August 9, 2004


Governor's forays put embattled Democrats on the spot (Dan Walters, August 9, 2004, Sacramento Bee)

When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger staged a series of rallies last month to drum up support for his position in the state budget stalemate, the venues were chosen carefully - communities in which there are seriously contested legislative seats.

A bipartisan gerrymander of legislative districts, enacted in 1991, was aimed at freezing the partisan status quo and leaving Democrats in control for at least a decade, but since then, it's become apparent that the plan contained some upside potential for Republicans, but virtually none for Democrats. Population shifts and a continuing erosion of the Democrats' voter registration majority have placed a handful of the 120 legislative seats, all designated for Democratic ownership, in the tossup category.

There's virtually no chance for Republicans to take control of either legislative house this year, or probably until the next round of redistricting. Republicans could, however, make fairly substantial gains - perhaps two or three seats this year after picking up three in 2002 - while the maps don't give openings to Democrats.

Schwarzenegger's historic win in last year's recall election added another layer of complexity, improving GOP prospects even more. Republican strategists have compiled lists of Democrat-designated districts in which the recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis passed and in which Schwarzenegger and the other major Republican candidate, state Sen. Tom McClintock, ran up big margins. Those are the districts into which both parties are pouring resources and in which Schwarzenegger's involvement might have an effect.

If the race starts to slip away from John Kerry in the Fall, Barbara Boxer is one of the "safe" incumbents who he could take down with him.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 9, 2004 5:30 PM

Sorry, I think that's wishful thinking, but living in the bluest of blue cities, perhaps my perceptions are skewed.

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 9, 2004 6:20 PM

>If the race starts to slip away from John Kerry
>in the Fall, Barbara Boxer is one of the "safe"
>incumbents who he could take down with him.

None too soon.

Posted by: Ken at August 9, 2004 6:52 PM

If? Put a fork in him. He's done.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 9, 2004 11:06 PM

David - "Put a fork in him - he's done". I hope so although it doesn't like it right now.

Posted by: AWW at August 9, 2004 11:10 PM


Your city is so Blue it's almost "Green".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 9, 2004 11:36 PM

In the case of Boxer, from your lips to God's ears!! For Sure!!!

And may she take Kerry with her.

Posted by: dick at August 10, 2004 1:07 AM

>If? Put a fork in him. He's done.

Not until the fat lady sings -- or the Supreme Court goes five-to-four on the post-election lawsuit frenzy.

Posted by: Ken at August 10, 2004 3:59 PM

Frankly, this thing is so non-competitive I'm getting a little bored.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 10, 2004 7:44 PM