Discussion: Dems: 'We Are All Pulling Our Hair Out' Over Tuesday's California Primaries

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ego sometimes overrides rational thinking…


While hope is not a plan … one can hope that the defects of the Maine governor’s race that twice gave us Paul LePage will be instructive for races in California.

I recommend as follows: (1) Get behind the Sane Party candidate with the best chance of winning in each race; (2) Dismantle the jungle primary scheme to avoid the likes of Rohrabacher squeaking through what rightfully should an electoral –and perchance legal– undoing.


Californians…check out these three races in particular, get off your asses and vote…Please. Our country is counting on you to help us flip the House. We need your active involvement to make that happen.


Flooding the field with candidates felt good for a short time until it became obvious the Dems were shooting themselves in the foot and making it impossible to win. At least they didn’t shoot anyone else doing back flips in jubilation.


I am in CA39 and voted three weeks ago for Gil Cisneros (great guy, who I have met in person a couple of times). I am currently out of town on vacation and would have loved to have seen Adam Schiff when he was in my district. I am holding my breath on the election.

I am a big fan of Crooked Media and its podcasts!


Flooding the field with candidates is not the problem, it’s the utterly brain dead jungle primary system. What fucking idiot dreamed that up?


I’m sorry but flooding the field when the jungle primary exists is the problem.


FYI, - the jungle primary was voted on by the voters of CA via referendum in 2010 to supposedly promote more bipartisanship. On paper, it sounds like a great way to do that. In reality, it’s madness.

God help us.


As can be seen from the photo, Adam Schiff has been pulling his hair out for a long time.


Not flooding the field with candidates (in primaries!) is (a) undemocratic (why have primaries at all?) and (b) not possible for the party to control (read the article).

When you have a lot of candidate enthusiasm, jungle primaries bring you first the election, where you decide which party will hold the seat, followed by the primary, where you choose the representative for the winning party.

To quote the line from Bridge on the River Kwai: Madness!


When a district is predominantly one party or the other it’s a pretty good bet the top two vote getters will be from that party. I hope the Dems can decide soon which of them has the best chance of winning and everyone else bows out to support the best candidate. I’ll believe that when I see it though.

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Ok…time for a reality check on the jungle primary. CA is not an exclusive vote by mail state. About 50%-60% is VBM; the remaining 40%-50% is in-person voting. The in-person vote will be much more Democratic because many more minorities and younger voters participate in e-day voting than EV.

The independent site that everyone is using to check the returned/mailed ballots hasn’t updated in 2 days. So whatever data you see on that site is substantially off from the actual total. Those totals have Dems racking up a 250k margin statewide over GOP even in demographics that are unfriendly to Dems through 6/1. On e-day that margin is going to expand significantly. Dems might end up with a 50% vote share of the electorate when all is said and done (currently at 45%). That’s why I’m still giving Antonio Villaraigosa a shot at finishing #2 in the Governor’s race despite some not so great polling.

As for the districts, in CA-49, the Dem turnout through Friday was very strong. Dems are turning out at a 2% higher clip than the GOP with Indies in the district leaning Dem. The last few polls show that only 1 GOPer is truly competitive (Diane Harkey) with 3 competitive Dems in the top 4. The chances of Dems getting locked out there have dropped. The chances that the Dems actually lock out the GOP are growing (not 50% mind you, but it’s a non-trivial possibility).

It looks as though Mike Levin (my preferred candidate) is making a breakthrough over the last 4 days. Sara Jacobs and Doug Applegate have run strong races. Paul Kerr, the billionaire saboteur, is in mid-single digits and I expect him to drop below 5%. I think the Dems are safe there. It’s definitely possible (maybe 15% chance?) that Levin/Applegate, Levin/Jacobs, or Applegate/Jacobs could make it through to the general election.

In CA 48, the last poll there over the weekend (from Harley Rouda’s campaign) showed Rohrabacher at 30%, Rouda at 25%, Keirstad at 20% and Scott Baugh at 15%. I’ve heard no other campaign disputing those results or the pecking order. If that’s true then Nancy Pelosi’s decision to beat the crap out of Scott Baugh is working. In CA-48, we have an outside chance that the GOP gets locked out as I could see a scenario where Rohrabacher drops to 22%, Baugh gets to 20%, Rouda gets to 28% and Keirstad ends up at 23%. Mind you that’s an odd and unlikely scenario but it’s as plausible (and I’d say slightly more so) than the GOP locking us out.

In CA-39, people are fretting that our turnout hasn’t been great thus far. While that’s true, that’s only 4000 votes, and not counting the Indies (which have been leaning Dem across the country throughout the election cycle). That gap can be closed on Election Day. In addition, the GOP isn’t driving enough numbers to knock out the Dems. The last poll we know about (a few weeks ago) had Gil Cisneros as the #1. Now, Sam Jammal and the other candidates have trashed Cisneros over several weeks and it has been maddening to see. Nonetheless, my sense is that Cisneros’ message has been geared to driving up base Dem and latino turnout and his ads, the support from prominent Dems outside the district and his activity level suggest that he has convinced the base that he is the best choice for Team Blue.


I see that these jungle primaries are being fought out between masculine primates with huge egos, tiny brains. No wonder it’s a mess.

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I’m trying to recall if I voted for this. I’m sick.

Thanks for this. Maybe Josh should hire you.

What’s the name of this independent site? Share it with the troops.


I voted against the jungle primary because it seemed like the scenario we now have would be the result. I see a lot of ads from Jacob and Kerr, who have negative ads against Dems, and are both self-funding, and both jumped in long after Applegate and Levin had been working for the seat. I’m hoping the Dems prevail. My district is Duncan Hunter’s and we have a really good candidate who is working hard and is also facing a negative campaign from another Democrat while leaving Hunter unscathed. Jungle primary indeed.


Exactly. The “jungle primary” is so appealing to the younger “Why do we need parties?” voters of the Berner variety, but here you see the result of that sort of idea.


Jon Bauman, an actor and longtime Democratic activist best known as Bowzer from Sha Na Na

At this point, I’ve seen him introduced this way in so many stories where he’s simply doing political activism that it’s probably time to just start calling him “Jon Bauman, Democratic activist.”

Free Bowser!