In a nutshell: white voters and partisans lost, the generation gap is growing, and a wide swath of voters seem ready for change... though admitting they're also confused.
LOS ANGELES -- Well, that's all, folks. The long, bruising, and historically expensive 2010 primary election is now history. For all the bluster, it looks as though only a small portion of California's voters decided it was worth it to participate. And now, prepare for the general election contest to begin almost immediately.
A few late night bite-size bits on the campaign that has now drawn to a close.
Some of my friends who aren't fans of politics have asked me, "Why can't all that money spent on campaigns be used to help balance the state budget?"
That paradox -- plenty of political cash, too little budget cash -- is a great way to describe the topics on this week's Capital Notes Podcast.
We examine the latest data on campaign cash in the race for governor, plus some of the polling from this week on this race and the contest for the U.S. Senate. Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I also examine budget maneuvers this week both in the Capitol and in the courtroom.
The latest statewide survey of voters offers some hard to pass up nuggets about two important subsets of the California electorate and how they might sway the state's biggest November contests -- those for governor and the United States Senate. And if that's true, then it adds even more intrigue to the next 11 weeks of the primary season and who comes out on top.
For those, though, who want the headlines from tonight's Public Policy Institute of California poll, then here they are: Meg Whitman leads Steve Poizner by 50 points in the GOP gubernatorial primary and leads Jerry Brown in a theoretical November race by five points; and Carly Fiorina appears to have closed the gap in the GOP race for the U.S. Senate, leading Tom Campbell by a single percentage point (Chuck DeVore's support remains unchanged) with both GOP front-runners deadlocked with 18-year Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer.
Now, on to our subplot.
SANTA CLARA -- Leave it to Tom McClintock, long the favorite son of the California Republican Party, to say what only others hinted about all weekend.Heck, what they'd hinted about all year.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, we're breaking up with you.
Granted, the freshman congressman and former longtime state legislator threw his punch via video from Washington, D.C. and did so at the expense of one of the current gubernatorial wannabes.
Those are some of the things being said about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as this election year kicks off... not by Democrats, but by his fellow Republicans. And it may be just the beginning.
The political world is buzzing over today's big ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that lifts seemingly all restrictions on campaign cash funneled into groups that operate independently of candidates for Congress.
Of course, those of us in the Golden State know a thing or two about free flowing money into "independent expenditure" groups. And so it seems -- once again -- as California goes, so goes the nation.