Will Tom Daly become the new Tom Umberg? (And who knew these two had so much in common!)
Brea blogger Greg Diamond offered a breakdown of the electorate in the redistricted 69th Assembly District today, in a comment he posted here on NSA. Here is his comment, followed by my own analysis:
Population of AD-69: 465,317. Population of Santa Ana: 324,528. So you might think so — but you’d probably be wrong.
Here are the results for the Santa Ana Mayor’s race in 2010:
- MIGUEL PULIDO 21,588 49.5%
- ALFREDO AMEZCUA 11,689 26.8%
- CHARLES HART 4,216 9.7%
- GEORGE COLLINS 3,820 8.8%
- ROY ALVARADO 2,339 5.4%
That’s a total of 43,652 votes, about 10-2/3%.
Anaheim has a population of 336,265. Its turnout for a less-close and less-bitterly fought Mayoral race than Santa Ana’s was 61,237, or 18.2%.
- TOM TAIT 33,340 54.4%
- SHIRLEY MCCRACKEN 19,668 32.1%
- DENIS FITZGERALD 8,229 13.4%
I recognize that that includes Anaheim Hills — but that region isn’t huge and Santa Ana has upscale areas of its own. Without looking at the Anaheim precincts within this district specifically, which I hope someone here has the ability to do, it seems plausible that the Anaheim turnout rate will be much higher.
By the way, Garden Grove overall has a population of 170,883, of whom 35,841, or 21%, came out to vote. Again, that’s going to be mostly the wealthier areas to the west; notably, there was not a Vietnamese candidate.
So Santa Ana just tends not to vote. Maybe the other parts of the district will be the same. Maybe, given that for some of them this will be the first good chance in quite a while to vote for a State Assembly rep, not.
One thing: the low vote totals would seem to favor someone with a good field operation. Who of the three Dems does that sound like?
Sorry — I do like Michelle. But even if she has the backing of the Pulido Machine, the Pulido Machine only pulled out 21,000 for the Mayor himself against Amezcua. It took a strong (and not inexpensive) field organizer for Loretta to beat Van Tran, who should have been hopelessly outnumbered. Where is Michelle, who pulled out a little under 35,000 votes from Santa Ana running unopposed in her ward — about 9000 fewer votes than were cast during the Mayor’s race — going to find that?
Wow. Where do we start with this hot mess? It is hard to believe that Diamond is an expert on redistricting. Let’s start by looking at the map of the new 69th A.D.:
You can see that the district only includes part of Anaheim – and as Diamond pointed out it does not include Anaheim Hills, which is full of well to do voters who vote. Note that there isn’t much Garden Grove or Little Saigon in the district. It is dominated by Santa Ana.
According to Redraw CA, here are the voter demographics of the new 69th A.D.:
- 50.33% Democrats versus 28.64% Republicans. The rest belong to third parties and a whopping 17.6% are Decline to State voters.
- 52.59% of the voters are Latino – only 30.75% are white voters, and 12.61% are Asian
A few quick observations – on the surface there don’t seem to be enough Republicans in this district to send a Republican to the general election, under the new “top two” primary voter rules. However, with three Democrats in the race, and a presumed high Republican turnout, a GOP candidate could indeed become one of the “top two” primary candidates. And, a Republican could prevail in the general if he or she were moderate enough to pick up some Decline to State voters, and if Democrats stayed home in November, which they might.
The current GOP candidate, Robert Hammond, is not that candidate. If a legitimate Republican candidate, such as former Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring, were to run that would be another matter altogether – she would advance to November and with a GOP sweep of the White House and both Houses of Congress expected she could win this seat. That would be particularly true if she faced off against leftwing extremist union hack Julio Perez in the general election.
But I don’t see Perez getting past the primary. He has no name I.D. He is from Anaheim. He has never run for any office of any note. He is in the race for one reason – to split the Latino vote and put Daly on top. Or he is just deluded.
So what about Daly? Can he win? Remember that he has not been on the Anaheim City Council for a long time. When he was the Mayor of Anaheim he was known for being dismissive of the working poor and Latinos. His Anaheim base, absent the Hills, is by no means assured.
And Daly’s help did not put Republican John Leos in the winner’s circle last year, when labor ran him against two Democrats who were endorsed by their party. Leos went on to lose to the Pringle-backed slate of Council candidates.
Diamond broke down the local 2010 races in Anaheim and Santa Ana, but those really aren’t relevant given that only part of Anaheim is in the new 69th. So let’s look at a few races that actually do have a bearing on this race.
In November of 2004, Tom Umberg beat Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez in the 69th A.D. primary. That was seven years ago. He won by less than four hundred votes.
In June, 2006, Jose Solorio beat Alvarez and Armando de la Libertad, in the primary election for the 69th A.D. Solorio got over 7,200 votes. Alvarez got 4,387 votes and de la Libertad got 2.176 votes.
Also in 2006, Umberg lost to then Supervisor Lou Correa in a hotly contested primary for the 34th State Senate District. Correa won by over 5,000 votes.
By 2007, Umberg was totally washed up as a Central Orange County candidate, losing when he ran for Correa’s vacated Supervisorial seat. Umberg got 9,725 votes. Janet Nguyen, who was then a member of the Garden Grove City Council, got 10,919 votes. Umberg came in third in that race.
Solorio did not by the way face a primary challenge in 2008, or in 2010. In fact he opened a campaign office in downtown Santa Ana, in 2008, and brazenly shared it with Republicans Carlos Bustamante and Rob Richardson.
Remember that Solorio ascended to the State Legislature from the Santa Ana City Council. While Umberg won in 2004, by 2006 he could no longer win in Central Orange County. That was true again when he ran in 2007. Will Daly become the latest Umberg?
Honestly, Daly ought to be running for the Board of Supervisors – where he could pick up Bill Campbell’s seat. But instead Daly is going to ruin himself trying to take the 69th. It will become his Waterloo – particularly as there is so much dirt on Daly. Count on all of it coming out this year. It will be beyond ugly – guaranteed.
Martinez assembled a big ground operation when she ran for Mayor of Santa Ana, in 2008
Can Martinez run a good enough ground operation to win the 69th, or at least advance to the general? Yes. Remember she ran for and won a Council seat as a complete underdog. But even before that she got her feet wet working on the Measure A, OBP ballot measure, which won handily. And she ran for Mayor of Santa Ana – losing to longtime incumbent Miguel Pulido – but she got more votes, as I recall, then Alfredo Amezcua did last year. And Amezcua spent a half million on the race! Martinez ran on a shoestring budget.
Martinez last year was heavily involved in helping Pulido get reelected. Her backers were part of Pulido’s ground team, and Pulido’s campaign manager is now working with her. Bet you didn’t know that. I am quite sure Diamond didn’t.
Martinez also guided Measure G, an SAUSD bond measure, to success at the ballot box.
What sort of ground game will Perez mount when he is totally unknown? His allies in Santa Ana are Amezcua retreads. They failed to beat Pulido. Why would anyone expect them to win this time around? They won’t.
Remember that Martinez is the ONLY woman in the race. Diamond surely didn’t consider that. Nor has anyone else. But it matters. Women vote – and they tend to vote for woman candidates. This is a huge factor – and it is another reason for the GOP to recruit Kring and dump Hammond.
Daly and Perez are going to split the Anaheim vote, for what it is worth. And they will split the Democrat male vote. Daly will dominate with white Democrats, but I don’t see many Republicans voting for him, particularly if they have an option like Kring to vote for. Who knows? If Hammond can afford a ballot statement he might do OK, by appealing to the Tea baggers.
The key to this election might well be the Decline to State voters. Whoever grabs them could end up winning the whole enchilada. Once they hear about Daly’s money-wasting ways and overall corruption, I doubt he will be able to garner any of their votes.