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OC Republicans Shoot Selves in Foot; OC Democrats’ Worst-Case Scenario Evaporates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 16, 2012

In a pre-Prop 14 world, it made absolute good sense to contest every single partisan race.  Each qualified party was guaranteed exactly one candidate on the November ballot.

Prop 14 changed all that.  The top two candidates, regardless of party and regardless of whether anyone breaks 50%, advance to the November ballot.  If the top two candidates were members of the same party, presumably the more moderate candidate would win.  If there were two Democrats, the less liberal one would win thanks to Republican voters.  If there were two Republicans, the less conservative one would win thanks to Democratic voters.  Furthermore, the party with two candidates facing off in November would then spend a fortune in an intraparty battle, freeing the excluded party to spend its human and financial resources elsewhere.

In Orange County:

  • Republicans feared a November bloodbath in AD-74 between Allan Mansoor and Leslie Daigle, in which the less conservative candidate would win.  In AD-74, Republicans comprise 42.5% of registered voters, Democrats 29.0%, and no party preference voters 23.7%.
  • Democrats feard a November bloodbath in AD-69 between Tom Daly, Michele Martinez, Julio Perez, and Paco Barragan, in which the least liberal candidate would win.  In AD-69, Democrats comprise 49.7% of registered voters, Republicans 27.5%, and no party preference voters 19.1%.

Conventional wisdom held:

  • If no Democrat filed in AD-74, Democratic voters would back Republican Leslie Daigle over Republican Allan Mansoor in both June and November, as Daigle is less conservative than Mansoor.  Republicans would squander valuable human and financial resources in an intraparty battle for AD-74, freeing Democrats to spend their resources elsewhere.  However, if a Democrat were in the AD-74 race, presumably that person would be in the top two to face off against the winner of the Mansoor-Daigle fight.
  • If no Republican filed in AD-69, Republican voters would back Democrat Tom Daly over the other three Democrats (Michele Martinez, Julio Perez, and Paco Barragan) in June, as Daly is the least liberal of the four; the Republican voters would continue to back Daly over whichever Democrat he faced in November, as Daly would still be the less liberal candidate.  Democrats would squander valuable human and financial resources in an intraparty battle for AD-69, freeing Republicans to spend their resources elsewhere.  However, if a Republican were in the AD-69 race, presumably that person would be in the top two to face off against the winner of the Daly-Martinez-Perez-Barragan fight.

For about half a week, many in OC, including yours truly, thought the Democrats’ worst nightmare had materialized: a Democrat in AD-74 and no Republican in AD-69, as Robert Rush joined the Democratic Party and entered the AD-74 race while Republican Robert Hammond withdrew from AD-69 to join the Orange County Board of Education race.

Well both party’s fears came to naught and we revert to status quo in November with likely one Democrat versus one Republican.  As my intrepid fellow blog editor Chris Emami wrote, an obscure gentleman by the name of Jose Moreno (not to be confused with Anaheim City School District Trustee Jose Moreno) filed as the sole Republican in AD-69 with barely two minutes to spare.

Robert Rush (D-74) and Jose Moreno (R-69) could spend the next three months in Siberia, and both will still be in the top two in their June races by virtue of having “Democrat” and “Republican” after their names, respectively, allowing them to advance to November, where they will be summarily destroyed by their opponent.

(In case you’re wondering, Rush has a ballot designation of “Business Owner/Accountant” and will be second on the ballot after Daigle but before Mansoor while Moreno has a ballot designation of “Orange County Eligibility Technician” and will be third on the ballot after Daly and Martinez but before Barragan and Perez.  Many voters will be left scratching their heads as to what an eligibility technician is, and if you’re one of them, here’s an explanation of what that is.)

Democrats won’t squander their resources on an intraparty AD-69 battle in November nor will Republicans squander their resources on an intraparty AD-74 battle in November.  Both parties will revert to the old rules of spending their resources against each other in November.

Former Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte once said in reference to a San Francisco Mayoral race: “When you’re a conservative, and you’ve got a choice between a socialist and a communist, you back the socialist.”  Democrat Robert Rush has enabled the most conservative candidate to win in AD-74, and Republican Jose Moreno just enabled the most liberal candidate to win in AD-69.

11 Responses to “OC Republicans Shoot Selves in Foot; OC Democrats’ Worst-Case Scenario Evaporates”

  1. Spike said

    Excellent analysis, Chris. Thank you. Too bad guys like Tim Whitacre and Allan Bartlett can’t think strategically and demand running a Reep in AD69 fr its own sake, and because they think it means sticking it to “the Establishment.” That Whitacre is using that reason is rich, since he was working for a slate of Democrat candidates and against the GOP candidates for Santa Ana City Council in 2006.

    I don’t agree that Moreno on the ballot will help the most liberal candidate in AD69, which I assume to be Julio Perez. Daly probably benefits most because there will now be four Hispanics on the ballot splitting the Hispanic vote, so it’ll probably be Daly v. Moreno in November, which Daly will win in a walk.

  2. Nice try, but pushing the OC GOP candidate out of the 69th AD was NOT a win for your party, at all. Luckily Jose Moreno jumped in and your party will still be represented. Better yet, the awful Tom Daly may well end up losing in June. http://ocpoliticsblog.com/did-nguyen-and-baugh-pull-hammond-out-of-the-race-for-the-69th-a-d/

  3. Spike said

    Dream on, Pedroza. Your track record for political predictions is notoriously crappy.

    Good luck with your OC Board of Ed. run. Voters will love that you support allowing illegal immigrants to vote in school board elections.

    • Actually I have done quite well with regard to predicting the outcomes of OC political races. I was supporting Norby and Nelson when a lot of you guys were hacking for the wrong Republican candidates, for example.

      As for your second comment, there are indeed quite a few school districts in this country that allow residents to vote, regardless of their citizenship. I don’t see that happening here in Orange County, but I would definitely support ward specific school board races, certainly in Santa Ana, where almost all the incumbents reside north of 17th St. I understand that Anaheim has a similar issue in that most of their incumbents live in Anaheim Hills.

      • Spike said

        Bwahaha! Like how Hugh Ngyen was going to mop the floor with Tom Daly? Bwahaha!

        And you went pretty mealy mouthed all of a sudden on letting illegal immigrants vote in school board elections. You’re on record supporting it. Why not go on record again? Don’t the voters deserve to know?

        • Pink Tie Ball said

          and Steven Choi was a walk for AD-70 or that Benevides was going to be replaced on the City Council. Tell me Pedroza, why is only comments that are positive about your OCBE candidacy show up on your blog and not the ones calling you out for your racism, financial and legal troubles? It’s not libel if it’s true and you claim to be a free speech advocate. Why is it you don’t allow free speech on your blog?

  4. One Who Knows said

    Of course as history will tell us, Art’s position can change at the drop of a check. The $5,150 check from Mayor Pulido, anyone? Let’s face it, he makes Mitt Romney seem genuine.

    • Spike said

      I noticed he changed the byline on his new blog from “Editor” to “Art Pedroza.” Guess Art is looking for a .000000000000001% bump in name ID.

      • Pink Tie Ball said

        anyone know where Pedroza is working these days? His ballot designation is “Teacher” but he’s only an hourly employee of Cerritos College on weekends only. I thought he was a safetry professional until Disney fired him.

  5. [...] AD-69: No endorsement was made.  OC Eligibility Technician Jose Moreno is the sole Republican running.  I sort of covered him here. [...]

  6. [...] here at OC Political predicted Daly vs. Moreno here, here, and here. (While we made several predictions that went wrong [like nearly everybody else, [...]

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