It’s hard to see how Jerry loses

It’s hard to see how Jerry loses

Brown president 1976Chapman University’s usually accurate Economic Forecast expects growth of about 2.2 percent over the next year for the country, somewhat higher for California. That’s not fantastic; previous economic recoveries have been much stronger. But it’s way better than a recession.

And a recession — a deep one — is about the only thing besides health problems that could prevent the re-election of Gov. Jerry Brown next year. Reported the Chronicle:

“Despite California’s high unemployment and poverty rates, 58 percent of registered voters approve of how Brown is doing his job — the highest mark of the 75-year-old Democrat’s third term, according to a nonpartisan Field Poll released Thursday. His highest-ever Field mark was a 69 percent approval notch in March 1976, during his first term….

“Neither yardstick shows any of Brown’s announced or expected Republican challengers — former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks (San Bernardino County) or former U.S. Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari — getting more than 16 percent of the vote against him in the June primary….

“The poverty rate in California — nearly 24 percent — is the highest in the nation under a new calculation that includes cost of living, according to federal census figures, and the state’s 8.7 percent employment rate is fifth-highest in the U.S.”

The problem for Republicans is that poor people are the most likely to vote for Brown. Because they’re poor, they get government benefits, which Brown has increased in his last two budgets.

The Obamacare debacle is going to slam Democrats nationally. They likely will lose some seats in the California Legislature; and some California seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Neither U.S. senator from California is up for re-election this year.)

That’s something for the GOP. They well could end the Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the California Legislature. However, that means Democrats could use 2014 as the time to pass tax and other bills with their supermajority before it might evaporate on Dec. 1.


It’s still going to be hard for Republicans to win any statewide race, not just the governorship. AG Kamala Harris and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, eyeing succeeding Brown in 2018, easily should win re-election. Democrats have near locks on the other constitutional offices.

Cruz BustamanteAside from the Schwarzenegger fluke because of the 2003 recall, the last statewide office Republicans have won was Steve Poizner for insurance commissioner in 2006. There were four reasons for that. As an entrepreneur, Poizner had the right background for the job. He also spent a lot of his own money his campaign. His opponent, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, was involved in a scandal. And Cruz’ main campaign platform — seriously — was his diet program. Actual campaign official statement: “I want to become an example to others to lead healthier lives by losing weight myself. Obesity in California costs $7.7 billion a year.”

It’s not entirely impossible for a Republican to win for governor or the other offices. But it’s hard to devise a scenario where it happens.

If you have a GOP victory scenario, please put it in the comments. They need help.




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