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Democrats Cast More OC Primary Election Votes Than Republicans for First Time Ever

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 8, 2016

Republican Presidential Nominee
Donald Trump

This is cross-posted to OC Daily.

In numbers that should scare Republicans across Orange County (and probably California, and maybe the United States), for the first time ever, more Orange County Democrats cast primary election ballots than Orange County Republicans did. Even in 2012, when Mitt Romney had sewn up the presidential nomination, more Republicans cast primary election votes than did in 2016. Even in the 2008 battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Democrats could not surpass Republicans in primary election ballots cast.

Party 2008 2012 2016
Democrat 317,859 (67.8%) 139,316 (27.5%) 231,638 (49.5%)
Republican 373,587 (52.2%) 234,396 (34.5%) 205,988 (36.9%)

The 2012 general election was a bloodbath for Republicans:

  • Democrats captured 2 Assembly seats from Republicans.
  • Democrats captured 3 Senate seats from Republicans.
  • Romney beat Obama by just 6.3% in Orange County.

Gerrymandered districts likely saved Republicans in 2008.  The 2016 elections will be conducted under the same district lines that were first contested in 2012.

2016 threatens to be worse than 2012.  Nowhere in Orange County is that more evident than in AD-65.  Here is how Assemblyman Chris Norby did against challenger Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva in the 2012 primary:

Vote Count Percentage
CHRIS NORBY (REP) 29,917 58.8%
SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (DEM) 20,936 41.2%

Here is how Assemblywoman Young Kim did against challenger ex-Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva last night:

Vote Count Percentage
SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (DEM) 28,840 53.0%
YOUNG KIM (REP) 25,575 47.0%

Norby led Quirk-Silva by 17.6% in the 2012 primary before losing to her in the general election by a 52%-48% margin.  Kim is behind in the 2016 primary by an even larger margin than Norby lost in the 2012 general.  Republicans will need to marshal massive financial and human resources in order to save the AD-65 seat.

Things look even bleaker in a swing seat that neighbors Orange County, where 66th District Assemblyman David Hadley is at 45.6% and trails ex-Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi:

Vote Count Percentage
AL MURATSUCHI (DEM) 36,832 48.3%
DAVID HADLEY (REP) 34,773 45.6%
MIKE MADRIGAL (DEM) 4,659 6.1%

The tri-county SD-29 is a good news, bad news situation for Republicans:

Vote Count Percentage
LING LING CHANG (REP) 52,131 44.8%
JOSH NEWMAN (DEM) 34,013 29.2%
SUKHEE KANG (DEM) 30,280 26.0%

As of the last reporting period ending May 21, Chang had $369,770 cash on hand, Newman had $21,835 cash on hand, and Kang had $173,086 cash on hand.  The good news is that Chang now faces a weaker, underfunded opponent for a key Senate target seat.  The bad news is Chang only got 44.8% of the vote in the primary.

Other scary numbers for Republican incumbents in Orange County last night:

  • Assemblyman Travis Allen has just 50.9% of the vote.
Vote Count Percentage
TRAVIS ALLEN (REP) 35,062 50.9%
LENORE ALBERT-SHERIDAN (DEM) 20,067 29.1%
NAM PHAM (DEM) 13,723 19.9%
  • Supervisor Andrew Do (R) is headed to a run-off with Michele Martinez (D), who he beat by 0.3% or 200 votes.
Vote Count Percentage
ANDREW DO 20,730 35.8%
MICHELE MARTINEZ 20,530 35.5%
PHAT BUI 11,026 19.1%
STEVE ROCCO 5,582 9.6%
  • Assemblyman Matthew Harper joins Assemblywoman Young Kim (who we discussed above) as the only two incumbents in Orange County who were not in first place.
Vote Count Percentage
KARINA ONOFRE (DEM) 33,570 42.5%
MATTHEW HARPER (REP) 30,614 38.7%
KATHERINE DAIGLE (REP) 14,885 18.8%
  • Orange County Board of Education President Robert Hammond (R) is breathing a sigh of relief that County Board of Education races are winner-take-all in June with no runoff, for he beat Beckie Gomez (D) by 1.9% or 961 votes:
Vote Count Percentage
ROBERT M. HAMMOND 21,100 42.4%
REBECCA “BECKIE” GOMEZ 20,139 40.5%
PAUL ZIVE 8,479 17.1%

There’s also the implications of California’s U.S. Senate race:

Vote Count Percentage
KAMALA D. HARRIS (DEM) 2,044,347 40.4%
LORETTA L. SANCHEZ (DEM) 939,107 18.5%
DUF SUNDHEIM (REP) 405,730 8.0%

With the top Republican vote-getter for U.S. Senate, Duf Sundheim, finishing a distant third, that means for the first time in California history, the November ballot for U.S. Senate will not include a Republican. Instead due to the top-two primary, only two Democrats will be on the U.S. Senate ballot in California.

Republicans face a tall order this fall to overcome the Democratic surge.  Republicans will have to unify behind Republican candidates.  The Republican Party must organize volunteers and raise significant funds.  The OC GOP must strengthen its financial and human infrastructure in order to defeat Democrats.  Otherwise, 2016 will be a bleak year indeed.

7 Responses to “Democrats Cast More OC Primary Election Votes Than Republicans for First Time Ever”

  1. Craig P. Alexander said

    And Congressman Darrell Issa only received 51.5% of the vote in his re-election campaign per the Secretary of State’s web site. Since the 49th Congressional District is still a very, very Republican district – I hope the Congressman gets the message that some of his constituents are paying attention to his voting record.

  2. TheMarshallPlan said

    I don’t think this is really a big problem for the party of a surprise. I was actually shocked Republicans cast as many votes as they did. This was seen throughout California and it’s quite simple. This was the first primary ever were there was no reason for Republicans to come out and vote and conversely, because of the nomiation and the California focused campaign, Democrats had ever reason. When California had early presidential primaries, it was so early that neither party campaigned here extensively or the nomination was over wraped up for both parties. When it was held late like now, it was usually wraped up. The big change was a lack of propositions on the ballot. While that also occurred in 2012 (because of the idiotic and biased reasoning from Ol ‘ JB and our inept attorney general) there were the primaries from redistricting that really drew voters out. In Orange county and throughout California. This year there was only one maybe two contested primary for Republicans, and in southern California at best 6-7. Overall even the supervisor races were not as intense. Not to mention the embarrassment that was the Republican candidates for senate.

    This has been the weirdest presidential election ever, and I see no reason to imagine that’ll change in the next five months. It’s hard to guess what the general election will be like. Trump could be the worst thing ever for the party, or maybe Clinton will be the worst Democrat in the last thirty years. We don’t know the impact of the liberal propositions on the fall ballot; extending the “temporary ” tax hike, more gun confiscation, plastic bag ban, will have on conservative and Republican turnout. Possibly it ‘ll be like the 2002 gubernatorial election, with abysmal turnout because the public hates both. That being said, while the Republican party throughout the state in counties needs to continue to develop basic infrastructure; GOTV, better precinct walking, more effective direct mail, I don’t think this is reflected of the GOP or it’s presidential candidate

  3. Bob said

    To those with no journalistic integrity: the name of the party is the Democratic Party, not the “Democrat Party.” You sure do show why your site should more properly called OCGOPPolitical.com, What a farce.

    • To those with no grammatical knowledge, the name of the party is indeed the Democratic Party, but its members are called Democrats. It’s like how the name of the second-largest state is Texas, but their residents are called Texans.

  4. Kelly Hubbard said

    Referring to Donald Trump as the Republican Presidential Nominee under his photo is highly inaccurate and it only misleads the reader and contributes to the ignorance out there about the primary process. As it stands at this moment, no one is the Republican Presidential Nominee! That is a determination made by a majority of the delegates in Cleveland at the convention that will take place over a month from now. At this time, not one vote has been cast by a delegate on the nomination. I realize there is a temptation sometimes for journalists and bloggers to cut corners for whatever reasons, but in the interest of being factual, I think it’s important for the writers to use the most accurate terms in describing people and things. A better way of putting it would be to say that Trump is the presumptive nominee. – Kelly Hubbard

  5. Kelly Hubbard said

    The title that the writer gave Donald Trump below his photo is highly inaccurate and misleading. As it stands at this moment, No One is the Republican Presidential Nominee! That will be a determination made by a majority of the delegates in Cleveland at the convention over a month from now. Not one vote has been cast by any delegate on the nomination! Probably a more accurate way of putting it would be to give him the title of Presumptive nominee. I realize that sometimes there is a temptation for journalists and bloggers to cut corners, but people who write such things have an obligation to always be factual and accurate on whatever subject matter they are reporting on. My experience has been that there’s already a ton of ignorance out there as it relates to this election and how the primary process works. It would help if bloggers, reporters, and media types wouldn’t contribute to that ignorance in anyway. – Kelly Hubbard

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