

David Brooks: The banality of change.

And finally,

Sitting in a small glass case at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is President Lincoln’s stovepipe hat, the very same hat he was wearing when he went to Ford’s Theatre and was assassinated on the evening of April 14, 1865. – Jack Ohman @jack ohman