Young Voter Turnout Under — or Over — Estimated in California Polls?

They also have exit polling in France. This man did not appear to wish to answer. (Stephen Rees: Flickr)

They even have exit polling in France. This man did not appear to wish to answer. (Stephen Rees: Flickr)

This election, KQED has focused in part on young voters and their views on different issues.

So how much of a role did young voters play in Tuesday’s electoral outcomes? It’s hard to say exactly or — as it turns out — even approximately.

The respected Sacramento political newsletter The Nooner Wednesday pointed to an exit poll showing 18-to-29-year-old voters made up 27 percent of California voters in yesterday’s election. That’s compared to 22 percent in 2008.

Yet the highly regarded Field Poll had predicted on Monday that a maximum of 15 percent of these young voters would turn out.

So what gives? I called Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo, thinking that he would explain how pre-election predictions can run awry. Instead, he walked me through the exit poll industry in California — and what an interesting trip that was. Continue reading

Is California About to Become a Democratic Wonderland?

California Democrats have ample reason to smile. Their party appears to be on the way to gaining a supermajority in both legislative houses — the first time for either party party since 1933, and a tax increase the governor has made the centerpiece of his plan to stave off further budget cuts looks to be on its way to passing as well.

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at L.A. City Hall on the state budget earlier this year. (Kevork Djansezian: Getty Images)

Gov. Jerry Brown, a big winner yesterday, at LA City Hall earlier this year. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

“Everything that the Democrats did is historic,” John Myers told KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny on Wednesday. “The governor did something that did not happen the last eight times someone [tried] to raise taxes on a statewide ballot. Last night he got a tax increase, almost I would call a general tax increase, though it was supposedly earmarked for schools.

“If these numbers hold, it’s a very fascinating dynamic for Democrats in California and for a Democratic governor here in Sacramento.”

Democrats might think the word “fascinating” an understatement. After all, doesn’t a supermajority mean they can push through tax increases without the help of intransigent Republicans? (Proposition 13 requires tax hikes to be passed by a two-thirds majority of both houses, and Republicans have shown no willingness to play ball.) Continue reading

London Breed Defeats Christina Olague in District 5

San Francisco has released the updated unofficial results from its latest round of ranked-voice voting tabulations, putting supervisorial candidate London Breed at 56 percent of the vote in District 5. That should preclude further ranked-choice rounds and make Breed the winner.

Olague campaign consultant Enrique Pearce has already told the Chronicle that “barring some sort of miracle, London Breed is going to be the next supervisor for District Five.” The Examiner, SF Weekly and ABC News have crowned Breed the winner,  not to mention her campaign’s Facebook page.

Christina Olague, no longer District 5's supervisor

You will recall, naturally, how l’affaire Mirkarimi insinuated itself into this race. Olague was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to replace Mirkarimi after he won election as sheriff. Then, well, you remember the rest.
(For the love of God please don’t make us recap it again.)

But long story short: Olague was one of four supervisors to defy Ed Lee and vote not to remove Mirkarimi on an official misconduct charge related to a domestic violence incident between him and his wife. Lee did not withdraw his endorsement of Olague but he was plenty mad, and some of his political allies took aim at the erstwhile recipient of the mayor’s largesse. There was talk of a recall, and the Chronicle reported that Tony Winnicker, a Lee advisor and former press secretary, sent Olague a text that said, “As your constituent, you disgust me. You are the most ungrateful and dishonorable person ever to serve on the board. You should resign in disgrace.”

Anti-domestic violence advocates also released an 11th-hour attack ad against Olague criticizing her for her vote against removing  Mirkarimi from office. That couldn’t have helped. Continue reading

Democrat McNerney Beats Newcomer Gill, Wins 4th Term in Congress

by Tara Siler

Rep. Jerry McNerney

Democrat Jerry McNerney’s victory in the 9th Congressional District comes despite predictions that his San Joaquin Valley race with newcomer Ricky Gill might be a toss-up.

By the time Gill called McNerney and conceded defeat early Wednesday morning, most people had already left the Democratic celebration. McNerney’s staff erupted in cheers and lit cigars.

In 2010, McNerney’s re-election took days to determine as results came in, and he said the early call from Gill was a relief.

“I was hoping I wouldn’t be waiting another two or three days for the results and its pretty decisive now. The voters have spoken and I appreciate that and the confidence they’ve given me and I want nothing more than to serve this community and do the best I can to make a difference in people’s lives.”

“I think he’s been very good to the community he comes back to,” said Laurie Mitnik, a substitute teacher from Stockton. “His door is open to people who want to talk to him. He’s very approachable.”

McNerney continues to have his work cut out for him. Stockton’s unemployment rate is more than 13 percent, the city recently declared bankruptcy and crime is soaring. McNerney said he plans to hit the ground running.

“I will not hold back,” said McNerney. “If I can find a grant, I will help my constituents get that grant. I want to bring federal dollars back to my district because we need it here.”

Throughout the campaign McNerney fought Gill’s depiction of him as a carpetbagger who moved to Stockton from Pleasanton because his district was redrawn. McNerney countered that his 25- year old challenger had far too little experience.

Outside conservative groups spent some $3 million to unseat McNerney. Unsuccessfully.

Ballot Measure Results in All Bay Area Counties

Here are links to KQED’s county and local ballot measure results in six Bay Area counties:

San Francisco

San Mateo

Santa Clara


Contra Costa


For results in Napa, Solano and Sonoma, here are links to the election results pages at the county registrar of voters:

Napa County Registrar of Voters

Solano County Registrar of Voters

Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Marin County Measures: Results

Here are the results for all measures on the ballot in Marin County:

Measure A, County of Marin, parks: 74% yes; 26% no (Two-thirds majority required)

Measure B, Mill Valley, schools: 70% yes; 30% no (Two-thirds majority required)

Measure C, Shoreline School District: 76.80% yes; 23.20% no (Two-thirds majority required) Continue reading

Some Berkeley Measures Too Close to Call

Measure S, the so-called “Sit/Lie” ballot measure and Measure T, which would change zoning in West Berkeley, both remain too close to call, our colleagues at Berkeleyside report Wednesday morning:

Last night, 32,661 votes were recorded in the mayoral contest. Four years ago, over 56,000 Berkeleyans voted for mayor. Given the high turnouts observed in Berkeley yesterday, it’s clear there are plenty of votes remaining to be counted. Continue reading

Quick Read: Richmond ‘Soda Tax’ Unpalatable to Voters

Richmond’s Measure N was defeated 67 percent of voters turned it back.

It seems Californians are not ready to tax sugary drinks as a way of reducing obesity. Two measures — one in Richmond, and one near Los Angeles — both failed at the polls last night. Supporters of Richmond’s soda tax say they will keep fighting to reduce how many high-calorie sodas we drink.

Read more at: