Friday, June 8, 2012

Romney dismal victor in California

There is only one Republican primary left to be contested, in Utah, and Mitt Romney, with 79.5% of the vote in California, passed 50% of the overall Republican primary vote for the first time, essentially two months after his opposition quit. His vote total in California, however, was a minimal 1.2 million, meaning that with 9.4 million votes overall, he still trails John McCain's 2008 9.8  million votes with Utah the only state left with a primary.  They will need a huge "get out the vote" effort just to pass McCain, even with the Mormons solidly behind Romney.  Romney also got substantially less than the unopposed Barack Obama, who received 1.7 million votes in California.

Both sides are concerned about California's new "non-partisan" primary, designed by Republicans to blunt the effects of a sharp left hand movement in the state's politics and also to blunt the tea party.  They claimed success of course, but actual results were far from clear.  In the US Senate primary, for example,  the leading Republican received less than 13% of the vote, less than half a million, although she did secure a place on the ballot for the fall election.  Only one really anomalous result was found in the 53 Congressional races: in District 31,  two Republican candidates split 52% of the vote and four Democratic candidates split 48% of the vote. However, the Republicans were the two top vote getters so that even though the Democrats were withing striking distance of picking up the seat in November, they will not have a chance because two Republicans will compete in the runoff.  That was the only district with such an outcome.  There will be more Dem v. Dem Congressional races in the fall than Rep v. Rep, but since those were safe seats, there is no real contest.  Similarly, more than half a dozen candidates got into the runoff with no party preference indicated, but only in safe seat elections, so they will not seriously challenge to win.

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