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PPIC Poll: Kashkari Gaining But Running Out of Time

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

govraceThere’s little doubt that Gov. Jerry Brown not only will win about half the statewide vote in the June 3 open primary election but also will be re-elected in November.

The big question is which Republican – Tim Donnelly, the gun-toting arch conservative and Tea Party favorite, or Neel Kashkari, the former Treasury official and Establishment choice – will carry the GOP banner in the fall.

It matters to Republicans, who are worried that having Donnelly as their candidate – with his extremist stands on immigration, gun control and government in general – will further erode the GOP’s brand in California, where fewer than 30% of voters identify with the party.

Why? As our old friend Garry South, the Democratic strategist, put it in the Sac B-:  ”If Democratic legislative candidates are smart – and they are – they will make Donnelly a centerpiece of their campaign. How? By demanding that their GOP opponent either say they are voting for Donnelly, and thereby align themselves with his far-right views that are completely out of sync with most California voters. Or, distance themselves from him and denounce those views, and thereby risk alienating their own conservative Republican base voters.”

The latest survey from the Public Policy Institute of California suggests that while Kashkari – who is spending $2 million of his own money on TV ads and has enlisted endorsements from GOP Respectables like Pete Wilson, Mitt Romney and Condi Rice – has improved his standing, he may be running out of time.

In three months, Kashkari has moved to 10% in May, up 8 percentage points from March, when he was at 2%. Donnelly, meanwhile, stands at 15% in May, up 7 points from March. Both lag far behind Gov. Brown who pulls 48% in May, compared to 47% in March.

Where Kashkari has made inroads is among likely Republican voters. In May, he has won support from 21% of the GOP voters, up 17 percentage points from March. By comparison, Donnelly pulls 30% of the Republican vote, up 10% from March.

In other words, among Republicans, Kashkari is closing the gap with Donnelly.

govrace2Among independents, Kashkari has 8%, up 6 points from March, and Donnelly has 16%, up 5 points from March.

The big question is can Kashkari tap into the 34% of GOP voters in particular and perhaps the 35% of independents as well, who remain undecided?

If he could afford statewide media, featuring some of the respected Republicans supporting him and warning against support for Donnelly, Kashkari might have a chance to win second place on June 3. But as long as Donnelly holds onto the base conservative vote and nothing makes enough news to cause undecided voters to act differently than already-decided voters, he should be able to win the chance to move onto November.

PPIC surveyed 1,702 California adult residents, including 1,192 interviewed on landline telephones and 510 interviewed on cell phones May 8–15, 2014. . The sampling error for 1,038 respondents identified as likely voters, it is ±4.6 percent; for the 901 primary likely voters, it is ±4.9 percent.

Tune In, Turn Out: A User’s Guide to State Primary

Monday, May 19th, 2014

dr-evil-268x3001If current trends continue, the universe of voters for California’s June 3 primary will consist of 16 people in Alpine County, 9 in Indio and a couple of guys who live in Weed.

The alignment of three key factors is pointing to the lowest primary turnout in state history: Sacramento pols previously pushed all popular ballot measures to November; no less brilliant a political scientist than our friend Eric McGhee has concluded that the Top Two primary to date has not increased turnout, notwithstanding sponsors’ promises; the year’s most exciting race is for Secretary of State, fercrineoutloud.

Just 16 days before the primary, however, your Calbuzz Department of Goo Goo Reforms and Electoral Machinery Repair is here to save the day with a plan that all but guarantees the highest voter turnout since August 3, 2003, when 99.9 percent of North Korean voters went to the polls to deliver a ringing confirmation of confidence for Kim Jong Il’s platform of widespread fuel and food shortages.

Our simple, two-part fix:

1- The 17,660,486 California citizens who are registered adopt a “Vote the Story” strategy and back the Calbuzz Reporters Relief Act Ticket.

2-Outgoing secretary of state Debra Bowen ensures her legacy by immediately beginning statewide broadcast of a superb get-off-your-ass-and-vote ad produced by the government of Denmark.

danishpastryThat extraordinary ad – which Wonkette cogently described as “Danish Parliament Releases X-Rated Leather-Daddy Orgiastic Fellatio Cartoon, For Voting” – may be found here.

The 90-second animated ad features Voteman, a muscleman who decapitates, beats up, and interrupts a couple having sex so he can chuck them into the voting booth. At one point, he’s seen in bed with five women receiving a blowjob.

Oh sure, widespread Jutland public outrage forced the ad off the air just 24 hours after it went up, but we feel certain the voters in, say, Bakersfield will be much more open to its message than the prudish Danes.

All power to the story: As for the Calbuzz endorsements, our experience has been that while the news media are often accused of bias (sometimes correctly, like the commies of MSNBC and the fascists of Fox) the overwhelming majority of newspersons are biased in favor of only one thing: a good story.

Which is why we’ve spent literally tens of minutes exhaustively researching the so-called primary election Official Voter Information Guide (certified for “correctness” – really! — by SOS Bowen) to come up the Calbuzz Reporters’ Dream Team Ticket.

tim-donnelly-adGovernor: Tim Donnelly, Republican.

An obvious choice. How can any fan of politics as entertainment NOT vote for the guy who tried to smuggle a handgun into an airport, who sees immigrants from Mexico as an invading army that has to be met with lethal force, who attacks his Hindu opponent for supporting Islamic Sharia law and who says he “owns only one suit” but has appeared in public in at least half-a-dozen?

Sure, Neel Kashkari, the guy who helped bail out Goldman Sachs and all the banks too big to fail, has widespread Establishment GOP support.  Karl RovePete Wilson, Condi Rice are just a few of the Big Name Republicans supporting Mr. Cash and Carry. But why? One and only one reason: because he’s not a complete whack job.

In the end, whoever the top Republican is in June won’t matter anyway, because Jerry Brown is going to roll up a vast majority likely to threaten the aforementioned Mr. Kim’s 100 percent. In the meantime, however, journalistic hilarity looms ’round the clock – along with the distinct possibility that newspapers make an astonishing economic comeback as readers return in droves to check on the latest from Mr. Armed and Dangerous.

Not to mention, Calbuzz will push to the head of the line to serve on the panel of reporters enlisted to question the finalists in at least one of the dozens of debates we expect Governor Brown will be more than pleased to engage in with Donnelly.

korevaarLieutenant Governor: Eric Korevaar, Democrat.

Gavin Newsom has done little as lite governor except express his disdain for the office, which he’s repeatedly made clear is beneath the enormous talents that are obvious to, uh, him, and a couple of coat carriers.

We like Korevaar, a San Diego tech guy with a nice-looking family –  with the big added plus of being a “member of the Optical Society of America” — for one key reason: he’s the only one in the race who points toward fulfillment of the Calbuzz Lieutenant Governor agenda of abolishing this utterly unnecessary office.

There is no reason that the Lieutenant Governor’s office needs its current budget or staffing level to help with the responsibilities of the office, and I will get the job done for half of its current cost.

Hey, it’s a start.

orly-taitz-1-sizedAttorney General: Orly Taitz, No Party Preference.

A perfect Nut Case Party running mate for Donnelly, Taitz not only promises to nullify NSA spying, the use of Google and Obamacare taxes, but also vows to prosecute other state officials “who ignored all evidence brought by law enforcement and experts showing Obama to possess citizenship in Indonesia, fabricated Selective Service certificate, fabricated birth certificate and a CT Social Security number.”

We’re fans of Kamala Harris, but Calbuzz got on the Dr. Taitz AG bandwagon early, not least because we see her nomination as a boon to the state economy, as planeloads of Beltway Wizards fly out and use their bloated expense accounts to pay for over-priced hotels and consume mass quantities of rich restaurant food while writing their mandatory Fruits and Nuts of the Left Coast stories.

LelandYee1.0215_0

Secretary of State: Leland Yee, Democrat (Indicted)

The only state senator dumber than Ron Calderon, Yee officially has withdrawn from the race, but his name will still appear on the ballot. And what a great yarn it would be if voters said to hell with all those petty gun-running and bribery charges and pulled the great man back into the contest, along with Shrimp Boy, a bunch of gangstas and other little fish in San Francisco’s political cesspool.

Normally, our self-interest would make us vote for access (our own), by which backing old friend and former GOP flack Dan Schnur, who claims now to be a non-partisan. But the potential of this story to attract national attention trumps even selfishness, so we’re going with Uncle Leland.

tammyblairController: Tammy Blair (Democrat).

Conventional wisdom holds that outgoing Speaker John Perez and Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearingen will square off in November, but we like Blair, a self-identified “administrator,” if only because her campaign home page blares, “Nothing Found,” right below her smiling face and logo. There’s more: her site’s “The $$ Dollar Campaign $$” page offers a simple but splendid rationale for her candidacy:

We figure that everyone can donate a dollar. You can donate whatever you wish, but really, we’re just asking for a dollar. We need you to pass along this information to everyone you know. It would be interesting to see how many people it reaches and how much money is raised.

Damned interesting, indeed. More red meat for reporters: She’s the only candidate in any race who’s for both a statewide ban on plastic bags and teaching creationism in public schools.

ellenbrownTreasurer: Ellen H. Brown (Green).

By fall, everyone expects this one to be an incredibly boring John Chiang Democratic walkover contest against Republican CPA Greg Conlon. So why not vote now to nominate someone running on a platform of having California join North Dakota as the only states to establish and operate publicly owned banks:

Currently the nation’s only state-owned depository bank, the Bank of North Dakota has been a stellar success and has been going strong ever since 1919. In Green vs. Frazier, 253 U.S. 233 (1920), the US Supreme Court upheld the bank’s constitutionality against a Fourteenth Amendment challenge and deferred to the state court on the state constitutional issues, which had been decided in the state’s favor.

You could look it up. For a couple of washed-up journalistic relics, few things would be sweeter than watching a parade of smarmy correspondents from Bloomberg, Forbes and the Journal trekking out to interview Brown, the Ron Paul of the left, about the gold standard, the National Bank Act and colonial paper money. Calbuzz gets results!

hriziInsurance Commissioner: Nathalie Hrizi (Peace and Freedom).

Growing deeper into our dotage, your Calbuzzards spend more and more time lost in dreams of our crispy salad days, imagining ourselves smoking dope after SDS meetings and getting evicted from University Hall. Maybe that’s why there’s something about a woman yelling into a megaphone that sends a Tweety Bird “thrill up our legs.”

All you need to need about Hrizi: a) she wants to abolish insurance companies; b) she’s campaigning for free, universal health care; c) did we mention she wants to abolish insurance companies?

Also: she’s all that stands between a deep sleep snoozer between Democratic incumbent Dave Jones and Republican sacrificial lamb Ted Gaines.

slide1Superintendent of Schools: Lydia Gutierrez, No Party Preference. 

This office ranks right up there with Lieutenant Governor as one that ought to done away with, the sooner the better, but as long as the sinecure exists, it might as well go to someone like Gutierrez, a teacher whose heart seems to be in the right place:

What needs to come back into the classroom is music, art, literature and vocational trade skills and they should play an active role in every school.

She also seems to be on the right track with her campaign button, a reversal on the old saw dissing teachers: “Those Who Can, Teach/Those Who Can’t, Write Common Core Standards.”

Don’t forget to vote.