Democrats again outspend GOP in California primary races

 

While maintaining a marked edge in legislative representation across the state, California Democrats notched a different but familiar distinction against Republicans in the 2016 election cycle, new data showed. Consistent with the results of previous races since the implementation of the so-called “jungle primary” law, Democrats spent far more in intra-party primary races than did GOP candidates. The pattern also held in contests for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

High-cost competition

Under the current primary system, all registered voters can participate in a single “open” primary including all candidates regardless of party identification. The top two vote winners then square off in a general run-off election. Last year, according to tabulations made by Forward Observer, Democrats spent a total of $91,518,355 on 23 same-party races – 11 in the state Assembly, five in the state Senate and seven in the House, for an average of $3,979,059 per race. That compared starkly to the $2,784,596 spent by Republicans over four same-party races for state Assembly seats, an average of just $696,149. 

Fundraising among the two parties reflected the lopsided totals. Altogether, the Democrat candidates contending for the 11 Assembly seats “raised $49.4 million including independent expenditures, for an average of approximately $4.5 million per race,” Forward Observer noted. 

Among Democrats vying for one of the five same-party state Senate seats up for grabs last year, “candidates raised $23.3 million including independent expenditures, for an average of approximately $4.6 million per race,” while those pursuing one of the seven same-party races for seats in the House of Representatives “raised $33.9 million including independent expenditures, for an average of $2.7 million per race.” 

Unexpected consequences

For Democrats, therefore, the cost of winning seats has climbed steadily under the nonpartisan blanket primary system passed as Proposition 14 by California voters in 2010 – increasing by about $3 million from 2012 to 2014, then by more than $37 million from 2014 to 2016.

“Since the first implementation of Prop. 14 in the 2012 election cycle, there have been a total of 80 same-party races in California for seats in the state Senate, Assembly and U.S. House of Representatives – 60 races between Democrats and 20 between Republicans,” the Forward Observer report summarized. “In total, Democrats have spent a total of $197.4 million on same-party races since Prop. 14 first went into effect in 2012, compared to $34.5 million spent by Republicans. Democrats have thus spent $5.72 on same-party races for every dollar spent or raised by Republicans.”

Prop. 14 was billed as a way to help ensure greater quality and competition among candidates without regard to party affiliation and, implicitly, with a mitigating effect on large campaign war chests. But for Democrats, the new system has had the more pronounced effect on pitting party members against one another at cost – neither clearing the field for dominant candidates who can win clean or uncontested victories on the cheap, nor giving upstart or insurgent candidates a clear opportunity to shift power away from established or establishment-backed contenders. “In nine of the 28 same-party races in 2012 election cycle, the second-place primary finisher won in the general election,” the report noted. “In six of the 25 races same-party races in the 2014 election cycle, the second primary finisher won.” Showing a similarly disproportionate ratio, second-placers scored general election victories in just six of the 2016 cycle’s 27 same-party races.

In fact, over the past three election cycles, primary winners have fared better and better on the whole against their second-place rivals, whether despite their increased campaign fundraising and spending or because of it. The ratio of victorious second-placers decreased from nearly a third to about a fourth to just over a fifth. 

11 comments

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  1. Terry
    Terry 11 July, 2017, 08:32

    Where is all the $$$$$$ coming from? It sure is not from the goodness of their heart to help the PEOPLE! Could it be kickbacks for all the trains, tunnels and other CA projects the demorats are proposing with OUR $$$$. This communist state is so disgusting.
    And I fear it is going to drag the whole country into 3rd world status just as the communist want.

    Reply this comment
  2. Liz
    Liz 11 July, 2017, 10:33

    Glad to see Top Two is causing unions and Dem supporters to waste their huge sums of money in safe Dem seats. That’s less for them to spend against Reps in seats that are competitive. Now if Reps can just be more strategic so we are always in the top two in districts where the Rep has a chance. Rep candidates – don’t run unless you can raise money, walk hundreds of precincts, and are in it to win it!

    Reply this comment
  3. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 11 July, 2017, 16:51

    A new song for the demac-RATS. MONEY THAT WHAT I WANT

    Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 11 July, 2017, 17:42

    Republicans love their cocktail parties grazing on crab and shrimp and lamb……why spend time in primaries….so gosh!

    Reply this comment
  5. SurfCityUSA
    SurfCityUSA 12 July, 2017, 13:09

    Ulysses Uhaul aka Frankie With 17% of California’s budget going to support illegals aliens in one form or another, and California on it’s way to becoming a sanctuary state, pension funds in the major red ie yours . You will be hard pressed to afford canned spam or lube on date night with your boyfriend. But don’t worry, your party always has your best interests at heart. LOL

    Reply this comment
    • Ulysses Uhaul
      Ulysses Uhaul 13 July, 2017, 09:29

      Fake news folks. Fake fake fake……

      Surfie is so so tormented these trying days of hate against poor migrants who slave in the hot sun in fields providing our food.

      Surfie change your ways……days are short…make your life positive and generous to the poor…….

      Reply this comment
      • Terry
        Terry 13 July, 2017, 10:05

        The immigrants working hard in the fields are not the problem. MS 13, drug dealers & murders are the problem. Sanctuary BS protects all the gangs and criminals too. CA communist leaders do not want to deport them either. How sick is that? I wonder how much drug money is making it to Sacramento to protect these criminals at any cost. To Hell with everyone else. By the way this is not fake news. It is reality.

        Reply this comment
        • Ulysses Uhaul
          Ulysses Uhaul 13 July, 2017, 10:52

          T

          No one wants evil supported or being first in line in Sacramento…..sanctuary cities is faux/misinformation to prop up the welfare/industrial state. Do you actually know how many people it takes to give your money away or rip off poor exploited low wage workers! Your wrath needs redirection-

          Reply this comment
          • Terry
            Terry 13 July, 2017, 15:38

            My Rath is at the communist demorats that support all this corruption for what? Not the goodness of their heart? So it must be $$$$$ from drugs. But I guess some is at MS 13, drug dealers and criminals that should not be here. If yours is not there is something wrong with you. Many of the gang members take advantage of the poor to and you know that too unless you have your eyes closed. This is the last time I will state this over and over. It appears you do not want to get it or must be one of the communist demorats that support it.

          • Terry
            Terry 13 July, 2017, 15:39

            My Rath is at the communist demorats that support all this corruption for what? Not the goodness of their heart? So it must be $$$$$ from drugs. But I guess some is at MS 13, drug dealers and criminals that should not be here. If yours is not there is something wrong with you. Many of the gang members take advantage of the poor to and you know that too unless you have your eyes closed. This is the last time I will state this over and over. It appears you do not want to get it or must be one of the communist demorats that support it. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  6. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 13 July, 2017, 15:41

    All sanctuary Cities and communities need to be totaly defunded by 100% no more money for cities run by crinimals are traitors

    Reply this comment

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